Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dr Who and Shakespeare

(It's not a typo. In British English there's no [.] after the _R_ .)

Anyone? Even here in the States many of us saw the show as kids. Mind, I never thought of it as a kid's show. My mother is the one who wanted to watch it. I suspect she had a crush on Tom Baker. I have to admit, he's got a gorgeous voice. I'd forgotten how good, until the other day, when I watched an old episode.

If she had a crush, she wasn't alone. Now in the 2nd incarnation of the series, and just past the 10th Doctor, I'm with her. But my crush is on David Tennant. It helps that he is a mad Dr Who fan. (In fact, in re-watching Tom Baker I found that consciously or not, Tennant's Doctor has some very similar quirks.) I'm not familiar with the other Doctors, so I can't comment on their ways.

David Tennant is a fine actor in any case. I've been seeking out his other work, and it's impressive. Sometimes he just lets go and is full-out silly, but he can do any kind of character and make him real. My husband compared him to Cary Grant, which made me blink--I don't think of him as sophisticated and smooth. But DH explained that he meant endless charm and a certain clownishness, and David Tennant has that in limitless quantities.

This crush is quite recent, too. I have the cold that won't quit, and when BBC American ran a Dr Who marathon before the second part of the final special this year I settled in and watched for hours. I'd seen bits and pieces of episodes over the past few years, but didn't really bother to sit down and watch the show on a regular basis.

It's rather embarassing to go fan girl on a present day actor, but it's fun. I'm really looking forward to seeing his Hamlet. Especially as Patrick Stewart is in the cast as Claudius; in high school, I saw the videotaped production with Derek Jacobi in the title role, Stewart was Claudius then, too, and that production is what made me realize just how much I love Shakespeare.

Hamlet is supposed to air on PBS in the spring. April, I think. Unfortunately, the DVD is not yet available in US format, and our zone free DVD player isn't terribly dependable. Still, I might break down ahead of time and get it anyway.

Any other retrophiles with embarassing celebrity crushes out there?


Batty said...

I've seen my share of the Doctor. Tom Baker is my all-time favorite. The thing about David Tennant... maybe I just like older men, but he's too young for me to develop a crush. I look at him and think, "Wow, he's just a kid!"
But the episodes are really good. Great storytelling, well-written. I enjoy them.

C.K. Dexter Haven said...

I was eight when Dr Who aired every weeknight @ 6pm on the local PBS station here in Miami.

Tom Baker was my hero. He didn't use guns and knives, he was funny and not afraid of "scary-looking" monsters--(I never thought the efx were "bad", but "British"-- He was MY Doctor and when he left the role, I was devastated!

I vowed never to watch the new Doctors and from what I gather, I haven't missed much. I do enjoy the "reboot" and I convinced her to watch and she loves Tennant *and* Baker! She refused to watch the Tom Baker era as a kid because the music and time tunnel imagery creeped her out. Now she regrets having missed out.

I think that Christopher Eccleston channeled Tom Baker more than Tennant does.

P.S. I still have my personally autographed Elisabeth Sladen ("Sarah Jane Smith") from when nine-year-old me wrote to her in January, 1981. I have many of the Tom Baker adventures on DVD.

One more thing: