Next Thing You Know It's a Hundred Years Later (The Lazarus Experiment)


Yeah, but at least my head isn't covered in penises.
It’s May 5th, 2007. Beyonce and Shakira are still at number one, with Avril Lavigne, Ne-Yo, Mika, and Gym Class Heroes also charting. In news, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation acquires the Wall Street Journal, the Labour Party gets whacked in local and regional elections, and on the day this story airs, Floyd Mayweather Jr. defeats Oscar De La Hoya in what is apparently the highest grossing boxing match ever.

Clearly something in the air, because Doctor Who decides that what it really needs is a story that’s basically all action sequences. With Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks there was at least enough going on that we could play the quasi-entertaining game of simply ignoring quality entirely. With The Lazarus Experiment this becomes harder - there is simply not a heck of a lot going on in this story. At around the fifteen minute mark it switches into action set pieces, and it stays there until the end with almost no scenes doing anything else. This is not an episode that has much in mind beyond spectacle.

Structurally, we have another case of “let’s update one of the non-classic Doctor Who formats.” By legend, Malcolm Hulke, in complaining that the earthbound structure of the Pertwee era was a bad idea, claimed that there were now only two viable Doctor Who plots - aliens invade, and mad scientists. As it turned out only one of these had much in the way of legs - the UNIT era became known for alien invasions, which became a classic approach that Doctor WHo is obliged to go back to periodically. Mad scientist plots, meanwhile, basically dropped out of the series - there are basically no “pure” mad scientist stories - i.e. ones with no aliens - after Robot (yes, you can make a case for counting Rise of the Cybermen/Age of Steel, but I don’t want to).

So The Lazarus Experiment is basically The Mind of Evil without creepy racism. And, you know, with the prison raid stretched out to half an hour. Fair enough - it is indeed an odd discarded subgenre of Doctor Who. The problem is that there’s nothing much more than “ooh, let’s do this genre” here. It is, as mentioned, a staggeringly vacant episode, its purposes seeming to be esoteric.

First among them is giving Mark Gatiss a 40th birthday present (literally - it filmed on his birthday) and letting him appear in a proper episode of Doctor Who. It is, in many ways, the part he was born to play - Gatiss is an extremely mannered actor, and clearly revels in the opportunity to do various standards of the well-regarded art of Doctor Who acting. He’s particularly good at “I am turning into a monster” spasms and that ever-important Doctor Who standard, the “I have just eaten somebody” face.

But he doesn’t have anything that can accurately be called a character here. There’s a bunch of effort to give him a bunch of World War II memories, but they all come after the point that he’s been obviously established as a villain, so it’s frankly tough to care by that point. “Oh, the obviously evil guy is reminiscing about the past with his obviously evil financial backer. Oh look, now he’s eating her.” And the final chinwag of the Doctor and Lazarus flounders because Richard Clark inexplicably decides on facial closeups for everything, losing the sense of grandeur that the story tries to gin together by setting the finale in a cathedral.

Still, for the first time since Simon Pegg we have someone who is both good at and enjoying Doctor Who acting. Mark Gatiss sees the scenery and hungers for its flesh, but he also knows how to go about it, and he’s obviously having a ball. Put another way, whatever this story’s weaknesses are, and there are many, Gatiss elevates it to watchability. In this regard, the story is even more of a Pertwee homage. The basic virtue of the Letts era was “don’t fuck it up,” which they managed with fairly ruthless efficiency. There’s a similar virtue in play in the Davies era. By empowering every department to contribute to the storytelling, Davies has built himself a sizable cushion so that, for instance, when the writing falls down on its face (as it does here) at least some of the slack is picked up by other departments. (And not just acting - the Lazarus monster is an impressive feat too. Its one apparent weakness, the kind of awkward model of Mark Gatiss’s face - turns into a virtue when the mouth opens in a bizarrely inhuman way that makes the face look like a weird vestigial trait instead of an actual face.)

He’s only really up a creek when a story is systematically misconceived on every possible level such that everyone goes dutifully and productively marching in a completely absurd and ill-advised direction, as in Fear Her, or, yes, let’s admit it, Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks. (Which is the same problem Letts had, at least prior to everybody burning out into cratering indifference for Season Twelve, hence The Time Monster.)

The other thing that’s interesting about The Lazarus Experiment is that it heavily advances the role of Martha in the series. But there’s something odd about this. The brief outlines of characterization we got for her family in Smith and Jones don’t really have time to be expanded here because of the pressing need for more things to explode. This has mixed effects, most, though not all of which, are problematic.

Worst-served is Francine, whose two character traits become “cranky” and “doesn’t like the Doctor.” This one probably comes off a bit worse in the US than the UK, since the “angry black woman” stereotype isn’t as prevalent there, but it remains an absolutely dire bit of characterization. Much like Professor Lazarus, it fails to realize that it’s a lot easier to have a sympathetic character become the antagonist than it is to get anyone to care about the antagonist’s problems.

It’s worth comparing Francine to the character her arc inverts, Jackie Tyler. Jackie is also a mother who doesn’t particularly get on with the Doctor (at least for her first season). But in Jackie’s case she gets an entire episode in which she’s a primary character who doesn’t particularly interact with the Doctor, and then has the Doctor be responsible for something truly and genuinely horrific that happens to her (having her daughter go missing for a year). Only after that does she become in the least bit antagonistic towards the Doctor.

Francine, on the other hand, hates the Doctor because... erm... some guy in a suit told her nasty things. And she starts mistrusting him before that, because apparently it’s appalling and unheard of that Martha would have a date to a formal event. This is not great. But what’s really strange is that this isn’t just one aspect of Martha and her family. On the one hand The Lazarus Experiment is a story about Martha and her family, but on the other it’s bewilderingly hostile to them.

The crux of this is Martha herself. The story starts with something that happens here for only the second time in televised Doctor Who: the Doctor fires a companion. What’s shocking here is that there’s no visible reason for it. It’s not for Martha’s own good. It’s not visibly some post-Rose angst. Davies and Tennant consciously started the season with the sense that the Doctor isn’t really in full adventuring mode in a large part because he recognizes that Donna’s “you need someone to stop you” advice was accurate, and there’s a clear sense of him having auditioned Martha. There’s certainly nothing articulable that Martha has done wrong as a companion. And, of course, the audience largely knows she’s around to stay. The result is that the Doctor’s obvious reluctance to take Martha on as a full-time companion comes off primarily as a criticism of her. Yes, there’s the eventual “you were never just a passenger” line, but this line runs up awkwardly against the fact that the Doctor really does leave Martha at the beginning of the story. (Indeed, you can insert an arbitrary number of missing adventures in that gap.)

But this seems also to be the point of Martha as a companion. In a storyline about the Doctor’s hubris, his dismissal and marginalization of Martha when she is, in practice, the most capable human companion ever is appalling in all the right ways. Indeed, much of this extends intriguingly from Martha’s status as not-Rose. In the end, the reason the Doctor overlooks Martha, in the general case, is the continuing focus on Rose as the platonic ideal of companions. Which is to say that the problem with Martha is that she’s not the massively popular and famous pop star.

There are problems underlying this balance that come to the fore in the Davies era’s resolution, yes. But at least in Season Three, this really does seem to be the arc. The point isn’t, here, at least, Martha’s unrequited love for the Doctor, it’s that the Doctor is wrong in his rejection of her. This comes to a head in the season finale, of course, in which Martha saves the entire world more or less single-handedly, and in doing so realizes that she deserves not to be treated as the second choice. Which is absolutely true.

The problem, of course, is that the series is ultimately trying to have it both ways when it can’t, really. In the end, of course, Davies is never going to sell Doctor Who down the river and proclaim that it doesn’t deserve to be the greatest and best show on television. In the end, we know where the balance gets struck - the Doctor’s hubris is just another narrative collapse. It calls the structures of the series into doubt, then triumphantly but tragically reasserts them.

Which is the problem here, ultimately. Martha is used to advance a plot that’s not really about her, and more to the point, she’s marginalized for it. The result works within this season, but is also why, after her departure, the character becomes quite a problem character. Because the series has given the Doctor’s endorsement to not really liking Martha. It really becomes difficult to get that invested in her after that. Not impossible, but you’re actively reading against the grain of the series at that point.

But honestly, if we’re looking for reasons Martha doesn’t quite work... there are other ones. Freema Agyeman is probably one of them. She’s not a bad actress by any measure, but she’s limited in her range. Again, this isn’t a problem. But what Agyeman is good at is conveying spunk. This is probably the single most important task for the modern companion, but it’s not the only one. And Agyeman has what can charitably be called limitations. In particular, she’s really not very good at displaying animated passions, not having a lot of tricks beyond “talk louder and put the emphasis on every single syllable.”

That’s not a huge problem for Martha in this specific season, where her character brief really does just amount to “be terribly clever.” She can do that, and do it well. But it does mean that she is, in many ways, a character designed for a specific narrative role in a specific context, and that she doesn’t quite work outside of it, much as, for example, Turlough never really works right after Enlightenment. It’s not that she’s bad as such - and it surely doesn’t help that her three episodes of Season Four are by any reasonable standard the runts of the litter.

But int he end the problem is simpler - she’s designed for one specific narrative problem. She’s the companion the Doctor arrogantly overlooks. She’s the one that deserved better. And in a bizarre and ironic way, that kept her from actually working better. Because the depth of character she’d need if the series fully embraced her never developed. The cruelest and saddest thing, then, is that it could have been different. It seems strange to separate the character from the actress, but given an actress with the range to do more than was initially asked of her (and again, Agyeman was perfect for what Martha actually does in the season she was hired for) and a world where one of the key stories in her evolution wasn’t a mindless action episode that shunted characterization off to the side, we could have had a companion that everyone recognizes as one of the greats.

In an odd way, this is all too fitting for Martha. In Season Three, she’s the character who deserved better. That doesn’t just describe her treatment by the Doctor, but how she’s written and how she’s acted. And while I love Season Three, I wish I lived in the world where she got it.


T. Hartwell 3 years, 5 months ago

"for example, Turlough never really works right after Enlightenment."

*huffs quietly in a corner at being one of the very few people who quite liked him in Frontios.*

Link | Reply

Carey 3 years, 5 months ago

The tragedy of Martha is that Davies was ill during the early part of series three, and the Dalek two parter had less input from him than usual, and that Stephen Greenhorn had the same contract as Matthew Graham and Steven Moffat, in that Davies could not rewrite them, only give notes.

I believe this is partly why Martha comes across as a "generic" companion in these three episodes (and, to a lesser extent, the Shakespeare Code). It is the same problem the greets new Doctors, in the writers don't really know how the actor will play the part and therefore write a new Doctor as an amalgam of previous character traits, and it's only when stories are either finished or broadcast that the writers cotton on to the actor's tics, limitations and pluses (oddly enough, the one exception to this rule is "The Twin Dilemma, where everyone saw the Doctor so over the top that they exaggerated that in season 22!). It is only in the two Davies scripts (and his rewrites of The Shakespeare Code) that she comes across as a character in her own right.

It's interesting that after The Lazarus Experiment (by which point there is enough footage that the creative team can see what Freema is good at as an actress) that she starts to excel. In short, she's really good at conveying suffering. There's an argument to be made that, within the context of the Davies' era, the Human Nature two parter could only be written as is with Martha as a companion: there is no way that Rose would have agreed to become a servant for several months (and, of course, it would destabilise John Smith's relationship with Joan), and I would imagine that Donna would similarly told the Doctor where to go if asked. Even in the Smith era, Amy would probably end up as a form of support for the school but not a servant, and I'd imagine that only Clara, who has many of the same problems as Martha as a replacement companion, would consider the position of servant to help the Doctor. As Phil says, Martha is very much the most capable companion of the Davies era: she is the only one of the three companions who saves the universe without super-powers.

Series three is, despite the disappointment of the Dalek two parter and the Lazarus Experiment, is probably my favourite Tennant series. Series two flounders after The Girl In The Fire Place, and Doomsday is retroactively undermined by Rose's return in series four; and series four, for all that it has probably the best production of all the Davies' series, starts to run out of new ideas and feels like earlier ones are being revisited but with an idea to make them bigger.

Thematically the series works well, with the first half mirroring the second: up to the Lazarus experiment the series explores what happens in the absence of Rose. The second half explores what happens in the absence of the Doctor himself. From 42 onwards, only Utopia contains an appearance by the Doctor where he isn't in one way or another removed from the narrative or, if you prefer, emasculated: even the Sound of Drums is really an episode of a parallel tv series called The Master where the Doctor is the adversary.

And Martha is the only new series companion (with the possible exception of Clara) that this would work for.

Link | Reply

Prole Hole 3 years, 5 months ago

I think he's great in Frontios too, if it helps any. He gets to fly massively over the top but never seem ridiculous or hammy, and that's quite a trick (and one which functions for Doctor Who very well). I even think he does well in Planet Of Fire - that story has many, myriad problems but I never felt that either Turlough or Mark Strickson was one of them.

Link | Reply

dm 3 years, 5 months ago

I third the praise for him in Frontios and second the praise for him in Planet of Fire. He's underused outside of those, but his presence in something like The Five Doctors, which is obviously both stretched and overstuffed, sketchbook in hand, is still palpable. After Enlightenment he really does settle nicely into his role as The Enlightened Companion.

Link | Reply

Wm Keith 3 years, 5 months ago

"There is no way that Rose would have agreed to be a servant for several months".

Clearly, you don't work as a sales assistant in a department store. (Nor do I, but Mrs Keith does).

Link | Reply

EclecticDave 3 years, 5 months ago

"the Doctor fires a companion. What’s shocking here is that there’s no visible reason for it."

To be fair, he's not so much firing her as choosing not to hire her.

In Smith and Jones he agrees to take her on "one trip", which he stretches to "one trip to the past, one to the future" for Gridlock. He did the same with Rose for End Of The World and Unquiet Dead, seemingly only taking her on full time after Aliens Of London/World War III.

So, except for the unexplained diversion to 1920's New York, the Doctor is simply concluding his agreement here and dropping Martha off at home after her "one trip". He is still pining for Rose and just isn't ready to commit to Martha just yet. Even after this episode he's initially only prepared to offer her "one more trip" and it's up to Martha to press for the same "terms" as he gave Rose, before finally being "hired" as the replacement companion.

Link | Reply

Adam Riggio 3 years, 5 months ago

Technically true, but watching the scene, it does reach an odd level of awkwardness that only really happens in rejection conversations. The unrequited love arc rears its head pretty clearly in this scene, thanks to Martha's body language. Have a look at Carey's point in the comments above: it's a spot-on assessment of what Freema Agyeman is good at, conveying suffering. In this episode's first scene, it isn't literally suffering, but it is that terrible awkwardness when a guy you really like has taken you on a few commitment-free dates, had a reasonable time with you, but still isn't interested enough in you to have a genuine shot at it.

It's almost a running gag in the series how particular Doctor/Martha scenes are shot to convey the language of the awkward are-we/aren't-we relationship.

Link | Reply

Seeing_I 3 years, 5 months ago


Link | Reply

landru 3 years, 5 months ago

I must admit, this episode didn't bother me, but it clearly didn't shine. And you really nailed it with "giving Mark Gatiss a 40th birthday present." That very obvious in the end sequence, which is a bit weird and old-fashioned ... the plot seems to just stop for a little Gatiss "bad guy" moment. It's an oddity in the RTD series, which contains mostly unsatisfying and/or rushed endings, to have the plot stop 10 minutes (or whatever) before the end of the program.

I'm not sure I agree with you about Martha, though most of your points are valid in general, I didn't feel she was being treated poorly ... I felt, as a Doctor herself, she'd probably want to get back to that.

Link | Reply

Lewis Christian 3 years, 5 months ago

Nothing against Freema, but she was hired after the production team were impressed by her in the Series 2 finale.

I'd love to know what they saw in her. If I recall, she was a bit wooden and then got Cyber-ised. Woo.

Link | Reply

encyclops 3 years, 5 months ago

He’s particularly good at “I am turning into a monster” spasms and that ever-important Doctor Who standard, the “I have just eaten somebody” face.


What saves this episode for me and makes it watchable is the fact that both of Martha's siblings are heartbreakingly gorgeous. For me they perform the same function as Ross the soldier in "The Sontaran Casserole" in giving me just a few moments during the episodes to sigh with admiration rather than exasperation.

Also, is it just me or does the Lazarus monster's appearance combined with its method of defeat (the cathedral and its sound vibrations) seem influenced by the Soul Reaver series of video games?

Link | Reply

Ross 3 years, 5 months ago

It reminds me most, possibly because it's been twenty years since I last saw it, of the creature Mark Hamil turns into at the end of Guyver.

Link | Reply

encyclops 3 years, 5 months ago

For reference, this is the creature (and even the pose) I was thinking of:

Zephon's not defeated by sound himself (at least one of his vampire brothers is) but he does live in the "Silenced Cathedral."

Link | Reply

encyclops 3 years, 5 months ago

Also, Soul Reaver and its sequels are pretty much the most timey-wimey video games I've ever played. The convolutions of plot through time and the revelations and paradoxes surrounding the title character's nature remind me an awful lot of Moffat's Who. Playing through all three would be a pretty time-consuming activity if you're not a big gamer, but this timeline might give you a little sense of how complicated it gets (and it doesn't even include the final game in the series!):

Link | Reply

elvwood 3 years, 5 months ago

"the Lazarus monster is an impressive feat too"

Really? Blimey. It skitters well, I'll grant you that; but the CGI critter here, along with it being the fourth episode in a row in which I was going "no no no no no, genetics does not work like that!", contributed to my disappointment. I very briefly considered stopping watching. Well, not in a more than idle way, but I was starting to think some of the magic had gone (to nick a phrase from Gareth Roberts).

Maybe I was just missing Rose, but I don't remember being that keen on her. Though having said that, Freema's accent rubbed me up the wrong way in much the same way that Sophie Aldred's did later - I thought it was bad line delivery until I spotted (in each case) that they talked just the same in interview and realised it was just my prejudices.

Fortunately Chris Chibnall was just around the corner to restore my faith. And that's not a phrase many fans would have used before series 7!

Link | Reply

Assad K 3 years, 5 months ago

Spittle like that probably wasn't seen again until Tim Dalton's Rassilon..

Link | Reply

coebabalifeandlove 3 years, 5 months ago

Oh, yes, I really liked his character and the actor, too, but unfortunately, they didn't really develop Turlough beyond the Black Guardian triology, or at least not until his final episodes. Though they did give him something extra in the end.

Link | Reply

Assad K 3 years, 5 months ago

If there's criticism of Freema going on here, is that to suggest Billie Piper was brilliant? Not a sentiment I would agree with. I'm not saying, just to clarify, that Billie was bad, she was.. fine. All my antipathy is reserved for Rose.

And as my own 40th is coming up soon, where can I sign up to appear in an episode..???

Link | Reply

coebabalifeandlove 3 years, 5 months ago

Well, she did that horror movie type scene, where she sneaked off for an office romance and then walked right into a Cyberman trap. Not exactly top-notch acting, but it was sort of like a classic Doctor Who companion, (I just recently watched Seeds of Doom and Sarah Jane/Elizabeth definitely did that a couple of times) and maybe it did inspire Davies to think of Freema in that light as he started to develop next series's companion character.

Link | Reply

Daibhid C 3 years, 5 months ago

I think that would give more impetus to Rose's refusal, really. (Can you imagine if the Doctor wanted Donna to work in an office for several months? "That's what I came with you to get away from, sunshine!")

Link | Reply

Bennett 3 years, 5 months ago

To further this line of thought...after agreeing to be a servant for several months Martha decries about having to "get a job in a shop" in the very next episode.

Link | Reply

Bennett 3 years, 5 months ago

Adam:"Technically true, but watching the scene, it does reach an odd level of awkwardness that only really happens in rejection conversations

This is really not helped by the fact that during this scene the Doctor picks up a piece of Martha's underwear.

(My vote for worst Tennant performance choice is the look he gives Martha as he holds the item up for her to see. I find it absolutely repugnant.)

Link | Reply

Matthew Blanchette 3 years, 5 months ago be fair, I don't think Moffat and Cornell knew what the other was writing, exactly.

Link | Reply

coebabalifeandlove 3 years, 5 months ago

However, as pointed out in yesterday's Moffat post, the two of them are friends and have been for a long time. I think they do talk about some things.

Link | Reply

Galadriel 3 years, 5 months ago

I was thinking along the same lines as Bennett here. Is there any other companion who's had to deal with the Doctor sans TARDIS for an extended period of time? I think the only other time the Doctor is "kicked out" is The Lodger, in which Amy is trapped inside.

Link | Reply

mengu 3 years, 5 months ago

" after her departure, the character becomes quite a problem character. Because the series has given the Doctor’s endorsement to not really liking Martha. It really becomes difficult to get that invested in her after that. Not impossible, but you’re actively reading against the grain of the series at that point."

What? There is definitely a sizable fraction who say she was better in series 4 'when she'd got over the Doctor' than series 3, and you're the first person I've ever heard say the reverse. Once she's gone off and been successful at UNIT and the Doctor is nice to her, it becomes harder to be invested in her?

Link | Reply

Philip Sandifer 3 years, 5 months ago

In that the damage has already been done, yes. Though as I said, the fact that her three episode run in Series Four consists of the rubbish monster two-parter and a Stephen Greenhorn script, there may be other problems in play as well.

Link | Reply

encyclops 3 years, 5 months ago

I love Martha but I have to agree: in the Sontaran two-parter, the "original" Martha is even absent for a large chunk of the action. She does a little better in "The Doctor's Daughter-Wife," getting to actually, you know, care for a patient, but I had trouble buying her anguish at the death of that patient -- not because it was badly acted (au contraire) but because, like everything in that script, it felt forced rather than earned. It's as if Freema agreed to come back only if she could do some "interesting" things, like play her own evil clone, fix an alien's arm, and have a big crying scene. More power to her, but I'm with Phil, it came a little too late for me.

Link | Reply

ferret 3 years, 5 months ago

It's all lies. The Doctor is making her pay her way in the TARDIS by taking a few holidays at her expense.

Human Nature, Blink, even in "Last of the Timelords" he gets a year off glamping on the deck of the Valiant while Martha works as a Guerrilla PR agent on Earth.

If not for Captain Jack the Doc would probably have had Martha wrangling Futurekind for a few months while he kicked back in Yana's laboratory pretending to build a time vortex manipulator he'd already knocked up in the first day.

Link | Reply

Jenda 3 years, 5 months ago

"Is there any other companion who's had to deal with the Doctor sans TARDIS for an extended period of time?"

Does Jo Grant count?


Link | Reply

EclecticDave 3 years, 5 months ago

Absolutely, I didn't mean to suggest that this scene was entirely unproblematic. Just that it wasn't true that was "no visible reason for it". Diegetically it's clear there was a reason and if we're talking extra-diagetically, Phil has already made it clear that replacing Billy Piper needed to be handled carefully, so it seems likely that RTD felt it necessary to project a certain reluctance on the part of Doctor about the need to replace Rose.

Link | Reply

Scott 3 years, 5 months ago

I can imagine Rose and Donna as the maid, actually. In-context, the whole 'servant' situation is pretty needs-must; the Doctor needs to hide, needs to lose his identity and needs the companion close by to keep him out of trouble and given the time period a domestic servant is probably the best bet from a practical standpoint. It's a pretty urgent situation all round, so while I can imagine Rose and Donna griping to high heaven about the situation, given the stakes I can imagine the Doctor browbeating them into it eventually if necessary, albeit with much reluctance and chafing on their part.

"However, as pointed out in yesterday's Moffat post, the two of them are friends and have been for a long time. I think they do talk about some things."

I'd imagine the substance of the conversation would be more likely to be "Oh, you're adapting your novel? Awesome! Mine has killer statues," than the two going through it line-by-line to make sure that Martha's stances on servitude are consistent. In any case, this explanation's easy; having just spent two episodes as a domestic servant in 1913, Martha is understandably not exactly thrilled with having to wait on the Doctor hand and foot yet again not very long after. Hence her more vocal annoyance this time.

Link | Reply

Galadriel 3 years, 5 months ago

Jenda--true, Jo and Liz do have to deal with an earthbound Doctor, but that's the daily business, not an interruption of time-space travel.

Link | Reply

Scott 3 years, 3 months ago

Worth remembering, in "School Reunion" Rose goes undercover as a school lunchlady. Which, admittedly, is not exactly Edwardian servitude, and she does plenty of moaning about it, but she does it regardless. I don't really see how the idea of her taking the role of the maid is somehow beneath her.

Link | Reply

John 3 years, 1 month ago

It seems to me that "Replacing Billie Piper had to be done carefully" turned out to be a totally self-fulfilling prophecy. Rose was fine up to Doomsday. Having the Doctor be sad in "Runaway Bride" was perfectly fine. But moping about it for all of series 3 didn't slowly wean people off Rose. It made the Rose people double down on how Rose was irreplaceable while irritating the people who didn't really care for Rose.

Davies could just as easily have decided that replacing Eccleston "needed to be handled carefully," and spent all of Season 2 with Rose moping about how Ten just wasn't the same as Nine. If that had happened, probably a lot of fans would have decided they agreed with her, and refused to accept Tennant too. Instead, Davies let Rose quickly accept this new version of the Doctor, and the audience consequently accepted him as well. What Davies did with replacing Rose was the exact opposite, and for no particularly good reason.

To a very large extent, Davies's reluctance to allow the Doctor to accept a replacement for Rose was the *cause* for the audience's reluctance to accept her replacement. I'm not sure any show has moped around about a cast change the way Doctor Who did about Rose, and I don't see how that was a healthy decision at all.

Link | Reply

New Comment


required (not published)


Recent Posts





RSS / Atom