All afternoon at work I had listened to a gannet like gabble of excited gossip regarding a Doctor Who Webisode the BBC had posted on-line. Social networking being what it is the chances of avoiding spoilers are not good but against all the odds I managed to get through the day and early evening without the surprises it contained being ruined(mind you; I grew up in a house without a phone and I own neither a mobile communication device of any description or a laptop,so I am practically Edwardian). All I knew was that this was a prequel to the Doctor Who Anniversary Episode The Day Of The Doctor which is to be transmitted Saturday next. So the day passed at a painfully slow snails pace as the hours ticked down to locking up. Emails came through at work asking if I had watched it. Regulars who knew me phoned the store where I work to ask breathlessly had I sat down to see it and all avoided the bane of our age; Spoilers. Thank you to all for that. I tried tactfully to explain the notion of delayed gratification, holding off a a pleasure in order to appreciate the climax all the more. And the fact that I would not be able to relax and properly enjoy it until I had completed my days duties.
Then one of my colleagues ,Connor, announced how much he was looking forward to the close of the working day so that we could sit down together and watch this wee treat which had fallen into our collective Whovian laps. Once I had completed said duties. This joyful announcement threw me and I felt compelled to make a weird confession. You see I have never watched an episode of Doctor Who in the company of another human being since its big return in 2005. Truth be told I am easily distracted and not great company. Yet there was no way for me to just burst the bubble of his very genuine enthusiasm. So come the end of the day I had resigned myself to brave the company of another and catch up with this mysterious little short and whatever could be achieved in six minutes and forty nine seconds..
..which is to say a little miracle. It is that good.
Out went the lights and on went the show.I almost fell out of my chair when I heard Paul Mc Gann's voice.NOT THE DOCTOR YOU WERE EXPECTING indeed.What followed was just sheer Whovanna. One of my favorite moments since the big return in 2005. The Doctor I had hoped for following the television movie in all his wounded glory. Young, powerful and every inch the Galifreyan Renegade. This is the character I see when I listen to his wonderful adventures on Big Finish productions. Again and again pounding on the anvil of genius and he even name checked his lovely companions(Although he did travel with Mary Shelley for a short but fantastic time and she so deserved to be remembered) before bursting in a blaze of light; heroically sacrificing himself once more on the alter of the needs of others. This ranks amongst the absolute highlights of the series for me and all the more welcome for not having seen it coming.
The Doctor is my Hero of a Thousand Faces.
And it turned out to be a pleasure to watch it in the company of a friend who also liked it, oohing and aahing in all the right places. The pair of us beaming and even a little teary by the end.
Thank you my friend. It was a pleasure to share this moment with you.
Way back in the nineties I caught my first glimpse of Paul McGann in character. I still have that picture as you can see. Just look at this haunting character study of an immensely talented young actor at the height of his powers, lost in thought, about to become lost in space and time. I still remember a feeling in the pit of my stomach. When I thought about all the new stories ahead for my dear old friend with a brand new face. They came in forms I would never have predicted; in books comics and audio adventures. A broad canvas that stretches as far as my imagination will allow, now all rounded in a sleep, the many threads and loose ends entangled in a spell cast by some Prospero that will keep me in stitches for some time to come..
I never wanted to stop traveling with this incarnation of The Doctor. His time and travels with Big Finish are amongst the most ambitious and exciting moments produced by this wonderful company of artisans. They more than full filled the promise in that character study below. Wish I could credit whoever took this inspired informal but dazzling photograph. They will certainly always have my thanks.
With this new end it starts all over again.
PHYSICIAN HEAL THYSELF.