Fuzzy Logic


GeekPlanetOnline’s Editor-in-chief, Matt Dillon, is a man of many passions - although most of them involve a joystick. In this semi-regular column, he shares his thoughts on life, love and the pursuit of video games (and occasionally other things).


A long time ago – about twelve years, in point of fact -  in a galaxy not so far away, I read the news that Doctor Who was finally coming back. Not as an animation, or as a radio drama or web series, but actually, properly coming back to television. As a lifelong fan, nothing could have made me happier. And then, as I continued reading, I learned that the Doctor would be played by Christopher Eccleston, whilst his companion would be played by former pop singer Billie Piper, and the fan-rage began. How dare they? Are they not taking this seriously? What sort of stupid, populist move is this? What a terrible casting choice! Doctor Who is ruined! I’m never watching it again! And yet I watched, and I loved every minute of it.

A few months later a tabloid rag which shall remain nameless* broke the news that Eccleston would be leaving the show and that his already-beloved Ninth Doctor would be replaced by Cassanova star David Tennant. I read this** and the fan-rage began. How dare they? Are they not taking this seriously? What sort of stupid, populist move is this? What a terrible casting choice! Doctor Who is ruined! I’m never watching it again! And yet I watched, and I loved every minute of it. In fact, I loved Tennant more than I’d loved Eccleston.

Matt Smith was announced as his successor. I’d never heard of him, and he was too young. He was, of course, brilliant. Peter Capaldi was announced as HIS successor. He was too old, and the internet wouldn’t stop making Malcolm Tucker jokes. He was, of course brilliant. In fact, there has never been an actor cast as the Doctor who has not been excellent in the role; some of them, like Smith, Capaldi and perennial fan-target Colin Baker, suffered from inconsistent (and occasionally outright terrible) writing, but the actors themselves have always been spot-on, and frequently have been able to elevate poor material to the point where it is at least watchable. In other words, whilst Doctor Who has never been free of problems, those problems have never been caused by its lead.

Now, at the time of writing, Peter Capaldi’s time in the TARDIS is drawing to a close and speculation is once again rife as to who the next Doctor will be with one name, in particular, being brought up time and again – that of My Family and Death in Paradise star Kris Marshall. Despite the fact that there is no evidence for his casting many are acting as if the contract has been signed, and many of those seem to place “Kris Marshall playing the Doctor” on a similar level of the disaster scale to “global thermo-nuclear war”; fans are entitled to their opinion, of course, but it really is an overreaction. One commentator, retweeted by a friend of mine, even said in respect of Marshall’s (again, unconfirmed) casting: “I can’t think of anything I want to happen less”. Really? So you’d, say, rather have your legs cut off without anaesthesia and then replaced with angry spiders? Buddy, clearly you either have an underdeveloped imagination or a really sheltered life.

This sort of reaction happens whenever a new Doctor is cast, of course, but whoever the Doctor will be in the future – regardless of gender, regardless of ethnicity, regardless of physical attributes – overwhelming evidence shows that we can trust that it will be somebody with the right range and skill as an actor to play the part, and yes, that includes Kris Marshall. If he’s being handed the key to the TARDIS he will be the right person for the job, because the Doctor always is. Take a deep breath***, put down the flaming torch and pitchfork, and try to have a little faith.


* Lest Rupert Murdoch appear in a mirror and consume my soul.

** Don’t judge me. I didn’t buy the damned thing.

*** Pun not intended, but I’ll claim it.


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And if you're wondering what our resident Whovian, Martin Thompson, thinks about the upcoming regeneration look no further than his latest column!