A little while ago, I was having a discussion on Twitter* with @stu_n and @mpphilips about who should be cast as a female Doctor Who, should that ever be something under consideration. My suggestion of Mary Louise Parker did not go down well. This was on the general grounds that Mary Louise Parker ‘is irritating’.
Everything is in the eye of the beholder, etc, but my counter to this point left my conversational partners stunned, I tell you. Stunned. Because I suggested that the Doctor is supposed to be irritating and casting Parker would at least be consistent on those grounds.
Are you stunned by this? Maybe you are. The Doctor is the hero of the piece, not even an anti-hero. He does good things. Surely he should be nice. Or not irritating, anyway.
However, I think it’s actually the case that Doctor Who is a dick, who does all kinds of dickish things but gets away with them because he’s the hero and occasionally has a companion who subverts his dickishness.
Now, he’s not all dick, clearly. In fact, I have a theory that each Doctor lies on a ‘dick-fey’ continuum, with the vast bulk of his personality from incarnation to incarnation being a mix of these two traits. And here’s a handy guide to exactly how much of a dick/fey he is with each incarnation, so you can see how right I am.
- Hartnell: Dick who becomes more fey
- Troughton: Fey with a hint of dick
- Pertwee: Dick
- T Baker: Huge dick
- Davison: Fey with a hint of dick
- C Baker: Colossal dick
- McCoy: Fey who becomes more dick
- McGann: Fey
- Hurt: Dick
- Eccleston: Huge dick
- Tennant: Dick
- Smith: Fey dick
- Capaldi: Ultra dick
You’ll note that Doctor number 8 – Paul McGann – is the only one who has no dickish qualities whatsoever and that’s probably because he had so little time on-screen that he never had the chance to display his innate dickishness**.
What do you think? Have I rocked your world? Am I massively off base? Is the Doctor actually all fluffy and lovely and extremely endearing?
* Obvious promotion of my Twitter account to suggest that fun and exciting conversations can be had if you follow me
** If you count audio and book adventures as well, then Doctor 8 is not only the longest running of all the Doctors but gets to show his innate dickishness on many, many occasions.