Whoydensday quickhit: Nine or Ten?

I’m working on a long post which is being a tad recalcitrant, so talk among yourselves. Which Doctor do you prefer, and does that preference extend to other work from the same actors? Or did you not know either Christopher Eccleston or David Tennant until you saw them in Who?

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22 replies

  1. I used to think I liked CE best, but I’ve been watching reruns of the first series and I don’t find his attitude towards humans very appealing. I know that’s the fault of the writers, but one of the charms of The Doctor is the way he wants to protect humans like they were his pets. He’s just a bit too off-hand.
    I had seen DT in other things, but hadn’t paid much attention to him (such were the nature of the roles he was in) and I do like him very much as The Doctor. Those teeth can be charming and disarming, which does it for me 🙂
    Plus I like the fact that DT took on Dr Who as a long-term thing, which CE wasn’t prepared to do. Coward!

  2. I think that Nine would have probably been my favourite if he’d stayed around longer, but since he didn’t the Tenth Doctor is far more well developed– I’m far more attached to Ten now. Also, since I’ve seen more Old Who, I appreciate how much David Tennant is able to pick up on little things from his predecessors, particularly Tom Baker, while still making the role his own. I don’t think Eccleston had that extra layer to his performance, even though his acting was always superb.
    The first time I saw both Eccleston and Tennant was in the movie Jude, in which Eccleston had the title role. I saw it about ten years ago, and I wasn’t actually aware that it was the same actor until after the Ninth Doctor had regenerated. Having said that, however, he did do a fine job in that film. I can’t really say much about Tennant’s role because he only had a very minor part.
    The first major thing that I saw Tennant in was Casanova and, I have to confess, I actually wasn’t all that enamoured of the show *ducks flying tomatoes*. It was his portrayal of Barty Crouch Jr. in the Goblet of Fire film that made me sit up and ask “who is this guy?” When I found out that he was the person replacing Eccleston, I was very happy– before that I’d been so sad that CE was leaving that I was considering not watching the show further. After that (but before he made his Who debut) I also saw him in Blackpool, which I really liked.
    Oh, and I also saw Eccleston in 28 Days Later, where he played an bad guy who– well, I won’t say what he did, because this post doesn’t have a trigger warning. I guess he acted the role pretty well, but I think that Who allowed him a better range for his acting abilities.

  3. I’m one of those stubbornly against-the-grain Nine fans. I liked Eccleston in Heroes and loved him in Doctor Who. No particular acting analysis; who needs an explanation for fanlurve?
    I think Tennant is great too, though he’s probably just about due for a regeneration, I reckon – I’m ready to move onto a new Doctor. *ducks flying tomatoes from angrily-squeeing fans everywhere*

  4. Oh such a tough question.
    I like CE’s dark angry parts. Really, who could live for nearly 1000 years and not be a bit dark and angry?
    DT is just delicious to watch. But I’m with Lauredhel- I can’t wait to see who the next Dr is going to be. I think the 10th has run his course.
    I would love to see a woman doctor though. I was giddy over [spoiler disemvowelled – sorry Red Queen ~tigtog] DctrDnn. wsh sh cld hv stck rnd.

  5. Actually, I kind of agree with you Lauredhel, about David Tennant– I know I said just a few weeks ago that I hoped he’d stay for a fifth full series, but after seeing Journey’s End, I feel like his story arc has really come to a close now, and it’s time for someone new. Or in other words, “Don’t you think he looks tired?” 😉

  6. Actually Lauredhel, in the episode before last – Planet of the Ood (spoiler alert to anyone who hasn’t seen it)
    the Ood said his song was coming to an end soon. So maybe your wish will come true?
    I’m always sad when one Doctor leaves, like Beppie I actually wondered if I would like the new Doctor enough to want to watch when CE left, but now I lurve him. Same when Rose went, but then we got Martha and now Donna and well, I love youse all. Must embrace change, especially of fiction characters.

  7. CE was in a quirky little play about what would happen if Christ re-incarnated in Britain that was shown on the ABC a couple of years before his DW incarnation. It was a weird little thing, but he was brill in it.

    I like both of them. No faves here.

    And what happened to the Sarah-Jane spin-off we were promised?

  8. Sarah Jane Adventures is alive and well– they’re currently filming the second series of 12 25-minute episodes. Unfortunatley, the first series hasn’t aired here in Australia yet, and I’ve heard rumours that it was bought by Channel Ten instead of the ABC (much like Torchwood), but Ten has decided that it won’t get sufficient ratings. It should, however, be released on DVD here at some point.
    And the show is awesome.

  9. I’m a dyed-in-the-wool Nine fan (though my favourite is actually Seven, who is very like Ten!) because he is less together than other doctors, and because of his pure joy when he does save lives. I’d like to second the Sarah Jane Adventures – I watched the whole first series immediately after watching the end of the latest series with Donna, and it really took the bad taste out of my mouth. The first episode is written by Russell T Davies and thus has a bit of “The Doctor was the only man for me, sigh, woe,” but that’s the only episode like that.

  10. Mmm, I’m torn. I love both of them. I’m not really a one-Doctor-woman. 😀 *joins the queue behind Cap’n Jack* But Ten, probably, because of (usual refrain) that disarming grin and slight mania. And Tennant’s made of phwoar.
    For a Tennant-fangirl, I’ve actually probably seen more of CE’s work than DT’s. I saw that second coming of Jesus thing he was in, but I’ve never seen Blackpool or Casanova.

  11. I’d seen quite a lot of both actors, and I’ve always thought Christopher Eccleston was one of the best actors working, though I wasn’t sure about his casting as the Doctor — no worries about his skill, just about how camp the revival was going to be and would he overpower the whole enterprise, because he is a bit of a force of nature (Oncoming Storm indeed). But he had me at “Run!” and actually made me love a show I’d only been a casual viewer of before.
    Tennant was almost exactly the opposite — I’d seen him in things, thought he was always a little too lightweight for the things he was cast in, but thought he’d be excellent in the role of the Doctor … except I think it’s my least favourite of any of his performances — unpopular opinion, I know. He’s had a few good moments (ironically, his best moment was as John Smith!), but I’ve found Nine a much more fully developed, rounded, and layered character in one series than Ten has been in three (and the chemistry between Nine and Rose was quite extraordinary). I wasn’t surprised at CE only staying around for a year, though, given that he had completed an arc, and he left Cracker when he was practically an unknown because he felt he’d done all he could, so…
    So both of them have confounded my expectations, in their different ways.
    (I got here through some random clickage, but I thought the question was posed in such an interesting way I couldn’t resist!)

  12. Sorry- I totally forgot that was a spoiler moment. Oops.
    I have to 2nd (3rd) the Sarah Jane Adventures. We don’t have cable but finding episodes online hasn’t been difficult. My son and I both love Sarah Jane and Maria is an awesome role model for any kid (male or female).

  13. I find myself leaning more towards Ten. It’s his personality, it’s so manic and enthusiastically geeky, but kind of emotionally stunted too. Egotistical, intellectually arrogant. I suppose that should be a negative but I find that really interesting to watch. And the quick switches between joie de vivre, darkness, generosity, passive aggression. I like Nine and he’s got his own charm and intensity, he’s more earthy and powerful onscreen; he was brilliant in Dalek, but I can relate to Ten better, he’s more like me I guess (except hopefully not as annoying), plus he’s the current Doctor so I’m more used to him. (And he’s quite like Seven, I like Seven.) I am starting to think that I’m looking forward to Eleven, though, maybe do something different with the emo.
    I’ve seen the two actors in other things (The Second Coming, & Casanova, Harry Potter respectively) and they’re both excellent in those. I didn’t know about David Tennant when he debuted on DW at the end of Series 1, except “oh no! it’s that really ugly guy from the Harry Potter movie!” but I got used to him 🙂 I also think I’m influenced in liking DT from the meta stuff, like the fact that he’s a raving DW fanboy, seems quite pleasant and modest in person unlike most male actors, and he’s a self-described socialist.

  14. I’m glad someone else already mentioned the Oood – But I reckon they gave a pretty good clue there.
    Quite frankly I like them both and in reality I am just so relieved to see the series back on TV at all that I would accept lesser mortals – both 9 & 10 have been great however.
    Grendels last blog post..A win for rainfall watchers – at least in Perth

  15. I’m not actually sure. Loved Eccleston in 28 Days Later (NOT a good advert for the great British squaddie) but hadn’t run into the skinny scotch git anywhere previously at all though his performance in Dr Who has been ‘brilliant’. Am still trying to get my head around a Doctor young enough for me to date!

  16. Oh, I want this dream casting to happen (spoilers for S4 of DW and S2 of Torchwood). Damian Lewis for 11 – Rude AND Ginger! (the rest of the dream casting would definitely make Mt. Fandom explode).
    I’ve followed Eccleston since Cracker and his run as the Duke of Norfolk in Elizabeth. Anytime I saw him in the cast listing, I watched it. He’s obviously in acting for the Craft and the long haul of a career that will last until he’s a decrepit ruin, and isn’t about to let himself be typecast as any one character. He will be a silver-haired Sir Christopher OBE by and by, a treasure of the profession chosen to play the Gandalf/Dumbledore figures of the day. (If they ever do a cinematic version of House of Cards he’d make a great Francis Urqhart in another ten years.)
    Tennant, while also a fine actor capable of great subtlety at times, doesn’t quite have Eccleston’s depth, although with a bit more age he may well acquire it. He’s also an actor I’ve enjoyed watching for years (Taking Over The Asylum was my first exposure, in which he was dorkily charming and very engaging to watch but not yet Hot). Will he also make old acting bones? I’m not quite so sure of that for DT as I am for CE. I hope so, because having spry silver-haired DT and CE as duelling wizards in something when I’m a nana would be awesome.
    As to which is my favourite between Nine and Ten, I vacillate somewhat, but in the end it comes down to which one I’d shag in a heartbeat and which one I’d wonder whether I really should despite the undeniable temptation. Nine gets the PHWOAR with no reservations.

  17. Oh, I forgot: I watched the first episode of Hornblower on DVD on the weekend, and I could totally cope with Ioan Gruffudd as 11 (seeing as it doesn’t look like A&E is willing to fund the filming of the later Hornblower stories yet (and maybe never, the bastards)). I loved his work in The Forsyte Saga and Amazing Grace, and he also managed to look as non-ridiculous as possible under the circumstances of The Fabulous Four leotards.

  18. I know I’ve heard a few murmurs about the possiblitity of returning to an older Doctor for Eleven, although I think a lot of that is just nostalgic fans who haven’t moved on from Jon Pertwee regenerating in 1974. 🙂
    (My next comment is SLIGHTLY spoilery for S4, but doesn’t give away any significant plot points.)
    Still, some of the comments made in Stephen Moffat’s episodes in S4 do perhaps indicate that he envisions the next regeneration being older in appearance. But that depends– the comment I’m talking about might have also referred to spiritual age, rather than physical age.

  19. Actually started watching Who only because I’d heard they’d cast CE (though I was a bit surprised, since I knew him from Shallow Grave, and Elizabeth and 28 Days Later, none of which are exactly light). For the first couple of episodes with DT, I kept wanting to see how CE would have played a scene (especially when Cassandra took over his body), but he’s grown on me.

  20. I love nine. Eddie Izzard for doctor and Clare Thomas, the lass who plays Ingrid in Young Dracula as an offsider. She should of course still be a vampire called Ingrid. That would be cool.

  21. I’ve loved CE since Shallow Grave (glad someone else mentioned it, as I couldn’t remember what it was called) and would watch anything he was in. But I didn’t much like him as the Doctor. A bit too serious, I think. DT, on the other hand, I’ve never noticed in anything else, but he seems made to be the Doctor.
    Since Doctor Who, I’ve listened to him reading a children’s book (Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III) which he does in his natural scottish accent. Well worth a listen, if you have a child to use as an excuse.

  22. I have to admit, I did love Chris Eccleston as the Doctor – but then, I’ve been an Old School fan for years, and it was fun seeing the Doctor as both a darker and a more serious character than he had been previously. I have to admit, I found myself wondering how Mr Eccleston might have tackled some of the scripts from the Colin Baker era (6th Dr), which varied from rather dark and disturbing through to truly naff, and whether he would have been able to pull a diamond or two out of the dross.
    Oddly enough, I’m seeing semi-parallels between the first six Doctors and the subsequent six. Sylvester McCoy’s 7th Dr was very much a hearking back to both William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton (Hartnell in depth, Troughton in characterisation); what little we saw of the 8th Doctor in the TV-movie was pretty much Troughton for attitude, Pertwee for dress sense. So for me, Chris Eccleston’s 9th Doctor was pretty much a hearking back to the Pertwee days, when the Doctor was stuck in a particular location, in circumstances he didn’t like, for reasons beyond his control and having to learn to cope with that (the Pertwee era Doctor was effectively a prisoner on Earth, except when the Time Lords wanted him to act as their errand boy). It would have been interesting to see how things progressed if Christopher Eccleston had stayed on as the Doctor (and my mental fanon is that there’s a lot more stories floating around from *before* he met up with Rose, where he’s still dealing with the worst of the shock of losing his home, his history and his life all in the one go – and dealing with one hell of a lot of survivor guilt).
    Meg Thorntons last blog post..A non-standard gamer speaks

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