The “Doctor Who” production team, having completed filming on the second Christmas special, “The Runaway Bride”, originally scheduled to be the second episode of the second season, is now busy recording material for season three. David Tennant and Freema Agyeman, as new companion Martha Jones, are on location in Coventry, doubling as Tudor London, for an episode in which they meet Shakespeare. I’m all for promoting the heritage of a once Great Britain but why does the Time Lord have to meet another author quite so soon after meeting Dickens? Yes I know there’s a difference in that dear old Bill was a playwright, whom the Doctor has already met incidentally, and Charlie boy a novelist but couldn’t RTD have gone a bit further afield and chosen a scientist or a musician?
I would find it interesting, for example, if the Doctor were to encounter Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Bringing him forward in time, to the present day, the Austrian might ponder over the evolution of the composition of his age into the modern music written by luminaries such as Hungarian born Gyorgy Ligeti, and you’ve probably all heard his scores in the Stanley Kubrick films “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “The Shining”, or the relatively-recently deceased Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski. Or Sir Peter Maxwell Davies if you want someone closer to home. Too intellectual for BBC1! If it happened we’d no doubt be treated to Mozza’s thoughts on Robbie or Britney!! Now, Beethoven and John Lydon would probably get along!!!
Knowing the Doctor’s predilection for meeting famous figures, surely the ultimate storyline would be if the Doctor were to “rescue” Jesus from the kiss of Judas in the Garden of Gethsemane. The TARDIS could again bring him forward in time to meet Richard Dawkins, for a bit of a chat, on one of Melvyn Bragg’s Sunday night religious discussion programmes! Too controversial for BBC1!! Actually, I’ve had the first part of that scenario in mind since I was a boy. I even started to write it at one stage…
The point I’m making is that there doesn’t seem to be much imagination coming out of BBC Wales for the third series. “Doctor Who” is an adventure so get adventurous! It all sounds as though RTD is resting on his laurels and content to dish up more of the same. Maybe “Doctor Who” has always been thus and I’m finally growing out of it. And yet, many older stories still excite me. Maybe, and in my bones I know this is a big maybe, but maybe Russell will surprise his doubters and come up with a terrific script involving England’s greatest writer. And even if the Bard himself might enjoy them, that means absolutely no infantile fart gags because they quite simply stink! What it does mean is more dialogue like Jefferson’s extremely moving monologue after the death of Scooti, in “The Impossible Planet”, or subtle touches like those remembered by acting-Captain Zack as “deceased with honour”, before our favourite science fiction programme dies in dishonour.