May 05, 2011

2010 vs 2011

Credit to Tumblr for the image.

Just some thoughts on 2011 Doctor vs 2010 Doctor. Character design wise!

Doctor Who Series 5 was a big deal for me.
Matt Smith exploded onto screens as this barmy, bandy-legged oddball. His appearance somehow communicated everything so bizarre and alien and yet all at the same time; welcoming, familiar and iconic.

In much the same way that the actor has a talent to look both old and young, the costume designers gave layers to his appearence and created a wonderful compliment to the new Doctor.

In Series Six, they've changed some things.

You may think it absurd that a minor costume change and a newer 'slicked and groomed' hairstyle is cause for concern but I think there's simply so much lost in doing so.

The Doctor in season five had clothes that didn't quite fit him, hair that defied gravity and he looked something like a school teacher who had fell through the sky into an Oxfam shop. This uncomfortable, deshevled look was so excellent at double barrelling his performance, in pushing the Doctors Iconic appearance and in telling us so much about Eleven.

His puffy, wild and downright weird hair was perfectly suited. It was a literal representation of his personality, having established himself as a confident guy- who believes rather uncool things to infact be cool. Why would he comb his hair? It's cool.

In contrast, we see that in Series 6 he now wears more form fitting attire, a swanky jacket replacing his tweed and trousers that fit him quite well. His hair, which I've just previously mentioned is now neatly cut and pruned, slicked to one side with stylist precison.

Now, Here's my issue with hair-

By slicking his hair and combing every strand-neatly in place we are losing so much of that literal represention of Barmy-ness. It doesn't make sense to me, from a story perspective, that Eleven has suddenly developed a rather human-like sense of vanity. What made him so endearing was his naive nature when approached on such topics as appearence, his insistence that Bowties were cool was brilliant because they weren't cool, he's just made them cool.

On a further note, to tie in his newer appearence with the writing-

What I find baffling is the 'sexualisation' of the Doctor in the current series. Now, I'm not a prude! But what I found fascinating was the moment when Amys lust for the Doctor came to a head, early on in Series five. She throws herself at him to be denied, the Doctor showing a reluctance not only to be involved on any romantic level with Amy but in any sense at all.

This added a wonderful layer to Eleven, this kind of pure and alien essence. Sexual desire is natural, it's natural part of life and existance so I do not feel the Doctor should be void of it entirely- I just find it unnecessary and strange to show those sides of the Doctor to us. Particularly Eleven.

Series 5(Amongst others) proved that you don't need it to have great Doctor Who stories, so I just find it strange that two episodes in to Series 6 and we have almost a complete turn around, with flirting and innuendos appearing quite frequently aswell as a rather obvious attempt by the Doctor to groom himself.

Maybe it's his mating season! Who knows.

I'm enjoying Series 6 and I'm still a proud fan of the show of course!

It's just as someone who studies, practices and wants to better understand character design; I wanted to log my complaints against what the talented team at the BBC have decided to go with.

I understand there are other reasons behind the hair(Tennants hair by the time he left had developed into a neat and well defined cut but to add to that; Tennants Doctor was always vain, it made sense for him to care about his appearance so much)and that updating the costume was neccessary! I'm not saying it wasn't.

I feel like work that went into Series 5 was exceptional, from a character design point of view. And as an extenson, I just feel a little disappointed they decided to change alot of those excellent ideas for the next series. And I stress, these are minor personal niggles.

I look forward to the rest of the Series perhaps changing my mind.

Oh and I'm also aware, Matt Smith wears his hair in real life as he does in Series 6, could be the only reason for the hair change!




Mark Kardwell said...

I agree. Something has been lost with a change as simple as an ironed white shirt and a more tailored jacket. He's gone from looking like a harried academic to a gentleman farmer. Bring back the cheesecloth shirt!

I did like the beard, though (funnily enough).

TWULF (Adam Law) said...

"Hobo-Doctor" was a great look. I'm glad I'm not totally alone in thinking some layers have been lost but there's a lot more episodes left to settle my mind I suppose!

Mark Kardwell said...

I know obsessing over DOCTOR WHO minutia is probably unhealthy, but I've been thinking about Tom Baker again. Everyone thinks of the Tom Baker era as the one with the strongest, most defined, iconic look for the character, but thinking back, the costume changed regularly, pretty much year on year. Lord knows how this costume will continue to adapt: I know there's a big green coat being added into the mix soon.