Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Question The World Wants Answered

Our society is looking at the dawn of a new era. A time of imminent change and more than a little uncertainty. The universe is in chaos, with no clear direction in sight. Our enemies are making chess plays in anticipation of an unknown response. Families are huddled behind the sofa watching a black and white TV. Citizens of the world are paying attention, anticipating the information vital to the future of us all. What will happen next? We’re glued to the You Tube waiting for an answer. Just who will be the next “Doctor Who?”

Over its 45 year history, “Doctor Who: has been played by ten actors. The current lame-duck Doctor, David Tennant, has made an inspired decision to abdicate his position while the getting is good. His portrayal of the Doctor is widely viewed as successful; stimulating the “Who” economy into the stratosphere. However, Tennant’s departure leaves a void. Can Doctor Who be sustained or will it fall into science fiction recession like its counterpart “Star Trek?” Certainly a stimulus is needed, but of what kind and of what magnitude? The entire universe is at stake!

After an intense meeting with my Doctor Who transitional team, we have decided on several viable options. They may not be what you’re looking for. The road will not be easy, but we will get there. We need your support and a desire to reach across the Atlantic aisle. There is a need to provide immediate relief for the Whovian middle class. Those that like “Doctor Who” but can’t afford expanded cable coverage. Those who want a centrist Doctor; not too young, not too old, not a dandy nor a clown. We need to get someone from the middle, yet provide the bravado needed to propel the home state of Galifrey into a new prospective on its place in the universe. After close consultation, deliberation and standing around on the generic rock quarry, my transitional team has made the following recommendations.

Richard E Grant, Rowan Atkinson. Both actors have tasted the part in the parody film “The Curse of Fatal Death” and succeeded admirably. Grant, having also played the Doctor in an animated internet story, is positioned to have his foot stuck in the TARDIS door. Charming, suave and spindly, a Grant “Doctor” could succeed where many have failed. Given that the 8th Doctor, Paul McCann, was his costar in the cult film “Withnail and I”, a celebrated multi-doctor story would be fascinating. Grant and McGann defeat the Daleks by convincing their creator Davros to engage in an extended battle of wits through binge-drinking, causing him accidentally destroy the Daleks himself. Atkinson, on the other hand, brings his sarcastic “Blackadder” persona along with the antics of “Mr. Bean.” He could be the most schizophrenic of Doctors, relying on his earnest companion for the plan that cannot fail. His demise would be spectacular, considering the practice Atkinson has had already. The Doctor could regenerate through multiple time streams!

Sarah Jessica Parker. Since long-time favorite Doctor, Tom Baker, suggested in his departure that the new Doctor could be a woman, there has been speculation on what actress could assume the role. Parker would be absolutely fabulous, a sweetie-darling Joanna Lumley could be envious of. No longer will there be talks of a show run on a shoe-string budget. Parker’s wardrobe would rival that of Sarah Palin’s. The Doctor won’t have just one costume, but several in the same story. A chameleon of sorts, Parker would increase the love-story element injected in the new series and take it to a new level. “Mr. Big” is the new “Bad Wolf”: scattered throughout time for the Doctor to find clues which lead to her true love. This series would hearken back to 5th Doctor Peter Davison’s era of multiple companions. Bickering in the TARDIS would know no bounds. The fate of galaxies depends on just who is – or is not – “saveworthy.”

Tom Baker. Through the miracle of modern technology, Baker becomes the Doctor one more time, fulfilling desires of sci-fi geeks everywhere and absolutely no-one else. Baker distanced himself from the part for the past 25 years until David Tennant eclipsed him in popularity. Suddenly Baker began giving extensive DVD commentaries for stories he previously claimed he remembered nothing. Baker would love to regain the prominence he enjoyed for so long. Too bad he’s been voted out for someone younger, more dynamic and in touch with today’s audience.

Nicole Sullivan. An incredibly talented performer who gained a wide following after her years on “Mad TV”, Sullivan’s immense comedic talent has been wasted in drivel such as “The King of Queens” and “Rita Rocks.” Her agent must be one of the worst in Hollywood. She needs to find Ari Emmanuel right now. Sullivan would thrive as “Doctor Who.” Longtime fans of the series worship the 2nd Doctor, Patrick Troughton and a return to dark whimsy might be the change new head writer Steven Moffat is looking for.

Charles Barkley. Barkley, a Hall of Fame athlete, potential politician and part-time comedian could be just the right fit for the most challenging part on TV. It is rumored actor Patterson Joseph is on the short list but Barkley could be a dark horse in the running. If the series truly seeks change, what better time to have an African American star in a show previously ran by white guys? Seems to work pretty good these days. Barkley could also mark a return to the comedy era of Troughton.

Michael Chiklis/Keifer Sutherland. Chiklis’ current series, “The Shield” is ending its run shortly and would be available for the part. Similarly, Sutherland’s series, “24”, will be cancelled in the next few months after audiences tire of improbable plotlines that make “Doctor Who” look realistic in comparison. If Moffat wants a Doctor in the mold of 3rd Doctor Jon Pertwee, these actors surely must be at the top of the list. A true man of action, Chiklis would defeat the Daleks and Cybermen by kicking the living crap out of them. If you think choking the companion like 6th Doctor, Colin Baker, was extreme, wait till Vic Mackie gauges out the Master’s eye with the sonic screwdriver. Sutherland would be similar in the role, except for adding the word “Dammit” whenever the Doctor is angry.

Ted McGinley. The series killer! For all of those who hate “Doctor Who” and pray nightly for its cancellation, look no further. Your prayers will be answered if long-shot McGinley gets the part. Actually, if McGinley is offered the part of “3rd Cyberman from the left”, the same result would occur.

Senator John McCain. An inspired choice for fans of the original Doctor Who, William Hartnell, McCain’s similarities with the first incarnation are astounding. At times crotchety, absent-minded and confused, McCain could channel the spirit of the original series. His companion would resemble the first Doctor’s granddaughter, Susan Foreman. Despite being a Time Lord like the Doctor, Susan constantly tripped over her ankle and found herself in many compromising situations. McCain has extensive experience with this type of companion and could even be able to recommend a highly qualified candidate for the part.

I urge all readers to vet these candidates carefully and give one of them your support. Many of you are looking for something new to do these days, so get those phones a-goin’ and blogs a-typin’. Change is coming to “Doctor Who” and you can make it happen.

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