Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thin White Doc

Due to my prolonged sabbatical, I missed giving you my thoughts on the premiere of a new season of Doctor Who.

I quite like Peter Capaldi as The Doctor.  Several fans balked at his age, what with him weighing in at a spry 55 years old.  At one time I might well have done the same.  But as I advance in years, I see that age is really only as much of a limit as you make it.  Peter Capaldi doesn't even let it enter into the equation.

There is a viciousness in the way he plays The Doctor and there's something almost sinister about him.  I don't mean that in a bad or malicious way.  Both David Tennant and especially Christopher Eccleston portrayed the Doctor as having a bit of an edge, that edge becoming most pronounced when an adversary such as the Daleks pushed things over the line of "No More Mr. Nice Guy."  This incarnation also, it seems to me at least, appears somewhat troubled by shadowy parts of his past.  He knows the moments are there; he's just uncertain what they mean. He also knows he might not like the answer once he hears it.  Note this exchange between The Doctor and his companion, Clara (played by the ever-so-gorgeous Jenna Coleman):

THE DOCTOR: Clara, be my pal and tell me--am I a good man?
CLARA: I don't know.

Tense.  Even better, I read in Express UK that Capaldi took much of his inspiration for this generation of The Doctor from David Bowie.  Does that make me like him more?


As a youth, Capaldi was a fan of the Ziggy Stardust era of Bowie and saw Bowie three out of four nights in Glasgow...missing the fourth only because he couldn't afford it.  Capaldi reports modeling his Doctor's visual style on David Bowie's Thin White Duke persona as seen on the cover of Station to Station and the film The Man Who Fell to Earth (see it if you haven't.)  As such, this Doctor sports a white button-down shirt and a black waistcoat with red lining.

“He’s woven the future from the cloth of the past. Simple, stark, and back to basics. No frills, no scarf, no messing, just 100 per cent Rebel Time Lord," says Capaldi.

Awesome.  Add in the fact that one Doctor Who episode featured a Mars colony named Bowie Base One (if you don't get the connection, you're hopeless and I don't want to know you) and my reverence for the show only grows.  It'd be nice if David Bowie music could be added into the soundtrack (I'll take "Moonage Daydream" or "Look Back in Anger") but the corporate world of licensing and royalties gets in the way, I'm sure.

Coincidentally, one might say that we are entering an apex of sorts for both The Doctor and Bowie as there are currently great things going on for both of them.  Not only is the new season of Doctor Who underway but Titan Comics has a new Doctor Who line on the stands, both virtual and meatspace, that feature the tenth and eleventh Doctors.

Additionally, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has declared Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 as "David Bowie Day" in Chicago.

Politics schmoliticks.  Emanuel is now officially the coolest mayor in the universe.

The proclamation comes as the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art will open its David Bowie Is... art exhibit on the same day.  The show will be a retrospective of artwork, photography, costumes, and handwritten lyrics from "an undisputed icon" who has "bridged cultures and faiths while both transcending and fortifying the music, art, fashion, design and theatrical canons."

Why the heck haven't I gotten my tickets yet?

WAIT!  I've got it!  David Bowie as The Doctor!

How perfect would that be?

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