Warning: Contains a seriously WTF-y running metaphor.
Firstly, despite the fact that I came up with this theory just this morning, the actual idea behind it is something that has been floating in my head, ever since I managed to really surprise someone who had been on my flist for months with the fact that I wasn't a particular fan of the Ninth Doctor.
Which is, in it's own extent, true. However, I don't want that to be taken as dislike at all - he was, after all, the Doctor that turned me from someone who would watch the show if it was on, to a raging, "I must get the rest of the episodes now" person. I loved his portrayal when it was happening. It's just that now I look back, and I don't feel any particular compulsion to rewatch most of his episodes. I loved him at the time, but now... I'm a bit meh.
That's not to degrade Eccleston's performance in any way - when he was good, he was very, very good. The season finale, Dalek, the Moffatt two-parter, they are all outstanding performances, show-stealing, really. It's just that in a lot of other episodes, whether it is due to scripting or directing or acting, he just sort of... fades into the background for me. (Note: For me. I am aware that other people mightn't share this opinion. As they say, your mileage might vary)
Which might explain my meh-ness. I am an admitted fan of lead characters, of the heroes of stories, as it were. Central characters, the one's the story focuses on. As much as I adore minor characters and all, I also like my hero to be the absolute centre of attention-type, to grab my complete attention.
And, aside from the episodes mentioned, and a few other moments throughout the series, the Ninth Doctor didn't do that for me. Or rather, I thought he did at the time, but now in comparison, he doesn't grab me like I would like.
Yes, in comparison. Because as a few flisters of mine know, I adore Ten. He just works for me, on every level. Yeah, there is the shallow factor, which I won't deny (I was never attracted to CE whatsoever, though I can sort of get why others were. Personally, the age thing, plus the fact he distinctly resembled one of my old school teachers sort of squicked me enough to completely avoid thinking about him in that manner at all). But there is also the fact he just grabs my attention. It might be the stories he's been given, the more proactive role, but it also has a lot to do with the fact that he seems to have been designed to hit every one of my "I love this character" buttons. He's a cocky, snarky, funny, occasionally very random, lonely, clever, arrogant, hubristic motormouth with a rather dark streak, and I can see so much of my other favourite characters in him. He revels in being the centre of attention, and I revel in watching it.
Which is a bit odd, because the Doctor, in all his incarnations, is always my favourite character. I've loved every one I've seen, even if some (like, say the Second Doctor), I've only seen the tiniest amounts. And I am utterly desperate to see more of the past Doctors.
And I combine all these factors in my head, and I just go "huh?"
And this is where the completely cracked out analogy comes into play.
The Doctor is like chocolate.
No, seriously. It's very cliche female, but I love my chocolate. Give me chocolate, and I will be happy. Any brand, any type, any amount, and I am content.
And I am the same way about Doctor Who. Give me an episode to watch, any era, any Doctor, any style, and I will watch it. I will enjoy it. And I will love the Doctor in it. I love it all.
And so... say, you've been given a lot of Dove chocolate (Feel free to insert your own preference here, but Dove is my supermarket brand of choice. Mmm, Dove.) Once a week, you get another block. It's good chocolate, you are happy with it, you love it. And so this goes on for weeks and weeks.
And then, the Dove stops. This shocks you a little - they can't do this, you love your chocolate! And they aren't so cruel to take it away from you completely, so you get given some more chocolate. Some different chocolate.And it turns out to be, say (fa11ing_away will appreciate this one) Lindt chocolate. Mmm, Lindt.
And after a little bit of Lindt, you are completely in love. Or perhaps it takes you a few blocks. But after a while, you have found a taste that you adore. And you look back, and try a little Dove, and it just isn't the same. It's not that the Dove has gotten worse, you've just found something you like more.
It's not that I don't love Eccleston's version, all jokes aside. I still love it. He's the Doctor. It's just that I have found a Doctor I love more. If asked to choose between the two, I know which one I'd pick. This doesn't mean he has gone down in my opinion, it's just that I have a new standard as my favourite. Liking something more doesn't take away from how much you like everything else.
(A different analogy: A new world record doesn't make the previous time any slower. It's just not the fastest any more)
And there is no upper limit to how much you can love something.
I've found my favourite brand, my favourite flavour. That doesn't mean I refuse anything else - give me chocolate, and I will take it, no matter what it is. In fact, I'll even go searching out flavours that I haven't tried before - you know, the milk chocolate everyone loves, the wild fruit and nut combinations, the dark chocolate with some ingrediants that aren't to everyone's taste, the mild, plain chocolate when I want something less outrageous, the old traditional classic. In fact, every know and then, I might go and try the Dove again.
This is possibly why I have utterly no comprehension of people who claim they won't watch anymore Doctor Who now Nine is gone, or those old school types who refuse to watch a particular Doctor. I mean, chocolate is chocolate - it's always good. Even if it's not you favourite flavour, it still so much nicer than almost everything else. The Doctor is the Doctor. Always.
So there we have it - the Ninth Doctor is my Dove, whilst the Tenth is my Lindt. I am sure there are some people who prefer Dove to Lindt. r some who want Cadbury, or something else entirely. Or those who think Nine is Lindt, and Ten is Dove. Or Cadbury. Or that cheap stuff in homebrand Easter eggs.
But I love them all, really. I'll take whatever flavour I am given. They are all good. It's just that I like some better than others. I have my flavour, and it works for me, and everyone else has their flavours. They might be the same, they might not.
But don't be dissing my taste, plz. Just because it isn't the same as yours, doesn't make it wrong. Just because you hate white chocolate doesn't mean everyone else should. And passive-aggressive dislike doesn't stop it from being bashing, no matter how nice your words are. Let me enjoy my flavour in peace, okay? have your preference, but don't criticise me for having mine.
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go see what I have in the fridge...
ETA: The Theory now has an icon, courtesy of merinnan. But wait, there's more!
And some more, from cedara