Daffodils and Doctor Who

Happy Easter, everyone!

It’s been a curious week. Sunshine and blue skies mixed with snow showers and grey clouds. The daffodils, which are my favourite flower, are refusing to come out to play, and who can blame them? Usually they’re in full bloom at this time of year, but the verges and flowerbeds are full of green stems with only the merest glimpse of yellow showing as the flowers decide that it’s far too nippy to bother and go back to sleep. If only we had that option!

I love Easter. I always have. I know not everyone is religious and that it doesn’t mean the same to everyone, but there’s a feeling of hope and renewal for me.  When I was younger I loved the Easter story with a  passion (if you’ll excuse the pun) and although I’m not what I call religious any more (although I do most definitely believe in God, I’m more what I’d term spiritual these days and have a bit of an aversion to organised religion, preferring to think that we should all follow our own path) I still find the whole thing uplifting. Maybe that’s why I love daffodils so much. They fight their way through the cold winds and harsh weather to bring us brightness and a touch of sunshine, reminding us that winter is over and spring is here at last with all its regeneration and optimism. At least, that’s the plan. That’s why I find it a bit disheartening that they seem to be waving the white flag this year. I hope it’s just delaying tactics and not an outright surrender…

And talking of regeneration (see that clever link!) tonight (Saturday) marks the return of Dr Who! Yay!! Anyone who knows me knows that I am a bit of a Dr Who fanatic and I make no apologies for it.

It all began when I was a little girl. I was born in the same year as the programme began – yes, the good Doctor and I both achieve our fiftieth birthday this year, although technically he’s over nine hundred years old and looking a damn sight better than I am which is a bit unfair. I don’t remember the William Hartnell years although I’ve seen clips from them and the odd complete episode, but I do have some slight memories of Patrick Troughton in the role. I do remember crying when he regenerated into Jon Pertwee, although when I see clips of this now I howl with laughter at Mr Troughton’s facial gymnastics as he tries to convey the process of changing into the Third Doctor. To be fair, he didn’t have the back up of all the technical stuff that today’s actors have. And I do have a fondness for the Second Doctor, whose scattiness and scruffiness was the very opposite of the First Doctor’s stern grandfatherly personality.

Now, Jon Pertwee was my Doctor.   I think you always have a soft spot for the one you watched the most during your childhood years, and he was my hero. I remember that fine head of silver hair, the frilly shirts and velvet jackets, the flying cape and Bessie the car. I loved UNIT and the Brigadier. I loved Jo Grant and I ADORED Sarah Jane Smith. She was my heroine. To this day she is my favourite of all the Doctor’s companions and her loss is still deeply felt.

I lost interest halfway through the Tom Baker years. I think by then I’d just grown too old and too bored with the whole thing. Special effects in those days consisted of papier mache masks and a kaleidoscope lens put on the camera. It was hard to feel scared. In fact, I don’t think any of the monsters on Doctor Who ever scared me apart from The Ice Warriors. The Daleks were just silly. Even at my tender age I could see that you only had to climb the stairs to avoid being exterminated. The Ice Warriors had weird claw things that zapped you and spoke in sinister whispers. They truly terrified me.

The fifth, sixth and seventh Doctors passed me by, sadly. I couldn’t tell you anything about them and I do regret that in a way because I have heard excellent things about them, particularly Peter Davison’s portrayal. The Fifth Doctor seems to have been very popular. The next Doctor I saw was Paul McGann in the movie. I liked him but I didn’t like the whole Americanized version of Dr Who in that film. I think it’s a shame that we didn’t get to see The Eighth in a series.

Then….ah! Russell T Davies, that genius of a man, decided to give Dr Who a whole new life. He brought in Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor and Billie Piper as his companion, Rose Tyler, and the rest, as they say, is history.

So, this year is the big Fiftieth birthday celebrations and every Doctor Who fan is hoping for something really special. Apparently, the anniversary special is being filmed next month and we are all agog to find out who is going to be in it. Will there be guest appearances from previous Doctors? Christopher Eccleston seems reluctant but everyone knows David Tennant loves the role and, frankly, if his Tenth Doctor doesn’t make some sort of appearance there may be a riot. Fans are clamouring to discover which of the previous incarnations of the character will be taking part, and which former companions. Will Rose return? Will Donna risk having her brain fried to make it back? Will Martha and Mickey help to save the day? Will Captain Jack Harkness flirt his way back to our screens, perhaps bringing the lovely Gwen with him? Will River Song be on hand to flummox the Doctor? Will Silence fall? Will the question be asked? And who the bloody hell is Clara Oswald??

Whatever Steven Moffat has up his sleeve for us the sad fact is he cannot please everyone. No matter what he does there will be cries of outrage that one person or another wasn’t included, or the story was too simple, or the story was too complicated. I wouldn’t have his job for a million quid. What am I talking about? I so would!!! In fact, I’d do it for free.

Personally, I adore The Eleventh Doctor and think Matt Smith is a genius in the role. I just hope that he stays around beyond the anniversary and if I could ask one think of Steven Moffat it would be that he brings some sort of link in with the Ninth and Tenth’s regenerations…The Eleventh needs to meet up with at least one or two people from his past. It’s been all about The Ponds ever since Matt took over, and although I love Amy and Rory, there needs to be some sort of crossover. The Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh regenerations of The Doctor have been fantastic. The special effects have been worthy of Hollywood, in my humble opinion, and even the Daleks have learned how to fly. Even the Ice Warriors are at long last making a return in this series. I’m so looking forward to it!

If, like me, you’re a time travel fan, you may like to read A Stitch in Time by Amanda James. This is a light and easy read with a clever twist on time travel – no blue box here! There is a lovely romance with a threat from the powers-that-be reminiscent of the one faced by Piper and Leo in Charmed. Yep, I loved Charmed, too. I’ve reviewed the book elsewhere on my blog and also on Amazon and Goodreads if you’re interested. (Although Amazon and Goodreads are apparently now one, as Amazon have purchased Goodreads if you can believe that, although that’s a whole different subject!)

Anyway, whatever you’re doing this Easter, whether you’re having to work, going to church, watching Dr Who, reading books, or just scoffing yourself silly with chocolate eggs, I hope you have a fabulous time.

See you next week! xx

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