Friday 22 June 2012
For years, I thought the best job in the world was that of the Doctor’s assistant in Doctor Who. I thought that it was so brilliant, that I actually wanted to be one of the Doctor’s assistants. I always pictured myself as a cross between Romana (as played by Lalla Ward . . . not the other woman, because there were two Romana’s . . . and for those of you who were unaware, Romana was a female Timelord, and not many of those existed.) and Sarah Jane Smith (played by the late Elisabeth Sladen), only I wasn’t going to scream as often as Sarah Jane did. That was my grand and secret plan.
Okay, fine . . . I still think being the Doctor’s assistant would be brilliant, and I still want to be one. Only, I’d much rather prefer to have been Doctor’s assistant while David Tennant was the Doctor. I’m not that into Matt Smith. Oh, don’t get me wrong, Matt brings a certain charm to the role, but come on, David Tennant! And these days, I think I’d really like to be involved in the River Song story arc. What a great character she is.
Failing that – if I can’t be the Doctor’s assistant, I want to be . . . The Doctor. Why not? The first female Doctor Who. Hell, yes! As long as I didn’t have to wear a dress. I’d be the female Doctor Who who ran about in jeans and a t-shirt and a pair of Adidas trainers with my awesome leather trench coat, or a nice Dolce and Gabbana suit. Well, let’s face it, you can’t possibly save the universe with any sort of authority whilst wearing a summer dress. Work with me, people.
However, since I’ve got older, I’ve also been able to consider the consequences of being the Doctor’s assistant, and there are a few things that, quite frankly, bother me.
- The Doctor’s assistants always seem to get in the crap. There’s no use denying it, they do. None of them ever listen to the Doctor and, as a result, they’re always in trouble; it’s just the depth that varies.
- Sooner or later, they get left behind. Every assistant of the Doctor has been returned safely, albeit markedly changed and overly emotional about being left behind, to his or her place of origin. And how could you really go about your every day life after having seen the universe, its beauty and its terror? I think you’d go mad with the monotony of day-to-day life.
- At some point, they lose the Doctor they love. He comes to the end of his current incarnation, regenerates, and they end up dealing with someone completely different. So, what happens if, as an assistant, you’re not really that into the new incarnation of the Doctor? That’s right, in the early days you’d end up D.E.A.D, but in this new lifespan of the Doctor, you could end up trapped in a parallel universe, or returned back to your dreary every day life. Either way, it’s a lose-lose situation for the assistant.
- You will get shot at. The Doctor has so many enemies across the universe, invariably, the poor lil assistant gets shot at, captured, transformed, enslaved, or possessed. Again, a lose-lose situation for the assistant, especially considering that the final result of any of those scenarios is certain death.
- Daleks. In the old days of Doctor Who, the Daleks weren’t that scary. All you had to do was run up a flight of stairs and they were screwed, particularly if you were in an old building that had no elevators. These days, those suckers have emergency temporal shift, they fly, and they freakin’ levitate! And that, my friends, is most certainly not playing fair. Daleks are not meant to evolve, as they were already the self-proclaimed supreme beings of the universe.
- Cybermen. Now, in the old days, the Cybermen could be eradicated with gold dust . . . just ask for Adric who gave his life by grating his gold star medal on the chest plate of a Cyberman, so that Nyssa, Tegan, and the Doctor (played by Peter Davison) could escape from their metallic clutches. They were cyber-men that simply existed. These days, those turkeys harvest human beings in order to create more Cybermen. Again, what happened to the Fair Play Policy of the Universe? When did it become okay for the metal men to create more metal men from fleshy, squishy human thingies? And unless you’re Madonna or Lady Gaga, no one looks good in metal.
- The fate of the universe will rest in your hands. Inevitably, something happens to the Doctor, and it’s up to you, the ever-trusty-likes-to-scream-a-lot-and-always-asks-stupid-questions-at-an-inappropriate-time assistant to step up and either rescue the Doctor, or potentially save the universe . . . that is, when you’re not ignoring what the Doctor has said, touching all the stuff he’s said not to touch, or having to be rescued by the Doctor instead of allowing him extra time to save the universe.
Yeah, I’ve really thought over the pros and cons of being the Doctor’s assistant, although, I suppose I’m being a lil old fashioned using the term ‘assistant’, as more recently the writers of the show have come to refer to these sidekicks as ‘companions’.
In retrospect, I probably wouldn’t make a good assistant to the Doctor for a few reasons: I hate shop mannequins, so the Autons would scare the crap out of me, I’d become catatonic, pee my pants, and end up dead in a wet pile of clothing; he yells a lot at his assistants, and I’m not so great with being yelled at, as I tend to yell right back; I’m not impressed with the evolution of the Daleks and the Cybermen, particularly seeing as though they kinda breach the Fair Play Policy that I think should exist in the universe; and finally, I’m not really ready for the responsibility of saving the universe. That last one is a heavy burden to bear, and I’m only one lil Smurf.
So, perhaps I shall just stick to watching Doctor Who, and revel in the fact that I won’t ever be called on to join the universal crusade against evil, and terror, and Daleks, and Cybermen, and . . . bollocks, I really fancied a trip in the TARDIS too.