Doctor Who - a curmudgeon once more?
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Grumpiness returning to TV's biggest sci-fi product...
Incoming Doctor Matt Smith has revealed that he is planning to make his take on the character 'less tolerant' than those who have gone before him. In an interview with Doctor Who magazine, the 27 year-old, the youngest ever Doctor, says he plans to bring a 'new chemistry' to the role.
When Smith refers to his predecessors, he's surely talking about the mugging and smiley antics of Eccleston and Tennant, rather than the smorgasbord of grumpy Time-Lords that characterised 'old' Who.
The two grumpiest and least tolerant versions of the Doctor were role-maker William Hartnell and mid-eighties Doc Colin Baker, who always seemed to have a case of cosmic haemorrhoids to contend with - or so it seemed by his biting off the head of his assistant/s. Baker and Nicola Bryant ('Peri') sidestepped the continuing conflict the writers had planned for them in the season-long Trial Of A Timelord by interpreting combative dialogue as affectionate joking between old friends.
Both Tennant and Eccleston seem to have let their own versions of the Doctor be inspired by the endlessly grinning mid-70s Doctor, Tom Baker. Baker himself often injected irascibility and moodiness into the part, especially towards the end of his time in the role before surrendering to Peter Davison for Castrovalva (1981).
Davison added a hint of bewilderment to his interpretation of our favourite time-traveller, but was also tremendously intolerant on occasion. In fact only gentle Peter Cushing, who played the role in two big-screen movie adaptations in the 1960s, really stuck to the notion of a kindly and gentle professor/uncle-type.