We've heard things between Clara and the 12th Doctor will be "spiky." But what does that mean? Here's what we're hoping for.
Even though filming just started this week, the rumor mill for Doctor Who season eight is churning. One rumor in particular, which has been fueled by Steven Moffat, is that this new Doctor is going to be very different than the last two. Here's the relevant Moffat quote:
There would be little point in making as radical a change as we’ve made unless you’re going to go quite different with the Doctor. The last two Doctors have been brilliant, and have been your ‘good boyfriend’ Doctors. But the Doctor isn’t always like that. There is the sort of Tom Baker, Christopher Eccleston end of the spectrum, where he is mad and dangerous and difficult.
I think that is incredibly well stated and makes me hopeful that the show will be rejuvenated with piss and vinegar. But! While Chris Eccleston and Tom Baker could certainly be moody and unpredictable, we're not sure that's far enough. No, we've been in Peter Davison, Wet Vet mode for the last six seasons and change. So the next time we pull on the Doctor slot machine, we hope we get something a little more like ...
That's right. I want Capaldi to take a cue from Colin "WTF is with the cat badge?" Baker. And here's why.
On the face of it, Colin was exactly what Who needed as Davison was exiting the TARDIS -- a snarling beastie. And like Davison, both Tennant and Smith are just too, well, nice. After adorable sand shoes and bowties, there's only one move left to make.
Because while, yes, the writing of the Sixth Doctor era was pretty atrocious, the concept of a cocky and, at times, mean-spirited Doctor who would just as soon hurl you into a vat of acid (yes, he really did that) as save you, was and is pretty refreshing.
That brings us to the companion relationship angle.
Matt Smith spent the second half of last season hugging it out with an impossible girl who, for all he knew, could have been out to kill him the entire time. Doesn't make much sense when you think about it. And while Clara may have traveled throughout the Doctor's timestream to correct the damage caused by the Great Intelligence, there's something decidedly unsettling post-regeneration about a girl that you've just met and yet have always known. Even if you're a time traveler.
In contrast, here's what the Sixth Doctor did to his companion, Peri, in their very first outing.
Put away your tumblrs, social justice warrior. I'm not saying that the Doctor should just start choking his lady buddies for funsies, but if we want "spiky," let's not go halfway. If you want a scarier Doctor Who, then you need a scarier Time Lord operating the TARDIS. That means making sure the companions don't always feel safe around him. And there's no man who's better embodied that type of Doctor than Colin Baker.
Colin's entire first season involved near-constant conflict with Peri. It's not that they hated each other, but their relationship was less about making kissy faces and more about trading barbs with one another. And that was actually pretty fun, because Peri could give as good as she got. Clara would be a lot more interesting if she got the chance to do the same.
Colin Baker used guns, he actually changed the way the TARDIS looked (with disastrous results), and he spent an entire season on trial because the Time Lords thought he'd done so much harm that he deserved to die. Peri, depending on what storyline you believe, was gutted and her identity replaced with the mind of a monster in no small part because of Colin's Doctor. In short, he was the embodiment of "spiky."
And that's the Doctor we need right now.