Let’s match up Doctors and (Liberal) Democrat leaders

Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 16.13.30Tonight is the finale of Peter Capaldi’s first season playing the Doctor. I have been a very poor excuse for a Doctor Who fan this year. I had to cram in four episodes last night to catch up. It’s been difficult to watch them live due to the Referendum, Conference and, ironically, a Doctor Who convention keeping me busy. The added complication is that our house and lounge where our only television is, has been taken over by teenagers every week.

Anyway, I’m now caught up and am livid and awestruck in equal measure. Don’t get me wrong, Capaldi’s Doctor is brilliant – and played fantastically. I hear from people who know that he is so immensely professional on set with every single aspect of his performance fully prepared and worked out. He’s also great at supporting other members of the cast. I also love the fact that we’ve seen different aspects to Clara from grief-stricken derangement to superb leadership. It shows he can write decent female characters (though he managed it with Kate Stewart) so if we could have more of them and fewer of the River Song/Tasha Lem types,I’ll be happy. It’s not that I don’t like River and Tasha, but Moffat’s women come from a very small range.

I also even love the fact that Moffat clearly made fun of the Bechdel Test in one of the episodes. I’m livid at the Doctor’s lack of compassion and empathy at times. Capaldi’s Doctor reacts so differently to Tennant’s and Smith’s and it’s taking a while to get used to a more curmudgeonly, darker figure. It would have been nice if the two non white characters in the series had been in roles that didn’t involve them being in trouble at school and on community service.

I had managed to avoid the super-spoiler until I went to the pub after the Federal Executive meeting on Monday where Sue Doughty just came out with it. In fairness to her, she could have reasonably assumed that I would have known. I like the idea but the execution has not been to my liking, especially the creepy snogging. However, I’m looking forward to seeing how it all pans out tonight. I am particularly looking forward to seeing the return of Jemma Redgrave as Kate leading the UNIT response. She was at the aforementioned Doctor Who convention and she was absolutely brilliant.  Thoughtful answers, really funny, too, when someone mentioned her forthcoming special birthday, really happy to chat to fans and she took a huge amount of interest in my young friend Thomas’s charity dalek, Dalek Amber.

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost 10 years since the series was revived. I just hope that the new fans steep themselves in the show’s full history because there are so many riches to behold.

The New Statesman this week has had a go at matching up Labour leaders with Doctors. And, to be honest, they’ve made a total hash of it. Tony Blair as Peter Davison’s Doctor? Are you having a laugh? I did quite like the Kinnock as Ecclestone, though. The absolute outrage, though, was Gordon Brown as the Fourth Doctor. Baker was brilliant, funny, charismatic and had the most dazzling smile ever. Do you remember how awkward it was every time Brown tried to smile? I actually think that the super-charged, on form, passionate Brown we saw in the Referendum is more like Capaldi with his intrinsic grumpiness.

This all begs the question, of course, as to which Doctors best match up to Liberal Democrat leaders. Here’s my initial take. This is something that could have Liberal Democrats debating all year so please make your views known in the comments:

Hartnell: Ming comes to mind here for obvious reasons, I think

Troughton: Thorpe is probably the best fit

Pertwee: Grimond, reversing the polarity of the political flow and probably Jenkins, too.

Tom Baker: Well, I reckon Ashdown, at least in part, for that same charisma and depth to his character. I suppose Paddy is my leader in the way Tom is my Doctor. I dare say that’s the same for most of us.

Davison: Stephen Tall said Clegg but I don’t think so. Maybe in part, but a younger Kennedy would fit the bill too.

Colin Baker: I think Steel might actually fit here although he might also fit with Capaldi too.

McCoy: The Seventh Doctor is one of my favourites. I think Charles Kennedy might fit in well here. There’s the fun and showmanship but the adept way he had of dealing with the big baddies, Torydaleks and Labourmen.

McGann: I’m going to put Bob Maclennan in this one. Apart from his US connections, he fits the style and manner of McGann’s Doctor best.

Hurt (because he always counts): Got to be Ashdown again. He took us from an asterisk to some of our finest hours.

Eccleston: I guess the best I can do is a likeable David Owen.

Tennant: Now, actually, I think this is where the Cleggster is the best fit. Although not entirely. Tennant was such a good communicator. He was always the first to see the best in people. Tennant is quite good on the radio as well.

Smith:  There’s a bit of Matt Smith in Nick as well, in terms of his humour and lightness of manner, but Nick is almost unfailingly nice to people. He would never treat anyone the way Eleven treated Strax, for example. Nick has the strength of will and loyalty to the people that Eleven showed at Trenzalore, though.

Capaldi: Steel as mentioned before. I guess Steel, like Capaldi had to navigate a changing world. Steel only had the SDP, though, not the flippin’ Time Lords to think about.

What do you think?


* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • Colin is clearly Paddy – curly haired & awesome

  • If Tim Farron ever gets the job he can be Eccleston.

  • I have stuck to the leaders, what fun. Have also allowed the SDP to venture forth into this adventure in time and politics.

    William Hartnell – Gladstone; serious and proper, but deep down caring and thoughtful

    Patrick Troughton – Lloyd George; both short wizards who donned capes with a sense of being naughty.

    Jon Pertwee – Jeremy Thorpe; colour, flash and both fans of hovercrafts,

    Tom Baker – Palmerston; they could be nothing but who they are with a sense of never ending adventure.

    Peter Davison – Asquith; you know he’d rather have been lazily watching the cricket.

    Colin Baker – Clegg; both dealt with terrible hands and hostile audiences but will be looked back on with greater respect and understanding.

    Slyvester McCoy – Steel; the Scottsh lilt, love of music and going back to constituencies and defeat the Daleks!

    Ecclestone – Ming; around for too short a time whilst effusing serious determination.

    Tennant – Jenkins; helping to raise a long-known brand to former glory and status.

    Smith – Kennedy; cheeky chappies who found themselves in a wee bit of a pickle.

    Capaldi – Grimond; both march only towards the sound of gunfire.

    And, a bonus Doctor!

    Cushing – Campbell-Bannerman; Sweet, Grandfatherly and forgotten greatness. If only both and had been around longer.

  • David Faggiani 8th Nov '14 - 9:41pm

    I love this thread. ATF, kudos for going back to the start. I’m just going off to write some Who/Gladstone fan-fiction…. Disraeli teams up with The Meddling Monk….

    Clegg as Colin Baker. Well, at least that means he’ll be good in the Big Finish Audios years from now….. 🙂

  • Tony Greaves 9th Nov '14 - 12:47am

    David Owen is the Master, not the Doctor.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 9th Nov '14 - 11:09am

    Given what we saw from the Master last night, Tony, I think that may be just a little bit harsh.

  • SIMON BANKS 10th Nov '14 - 5:05pm

    Tennant had depth, a manic side and a haunted compassion. None of that sounds like Nick Clegg to me. Perhaps a slimmed-down Charles Kennedy. I agree that the strong tendency to showmanship suggests a Pertwee – Thorpe link, or maybe Baker – Thorpe. Capaldi? How about a near miss leader, Chris Huhne? Davison could be Clegg – well-meaning, good in little chats, upper-class, a bit butterfingered – or he could be another missed leader, Simon Hughes.

    I don’t know if Caron noted the Scottish Independence Referendum reference in the first Capaldi episode, complaining about his eyebrows: “Those are angry eyebrows!They’re independently angry!”

    As for colour, surely Caron has noticed that Danny Pink wasn’t actually pink – unless the last episode I missed showed that was all a mask?

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