I had a difficult time coming round to Doctor Who. My parents and peers didn’t watch science fiction, so it took seventeen years before I decided to take a crack at it. My only other foray into this institution had been a half-watched episode of ‘Blink’ at a friend’s party a few years ago, so I was starting more or less from scratch.
So I started from ‘Rose’, and went from there. I was hooked, which was excellent because it was gearing up for Year 12 exams and I’m a shocking procrastinator. I watched all of the new series in a matter of a few weeks, and then tried to make a start on the classic series.
In any case, in accordance with Andrew’s hypothesis, my favourite Doctor is my first (excluding David Tennant, who only appeared briefly in that half-seen episode of ‘Blink’), Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor. (William Hartnell’s grandfatherly, grumpy Doctor comes a very, very close second.)
The Ninth Doctor is an interesting one because he’s an enigma. The time in between the Eighth Doctor’s reign and the Ninth is hard to see if you don’t keep up to date with the extended universe, which I understand is questionable in its canonicity. (Of course, now there is a webisode of the Eighth Doctor’s regeneration into the “War Doctor”, which is definitely canon.) In any case, the Ninth Doctor has regenerated after his involvement in the Time War, and he’s wandered space and time alone after killing a substantial amount of Daleks and Time Lords.
While Christopher Eccleston isn’t as conventionally attractive as David Tennant, or as young and hipster-ish as Matt Smith, he is a stellar actor and an excellent way to be introduced into the Doctor Who universe. He’s capable of extreme anger (‘Dalek’) as well as moments of happiness. On top of that, his season is one of the most solid seasons of Doctor Who, with gems such as ‘The Empty Child’/’The Doctor Dances’ and an excellent season arc culminating in ‘Bad Wolf’.