Can it be? Do people criticize The Doctor for being silly? When that’s what makes him bearable to some, and lovable to so many? Silly critics.
Doctor Who: a celebration of silliness – by Andrew Blair
*This article contains Doctor Who spoilers (and one about the result of the Trojan War).*
“Doctor, as I remember telling you at the Academy, you will never amount to anything so long as you retain your capacity for vulgar facetiousness.” – Cardinal Borusa, The Deadly Assassin (1977).
Borusa is, of course, dead wrong. It is said propensity that makes the Doctor who he is.
Mention silliness in the context of Doctor Who and there is a danger of incurring wrath. Burping wheelie bins, having the loyhargil, Tom Baker yelping “My arms! My legs! My everything!” all leap to mind. Occasionally, the programme can go too far, and the result? Bewildered viewers.
Sometimes you have to explain to a child that the concrete paving slab and the man are just kissing. Sometimes you have to explain that, even if the Doctor has just done it, it is best not to blow into any stray phallic appendages you may find on other lifeforms (reactions in such circumstances vary). In extreme cases, you might have to explain that reading slash fiction – “Turlough eased open the roundel, and watched…” – is not the sort of thing you gave your offspring permission to use your forum account for…
If you aren’t used to it, Doctor Who can seem silly, but that’s missing the bigger picture. That scene in Love & Monsters is simultaneously an insight into the narrator’s character, a fun moment of silliness, and a meta-reference aimed straight at the people who dismiss it as idiotic. If you don’t like one, there are two more options to choose from.
It’s entirely worth having the occasional moment of excess silliness so that we can revel in the rest of the ridiculousness. You’re allowed to have fun and take Doctor Who seriously. Indeed, that is rather the whole point, which seems as good a time as any to end with this quote from The Time Warrior.
Sarah-Jane Smith: Are you serious?
The Doctor: About what I do, yes. Not necessarily the way I do it.
EDITED BY LB TO ADD: It’s definitely worth going to the source of this article and reading the bits munchman and his minions edited out. The only thing the writer says that I don’t totally agree with is his analysis of Tom Baker. What I remember from my youth is that Baker’s Doctor drove me crazy because, yes, he looked silly as hell, but he acted, not silly, not even intense, but angry, regardless of what the writers had written.
And that, to me, is just silly.