Saturday, August 27, 2005


While watching the 1/2 season finale for 'Monk' last night, I began formulating an essay idea regarding kid actors playing established, older characters. And I suddenly had a revelation regarding 'Doctor Who' and these two episodes in regards to one of the most popular recurring characters in the series.

I'll work it up and share it soon in a separate post......
When the Doctor reveals that he likes bananas ("a great source for potassium"), he wasn't being facetious.

In 'The Two Doctors', the sixth incarnation of the Doctor was carrying a banana around in the pocket of that god-awful tatter-scrap jacket.
Russell T. Davies certainly likes the name "Harkness". In two previous series for which he was the creator and/or writer, he also had characters by that name.

In 'The Grand', Susan Hampshire played an aging prostitute just after World War I at a hotel in Manchester - the same city where RTD's 'QAF' later took place.

The prostitute's name was Esme Harkness. And over forty years later, there was an Esme Harkness living in 'Century Falls' with her sister and her mother. Guess what? RTD wrote that spooky children's series as well.

This Esme was probably named after the prostitute, who might have been an auntie.
A central location for the action in these episodes was St. Albion's Hospital, which was the same place where the pig alien was brought in "Aliens Of London".

There was something of a circular enclosure to the stories of this season of 'Doctor Who' - characters, themes, locations.... all kept coming back around in the Doctor's travels with Rose. And I don't think it all could be linked to the mystery surrounding the phrase "Bad Wolf".

I wonder if the hospital will re-surface in next season's episodes with David Tennant?
With these episodes, the new series certainly put the lie to the idea that 'Doctor Who' was a "children's show".
Themes are brought up in the episodes that would probably be more at home on American TV after 10 pm, let alone that stupid "Family Viewing Hour" concept.

I've always envied the sophisticated attitude to be found in British TV, since the 'Monty Python' days. I just hope it doesn't prove to be the sticking point in bringing this series over to the American airwaves!


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