What if… David Morrissey was THE Doctor?
Guest contributor Liam Catterson ponders the scenario.
Since the main theme of December is Christmas, I want to take us back to the special that aired five years ago (I feel old). That episode was The Next Doctor. Now I won’t analyse the episode itself, but when fans first all heard the title most had a weird feeling that it might include the next incarnation of the Doctor (Russell T Davies actively encouraged this in fact). Especially since the special aired a couple of months after the announcement that David Tennant was leaving Doctor Who. But what would it be like if David Morrissey was actually THE Doctor instead of Matt Smith? First of all, it would change a lot of stuff we see on TV. For example; those familiar with The Walking Dead will also know that The Governor is played by Morrissey, so he wouldn’t be in that role to start off with. But, what other things might change? Allow me speculate.
Companions for Morrissey’s Doctor
Now would Amy Pond exist if The Next Doctor was written differently and Jackson Lake was incorporated into actually being the Doctor instead of just obtaining the memories of the Time Lord? Who knows? Either Karen Gillan would have been called up to do the Christmas episode or Amy Pond would not exist in Series 5. Rosita on the other hand, could possibly still have been companion.
Now I don’t know if it’s just me, but if she was a companion, I think that would annoy the hell out of me. Rosita seems like the type of person with an attitude that stinks to be honest. A companion that would always whine and become annoying, not like Sarah Jane, Ace or Amy. To be honest, I think if Morrissey played the Time Lord hero, he would probably have had a new companion so it could fit in with future storylines (i.e: the River Song arc). She could still suit the storyline, but if anything, the choice was down to Russell T Davies at the time when plans for The Next Doctor was being discussed and obviously when Amy was chosen, leadership was different. So I assume the companions would stay as they were.
Now there is a big difference between Matt Smith and David Morrissey. Morrissey is a decent actor and I have a feeling he would have made an interesting Doctor, but part of me becomes bothered by the fact that Morrissey would have to be written similar to what Tennant’s Doctor would be like (which I am not insulting, but hear me out). The reason this bothers me is that we should see a different personality within each regeneration.
To me, Eccleston’s Doctor was someone who was trying to cope with the aftermath of the Last Great Time War. Tennant’s Doctor was a bit of a mixed bag. He was a bit more human towards others but also someone who could be viewed as a smart person. Smith’s Doctor is the one I love because he acts weird and he is also smart. Morrissey’s performance however is tricky… If anything, how I would write him is more warm-hearted than the information that describes Capaldi’s incarnation of the Doctor.
I think Morrissey would do well in the stories. Maybe there would be new ones we haven’t fictionalised in our minds because of the performance of Morrissey’s character. Maybe they’d all be the same. Whatever the case, I love Morrissey’s acting and I think if he were to play the Doctor, he’d play the Doctor at a level of greatness. Maybe even better than Matt Smith… I know, I just said that. But there is little denying how great of an actor Morrissey is.
The negative emotions of Morrissey’s character
This rather much reflects on the negative state of mind of Morrissey’s Doctor pretty much, so I will just remember that cruel day known as The Angels Take Manhattan. How would Morrissey’s Doctor reflect on loss? To be honest, I think he would act like how Matt Smith’s Doctor reacted when he lost Amy and Rory (don’t get me started on emotions). I can see Morrissey’s Doctor considering himself ‘retired’ from saving the universe much like how Smith’s Doctor reacted like. With Tennant’s Doctor, you should notice how when he lost Rose, Donna and Astrid, he would not break down and cry. He would just have a sombre look on his face, knowing they are gone. Whereas with Smith, he broke down when Amy disappeared forever so with Morrissey, I think he would play it in the same way. I could see the Doctor being in a situation where he is like “I call myself the Doctor, but I fail to save my companions. What’s left for me now?” If anything, it suits Morrissey’s character to become dark. Moving on to my final point about Morrissey’s Doctor.
I don’t watch The Walking Dead because I am generally upstairs driving F1 cars or pretending to be a cyborg ninja on the PS3 at the time. However, my mother is a massive fan and sometimes, I catch parts. I notice how incredibly dark Morrissey’s character on The Walking Dead is, doing anything to assert himself for survival. The Eleventh Doctor sees himself dying at Trenzalore and did his best to prevent his death at Lake Silencio (which he succeeded in). Do you think Morrissey’s Doctor would react in a dark manner to death? Possibly. I have the feeling that he would be like Rassilon in The End of Time, excusing the plan to wipe out any other creation just to survive. But again, Smith’s Doctor did his best to run from death and to avoid it:
Dorium: Time catches up with us all, Doctor…
The Doctor: WELL IT HAS NEVER LAID A GLOVE ON ME!
It is something similar to how Morrissey’s Doctor would be like in my opinion, but we have to remember his performance in The Next Doctor, as he was also the type of character to get emotional, like Tennant in a way. Jackson Lake did cry quite a bit in The Next Doctor, so my estimation is that Morrissey’s Doctor would be like Eleven, running from his death and trying to avoid it at all costs until the moment he realises that whatever is coming for him can’t be prevented. He would possibly emotionally breakdown, how I would imagine if someone told him he had to die in The Next Doctor.
So what would you guys think if David Morrissey was the Doctor? Personally, if I were to write him, I would write him in either a matter of a dark character but also, someone with a warm heart. Morrissey does dark very well, but also is a kind soul as Jackson Lake. It’s a shame that some actors can’t get the chance to play the Doctor. I am not giving negative comments to anyone who has played the Doctor, but I think seeing Morrissey take control of the TARDIS (and not the balloon TARDIS) would be a real treat considering how good of an actor he is.
Mixed emotions for Morrissey’s Doctor would be my description. Like I pointed out, he could be a generous and nice Doctor, but if something big hits him, it could change the attitude of his character. Someone who does his best to prevent death to himself and the ones he loves. Maybe a bit darker than Matt and possibly a little scarier but nevertheless, Morrissey as the Doctor would be something I’d love to see and who knows, it MAY happen in the future.
Please leave comments on if and how you envision David Morrissey as the Doctor and I hope you enjoyed my thoughts.