Photo: Clara Molden
New Doctor Who...
Somewhat less important than a new Children's Laureate is the news that the search is on for a new Doctor Who. All over the internets people are suggesting the actors they'd like to see in the role. I hadn't planned to join in with this merriment, because, frankly, I'm not sure we really need another Dr Who. I lost interest in the new version of the show a while back. Instead of a new Doctor I'd like to see a whole new sci-fi/fantasy show commissioned - maybe one which doesn't carry fifty years of baggage.
At least, that's what I thought until I discussed it with my son Sam. To my surprise, when I asked him who the new Doctor should be he instantly said, 'Tom Waits'. Which, of course, completely convinced me.
|From the cover of the album 'Mule Variations'|
...and here he's playing Renfield in the Francis Ford Coppola version of Dracula:
(Incidentally, I don't think any Tom Waits song would make it anywhere near Sam's personal top ten nowadays - he's more into hip-hop and such - but Tom Waits was probably the first musician he was ever aware of. At a very young age he came across a picture of TW singing - as is his wont - through a bullhorn, and assumed that he was something to do with the emergency services. He made himself his own bullhorn out of Duplo and went stomping around the house bellowing a Tom Waits-ish song of his own invention which went, "SOME-ONE'S IN TROUBLE IN A BIG STORM OF RAIN". To this day it remains the best pastiche Tom Waits lyric I've ever heard.)
After that it would be pretty much business as usual: the Doctor visiting a bunch of planets and seeing off marauding aliens with his trademark ruined growl and battered umbrella. The settings would be seedier than we are used to: abandoned farm buildings, rusty freighters and low-end spaceport bars would feature prominently. A few familiar villains would turn up so that they could say, "So, Doctor, we meet again,", but there would be no 'story arcs'. All the stories would end bleakly.
Viewing figures would plummet, of course, and the show would be abruptly cancelled half way through the season, never to return. But it would be WORTH IT, dammit.
Tom Waits for Doctor Who. You know it makes sense.