I’ve been dipping out of Nu Who recently, skipping randomly between Eccleston, Tennant and Smith. It’s quite interesting to pit them against one another and one thing that’s apparent is how much fonder I’ve grown of Matt Smith and Chris Eccleston’s depictions, at the expense of Tennant. In fact, the more I rewatch Nine, the more love I feel. Eccleston’s Doctor is endearing, but he’s got that intensity as an actor that’s missing from Tennant’s run. (Of course, John Barrowman complained that he was too intense, but, well, fuck you Barrowman. It’s an acting gig, not a social club.) When Tennant’s called on to be intense and angry, he does that whole “Oh nonononono,” head-shakey thing and then gets all SHOUTY, like a puffer fish. But when Nine goes that route I really believe he’s going to kick some bottom.
It’s not entirely Tennant’s performance though. Eccleston had some stronger material to work with, the first series of rebooted Who didn’t rely on SUPER-DOCTOR! so often, with the character pulling new abilities out of his bum every other week and he was paired with a likable version of Rose, as opposed to the rather smug and selfish character she later became.
But, yeah, Eccleston. He’s still not my favourite Doctor by some margin, but he’s definitely overtaken Tennant on rewatches, who’s slipping down into the Colin Baker and John Pertwee zone the more I rewatch his episodes. Nine, on the other hand, has been growing on me over time. He’s endearingly goofy a lot of the time - proving that Eccleston could do silly and fun, which is why he apparently took the role - but when he does get serious, he’s superb.
Also, I may never forgive Ten for what he did to Harriet Jones, MP for Flydale North, Prime Minister and Former Prime Minister.
You know who she is.