Meet the new one.
I know nothing about Samuel Anderson, but apparently he’s established and popular, and destined to be the subject of dozens of animated GIFs later in the year, Danny Pink, the Independent reports, will appear as “a recurring character”, which is BBC speak for “plot device”. Given that we have a competent, self-aware and relatively intelligent companion in Clara (even if she still can’t cook a soufflé or use iPlayer) it seems likely that Danny’s going to be the gormless sceptic whose role is to go all wide-eyed at trouble before eventually finding his inner strength (no doubt epitomised in a single thirty-second clip that will go viral on YouTube and prompt a thousand comments that mostly read “Best. Scene. EVER.”).
I first read about the news in Metro, in a sadly ill-thought out article from Dan Wilson (“Whovian, Blue Peter Badge winner, barfly, flaneur” – should we add ‘would be writer’?). Dan points out that “sometimes those three-hand stories with the Doctor could be a bit claggy”. Of course. That’ll be ‘Genesis of the Daleks’ then. And ‘The Ark In Space’. And ‘The Mind Robber’. And, oh, almost anything with Hartnell or Davison (or Troughton, come to that). I will give him ‘Day of the Moon’, which is rubbish, but other than that I wonder if Dan’s knowledge of Doctor Who extends further back than 2005, despite his passing reference to the Brigadier.
But I’m not here to bitch about professional bloggers who presumably get paid for doing something that I do for free, to an arguably higher standard. There are more important things to think about, such as the fact that we have come full circle (“and then,” said Gareth, “we could go and live in a marsh with George Baker!”). Hence all sorts of stories about the show getting back to its roots, as epitomised by Danny’s probable role as a science teacher (it’s that or P.E., but he’s wearing a tie). Now all we need is a slightly bolshy teenager, and we’ll be –
Oh, god almighty.
Then there’s the fact that that the chairman of governors at Coal Hill is Mr I. Chesterton, leading to much internet speculation about a cameo from William Russell. If Moffat’s not actually filmed this yet he really doesn’t have long – Russell isn’t getting any younger, although Russell T. Davies might tell you otherwise. The problem, of course, is that most of what you see on screen is basically canon, which means that the Doctor really did admit to being half human (which doesn’t mean he is) and Peri really did marry Brian Blessed. You could almost see Moffat making story notes for ‘Future companion appearances?’ while watching ‘Death of the Doctor’.
Sarah Jane: There’s a woman called Tegan in Australia, fighting for Aboriginal rights. There’s Ben and Polly, in India, running an orphanage there. There was Harry. Oh, I loved Harry. He was a doctor, he did such good work with vaccines. He saved thousands of lives. There was a Dorothy something. She runs that company, A Charitable Earth. She’s…raised billions. And this couple in Cambridge. Both professors. Ian and Barbara Chesterton.
Moffat [half-watching, half-scribbling furiously]: Yes!
Sarah Jane: Rumour has it, they’ve never aged. Not since the sixties.
Moffat: Bollocks! [Throws his notebook at the screen]
“And Moffat has never been known to rewrite Old Who?” said Gareth. “Some twaddle like: ‘Oh, when the Time Lords gave the Doctor a new set of regenerations, it was done by draining his residual artron energy from his history. Ian and Barbara hadn’t aged thanks to an infusion of this artron energy during their time with the Doctor, and when Capaldi was created, they suddenly aged. The shock killed poor Barbara.’
Which basically works.
Anyway, I felt like some sort of commemoration is in order, so I have made one.
Let’s go to work.