Would you like to see William Hartnell or Patrick Troughton shirtless? I was ready to say ‘Yuck’ when we saw the 11th Doctor fall out of the shower in the Doctor Who episode, The Lodger, but then remembered that Jon Pertwee also had a shower scene in Spearhead from Space, donning a similar blue towel when he emerged !!
The difference being that Pertwee was a manly man, albeit older, not a skinny little thing like Matt Smith. Yes, I was all prepared to rail about image, and how the older doctors kept their clothes on, and how it was only with the new series that we have seen the Doctor nearly naked. But, then there was that Pertwee shower scene !!
I know, Matt Smith’s scene fit the plot. A cute little story, I might add. Other Naked Doctor scenes were also plot driven. When Christopher Eccleston was being tortured in the episode, Dalek, I cringed, not only because of the torture, but because he was shirtless at the time. The scene was meant to make him look helpless, and it did.
Then, in Journey’s End, when David Tennant’s double, the Meta-Crisis was formed, he, too, was naked. Donna Noble rolled her eyes, not wanting to look at his skinny body. Thankfully you really only saw his shoulders.
Now, I am all for seeing the naked guy on TV. Why else would male soap stars perform shirtless on a daily basis? But the BBC seems to delight in showing naked guys in their science fiction shows, like Torchwood and Being Human. Even the American show, Eureka, opened it’s latest season with a naked Fargo. Of course, everyone was anxious that he put his clothes back on.
However, there is a difference when you are looking at a hunky guy like John Barrowman (Capt. Jack Harkness) au naturale. Here, I freely admit to freeze-framing the video.
Ok, so my point is, that while I was taken aback with this stripped-down version of the Doctor, when you reverse the polarity of the neutron flow, you realize that it was ok. The whole point was that the Doctor is a misfit in a normal human world. (Remember how the 9th and 10th Doctors avoided Rose’s family functions.) The Naked Doctor romping around the house while his flat-mate had a guest certainly fit the bill.
So, the Moral of the Story is: while image is everything, you have to remember that with Doctor Who, anything goes …there are no boundaries! That is the appeal of the time-traveling spaceman.
P.S. Not only does The Lodger episode pay tribute to the Jon Pertwee shower scene, but, as in Vincent and the Doctor, we are once again treated to glimpses of William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton…. thankfully fully clothed !