The Geek Twins are holding the My Favourite Martian Bloghop and inviting everyone to write about their favourite alien, whether they are from Mars or not...
It was tough to choose just one I considered Spock, Worf, Odo, Quark, Rom, Nog, Zek, Garak, Weyoun, Martok, Tuvok & Phlox from the various Star Treks, Chewbacca & Yoda from Star Wars, Tweak from Judge Dredd, Ford Prefect from The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, The Gronk from Strontium Dog, Dargo & Chiana from Farscape and Nibbler from Futurama, but somehow inevitably I ended up at...
The Doctor, from Doctor Who
Eleven reasons why I chose the Doctor:
1. He begins as intriguing, but distinctly unlikeable. How many loveable characters start out as kidnappers, that consider committing murder and lie to their travelling companions? I can name one. William Hartnell's Doctor is not always easy to like, but even harder to dislike.
2. He can regenerate. Many series are forced to recast as they mature and ignore the fact that a new actor has taken over. Not Doctor Who, they embrace it. He's the same, but different. Hartnell started Doctor Who off on a great footing, but the supremely talented Patrick Troughton ensured its longevity.
3. He could become an action hero without it damaging the show. Jon Pertwee's Doctor was still an intelligent leading man, but he did alien martial arts and worked with the military. The format of the show changed enormously and yet there was never any doubt that it was the same TV show.
4. He is an alien. Sometimes he fits in, sometimes he doesn't, sometimes he doesn't want to. Tom Baker was obviously continually asking himself how would an alien do this? Whether its accidentally hitting himself in the head with a chair in The Android Invasion, finding uses for his scarf or proffering a jelly baby, you were never sure how he would react.
5. He is timeless. He is at his youngest when he's an old man and Peter Davison plays an old man in a young body brilliantly.
6. He proved that the clothes do not maketh the man. Sartorially, his clothes are often criticised for standing out (in particular the ensemble worn by Colin Baker), but I would argue they should. A man out of time, should never fit in.
7. He sees the big picture and plays the long game. Sylvester McCoy's dark Doctor bragged about being judged by the quality of his enemies. He would keep people in the dark, put them in danger and let them die in the short term as long as the ends justified the means.
8. His story can never really end. The series ended in 1989, but never really went away. After seven years off the air, Paul McGann brought the Time Lord back to life in 1996. When that didn't lead to a series, it left a void filled by books, comic strips, radio, audio CDs, etc. Nine years after the US TV movie, Doctor Who got another fresh start. If it all ended tomorrow, I'm confident that it would be back before too long.
9. Sometimes he lets someone else save the day. How brave is the series that has a huge relaunch and allows its main character to be almost passive? Fantastic, but passive. Christopher Eccleston's Doctor inspires others to save the day: Rose, Jabe, Gwyneth, Mickey, the possible last Dalek, Cathica, Pete, Jack, Blon and Lynda with a Y all step up to the plate in one way or another, while the Doctor doesn't.
10. Sometimes he can't move on and sometimes he has to. He fled his homeworld and probably barely missed it until he could never go back. He formed lasting friendships and briefer acquaintances all the time, but each of David Tennant's three seasons explores a different relationship: romantic love, unrequited love and friendship.
11. He's outmanoeuvred by his own future. The Doctor's past catches up with him as much as any other character, but as a time traveller the things he is about to do are all already done. Sort of. It's an idea used in Battlefied and to an extent in the multi-Doctor stories, but it really comes into its own with the introduction of River Song. Sometimes so complex that you may need a diagram, her toing and froing, backwards and forwards, with and without Matt Smith's Doctor really shows the possibilities of time travel.
Here's a photo of all eleven Doctors together (presumably from the filming of the forthcoming The Eleven Doctors, you heard it here first):
And this is a somewhat terrifying caricature blending them all together again:
But enough about me or the Doctor, who's your favourite alien?