The Instigator
Jegory
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
JonMilne
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

David Tenant was the best Doctor

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
JonMilne
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/14/2013 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,051 times Debate No: 34637
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (33)
Votes (2)

 

Jegory

Pro

PLEASE NOTE: I have made this debate impossible to accept. If you have any queries or requests prior to accepting, LEAVE A COMMENT. If you are content with the rules as they stand and wish to debate this topic, PM ME if you meet the criteria, listed below.

Criteria

1. You must be knowledgeable about Doctor Who.

2. You must have completed AT LEAST THREE serious* debates.

3. You must have won AT LEAST ONE of these debates.

*Casual, satirical or humourous debates will be assessed to see if they count as "serious" debates.

Definitions

DAVID TENANT - Tenant's portrayal of the Tenth Doctor, 2006-'09, NOT the character of the Doctor himself.

BEST - In terms of acting ability.

DOCTOR - All eleven Doctors, EXCLUDING John Hurt's portrayal in the Series 7 finale.

DOCTOR WHO - Both the classic series, running from 1963-'89, and the revived series, running from 2005-present.

Rules

For Debaters

1. PRO will be arguing that Tenant's portrayal of the Doctor was the best. CON will be arguing that another actor's portrayal of the Doctor is superior. Please specify the actor you wish to argue is superior in Round 1. Both debaters' arguments will be focused on:

- Quality of acting
- Quality of each Doctor's achievements
- Quality of individual seasons
- Quality of series finales

2. BoP is shared as both debaters are arguing for a different actor.

3. The round format is as follows:

Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Arguments, no rebuttals
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Final rebuttals and closing statements, NO new arguments

This cannot be changed throughout the debate.

4. Forfeits result in all 7 points going to the other debater.

5. No insulting or offensive remarks and no trolling.

If you wish to change any of these rules, inquire in the comments before PRO has submitted their arguments for Round 2.

If either debater breaks any of these rules, all 7 points should be awarded to the other.

For Voters

Conduct: This field should remain unvoted unless either debater breaks rule 5.

S&G: This should not be voted on unless either debater's argument is completely incomprehensible.

Arguments: This should go to the debater who presented the best arguments. The debater that presented the best arguments for at least 2 out of the 4 topic areas should be voted for.

Sources: This field should remain unvoted.

In case of a forfeit: ALL 7 points should be awarded to the other debater.

Any deviation from these rules will be considered a votebomb.


I look forward to a very interesting debate!
JonMilne

Con

I will be accepting this debate, and I will be arguing on behalf of Matt Smith, also known as the Eleventh Doctor, or D11 as I will describe him throughout this debate. Best of luck to Pro in this debate.
Debate Round No. 1
Jegory

Pro

I'd like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate.

PLEASE NOTE: As discussed earlier, in the comments, an extra field will be added along the lines of "Quality of relationships with companions".

I will now begin my arguments.

1. Quality of acting

This point will be broken down into five main aspects of acting; humour, anger, sadness, driving force and overall acting ability.

a) Humour

Tenant brought a lot of humour back to the Doctor. Eccleston, the Ninth Doctor, had lightened our screens with his cheerful and charming attitude, however it was Tenant who fully embraced the funny side of the Doctor while Matt Smith merely follows in his foosteps while acting crazy.

b) Anger

This is, perhaps, the only field that can be given over to another actor. Eccleston's Doctor, fresh from the Time War, was filled with anger and remorse that defined his character. Tenant, on the other hand, rarely shows his angry side and never lets it consume him.

Matt Smith's Doctor has very little anger in his character. His, supposedly, angry outburst at a Dalek [1] came across as laughable.

c) Sadness

Tenant has, without a doubt, brought out the sadness and remorse in the character better than any other. Tenant manages to display Doctor's sad side with long periods of staring into empty space while Smith's Doctor loses any traces of subtlety, moping for years in his Tardis on a cloud [2].

d) Driving Force

Tenant has a lot of passion to drive his character forward. After the Dalek genocide of the Dalek-human hybrids and Laszlo is taken ill [3], Tenant shows off his driving force and proves he is more passionate about the role than any other actor.

e) Overall acting ability

It is clear Tenant's Doctor was far and away the best in terms of acting ability.

2. Quality of Doctor's Achievements

Here I will be focusing on how well the Doctor acted before and after particular victories. This topi will be split into nine areas; the defeat of the Sycorax, the victory at Canary Wharf, the defeat of the Racnoss, the defeat of the Daleks in Manhatten, the defeat of the Family of Blood, the defeat of the Master and the Toclafane, the defeat of the Sontarans, the defeat of the Daleks in the Medusa Cascade and his final defeat of the Time Lords.

a) Defeat of the Sycorax [4]

This, being Tenant's very first outing as the Doctor, could have fallen apart so easily. Instead, he is able to show his diversity as an actor, ranging from crazy to funny to serious.

b) Victory at Canary Wharf [5]

This victory was tempered with defeat as the Doctor is forced to part from Rose forever. This is the first time we see Tenant's overwhelmingly emotional side and he does it flawlessly and subtly.

c) Defeat of the Racnoss [6]

Here we see the Doctor's darker side. Still tormented after the loss of Rose, the Doctor lets the Racnoss drown as he floods their hideout. We can see the subtlety in his performance as he stares blankly into space, only escaping as Donna convinces him to stop.

d) Defeat of the Daleks in Manhatten [3]

This, as stated before, shows the Doctor's driving force and also his anger at the Daleks after they kill Dalek Sec.

e) Defeat of the Family [7]

This is, again, one of Tenant's subtler performances. He captures the bewildering fear of human John Smith flawlessly, then capturing his fake stupidity and then staring blankly into space as he gifts the Family with immortality, at a price.

f) Defeat of the Master and the Toclafane [8]

This performace clearly shows the Doctor's sad and remorseful side. Tenant even squeezes out a tear as he rocks the Master's lifeless body in his arms and manges to, once again, stare into space, hiding his emotions, as he lights the funeral pyre.

h) Defeat of the Daleks in the Medusa Cascade [9]

This double-performance of Tenant is perfect. He not only manages the dark and aggressive side but also the sad and remorseful side, even asking Davros to flee with him as the Dalek command ship is destroyed.

i) Defeat of the Time Lords [10]

This is Tenant's most draining performance. He begins filled with energy, dodging countless missiles, but ends broken and bloody, torn between killing his race (again) or killing the helpless man responsible. We, as viewers, can clearly see the crisis of conscience and are shocked as, at first, we think he has survived, until Wilfred Mott knocks four times. This is Tenant's most hateful performances as he embraces his death and finally regenerates into Matt Smith.

3. Quality of Individual Seasons

This will be broken down into four sections; Series 2, Series 3, Series 4 and Christmas/Easter specials.

a) Series 2

This series was dominated by the Doctor's growing relationship with Rose as well as the growing threat of
the Daleks and Cybermen. Tenant slowly grows in intensity throughout, building up to a perfect final performance.

b)Series 3

Here, Tenant is swamped by his remorse of losing Rose. He hardly seems to see Martha at all as his character is dominated by long pauses and staring into space.

c) Series 4

This series saw Tenant's character grow in never-before-seen areas. For the first time we see his paternal side [11] and see raw panic [12], once again proving his immense diversity as an actor.

4. Quality of Series Finales

This will be split into four sections; Series 2, Series 3, Series 4 and the End of Time.

a) Series 2 [5]

Who could forget this one? The Doctor's heartbreaking farewell to Rose brouht tears to all our eyes. This sadness is brought to a climax as, in a stroke of pure genius, the Doctor disappears witout delivering his final message to Rose and a single tear traces a path across his cheek.

b) Series 3 [8]

As Martha Jones walks out of the doors of the Tardis, you can almost see the Doctor's jaw drop. The subltey of this performance again shows Tenant's acting prowess.

c) Series 4 [9]

As the Doctor's friends leave and Donna suddenly collapses, a new side of Tenant's Doctor is revealed; the helpless side. As he stands on the doorstep in the pouring rain, Donna in his arms, you can really believe Tenant's heartbreaking performance.

d) The End of Time [10]

This final stand of the Doctor is the most powerful. The Doctor's cries of "It's not fair!" really drive home the pain and sorrow he feels, giving a totally believable performance.

5. Quality of Relationships with Companions

Due to character restraints, I have been unable to post this section this round. This section will be posted next round.

I now pass you into the capable hands of CON. Please present your arguments, but refrain from responding to my points until the next round.

[1] Series 5, Victory of the Daleks
[2] 2012 Christmas Special, The Snowmen
[3] Series 3, Daleks in Manhatten
[4] 2005 Christmas Special, The Christmas Invasion
[5] Series 2, Doomsday
[6] 2006 Christmas Special, THe Runaway Bride
[7] Series 3, The Family of Blood
[8] Series 3, Last of the Time Lords
[9] Series 4, Journey's End
[10] 2009 Christmas Special, The End of Time
[11] Series 4, The Doctor's Daughter
[12] Series 4, Midnight
JonMilne

Con

I thank Con for the opportunity to debate this. As mentioned earlier, I will be vouching for Matt Smith, also The Eleventh Doctor or D11, as I shall constantly refer to him throughout the rounds. My sources will be episodes and named in the main part of my commentary.

Quality of Acting

The big thing that is in favour of D11 is that ultimately the guy made Doctor Who fun again, after a lull of at least two seasons and the specials, and arguably displayed a greater display of acting in one season alone than what D10 managed collectively in three seasons and a bunch of specials. For starters, I would implore anyone who doubts D11's comic superiority to watch the opening moments of The Eleventh Hour alone, where D11 is in the opening stages of his post regeneration nature and is trying to find out precisely what he likes, leading to the hilarious cloud cuckoo-lander combination of fish fingers and custard. Beyond that, I would also appeal to any of the episodes D11 did with comic genius James Corden, where the two bounced off of each other amazingly. Beyond this, there's also his excellent delivery of sometimes angry, sometimes forceful speeches, be they badass boasts or Reason You Suck speeches (see TV Tropes for details on this trope). Case in point again, The Eleventh Hour, where D11 stops the monster from destroying Earth simply by introducing himself, and likewise in the Pandorica Opens where he at least temporarily does the same to his enemies. Or in the absolutely amazing Weeping Angel episodes of Series 5, D11 boasts to the Weeping Angels that the one thing they should never ever put in a trap is HIM. And then of course, how he defeats the Silence in Day Of The Moon by telling them how they've essentially self-defeated themselves by causing humans to become aware of their existence. Beyond this, there's also sadness. D11 produces truly heart-wrenching scenes as he prepares to sacrifice himself in both The Big Bang and The Wedding of River Song, ESPECIALLY in the latter where he learns about the death of the Brigadier. And then there's pretty much the entirety of The Doctor's Wife and his heartwarming interactions with the TARDIS (or "Sexy" as he calls her) in human form as well as the really emotional scenes when Sexy says goodbye to the Doctor. Let's not forget the implications of D11 revealing the extent of his self-hatred when he reveals he was the actual Dream Lord, and of course his really heartfelt goodbye to Amy in The Angels Take Manhattan. Overall, I believe D11 more adequately covers the "acting" ground.

D11's achievements

As impressive as the list may sound for D10, why don't we look at what D11 has achieved? As mentioned before, he chases away an alien force in the Eleventh Hour simply by talking about how the Earth is protected by him, and also helps expose Prisoner Zero with no TARDIS and nothing but a broken screwdriver and twenty minutes to spare. Let's also not forget that D11 did what D10 didn't, and that's manage to survive bombardment by pretty much an entire army of Weeping Angels in Flesh And Stone AND escape with both himself and Amy and River alive. He also finds a way of escaping from a seemingly inescapable prison of the Pandorica in The Big Bang, and THEN after performing a heroic sacrifice that saves his friends when he re-enters the Pandorica in order to fly it into the TARDIS explosion, he manipulates events so that he can be successfully recalled back into EXISTENCE. He has also defeated The Silence twice despite the advantage they hold of making people forget about them, as well as the way that he is able to mobilise a whole bunch of forces at his command when he goes to rescue Amy in A Good Man Goes To War and proceeds to completely take over the base in seconds. And then of course, there's the biggie: he cheated the fixed destiny that he was supposed to die on a certain date and found a loophole that would allow him to do it. Even D10 wasn't able to avoid his destined foretold death in The End of Time. There's also of course the fact that D11 has become so awesome that the Daleks of all creatures enlist his help despite him being their greatest enemy in Asylum of the Daleks, and his managing to fool Ms Kizlet into a position of freeing all the captured minds in the Bells of St John, and his absolutely badass speech where he's able to hold a SUN GOD at bay before Clara shows up, AND he manages to defeat an alter-ego of himself that is being boosted by Cyberman technology.

On the strength of the above, D11 is nothing short of AMAZING, and a supreme bad*ss to boot.

Quality of Individual Seasons and Finales

Seasons 5 through to 7 did what prior seasons did not and established a core story centring around just how dangerous The Doctor has become and how the Doctor must deal with enemies who no longer just want to rule or destroy the world, but simply want to wipe him from existence, be it because there is a prophecy surrounding an altogether dangerous question about him (just WHO is he (sorry for the pun) and what are the ramifications of his identity?) as referenced in the episodes surrounding The Silence, or simply because his enemies have realised just how dangerous he is (as evidenced in The Pandorica Opens where they build a specialised prison for him). To analyse the individual seasons, Series 5 gives us a truly fantastic fresh start with a new Doctor and new and really well developed companions as well as the beginning of a mystery of the identity of River Song, plus of course the beginning of the plot thread surrounding the "silence will fall" arc and some truly amazing episodes with the Weeping Angels and Vincent Van Gogh in Vincent and the Doctor, not to mention the very well done Silurian episodes. The finale here is suitably epic and sees the Doctor defy the odds and escape from non-existence, as well as helping to further the mystery about who River Song. It was also the first season finale to not massively irritate people, as I'll explain in my R3.

Season 6 opens explosively with the apparent murder of the Doctor and properly introduces the terrifying Silence. This starts a truly fantastic chain of events where we have the constant plot thread of Madame Kavarian constantly showing herself to Amy before revealing she has Amy captured, not to mention even further awesome development of River Song and the revelation of exactly who her character is and what her purpose in life was. And again, we get even further depth between D11 and his companions as D11 becomes the first Doctor of the new series to spend more than one season full time with his companions, which is of great benefit to the character interactions on the show. This season finale puts D11 in an alternate time-damaged universe with Churchill and Pyramids where he has to battle the Silence and Madame Kavorian once more and persuade a hysterical River Song to kill him, as well as dealing with the heartwrenching decision of the Doctor to end his life. This is beautifully emotive and feel of really good character development and depth.

Season 7's first half revolves around the foreshadowing of Amy and Rory's departure from the show and really goes into great depth about the relationship D11 has with them. After their heartbreaking departure, D11 is broken out of his stupor with a consuming mystery about just who the "Impossible Girl" Clara Oswin Oswald is after The Snowmen. We then see a development of their relationship throughout the episodes while D11 obsesses about just who she could possibly be. As for the season finale, this is visually and story-wise stunning, as D11 is forced to go to his burial site and confront the brilliantly villainous Great Intelligence portrayed wonderfully by Richard E Grant, and produces an awesome payoff to the mysteries of who Clara is (the past Doctor flashbacks were amazing) and what the Doctor's secret is (John Hurt - quite simply wow).

Companions will be in R3 due to space.
Debate Round No. 2
Jegory

Pro

I thank CON for his arguments. I will start by adding to my arguments.

5. Relationship with Companions

Tenant's Doctor's first companion was Rose, a woman very close to his heart. His ever growing relationship with her strained his relationship with other characters massively, especially Mickey Smith. His relationship with Mickey was tense and one full of jealousy, the strain leading to Mickey's departure on Pete's World [13]. His relationship with Rose grew until they were extremely close, but when she was forced to leave him the Doctor was left distraught. This damaged his relationship with Martha, who left as a result of him not really taking any notice of her, merely remembering Rose [14]. This was a rock-bottom moment for the Doctor, lightened only as he met Donna. However, when she lost all memory of their travels together, he was permanently damaged and actively refused Lady Christina DeSuza from joining him [15]. Throughout his final year, Tenant's Doctor became more and more unstable, resulting in him dabbling with time itself, with disastrous consequences [16]. By his final episode, Tenant's Doctor has completely broken down as he accepts his fate and sacrificed himself for the sake of one man [17]. This level depth of the character and his relationship with his companions has never been seen before or since in the personality of the Doctor and I think it was a crime that Smith's Doctor did not capitalise on any of the broken relationships and bad moments that had so defined Tenant's Doctor.

I will now begin my rebuttals of CON's points.

Quality of Acting

"D11 is in the opening stages of his post regeneration nature and is trying to find out precisely what he likes, leading to the hilarious cloud cuckoo-lander combination of fish fingers and custard"

While I do agree this scene was hilarious, it was yet another example of Smith's Doctor's craziness coming through over any comedic talent. Tenant's Doctor was unique in the way he could turn a phrase without turing to crazy antics in an attempt to be funny.

"D11 stops the monster from destroying Earth simply by introducing himself" et al.

I will respond to these points in the "D11's Achievements" section; I fail to see how these points relate to acting ability.

"And then there's pretty much the entirety of The Doctor's Wife and his heartwarming interactions with the TARDIS" et al.

Likewise, I will respond to these next round in the "Relationship with Companions" section. I hope my opponent will capitalise on these points in the next round.

"Overall, I believe D11 more adequately covers the "acting" ground"

Smith's Doctor never capitalised on the Doctor's morose, insecure side. While he does mope in his TARDIS for years, this is not seen and he seems to recover as soon as he catches sight of Clara, seemingly losing any sadness in losing Amy and Rory.

D11's achievements

"he chases away an alien force in the Eleventh Hour simply by talking about how the Earth is protected by him"

Here, the Doctor purely relies on the impact his other incarnations have had on the universe while having achieved very little himself.

"[he] manage[d] to survive bombardment by pretty much an entire army of Weeping Angels in Flesh And Stone AND escape with both himself and Amy and River alive"

Firstly, this victory was only down to the crack in time the exploding TARDIS caused. This saved him twice; once, when he is surrounded by Angels in the primary flight deck of the Byzantium and again in the secondary flight deck at the climax of the episode [18]. If the crack hadn't been there, his chances of escaping would have been pretty bleak.

Also, the Doctor sacrificed many men to save himself, Amy and River. Escaping with only three of the troop is hardly a "good" result.

"he manipulates events so that he can be successfully recalled back into EXISTENCE"

This is what I don't like about Smith's Doctor; he's quite selfish. He is always trying to weasel out of his death while Tenant's Doctor accepted he was going to die and didn't try to escape at the price of a single man [17].

"On the strength of the above, D11 is nothing short of AMAZING, and a supreme bad*ss to boot."

So was Tenant's Doctor. Do you remember his AWESOME speech in the Titanic? It went something like this:

"I'm the Doctor. I'm a Time Lord. I am from the planet Gallifrey in the constellation of Casterberus. I amn 903 years old and I am the man who is going to save your lives, along with all 6 billion people on the planet below."

Awesome? Yes.

Due to time and character restrictions, I am unable to respond to all of your points. However, consider this; you, yourself said:

"the Doctor must deal with enemies who no longer just want to rule or destroy the world, but simply want to wipe him from existence"

Tenant's Doctor had to deal with creatures hellbent on destroying the cosmos. Smith's Doctor was merely watching his own back.

Quality of Individual Seasons and Finales

"Series 5 gives us... some truly amazing episodes with the Weeping Angels and Vincent Van Gogh"

While I do agree Series 5 had some great episodes, it also contained some of the worst to ever grace our screens. Vampires of Venice [19] was AWFUL and remains second only to Boomtown [20] as, in my opinion, the WORST episode of DW ever. Its only redeeming feature was its sexy vampire girls but the story was dreadful.

"[Series 6] is beautifully emotive and feel of really good character development and depth"

Ok, I'm not going to deny it; Series 6 is my absolute favourite series of DW since it was revived. However, I think the one-off stories that were totally unrelated to any of the "Who is River Song?" arc took away the sense of one continuous story and very nearly ruined the series for me.

"Season 7's first half revolves around the foreshadowing of Amy and Rory's departure from the show and really goes into great depth about the relationship D11 has with them"

Yep; Series 7 was great too, but the story of the Ponds' departure completely spoiled The Angels Take Manhattan [21]. Rather than being an in-depth Weeping Angel story, as I'd hoped, if concentrated too much on Amy and Rory's leaving than the deep and exciting story itself.

"We then see a development of [the Doctor and Clara's] relationship throughout the episodes while D11 obsesses about just who she could possibly be"

I think they focused a bit too much on the Clara story arc and not enough elsewhere. The episodes felt a bit 2 dimensional in the last series; although I enjoyed them, they should have either been totally unconnected stories with no reference to the "Impossible Girl" or directly forming a continuous story that gradually leads up to the finale.

Sources

[13] Series 2, The Age of Steel
[14] Series 3, Last of the Time Lords
[15] 2009 Easter Special, Planet of the Dead
[16] 2009 Special, Waters of Mars
[17] 2009 Christmas Special, The End of Time
[18] Series 5, Flesh and Stone
[19] Series 5, Vampires of Venice
[20] Series 1, Boomtown
[21] Series 7, The Angels Take Manhattan
JonMilne

Con

Relationship With Companions

The big thing to take into consideration about D11 is that he was the first Doctor of the newest incarnation of Doctor Who to stay with his full time companions (ie: companions that feature in all 13 episodes of a series) for more than one series. Sure, Rose Tyler may have been around for two series, but it was with different Doctors, and she, along with Martha Jones and Donna Noble, only ever made bit part appearances after their initial 13 episode runs with D10. But I digress - the above essentially means that D11 was the first post 2005 Doctor to establish real depth with his companions. Case in point, Amy Pond, who he meets as a little girl immediately after his regeneration in the Eleventh Hour, and then meets again some 20 years later when she's a fully grown adult, while we learn from other episodes that she ended growing up idolising the Doctor. After another wait, Amy is eventually taken in by the Doctor, and despite some setbacks to their relationship (Amy choosing to "forget" in the Beast Below), they grow closer due to things like Amy ceasing the torture of the Star Whale as well as saving her from being killed by a Weeping Angel in Flesh and Stone, they grow closer, although D11 needs to stage an intervention when it becomes clear that she is developing "extra" feelings for him, leading to Rory Williams getting invited onto the TARDIS. The introduction of Rory as a master stroke, as he plays the role of the Only Sane Man attempting to keep Amy grounded in reality, and serves as a more realistic companion than someone like Rose as he does not immediately trust the Doctor and genuinely cares for his romantic partner. After briefly dying, Rory and D11 gain mutual trust and admiration for each other after what they do to save Amy in both The Big Bang and later on in A Good Man Goes To War, and the relationship between D11 and his companions is improved when it's revealed he trusted them with a mission relating to his death (the blue envelopes in The Impossible Astronaut) as well as the fact that Amy is able to persuade D11 to take on the mission despite it coming from an anonymous source. River Song also plays a role in helping the companions and D11 grow closer, as she helps with the rescue of Amy in Flesh and Stone, inadvertently helps bring Rory back in touch with Amy and D11, and of course the fact that she is revealed to be none other than Melody Pond, the daughter of the Ponds, and the woman who loves D11 so much she gives him her remaining regeneration energy to save his life, as well as initially refusing to kill him in The Wedding of River Song before being shown what D11 actually is (the Tessalecta), and she also plays a big role in the Angels Take Manhattan where she helps deliver the book written by Amy with a farewell message to D11. Amy leaves D11 on good terms and of her own free will to be with Rory, and leaves D11 with a heartfelt goodbye. This then leads to the mystery of the new companion, Clara, and who exactly she is. After being saved by versions of her in Asylum of the Daleks and The Snowmen, D11 becomes obsessed with finding out who she is, and growing ever closer to her especially after Clara defeats the Sun in Rings of Akhaten and her remembering their interactions from Journey To The Centre Of the Tardis in The Name Of The Doctor, it builds to the brilliant climax and sealing of the strength of their relationship when she enters D11's time stream.

Now to rebut Pro's R2:

Quality of D11's achievements

Pro asserts a number of achievements on D10's part. To object to those achievements I have issues with: I will point out that his defeat of the Sycorax was cancelled out by causing Harriet Jones to be removed from power, which in turn lead to the events leading to the Master becoming Prime Minister. Similarly, what he achieves at Canary Wharf couldn't have been done if Rose hadn't fixed her lever, while we learn in Turn Left that he would have ended up dying from trying to stop the Racnoss without Donna there. Furthermore, Dalek Caan still escapes from Manhattan to save Davros, and D10 doesn't take any measures to ensure that nothing of the Master remains, leading to the events of The End Of Time. As for Journey's End, D10 essentially amounts to a male damsel in distress in this episode, saved only by Donna's time lord awakening. And while I have no objection to his defeat of the Time Lords, I DO have problems with him railing against Wilfred Mott as well as his abuse of a future regeneration, in stark contrast to the reassuring way D9 talked to Rose about the forthcoming D10. And I don't think that saying "I don't want to go" counts as "embracing his death".

Quality of Individual Seasons and Finales

While I will agree on the quality of Series 2, I will point out that while the first half of the series is pretty awesome viewing, the second half aside from the two parters produces one largely forgettable episode (Idiot's Lantern) and two straight up awful episodes in quick succession that are considered among the worst in New Who history (Love and Monsters, and Fear Her). Furthermore, while the finale certainly delivers in emotional content and the awesomeness of Daleks vs Cyberman, it gets way too melodramatic at the end with both the false nature of how "Rose" dies (compare to the more emotional way of how Amy and Rory ACTUALLY "die" in their final episode) as well as Rose being a drama queen even though she has loving family members around her that are all alive, which is more than what she had at the beginning of her time with the Doctor. Series 3 is pretty good but is excessively dominated by D10 grieving about Rose even though she isn't actually dead (and in hindsight it makes Series 3 worse when we find out Rose was able to get back into our universe after all) and the series doesn't really allow the D10/Martha relationship to truly shine until The Lazarus Experiment, and even then the very best episodes of S3 are the ones where D10 is very much a background character (Blink and Last of the Time Lords). Moving on to S4, it was a significant improvement as Tennant became considerably better when he wasn't doing his illogical mourning, but again S4 was dominated too much by the fact that "Wow! Rose is returning!", which is irritating because due to reasons I will expand on in my R4, I believe Rose unjustifiably dominated the Russell T Davies era of New Who as her negative character traits strongly overshadowed the good. I have little other issues with S4 except for the treatment of Donna in the finale and the awful use of the Reset Button in turning her back into the not very intelligent person she was back in Runaway Bride. As for End of Time, D10 is just as guilty of trying to avoid his death as D11 is with his wiping away from existence, as D10 is said to have spent a while avoiding going to talk to the Ood, and there's also the part I mentioned where D10 talks about his lack of emotional connection to his next regeneration and how he hates how "someone else" will walk away with his memories and he'll be dead, which is utterly out of character for any time lord and hardly a glowing message of support for Tennant's and Davie's successors to the Doctor Who team. There was also again D10 completely unjustifiably railing against Wilfred Mott for "causing" D10's death deciding to save Wilfred's life, which just smacked of D10 showing arrogance, self-pity, being flat out mean, and making claims to having a high ground morally when not really having one. And as I said before, "I don't want to go" was just stupid considering Tennant and Davies were leaving willingly and weren't exactly being dragged away, and it would make the job of the next DW actor and team incredibly difficult when the last words of the previous incredibly popular DW actor was as above.

I'll tackle the "companions" part in R4. Over to you, Pro.
Debate Round No. 3
Jegory

Pro

I'd like to begin by thanking CON for a very enjoyable debate. I will now begin, for the last time, my rebuttals.

Relationship with Companions

"D11... was the first Doctor of the newest incarnation of Doctor Who to stay with his full time companions for more than one series"

CON argues that having the same companions for two and a half series is a good thing. I disagree; yes, the Doctor did build up meaningful relationships with each of them, I think two series would have been enough. By the time Series 7 Part 1 was over, I felt that the companions had been a bit played out; their best moments were, undoubtably, in Series 5 and 6 and they should have left then.

It also took away the feeling of sadness and remorse that had defined Tenant's Doctor and set him apart from the others.

"The introduction of Rory as a master stroke"

While I do agree Rory is a masterful character, his story gets far too complicated, in particulr in Series 5. After dying and being erased from time [22] he comes back as an Auton [23] and kills Amy before coming back as a "normal" person with all his memories intact. All this is never really explained enough in the series and seemed almsot unnecessary; the series was complicated enough without another sub-plot taking place!

"This then leads to the mystery of the new companion, Clara, and who exactly she is"

While the story of Clara was interesting, I don't feel she was as "real" as some of the other companions. Her relationship with the Doctor was quite simple and didn't evolve at all during the series, while with Tenant's Doctor each companion built up a relationship with the Doctor in a completely new and fresh way.

Quality of D11's Achievements

Yes; Tenant's Doctor's achievements would not have been completely possible without his companions, but that's DW for you! Very rarely does the Doctor do anything without assistance and Smith's Doctor is just the same.

Quality of Individual Seasons and Finales

"While I will agree on the quality of Series 2, I will point out that while the first half of the series is pretty awesome viewing, the second half aside from the two parters produces one largely forgettable episode and two straight up awful episodes in quick succession that are considered among the worst in New Who history"

Well, there isn't a series of Doctor Who that doesn't have a few bad episodes. Adding to the list of bad epsiodes from Series 5-7, Victory of the Daleks was pretty awful, alongside The Power of Three.

"while the finale certainly delivers in emotional content and the awesomeness of Daleks vs Cyberman, it gets way too melodramatic at the end"

I think this melodrama is what DW has been missing for a long time. We actually see that the Doctor has made a real and strong relationship with one of his companions and the impacts of him "losing" her cross over into the next couple of series.

"Series 3 is pretty good but is excessively dominated by D10 grieving about Rose even though she isn't actually dead"

Firstly, she was "dead" to the Doctor. If Davros and the Daleks hadn't tried to destroy the universe, she would have never come back.

Also, I think this offers the series a sense of continuity. It gives the feeling that the Doctor is still the same person, with the same guilt; this is starkly contrasted by Smith's Doctor as he seems to "forget" about Amy and Rory once he catches sight of Clara and abandons River, his WIFE, completely.

"D10 is just as guilty of trying to avoid his death as D11 is with his wiping away from existence"

Therefore, neither Doctor is better than the other.

Closing Statements

Despite arguing for Tenant's Doctor, I do like Matt Smith as the Doctor. In fact, I believe he's probably my second favourite, after Tenant (of course). I sincerely thank CON for accepting this debate; it has been very enjoyable and I hope we can debate together again sometime in the near future.

[22] Series 5, Cold Blood
[23] Series 5, The Pandorica Opens
JonMilne

Con

I too shall thank Pro for creating a debate about a show I deeply love. Here is my final rebuttal:

D10's relationship with companions

I alluded in R3 to the fact that I considered Rose to be a really bad person to base a story around, and this is based on the truly awful ways she behaves, whether it be treating her loyal and caring boyfriend Mickey horribly (such as Aliens of London where she doesn't care he got suspected of murdering her), she's flat out rude to anyone who shows an interest in the Doctor (like against Sarah Jane in School Reunion), she's completely disrespectful even of people who are clearly allies of the Doctor (getting irritated at Martha Jones when she's contacted by Harriet Jones instead of her - "Nor me, and I was here first", is that REALLY appropriate when the future of the world is at stake?) and then she kisses the Human D10 right in front of Time Lord D10 in an astounding display of callousness in Journey's End. It's for this reason I generally always considered the D10/Rose relationship to be deeply flawed as well as preachy and condescending. D10 ought to have been happy that Rose was at least safe and alive, which was more than can be said of other companions (see Adric). For that reason, while I do like D10's relationship with Martha, I think it was incredibly tainted by Martha being the first Post-Rose companion which meant that we had to put up with a LOT of unjustifiable emo behaviour from D10 as well as a lot of disrespect towards her which detracted somewhat from enjoying any chemistry they had. Donna Noble is the only character I have no complaints about, aside from the ridiculous Reset Button that was pulled in Journey's End. But again, I do not believe the Doctor even remotely "accepted his fate", or at least not for selfless reasons. He gets chided by Ood Sigma for having "delayed" in Part 1, and there's the mentioned unjustified whiny outburst against Wilfred in Part 2. Overall, while D10's relationship with his companions were certainly enjoyable, they certainly cannot be considered better than D11's.

Pro argues against Amy and Rory having stayed for two seasons and essentially thinks it became stale by the first part of Series 7. While I could understand that logic, personally I believe that the process of trying to fix a relationship broken by Amy's woes about having a baby as well as the considerably better process that they built to the departure of Amy and Rory by having them reconcile and then spend the rest of their series run balancing their normal day to day lives with traveling with the Doctor, with the tragic outcome that their choice at the end of The Power of Three to continue doing the latter leads to their deaths. I would also argue against the notion that it took away any "sadness and remorse", as those episodes were full of discussions about how distant D11 had become from the two of them and the possibility of endings, leading to the tear-jerking finale in their final episode. And I'm glad that it didn't "define" D11, because in Amy's farewell message we had her telling D11 to move on, which was good because it meant we didn't get an entire series with him moaning about Amy's death. On Rory, he becomes human again as a result of the reboot to the universe caused by D10 flying the Pandorica into the TARDIS explosion, and Clara developed plenty in her first two episodes as well as in Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS and Name Of The Doctor, not to mention all of the times D11 spent wondering just who the "impossible girl" was.

Quality of D11's achievements

I will point out to Pro that if D11 supposedly relying solely on the impact of his previous companions in the Eleventh Hour (not actually true, considering he did in fact catch Prisoner Zero while utilizing his D11 abilities) can be disqualified, then we can also disqualify D10 on the same basis for doing exactly the same thing to the Vashta Nerada in Forest Of The Dead. As for the Weeping Angels and the crack, I will point out that it also hindered the heroes as the crack wiped the soldiers from existence as well, so utilising the crack to destroy the angels was a stroke of genius, and furthermore I will also point out that if the loss of a whole load of lives is enough to disqualify a Doctor's achievements, then D10 would hardly benefit from such a rule as many people died during his "saving" attempts too (indeed, Journey's End contains almost an entire compilation of them). With D11 trying to "weasel" his way out of ceasing to exist, I strongly disagree with Pro's logic, as we've already seen D10 delay meeting the Ood as well as actively trying to fight regenerating at the end of The End Of Time, and canonically there's no reason to suppose that ANY Doctor would not have tried to find a way of escaping their doom, so D11's actions are entirely in character. And as for D11 "merely watching his back" as opposed to trying to protect the cosmos, as we've found out in The Big Bang and The Name Of The Doctor as well as in his battles against Madame Kavorian, the two motives amount to the same thing, as the loss of the Doctor from existence directly correlates to the loss of numerous stars that the non-existent Doctor was unable to save. Indeed, this forms a huge basis for the plot of Turn Left, so my point is supported. And as for badassery, I present this exchange in The Doctor's Wife:

"House: Fear me; I've killed hundreds of Time Lords.
D11: Fear me, I've killed all of them."

Seasons/Finales Quality

I will concede the weakness of Vampires of Venice, but I believe that is more than counter-balanced by the high quality of other episodes, and I certainly don't believe that Victory of the Daleks is anything like as bad as Pro makes it, certainly not in comparison to Daleks In Manhattan from Series 3, for example. Pro concedes the sheer quality of S6, admitting it to be his favourite series of DW. His sole criticism is leveled at the "one-off stories", but I would disagree and say that The Doctor's Wife especially as well as Night Terrors, The Girl Who Waited, and The God Complex were astounding episodes that did much credit to the series. As for Series 7, I will say that giving attention to the Ponds' departure in The Angels Take Manhattan added real depth and gravitas to the story as well as real emotional output as D11 began to despair at the notion that he wouldn't be able to change the fate of his companions. And it had companions leaving the show in a way that was completely dignified and smoothly enabled a transition (in contrast to the Rose departure of S2). Furthermore, with Clara, pro contradicts his own argument. On the hand, he wanted the River story arc to have run all the way through S6 and the fact that it didn't spoiled S6 for him, but on the other hand the attention given to Clara's story arc (which, if anything, played only minor roles in Cold War, Hide, Crimson Horror, and Nightmare in Silver) is apparently "too much" and ruined the series. I'd argue there was plenty depth in those episodes, however, especially in Nightmare In Silver where D11 battled his own Cyber-induced alter-ego as well as the constant questions about Clara's identity especially from Vastra and Clara when they are baffled by re-meeting in the Crimson Horror.

Conclusion

I would be foolish to deny the strengths of David Tennant in his role as the Doctor, and I'm certainly looking forward to seeing him again in the 50th Anniversary Special. However, I believe I have put the best case forward as to why Matt Smith must be considered, out of the two, to be the best Doctor, having explained what is great about him, rebutting successfully the criticisms of him, and landing some pretty strong arguments against the Tenth Doctor, many of which have not been rebutted. Thus, you should vote Con to win this debate. I too thank Pro, and reciprocate his desire to debate each other again.
Debate Round No. 4
33 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by 17galme 3 years ago
17galme
David Tennant was deffo best.. :D
Posted by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
A debate over best writers for the series might be neat...
Posted by GOP 3 years ago
GOP
Sorry Jon, my mistake. I shall re-cast the vote soon.
Posted by The10thDoctor 3 years ago
The10thDoctor
I was too
Posted by JonMilne 3 years ago
JonMilne
It's also mentioned in Jegory's intro in R1 that the "sources" field should remain unvoted, because we were both using episodes as sources.
Posted by JonMilne 3 years ago
JonMilne
GOP, both of us were using sources from Doctor Who episodes. In my R2, I explicitly state that my sources are episodes and are named in the commentary I give. Could you please re-cast your vote?
Posted by JonMilne 3 years ago
JonMilne
Not a problem. My R3 is finished now. Good luck.
Posted by Jegory 3 years ago
Jegory
By the way; the quote from the Doctor in the Titanic comes from the 2007 Christmas Special, Voyage of the Damned. Forgot to mention that :P
Posted by Jegory 3 years ago
Jegory
Ok, I'll remember that next time I set up a debate :P.
Posted by JonMilne 3 years ago
JonMilne
Done R2. Only just realised deadline was only two days. Next time make it three. Much more convenient time wise. (Not an intentional pun on this debate, lol)
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
JegoryJonMilneTied
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Total points awarded:00 
Reasons for voting decision: I'll be blunt, this is all just too subjective. Even things each side counts in favor of their doctor, I count against them. I could look up clips from named episodes on this, and be moved back and forth like a ping-pong ball. SUGGESTION: For this type of debate use pictures, even if sources are not to be voted on, such a small source thing can still make one argument pop out.
Vote Placed by GOP 3 years ago
GOP
JegoryJonMilneTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro dropped a lot of Con's arguments. He did not go in DEPTH to present his case.