Friday, 30 May 2014

Did Harry Cunningham Inspire Doctor Who?

I was never big on hospital dramas or what I perceived to be Sunday night telly so I had never watched Silent Witness. I know it’s not a hospital drama as such, it’s a murder mystery show but there’s just so much medical stuff in it and medical stuff makes me a bit queasy.


But I sort of got over that when Greys Anatomy hit our screens, mainly because McDreamy and McSteamy were both worth putting up with the occasional sharp blade slicing into flesh.


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Anyway. A couple of years ago my other half and I stumbled into unchartered territory for us: we started a regular weekly thing. We started watching murder mysteries on a Sunday night. We became obsessed with stories that were told in 2 parts that we could watch in the one night.


We started with Prime Suspect and then watched Messiah. But then we decided we were ready for the big leagues: Silent Witness with its 15 series under its belt seemed like a mammoth task to under take but within a year we had caught up to real time.


Over the course of that year I noticed something quite interesting. I’d already formed something of a crush on Dr. Harry Cunningham, naturally, but it was sometime around series 10 when I noticed the spikey forward hair, sideburns and the big dress coat that I thought to myself he looks a bit like David Tennant.


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Correction: he looks a lot like David Tennant.


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Now at this point in my viewing we were well into the Eleventh Doctor’s reign but obviously, being a nerd, I’d been long term crushing on the Tenth Doctor – although as previously discussed not generally David Tennant because it turns out I have a thing for sideburns.


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So suddenly what had started as a minor attraction to Harry Cunningham turned into a full on replacement for Doctor Who. My new poster pin up of choice, fast tracked to the top of my freebie five list.*


So imagine dismay when we started watching series 12 and he looked like this:
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I mean come on!


What is that jumper? Gone is the smart coat and the nice shirts, to be replaced by a jumper from a carboot sale that looks like it’s been slept on by cats for the last five years.

Add to that the hair cut that makes him look like he’s about to audition for Oasis. Oh dear lord, no!


Now looking back, I think when they were filming series 12 it was the year after David Tennant hit our screens as the Doctor.


He went from a young policeman:
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To Casanova…
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To The Doctor…
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Sporting a sharp suit and an overcoat that looked not dissimilar to the fashion choice of Doctor Harry Cunningham.
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Did the BBC, in their wisdom, decide there could only be one attractive spikey haired, sharply dressed, doctor on TV? And given the high profile of Doctor Who compared to Silent Witness, poor Harry Cumningham was made to look as though, sometime during the break, he’d lost his home and all his belongings in a fire and was reliant on handouts from the charity shop?


Thankfully, it only lasted for one series. Perhaps there was a public outcry, or someone had a quiet word with hair and make up and insisted they restore Dr Cunningham to his former glory.

They returned his smart suit and improved his hair to this:


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And by the end of Series 15 when Tom Ward quit the show, he was back to normal – making his exit all the more distressing.


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It’s taken me a long time to admit this, because it goes without saying that The Doctor, in several of his guises, hits my list of celebrity crushes. The Doctor, that is, not the actor playing him. But Tom Ward has played a long line of sideburns before and after Harry Cunningham. Last seen playing Colonel Fitzwilliam in Death Comes to Pemberley, he was looking mighty fine.


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Yep, that decides it. Tom Ward is officially, my current celebrity crush, poster pin-up guy!


Anyone else see a similarity between Doctor Cunningham and Doctor Who?


* I don’t actually have a freebie five list, but if I did…



Did Harry Cunningham Inspire Doctor Who?