Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My Favorite Characters: Galactic Granddad

I'll start by saying I love my Grandpa Ernie. He's a great guy who knows what's what. Like most Grampas! And in the amazing TV world of Doctor Who, there's an excellent and ordinary grandpa character that everybody can look up to: Bernard Cribbin's Wilfred Mott. A good-hearted retiree with a passion for astronomy, Wilf is at first only peripherally involved with the alien time-traveller The Doctor. When Wilf's granddaughter Donna Noble befriends and journeys with the Doctor, Wilf encounters him too. And Wilf becomes subtly but powerfully present in the last adventure of the Tenth Doctor. He's an old soldier, dogged and determined, devoted to his daughter and her daughter and her Doctor. It's just a very powerful performance from Cribbins, packed with bittersweet moments, enormous warmth, and if he doesn't bring both a smile to your lips and a tear to your eye, I'll eat my hat. Er, one of the smaller ones. The cookie hat, in fact.
Mr. Cribbins has had a great career in British comedy, and I've only seen the tip of that ice-Bernard-berg. He's awesome as the reluctant lead sailor in 'Carry on Jack'. He's a real hoot as the first astronaut from the sleepy Duchy of Grand Fenwick in 'The Mouse on the Moon'. I enjoyed his turn as Peter Cushing's Doctor Who companion in one of the 1960's movies. Apparently he was a womble too? There's nothing I've seen with him in that I DIDN'T like. Not to mention (but I will) that I have some of his songs from days of yore on my ipod and he's a heck of a crooner. Here's 'Right Said Fred'. Sensible, straightforward, and just stupendous.
Here's to Bernard, Wilf, and all granddads everywhere.

No comments: