The Physician Who ‘Hand Pose’ Is a Timeless Icon

David Tennant’s Doctor could be very huge on arms. Nicely, most biped humanoids, Time Lords included, are fairly eager on having all their limbs. However keep in mind the sword struggle in “Christmas Invasion”? Remember the fighting hand? Bear in mind how he grew a whole other version of himself out of that hand 4 years later?

However, most significantly, keep in mind the hand pose?

Each Thursday in November, io9 is celebrating the historical past of Doctor Who, its legacy, and its anniversary celebrations throughout 60 years of adventures in Time and Area, as we gear up for the massive day itself on November 23—and a new era beyond it shortly after…

The Physician is a peculiar character to {photograph} for publicity. They don’t all the time do props—outdoors of the Sonic Screwdriver, and even that wasn’t all the time assured again within the day. They don’t have any powers or skills to gesticulate for, they’re not, for probably the most half, bodily fighters. The issues the Physician is sweet at—their compassion for others, their means to speak their manner out of issues, their dash tempo down any given size of hall—will not be actually issues you possibly can completely get throughout when doing a publicity shoot. They don’t actually have poses, both.

Besides one. Agency stance. Stare down the digital camera. Dominant arm raised. Hand splayed. By no means pointed, by no means beckoning, not even actually gesturing. Simply… splayed. The hand pose!

I joked about David Tennant’s Physician and arms earlier; other than the odd significance a literal, singular hand needed to his first tenure within the TARDIS, the person liked himself a hand pose. It’s all around the press footage of Tennant’s years on Physician Who, to the purpose that, now that the actor is again in motion as a brand new incarnation of the Physician, he’s doing over again within the promotional footage for the sixtieth anniversary specials—as if that’s as nostalgic and price celebrating as a part of this anniversary as anything. And in a manner it’s: the pose isn’t simply Tennant’s, he was probably impressed by a well-known publicity shoot of Tom Baker’s Physician doing a lot the identical. However virtually each Physician had one.

Jon Pertwee’s Physician was keen on a Physician Unusual-ian horns. Baker arguably began the extra normal obscure hand-splaying adopted by Tennant. Peter Capaldi, in flip, made the hand pose his personal, wiggling his fingers with reckless abandon. Hell, Ncuti Gatwa’s Physician isn’t even right here but and he’s already doing it! There’s simply one thing that reads as unequivocally Physician-ish about the entire thing. An aura to it that befits the Physician’s personal beguiling attract. What does it imply? Who is aware of. What does it invoke? No concept. Why do it? You may solely put your arms in your pockets or in your hips so many instances, I suppose. Why does it really feel so Physician Who anyway? Don’t know, it simply does.

And perhaps that’s why it’s value celebrating, this bizarre little a part of an ever-evolving character picked up and iterated on by era after era of actor to inhabit the function. That’s a part of the enjoyment of Physician Who occurring for therefore lengthy—even the littlest flourish can spark a legacy throughout Time and Area.


Need extra io9 information? Take a look at when to anticipate the most recent Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s subsequent for the DC Universe on film and TV, and all the things you want to find out about the way forward for Doctor Who.

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