My Favorite Doctors #3 – The Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy)

Last few weeks I wasn’t able to work on this article, so this week I’m finally back to tackle my number third favorite Doctor. My pick’s for second and third are very, very close indeed. I considered making it a tie, but that felt too much like I was cheating.

So, lets get to it!

My pick for #3 is The Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy)

The Seventh Doctor could never catch a fair break. He came into the show in a very wonky way. His final appearance wasn’t much better. in between though McCoy’s Doctor was pure gold. From fighting a killer resort tower to Arthurian Knights carrying guns, there was always something bizarre going down.

His tenure as a Time Lord got off to a rocky start with a somewhat cheesy regeneration. McCoy doubled for the Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker), who had been fired by the BBC and refused to come back and film a regeneration scene.

The Seventh Doctor started out as a more comedic character. He was prone to pratfalls and speaking nonsensically (“Time and tide melt the snowman,” or “A bird in the hand keeps the Doctor away”). Gradually a change came over this Doctor, which saw him become a much darker and manipulative character. A chessmaster, who used his intelligence to assess and direct events and people to the outcome he wanted.

His first companion was Mel. She was okay as far as companions go but paled in comparison to the Doctor’s next one, Ace! To say that Ace kicked butt is an understatement. She took out a Dalek with a baseball bat. Defeated some Cybermen with a slingshot and some gold coins. Wielded Excalibur and has a thing for blowing stuff up real good!

Sadly though it was at this time that the show got cancelled. But the Seventh Doctor came back briefly in the Fox Tv movie. Where he suffered perhaps the most underwhelming and random of Doctor deaths. Getting shot as he walked out of the TARDIS!

What I loved about the Seventh Doctor’s run was the sense of mystery the writers brought to his character. We where never sure just what his agenda was, nor who he was. There where hints at a larger story going on, but with the show’s cancellation much of that would get resolved in other media.

Well that’s all for this week, until the next time. Be seeing you.

My Favorite Doctors #4 – The Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison)

“You know how it is; you put things off for a day and next thing you know, it’s a hundred years later.”

Last time I talked about The Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton). Today I’d like to talk a little about my pick for #4 of my top 5 Doctors. The Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison).

When Tom Baker and the BBC made the announcement that he was leaving the show it was decided that his replacement should be not only a contrast to Baker’s Doctor, but also someone already known to the British public. Enter Peter Davison. Davison had earned some acclaim for his role on All Creatures Great and Small. Twenty-nine at the time, Davison was the youngest actor to have played the Doctor, that is until Matt Smith, who was twenty-seven, became the Eleventh Doctor.

Whereas the Fourth Doctor had grown very aloof and well, Time Lordy as he got older, the Fifth was very open and compassionate. He could be soft-spoken and exasperated, sometimes fleeing from danger like the 2nd Doctor. But when needed he could be courageous and tell off his foes, showing indignation much like the First Doctor. He was also more open with his companions, treating them like equals rather then a subordinate. He was also more diplomatic then previous Doctor’s had been. Often he’d try to talk his way out of a bad situation without having to result to physical aggression. He could be indecisive in a crisis. Sometimes second guessing his decisions.

The Fifth Doctor was “my second Doctor” and the one I saw the most adventures of besides Tom Baker’s Doctor. Watching the Fifth was also where I realized that the Doctor could “change” his appearance. At first I thought they’d pulled a “James Bond” and just changed actors. Later on I learned about the whole regeneration thing.

I enjoy this era of the Doctor greatly. Not as flashy as some of the others but there’s a charm to them that I’m very fond of. His more then any of the other Doctor’s makes me think of quiet Sunday afternoon’s spent watching the Doctor’s adventures in time and space.

So until next time when I come back with my pick for number three…Be seeing you…

My Favorite Doctors #5 – The Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton)

Hello, my name is The Professor. I own a sonic screwdriver, and I’m addicted to Doctor Who.

Last week I visited some of my childhood memories of the show, and examined some reasons why I love it so much; the wonderful and crazy monsters and of course The Doctor himself.

Over the course of the next few articles, I’ll be talking about my favorite Doctor’s from the show’s initial run, because you know…retro and all. Anyway, let’s get to it!

This week it’s my choice for number five, The Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton)!

William Hartnell’s (the first Doctor), deteriorating health made it necessary for him to leave Doctor Who, leaving the producers in a quandary. How could the show continue without its title character? One of the show’s producers came up with an interesting idea: since the Doctor is an alien, he could transform his appearance when he dies, thereby renewing himself! He’d be the same Doctor but with a new look and personality. It was Hartnell himself who suggested that Patrick Troughton be cast as the new Doctor.

Sadly, many of Troughton’s stories where destroyed by the BBC after they were initially aired. Until recently, all I’d seen of the Second Doctor were his three team ups with the other Doctors. Thanks to the magic of DVD I’ve had the great pleasure of seeing him in action. He quickly became one of my favorites!

There’s a carefree air about his Doctor. He often found great wonder and joy in exploring the universe and meeting new people. When there was trouble, his good nature could give way to a nervous panic. He might yell “When I say run, run…RUN!” or maybe “Oh, my giddy aunt!” before running off at top speed. But acting like a bumbling clown was just his way of making his enemies underestimate him. The Second Doctor was also a skilled manipulator, always one step ahead of his adversary.

Of all the Doctors, he’s the one I want to hang out with the most. He comes across as that cool Uncle you wanted to be around at family reunions. Unlike some of the Doctors I never get the feeling that the Second Doctor sees his companions as anything but friends, there’s never the sense of him being superior to them.

There’s a scene in “The Tomb Of The Cybermen” that sealed the deal on my love for Troughton’s Doc. There’s a quiet moment where he’s talking to his new companion Victoria about the death of her father. In just writing it gets me all teary eyed:

The Doctor: Are you happy with us, Victoria?

Victoria: Yes, I am. At least, I would be if my father were here.

The Doctor: Yes, I know, I know.

Victoria: I wonder what he would have thought if he could see me now.

The Doctor: You miss him very much, don’t you?

Victoria: It’s only when I close my eyes. I can still see him standing there, before those horrible Dalek creatures came to the house. He was a very kind man, I shall never forget him. Never.

The Doctor: No, of course you won’t. But, you know, the memory of him won’t always be a sad one.

Victoria: I think it will. You can’t understand, being so ancient.

The Doctor: Eh?

Victoria: I mean old.

The Doctor: Oh.

Victoria: You probably can’t remember your family.

The Doctor: Oh yes, I can when I want to. And that’s the point, really. I have to really want to, to bring them back in front of my eyes. The rest of the time they… they sleep in my mind and I forget. And so will you. Oh yes, you will. You’ll find there’s so much else to think about. To remember. Our lives are different to anybody else’s. That’s the exciting thing, that nobody in the universe can do what we’re doing.

I mean that’s just greatness right there. Well, I just got myself all weepy and the moisture is hell on my keyboard, so until next time when I come back with my pick for number four….Be seeing you..