#7 Slyvester McCoy
Ah Slyvester McCoy, where do I begin. You were a vast, VAST improvement over Colin Baker, that is for damn sure. In fact, you were't a bad Doctor at all (although the stories you were in were the absolute lowest point in the series history, that was hardly your fault). By the time the 6th Doctor became the 7th (In a weird way, since Colin Baker was not asked to come in to the studio for a quick regeneration shot, the SFX department had to do this weird compositing effect to get it right. It was...interesting to say the least), the BBC was cutting a lot of the funding for the show, sets were getting bland and ugly, the storys were repetative, the companions were just god-awful and the Master was in his 409th incarnation. In short, the show was over and everyone knew it.
Slyvester McCoy had one hell of a task in front of him, he had to try to keep interest going in a show that the fates had deemed unfit to live, and he gave it everything he could. His performance of the Doctor harkened back to a bygone era (I guess two doctors prior is bygone now), as he sort of merged the 1st and 4th Doctors into one being in an ugly ass vest. His performance was totally enjoyable, if not exceedingly dark, and, if he had been hired as the 5th Doctor, I think he would have lasted a LOT longer than he did (as would the public's interest in the show).
His Doctor was different from any of the other's however, it was dark, brooding at times, while being silly and light hearted almost at the same time. The same man would play the spoons in one scene and destroy (what he thought was) the whole of Dalek civilization in the other. He would prat fall, and a few minutes later TALK THE LAST DALEK IN THE UNIVERSE INTO SUICIDE. Dude was dark holmes. He also turned into a vampire for a bit, but for the life of me I still don't know why, and I watched the damn episodes.
His death was silly though, having been shot after being in America for all of 3 seconds by a random group of gang members, because 'Merica.
#6 - William Hartnell
The first, the standard bearer. It is hard to think of what the first read through of the first script Hartnell must have received. A strange man in a police box who kidnaps two teachers and tools around time and space with them, and his granddaughter, in tow. Why did he agree to this job?
When discussing the first doctor's run one must separate the first season from the other seasons. When Doctor Who was originally planned, it was to be an educational show (One episode would have Doctor and crew head to the past, to teach history, the next would be in the future to teach science). That never panned out, as the writers were either to lazy to write about factual history, or to creative to be pigeon holed into such a silly idea, so it was dropped. During that first season however, Hartnell played the doctor as a grumpy, thoughtless, selfish old man, a very unpleasant man who you couldn't really connect with, as the main character's were his companions. After the switch, The Doctor loosened up a bit and became much more likable and more grandfathery, and the (true) Doctor was born.
One of my favorite parts about Hartnel's Doctor wasn't really a planed thing; William Hartnel suffered from an undiagnosed case of anterior sclerosis, which made remembering lines *incredibly* difficult. As a result of this, Hartnel would stumble over his lines all the time. The BBC, having no time for re-shoots, apparently, would just let it slide, making the doctor seem seem bumbling and absent minded - a trait which is still used today.
The very first episode of Doctor Who!
#9 Peter Davison
Ah Peter Davison, sweet, innocent Peter Davison. I actually really like this guy, he seems like a very nice chap, all smiles and politeness, he seems more Minnesotan than British, but there is a problem.
The Doctor isn't from St Paul.
Davison was the fifth doctor, popping up after the end of Tom Baker, the iconic Doctor's long, LONG run on the show. And much as was my issue with #2 yesterday he represents the complete opposite of the doctor before him. While Baker was rash, headstrong, absent minded and not a little bit rude, Davison was, well, nice. Very nice. And he dressed fairly normal (and used celery as an accent, very underrated). He had a fairly long run (3 seasons) but by the end people with bored with vanilla. They needed a change from the nice, thoughtful doctor. They were given Collin Baker, and in his first appearance, when told he had changed he said "Yes, and just in the nick of time", or something to that effect, and then the world realized that vanilla was alright when the other flavor is tight, puckered asshole.
I will say, I like his doctoring, despite it being wholly forgettable. #5 did away with the sonic screwdriver, which made writing more of a challenge and more interesting. Normally when the Doctor is in a situation he had a ready made deus ex machina at his disposal (a trend that continues to this day), not so with Davison, he used his intellect and his charm to get thru the problem. Normally he would politely ask the Sontarian to stop trying to kill him, and they would. It was a simpler time.
In all seriousness though, while a nice guy, Davison was one boring Doctor. His daughter on the other hand...ha cha!
Fun Fact: Georgia Moffett was in an episode called "The Doctor's Daughter", while in fact being the Daughter of the Doctor. Fun Fact 2: David Tennant got a piece of this in real life. Fun Fact 3: David Tennant is awesome.
It was about this time that Tennant was playing Doctor with Davison's daughter. Awkward?
#8 Paul McGann
I covered most of my thoughts about Paul McGann's, admittedly quick, run as the doctor in my review of the Doctor Who Movie. He could have been much better with better writing and more time. I won't retread ground on this one.
I will say this, however, look up at that guy. He is the one who killed the Time Lords. He is the one who walked away from the Time War. The one who looked at the "the Star of Degradations. The Horde of Travesties. The Nightmare Child. The Could-Have-Been King with his army of Meanwhiles and Neverweres." and walked away. Well, maybe he didn't, after all it was at some point in the Time War that he turned into the Ninth Doctor.
In a way he was the most bad ass doctor, despite being "half human" (which got retconed out as fast as possible I might add)
There we go. It's the whole movie. You're welcome. I think...
OK, done for today. 2 more Doctors will be discussed tomorrow. Who will they be? Tune in next time to find out!
I'm sure someone, somewhere was interested in my opinion on this...right?
As I stated in an earlier review, I am a pretty big fan of Doctor Who, having watched a lion's share of every season it has been on television, and its (horrid) movie adaptations. In the almost 50 years it has been on television, we have seen 11 men play the part of the quasi-imortal timelord, to varying degrees of success. What follows is a poorly thought out, haphazardly researched, and poorly written ranking of whom I thought brought all the thunder, and who never should have left the TARDIS. Starting with the worst.
11: Colin Baker
Just look at that guy and tell me that you don't want to throw a handful of lug nuts at his head. Go on, tell me. You can't, can you? Its the hair, it makes you hate him more than cancer.
Too be fair,, while Colin Baker was arguably the absolute worst thing in the whole of the Doctor Who canon (Eric Roberts not withstanding), this wasn't really his fault. By the time he took over the reigns and became the sixth Doctor, the show had stagnated. The writers decided to try to do a bit of a reboot and made the Doctor a manic, paranoid, violent, coward. As you can imagine the crowds ate it up like Crystal Pepsi. It is kind of a shame, as Baker was very excited to take on the roll, and had some ideas of his own, but the cards were already dealt. He was saddled with terrible story lines, an outfit that looks like a Jo-Anne fabrics vomited a sentient lifeform, and, most damning of all, an 18 moth mid season hiatus called for by the BBC's head of programing.
It all lead to the shortest reign of the original 7 doctors, and over all the third shortest of the 11 (behind #'s 8 and 9). If given a bit more time, perhaps the hero's journey would have been put into effect and we would have seen Baker's Doctor become a great man, but what we are left with in his three seasons is a sad shell of the Doctor's past, and the grim knowledge that Doctor Who was on borrowed time.
Here is a completely random sixth Doctor episode. I went random because they were all just as disappointing...
10: Patrick Troughton
Ah the second doctor, where to begin. Actually it is kind of ironic in a way that Troughton made my list both at #2 and below Colin Baker, as Thoughton was Baker's favorite Doctor, I'm not sure the affection was returned, however.
Several years into the first Doctor's tenure, it became very apparent that William Hartnell was getting a little old to be running thru corridors, or even briskly walking down them, and it was time for a change. A lesser show would have ended, or just killed the Doctor off and brought in a new lead. Imagine the surprise when the Doctor did indeed die, only to rise up as a goofy looking guy with a pauper's haircut and an Uncle Fester coat.
And thus is born the crux of my problem with the second Doctor, he is just the opposite of the first. Hartnell was serious, Thoughton was a clown. Hartnell was dignified, Thoughton played the recorder. I can't blame anyone for this, as it was the first time they regenerated the Doctor and no one had any idea what the hell they were doing, or if this was even going to work, but that doesn't change the fact that the second Doctor exists only as a foil to the first. And because of this, he is almost completely forgettable.
However Thoughton did give us the Sonic Screwdriver (that at the time could only unscrew screws...very slowly. Far slower than an actual screwdriver) and the Doctors love of Jelly Babies. So there is that. Also I feel he does redeem himself in "The Five Doctors" by not being nearly as annoying as the Fake Hartnell. So good on you #2.
It is hard to find a lot of the second Doctor's episodes on YouTube, as the BBC destroyed most of the old prints of the later Hartnell and the entire run of Thoughton.
That is all for tonight, but tomorrow I will continue with the next worst Doctor. Who will it be? (See what I did there...)
I really have nothing to write, save for the fact that I am really, quite happy with the fact that two weeks ago I married my absolute best friend Penn. I am mostly doing this post to brag about the smoking hot Thai woman I get to spend my time with. Boosh.