Pictured: Romance. Also a lake.
#2 - Tom Baker
Here is one of those tests to see how old you are: if I were to ask you to imagine the Doctor, my guess would be that roughly 100% of you born before the 90's will picture Tom Baker, and for damn good reason. Simply put, Tom Baker was, and to an extent, still is, the Doctor.
Goofy, gangly and decked out in a floppy hat and an exceptionally long scarf, Baker's doctor was silly, quirky, mad, loony, and daft, all while being serious, brilliant, morose and somber. His Doctor was an enigma, impossible to predict, impossible to define and impossible to emulate. For an amazing seven seasons Baker portrayed the time traveler, and brought a level of popularity to the show that was unprecedented (of course fantastic writing helped with that, including a few episodes penned by "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" creator, the late, Douglas Adams).
We witnessed the birth of the Daleks, the...many deaths of the Master, a talking metal dog, and one of the first non-irritating companions in Doctor Who canon, Sarah Jane Smith, and Baker made us care about all of them, and more, with just an earnest smile and a flick of a scarf.
Elizabeth Salden was so not irritating that she and K-9 had their own spin off show a few years back, which would still be going if not for her untimely passing in 2011.
Of all the original doctors, Tom Baker was the only one to truly make the character feel like an organic being, and not just someone playing on a stage. It might help that, as far as I can see, he wasn't really acting when he was donning the scarf, as Baker seems to be just as silly as his doctor. One of the more...interesting stories in Doctor Who lore involves a radio DJ prank calling Baker with an impersonator doing his voice. The Fake-Baker claimed that he was the Doctor. Without missing a beat, and with total sincerity, Real-Baker responded "There must be some sort of mistake, you see, I'M the Doctor, not you".
Indeed you are, and there will be no one who makes a floppy hat seem as cool as you Tom Baker. No one.
Serious non-ironic props to tardisgirlfrance on this video, amazing work!
#1 - David Tennant
Well, anyone who has seen any of the new Doctor Who series knew this was going to be the top Doctor. David Tennant is, was, and quite possibly will forever be the most famous, and most well loved Doctor.
Also, quite by far, the most dreamiest (swoon)
I mean...um...not dreamy. (cough)...sooo, sports. QUIT LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT!
Tennant's Doctor was a shorgusboard of all the best parts of all the previous Doctors in the series (which made sense, as he was a huge fan of the series as a child). He was smart, funny, serious, dark, witty, alien, human and more, and made it look easy. In fact, sitting here, it is kind of hard to explain just why Tennant makes such a great Doctor. Perhaps it was his mannerisms, his enunciation of words, his wardrobe, or just his general likeability.
As much as I would love to write a long article about how wonderful Tennant is, but I really don't have many words for him, I will simply point out one fact: Tennant is the only Doctor in the run of the show to have a box set of all his episodes, sold as a box set of all his episodes.
Find this. Watch this. Do it.
I'm not going to put a whole episode of 10's up, because by all rights you should just go ahead and watch them all, but here is one of his best scenes in my opinion.
So there we go, all 11 Doctors in one easy 12 part list. And just in time for the 50th Anniversary of the show this year. To get y'all a little stocked for it, I found this brilliant video someone posted whilst looking for totally unrelated things (seriously, I think I was looking for the trailer to "John Dies At the End", or cellphone video's of ghosts on the Youtube. So sit back, enjoy, and let 50 years of scifi wash over your vision holes.
Honorary Mention: Rowan Atkinson
In 1999 for a Comic Relief telethon on the BBC, Mr. Bean played the Doctor, as did many, many others. And Hugh Grant. By the by, any time you see a Comic Relief bit from the BBC, watch it, especially if it has to do with Doctor Who, they are always a hoot/
I put this here because it was cool, and not because I needed a way to make 11 Doctors stretch into 6 even posts...
#3 Matt Smith
The current Doctor, Matt Smith, came into the role with crosshairs painted on his back in giant, day-glo paint on day one. As the youngest Doctor in the series history, he also had to take the reigns from the most popular Doctor in recent memory, David Tennent. So, what made Smith work so well versus all the other Doctors that followed more popular actors? He made the role his own. He didn't try to out do anyone, or differentiate himself, he simply played the part as he saw it. There are moments where Smith looks his age, and moments where he looks all of the Doctor's 900 years, and those scenes often flow one into another.
This scene honestly gives me goosebumps.
Smith's run to date has not been without flaw, however. As much as I love it, and love Amy and Rory, the seasons have been a little too fairy tale-y for my tastes, but I do recognize that Doctor Who needs to be changed up often, lest it decends into 80's Who, and NO ONE wants that. Also the shows have been very focused on the Ponds, but seeing that as of mid season 7, they have been written off of the show, that has been rectified.
Wait....god dammit. What in the hell was I thinking?!
Long story short, the 11th Doctor's tenure thus far has been fantastic, managing to exceed the expectations of even the most stalwart nay-sayer. He has brought a silliness back into the roll that had been missing since the 4th Doctor, but still manages to keep a high level of drama in the mix.
Well it took a few days, but I think I can finally say that Penn and I are settled into our new place. Small pieces had been filtering in day by day; learning which bus took me to work, finding the garbage shoot, finding the local markets,but the last piece finally came today. The HDMI cable to hook my PC up to it's new home. So far I am loving the new local. For those of you who didn't know, for the last 6 or so months I have been living in downtown Chicago, right next to Michigan Ave, in the swankiest part of the city. Now before you get to thinking that I had it made, this place was far from a de-lux apartment in the sky and more of the...well I guess it ws the fish frying in the kitchen part of the song. Barely any hot water, no privacy, and two, TWO restaurant ventalation systems right outside the window, which would actually shake objects close to the wall.
The new place is up near Boystown, on a quiet, tree lined street. I saw a bunny today, and stars when I look up at night. I have my big TV back, and my sound system. Penn and I have a bed. The only loud thing right now are the neighbors and their...activities at night. But love is a healthy thing, and one cannot begrudge them that.
Oh, and I am a five minute walk to a comic store, a book store and a hat store (apparently those are things), and a 10 minute walk to a record store. Booyah.
Anyway, that is why I hadn't written in a while, been rather preoccupied with all of this. Back to enjoying life now. Think I will watch some X-Files or Fist of the North Star on Hulu, because I can.
#5 - Christopher Eccleston
I want to get this out of the way early, so there will be no conflict of interest. I really like his coat. There, it's out in the open, judge me if you will.
Christopher Eccleston was the first Doctor on the new (and, vastly, improved), series that launched in 2005. His apperance is a marked departure from the Doctor's of old, forgoing the flashy clothes and personas for a more subdued leather jacket and...well, boring manner.Which, as odd as it seems, was just what the, oh god I am sorry for this, doctor ordered.
This was the Doctor that was born of The Last Great Time War, the Doctor that wiped out not only the Daleks, but also his fellow Time Lords. He was born of death, and death was all he had known. Eccleston understood that, and played the Doctor dark. He didn't went flashy clothes, he didn't think he deserved them. He was in mourning. When he laughed it was over done, and too boisterous, like he was only wearing a mask, but couldn't let anyone know. When he was silly he went overboard. When he celebrated, it was too hard. He was depressed, and alone. And because of this, he was more human than any other Doctor. That, in my opinion, is why the 2005 series caught on, Eccleston was completely relatable as a character.
This is also why so many people think Rose was the best companion (she wasn't by the way, both Amy Pond and Sarah Jane Smith have her beat), she was the girl who brought the Doctor back from the brink. She was the one who made him smile again, the one who made him laugh, and the one who made him dance. And as Eccleston found the Doctor, he was apparently fighting with backstage politics that made him want to run from the show and never look back. And so, after only one season, he was written off, and replaced with David Tenant. This doesn't bother me as much as other Doctor's reigns being cut short, however, as really his story had been told. Rose had brought the Doctor into the light again, and new blood was needed to mark that transformation.
To this day, Eccleston's affect on the Doctor can still be seen, there is an inner turmoil that eats away at the character, and often times you will get a hint of the sadness that the flashy clothes and the wild actions are hiding. Because of the 9th Doctor, you could finally relate to the unrelatable, understand the un-understandable, and feel for an almost 1,000 year old alien. Not a bad deal for only 13 episodes.
I wanted to go with the first episode of the 2005 series "Rose", but it isn't on Youtube. Do yourself a favor and catch all of the new series episodes on Netflix, they are available for streaming right there, yo.
#4 Jon Pertwee
Ah the third Doctor, when the character finally found itself. Jon Pertwee took over the iconic blue box (and his was the first Doctor to be broadcast in color, so you could actually tell that the box was blue), and made the character active, pompous, flashy, silly, campy and, in the words of the 1st Doctor, "dandy".
Forgoing the direction that the first two Doctors had laid out, veteran actor (and acting veteran) Pertwee made the character of the Doctor unique; gone were the days of the old man avoiding conflict, hiding from danger and trying not to get involved. Pertwee's Doctor was a man of action, plunging headlong into danger and getting into, more than a few, fights. Also he had a thing for crushed velvet, so he had that going for him. This Doctor was a scientist, an engineer, a physicist, a detective...really he was Batman with giant hair and a different colored cape.
Don't tell me that if you were getting paid to drive a hovercraft around in a crushed velvet suit that you wouldn't make the same face.
Under Pertwees reign, Doctor Who became a more main stream sensation (and not just a vehicle for Daleks, who had been enormously popular since the show's beginnings) Capitalizing on this, Pertwee released a few songs, drawing on his stage experience, and somehow came out looking even more cool for it. Sort of. Maybe.
OK I can't stop posting these...
Pertwee brought a lifetime of experience to the part of the Doctor, and was able keep an amazing level of dignity going no matter how silly the stories got. In fact, it was Pertwee that brought that level of kitsch that Doctor Who is known for, the sly wink to the camera, the hidden smile and the knowing nod when you have to say something like "reverse the polarity of the neutron flow". Earlier actors might have originated the character of the Doctor, but it was Pertwee that made the Doctor into a character.
Not an episode, but seriously...SPLINK!!
#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.
One of the things that just about every person who knows me will attest to is, on the subject of my cinematic tastes, I am an odd bird. I love all films really, I adore the medium of film; and hope, one day, to enter into it. Carnally if possible. Good movies are good, great movies are great, but in my world, awful movies are the tops. I can watch the worst of the worst with a smile on my face, granted a scary, fixed smile, but a smile none the less.
Actual photo of me watching Sharktapus.
My love of these terrible, awful, very bad movies led me, and my friends, to create a low budget movie show on the small, terrible, awful, very bad, public access station that I used to work for. It was a pretty cheesy show with a great title: B Movie B Happy, and, despite the better efforts of ADD and laziness, we managed to knock 20 episodes out before one of our cast members, TJ, had to go under the knife and receive a full knee replacement (not the fault of the show, I am pretty sure).
I can still remember the excitement I had when I sat down to screen our first post-christmas film for our first season: Laser Mission. We had just finished up a string of holiday shows with the only two I can totally remember being Santa Claus Conquers the Martians and a stinker from the folks that made Pod People called...oh man what was it called? Ah right, The Galaxy Invader. God that was a bad movie...
Right, back on topic. Laser Mission was in my hand. This was an late 80's/early 90's Brandon Lee vehicle that, as I recall, had to do more with a missing diamond than a laser. It was also the worst film I had put on the show up until that point. Worse than Galaxy Invader. Worse than Teenagers From Outer Space. Worse than whatever shows I did besides those. Sure it was a better made film, with a stronger script, and it was shot with actual actors with actual cameras, but it was so slow, and pointless and Brandon Lee (sorry Crow fans) was the least charismatic person ever.
But I was on cloud nine all the same.
I couldn't wait to put this movie on our show because it, unlike all the other drivel I had at my disposal, had an actual ACTOR in it. It had Ernest Borgnine in it! How could that not be amazing! He won an Oscar for god's sake, he has to pick great movies, right? Right?
OK, so I learned a painful lessen that day, just because a great man is in a movie doesn't make the movie great. However, what stuck with me all these years is how damned HAPPY Mr. Borgnine looked in Laser Mission. In fact, if you go back and look at any film or tv show he appeared in it was always the same. He was happy. It didn't matter if he was acting alongside seasoned pros in The Wild Bunch or The Dirty Dozen, or alongside the untalented spawn of a very talented man in Laser Mission, he loved every minute he was in front of the camera with unbridled passion.
That is what I chose to take from the career and life of this man. His whole life was spent doing what made him happy. He acted, and he was happy. He met his wife, he was happy. He masturbated. He was happy.
So very happy...
Find what it is that makes you smile like that crazy old man and do it. Never stop doing it, no matter what. Because if you can find just 1/10th of the sparkle that was in his eyes in Laser Mission, then you will be one of the luckiest people on this rock.
With that in mind, I am starting a new project. I will begin reviewing the movies I watch. Don't expect Spider-Man or anything, I am broke and can't buy tickets to anything, but rather expect the amazingly random stuff I watch when I get bored. I am interested in how this will turn out, and you should be too!
Until next time homies!