Today we are continuing our series about Doctor Who. Our last entry in the series was a while ago and covered the first 3 Doctors. You can view that entry by clicking here. My goal was to get through all the Doctors before August 23, when the new season premieres and we get our first real look at number 12, played by Peter Capaldi. Now, the numbers are going to get a little weird here soon, but don’t worry, we’ll make it through it together. It won’t be until the next post anyway. So, let’s begin with Doctors 4, 5, and 6.
The year was 1974 and the third Doctor’s time was coming to an end. It was time for someone new to come in and take up the Doctor’s mantle, and that someone was Tom Baker. Baker brought something special to the Doctor. He is probably one of the most iconic regenerations out there. Each Doctor had his signature look and style, but Baker’s was iconic. The hat, the long coat and even longer, multi-colored scarf. If you are not super familiar with the show, maybe you’ve just heard of it before, chances are this is the image of the Doctor that you know. Of course, it wasn’t just the clothes. Tom Baker brought a new presence to the Doctor that has endeared him with the fans for decades since. The curls and the big, toothy grin. There was a lot to love about this new Doctor. He wasn’t all lovable all the time, either. Often times he was very stern and somewhat condescending to his young companions and the alien monsters he encountered. He was the Doctor, and he knew that was something special. A big reason he is beloved by fans of the classic series id that he was also the longest tenured Doctor, portraying our favorite Time Lord from 1974 to 1981. Many fans practically grew up with this Doctor over the 7 years that Baker was on the show. Some of the most memorable things about Doctor Who come from this run, including the scarf, K-9 (the robot dog) and Sarah Jane, a fan favorite companion. Granted, she started with the 3rd Doctor, but her most memorable time was with Baker. Baker has continued to play the Doctor in numerous Big Finish audio stories about the 4th Doctor. He has also appeared as the Doctor in the Simpsons, and most recently, he made an appearance at the end of “The Day of the Doctor,” playing “the Curator” who seemed to know an awful lot about the Doctor and Gallifrey. This of course led to all sorts of theories about who the Curator really is. A future regeneration, visiting some old familiar, favorite faces? Who knows? (touches finger to nose)
1981, and Tom Baker’s time as the Doctor is drawing to a close. How do you fill such enormous shoes? Tom Baker was the Doctor at the peak of Doctor Who’s popularity. How can anyone come in and fill those shoes? Peter Davison was going to try. He shows up as the 5th Doctor, and we get something brand new. All the Doctors up to this point had been older. For their young companions they had been like father or grandfather figures. Sometimes stern, sometimes lovable, but always older. Until Davison. He appeared considerably younger than the other Doctors, and somehow more relatable to young people. The producers again tried to go with a signature look, this time a cricket sweater, long tan jacket, hat and a piece of celery on the lapel. The thing that stood out, though, was his youthful face and longish blond hair. It was a move to draw in more young people, a whole new generation of Doctor Who fans. It worked for one young lad, who remembered Davison’s Doctor as his inspiration for playing Doctor Who and fantasizing about someday being one of his companions. That boy grew up to be actor David Tenant, who was cast as the 10th Doctor. He didn’t just get to go on adventures with the Doctor, he got to go as the Doctor. In another strange coincidence, he ended up with Davison’s daughter. She also appeared on the show during his run as the Doctor’s daughter.
In March, 1984, Peter Davison’s time as the Doctor was cut short, and it came to an end. Enter, now, the 6th Doctor, played by Colin Baker. Where Davison’s Doctor had been youthful and fun, Baker’s was youthful and full of himself. He did not get along with his first companion and his whole tenure was full of darker, more violent story lines. Knowing that his Doctor would have a darker personality, Baker had wanted him to be in all black. Instead the producers decided on the colorful ensemble you see above. His costume was iconic, for completely different reasons than Tom Baker’s. It was iconic for being so bad and ugly. Baker’s time as the Doctor on the television screen was short-lived. He really only made it through 2 seasons, the second of which was shortened. He was not overly popular with the fans at the time, so it was time to go in a different direction. That being said, he has stayed close to the Doctor Who franchise and makes appearances at fan events in England regularly. He also lends his voice often to the Big Finish sound recordings and also made an appearance in a behind the scenes look at the Doctor Who 50th special.
So there you have Doctors 4-6. I will not be waiting so long this time to publish my entry on Doctors 7 and 8 and a surprise Doctor. That post should come out on Friday evening. Please let me know if there is anything that should have been mentioned about these Doctors. Thank you for reading.