Well, since I’ve already watched the Seventh and Eighth Doctors’ TV runs in the past (both were fun if a bit cheesy at times), I’ve now come to the end of my journey through the classic era of “Doctor Who.” Having seen many episodes involving the Fourth Doctor, a few with the Fifth, and a very select few of the Sixth, I can already say that the Fourth’s was my favorite run of this bunch. That said, just like before, let’s take a look at what I thought of each Doctor and their tenures.
The Fourth Doctor (played by Tom Baker) was one of the quirkiest and sometimes downright scariest of the bunch. He was almost like a human mood ring. One minute he might be flippant, the next grinning kinda maniacally, and he could easily become serious or angry at the drop of a hat. One of his most appealing traits for me is his sweet tooth, aka his love for the gummy candy called Jelly Babies. However, because Baker’s tenure was the longest (clocking in at SEVEN seasons), there were times I felt a little burnt out on his Doctor. Don’t get me wrong, I can see why he’s so popular and Baker has a lot of charisma to spare. But I could also notice when he seemed a bit…tired in the role. It didn’t help that his first few seasons felt stronger to me than the remaining ones did. Despite that, it’s no wonder his run ended up coming out on top for me. As for his companions, I literally want to give a four-way tie to Sarah Jane, Leela, Romana (BOTH versions), and K9. All of them were extremely likable and I loved their varying personalities.
The Fifth Doctor (played by Peter Davison) easily comes across as the gentlest Doctor. He’s almost like a puppy in a way, because when he’s not being generally friendly, he can be excitable and passionate depending on the situation. Yes, he can also get angry and irritable, but that’s the impression I got from him overall. Sadly, his run came across pretty hit and miss, so I guess I’m in agreement with Davison himself on that. Still, he brought his all to the role and had a ton of energy even in some of the more lackluster stories. It’s weird to think that, at the time, he was the youngest person to play the Doctor, because he fits in pretty well with the others. Unfortunately, his companions felt bland compared to my favorites from Tom Baker’s tenure. I wasn’t big on Tegan, Turlough was interesting but short-lived, Nyssa could’ve been great if she wasn’t sidelined practically all the time, and nothing needs to be said about Adric. I’ll get into Peri in a minute, but I’ll just say that the Fifth Doctor deserved a better supporting cast and leave it at that.
The Sixth Doctor (played by Colin Baker) is often the least-liked Doctor and it’s not hard to see why. Not only was his run cut tragically short, but Six is overly violent and acts like a jerk to everyone, including his own companions. Obviously, he got way better thanks to Big Finish, and I appreciate them for bringing some warmth to the character. But as far as the TV show is concerned, he can be a big douche most of the time. Still, I did like when Colin would tone it down from time to time, and even though he could be incredibly pompous, there were still moments where he felt like the Doctor. He even had a couple rare moments of kindness that I’m sure would’ve become more frequent had his tenure continued. But, because of how mishandled his run was, it was up to Big Finish to fill in the gaps. It’s a shame not only for him but also his companions. He only got two during this time, and both of them annoyed me. Peri’s American accent constantly bothered me, and she put up with his insults more times than I would’ve liked. As for Mel, she barely gets time with Six to make much of an impact, and I found her time with Seven often unbearable. Overall, if there was a Doctor who deserved better in every aspect, it was the Sixth.
That’s the end of my time with Classic “Doctor Who.” I know I kept things very general, but the main takeaway I had was more appreciation and respect for the show. Even though I mostly prefer the pacing of the new series, it’s nice to see how much thought and effort was put into the scripts (well, sometimes). I feel like everyone who’s a fan of the current “Doctor Who” should try to watch at least one story per Doctor, if only to see how far the show has come. And while I haven’t watched everything and probably never will, I’m glad I took this journey through the show’s past.