Our Doctor Countdown 5 : Christopher Eccleston

Christopher Eccleston, the Ninth Doctor

EcclestonWhen Doctor Who came back in 2005 Christopher Eccleston played the Time Lord and introduced him to a whole new generation. He only played the Doctor for a solitary series in 2005 but he made it up to 5th in our countdown.

Why?

Maybe it is as simple as loving Eccleston himself anyway. He brought a lot of what we love about him to the Doctor, his wit, his goofiness but also his darker side.

His series wasn’t to all of our tastes but one thing we do usually agree with is that what we did enjoy was his portrayal. He was an interesting choice for the Doctor especially bringing the show back, he’s quite a big star without being massive and is also a very Marmite actor at times. His relationship with Rose was probably what made the show as popular as it was, the series for the first time really was about the journey of his companion and not the Doctor so new fans were able to see the Doctor through someone else’s eyes instead of alongside the Doctor and it worked. Even if Eccleston didn’t stay around for long.

What did we like about the Ninth Doctor?

It is hard to say, in his one and only series we have a little more to talk about then Paul McGann but at the same time it seems very little. His face when they shoot the pig-man-thing is one moment that I’ll always remember, it reminded me how great Eccleston can be when he wants to be.

Unlike Tennant for me his relationship with Rose didn’t make me want to cringe inwardly, it was quite sweet, the only time I had a problem with him was his over reaction to Adam, not that I liked Adam (he bloody annoyed me!) but at the same time it was unneeded, especially as Rose wasn’t quite as perfect as he seemed to think she was (and what was with her stupid face during the whole of the taking Adam home crap?) It was bearable.

I’d love to see the return of the Ninth Doctor as I feel we had so much more to see of him. It is a shame that he only got the one series, but even with farting aliens the series didn’t suffer (I quite liked the Slitheen to be honest!) and we got a new, new Doctor who went on to be one of the most popular ever in David Tennant.

You can’t forget just how important Chris is though, his Doctor was the one that made us love the Doctor again.

Our Doctor Countdown 6 : Patrick Troughton

Patrick Troughton, the Second Doctor

TroughtonAfter Hartnell left instead of end the series they cast Patrick Troughton as the Second incarnation of the Doctor, he started work in October 1966 and left in June 1969 in the War Games.

The heart breaking truth of it is that seeing we weren’t alive back then to see his episodes live unfortunately there has of yet been little to no chance of seeing most of the Second Doctors tenure as the episodes have been lost to us after the BBC wiped them. Thankfully, slowly, his episodes are being found and with rumours that the last two serials to be returned (Enemy of the World and Web of Fear) not being the only episodes found we could broaden our Troughton viewing in years to come.

But for now he sits at number 6.

He is a well loved Doctor for each of us, we all love his incarnation a lot. We love the wackiness he brings to it but also the ability to switch it on and off like a tap. HE can be deadly serious, pull a funny face, then scare you to the bone. The Second Doctor is the one that we constantly compare the Eleventh too, their comedy is much more physical then most of the other Doctors but they have such a deadly side to them that it usually a good disguse, play up to the funny side of yourself then let rip with a quite terrifying darker side.

The biggest strength his series had was a long standing companion in Jamie. He was with the Second Doctor throughout most of his tenure, he wasn’t the smartest of companions, coming from the 18th century and not knowing anything about gadgets of any kind he was the companion that needed to be taught, but at the same time he would call the Doctor out whenever he was getting too big for his boots.

It is a great shame that there is so many missing episodes from his time as the Doctor because what we have got is magic, and the find of Enemy just proved this. In Enemy he plays both the Doctor and Salamander (the bad guy) and does it perfectly, both characters don’t feel similar at all even with the same face and you are easily able to forget it is the same man playing both characters. Salamander can’t be any different from the Doctor if you tried, he is the complete opposite and it is wonderful to see him play the part, it showed how straight he could act given the time to do it, but I’m happy that he played his Doctor with more humour.

For a Doctor that we don’t know much about at times he makes the biggest impact on people. Such a wonderful Doctor. And if anything he had one of the hardest roles to play in the series, if people didn’t believe he was the Doctor then the show would have ended with him and would probably be mocked as “that show that tried to change the face of their main character once” instead it worked wonderfully to the point that we’re making this countdown on the 50th anniversary of the show that he gave so much heart to.

Our Doctor Countdown 7 : Colin Baker

Colin Baker, The Sixth Doctor

C.Baker

I’m sad I couldn’t boost Colin higher as Six is my Doctor, but 7th is better then I’d thought he’d get.

The Sixth Doctor was portrayed by Colin Baker between March 1984 and December 1986. Β His iconic rainbow coloured coat makes him stand out from the rest of his counterparts, but also his fiery temper!

His era isn’t seen with a lot of love but for us there is a lot to love about Six and his adventures with Peri. Even the Trial of the Timelord series wasn’t half as bad (for us) as others think. I quite enjoy Sixies back and forth with the other characters, especially his childish insults to The Valeyard.

I enjoyed his volatile side, the fact that he was egotistical and knew what he was doing. He had a loving side though which came out in Trial so well. Being aware of how great he is wasn’t a problem for me, and having a bad temper is nowhere near as terrible as people seem to think.

I never found any of his stories boring and loved watching him and Peri go from journey to journey.

You do have to give Colin a lot of praise, he played the Doctor in a way that wasn’t going to be popular, a polar opposite of what Peter Davison did with Five. It was a brave, if futile attempt to shake up the format and the character, but after being mellowed out for Trial of the Timelord his Doctor had quite a nice balance that could have worked if given another series.

Sometimes it feels like it is the “popular” thing to do to hate on Six whether you watched his series or not, and also whether you really liked it or not. I’m not saying that it is something everyone does but sometimes people just like to hate on poor Six for no reason, personally I think he was the most endearing Doctor of the lot of them. I enjoyed his incarnation the most.

His highlight?

The Two Doctors, him and Troughton were a wonderful pairing. Peri and Jamie were pretty funny together to, plus we have a load of Sontarans.

We have big love for Six. Plus I met him once, what a wonderfully lovely man Colin Baker is!

Our Doctor Countdown 8 : Paul McGann

Paul McGann, The Eighth Doctor

McGannWhat a surprise! The Eighth at Eight. We do like it this way I have to admit.

The Eighth Doctor, portrayed by the wonderful Paul McGann, was the Doctor briefly in 1996, and finally regenerated last week in a mini-episode (The Night of the Doctor.)

So why did a Doctor so briefly on our screens beat three fully fledged Doctors?

Well we’d made our mind up before Paul McGann’s mini-episode to be honest and it was mainly down to the Big Finish audios. We aren’t big followers of Big Finish, and personally I’ve only heard the ones that have been played on BBC Radio, but that along with a great portrayal in the TV Movie leap frogged Eight above the rest.

Eight is always a little forgotten, the TV Movie isn’t a brilliant story let alone well put together. We won’t even go close to Eric Roberts as The Master, least said about it the better to be honest! Eight though is as Doctorish as always, just shoved into a badly put together film.

What little I’ve heard of Big Finish McGann has carried on taking his Doctor from strength to strength. The ability to make you feel scared, sad, happy or bewildered just by his voice is a gift not many have (though I do think nearly all of the Doctors have that ability, we are the lucky ones!) His relationship with his companions is the biggest strength of the Eighth, much more a friend to them then any other regeneration.

Then he returned for a heart wrenching 7 minutes. Fandom seem to have imploded in on itself, that is fair enough to them, it was a great 7 minutes and a lovely way to say goodbye to him. It reminded people of just how great a Doctor he was, just like all the Doctors that came before and after him.

Our Doctor Countdown 9 : David Tennant

David Tennant, The Tenth Doctor

TennantDavid Tennant is probably one of the most popular and well loved Doctors in the history of the show, he was the Tom Baker of the post-2005 series and still manages to top polls across the world. If EcclestonΒ introduced a whole new generation to Doctor Who,Β Tennant is the man who made them fall in love with the show.

He first appeared at the end of The Parting of Ways in June 2005 and left the show five years later on the 1st January 2010 in The End of Time. 47 episodes to his name and a list of adventures that saw him fighting alongside Rose, Martha and Donna as well as a magnitute of other guest companions. He came up against the post-2005 Master (played by John Simm) and fell in love with Rose leaving her with 10.5 (Meta crisis Doctor… Don’t ask if you don’t know.)

So I’m telling you he is one of the most loved Doctors and then we’ve stuffed him at number 9? What’s up with that?!

Quite simple really, as much as we enjoyed David Tennant as a Doctor (and he got an average rating of 7.5, the same as Davison and was only knocked to 9 because others got slightly higher ratings) there were giant parts of the RTD era we didn’t enjoy.

For me I went into the first series with Nine evenly matched, my bias for loving everything with Eccleston in and my bias (long held) of disliking Billie Pipper. When Nine turned into Ten and there was obvious “Romance” between companion and Doctor it made me groan inwardly. That is something a lot of people loved about them, so I don’t dis it, it wasn’t for me.

The stories were also hit and miss but there were a lot more hits then misses, and whether I liked his era or not there were some really adorable, funny, sad and amazing stories in his era.

Probably my favourite story with the Tenth Doctor is The Next Doctor, when it looks like we are meeting a new Doctor but in actual fact we are meeting a man that had the stories and adventures of the Doctor put inside his head (that is a simplistic and probably wrong way of explaining it but I don’t want to get technical.) Β If anything this and Time Crash makes me excited for the special on Saturday because it shows how well Tennant interacts with other Doctors (even not really Doctor Doctors!) He’s a proper fan of the show and he doesn’t hide that when his Doctor meets other Doctors.

There is much to love about Ten and like Five and Seven it isn’t a nasty reason they are so low, but someone has to be there.

Minecrafting #3

What have I been doing this week?

Squiggle
Making a giant squirrel full of lava?

First off I thought it would be cool to make it out of glass then figured out that as cool as that is you can’t really make out the glass so then I outlined the glassed in clay.

Not the greatest but I’m having a slow week anyway!

Our Doctor Countdown 10 : Peter Davison

Peter Davison, The Fifth Doctor

Davison

Next up is possibly a surprise choice? The Fifth Doctor.

Five was played by one of the youngest Doctors, the youngest at the time, Peter Davison. He was the Doctor from 21st March 1980 until being poisoned in the final episode of The Caves of Androzani on the 16th March 1984.

He was also the first (and one out of two) “Classic” series Doctors to appear in the “New” series (2005 onwards) having a lovely little CiN episode with David Tennant (Time Crash.)

So why is a very much loved Doctor in penultimate place?

Whereas people probably understand why McCoy comes last they might not be so understanding of Davison in 10th. The simple fact is we find him quite boring. Well his stories, not Five in general, the Fifth Doctor is actually quite a fun regeneration and his TARDIS team is one of the strongest at times, even if it did have one of the most disliked companions in its ranks. For us on the forum though the stories were usually dragged out and not at all our cup of tea.

There are a few “classic” episode’s within his run and personally I disagree with two of them. Caves and Earthshock are thought of two of his best episodes. Caves is pretty fun, I enjoyed it thoroughly even if I got bored in places, but I never understood the love for it. Earthshock is even more surprising seeing I can’t even stay awake until the last episode. I have yet to actually properly see Adric’s last brave actions.

This doesn’t mean that there aren’t classic episodes in there, there is much love on the forum for Kinda and Snakedance, two really good episodes. The Mara is an interesting idea, Tegan is wonderful in both and unlike quite a lot of his stories it engages us all the way through the stories (plus young Martin Clunes, who could say no?)

In many discussions about Five I think we all kind of agree the more vulnerable and less leader like take on the Doctor meant that sometimes the story was forcing the story too much onto a group of people. Instead of it being us travelling with the Doctor and Companions for the first time it felt like we were travelling in a group and the Doctor was just one of that group. The stories then had to stretch as it wasn’t always the Doctor taking charge that saved the day, sometimes it was the slowly coming together of many things for someone completely different to save the day. We didn’t dislike that, but the slumps in stories often would have been hidden by the Doctor doing something clever in any other era.

The Fifth Doctor is very popular nonetheless, we aren’t averse to controversy here. Again like all the Doctors we don’t dislike the Fifth, but compare his TARDIS team with the family feel of Three and his UNIT family and the exciting of seeing Doctors work everything out and take the lead to Five’s more in the middle unless forced attitude and it might show you why we prefer others.

There is big love for Five though, his stories were interesting, we do enjoy most of them. Again like Seven he probably would’t be the first Doctor we’d reach into our DVD pile and pull out but there is a lot to his incarnation and his team.

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