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Doctor Who: The story so far... Part 2 - Patrick Troughton to Tom Baker

As fans of the Doctor eagerly await another Christmas special, the Courier's resident Doctor Who expert, Craig Lightowler, charts the Time Lord's story from the very beginning in this three-part feature. In part 2, we find out what became of the Doctor after his first regeneration

Gone was his white hair, his crotchety ways and his slightly superior air. Now the Doctor was a mischievous little man, with a mop of dark brown hair, and dishevelled clothing, whilst still retaining some of the formality of his old self.

The same person, but with a totally different personality.

This incarnation of the Doctor (brought to life by Patrick Troughton, 1966-69) hid his intelligence behind a guise of buffoonery, slightly inflated self importance and clowning, sometimes known to play the flute whilst thinking. It was his constant sense of justice that eventually cost him his freedom to roam time and space.

He encountered a menace called the War Lord, who abused the powers of time travel to literally 'collect' humans from throughout the history of Earth's wars, dumping them on a planet to watch them fight it out for his amusement. The Doctor's only option was to call on his own race, the only ones who had the power to stop the menace of the War Lord and his War Chief.

The Doctor was put on trial for his crimes of getting involved with the affairs of other planets, and forced to remain in one time zone on one planet. Taking account of the Doctor's affection for Earth, they chose to exile him there.

The Doctor objected on the grounds that he was know on Earth. As part of the punishment, the Time Lords forced the Doctor to transform again.

This third incarnation (played by Jon Pertwee 1970-74) of the Doctor was different again to his previous selves.

A tall man with striking features, a shock of prematurely white hair and a distinctive nose, the Doctor had become a dashing man of action, his love of fast vehicles and gadgets coming to the fore, wielding his trusty sonic screwdriver, driving around in a sprightly yellow roadster called 'Bessie' and even building a flying car, or the Whomobile as it became known.

He cut a fine figure in his velvet jackets, ruffled shirts and swirling capes. Having had the secrets of operating the TARDIS, the Doctor became the scientific advisor to a secret government military organisation, UNIT (the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce).

This was headed by the promoted Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge Stewart, who had encountered the Doctor previously, in his second incarnation. It was during this part of his life that someone the Doctor once held as a friend at the Time Lord academy became his nemesis.

Calling himself the Master, this fellow renegade Time Lord also left Gallifrey, but with evil intentions on his mind.

The Doctor and the Master clashed several times, The Doctor preventing several attempts by his contemporary to take over the Earth using allies such as the Sea Devils (upright reptiles from the eocian period of Earth, cousins the Silurians, both of whom had developed into a more or less human form).

The Time Lords sent The Doctor on certain missions on which he unwillingly participated. One in particular threatened both their existence and that of the entire universe. They broke the rules of time by bringing together the Doctor with his two previous physical forms.

Together they defeated Omega, one of the very Time Lords who engineered the supernova from which the Time Lords gained their powers. As a reward for his help in stopping Omega, the Doctor was given back his freedom to roam again. While he still maintained his links with UNIT and Earth, he ventured off to Meteblis Three, a trip he had wanted to make for some time.

He took a mysterious blue crystal, which led to a series of events whereby large eight-legged creatures (humans would call spiders) emerged.

The Doctor heroically stopped the plans of their leader - The Great One - to use the perfect crystal to claim the Earth as their rightful home, 433 years after the crash. To do this they needed the crystal, stolen by the Doctor, which was a perfect example of its type and would enable them to travel through time and space. The Doctor's heroism would cost him his third life. Riddled with radiation, which proved too much for his body to take, he was forced to regenerate himself again.

This time, the Doctor changed into a tall man with brown curly hair, wide, bright blue eyes and a toothy grin always at the ready, a booming deep voice emanating through his every word. This fourth incarnation (Tom Baker 1974-1981)) had a much more bohemian outlook on life, with an eccentric way about him.

His most distinctive clothing items were his ridiculously long multi-coloured scarf and his broad rimmed hat.

He is possibly the most memorable of all the Doctors because of his physical features and the fact that the actor remained in

the role for seven years at the height of the show's popularity in the seventies. Memorably the Doctor was sent in this incarnation to Skaro to avert the very creation of the Daleks and encountered their creator, crippled Kaled scientist Davros, whose mutated state, dalek-esque wheelchair and grating, rasping voice struck fear into the hearts of many a child, becoming a recurring menace in the show.

A vision came to the Doctor through psychic projection, and he was forced to abandon his fellow traveller and friend Sarah Jane Smith to avert the assassination of the President of the High Council of Time Lords.

It proved to be a trap set up by the Master to frame the Doctor for the assassination, so the Doctor exercised his right to run for presidency, thus preventing his immediate execution.

While proving his innocence, he had to endure a battle of the mind, held in the Matrix, a collective knowledge of Time Lords in a giant computer system, which could be entered through a mind link.

Managing to win the battle, the Doctor eventually exposed the Master's plans to gain himself a new cycle of regenerations (the Master having used all of his 12 regenerations by now.) The Master escapes Gallifrey, not to be seen for a considerable time...

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Many will remember well...a certain robotic dog called K-9. Built in the 51st-century by Professor Marius as a substitute for a pet, this super-smart computer had a myriad of information at his disposal.

Having built a Mark II K-9 in anticipation of the dog leaving, electing to leave his master to live on Gallifrey with his fellow traveller, savage woman Leela, the Doctor embarked on a quest for the force for all good in the universe, the White Guardian, to find the scattered segments of the Key To Time, a powerful device that could restore order to the cosmos.

The segments were disguised, and far flung, so the Doctor was aided in his quest by Romana, a female Time Lord. Together they successfully assembled the parts while keeping them out of the way of the Black Guardian, the force for evil. After having seemingly gained satisfactory control of the TARDIS, he now had to fit a randomiser to the controls, to escape the wrath of the Black Guardian, making his and Romana's journeys very varied. She and K-9 mark II left the Doctor in E-Space, the universe where spacial co-ordinates are in negative figures.

When the Doctor's old enemy the Master, who'd stolen the body of the father of Nyssa, one of the Doctor's companions, unleashed a chaotic state of Entropy, which threatened to wipe out the entire universe, the Doctor came to the end of his fourth life, plummeting from a huge radio telescope.

Aided by a mysterious character called the Watcher, who merged into the Doctor's badly damaged body, the Doctor again regenerated into a much more youthful man....

Part 1: Christmas specials and the Hartnell years

Part 3: Peter Davison to David Tennant

 
 
 

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