Oh Colin Baker, who’s fault are you?
I had wondered before starting in with his episodes if I would agree with the common wisdom that he’s the worst of the doctors since I tend to disagree with Who fans about what makes a good episode good.
But yes, this is the worst of the doctors, however, that doesn’t mean he’s bad. He’s just not right.
Let’s forget the idiotic coat (which Colin Baker opposed) and focus on his unpleasant nature. Perhaps JNT, et al, wanted to return to the ascerbic and authoritative doctors of Hartnell and Pertwee. Perhaps they just wanted to update the doctor to a more “’80s” type of character. Whatever the reason, he’s generally a bit of a jerk and a largely incompetent one at that.
On the other hand, he does serve as a good transition between the thoughtfully intelligent Peter Davison and the unassumingly clever yet threatening Sylvester McCoy. You can see that they were trying to go somewhere with this character but hadn’t quite worked it out yet. It would take another 20 years to find the balance they were looking for in Chris Eccleston and see it truly come to fruition with Matt Smith.
Ultimately I feel sorry for Colin Baker as he seems to be a better actor–if only marginally–than his performance as the Doctor displays. His performance as Commander Maxil in Davison’s Arc of Infinity is still camp but enjoyably so. But as the Doctor he spends his time whinging about stuff and yelling all of his lines.
But perhaps he yelled his lines just to get Peri and Mel to shut up.
On to the current ranking of Doctors of whom I’ve seen all episodes:
- David Tennant
- Peter Davison
- Jon Pertwee
- Chris Eccleston
- Paul McGann
- Colin Baker
I only have one episode of Patrick Troughton to go, I just finished Tom Baker, and I’m nearly done with Matt Smith. I’ve decided to jumble these up a bit to get a better perspective on these guys.