Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary: Sylvester McCoy The 7th Doctor

Dark, Manipulative, wise and sad underneath it all are words that you would use to describe the Seventh Doctor.  The one Doctor that had an air of mystery surrounding him as they pealed back the lairs like an onions outer skin to give us, the fans, a new take on our favorite Time Lord and Sylvester McCoy pulled it off magnificently.   But it did not start off like that at all. Oh no the Seventh Doctor did not become that Doctor right away as at first he was, well, something else entirely that just did not work.

Sylvester McCoy was the unlikely person to replace Colin Baker as The Doctor.  Here you had the comedian that was virtually a little known comedian who was famous for hammering nails up his nose.  It ended up being a great pick but in the early going it did not seem it.  What we got in his first season was a Doctor that was too silly and just said the dumbest things especially when he got sayings wrong.  That just did not go over with me all too well when I watched the first season of Sylvester McCoy.   It also did not help that the stories of his first season as The Doctor were not to stellar also as, well, let’s just say the storytelling was way below standards and certainly not the fault of Sylvester McCoy. 

So we move on to season 25 and a new companion, new direction of the show and a newer version of the Seventh Doctor that was something totally unexpected and breathed new life into the character.  What they did was make The Doctor mysterious again and added a bit of darkness to The Doctor.  Sylvester McCoy played the now calculating and manipulative Doctor to a T and underneath the clown he also brought a bit of sadness to him also.  That transformation was a brilliant move and Sylvester McCoy brought that version to life and who would have thought that the comedian would be able to pull it off.

What was a crying shame was that Sylvester McCoy did not have that many stories to develop that version of The Doctor further.  The way he manipulated Davros , Fenric and Ace his own companion.  I loved how calculating and how he had everything planned out to outwit his enemies and mostly he was able to talk them to defeat.   For the most part he was able to talk his way out of situations by just playing devil’s advocate or just driving them insane most of the time.  Just look at how he tricked Davros or Morgana.   It would have been pretty cool to see this version played out till the end on TV but unfortunately that was not to be.

Sylvester McCoy is the last Doctor of the classic series and at least he was given a chance to come back and regenerate in the Eighth Doctor TV movie giving this classic Doctor an ending if somewhat uneventful and in a very unlikely way that still has me scratching my head.  Check the scanner before leaving the TARDIS.   But anyway with the cards stacked against him and the BBC wanting to desperately pull the plug on the show Sylvester McCoy gave us a Doctor and an era that has influenced quite a bit of what is happening now in new Who. 

Sylvester McCoy’s Doctor lives on in the Big Finish audio adventures where they expanded on his dark and his manipulative ways that we were accustomed to seeing in season 25 and 26.   Even though Sylvester McCoy did not have the benefit of a lot of stories or stories that were written better he did leave a good legacy and was a very entertaining Doctor who was different from past Doctor’s and is a joy to watch again and again on DVD. 

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