Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Doctor Who - Colin Baker The 6Th Doctor: An Appreciation By @OpinionGeeks

Colin Baker had the role of Doctor Who at a point in time when the British Broadcasting Corporation was experiencing what can only be described as an explosion of internal politics. Producer fighting executive, new talented writers being stifled, little or no budgets for shows. After a brief 18 month hiatus the 6th Doctor returned with the warning of then General Director of the BBC Greg Dyke still ringing in its ears, "succeed or you will be cancelled", a threat that one Doctor and a couple of years later would become a reality.

It returned with new graphics, a new theme arrangement from Dominic Glynn and a shorter 14 episode single story arc. One of the, at that time, most popular writers Robert Holmes wrote the majority of the season and " The Trial of a Timelord " came kicking and screaming back onto our screens.

During the run up to that season under all that pressure, the weight of expectation from the fanbase, the legend of the role, and the ever increasing threat of the captain that sank the ship, Colin Baker handled himself with a dignity and style that I think only he could. I remember watching Wogan interview him just before Trial started about the politics and threats of cancellation and Colin spoke with such passion and support of the show you couldn't help but fall in love with him and all he stood for.

Strangely the first cancellation had occurred not just through viewer drop off but that the executives in the boardroom of Broadcasting House had deemed this portrayal of the Doctor too dark and violent. This is strange as its the reason this incarnation is my favourite. The Doctor is a Timelord that single handily destroyed 2 races including his own to end the time war and had the power to change history and save or kill people as he saw fit. Surely if you had that much guilt in your soul and that much blood on your hands and that much power to control on a daily basis your mood may be dark.

I loved the way Colin approached the role, intelligent, funny in a dry way, angry, loving and arrogant all at the same time. The chemistry between himself and the delightful Nicola Bryant as Peri led to Doctor/companion combination second only to a Doctor/Sarah-Jane combo. The incredible guest cast of television luminaries all added to the aura that once again surrounded the show and I don't think anything has come close to that high in 1986 until Messer's Moffat and Smith with the 2011 series six River Song multi story arc.

Colin Baker is THE Doctor, MY Doctor and always will be. He carried himself and the show with utter class and is still the man I would most like to meet for coffee and a chat.
Thank you Mr Baker Sir, you made my childhood and have led me into my midlife with incredible memories, the title of legend is to often bandied around these days but in your case is THE only word.

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