The Fangirl Life: Classic Doctor Who


Credit to Brayton Larson

By Michal Basford

Doctor Who was started in 1963 and has run fairly consistently for over 50 years. The basis of the show is a time and space traveling alien goes around the universe stopping the bad guys. Over the years, he has been to a variety of places and times.

As the 50 year anniversary approached in 2013, BBC re-aired ClassicWho episodes. Starting with William Hartnell who played the first Doctor and ending with the eleventh played by Matt Smith. All of this led up to a 50th anniversary special starring Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt with a special (but brief) appearance of the current Doctor played by Peter Capaldi. This episode answered questions the fanbase had about the Time War. The Time War was a war between the Time Lords (the Doctor and his people) and the Daleks (a nasty race of aliens whose main priority is to eliminate any race that isn’t Dalek). Not only did it effect both of those races but also others throughout the galaxy following the end of the Time War.

The Doctors included in the category of ClassicWho are those played by William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davidson, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Jon Hurt and Paul McGann. The remaining four are classified as “NewWho” (Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi).

The most well known from this era is Tom Baker. Most people will think of him if you start talking about the Doctor. I really enjoy watching those episodes (he was the Doctor with the most seasons aired). In particular, I enjoy “Robot,” “Robots of Death” and “The Sun Makers.” The fourth Doctor is always calm, cool, collected no matter the situation. It’s always amusing when he offers Jelly Babies to the villain or some other person in the episode.

Another favorite of mine is Paul McGann. He had one TV episode that was an American made movie. The fans in England were not too pleased with how the Doctor was portrayed. What intrigued me was the return of the Master (another Time Lord and nemesis of the Doctor). He had encountered the Master before in previous regenerations, such as his fourth, but was typically able to overcome him. However, in this episode, the Master looks partially dead or hurt in some way. This was the first time the eighth Doctor is seen but is seen again in a mini episode (titled “The Night of the Doctor”) leading up to “The Day of the Doctor” that showed his regeneration into the War Doctor (played by John Hurt).