One of the interesting things about being a fan of Doctor Who
for so long now is watching how the opinion on certain actors, eras and stories has ebbed and waned over the years. And while in the long run, Tom Baker will probably end up being the favorite Doctor of a majority of Doctor Who
fans, it's interesting to save David Tennant take over the top spot in the most recent polls.
It reminds me of the fact that for a couple of years in the late 80's, it was the seventh Doctor Who
took the top spot in the polls as Favorite Doctor.
That position certainly agreed with my assessment at the time. And the seventh Doctor is still my favorite to this day.
Of course, there's a bit of a story behind it. In a way, I was probably pre-disposed to like the Sylvester McCoy era even before I saw the first few minutes of it on my television screen. During the early years of my fandom, I lived in San Jose, California, one of the bastions of Doctor Who in the 80s. KTEH showed Doctor Who
six days a week--a single episode each evening and a complete story in episode format Saturday nights. The station lived and died by Doctor Who and they worked hard to make sure we had the newest episodes as soon as possible. They also sponsored gatherings and events for fans, including a local fan club and a convention.
I never got to go to the local fan club or a convention. But I dig get to go the traveling Who
-mobile. It was basically an 18-wheeler trailer that you went inside and saw various costumes and sets from the show, including the TARDIS and a Dalek. Outside was a replica of Bessie, the car the third Doctor drove during his time on Earth. As part of the experience, an actor from the show was brought along to drum up business and to make you feel like you were getting more for your money than an tractor trailer full of props.
For the Who-mobile's stop at KTEH, the actor involved was McCoy. This was right after he'd completed work on his first season on the show. I begged my parents to take me and my dad finally said he'd take me Sunday afternoon. So, off we went to see the Who
-mobile and attend a Q&A with McCoy. McCoy was charming, entertaining and had at least one young Who fan in the palm of his hand. After getting an autographed copy of Doctor Who Magazine
with McCoy on the cover, I was ready for his episodes to debut--especially given how great he'd made "Time and the Rani" and "Delta and the Bannermen" sound.
If you're a fan, you're probably snickering now because you'll know those two stories aren't exactly the pinnacle of Doctor Who greatness. And even then, I knew they weren't. But even though I generally didn't like those two and "Paradise Towers" the first time I saw them, I still liked McCoy. The season ended with "Dragonfire" and I saw potential. And then season 25 rolled around and I was hooked. McCoy knocked Tom Baker out of my top slot as my favorite Doctor and he's been there ever since.
Sure, his era isn't perfect. But no era is. And part of my love for the McCoy era and his Doctor comes from the work done in the New Adventures. But his work on the show and the stories in seasons 25 and 26 are enough to put him on the top of my list....
Labels: 30 days of Doctor Who
posted by Michael Hickerson at 4/27/2011 06:15:00 AM