Friday, November 3, 2017

The Sixth Doctor

I finished the Sixth Doctor! That’s an accomplishment with how painful some of his stories were. Maybe my expectations were exceptionally low, but I liked him more than I thought I would. I actually have one or two stories to recommend here. So here we go.

Season 21-22
"Hunger Games" anyone?
Top Story: Vengeance on Varos
First time I watched this story in 2013, I really struggled with it. This time, however, I actually enjoyed it. It kind of had a “Hunger Games” feel, with the barbaric reality TV being the norm on Varos. The one thing I REALLLLLLY didn’t like was the odd spectator couple in the episode. I’m guessing they just wanted to show an outsider point of view to the events proceeding, but to me they added absolutely nothing to the overall story.
Flop Story: Revelation of the Daleks
Usually Dalek stories rank a bit higher for me, but this one was just so slow. The Doctor didn’t even see a Dalek until 50 minutes into the story. In addition to the lack of Daleks in a Dalek story, the Doctor and Peri seemed to just walk around outside forever before they actually joined the action.
Six and Jamie. Just saying.
Honorable Mention: Attack of the Cybermen
Very often in Cybermen stories they’re left ambiguous in origin. Telos? Mondas? It doesn’t always specify. This time we had specifically Telos Cybermen, like we did in the Second Doctor story “Tomb of the Cybermen”. This story also includes a “repaired” chameleon circuit. Thank goodness the TARDIS turned back into a police box again.
Special Story: The Two Doctors
It wasn’t an anniversary episode, like most multi-Doctor stories, but I really enjoyed it. The first bit was a bit bland, but I really enjoyed seeing the Sixth Doctor and Jamie interact. It made me wonder if the Sixth Doctor would have done better with a male companion, instead of Peri (I also just don’t like Peri).

Season 23
Technically season 23 was all one story “Trial of a Time Lord”, but it has four distinct parts. So I’ll be using the fan names of those four parts for my ranking.
As is typical, the Doctor is in control
Top Story: Terror of the Vervoids
This was Mel’s first story and it was episode 9-12 of “Trial of a Time Lord”. For fans of the modern series, imagine “The Unicorn and the Wasp” set in space with more aliens. We get a murder mystery story, with a sci fi feel. So throughout the whole story we get clues about the mystery and I actually found myself theorizing. Not so much action as it was intense and suspenseful.
Flop Story: Mindwarp
This was story was episode 5-8 of “Trial of a Time Lord” and it was Peri’s last regular appearance. I struggled with this story because it seemed the Doctor’s personality was altered, but I couldn’t follow what exactly was going on with it. Was he playing along? Was that really him? I could be that the Valeyard was messing with the images, but it was difficult to understand in the meantime.
The Doctor faces off against the Valeyard
Honorable Mention: The Ultimate Foe
This was episode 13-14 of “Trial of a Time Lord” and it was the part of the story in which the action was in the present, as opposed to past or future. I’ll admit that I’m not a fan of the paradox that would have ensued from Mel leaving the Doctor’s future to travel with the Doctor’s present self. It was difficult for me to handle. However, despite that, I enjoyed it. We had a return from the Master and we learned that the Valeyard is a future incarnation of the Doctor, just from his future. Somewhere after the Twelfth Doctor, it said. However, after everything that happened in this story, I’m thinking the Valeyard may have been prevented from existing. Maybe someday we’ll get a Valeyard season?

Peri        (5th Doctor) - Mindwarp
Mel        Terror of the Vervoids* - (7th Doctor)
*This took place in a scene from the Doctor’s future. Future Mel was later taken from timeline and traveled with the present Sixth Doctor. Paradox much?

Favorite Companion: She only appeared in six episodes of the Sixth Doctor’s two seasons and change, but I enjoyed Mel MUCH more than Peri. Granted, some of this opinion is from watching her with the Seventh Doctor, but I stand by it. She felt a lot more balanced to me than Peri did with the Sixth Doctor. Seems like she had more depth and more personality, whereas Peri just screamed.

Least Favorite Companion: Like I just said, Peri annoyed me a lot. She screamed a lot. Her American accent was HORRENDOUS and she just didn’t seem like a good match for the Doctor. During her tenure, I enjoyed the Doctor interacting with Jamie MUCH more than with her. Can we just forget that she was around? Also, there was the whole thing about her fate being left a bit ambiguous. "The Ultimate Foe" changed her fate but did they have to mess with us in "Mindwarp"?

What thoughts do you have on the infamous Sixth Doctor? How would you choose to dispose of his awful rainbow jacket? Personally, I’d go with gasoline and fire.

Colin Baker later (around the time of the 50th Anniversary Special) returned for a featurette called "The Five(ish) Doctors", along with Peter Davison and Sylvester McCoy. 

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