Having been a fan of Doctor Who, as you’re aware since before I could actually read, it might be a surprise that I’ve never ranked my favourite Doctors in a blog! It seems such an obvious “fan” thing to do. I haven’t included Doctors who are solely audio, like David Warner. Nor have I included Nicholas Briggs since his Doctor ( although a multimedia one, as we’ll see below) was a bit of continuity nightmare. It’s just for fun- don’t write in!
Joint 17: Mark Gattis in his Lewis Carroll guise from Dr. Who Night in 1999 ties at the bottom of the list with the laconic and lovestruck parodic Doctor of Steven Moffat’s charity spoof The Curse of Fatal Death.
16) The paternal but authoritarian Doctor of Seven Keys to Doomsday and 15) the grizzled, self-doubting War Doctor…
14) The energetic but guilt-ridden rough diamond Nine and 13) the sprightly, eccentric, entirely human Cushing Doctor…
12) the calculating and mysterious Seven 11) the snobbish and haunted REG alt-Nine;
10) the dynamic, sorrowful but self-righteous Ten; 9) the bombastic ,egotistical and theatrical Six.
8) the irascible but mischievous One; 7) the energetic but exasperated Five and at 6) the passionate, aristocratic Eight
I was a little surprised that 80s Doctors overtook modern Doctors. Perhaps that’s because of the impact of stories in other media?
The Good Soldier is a collection of Seventh Doctor comic strips from DWM in the very early 90s. I wasn’t reading the magazine in those days- too gauche and corny for the dastard actor laddie I fancied myself. But I bought the book in Aberdeen a month or so ago to catch up with the ones I had missed.
Fellow Travellers is a photorealistic three-parter by tv script editor Andrew Cartmel and Look-In/2000 AD artist Arthur Ranson ( no relation to the Swallows and Amazons author). A hitch-hiking alien entity takes over a nana and menaces her a family. They seem to be related to Travers -the explorer from Troughton’s era- but it’s quite unclear. The strip captures the blend, however, of the Gothic and the domestic that flavoured DW in its last 80s incarnation.
Darkness Falling and Distractions by Dan Abnett and Lee Sullivan are preludes to The Mark of Mandragora– once a graphic novel in its own right ( and on the shelves at the central library in Aberdeen a few years back). This is a UNIT adventure set in the late twentieth century, where the Mandragora entity is invading in the form of a designer drug. It’s very much in the vein of the Virgin books of the early 90s.
Party Animals by Mike Collins and uberfan/ addict to superfluous continuity, Gary Russell introduces us to an audio Doctor played by Nick Briggs, whom we’d see years later in the Eighth Doctor Strip. There are also glimpses of Captain Britain, Steed and Mrs. Peel, Sapphire and Steel and the Freefall Warriors.
The Chameleon Factor, by Paul Cornell and Lee Sullivan is a trifling vignette about the First Doctor’s ring and features a cameo by Ben and Polly
The eponymous Good Soldier, by Andrew Cartmel and Mike Collins, is a rather gruesome Cyberman story, set in Atom-Age Nevada. It’s followed by A Glitch in Time, a timey-wimey “Sound of Thunder” parody.
Finally, Seaside Rendezvous, from the 1991 Summer Special is an early collaboration between modern-day comic stars Cornell and Gary Frank . This is DW as “shared student flat irony-fest”. It’s set in Blackpool and features a Vic Reeves gag. Ho ho.
Nonetheless, it’s interesting to see the Doctor of the New Adventures developing here. The more adult and “gritty” aesthetic of the novels is very apparent in the Abnett/Cornell/ Cartmel strips. Just as in the novels, however, there are far too many fan-service “kisses to the past” and groansome in-jokes .
The reference to the Audio Visuals plays ( and their Doctor) is at once bold and hermetic. I only knew of them in a passing reference in a text feature within the magazine itself; ironically, Big Finish, direct descendant of the AVs has become the most prolific ( if traditionalist) generators of DW stories.
In the near future, you’ll find out who my top five Doctors are…
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