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A Tribute To The Fourth Doctor

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Author Topic: A Tribute To The Fourth Doctor  (Read 88 times)
The Doc
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« on: November 22, 2010, 08:46:10 pm »


Tenure: 1974-1981
Stories: 42
Episodes: 172
Companions: Sarah Jane, Harry, Leela, K9, Romana, Adric, Tegan, Nyssa


The Fourth Doctor is a natural bohemian who permanently left UNIT in order to return to a life of deep universal wandering. More so than his previous incarnations, he is thrilled by discovery and adventure. Galvanized by higher purpose, he is disarmingly loopy (constantly offering friends and foes jelly babies; this trait is referenced by the Eighth Doctor using the offer of a jelly baby to outsmart a policeman, and in the Tenth Doctor episode 'The Sound of Drums', where the John Simm incarnation of the Master is seen enjoying a bag of jelly babies on board the Valiant), brilliant and entirely serious, all at the same time. To an extent, the Fourth Doctor is the most unpredictable of his incarnations, befuddling all with his intelligence, constantly leaving others wondering if they have his full attention and using his more off the wall mannerisms against adversaries to distract them while arranging to take control of the situation. His keen judge of character also enables him to navigate his way through situations with new people, helping him to discern friend from foe. Although like all his selves he prefers his brain over his brawn, he is a capable swordsman and fighter, following on from the martial expertise of his immediate former self. He improvises non-lethal weaponry when necessary but was also not averse to more lethal weaponry as a necessity, against both sentient and non-sentient beings- like the matter-destroying DeMat Gun or contemporary firearms.

Despite his charm and offbeat humour, the Fourth Doctor is arguably more aloof and sombre than his previous incarnations. He could become intensely brooding, serious and even callous, and would keenly scrutinize his surroundings even when playing the fool. In stories such as Pyramids of Mars he is concerned that he is approaching middle age and often contemplates his outsider status. He could also be furious with those he saw as stupid, frivolous, misguided or evil. When taking charge, he could be considered authoritative to the point of egocentricity, but as it is, he is usually the only one capable of solving the situations he finds himself in. He generally maintained his distance from the Time Lords, remarking in The Pyramids of Mars that while being from Gallifrey, he doesn't consider himself a Time Lord. He clearly resents that even after they had lifted his exile, they continue re-entering his life when they deemed it necessary. Not only did he seem more inclined toward a solitary existence, he also emphasized his distance from humanity, although he has stated on more than one occasion that he found mankind to be his favourite species.

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« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2011, 02:55:24 pm »

It is difficult to overstate how immense the figure of Tom Baker's Fourth Doctor looms in the Whoniverse. Prior to the 2005 incarnation of Who he was, without exception, the winner in any poll to choose the best/favourite Doctor. He took a show that was always a ratings success and made it even bigger. His larger than life personality dominated the show for 7 years and IMHO he was magnificent as the Doctor.

His three first seasons coincided with the arrival of Philip Hinchcliffe as Producer and Robert Holmes as Script Editor and this period is still regarded as the gold standard of all Who. The highest praise I can give an episode is 'It was like an episode from Hinchcliffe/Holmes era'. Of all things instrumental to their success, without doubt the key was the simply blistering performance by Tom Baker. The Fourth Doctor was my first Doctor. He was a larger than life, funny, passionate and brilliant. He captured the alien nature of the time lord and brought fury to the persona of the Doctor.

Sure, towards the end of his time he had slipped a little into self parody. One got the impression that as much as he needed the show, by the end he was bored of it. Perhaps he stayed a season to long (though some of those final stories rank amongst my favourites). However, I could not let this opportunity pass without speaking up in honour of the first real mega star of Doctor Who. Other Doctors might have different virtues but there is no denying that Tom Baker was a perfect fit in the role and I salute the sheer awesomeness of the Fourth Doctor.
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« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2011, 05:16:17 pm »

I know this is a place of celebration about the show, but I can't help but be slightly negative about the Fourth Doctor. I think TB was great in the role and he had some great stories, but for me that's pretty much all it was. For whatever reasons, The Fourth Doctor (and the Tenth Doctor) are the most overhyped of the lot. I do like the Four, very much. I just don't get why he is so raved about. Perhaps I would think differently if I watched him while he was actually airing or perhaps it comes down to character traits, but for me the Doctors I like best are worlds apart from this incarnation
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« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2011, 09:49:41 pm »

Viva La Difference Smiley And I think, to be fair Exterminate, mine is a very personal attachment to TB's Doctor. He was the first doctor that I remember watching. I sat with my Grandma and watched Destiny of the Daleks. When i was just entering adolescence, it was Tom Baker's Doctor that I found solace in. Logopolis was my first regeneration. Robots of Death gave me genuine nightmares. I'm not even sure TB is my favourite Doctor but his tenure gave us some amazing moments and for a period of time (by no means all of the time) the show produced some truly epic stories.

But that is the great joy of the show and places like this - we can explore and enjoy our different perspectives Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2011, 11:55:07 pm »

Viva La Difference Smiley And I think, to be fair Exterminate, mine is a very personal attachment to TB's Doctor. He was the first doctor that I remember watching. I sat with my Grandma and watched Destiny of the Daleks. When i was just entering adolescence, it was Tom Baker's Doctor that I found solace in. Logopolis was my first regeneration. Robots of Death gave me genuine nightmares. I'm not even sure TB is my favourite Doctor but his tenure gave us some amazing moments and for a period of time (by no means all of the time) the show produced some truly epic stories.

But that is the great joy of the show and places like this - we can explore and enjoy our different perspectives Smiley

We sure can Smiley

Don't get me wrong, I think TB is brilliant as the Doctor and I have nothing against the man or the incarnation, I just don't understand the level of hype that surrounds him Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2012, 01:52:30 am »

Tom Baker was a great Doctor with a great run. I'm really glad that he's gone on to the radio dramas now after all these years. I agree somewhat with Exterminate about the hype, but it's hyped for a reason. T. Baker's run was a great one, with lots of great writing.
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Today, the Kaled race is ended, consumed in a fire of war. But, from its ashes will rise a new race. The supreme creature. The ultimate conqueror of the universe. The Dalek!
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