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The Sixth Doctor - short end of the stick?

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Author Topic: The Sixth Doctor - short end of the stick?  (Read 492 times)
thefifthdoctor
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« on: January 12, 2011, 03:58:27 pm »

Hey all,

A mate sent me this link, and I must admit to not knowing some of this trivia!

What's the concensus all these years later? Was Colin Baker royally shafted from day dot?

http://www.toplessrobot.com/2011/01/6_ways_the_sixth_doctor_from_doctor_who_got_screwe.php
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« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2011, 09:04:26 pm »

Even to this day Colin Baker takes stick, but in the face of it all he is still very gracious and speaks very fondly of the show and his time. He got the shitty end of the stick in many respects but moreso because for some reason its become the 'cool' thing to slate him. Even people who have never seen him as the Doctor do it because his era is so well known as the bad days.
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« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2011, 12:11:24 am »

I pretty much agree with what the article said.  The Sixth Doctor is my least favourite of the classic ones, but not by a huge margin, and most of the things I'm less keen on aren't really down to him.  I do find his character a bit too OTT in The Twin Dilemma, but he develops well and, as the writer says, he was cut off just when he was getting really interesting (as was McCoy, for that matter).  The problems with the era were, in my opinion, too high a proportion of indifferent writing, some dodgy supporting acting, and poor production values, which was basically down to the budget.  And the costume, of course.  I wouldn't blame Colin Baker for any of that, though, and there are gems in his tenure.
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« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2011, 09:27:28 am »

This is one of my biggest hobby-horses in the whole of the Whoniverse. Colin Baker is a wonderful actor and a brilliant foil to Peter Davison's Doctor. He was dealt a dreadful hand at a time when it seemed that nobody (including some of those working on it) liked the show at all. At this time, Michael Grade had started mentioning cancelling it, the budget was severely cut, John Nathan-Turner had started looking at his career away from the show. His relationship with Eric Saward had collapsed and the script editor was having terrible trouble finding anyone who wanted to write for the show.

CB was taking over from a hugely popular and much loved character actor, Peter Davison, whose Doctor was affable and appealing. The Twin Dilemma provided a controversial (i.e. no one liked it) opener to his tenure and really set the tone in a negative way. Vengeance on Varos gave us a glimpse of promise but it wasn't until Robert Holmes got his hands on the "Two Doctors" that we really saw just how good CB could have been. Then, in the midst of what was one of the worst production decisions in the history of the show, CB almost single handedly rescued "The Trial of a Timelord" producing some brilliant performances (Terror of the Vervoids is a story that stands up with any classic Who and would have graced the Hinchcliffe/Holmes era.

If you need any further convincing then go on to the Big Finish website and purchase 'Jubilee' written by Rob Shearman. This story was the basis of the brilliant 9th Doctor episode, 'Dalek' and is a triumph for CB. Indeed, the Big Finish series provide some of CB's finest hours as the Doctor and show just what a versatile and charismatic actor Colin Baker can be given good material. Outside of the role he has always been very happy to engage with the fans and has handled himself with good humour and shows genuine respect for the show. I had the privilege of meeting him a few years ago, shared a glass of wine with him and found him friendly, entertaining and actually very appreciative of what 'Who' had done for him. That approach contrasts very favourably with some of the others who have played the Doctor.

His tenure was very much like the girl with the curl "When he was good he was very very good and when he was bad he was horrid." The real tragedy of Baker's tenure is the tendency of some to focus on the horrid and neglect some of the finest moments seen in the Classic series. A very good OP from TFD and I'm grateful for a chance to pay tribute to Colin Baker's contribution to the show.
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« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2011, 10:28:26 am »

Wow, excellent responses to this article, especially yours, Chris.

I keep meaning to get my hands on some big finish stuff as Double P has mentioned before how brilliant they are.

I saw CB once at the Memorabilia event in the SECC, he seemed a very amiable chap, but was sat next to Chris Barrie, who sadly was being quite aloof towards fans (my ex experienced this first hand & was very upset by it).
The following year had Nicola Bryant and I filled the cup  Grin - wish I'd been able to wait in the queue to actually meet her.

Back on topic, and I think CB absolutely shines in Trial, it's excellent.
I also thought he showed a bit of a twinkle in the eye during Attack of the Cybermen.
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« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2011, 03:56:33 pm »

I thought his unpredictability worked a lot better in Attack of the Cybermen than The Twin Planet.  Another one of his I enjoy is Mark of the Rani, if only for the spectacle of three Time Lords carrying on squabbles that obviously began when they were at school together.
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« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2011, 10:57:08 pm »

I think he got a very very harsh responce to be honest and have always liked him when ten went bad in  waters of mars and eleven got angry in beast below, they were channelling cb, he was the darkest doctor of the lot, much darker than mccoys darker 7th doctor later in his tenture.
very few episodes he did disappointed me and i still think if he had been in the role longer he would have put a mark on the role not seen since tom baker.
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« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2011, 06:27:54 pm »

Tonight, I shall be watching The Twin Dilemma to remind me what season openers used to be like in the old days Smiley

'I am Womulus. I am Weemus' - still my favourite ever line in Classic Who.

And for added effect, I will be wandering round the house in the dead of night saying 'Edgeworth' in a very low menacing voice - frankly never gets old!
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« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2011, 06:33:24 pm »

You already know my stance on this. I can only assume that you are trying to dampen your overexcitement for Saturday Tongue
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« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2011, 09:05:47 pm »

You already know my stance on this. I can only assume that you are trying to dampen your overexcitement for Saturday Tongue

"Edgeworth!"
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« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2011, 10:22:17 pm »

Wow, you are a brave man Cheesy

I rewatch this every now and again but never really enjoy it. Still though, its Who and all Who is good Who i guess
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« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2011, 10:07:48 pm »

I enjoyed Colin's first season when it was on.  Agreed the violence was too extreme and Dr Who didn't suit the 45 minute episode length however Revelation of the Daleks was a great story and most of that season was entertaining.  However I felt that Dr Who began to decline significantly during Trial of a Timelord and I lost all enthusiasm for the McCoy era (aside from a couple of stories).  CB could have been a good Doctor however his costume and abrasive character were key areas that caused the audience to begin falling off.
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« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2011, 02:21:25 am »

I quite liked Colin Baker in the role. I always felt that if he was given the right scripts and enough time to stretch his legs then he could have been brilliant. As it was, I think that while he was in the role DW was going through a period where nobody knew what to do with it and every week it was like they were trying something new on for size to see what would fit. As a result of carrying the show, CB then got the cruddy end of the stick and has been stuck with it in the many years following. There were lots of things wrong with DW in the mid 80's, but I really think that Colin Baker wasn't one of them
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« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2011, 11:41:23 pm »

There were lots of things wrong with DW in the mid 80's, but I really think that Colin Baker wasn't one of them

Well put.
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« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2011, 06:31:18 pm »

There were lots of things wrong with DW in the mid 80's, but I really think that Colin Baker wasn't one of them

Well put.

Very well put if you had moff or some of the others writing trial of a time lord now imagine all the seeds that would have been laid through out leading up to the reveal of the valeyard. I Personally always felt that colin bakers portrayal of the doctor was to ahead of where the show was at the time and that ecclestone was his spiritual successor in the role
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« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2011, 04:23:41 pm »

With the Twin Dilemma getting an airing in The Infinite Quest I just thought I'd give this thread a little bump Smiley I wonder what would have happened if we'd have had 1984 Colin Baker playing in Nu-Who?
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« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2012, 05:41:57 am »

If we had a 1984 Colin Baker in nu Who, he wouldn't be wearing that coat and he'd find that the writers put more care into the show. Though writing for Colin Baker seems as hard as writing for Troughton- novel wise at least.

I've always heard from people that Colin Baker was the least liked and with that coat it helped reinforce that idea. So when I first went in to watch his series I was determined to be very merciful and low-expectations for it. But I was surprised because Baker's seasons are as good as any other (but I have no conception of production values- it all looks the same to me). Only one maybe two stories could I have "deleted" from history without feeling guilty, but that's true of any Doctor's season. What were the BBC thinking when they slashed the budget and put Colin in that coat? All I can say is, a pox upon you Michael Grade!
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« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2012, 11:41:26 pm »

I've always heard from people that Colin Baker was the least liked and with that coat it helped reinforce that idea.

He had a horrible costume, but I really don't think it was to blame. He looked a right ****, don't get me wrong, but you can't judge the character based on that. I remember the meltdown fandom went into when the first pictures of Matt in his bow tie leaked. Everyone was so ready to hate on it, but now I couldn't imagine him wearing anything else. If anything, it's probably turned into the most popular costume of any Doctor. The writing of the character and the poor quality stories were the let down. Certainly not the coat.
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« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2012, 09:53:21 am »

Hating on Colin Baker is one of the biggest things I'll never understand about this fandom. Whilst it may be true the Six is my least favorite Doctor, it doesn't mean I don't really like the chap. After all, saying he's at the bottom of my list isn't that bad of a statement; I love his stories every bit as much as the rest of them, and they're a vital part of the series. After all, he's still The Doctor. Part of the magic of this series for me is that all these different guys are still really the same man, and when you hate on one incarnation of the Doctor, you hate on them all.
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« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2013, 01:29:24 am »

Colin Baker was brilliant and it's a shame more people can't see that. He was stuck in an era where the writing was poor, the scripts lacked excitement, stuff was going on behind the scenes out of his control, but he still gave it a good whack and you know, his seasons may not rank among the best but that doesn't make him a bad Doctor.
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