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The Fourth Doctor

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Peri-Peri
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« on: July 29, 2012, 11:28:40 pm »


The Fourth Doctor was the fourth incarnation of the Time Lord known as the Doctor. He left all ties of his former exile behind on Earth, setting off to travel the cosmos. Initially travelling with Sarah Jane and Harry, Harry chose to remain on Earth when the opportunity arose. The Doctor and Sarah continued on their adventures until the Doctor was summoned to Gallifrey, necessitating that he leave Sarah Jane behind.

After leaving Gallifrey, he met and travelled with Leela of the Sevateem. During his travels with Leela, the Doctor gained a new companion in the robot dog, K9. Returning once more to Gallifrey to stop an invasion, Leela and the original K9 she stayed behind there. On the White Guardian's orders, the Doctor began looking for the Key to Time with fellow Time Lord Romana, and K9 Mark II. Once that search was concluded, the Doctor and a newly-regenerated Romana went on the run from the Black Guardian. They accidentally passed into the smaller Universe of E-Space.

During his travels in E-Space, the Doctor gained a new companion in the young mathematical genius Adric. Romana and K9 stayed behind in E-Space as the Doctor and Adric departed for N-Space.

Once again encountering his old enemy the Master, the Doctor and Adric met a Traken girl named Nyssa. She would later join them, along with the human Tegan, to help him prevent the destruction of the Universe by Entropy. While stopping the Master from using this threat to blackmail the Universe into servitude, the Doctor fell from the Pharos Project telescope and regenerated for the fourth time.
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« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2012, 07:00:59 pm »

As VA said elsewhere, Tom seemed to have got over the excesses of his later series and was playing this for real.  There were still plenty of great Fourth Doctorisms, but they fitted the story.  A good preparation for an even better performance in Logopolis.
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« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2012, 03:16:48 am »

(apologies to Nyki & everyone - had posted this originally in The Ribos Operation instead of here, where I intended)

This story was an unusual one for Tom Baker. Johnny Byrne had a wonderful melancholic writing style and he injected some of this into Baker's Doctor. This was a time lord at the end of his regeneration - and the story was the beginning of the end for Baker. Johnny Byrne was briefed that his script would be the first part of the regeneration trilogy and I think the Doctor's character was changed to reflect that.

Added to this was the influence of novitiate Script Editor Chris Bidmead and Exec Producer JNT who were determined to remove the "undergraduate humour" (JNTs phrase) that had really 'taken over' the show during the Williams/Adams era. In addition, Baker was an older actor than the one who had taken over in 1974; physically he looked older and (as he himself states) was beginning to get a little jaded. He was a more seasoned actor and the bullish humour had been replaced with gravitas.

So with these two elements combining I think the Keeper of Traken was actually one of Baker's finest individual performances. He dialled down the OTT humour, replacing it with a twinkle in the eye and a more sardonic approach. This Doctor was approaching the end and I think Baker beautifully presages that end with a lower-key but no less magnificent Doctor.
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« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2012, 09:54:42 pm »

Tom Baker puts in a great performance in this. He has gotten a bit lazy in the way he played the role for the year or two leading up to this but he was totally back on form here, without a doubt.
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« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2012, 10:55:46 am »

Tom Baker puts in a great performance in this. He has gotten a bit lazy in the way he played the role for the year or two leading up to this but he was totally back on form here, without a doubt.

I'd agree with this. I think he probably liked the fact that he got to have a bit of fun with a couple of older actors, was given a new female to work alongside, which suited him far better than solo with Adric ever would have done and the story and writing were really good. It was one of those times when it all sort of came together.
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« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2012, 08:46:58 pm »

With this story it was sort of like someone put new batteries in him right before the end of his run. Tom Baker seemed to really enjoy the story and was back on form after some very half-arsed performances.
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« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2012, 01:45:51 pm »

I haven't seen much of TB's later years so for me in this story it just seemed like an 'on form' continuation, but it might seem like a better performance once I have seen some of the stories where he seems more half arsed.
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« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2012, 11:13:14 pm »

I think he was pretty good in this. Not the best performance he ever put in but by no means the worst.
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« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2012, 11:13:25 pm »

I think he was pretty good in this. Not the best performance he ever put in but by no means the worst.
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« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2012, 10:48:59 pm »

I tend to watch the fourth doctor out of order and I find I enjoy him more. Generally if I go from beginning to end of his tenure I'm just bored by him at this point regardless of performance.
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« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2012, 02:49:22 pm »

It was a good performance.  Not his best work, but had a few standout moments.
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