After Peter Davison’s departure from the role of the Doctor in March 1984, the role went to Colin Baker, the Doctors most colourful incarnation to date. Colin Baker stared in only 8 serials (33 episodes) until being replaced in 1987.
The Sixth Doctor
The Sixth Doctor was a man given to great eccentricities, donning a patchwork coat of rainbow hue, a pair of bright yellow pinstripe trousers, mismatched waistcoat, polkadot cravat and capped off with bright orange spats and a mop of curly blonde hair. Due to the trauma of his regeneration this Doctors personality was prone to violent outbursts of temper and a depressive sensibility, often at times brooding, his domineering personality was only enhanced by his great physical stature, a big man, both tall and broad, this Doctor was the most physically imposing to date.
Continuing his travels with Peri, The Doctor battle old enemies such as the Daleks and Cybermen, meeting new foes such as Sil and The Board, whilst meeting H.G Wells before coming across the Master and the sociopathic Time Lady the Rani, a being solely interested in the advancement of her scientific research, stopping at nothing to meet her ends.
The Doctor then once again meets one of his past selves, his second incarnation (played by Patrick Troughton), when this prior incarnation and Jamie are sent on a mission by the time lords to end rival experiments into time travel, experiments being conducted on behalf of the war like Sontaran’s, all to aid their war effort against the Rutan Host. Managing to save himself from the Sontaran’s grasp, both Doctors return to their proper place in time and space, the Second Doctor about to being exile on Earth and the Sixth Doctor still in 20th century Spain.
It is then that the Doctor faces the most difficult battle of his life, placed on trial by his own people the Doctor faces off against the mysterious Valeyard, a Gallifreyan prosecutor with a clear grudge against the Doctor. Presenting evidence from the Doctor’s past, a court room drama unfolds, in which the prosecution seems to stack against the Doctor, before a plot at the very heart of Time Lord society. The Doctor is framed by the Valeyard for the Death of Peri, before being revealed to by the Master as a potential future incarnation of the Doctor. Defeating the Valeyard and The Master, the Doctor meets new companion Mel, before discovering that Peri is still alive and well, living as a queen, his innocence secured the Doctor and Mel once again set off into time and space.
Whilst Colin Baker did not serve in the role long, two series in total, he is still the most colourful Doctor there has ever been and it saddens me a little that he didn’t come back for a regeneration scene, and whilst his successor is still probably my favourite doctor since William Hartnell, I feel that Colin Baker deserved better.
Stand Out Serials
- The Trial Of A Time Lord: This was to be Colin Bakers last serial (also last series as it lasted a whole series), this 14 part saga, saw the departure of Peri, the introduction of companion Mel and recurring character Glitz, all whilst the Doctor battles through a trial, being enforced on him by his own people, with a biased Judge and vengeful prosecutor the Doctor is fighting for his lives.
- Vengeance On Varos: Its a little like the hunger games, and a bit like big brother, all with the Doctor and Peri trying to get out of the clutches of a group of corrupt politicians and some slimy merchants.
- The Two Doctors: Doctor meets Doctor in this head on collision that tires to see the Time Lords maintain their monopoly on time travel, in the heart of the endless conflict between the Might Sontaran Empire and the Rutan Host. This episode also gives rise to the series 6b fan theory, that in spinoff media suggests that the second Doctor didn’t go straight from courtroom to exile on earth, but was in fact acting as a secret agent of the Time Lords.
- The Doctor and the Amazing Technicolour Nightmare Coat: Even Colin Baker admitted to absolutely loathing his costume, it was tartan, it was tweed, it was gingham and it was a rainbow coloured nightmare of fashion dont’s.