July 21, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Doctor Who “The War Games Part 10”

The Second Doctor. "The War Games," Final Episode.

Well, here we are at the end of the road for the Second Doctor.

I’m gonna miss the guy.

So, I’ll keep the plot synopsis short.  The Doctor and his friends manage to get to the TARDIS and try to flee, but the Time Lords keep finding them, eventually forcing the TARDIS to the Doctor’s (still unnamed) home world to see the trial of the War Lord.  There’s an escape attempt, and the Time Lords respond by first separating the War Lord’s home planet from the rest of the universe with a force field, and then wiping the War Lord and his last few guards from existence.

They barely lift a finger to do this.

As for the Doctor, well, his trial is next.  He also tries to escape, but the Time Lords have strict rules about interfering, and the Doctor does all that he can, arguing that he stopped all kinds of evil like the QUARKS, the Yeti, the Ice Warriors, the Cybermen, and especially the Daleks.  And…that works.  Sort of.  Kinda.  He isn’t executed.  Jamie and Zoe are sent to their original times with no memory of anything involving the Doctor past their first adventure.  And the Doctor is to go into exile for the foreseeable future, stuck on Earth, the TARDIS disabled, and a forced regeneration to a new face.  Yeah, the Doctor is offered a few faces, but he doesn’t care for any of them, so he’ll just get a random one.

And that’s where this all ends for the Second Doctor.

Now, I’ve heard a couple different things about Patrick Troughton and why he left the show.  Apparently, he came in only intending to do three seasons from the outset.  That squares a bit with advice he gave directly to Fifth Doctor Peter Davison, telling his successor to only do three to avoid type casting.  Davison would give that advice in turn to his son-in-law David Tennant.  As such, well, the unofficial tradition to get a new Doctor every three seasons goes back to Troughton.

Additionally, Troughton and Frazer Hines (Jamie) and Wendy Padbury (Zoe) all were a bit burnt out from the shooting schedule.  Doctor Who  made 42 episodes in Troughton’s final season, and that meant there was a good chance they were filming a new episode almost once a week.  From this point on, the number of episodes per season would go down to something more manageable, so that was another inadvertent legacy of Troughton’s era.  At any rate, all three decided to leave the show.  True, companions to the Doctor can stick around if the actors so choose from the looks of things, but Hines and Padbury also wanted to move on.  As much fun as Troughton was as the Doctor, how well was he paired off with Hines’ Jamie?  Zoe isn’t a bad character, but Hines and Troughton worked on their repartee and were good friends on and off set, and it shows.  As it is, Jamie is the companion who appeared in the most episodes of any companion unless you count the Brigadier, and I don’t at this point.

On the other hand, Troughton would return three times for anniversary specials and such, more than any of the other previous Doctors.  He may have moved on, but he still must have loved the role.

Oh well, all good things must come to an end and all.  Come back next time as the show gets a new Doctor and goes to color.  In the meantime, here’s the next part in that YouTube documentary on the history of classic Doctor Who with the story of the Second Doctor.