April 1, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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Doctor Who “Time And The Rani Part 1”

The Seventh Doctor. "Time and the Rani," Episode One.

Well, here we are with a new Doctor.

That was fast.

So, Sylvester McCoy was the Seventh Doctor–and as McCoy was more or less an unknown actor–the short Scottish man at least initially played the Doctor as a more comedic character.  Yes, this Doctor would evolve into the Machiavellian chessmaster, but he isn’t there right away.

Incidentally, a silly Doctor reminds me of Patrick Troughton’s Doctor, obviously.  And I do seem to remember hearing or reading that there was talk of replacing Colin Baker with Patrick Troughton, reviving his role as the Second Doctor, a plan ultimately scrapped by Troughton’s death.  But that’s neither here nor there.  What about McCoy’s new Doctor?

In fact, the first we see of him before the revamped, early CGI opening credits, he’s wearing this predecessor’s costume and because Colin Baker had his self-respect, he’s nowhere to be seen.  Instead, the series stuck McCoy in an obvious curly-haired wig.  An attack on the TARDIS caused it to go off-course, the Doctor regenerated during said attack, and he and Mel were both knocked out.  The attacker is then revealed to the Rani, and she’s out collecting smart people for some experiment.

See, she wants the Doctor to help her, but he won’t because, well, she’s evil.  Actually, she’s a lot more like a female version of the Master here instead of the scientist who doesn’t care who she experiments on.  But taking advantage of a confused Doctor, one who does get a clothes-changing montage to his less colorful attire, that’s perfectly fine for her.  Plus, the Rani disguises herself as Mel, so if going in disguise isn’t a trick of the Master’s, I don’t know what is.

Meanwhile, the real Mel is trying to convince the natives of the planet the TARDIS landed on that she isn’t a bad guy and neither is the Doctor.

But as for the new Doctor, well, there isn’t much to go on yet as he’s still in the mental confusion that comes from a regeneration, so I’ll hopefully have a better grasp on this guy in another couple episodes.

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