Doctor Who: Sixth Series and Second Doctor Summary
This was a rough collection of serials. It stopped the rise of the Second Doctor over the fourth and fifth seasons, and took the lowest series average of the Second Doctor’s run. The episodes overall were mostly average with a couple of standouts on both sides of the spectrum.
It was a series that truly brought UNIT to the front of the stage and re-introduced Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, both of which will be big pieces of the show’s ensemble as it rolls on. It also brought some light to the background of the Doctor himself, including what species he is and why he’s out in the universe. It was also a series that brought an era of the franchise to a close as it showcased the last black and white episodes and the last reconstructed episodes, the latter of which makes me very happy after struggling with so many lost stories.
Series Six Average Rating: 3.3/5
This serial also brings the end of the main run for Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor. He was a Doctor of many faces, and he was far more comical than the First Doctor. He was also more devious, as his humor was often used as a means to disarm his opponents and make him look less threatening. I can see now where a lot of the influences for the Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Doctors comes from.
I really fell in love with this Doctor, and that’s not to say that I didn’t like the First because that’s not true. Like I mentioned in the Fifth Series Summary, the Doctor’s incarnations seem to be developed around what the show needs to survive. Hartnell was a strong force even in the face of some mediocre stories, and that provided an anchor for an audience to rely on. In the Troughton years, the whimsical innocence masking a strong devious nature made the lead more relatable with the team, especially with Zoe and Jamie. Troughton made his fellow travelers into companions on the journey instead of wards that needed protection, and that pushed characters like Zoe and Jamie into stronger roles. That carried the Hartnell-era theme relating the viewers to the companions and transformed it into relating to the team overall.
That’s part of the reason that The War Games feels like a cheat in the end. It tore the team apart and erased years of development from the companions (only one for Zoe, but almost three for Jamie), in essence signaling the end of the show as it stood for the last six years. Maybe that was the point. What follows from this point is effectively a soft reboot of the show: It transitions from monochrome to color, starts airing shorter seasons, and even appears to increase production values and budgets.
What’s amazing is that it hurts so much over forty-six years later.
Series 4 – 3.6
Series 5 – 4.1
Series 6 – 3.3
Second Doctor’s Weighted Average Rating: 3.67
1 – Second (3.67)
2 – First (3.41)
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