Who…. is The Most annoying Doctor Who?
Hands down it goes to Colin Baker.
Wait, I do like Colin Baker, I thought he had promise; however his take, the take that was forced on him of that character… playing the role of Doctor Who, like a pompous, prissy, screeching banshee, for most of his run, tends to grate rather than be great.
And how he could act like that while zooming around with one of the most attractive companions, the lovely Nicola Bryant as Peri, is beyond anyone’s understanding. :).
But really it’s no mystery, he was obeying the increasingly more erratic directives of producer John-Nathan Turner, to include the producer’s insistence on that abomination of a costume he wore.
John Nathan for my money, while he had some good decisions, his bad decisions outweighed the good… by far. And he made bad decisions with three ‘Doctor Who’ actors back to back, Tom Baker (Poor scripts, unbearable later companion in Adric, courtesy of John Nathan Turner), Peter Davidson (saddled with that unbearable companion, and just seasons full of pouty, frowning, unlikeable people… courtesy of John-Nathan and the writers) and finally Colin Baker (who had some intriguing episodes, but he was just such an annoying, bitchy harpie, that his performance soured even well written episodes).
So definitely Colin Baker was led down the wrong road in his directive on how to play the character, but I think after those initial episodes it’s very much for the actor to fight for the direction of the character and have a voice in how he wants the writers to portray his character. However, Colin Baker (seemingly) blithely followed orders, bad orders, and like anyone who does that, you end up holding the bag.
Hence he, arguably the actor most willing to please the producer, ended up being the first and only actor to be fired from the role of Doctor Who.
And what we are left with is less than two seasons of pretty annoying and frustrating ‘Doctor Who’. Which is too bad because Colin Baker’s introduction to the show at the end of THE CAVES OF ANDROZONI (which is really one of the best episodes of DOCTOR WHO, easily the best Peter Davidson episode, who unfortunately, like Colin Baker, was saddled with some awful episodes/writing) is fantastic. And I initially was willing to overlook Baker’s crazy outfit and had hopes for his Doctor, unfortunately Colin Baker’s Doctor never grew beyond that annoying, foolish affectation, and indeed it got worse with time.
But there are gems in these season’s despite Colin Baker’s tantrum tossing Doctor. They are:
ATTACK OF THE CYBERMEN by Paula Moore, directed by Matthew Robinson- It’s a surprisingly dark episode, and quite epic, and has enough going on to keep the Doctor’s Annoying factor from going too high. In-fact it’s the coolest and most menacing/vicious the Cybermen have ever been.
THE TWO DOCTORS by Robert Holmes, directed by Peter Moffat- Robert Holmes was a writing God, and even lesser Robert Holmes writing, which this is, is more exciting and intriguing than just about anything else being written for the show. Yet another extremely mature, and slightly disturbing episode. Well performed, and impressive throughout.
And even the last two story arcs of that season, while flawed, are quite compelling and watchable,
TIMELASH by Glen McCoy, directed by Pennant Roberts
REVELATION OF THE DALEKS by Eric Saward, directed by Graeme Harper
I mean honestly, season 22, Colin Baker’s only full season as the Doctor (a truncated season, but he did all the shows) is the most well written the show had been in years, with the glaring (and unforgivable) exception… of the Doctor himself.
The show, responded to dire warnings, unfortunately with a whole season called THE TRIAL OF THE TIME LORD. Everything that was already bad about this new Doctor, this overlong story arc magnified a 1000 times. The single worst season in the 30+ year history of Doctor Who.
I think if Colin Baker had been allowed to play the Doctor, charming rather than churlish, it would have made all the difference.
However he was fired and that opened the door to Sylvester McCoy who is #1 on my next RATING THE DOCTORS post! How’s that for a tease?! :)