Colin Baker is known by most as being the worst Doctor. This comes from most people who have only seen either one episode, only the scene from his first episode where he strangles his companion while suffering from post-regenerative crisis, Or because of his rather colorful costume. This is most annoying because Colin Baker’s Doctor is perhaps one of the most complex characters out of any of the Doctors. His era was meant to go on for eight years, and he was meant to have a very complex storyline where he was to start out very unlikable, but was to evolve into a more likeable character as his era went on. However because of Michael Grade, controller at the BBC at the time, His era was cut short to two seasons. Why? Simply because Mr. Grade didn’t like his portrayal. He became the Doctor with the shortest run until Paul McGann, Christopher Eccleston and John Hurt came along. Today I’m here to give you a walk through of all of his episodes, and show those who doubt him to give him a try. Without further ado, lets begin with one of his most hated,
The Twin Dilemma
This is just another episode of Colin Baker’s run seen as one the worst of the series. Now it does have its weak points, and it’s not the best episode, I surely don’t see it as one of the worst. The scenes in the TARDIS with The Doctor and Peri are really good and The Doctor’s old mentor is a fun edition. The child actors are annoying, but not horrible. The villain gets to do a lot of scenery chewing, with his over the top performance, and is quite fun to watch. The plot is a bit weak, and as I stated and it has suffers some padding. It’s not the best episode ever, but it’s not the worst either.
Attack of the Cybermen
This one is another that’s looked down upon by fans. Why?!?!?!? I actually really like this episode. The Cybermen are great, just as good as they are in Earthshock. The character of Lytton returns after appearing in the last season in Resurrection of the Daleks. He’s better this time, with more development. This episode is loaded with references to past episodes, such as The Doctor trying to fix the chameleon circuit, landing in I.M forman Totter’s lane, and the cyber controller. The cyber controller comes off as padding because there’s no reason to have him since they have the brilliant Cyber leader. This story is great, with awesome Cybermen and characters.It’s really good, better than a lot of the new series Cybermen episodes.
Vengeance on Varos
So now we come to Vengeance on Varos, a very different story, and my personal favorite Sixth Doctor story. It has a very creepy-satiric tone. Sil is a fantastic villain and Nabil Shaban is great in the role. Colin Baker is great here, showing more of his dark persona. The story itself is also really dark and as I said, satirical, making fun of reality TV shows. I won’t ramble on about this, as I wrote about it in january for my top 7 classic episodes, but nonetheless its fantastic and if you are a fan of dystopian stories then definitely check this one out.
Mark of the Rani
Most people get the impression that The Rani stories both suck and should be avoided by most people who want to live. Well, I’m here to tell you that this is not horrible. Kate O’ Mara (may she rest in peace) is great as The Rani, and it’s really fun to see another Time Lord’s view of The Doctor and The Master’s relationship. Colin Baker as always is great, The Master is about average.There are some dumb elements like The Rani turning people into trees. But just as many good scenes to counter them. But hey, it’s WAY better than Time and the Rani!
The Two Doctors
Now, I bet you’re all thinking “What?” what is this doing with the Sixth Doctor? Wouldn’t it be with the second? Well, it’s with both. Yes, the Second Doctor returns to help the Sixth Doctor stop the Sontarans and this very strange scientist from achieving Time Travel. I find it to be a very good Sontaran episode. Not as good as Time Warrior, on par Sontaran Stratagem, and better than the Sontaran Experiment. Patrick Troughton returns and is great as per usual. The Sontaran redesign here sucks, but the new theme for them is great! Another really good story.
Now this is another one that’s looked down on. Truthfully, this is one that I do have to agree with. The episode feels like a retread of what we saw two stories ago. With the dictator, and The Doctor coming to stop them. Except it was done a thousand times better in Vengeance on Varos.The cool part is the creature mask for the borad. However, this must’ve been what they used up their entire budget on, because all of the sets look like crap. This episode, while not the worst episode, is definitely Colin’s weakest story to date.
Revelation of the Daleks
This is another good one. It’s directed by Graeme Harper, probably the best director of Doctor Who, who had previously directed Caves of Androzani, on season 21. And of course, it looks great. However, while I do really like this story, it feels a bit weak when compared to Resurrection of the Daleks and Remembrance of the Daleks, the latter of which is one of the best Dalek stories to date. It’s still good, introducing the imperial Daleks, and having a lot of interesting characters. Its’ just not the best. It’s still worth a watch.
All of the episodes (Except for Timelash) on this season are great! The acting here from Colin is really good. Sadly, this was to be his last full season. The next season, Trail of a Timelord, was for the time a condensed season. By todays standards 13 episodes is the norm, but back then, it was condensed. But let’s get started with the first four parts
Parts 1-4: The Mysterious Planet
When the news that the season was to be condensed was broken to the Doctor Who production team, they were heart broken. they had spent almost half a year planning out this new season, but now they had to start from scratch. Although they were thankful to have any season, as Michael Grade’s original intention was to cancel the show for good. And so, since it was thought that Doctor Who was on trail from the BBC, Trail of a Timelord was created as a sort of satire. The season is made up of different segments that are supposed to be evidence thats being used in the trail. The first segment is written by Doctor Who legend Robert Holmes and it is… okay. It has some really cool special effects with robots, but it lacks the interesting side characters that some many other Robert Holmes stories had. It’s still entertaining, but just not as good as a lot of other Holmes stories.
Parts 5-8: Mindwarp
Mindwarp is easily the best of the four segments. Philip Martin returns after last season’s Vengeance on Varos with a sequel to it. Well, that’s a start, however more is needed to top Vengeance. Does Mindwarp have it? Well, yes it does. This is a case where the sequel is just as good as the original. This episode has good performances and features guest actor Brian Blessed. I LOVE Brian Blessed, and it’s great to see him in Doctor Who. He’s full of energy, and you can tell he’s having a bunch of fun! Colin baker is also good, but this time he’s under the control of Sil! He’s fantastic to watch, and is very chilling. The ending is also great, but I don’t want to spoil it. Check it out for yourself! It’s fantastic!
Parts 9-12: Terror of the Vervoids
Terror of the Vervoids is a who done it style mystery written by returning writers Pip and Jane Baker, who wrote the pretty good Mark of the Rani last season. And it’s pretty good. The Vervoids are pretty cool, and creepy, although it’s been pointed out that they are a lot like the Krynoids from The Seeds of Doom with Tom Baker, even retaining the ‘Voids,’ at the end of their names. Bonnie Langford makes her first appearance as Mel Bush, and she’s not great. Not her fault, but all she really has to do is tell The Doctor to exercise, and to scream really loud. And I MEAN REALLY LOUD
Parts 13-14: The Ultimate Foe
This episode, just like the whole season, was problematic. It was meant to be Penned by Robert Holmes. Who did write the first part, but sadly, the legend passed away before he could finish. What we are left with, is a fitting end. It isn’t his best, but still retains interesting characters like his classic scripts. Part 2 is written by Pip and Jane Baker, who do a good job at closing it off, however it is a shame that Holmes himself couldn’t finish it. I don’t have much to say without spoiling some of the surprises that are revealed here, except that this episode is a good ending to the season.
So that brings us to the end. I really hope that with this I have given a chance to think twice before calling the sixth doctor the worst out of the bunch. With most of his stories being at least good, I would ask that you at least check a few out. That’s all I have to say, in the words of the sixth Doctor, “Carrot Juice!!!”