-Doctor Who in Sculpture: 1963 to 2013-
April being the fourth month of the year, it’s time to talk on the subject of the Fourth Doctor. Bohemian, boggle-eyed and mad as a bag of frogs, played magnificently by Tom Baker.
In contrast to the dandyishly foppish Third Doctor played by the all-round action man that was Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor offered a fresh, free and exciting alternative to the establishment figure the Doctor had become.
The Fourth Doctor stood for individuality, freedom, adventure and the love of small gelatinous confectionary in the shape of infantile Humanoids.
This Doctor would appear on the scene of disaster with a swagger of charm, eccentricity and a scarf longer than time itself.
Tom Baker brought a tall wide-eyed presence on screen, which wasn’t entirely separate from his actual off-screen persona and gleefully enjoyed the madness his tenure brought.
Contrasting with his predecessor, the Fourth Doctor’s sartorial style was Bohemian and wild, carefree and fun, gone are the frilly shirts, the velvet jackets and the cloaks, now is the time for corduroy jackets, occasional frock-coats, floppy fedoras, pockets bugling with odds and ends of useless/useful objects and not forgetting the striped scarf of innumerable length that soon became a trademark that stands valid even to this days.
An almost Wildian flamboyance.
The Fourth Doctor battled with Giant Robots, regular sized Robots of Death, Cybermen with a phobia for gold, shape-shifting Zygons, torturous Sontarans, corrupt Timelords (both full-bodied and pickled in a jar), insectoid parasites in space, a Parisian living Count who in his spare time was the last of his kind splintered through out history, a Peking Homunculus, Robot mummies, Robot duplicates, Robot Gun-dan Warriors, Taxmen, shape-shifting jellyfish, Minotaurs, Cacti, The Daleks and also met the creator of the Daleks for the first time, Davros on their home plant of Skaro,
The Fourth Doctor’s tenure stretched from 1974 to 1981, throughout that time he met many species, aliens, monsters and villains, he also travelled with many companions, Sarah Jane Smith, Harry Sullivan, Leela of the Sevateem, K9 the robot dog, Romanadvoratralunda (Romana/Fred for short), Adric, Nyssa of Traken and Tegan Jovanka an Australian air hostess.
This era of Doctor Who is considered by many to be the show’s Golden Era, and for good reason, with some of the best writing, best stories, best characters and best performances the show has ever seen. This also lead to the Fourth Doctor being considered as the definitive embodiment of the character, a performance which still stands up today in its fresh, believable approach that Tom Baker brought to the character.
And so onto May, fifth month, and so time for the Fifth Doctor played by the youthful Peter Davison.