-Doctor Who in Sculpture: 1963 to 2013-
Seventh month. Seventh Doctor.
The Sixth Doctor was bold and brash, arrogant and swaggering, the Seventh Doctor was a different kettle of fish.
This Doctor, played by Sylvester McCoy, was a manipulative and secretive figure who would play games with his enemies, setting up cosmic challenges to chess with his foes as pawns in a game of their own destruction.
He would frequently settle old scores and clean up mistakes he had previously left behind.
These darker traits aside, the Seventh Doctor had both dark mercurial and cheerful and fun-loving sides to his personality.
During the early part of his time, the Seventh Doctor played an almost buffoonish clown persona, not dissimilar to the Second Doctor. And like the Second Doctor, this clownishness would hide a fierce intelligence and a razor sharp mind.
A love of playing the spoons and spoonerisms alike, the early period of this Doctor’s time was full of garish locations and larger than life villains, none odder than the shrieking and nightmarish Kandyman. A walking-talking embodiment of the darker side of sweets and confectionary who will make you think twice about Bertie Bassett.
The latter part of the Seventh Doctor’s life however showed a shift in his personality, a move towards the manipulative and dark figure that I have tried to reflect in my picture above.
This Doctor, although still a cheerful clownish figure at heart, had now become a monolithic, almost mystical figure. A man steeped in blood and shady deals long before the time that we have known him.
During this time there was a heavy implication through out his adventures that the Doctor (as a complete character) was far more important and symbolic than we previously thought, hinting that he was a mystical figure from Timelord history called “The Other" who was the third of a trilogy of historical personalities of Gallifreyan folklore including Rassilon and Omega who oversaw the establishing of Timelord society and helped create the time travel technology they would become known for.
This ultimately was never conclusively addressed, confirmed or denied during this Doctor’s life, so who knows, perhaps there’s more to him than meets the eye.
A fascinating character who brought the mystery back to the show and gave it a new breath of life, sadly too late as it was cancelled soon after the darker shades of the Doctor’s personality began to shine through.
He fought against classic foes such as the Daleks and the Cybermen, destroying them both seemingly for good.
He also battled alternative Universe/futuristic medieval Arthurian knights, horrendous cracked blue skinned vampiric Haemovores during the Second World War, the Gods of Ragnarok and an all-powerful entity known simply as Light trying to catalog all existing life.
His companions were feisty and modern. First the flame-haired and loud-mouthed (but joyous nonetheless) Melanie Bush, who then handed over to the confident but damaged Ace, fresh from the streets of 1980s Perivale (albeit via Iceworld). Ace came with a complex history of a troubled childhood of living on an estate and a fear of haunted houses which the Doctor would exploit in exercises to teach and test his new companion.
Their relationship was closer and more affectionate than previous Doctor-Companion friendships. Not verging on actual romantic love, but a strong platonic bond akin to two very very best friends who would do anything for the other.
Ace also in many ways offered a prototype for the Rose Tylers of the series to come, a thoroughly modern and fresh paradigm for the Companion character to follow.
The Seventh Doctor’s tenure lasted from 1987 to 1989, and then again in 1996 when the show would return in a new form.
He would return to hand the torch to the next Doctor.
The Eighth Doctor played by Paul McGann. Foppish and romantic.
But that’s for next month.
See you then…