By the time Peter Davison bid Doctor Who farewell in 1984, the BBC was flat-out trying to kill the show. It was originally supposed to last six weeks, and here it was, still on the air twenty-one years later. Because of this, there were some…questionable choices made regarding scripts, directing, and costuming (especially costuming). But despite it all, Colin Baker gave us a worthy performance as everyone’s favorite Time Lord.
The Sixth Doctor took some getting used to after mild-mannered Five. This new Doctor was brusque and arrogant and quite frequently bickered with his companion. His temper was shorter, and he was more prone to violence. Add to the mix a coat that burned eyeballs to a crisp, and you’ll begin to understand why the Sixth Doctor was not exactly popular.
But there was one thing the powers-that-be didn’t reckon on–they never expected the Doctor to be glimpsed through their attempts to end the show. They never expected that their attempts to skewer the popularity would be subtly thwarted by the fact that the Doctor was still in there–it wasn’t often that he came out, but I know when I watched “The Two Doctors” for the first time, I could still see the same Time Lord in the new face.
And even that ghastly coat grew on me.