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Monday, December 1, 2014

DOCTOR WHO: THE TOP 5 GREATEST DOCTORS EVER


DOCTOR WHO: 
THE TOP 5 GREATEST DOCTORS EVER


By
Matt "MATMAN" Herring
(Painstakingly edited by John "THE MEGO STRETCH HULK" Cimino)
 
Of all the people in my life who are immersed in geek culture John Cimino is the only person I know who may be a little more nuts and knowledgeable than I am.  Comic books, KISS, cartoons, toys... we just eat that stuff up like a bowl of Yummy Mummy or Fruit Brute.  When John and I first met we never should have gotten along. Why?  Because we are way too much alike!  Our most noticeable similarity is our love of the spotlight.  But something odd happens when we are together that never happens with anyone else… we are willing to share the attention.  Almost nine years later (and countless insane experiences) I consider John a brother. And we just so happen to be each others biggest fans!  So when he asked me to compile my DOCTOR WHO: TOP 5 GREATEST DOCTORS EVER I jumped at the chance.  As the author of THE UNOFFICIAL DOCTOR WHO COMPANION and co-host of the SECRET IDENTITY PODCAST (along with the more talented but less insane Brian LeTendre), I take every opportunity I get to share my passions with anyone who wants to listen.


John and me (with the great head of hair) engage in some explicit comic con activity!

If you are not familiar with the crazy world of DOCTOR WHO here is the abridged story.  The Doctor (that is the name he goes by) is a time traveling alien from the planet Gallifrey who left his home planet long ago in search of adventure.  His mode of transportation is a big blue police box called a TARDIS that can go anywhere in time and space.  The TARDIS is much bigger on the inside than it appears on the outside and has everything needed to live inside its blue walls.  Now here is the tricky part… why are there so many Doctors?  The Doctor (like anyone else from Gallifrey) has the ability to ‘regenerate’ his body twelve times if he becomes mortally wounded or becomes too weak to continue.  The reason for this is to keep his collected knowledge and life experiences alive.  When the Doctor regenerates, the change is not only physical, but mental as well.  He has a memory of his past and at times has emotional issues following this sudden change.  He can’t control who he will regenerate into but in his past it was controlled for him twice by outside forces.  The regeneration concept has not only served the character and story but has helped the BBC (the creators and producers of the show).  Not every show can survive following the change of the lead character, DOCTOR WHO has not only survived, but made the real search for the ‘new’ Doctor a national event in the UK.

Another unique element to DOCTOR WHO is the ‘companion’. The Doctor seldom travels alone, bringing regular people (or the occasional alien) with him on his adventures.  It has been proven that without companionship the Doctor can get a little ‘nuts’ and needs others around him to keep him centered.  A Doctor’s run on the show can be defined by the strength of his companions like Rose Tyler, Sara Jane Smith, Jamie McCrimmon and Donna Noble.  A strong companion can also help the audience in adjusting from one Doctor to the other like Clara Oswald did in the recent change from Matt Smith to the current Doctor, Peter Capaldi.

Now I must warn you in advance, this countdown will not contain anything about Stan Lee, Gene Simmons or a Mego Stretch Hulk!  So sit back and relax because the 5 best Doctor(s) are in…



5.) PAUL McGANN (1996)

Art by Griffin Es.


Sadly, the Eighth Doctor didn’t get much of a chance to shine.  Following an attempt to revive the series with an American TV movie featuring Eric Roberts, the series drifted away into history until its return in 2005.  The movie failed to gain an audience because it was too 'British' for the U.S. and too 'American' for the Brits, but it did give us 90 minutes of fun.  The Eighth Doctor had an almost ‘hippie’ attitude, loving life and everything about it.  His character has been expanded upon in BBC audio dramas but it’s his mini episode ‘Night of the Doctor’ that gives number eight the (albeit short) showcase he deserved.  Just think what could have been if Paul McGann was given the time to develop his version of the Doctor? You might be looking at a very different list



4.) WILLIAM HARTNELL (1963 - 1966)
 
Art by: Chris Hebert

The First Doctor has very little resemblance to the Doctors who would precede him.  He’s quite aged, kinda mean and not very physical… but there is a mysterious and very real charm about him that draws you in.  His character was developed as an educator and mentor to help teach the younger viewers about history and science, but the show very quickly grew into more than just a kid show.  Despite the lack of color and bad special effects, the First Doctor became one of my favorites because of the strength of the man he was.  He always appeared to be too old and fragile but when it was needed, he stood up strong.   



3.) COLIN BAKER (1984 - 1986) 

Art by: Jim Taylor, Rusty Gilligan and Brandy Dixon

The Sixth Doctor was nothing like his predecessors. In fact within the first few minutes of his regeneration he tries to choke his companion, Peri!  This was a pretty shocking introduction from a Doctor that had a very turbulent existence.  Attempted murder aside, the Sixth Doctor was as colorful as his multi-patterned jacket!  He was brash, very unpredictable and sometimes volatile.  It was his unpredictability that resonated with me but didn't quite work with the younger British audiences at the time.  To me, the Sixth Doctor was more of a rock star than savior of the universe and he knew it all too... just ask him.  I may not be a fan of many of his episodes, but I'm a big fan of him.  
 


2.) DAVID TENNANT (2005 - 2010)

Art by: Kevin Easton

David Tennant could easily be my favorite Doctor because when he was wearing the brainy specks, trainers and pinstripe suit… he looked like he WAS the quintessential Doctor!  No one brought more to the role and helped build the fan base more than David Tennant did.  The Tenth Doctor had the best episodes and was also blessed by having the best companions of the shows history.  He was the everyman; talkative and friendly but underneath there was a darkness and anger that would sometimes manage to escape to the surface.  Next to Tom Baker, David Tennant resonated with DOCTOR WHO fans more than anyone else. 



 1.) CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTSON (2005)

Art by: Chris Giarrusso

One word to me describes the Ninth Doctor… 'fantastic'!  More physical and certainly more focused than the eight that came before him, the Ninth Doctor carried the weight of the universe on his shoulders.  He went into every situation with pure emotion and felt the sadness of being the last of his kind.  There was an intimidation to his persona as well as a deep sadness that made him very appealing.  Granted, his one season was written through his companion Rose Tyler, but despite her strong presence, the Ninth Doctor was able to make for me, the perfect Doctor.  When the series was relaunched in 2005, Eccleston was the big reason fans took to it.  He not only reintroduced us to the insane world of DOCTOR WHO, but gave us the perfect balance between the 'classic' series and the current one.



MATMAN'S MANIC MUSINGS

So there you go kids, my Top Five Doctors ever!  With over 50 years of Whovian history it's easy to not pick ‘your favorite’ Doctor and not have the same order as yours.  But before you start the hate mail campaign because your favorite Doctor isn’t mentioned, this was MY top 5!  It’s like picking your favorite Beatles song (NOT ‘Hey Jude’, I can’t stand that song), favorite James Bond (George Lazenby) or favorite fruit (I hate all of them except roll-ups)… these are all my opinions and choices so what let me know what yours are.


Little ol' Matty Herring before the super soldier serum had taken effect.

Matt "MATMAN" Herring
If you want to find out more about our podcast go to (www.secretidentitypodcast.com) or my writing projects at (www.mattcantspell.com), c’mon by and hang out with us for a bit.  I’ll make sure John keeps his shirt on.  


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