Jump to content

The Seventh Doctor: "Oi, Dalek! It’s Me!"


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.

103 replies to this topic

#1

MisterZ

MisterZ

    Fanatic

Posted Mar 4, 2006 @ 5:38 PM

"Don't you recognize your mortal enemy?"

Aside from Tom Baker, McCoy is my least favorite of the Doctors. I suppose I just don't like it when the character is designed as overtly funny.

Edited by MisterZ, Mar 4, 2006 @ 5:40 PM.


#2

jeet

jeet

    Couch Potato

Posted Mar 4, 2006 @ 5:56 PM

Really? I really started to like McCoy once he went all dark and manipulative.

#3

MisterZ

MisterZ

    Fanatic

Posted Mar 4, 2006 @ 6:06 PM

By that point I was just fed up.

#4

jeet

jeet

    Couch Potato

Posted Mar 4, 2006 @ 6:15 PM

Then just ignore Season 24 ("Time and the Rani" to "Dragonfire").

Edited by jeet, Mar 4, 2006 @ 6:15 PM.


#5

MisterZ

MisterZ

    Fanatic

Posted Mar 4, 2006 @ 6:17 PM

Heh. I'll take that into consideration.

#6

areacode212

areacode212

    Fanatic

Posted Mar 4, 2006 @ 6:25 PM

In my experience (which consists mostly of surfing on OG), the 7th Doctor is probably the most polarizing Doctor of the bunch. He's definitely my least favorite by a healthy margin. I like all the other ones to varying degrees, but I can't stand McCoy's Doctor at all. As the "clowny" Doctor he started as, I found him annoying and unbearable, but at least I could believe that the character was really like that (I just hated him). No, the REAL pain came once he became the "dark Doctor". I refuse to rewatch "The Curse of Fenric", because I don't want to be subjected to seeing McCoy play "angry" ever again.

That said, I thought he was pretty good in the TV movie. I wish his character had been more like that in the show. Plus, I've seen/heard some of his interviews, and McCoy himself seems to be a pretty nice guy who always seems happy to discuss the show.

#7

Adric

Adric

    Video Archivist

Posted Mar 6, 2006 @ 4:26 AM

I would agree that McCoy's era is definitely the most polarizing in fandom. Here is a list of his tales, for the record:

Season XXIV (1987):
148. Time and the Rani - 4 eps - Mel
149. Paradise Towers - 4 eps - Mel
150. Delta and the Bannermen - 3 eps - Mel
151. Dragonfire - 3 eps - Mel & Ace

Season XXV (1988):
152. Remembrance of the Daleks - 4 eps - Ace
153. The Happiness Patrol - 3 eps - Ace
154. Silver Nemesis - 3 eps - Ace
155. The Greatest Show in the Galaxy - 4 eps - Ace

Season XXVI (1989):
156. Battlefield - 4 eps - Ace
157. Ghost Light - 3 eps - Ace
158. Curse of Fenric - 4 eps - Ace

159. Survival - 3 eps - Ace

Very much an era of two parts. The initial season tried to be quirky and different, but was often painful and full of missteps, at least as I see it.

Then the Daleks returned, and the show gave a sense of what it used to be all about. McCoy found his Ace, and the stories started taking themselves seriously again. There was also an attempt to inject some mystery back in the show, though through annoying hints more than anything else, and a casual disregard for the basics of drama, again in my opinion. While I suppose it is a good thing that the show was striving to reinvent itself, it was perhaps a failed direction to go in, though the stories were of better quality by the end. Considering the depths of McCoy's first season, that may not have been much of an uphill climb.

In any event, if one were to want to check out the stories on DVD, I would say that either "Remembrance of the Daleks" or "Curse of Fenric" would be smart choices. I absolutely abhor "Ghost Light" however. (Bearing in mind the polarizing nature of McCoy's reign though, many consider this his best story!)

#8

FoolishWanderer

FoolishWanderer

    Fanatic

  • Gender:Male

Posted Mar 6, 2006 @ 5:31 AM

As I said elsewhere, Ghost Light has too much story and too little exposition. Battlefield has a great story, but it's let down by the actual production values. Paradise Towers, Happiness Patrol, and Greatest Show are very strange stories. Watch them, and marvel at the fun drugs people must have been on.

#9

Sharpie66

Sharpie66

    Fanatic

Posted Mar 6, 2006 @ 5:45 PM

They only showed the McCoy stories once or maybe twice before canceling DW completely here in Chicago, so I don't have the familiarity that comes from repeated viewings of his episodes, but I liked what he and the writers were trying to do with the character, especially after the debacle known as Colin Baker (whom I really detested).

The only DW-classic ep I still have on tape is RotD, which is still one of my all-time favorite eps. That was an ep that revelled in continuity, and is a real reward for us long-lived fans of the series. My favorite "hah!" moment in it was when Ace was left behind at the boarding house and wandered around the sitting room out of boredom. She turns on the TV and starts banging on it as the tube takes its usual forever to warm up (I remember our old set doing the exact same thing, but Ace would never have expererienced that, of course!). She finally turns the tv off in disgust just as it tunes in with the announcer's voice saying, "And coming up next, another episode in the continuing adventures of Doc--" Loved the meta!

#10

EllycatinOz

EllycatinOz

    Fanatic

  • Location:Australia
  • Interests:House, The Doctor Who universe, Buffyverse, good fanfic

Posted Mar 7, 2006 @ 9:45 PM

I like Doctor Number 7. I thought he was good. I thought Ace was amongst the best companions ever. Sarah Jane, Ace and Leela are my favourites.

One of my favourite arcs is Remembrance of the Daleks.

Anyhoo just thought I'd wander into this and say so. And that I understand he was a hated doctor but that I never really understood why. Ditto Ace.

#11

Jiggedfool

Jiggedfool

    Channel Surfer

Posted Mar 10, 2006 @ 7:24 PM

I never knew that the 7th Doctor was disliked! Well, I've only ever talked about Doctor Who to members of my family before, and we all liked him, so. The 7th Doctor and Ace are probably my favorite doctor/companion combination, even though there are, separately, doctors and companions I like more. Their relationship is both sweet and unsettling, which is a rare mix.

I never saw him as over-the-top, but then again, I love the 2nd Doctor too, so maybe that's where my tastes lie. I also haven't seen any of his episodes with Mel, as she drives me crazy. He overacts, yes, but I'm very good at suspending disbelief - given the production values of much of the show, I really have to be.

I don't know, I guess I just like it when the Doctor's portrayed as less than perfect. (I get the feeling I'd like the 6th, if I ever managed to actually see an episode.)

#12

Cbservo

Cbservo

    Channel Surfer

Posted Mar 14, 2006 @ 4:02 PM

I must be the only one in the room that didn;t know the 7th Doctor was that polarizing...I was introduced to the series by a friend of mine, but the first ones he showed me were Ghost Light, Fenric, Survival, Remembrance, most of the later ones of the 7th era-

And I was enthralled, amazed, and wanted to see the rest of the McCoy episodes. Needless to say, I was very disappointed with the sillier ones of the first couple seasons. but I thought his chemistry and relationship with Ace was just how a time traveller and his companion should be. A strong, on her own companion that meshed well with the Doctor, who, while manipulative, secrative, and not above sacrificing pawns to win, was the champion of the Time- trying to do anything to keep it from being destroyed.

I can see how most people hate the earlier ones...but I still have a soft spot for every episode he wore the "Darker" jacket in. (literally and figuratively)

Oh, and Remembrance of the Daleks is my favorite episode of all time. Hands down.

#13

WAnglais1

WAnglais1

    Fanatic

Posted Mar 21, 2006 @ 9:15 AM

I was sitting outside the London Museum of TV and Radio in late 1998 having a drink and enjoying the London sunset at 3:30pm (it was December) when I happened to see standing right in front of me, Sylvester McCoy. He was chatting with someone else and I guess he saw a look on my face, because he said, "I need to leave. I've been spotted." This really pissed me off. I wasn't going to approach him, but I almost stood up and yelled, "Hey, look everyone! It's the second most-hated Doctor Who!"

#14

Yannick

Yannick

Posted Mar 21, 2006 @ 11:43 AM

If you pretend the Doctor's real though, it becomes an awesome anecdote.

#15

alocin

alocin

    Couch Potato

Posted Mar 21, 2006 @ 2:22 PM

I didn't know McCoy was polarizing either.

McCoy is MY Doctor, I was like 6 and a half when the show was cancelled in 1989 and had just started watching at the time, so my experiences of the show were totally defined by McCoy and by Aldred as Ace. I suppose that's why I look back on them whenever I see repeats with fondness.

'The Curse of Fenric', 'Ghost Light', even 'Rememberence of the Daleks' seem to play completely differently depending on whether you are a child or a grown-up/teenager when you watch them. They deliver the villains and the frights for the kids, but Cartmel also delivered a storyline with every adventure, they were about something. He certainly didn't talk down to the audience, which is fantastic if you are coming back to the show and re-watching them after a gap of several years. 'Fenric' terrified me as a 5 year old, I think I may have slept with the light on that night, but maybe three years ago I saw it again and realised there was a really mature story about Ace facing her past and putting her 'issues' with her mother to rest, particularly after she finds out who the baby is. In a sense she's finding some grace in the 1940s after having had a relatively rough time of it in the last period of her life. 'Ghost Light' is both your classic 'mysterious outpost' Who-story but is also rather complicated and requires a lot of attention to get exactly what its going on about. I do actually like shows where you have to pay attention to details to get what its about, so that in itself is a reward, after all Doctor Who has a reputation as being for children and therefore the plots themselves were not always that complex. 'Rememberence of the Daleks' was both a Dalek story to entertain the kiddies and a recovery in-terms of Dalek stories and tried to define a command structure with the Emperor Dalek that I found interesting. 'Battlefield' was about something, mythology and had the Brigadier in it, so I don't mind it at all.

In some ways I think it might be Doctor Who seeing the weaknesses in their own format, trying to grow-up, engage with an audience demographic that had changed, the older viewer who were kids in the 1960s or 70s and were often as not cult-fan-boys (and girls.) They knew if it was going to go out, it had to go out its head held high and be about something other than some eccentric professor-type defending the universe against slime-monsters with a pretty girl side-kick. I find the McCoy era a lot more rewarding now as an adult than I ever did as a child, simply because I get what they were trying to do and know a bit about the backstage stuff so I can put it in perspective. Is that a common experience I wonder?

I loved Ace (I still sort of do, mostly nostalgically and because when I was about 10 I wanted that bomber jacket.) She seemed approachable in a way the Doctor didn't. He was sly and schemeing but you knew he could see bigger-pictures than we could so you trusted him to do the right thing. Sure, "wicked professor" drove you nuts eventually, but she wouldn't stand and scream, did Ace ever actually scream? She just got on with the job and stood up and was counted. I think Ace might be an earlier form of Rose actually, a reasonably intelligent, confident, capable woman who wasn't about to let anybody get away with anything and had a good heart. Not a bad thing to see on your t.v. on a weekly basis when you are a 6 year old girl is it?

Its been so long since I've seen the Bonnie Langford episodes that I don't remember details. I think she might be the 'last of the old fashioned, screaming companions.' Does Mel play better now when you're older? Can I dare hope she comes off better? I saw some repeats in the mid-1990s and didn't like her much at all, although I found her episodes, like say 'Paradise Towers,' weird in a good way.

Plus of course McCoy is Scottish and I'm Scottish, so that was fantastic to me as a child. Its nice to see 'us up North' (the real North, not the English North) represented on a Great British institution.

#16

FoolishWanderer

FoolishWanderer

    Fanatic

  • Gender:Male

Posted Mar 21, 2006 @ 5:31 PM

Does Mel play better now when you're older?

I saw her earlier this year, and IMO, the answer is no. She's still as annoying as ever.

#17

areacode212

areacode212

    Fanatic

Posted Mar 21, 2006 @ 8:56 PM

I thought she was pretty good in the 2 Big Finish audios I've heard with her in them ("The Fires of Vulcan" and "The One Doctor"). Maybe *she* plays Mel better now that she's older.

#18

alocin

alocin

    Couch Potato

Posted Mar 22, 2006 @ 8:47 AM

I guess its just a subjective thing. I found her cringeworthy at times. I think the problem was three-fold, a) the Doctor was a lot more 'comedic' than a lot of Doctors had been since Tom Baker but in a completely different way, b) Langford was a variety and comedic player and I believe was new to drama so tended to pitch her performances in a more arch kinda manner, c) it was just weird - their partnership was a little bit weird, the stories were weird, the villains were REALLY weird.

I've never really listened to the Big Finish stories, something about Doctor Who being just as much about the visual, probably more so, than any other element kind of put me off.

It has seemed that the Big Finish stories have served as a bit of a redemption to Doctors 6 through 8 though, making up for the weaker elements in the show, like the lack of direction with the first year of Colin Baker's tenure or the sheer lack of time we had to get to know Paul McGann's Doctor, that's the one Doctor I maybe would consider buying an audio adventure for, just because we know so little about that Doctor.

I had heard that Mel was better in the audio adventures than on screen, a review I read ages ago praised Langford's efforts with the role. Maybe its just the fact that they are audio so you have to rely on dialogue and can actually develop characters a little more, so there's more to work with on the page rather than just reacting to monsters. It sure didn't help that the 'Mel season' was really weird in-general, hey, maybe they were trying to work in Langford's variety background with some really eccentric stuff to let her play comedy? I don't know.

I dare say she's probably learned a lot from that experience and matured a lot as a performer, didn't she pretty much say that she was new to drama at the time? I wouldn't necessarily go out and actually buy the audio adventures hoping that was the case, but I hope that is the case. Certainly the older people often get the calmer they tend to become, okay, not the case with Tom Baker, but generally. I can see them writing less eccentric material to work with a more morose, even a little jaded Doctor, the 7th Doctor we saw at the beginning of the ill-fated t.v. movie.

#19

MisterZ

MisterZ

    Fanatic

Posted Mar 25, 2006 @ 7:52 PM

I thought at the time I saw it that "Silver Nemesis" was a pretty poor anniversary show. I'd actually be curious to see it again to see whether that opinion still holds.

#20

dannyboybell

dannyboybell

    Loyal Viewer

Posted Mar 26, 2006 @ 12:46 AM

I thought at the time I saw it that "Silver Nemesis" was a pretty poor anniversary show. I'd actually be curious to see it again to see whether that opinion still holds.


I did and, for me at any rate, it was. Part of the problem was that the Cybermen had to battle for airtime with Lady Stuckinacomet. The other problem is that it was during the "ooh, let's give the Doctor a SECRET PAST!!!" season, so Lady Stuckinacomet makes a lot of veiled references which were never followed up on.

#21

bigorangemike

bigorangemike

    Channel Surfer

Posted Mar 31, 2006 @ 10:56 AM

And part of the problem with Silver Nemesis is that it's essential the same story that was better told by Remembrance of the Daleks just two stories before....

#22

Werrf

Werrf

    Channel Surfer

Posted Apr 5, 2006 @ 10:20 AM

I have to say that for quite a long time, McCoy was the Doctor for me, and he's still among my favourites. This is probably because he was the first doctor I became truly aware of. Baker left when I was about a year old, Davison departed when I was about four, Baker #2 barely registered on my radar. McCoy was the first Doctor I could really understand - and, of course, he had the wonderful Ace, who was just gorgeous.

Even now, after watching Pertwee, Baker and the others, I find McCoy's version to be one of my favourites (for the record, my list is: Baker, McCoy/Davidson, Pertweek, Hartnell/Troughton/Baker#2). I enjoy his clowning around, which I find to be wonderfully irreverent. His treatment of the Daleks was masterful, and there's Ace - again :) I'd love to see her come back in the new series at some point.

#23

alocin

alocin

    Couch Potato

Posted May 1, 2006 @ 8:20 PM

I'd love to see her come back in the new series at some point.


Could be well cool! Though I'd hesitate at the "wicked Professor" or maybe just for the hell of it as a knowing joke.

McCoy was the Doctor for me


I know what you mean, except I was about five at the time, he was Scottish like me and he seemed really fun like a crazy children's entertainer guy, which is rather ironic considering the fact that Sophie Aldred turned out to be the one with all the children's t.v. to her name. I am actually young enough to appreciate the charms of 'Melvin and Maureen's Musicagrams.'

#24

RackOff

RackOff

    Couch Potato

Posted May 2, 2006 @ 7:07 AM

I was like 6 and a half when the show was cancelled in 1989 and had just started watching at the time, so my experiences of the show were totally defined by McCoy and by Aldred as Ace.


There's obviously something in the whole first Doctor/fave Doctor phenom because same here.

the charms of 'Melvin and Maureen's Musicagrams.'


Heee! alocin, you can't hear me, but I am singing this aloud right now.

#25

Yfandes

Yfandes

    Couch Potato

Posted May 19, 2006 @ 3:39 PM

So I followed someone's advice on another thread and read Damaged Goods, which is by Russell Davies. But, having read the book, I'm still not sure which Doctor it is. I've never seen any episodes with the 7th Doctor. I'm wondering if it's him, based on the physical description. Anyone happen to know?

Thanks.

#26

FoolishWanderer

FoolishWanderer

    Fanatic

  • Gender:Male

Posted May 19, 2006 @ 5:42 PM

Yeah, it is him.

#27

Forsquilis

Forsquilis

    Fanatic

  • Location:Minneapolis
  • Interests:Apparently, right now, my main interest is Sylar. God help us all. <br /><br />(If you're a LiveJournaler, I'm also Forsquilis over there...)

Posted Jun 5, 2006 @ 8:24 PM

I never cared for the McCoy episodes, but when I try to think of what I HATED about them, what I keep thinking of is the incidental music. It's been at least 14 years since I saw any of his episodes; was the music really as cartoonish and cheesy as I seem to remember?

Oh yeah, I just remembered the other thing I hated: that umbrella handle and damned sweater vest with question marks on it. Again: cartoonish and cheesy.

#28

asim

asim

    Channel Surfer

Posted Jun 6, 2006 @ 10:30 PM

read Damaged Goods, which is by Russell Davies. But, having read the book, I'm still not sure which Doctor it is.


It is, indeed, the McCoy Doctor. Part of the confusion, aside from simply not knowing him, is that he changes a great deal in the books; it's part of the charm of the series for me.

If anyone's curious, some of the best Virgin New Adventures books (as well as the BBC series) are on the BBC Cult TV website. I recommend Lungbarrow and Human Nature. The latter is by the writer of the episode "Father's Day", in fact...

#29

Raksha

Raksha

    Fanatic

Posted Jun 25, 2006 @ 12:14 AM

Well, I just finished watchig "Ghost Light." That was weird. I liked it!

Ace is 12 kinds of awesome, and she looked lovely in that dress.

Control was hilarious, especially when she was cowering under that bedspread. She kind of sounded like Gollum.

Redvers (or whatever his name was) cracked me up, too. His funniest bit was after Control jumped out of the window. He casually remarked to the Doctor, "Well, if she'd been a real lady, I wouldn't be in her boudoir."

Also, Light looked like Christopher Walken, only slightly less creepy.

I've only seen "Rememberance of the Daleks" and "Ghost Light" so far, but I like Seven. He's a right manipulative old bastard, and I dig it. I like his mannerisms, too. I can't quite put my finger on it, but there's something about his physicality that I like. And something about his interactions with Ace and the way he interacts with her (in a physical/spatial sense) reminds me of Nine and Rose. I like that, since it really drives home the point that Nine used to be Seven.

#30

Raksha

Raksha

    Fanatic

Posted Jun 30, 2006 @ 12:09 PM

Well, I just finished watching and listening to the commentary on "Curse of the Fenric." It was great! I think Seven is actually one of my favorite Doctors. I really like the tone of his stories (well, of the three I've seen, anyway) and his relationship with Ace is great. Also, from watching behind the scenes stuff, interviews, and listening to the commentaries, it really seems like Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred really liked doing the show and enjoy each other's company, which I think comes through in the show.

My favorite bit from the CoF commentary was during the scene where the Doctor has to make Ace think he's been using her from the very beginning:

Sylvester: I was just trying to save the world, Ace.
Sophie: Ha, yeah, that's your excuse. Again and again. And I fell for it every time.

Hee!

I also thought the bit where Nicholas Whatshisname who played the vicar asked them what exactly the relationship between Ace and the Doctor was, and Sylvester and Sophie both kind of giggled and Sophie said something like "We won't get into that!" Doctor! She's 16!


ETA: Ah, dammit! It's been almost a week and I forgot I was the last person to post in this thread. Apologies.

Edited by Raksha, Jun 30, 2006 @ 12:09 PM.