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Ten Essential Second Doctor Moments

Updated on November 16, 2018
Haydn Norton profile image

Passionate, Committed, Diligent, Creative, Eager, Aspirational, Articulate.

Anyone with even a modest appreciation of the so-called "classic" era of the science fiction paradigm of a television programme, Doctor Who, will unanimously testify that waxing poetic about the almost immaculate portrayal of the first incarnation of the titular character from William Hartnell as so impressive, that it rendered him more of a prestigious acting legend than he had already been lauded as before his adoption of the role. He was such an incredibly tough act to follow, and left such enormously large shoes to fill for anyone tentatively ambitious on perpetuating the adulated iconic image of the character and the show. No matter the illustrious profile of the successor, the task promised to be an onerous and burdensome one, but when the BBC decided upon Patrick Troughton as an almost antithetical comic presence to replace the pre-instigator who was deteriorating in health through the "renewal" process, even Hartnell conceded that there could not have been a more suitable and ineffably affable equipped substitute.

There had been a precedent set of the conventional expectations of the unorthodox character, and the decision to replace William Hartnell at all was inevitably going to be a sensitive one at least, that could threaten to strain the studio's producers with the pressure of a vulnerably controversial avenue of a determination of how to proceed going forward with the show. It is difficult to postulate what the specific parameters of the expectation placed upon the shoulders of Troughton's diminutive stature were, but for someone who was petite in physical composition, his embodiment of the character was a gigantic, exuberant contrast to the monument of a man that preceded him. The odds were relatively adverse, but with a matter of moments, Troughton had managed to captivate and enchant sci-fi enthusiasts in a similar manner that Hartnell had but three years prior, but through different means.

The following listicle is a celebration of the greatest of his moments, deferring the Second Doctor with his due diligence.

10. Master Of Disguise(The Underwater Menace)

There have been many confronting situations that have affronted the Doctor throughout their many lives, that have potentially offered the prime opportunities for the charismatic hero to harness the aptest and most proficient of their skills in precognition and prudent analysis of the nature of any one scenario, but before Troughton's custody of the TARDIS controls and the adoption of his first sonic screwdriver, the discretion of devising strategies that would require the full competence of his prowess in subterfuge and duplicity was a feature that had only been flirted with. It was the perfect contradictory complement to his typically jovial and comical persona, and bolstered the ambition of infusing the show with even more versatility.

That was the logistic and pragmatic out of universe consideration that was implemented into the decision to permit the Doctor to adopt a disguise, but throughout the perturbation of his travels, it was the beleaguering peril that the fish people of Atlantis threatened to present that provided the impetus for the full embrace of those honed and refined strategic disciplines. The ability to convince a foe into a false sense of overconfident security by exaggerating his comical traits was an asset that the Second Doctor really developed and cultivated into the cabinet of excellent expertise that every iteration of the character could boast on their resume, and the overarching scheme of the science divisions of Atlantis to synthetically manufacture legions of fish people was thwarted through the admirable competence, faith and perseverance of the Doctor and his allies-Something this tactic was an imperative product of.

9. Meeting Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart(The Enemy Of The World)

In the foray into contemporary Earth that saw the Doctor familiarised with the tyrannical political monolith, Ramon Salamander, and the stalwart militarised defenders of the planet, UNIT, many new experiences for the protagonist, his companions, and the audience were examined. Questions of the definition of identity and the conglomerative amassment of amicable relations with an organisation of authority were two of the most prominent, and one most enduringly significant aspect of the latter was the construction of the bedrock pillars initiating a most fabled relationship that would withstand the test of the most vitally pertinent point of the show itself-Time.

The Doctor and Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart commenced their companionship on less than amicable terms, with a suspective and hostile impression of one another; And that was entirely down to the vagueness of the first prominent feature of fresh development already alluded to. But once the perplexing nature of the situation had been ascertained, the sparks of chemistry with each other and dependability upon their ally mutually flew with swiftness. The Doctor and his allies were introduced to UNIT, and together they worked to deduce a plan to oppose the malicious influence of corrupt deception of the tyrant spreading his propaganda like a plague. The circumstances were so unfavourable that they promised to jeopardise the possibility of formulating any kind of friendship, but the Brigadier and the Doctor threw caution to the wind in that regard. The reward for their circumspect evaluation of the rest of the scenarios that transpired around them was the foundational constructs of an alliance that benefitted both parties, and the collateral world in the grand scheme. of the universe.

8. Encountering Jamie McCrimmon(The Highlanders)

Likewise with the Brigadier, the relations with Jamie McCrimmon were riveting and compulsive of fan investment through the sheer mutual respect and affection the pair had for one another-And after their introduction in the Scottish highlands during the eighteenth century, a rapport was precipitously struck up. Barely any time at all had passed before they, and their company of Ben and Polly(and then Victoria and eventually Zoe were well versed in being thrust into situations where the purposefully prudent approach to engagements with the Daleks, the Cybermen, the Ice Warriors and a whole host of terrifying foes became an essential element of incorporation into their strategy for survival.

But all of those wonderful wanders were a far cry away from their very genesis in this moment, that was definitive of the Second Doctor by virtue of the fact that he was able to appeal to a companion that was so loyal and ingratiated to his particular personality, that he remained with the Doctor for the entirety of the remainder of his corporal form-Until the involuntary separation of the pair, courtesy of the Time Lords. As for the introduction itself, their acknowledgement of each other was relatively absent-minded, and their interactions of appreciation for one another were very limited. But, through the looming and ubiquitous danger of the marauding redcoats plundering Jamie's homeland, they were able to find common ground on amicable terms, and their veneration of each other only exponentially increased from the inaugural encounter, all the way to the affront of the War Games and the arrival of the Time Lords. Honourable, noble allies with an indelible and inexorable bond.

7. Duels With The Yeti & The Great Intelligence(The Abominable Snowmen)

There has been a profusion of instances throughout the lineage of the life of the Doctor where perfectly disconcerting opportunities for them to exhibit their gambit of proficiency in the application of their mental and cerebral integrity was presented-Via an insight into the intricate minutia of it, and a casual, passing glance over it. The methodical implementation of the tactics used to triumph over the conspiracy of The Great Intelligence with the mechanically manipulated minions of its machination-The Yeti.

It was through the employment of his skills of improvisation when confronted with such adversity, and the reliance on his friends that carried him through to prevail on the day; But the compelling component of the deterrence of the menacing entity was the fact that, in retrospect, the persistent recurrence of it soon after as it returned to exact revenge required further adaptive ability in an alteration of the method necessary to dispatch the foe once they had been augmented. The progenitor for the shared animosity found its origins in that moment though, and that typified the Second Doctor, and his remaining regeneration's lives, with innumerable retributive reunions inevitably impending.

6. Encounters With Himselves(The Three Doctors)

As is and has been discussed to the cusp of nausea whenever a multi-Doctor story has transpired, even with the subtle and sparse errors within the odysseys engaged in by multiple versions of the same protagonist taken as reservation, the undisputed virtue of all of them in their abundance is the fiendish proclivity they have for revealing the most prominent features of each of the Doctor's personalities, as they rebounded off of each other in the discordant, but ultimately fruitful exploits they participated in-All despite the inherent potential for a fallacious creation of continuity errors. This is a universal element to grant any and all of the Doctors a bolstering benefit to their profile, and to offer an intriguing and peculiar introspective into the dynamic shared between them and the only people cognisant of all of their dark secrets-Themselves.

In the particular instance of the Second Doctor's convergence with his former and later self in The Three Doctors, the Time Lords' summoning of the trio in order to thwart the brutality of the delinquent renegade, Omega, as he threatened to syphon the power of his own race was not the immediately prioritised concern of especially the Second and Third Doctors-They instead chose to bicker and contest one another over the very fundamental contrasts of their respective personas. The less frequent trait of the Second Doctor's preference in berating and bemoaning all those in the grace of his presence was the impulsive reaction to the more uptight persona of his successor, but it contradictorily lent itself to the inherent brand of levity that featured sparingly throughout his tenure as the sole star pilot. Then, the appearance of his younger self, who adopted the mantle of condescending authority, brought an additional aspect of antagonism to the scene, following the back and forth of the dialogue between them, Jo Grant and Sergeant Benton:

DOCTOR 2: Well, you've been fiddling with it, haven't you?
DOCTOR: It was perfectly all right until you touched it. Now if only you'd leave things to me.
DOCTOR 2: If we were to leave things with you, my dear fellow, we'd be in a fine pickle, wouldn't we.
DOCTOR: Look, you lost the image, not me.
BENTON: There they go again.
DOCTOR 2: I did not lose the image!

That, combined with the passive aggressive comments angled, of which the most famous was "Oh. I can see you've been doing the Tardis up a bit. Hmm. I don't like it."; Of course, being pastiched and referenced in most of the future encounters between different incarnations of the Doctor. The sequence was a perfect allocation of the shared spotlight that nurtured and drew out the best of the characters-Especially afterwards, when they put their differences aside to defeat Omega.

5. Post-Regeneration Recovery(The Power Of The Daleks)

With the current climate of the Doctor Who zeitgeist taken into consideration, the forlorn experience of disorientated delirium in the recovery in the fallout of the monumentally affecting regenerative process is a par for the course, as standard procedure. It's a no less disconcerting gauntlet to run, but it has come to be an expected charade to undergo. In 1966, this was not the case, however, and the primitive formulation of the toilsome process-then termed "renewal"-was a faithfully ambitious and risky route to endeavour upon. He had just exhausted all of his reserved energy in his first engagement with the dreaded Cybermen, and was forced into the obscenely peculiar ability only his race possessed-Transformative transmutation into a completely new appearance.

Though the very fictional nature of the organic process dictates it impossible for humans to empathise with, it is not irrational to speculate that experiencing the literal alteration of the physical and cognitive biology(down to the last cell) first hand would be traumatic at the very least; And it had been displayed most effectively by each and every single one of the Doctors, beside the first of course. Patrick Troughton's Second Doctor was no exception, but exceptionally portrayed the fine elements of the post-regeneration haze and confusion, that was so perplexing that it aroused suspicion of his very presence within the TARDIS amongst the company of his equally bewildered and distressed companions surrounding him.

DOCTOR: The muscles are still a bit tight.
BEN: What are we going to do?
POLLY: It is the Doctor. I know it is. I think.
BEN: It's not only his face that's changed. He doesn't even act like him.
BEN: Come on, it's time we sorted this out. Now look here!
DOCTOR: Hold that.
DOCTOR: Tilt it.
BEN: Have you done with this?
DOCTOR: Put it down. Put it down.
BEN: Now what's the game?

DOCTOR: Ah! The Crusades, from Saladin. The Doctor was a great collector, wasn't he?

POLLY: But you're the Doctor.
DOCTOR: Oh, I don't look like him.
BEN: Who are we?
DOCTOR: Don't you know?

An encapsulating scene of the Doctor acclimatising to his own altered persona, and collaterally affecting those around him. He referred to his former self in the third person, and understandably gave the impression that he was an imposter intruding on the licit location of the real Doctor. The experience also served as a pre-instigator for all of the bizarre and enticing adventures of a similarly fascinating nature that were to come with the Second Doctor, and once all of his faculties were resolved, he and his companions were prepared to undertake them. Or as prepared as they could be for the horror the Daleks willfully sought to subject the world to.

4. Meeting His Doppelgnger, Ramon Salamander(The Enemy Of The World)

The Enemy Of The World was a serialised broadcast of just another one of the many adventures that explored the more morose and dour dimensions of the Doctor's personality, but it quickly distinguished itself due to the inequity of a more mundane nature of the components that beleaguered him. Instead of facing the peril of a perturbing physical altercation or the destructive rampage of a militarised race of tenacious and ruthlessly murderous monsters, he was confronted with the hostility of genuinely righteous individuals, devoted to the virtuous preservation of moral principles in the world-Who had mistaken his identity for that of a doppelganger, that resembled him only in appearance.

His behavioural actions could not have been more contrasting to the benevolent pursuits of the Doctor, as he purported a facade of generous compassion in the best interest of the world's politics, but truthfully was discreet and deceptive of those that had invested faith in him and his apparent agenda, by concealing his true intention of gaining subjugative dominance and tyrannical power over the world, by any means necessary. After ratifying his inculpability of such malevolent intentions, the Doctor was made aware of this plight by those who had initially condemned him(UNIT), and when he met the true reprobate behind the plot, he was less than enchanted.

He decided to utilise his prowess in deception himself again, and chose to impersonate the antagonistic activist. But the scheme worked both ways, and the villain was able to infiltrate the TARDIS. The entire affair was jeopardising, and impactful on how the Doctor would approach future encounters with caution and preconception.

3. Reunion With The Brigadier(The Five Doctors)

The scope of the spectrum of available moments for derivable iconic and epitomising assets to be attributed to the personification of a character is vast, and broadly versatile. They range from the extraordinarily significant and lingeringly impactful to the nuanced and organically occurring by happenstance, with little precognition or overcompensatory consideration. Sometimes, the casual, tender moments of triviality can be equally as definitive and establishing of the principles and basal fabric of a character. And that is precisely what transpired implicitly in the reunion between the Second Doctor and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart in The Five Doctors.

Having been the first Doctor to officially be introduced to him during the palaver of The Enemy Of The World, the Second incarnation of the benign entity had already built a flourishing and beloving companionship in the rapport shared with the Brigadier, and it would continue throughout the rest of his lives until the untimely death of the figure of authority. He had the most harmonious chemistry with the Brigadier of all of his manifestations, and joined with him in relishing the sight of one another when the circumstances of the beleaguerment of the Lord President of Gallifrey, Borusa, attempted to ascend to the glory of eternal life at the expense of the inhabitants of the planet called upon the necessity of their summoning. After recovering from the surprise of seeing each other, they proceeded as was the protocol of addressing their ally:

BRIGADIER: Yes. Yeti, Cybermen. We've seen some times, Doctor.
DOCTOR: And Omega. Don't forget Omega.
BRIGADIER: As if I could!
DOCTOR: And the terrible Zodin.
DOCTOR: Oh, you weren't concerned with her, were you? She happened in the future. They were covered in hair. Used to hop like kangaroos. Well, I must say goodbye, Brigadier. I really shouldn't be here at all. I'm not exactly breaking the laws of time, but I am bending them a little.
BRIGADIER: You never did bother much about rules, as I remember.

The interaction really embellished who were the most admired and adored alums of the whole show.

2. Protesting The Right To Retain His Being(The War Games)

In the climactic concluding culmination of the Second Doctor's time in custody of the TARDIS key, he was separated from his loyal companions after undergoing the isolating mire of attempting to circumvent the trials of the War Games-Elaborately constructed by the Waar Chief to imperil the inhabitants of Earth, by extracting them and subjecting them to horrendous travesties committed against them. Despite his near omniscience and potent capabilities, he found himself in dire need of assistance, and so beckoned for the Time Lords to oblige by giving him aid in the defence of those whom he donated unconditional and undying compassion to. He eventually successfully defeated the War Chief, ceasing the perpetuation of his vitriolic machinations, but it came at a cost.

In the aftermath of overcoming of such perturbing adversity, he was sentenced to the judgement of the superior Time Lords who resided above him, and they determined that the contravention of their antiquated laws forbidding interference with the progression of time and pace, and decreeing passivity and indolence warranted the forced change of his form once again. With the absence of the complete transition into the body of the Third Doctor and the implicated continuity errors aside, the gravity of the situation was still palpably significant, and the transcendence of the scene was not detracted from. The offence the Doctor took at being "wrongfully" convicted was what consummated the scene, with the eloquent dialogue that proved futile:

DOCTOR: What? You mean that you're going to let me go free?
TIME LORD: Not entirely. We have noted your particular interest in the planet Earth. The frequency of your visits must have given you special knowledge of that world and it's problems.
DOCTOR: Yes, I suppose that's true. Earth seems more vulnerable than others, yes.
TIME LORD: For that reason you will be sent back to that planet.
DOCTOR: Oh, good.
TIME LORD: In exile.
DOCTOR: In exile?
TIME LORD: You will be sent to Earth in the twentieth century, and will remain there for as long as we deem proper, and for that period the secret of the Tardis will be taken from you.
DOCTOR: But you, you can't condemn me to exile on one primitive planet in one century in time! Besides, I'm known on the Earth. It might be very awkward for me.
TIME LORD: Your appearance has changed before, it will change again. That is part of the sentence.
DOCTOR: You can't just change what I look like without consulting me!

1. Consoling Victoria Waterfield(The Tomb Of The Cybermen)

The circumstances in which Victoria decided to join the TARDIS were less than ideal; She had lost her father to the Daleks. In a very short period following her induction, she was also unwillingly subjected to the experience of facing the Cybermen, as well; A beleaguering battle that left little allocation for respite. But in a very brief instance where a break was possible in the wake of the momentous matter, Victoria refrained, and became melancholic over the mourning of her father. Making the morosity of the distress of the memory of him very explicit in full earnest disclosure with the man who adopted a paternal role toward her, she relied on his own gentility and sentimentality when he consoled her:

You miss him very much, don't you?
VICTORIA: It's only when I close my eyes. I can still see him standing there, before those horrible Dalek creatures came to the house. He was a very kind man, I shall never forget him. Never.
DOCTOR: No, of course you won't. But, you know, the memory of him won't always be a sad one.
VICTORIA: I think it will. You can't understand, being so ancient.
VICTORIA: I mean old.
VICTORIA: You probably can't remember your family.
DOCTOR: Oh yes, I can when I want to. And that's the point, really. I have to really want to, to bring them back in front of my eyes. The rest of the time they sleep in my mind, and I forget. And so will you. Oh yes, you will. You'll find there's so much else to think about. So remember, our lives are different to anybody else's. That's the exciting thing. There's nobody in the universe can do what we're doing.

For all of the high octane precipitous action the Doctor was well versed in, he was more than capable of moments of poignant contemplation as well. And the full capacity of his sentimental compassion and reverential commemoration of those that had passed him and others by through empathy was explored-Providing valuable and rare perspicacity into his vulnerable, sensitive past, and established him as an allegorically exemplary person of behavioural optimism.


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