Doctor Origin : Gallifrey
(Actor) Born : 25 March 1920 – 28 March 1987
Doctor Reign – 1966 – 69
Victoria: “Perhaps we’ve landed on a world of madmen.” Second Doctor: “They’re human beings, if that’s what you mean.”
Patrick Troughton took over the role of the Doctor in 1966, replacing the outgoing popular William Hartnell – in something of a precedent in TV. Could it work? Could a successful show carry on, with a different actor in the same lead role?
Troughton was an experienced TV performer, having appeared in many TV series and movies. He had starred as Robin Hood in a 1953 TV series, and had appeared in the sword and sandals epic – Jason and the Argonauts – 1963.
Initally, Troughton wasn’t so sure – but the more he talked it over with the producers, he began to flesh out his vision for the character.
Then script editor – Gerry Davis, had in mind the character played by James Stewart in the film Destry Ride Again -1939 – a man who would recount a parable rather than answer a straight question, then leave others to work out its meaning. This element of Who has stuck with every Doctor upto present day and still forms one of the Doctor’s most mysterious qualities.
Troughton had the idea of a Charlie Chaplin-esque character and between him and Sydney Newman (the show’s creator) – they settled on a “cosmic hobo” style image and manner, complete with a Beatle-esue haircut – for the second Doctor.
Troughton bought an insatiable curiosity to the role, an absent minded professor quality and a healthy dose of humour. He took the basic qualities of personality that Hartnell had established and gave them real dramatic verve, swinging from one emotion to the other, with irreverenant forgetfulness. Every Doctor has since attempted to capture this facet in their own interpretation of the Doctor – and as we shall find out in future profiles, some were better at it than others.
It was Troughton’s era that began to shape the mythos which had been loose in Hartnell’s era. It was learned that the Doctor was a Time Lord from a race of fellow Time Lords, that he was from the planet Gallifrey, War Games – 1969 and he could regenerate frequently (obviously as he just had!!).
Furthermore, Troughton introduced the second Doctor’s staple trademark; the flute. He played it endlessly whilst he mused over a problem or life threatening situation – as if it seemed to help him think.
In his first adventure, he was really up against it in – The Power Of The Daleks -1966 which saw him pitted against his mortal enemies – the Dalek’s; having came out of his first regeneration with the first trademark post regeneration confusion disorder (which was to be explored more in future regeneration’s).
The production team made a few changes behind the scene’s too. Out went the overly preachy Historical Earth episodes and in came – monsters! Lots and lots of Monsters! Troughton’s second season was dubbed “Thee Monster era”.
The Doctor was pitted against many varied aliens in season two : Cybermen, Daleks, The Yeti (who made a number of re-appearances), Ice Warriors and the Weed Creature’s !!?? Dominator’s and Quark’s. The stories were more Science Fiction driven than previous and involved travelling to many different planets and far off space stations.
“There are some corners of the universe which have bred the most terrible things. Things which act against everything we believe in. They must be fought….!” Second Doctor – Moonbase
The serial The Moonbase – 1966 set the template for future stories – being a story about a group of humans, cut off from reinforcement and being systematically picked off by an unknown foe (In The Moonbase‘s case – Cybermen). This story was used many times over and over again – and even the current Matt Smith run, has included this style of plot.
The Doctor’s inital companions were Ben and Polly (two salt of the earth types) – the last companions of Hartnell. The Doctor then picked up Jacobite Jamie in the serial Highlanders – 1966 and Zoey in the serial Wheel in Space – 1968.
The doctor also travelled briefly with a young girl called Victorian earth girl called Victoria. Classic Troughton in the Tomb Of The Cybermen – 1968.
Season 6 saw a reduction in budget but the bright Sci Fi stories continued unaffected. The Doctor met the Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and ‘Unit’ in Web of Fear & Invasion – both 1968. Unit were the scientific military wing of the government trying to understand the Doctor and the alien life which seemed to want to constantly invade Earth. Unit and the Brigadier would feature much more heavily in Jon Pertwee’s reign – onwards.
In Wargames – 1969 the Doctor finds himself in the middle of a warzone, featuring human soldiers kidnapped to play out macarbre war games for the delight of their captors. The Doctor realising that he cannot hope to save everyone involved, contacts the Time Lords for aid, but in doing so leads himself back into their clutches to finally answer for his crimes.
The Timelords judge the Doctor and sentence him into exile on earth with his Tardis travel controls locked, forcing him to choose a new face – to which he refuses. His companions are all sent back to their own times, minds wiped and the Doctor is sent spinning into a void – without a face!
“NO!!!! STOP! You’re making me giddy…! No, you ……can’t do this to me! No!….. No!…. No!……….[fading]” Second Doctor’s final words – Wargames
And so ended Troughton’s time in the role. Troughton found the filming schedule consistently gruelling and as a serious actor, was always worried about being typecast. His legacy was the true modern base for almost all of Whomythology to date.
However, this was a double edged sword in itself – as by revealing some more of his past, some of the mystery and wonder about the character was lost. That said, Wargames was a fitting end to Troughton’s era and one can’t help but feel sorry for the Doctor, as he returned home to answer for his not-really-so-evil crimes and received the ultimate sanction; no time travel.
Troughton’s warmth and sense of responsibility always shone through, in the role. His playfulness was also in stark contrast to his serious side, which rarely showed – but when it did, boy was he angry! Troughton always played it tongue-in-cheek with a welltimed sense of humour – which put the stamp on his reign. If the aloof Grandad was Hartnell, then Troughton was the kindly playful Uncle.
Troughton reprised the role in three Doctor cross over adventures; The Three Doctors – 1973, The Five Doctors – 1983, The Two Doctors – 1986.
Troughton sadly died whilst making personal appearances touring the Who Sci Fi fan circuit in Atlanta, America in 1987.
Season Four – 1966-67
The Power of the Daleks (missing)🔵🔵🔵⚪⚪
The Highlanders (missing)🔵🔵🔵🔘⚪
The Underwater Menace (parts 1 & 4 missing)🔵🔵⚪⚪⚪
The Moonbase (parts 1 & 3 missing)⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Macra Terror (missing)🔵🔵🔵🔘⚪
The Faceless Ones (parts 2, 4 & 6 missing)🔵🔵🔵🔘⚪
The Evil of the Daleks (parts 1, 3 & 7 missing)⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Season Five – 1967-68
The Tomb of the Cybermen⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Abominable Snowmen (parts 1, 3 & 6 missing)🔵🔵🔵⚪⚪
The Ice Warriors (parts 2 & 3 missing)🔵🔵🔵🔵⚪
The Enemy of the World🔵🔵🔵🔘⚪
The Web of Fear (part 3 missing)⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Fury from the Deep (whole episode missing)🔵🔵🔵⚪⚪
The Wheel In Space (parts 1, 2, 4 & 5 missing)🔵🔵🔵⚪⚪