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 William Hartnell. In something of a precedent in TV; could a successful show carry-on, with a different actor – in the same lead role?
Troughton was an experienced TV performer, in his own right. Having appeared, in many TV-series and movies. He had starred as Robin Hood in a 1953 TV adaption and had appeared in the sword and sandals epic; Jason and the Argonauts – 1963.
Initally, Troughton wasn’t so sure that he could replace Hartnell. However, the more he talked it over with the producers, he began to flesh out his vision for the character of the Doctor and realised that a different characterisation would give the (by that point) 3 year-old show – a boost.
Then script-editor – Gerry Davis, suggested that the new Doctor should be played like 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 the meaning. This character trait of Doctor has been present (in varying qualities ever since) with every other Doctor – upto present day series. It still forms one of the Doctor’s more mysterious and mercurial qualities.
Troughton had the idea, of a Charlie Chaplin-esque character – and between him and Sydney Newman (one of the show’s creators); they settled on a “cosmic-hobo” angle for the Doctor. Complete with, a Beatles-inspired haircut.
Troughton bought an insatiable curiosity – to the role, an absent minded professor quality – and a healthy dose of humour, underpinned by an almost child-like personality. He took the basic alien-esque personality, that Hartnell had established and gave them a more energised and dramatic verve, swinging from one emotion to the other – and back again.
Every Doctor has since attempted to capture elements of this up-and-down personality, in their own interpretations of the Doctor; this portrayal has become the modern template for the Doctor – as we know it. Additionally, as we shall find out, in future profiles, some were better at it – than others.
The Second Doctor was more measured and contemplative, then the First incarnation was. Generally prefering to be more of a passenger to events and taking time, to study a problem; from all angles.
However when pushed or drawn out, the Second Doctor could explode into a cacophony of blusterous (almost childlike) rage; topped off with an almost headmaster-ish castigating quality, when squaring up and denouncing his opponents.
Troughton’s warmth and sense of responsibility, always shone through; in the role. His playfulness, was in stark contrast – to his serious side; which rarely showed but when it did, it was usually more exasperation – than anger. Troughton always played the role, slightly tongue-in-cheek; with a well-timed sense of humour. If the aloof Grandad – was Hartnell, then Troughton was – the playful Uncle.
It was Troughton’s Second Doctor era, that began to shape the show’s mythos; which had been loose in Hartnell’s era. It was learned that the Doctor – was a Time Lord; could regenerate and was from the planet Gallifrey – in War Games – 1969.
Furthermore, Troughton introduced the Second Doctor’s staple trademark; the flute. Playing it endlessly, whilst he musing over a problem or life-threatening situation. As if, it seemed to help contemplation and clarification.
The newly regenerated Second Doctor, was thrown in at the deep-end – in The Power Of The Daleks; which pitted the Doctor against the Daleks, again.
Having came through the first regeneration, with the first trademark post-regeneration confusion disorder (which was to be explored and named – in future regenerations).
The production team, made a few changes behind the scenes too. Out went the overly preachy petiod-drama episodes and in came; monsters! Lots and lots of Monsters! Troughton’s second season was actually dubbed “The Monster Era”.
The Doctor was pitted, against many varied aliens – in season two; Cybermen, Daleks, The Yeti, Ice Warriors (who each made a number of re-appearances), Dominators and Quarks also featured- amongst others. The stories were more Sci-fi driven, than previous. Involving 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 Moonbase set the template, for all future ‘under-siege’ 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 – in Troughton and all future Doctor’s era’s.
The Doctor’s initial companions – were Ben and Polly (two salt-of-the-earth types), the last companions of Hartnell. The Doctor then picked up (Jacobite) Jamie Mccrimmon – in the Highlanders – 1966 and Zoey – in the serial Wheel in Space The doctor, also travelled briefly with a young-Victorian girl; called Victoria Waterford.
Season 6, saw a reduction in budget but the bright sci-fi stories, continued unaffected. The Doctor met the Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart – and ‘Unit’ in Web of Fear & Invasion. UNIT, were the scientific military wing of the government. Who were trying to defend and understand – the alien life; which seemed to constantly invade Earth. UNIT and the Brigadier, would feature much more heavily – in Jon Pertwee’s era.
In Wargames, 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 (one of whom is a fellow-renegade Time Lord). The Doctor, realising that they cannot hope to save everyone involved; contacts the Time Lords for aid, but in doing is captured and put on trial.
The Time Lords judge and sentence the Doctor – to exile on Earth, with the Tardis travel controls locked. Forcing the Second Doctor, to choose from a set of new faces; to which the Second Doctor refuses. His companions are all sent back to their own times, minds wiped; and finally, the Second Doctor is sent spinning into a void – without his new face selected at random by the Time Lords!
“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
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 onwardly typecast. His legacy was the true modern-base, for almost all of Doctor Who mythology – to date.
However, this was a double-edged sword – in itself. As, by revealing some more of the Doctor’s 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 Second Doctor; forcibly returned home – to answer for ‘not-really-so-evil’ crimes and receiving the ultimate sanction; removal of time-travelling ability.
Troughton reprised the role, in three Doctor cross-over adventures; The Three Doctors, The Five Doctors, The Two Doctors – 1986..
Troughton sadly died, whilst making personal appearances touring the Doctor Who fan circuit – in Atlanta, America – in 1987.
Troughton’s Triumph – A Seasonal Introduction
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)🔵🔵🔵⚪⚪
Season Six – 1968-69
The Mind Robber🔵🔵🔵🔵⚪
The Invasion (parts 1 & 4 missing)⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Seeds of Death🔵🔵🔵⚪⚪
The Space Pirates (parts 1, 3 & 6 missing)🔵🔵🔵⚪⚪
The War Games⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Season Ten – 1973
The Three Doctors⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Season Twenty – 1983
The Five Doctors⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Season Twenty Two – 1985
The Two Doctors⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐