My first Doctor was Peter Cushing with his remakes of William Hartnell’s Doctor Who and the Daleks and The Dalek Invasion of Earth when my dad got them for Christmas one year on VHS. I grew up with him thanks to the ABC 6pm repeats of classic Who which became a religious pattern.
The legacy of Doctor Who is enormous and timeless, evident by the its well-earned title of the longest running sci-fi television show. The show has had its ups and downs but even at its worst it still manages to captivate audiences. The British always seem to make shows for which you can totally become involved and passionate about. Some quality they contain is still enjoyable, despite the low budget, repeated scenery (BBC quarry), terrible special effects and at times pretty poor acting.
My favourite Doctor is the Third, John Pertwee. The Third Doctor is banished to earth for a time partly due to his misconduct, but mainly because the BBC had run out of money. The 3rd Doctor had some of the best stories (The Silurians, Inferno, Sea Devils) and had my favourite companion Liz Shaw. He also met Sarah Jane Smith, one of the longest serving and most popular companions of the Doctor. The show introduced the Doctor as an action hero, with his sudden knowledge of Venusian karate, and started his passion for ridiculous clothes.
The science is terrible (“reverse the polarity of the neutron flow!”) and seemed to fix anything, and mutated forms of radiation threatening the lives of human beings. The Master is also first seen. And seen again. And again in what seems an endless reappearance of the most evil beard in the history of the universe. It is worth noting that the show contains definite sexism. By this I mean women are always told to get tea and never allowed to do anything too dangerous. This is obviously not ideal but I think we should view it as a reflection of the times. Just like the science is wrong and the special effects are terrible we look back to then and use as motivation to see how far we have com. Preaching aside, the Third Doctor contains the essence of the legacy of Who and is for that reason my favourite Doctor.
Also he’s got a cool car.