Doctor Who: The Comprehensive Guide to Things I Like, Sixth Doctor Edition

This is a short overview / series for Doctor Who episodes that are my favorite from each doctor after finishing all of the TV show Doctor Who (Old and New).

Just a couple thing before I jump in to it:

  • I broke these down in to Doctors because comparisons between the eras are nearly impossible
  • There’s a link to every other entry at the bottom if you missed any of them
  • These are not reviews or even summaries, they’re just some stray thoughts about what I liked about the episodes usually
  • These episodes are listed in order of airing, not in order of ranking
  • Also :

6th Doctor, played by Colin Baker 1984-1986

I cannot explain why I love 6th. There is something about him that is just intensely likeable for me but really off-putting for everyone else. Somewhere between being a total jerkface to Peri (who I didn’t really care for but who definitely doesn’t deserve half that shizz) and being the least good at solving problems practically he starts to weasel his way in to my heart with his over confidence, shocking theatrics, and downright dazzling fashion sense. He is a very “go big or go home” personality but weirdly is also one of the less outloud funny doctors. His humor is more dry sarcasm and quips.

I understand people disliking 6th though as he’s kind of a jerk. When people talk about the Doctor being a pacifist I can easily point to 6th who kills a lot of people because he just doesn’t care about what happens to them. This Includes dumping a guy in acid. His episodes are the weakest overall due to the powers outside of the actual show and while they have their moments and can be really fun to watch, the premise, the writing and the acting all drop off pretty quickly. This was a really hard time for Doctor Who as writers and directors abandoned the show, changes were made the format, and then a full-on strike at the BBC happened. It didn’t help that they added Peri to the cast as a play to get men to watch for her boobs and then forgot to include a personality for the rest of us (ugh).

In the end Baker quit because he was treated so poorly by the studio and directors. That wasn’t before producing some great episodes though. I think in a way I can really sympathize with 6th Doctor as the underdog and there’s no doubt in my mind (especially after Colin Baker’s continued awesomeness off-screen) that this role was played with the utmost love and care despite the mess. Unfortunately nothing could overcome the sloppy seconds story line and writing that is Trial of a Time Lord (as a whole) even though I do love Mel and 6th together because Mel is so earnest and hopeful while 6th is a little too underhanded and cheesy – it just does it for me.

Attack of the Cybermen

Running Time: 2 episodes, 45 minutes each
Rating: 4 out of 5
Companions: Peri Brown
Thoughts: This episode I would have rated higher if the second story line with the men on the planet wasn’t absolute nonsense. This is a hyper violent episode which includes Cybermen strangling people. I think the tone in this one sets up a lot of the 6th Doctor’s run and personally I liked it better than most of the 5th Doctor episodes. It seemed like things in the show now had consequences unlike in say, 4th’s era where a lot of time the Doctor comes and screws up a planet then leaves without a second thought. I enjoy the Cyrons (the alien of the week) and the spooky prison scenes. There are a whole lot of dead people at the end of the episode but time to ignore that because the TARDIS turned in to a floral dresser and the Doctor returned to the original junkyard he was found in during An Unearthly Child.

Vengeance on Varos

Running Time: 2 episodes, 45 minutes each
Rating: 5 out 5
Companions: Peri Brown
Thoughts: Okay. I love this episode. I love a lot of things about this episode and I’ll try to cover them all but it might be impossible. I’m not sure how any other humans feel about the 6th Doctor episodes because rarely does anyone talk about them but in this one there are people who all live underground and they vote on the TV to keep OR slowly kill their president based on things that happen on the TV. These people are totally in to the torturing and killing. Meanwhile everyone else on this planet is also evil as hell and they’re making a horrific nightmare machine. The actual man running the place currently isn’t that evil but he gets kill ray’d by the public any time he tries to reverse course on the nightmare machine. As for the Doctor, he kills a bunch of people in this episode. Some that are trying to kill him, some that are not. Acid bath. Golf cart chase. Invisible monsters. Cannibals. Also Peri might have been slightly radiated…not sure what that does to her lifespan but it probably wasn’t good…

The Mark of the Rani

Running Time: 2 episodes, 45 minutes each
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Companions: Peri Brown
Thoughts: This might be the only episode where Peri is able to show that she was actually studying plants before she got on the TARDIS #saveperispersonality. I think this episode is only great for the Master/Rani being total bosses at each other. We also had to look up a lot about the British Industrial Revolution because this episode was basically a rehashing of it and neither of us were that well acquainted with that era. I can’t say much else except at the end there’s a dinosaur.

The Two Doctors

Running Time: 3 episodes, 45 minutes each
Rating: 5 out of 5
Companions: Peri Brown, 2nd Doctor, Jamie McCrimmon
Thoughts: My full disclosure is that I probably would have given this a 5 rating even if 2nd, 6th, Jamie, and Peri sat around playing musical chairs. This is just a really fun and ridiculous serial and is completely worth watching if you want to forget that plots have to make sense. This episode spawned an entire fan movement called 6B (aka what if Season 6 continues on despite 2nd getting exiled and Jamie getting his mind wiped because otherwise how do you explain anything that happened in this episode?). This episode is really fun and I doubt I could list everything I loved about it without a full novel so I’m going to leave it at – once the Doctor, always the Doctor.

Terror of the Vervoids

Running Time: 4 episodes, 25 minutes each
Rating: 4.8 out of 5
Companions: Mel Bush
Thoughts: This is the only episode of the Time Trial that I liked. This is the first episode with Mel and she basically just pops in to existence. This episode is half mystery and half action episode and I think they them really blended well. This is also the point in the trial where the Doctor is now sure that the scenes from his mind are being manipulated to frame him. As the episode unfolds we see Mel being exceptionally good at sneaking around and questioning people, the Doctor being asked to help and not blowing it, and then the Valeyard trying to twist up the facts to show that helping is meddling. The Doctor sort of accidentally kills the Vervoids and the Valeyard tries to up the ante to sentence him to genocide (fun fact: this is actually not the Doctors first or last genocide!) and the Doctor is like “welp, I’m screwed.” Also the Vervoids resemble some female anatomy which is both funny and lazy monster design.

Here’s an index for the other entries:
1st Doctor
2nd Doctor
3rd Doctor
4th Doctor
5th Doctor
6th Doctor
7th Doctor
8th Doctor
9th Doctor
10th Doctor
11th Doctor
12th Doctor

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