Friday, February 13, 2009
Okay, I've given up on the Sixth Doctor. I never saw him as a kid (being of the sad generation who discovered Doctor Who during the Seventh's era), and I had heard pretty much nothing good. But once I decided to start this blog I became determined, in the interest of having a complete perspective on the show's history, to give him a chance.
And I have to say, its really incredibly bad. The Doctor himself has basically evolved into a complete asshole for some reason. The supreme confidence and endearing surliness of classic Doctors has given way to megalomania and a general sort of disdain for others, particularly humans, and especially Peri. On top of that, he's rendered completely ridiculous because he's going around acting like he's the best and everyone's beneath him, while he's dressed (literally!) like a clown.
And yes, let's talk about Peri. First of all, she's taught me how British people feel when Americans do crappy British accents. Actually, I haven't figured out if her questionably American dialect is a separate problem from how every one of her lines is delivered in the whiniest of voices, or if the whining is part of her attempt at an American persona. Seriously, she's unwatchable. She never has anything to offer except, "But Doctor, what are we going to do now?" and "But Doctor, you can't do that!" She's frequently remembered for her revealing costumes, but it's hard to imagine anyone over the age of 13 getting past how annoying she is long enough to find her even physically attractive.
The sad thing is, despite his infamous firing by the BBC, it doesn't seem like any of the problems with these episodes are Colin Baker's fault. He has occasional moments where his performance transcends the writing and the costume, and you feel like he could have been a really, really good Doctor. It's just that everything is working against him: the writing (particularly of his character), John Nathan Turner's production, the costume designs (not just for the Doctor- every character on the show in this era looks god awful), and Nicola Bryant's performance as Peri.
For the record, I don't care for Mel either, but she's not as bad as Peri. Mel's just sort of a cypher. We never even really get to see how she met the Doctor. She's just suddenly there one day, encouraging him to eat his vegetables and get his exercise (how very 1980's).
I'm going to try to move on to a Seventh Doctor post pretty quickly, in the interest of getting the bad taste out of my mouth by discussing a Doctor I actually like.