Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Tale of Two Doctors
                          One of my favorite features of Doctor who is one of it's most unique. That's the ability of the lead character to regenerate their physical bodies when near death. This allowed for a multitude of different actors playing the role. Up until now there have been eleven. Within the continuity of the show most of the doctors who regenerated did so at least within understandable or noble circumstances. Interesting fact is there was only one doctor who didn't meet the criterion. That was the second doctor portrayed by Patrick Troughton. This doctor was forced to regenerate and exiled to Earth under rather controversial circumstances,mainly as a example from the time lords regarding his interference in the laws of time. However the laws of actual time necessitated a new actor to play the third doctor. That was John Pertwee. In 1973 the two incarnations met got a chance to physically interact with each other in a serial entitled 'The Three Doctors' for the shows ten year anniversary.

                          Off screen Jon Pertwee and Patrick Troughton were such close friends they were able to playfully spare at each other like brothers. The same relationship was played up in their character. However the sparing was of a more genuine nature. In the "Whoniverse" one might wonder why this is. After all,these are merely physically different versions of the same general character. It's actually probably a simple matter with a little amateur psychology. Imagine meeting yourself in the past and finding qualities you didn't like in yourself. That was the situation faced by these two doctors. The third doctor was a debonair and mildly pompous scientist who worked through his fears and concerns by means of his love for gadgetry and action. The second doctor misdirected his adversaries with his awkward jumpiness. 

                           One major factor in the petty bickering between these two doctors may have been some time lord equivalent of sour grapes. The third doctor had managed to survive in exile on Earth and make the best of a bad situation. The second doctor had to suffer the humiliation of being forced to regenerate against his will. So it's likely the third and more daring doctor might've looked upon his second incarnation as someone of little gumption and quality. The important part of their relationship is that they managed to harness their differences in a way that allowed them to accomplish their important mission. It's easy to know who your friends or enemies are when your differences are clearly spelled out. But when you happen to be the same person with a different body? Nothing is at all as clear all of a sudden. Since none of us have had to deal with that,hard to know how we'd react. But that lack of clarity between ones duel nature is at the core of the awkward relationship between the two individual doctors.

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