Short thoughts on Doctor Who, disc by disc. (originally published July 2012)
Tonight’s soundtrack: The Aquabats, “Super Rad”
For a good long while there, even after I stopped watching Doctor Who, I had a shirt that was my “Patrick Troughton Shirt”. I wore it every Saturday, so I suppose eventually it just became my “Saturday Shirt”. Bright blue and button up, it was a size too large for me, usually worn loose over a t-shirt. Every Saturday. It was a thing. And as I said, although Who was no longer a constant part of my life, at least once a week the ridiculously giant collar on this blue shirt made me smile for the Second Doctor.
And that’s all I knew him as, really. Only seeing Troughton in anniversary specials meant he was never "the Doctor"; he was the contrast, the upstart, the funny one. I certainly scrawled his clever quips on the cardboard backs of Mead notebooks, but c'mon. He wasn’t the legendary First Doctor, and he wasn’t ever my “Current” Doctor. He was just the supporting middle.
That’s right. As a youth, I Jan Brady’d Patrick Troughton.
TWENTY-ODD YEARS AND THREE BODIES LATER: Netflix has done what seemed impossible and brought Doctor Who back into my life. Since this is the rebooted future, it’s all special featurey, full of extra Knowledgable British People Talking. And it’s from Christopher Eccleston that I first hear the phrase “the great Patrick Troughton”.
You watch enough of these these extras, and it’s soon clear that this is a thing. Whovians ritualistically reference "The Great Patrick Troughton" and I mean, really? That funny little guy with the collar?
So I put a few Second Doctor DVDs into my queue, and I finally watch Patrick Troughton in his era as the Doctor. No modifiers.
Holy Moley, that guy is fucking great.