Monday, 22 March 2010

A Matter of Time: Colin Baker


Twenty-six years ago today, Colin Baker starred in his first ever story as the sixth Doctor, along with Nicola Bryant as his companion Peri. In a post-regenerative crisis, the Sixth Doctor takes Peri to the desolate asteroid Titan 3, planning to stay there as a hermit for a thousand years. However, he is soon drawn into a plot to conquer the galaxy by a race of giant gastropods, humanoid slug creatures.

Anthony Steven worked very slowly on the scripts, giving many strange excuses, and turning them in at very late stages. Compounding things were the fact that the scripts were viewed as being of poor quality, and too much for the show's budget by script editor Eric Saward, who was forced to rework them at great length in a very short amount of time.

Fandom often holds the story in a very low light, and it is commonly regarded as one of the very worst stories in the history of Doctor Who. In 2009, a Doctor Who Magazine poll of the 200 stories produced up to that point saw this story finish in last place. Ironically, the previous story of the series, ‘The Caves of Androzani’, was voted as the best story of Doctor Who.

The story of Colin Baker’s time as the Doctor is a sad one, where his position in the show was manipulated by numerous people, both officials of the BBC and makers of the show itself. After his first full series as the Doctor, the show would be put on hiatus for eighteen months

When it returned, the show was in a completely different format, with the series consisting of just fourteen episodes, which were all under the format of the Doctor going on trial. The short series received extremely poor ratings, considerably worse than the previous series, and people wanted someone to blame. Colin Baker was forced to resign after the transmission of the fourteen-part series ‘The Trial of a Time Lord’, but if there was anyone to blame for the failures of the eighties, it was the producer himself.

Please comment and rate below.


Dalek1099 said...

it was unfair because Colin was a great doctor I believe he was the third best and the episodes were great at the time John Nathan turner was brilliant it was just people who watched doctor who now and again stopped watching.I don't know why if anyone took the job with the money provided they could have only done as good of a job as Colin and John did even Russell couldn't of stopped doctor who's doom in the 80's.

Blink said...

The stories became of a lower and lower standard in the eighties.

'The Twin Dilemma', 'Timelash' and 'Time and the Rani' are a few of the many terrible episodes under his reign.