Quite a controversial title, right? In some corners of the Doctor Who fandom, there is a great desire for the ‘classic’ Doctors to appear in the 50th Anniversary Special. But this could be a wrong move if it happens.
Don’t get me wrong, I would love to see Peter Davison and Sylvester McCoy with Matt Smith and David Tennant but, and this stems from my own fears of my childhood heroes being diminished, I don’t want to see them visibly older. Yes, in Time Crash Davison’s increased age was explained by the shorting out of the time differential between him and his Tenth self but do we really want to see the surviving Doctors grey and chubby? The farce that was Dimensions in Time poisoned the notion of past Doctors appearing.
We all want multi-Doctor stories but they frequently don’t work.
The Three Doctors was adequate, an amusing notion which didn’t quite work. It gave us back Hartnell and Troughton, which was great. But the story doesn’t add up to much. It pleases our fannishness but storywise, not so great.
The Five Doctors was an epic. And the reason why it works is because they are only working with four Doctors. Tom Baker is seen in a clip from Shada. The First Doctor was recast because of Hartnell’s death (and even this can be explained by the fact that because he died from natural causes, the time differential has merged his appearance with his second incarnation…does that work?). This is the one story that works.
The Two Doctors gave us Troughton and Hines. One of the best Doctor/companion combos ever. But it also gave us an underused foreign location, a lack of duo-Doctor action and green gunged Sontarans who have seemingly used a different cloning stock than normal. Promises great things, doesn’t deliver.
Dimensions in Time is just a huge mess. Probably one of the worse Doctor Who stories ever. This multi-Doctor story could have worked with more time, a better plot and more money for the budget. And the 3-D? Meh!
(Incidentally, I love these four stories warts and all. I would recommend any Whovian to watch them. Even Dimensions in Time)
Colin Baker has publicly mentioned how he feels he was snubbed. But that really isn’t quite true, is it? He wasn’t invited for Silver Nemesis either. Nor were the other Doctors. But why should they be invited back?
Doctor Who has always gone forward with little regard for the past. John Nathan Turner overdid the whole continuity thing and was rightly mocked for doing so. We should be looking forward to the next 50 years. While it would be cool to see nods to the past, that is what they should remain: nods.