Thursday, August 19, 2010

Anybody Remotely Interesting is Mad in Some Way.

The Doctor: I don't suppose you've completely ignored my instructions and secretly prepared any Nitro-9, have you?
Ace: What if I had?
The Doctor: And naturally, you wouldn't do anything so
 insanely dangerous as to carry it around with you, would you?
Ace: Of course not. I'm a good girl and do what I'm told.
The Doctor: Excellent. Blow up that vehicle.

On 'Doctor Who' the Seventh version of the Doctor had 14 televised stories.  Unless 'Ghost Light' doesn't, every one of them has an explosion!  

Also, I ENJOYED every one of them, unless I later remember I didn't.

The Seventh Doctor had a lot on his to-do list in such a short time.

Outfoxing the Rani.  Besting the petty despots of Paradise Towers.  Helping true love win the day at a holiday camp.  Saving Ice World from a dragon.  A final conflagration with the Daleks.  Toppling an empire of deadly candy and phony smiles.  A showdown  with the Cybermen.  Playing the spoons for the Gods of Ragnarok. Tipping his hat at knights and witches. Unraveling the mystery of a haunted mansion. Chess games with demons.  A hissy fit with the Master for the fate of Perivale. 

He's not as nice as 5.  He's not as loud as 6.  He liked both jazz and classical music.  Sometimes he was manic, and sometimes a little depressive. He might have drawn the 'short' plank, but he's always got something up his sleeve.

Sylvester McCoy (Percy James Patrick Kent-Smith) born August 20, 1943, is a Scottish actor raised in Dublin by his Irish mother.  His father died in World War 2 a month before his birth. Young PJP trained for the priesthood, liked girls too much to stay, and got a job in insurance.  The stage beckoned.  He got his stage name from a comedy act where he famously put ferrets in his trousers.  He played Stan Laurel and Buster Keaton in one-man shows.  More recently he auditioned for Peter Jackson's Bilbo Baggins (as Tom Baker had tried out for Gandalf.  The Ians did just fine, but imagine a parallel world with an ALL-WHO Lord of the Rings!  Colin as Denethor! Peter as Strider! Sophie Aldred as Arwen!  Fifi the Stygorax as Gollum!  But I gibber...) In 2007, Syl played the Fool in 'King Lear' opposite the tall Ian (Sir McKellan).  McCoy has portrayed the Mikado and Mr. Mushnik, too. Talk about range!

He was the first to play the Doctor with a Scottish accent.  His own, but with a bit more 'rrrr' in it now and then.  Between 1987 and 1996 he was the seventh Doctor, and he's been so kind as to never go completely away.

The Seventh Doctor is not an easy kettle of fish to put before the cart.  He liked to mix-up his aphorisms now and again:  "Ahh, well, every dogma has its day." "Time and Tide melts the snowman." or "There's many a slap 'twixt the cup and the lap."  At times he seemed like a pantomime version of the Doctor, but he could be many things, not all of them silly. He might act like a vaudevillian, but he's a manipulative schemer, seemingly one step ahead of everyone, or like Daphne Moon "a bit psychic".  It has been suggested that he is so experienced a time-traveller that he prepares for every contingency, leaving himself messages in his own past.  IE: he cheats. 

He was 953 when he started out, dressing and behaving rather like a quirky college professor, with a question marked sweater, and a question mark umbrella.  For MYSTERY was his game!  Subtlety, thy name is Theta Sigma (the Seventh Doctor flippantly said this was his 'college nickname').  He carried embossed cards with those symbols, a gold question mark, and the presidential seal of Gallifrey (a presidential position he earned as the 4th Doctor, fled as the 5th, abdicated as the 6th, and tried to use for clout as the 7th).  For with less than average height, less than average looks, and a quiet, thoughtful demeanor, Seven needed all the clout he could muster.  He had to struggle to seem intimidating, but he had his moments.  He once joined in sarcastically with Davros' megalomaniacal rant:


And followed it up with a cunning plan, tricking the Daleks into making a particularly devastating use of the Hand of Omega super-weapon.  The Br'er Rabbit maneuver, I believe.

He rarely needed to take direct action against villainy.  He had a companion for that.  More on that subject anon.

The Seventh is my favorite Doctor of the 80's and 90's.  Steven Moffat described his own difficulty liking this Doctor's era at first, saying the show was looking 'cheap' and 'embarrassed'.  But he admits McCoy eventually found his voice: "Cos clowns are meaningless, clowns are boring- but a SAD clown, that's the story of EVERYONE."

FAVORITE SEVENTH DOCTOR STORY: The Happiness Patrol (Alternately, everything in season 26.  Or 'Delta and the Bannermen'! I can't eat just one!)

LEAST FAVORITE SEVENTH DOCTOR STORY: Time and The Rani (That's the one I'd eat least.   But it's got a giant pulsing brain and the Rani screeching about 'the loyhargil', so there's that.  And he plays the spoons.)

FAVORITE SEVENTH DOCTOR QUOTE: 'I can't stand burnt toast.  I loathe bus stations.  Terrible places, full of lost luggage and lost souls... and then there's unrequited love, and tyranny, and cruelty..."

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