Saturday, 23 November 2013

Who Is The Doctor? - The Doctor Who Anniversary Poll Results!

"It's the end, but the moment has been prepared for" spoke a great incarnation once. And today, The Day Of The Doctor the show's 50th anniversary, brings a close to the poll that has been running on here all month.

The poll to find your favourite Doctor!

I asked you to vote for your favourite Doctor in three categories; The Best Classic Era Doctor aka 1963-89 and once more in 96. These were canon only examples hence my not including Peter Cushing or Richard E Grant.

The Best New Era Doctor aka 2005 to the present, 2013, not including Capaldi's 12th Doctor because he hasn't appeared yet, or Hurt's War Doctor for the same reason.

Lastly, The Best Doctor Overall, encompassing all 50 years of the show's history.

And I made it especially tough in only giving you just 1 vote in each category.

The Results are in.

Here goes....

The Best Classic Era Doctor

In 1st Place, with 51%, 53 votes 

The Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker

This has made me very happy, primarily because it's the one I personally voted for (both here and in the overall category) and also because it's just bloody true! Baker didn't just play The Doctor, he was The Doctor; a true eccentric, he inhabited the role perfectly capturing the manic humour and the dark danger beautifully for an impressive total of 7 years heading the show.

In 2nd Place, with 26%, 27 votes

The Third Doctor, Jon Pertwee

Now I must admit this one did surprise me, until I realised just how deliberately 70s centric my blog is. For many voters and readers here I imagine Pertwee (and Baker too) was 'Their Doctor' and then it made perfect sense. Suave, dandified and urbane, Pertwee was a Doctor for the time; a time of James Bond, Jason King and Doomwatch. I admire greatly the bold strokes the production undertook in essentially creating a junior Quatermass to terrify the kiddies.

In 3rd Place, with 12%, 13 votes
The Second Doctor, Patrick Troughton

Excellent. Because this would be my own personal second choice. There is still so much of The Doctor that is Troughton. The Cosmic Hobo, the genius masquerading as a clown, Troughton's character choices have been felt down the years in incarnations like Davison (who based his hand gestures on him) McCoy and of course the current incarnation Matt Smith.

In 4th Place, with 3%, 4 votes
The First Doctor, William Hartnell

When I was an extremely ardent teen fan in the 1990s, Hartnell seemed to be going out of fashion; crusty tetchy and from an era that was the epitome of the make do and mend production values non fans sneered at and cited as a reason why they felt the show was always 'crap', the original's tenure was overlooked in favour of fans trying to proclaim the merits of later Doctors, Davison's hard science fact or McCoy's darker mature Doctor. It's a shame, because so much of the character is and should always be what Hartnell created - the fact that many are excited by the notion that Capaldi may bring that mature, kindly yet at the same time slightly sinister edge back to the role only goes to prove that.

In Joint 5th Place, with 2%, 2 votes each

The Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison and The Eighth Doctor, Paul McGann

Now this was a surprise, because for a long time in the mid to late 90s, Davison seemed to be riding very high as fans who grew up with him as 'Their Doctor' (including the likes of future star of the show David Tennant) reached adulthood.  I love his Doctor, and his final story The Caves of Androzani is still for my a strong contender for my favourite ever story. It's just a shame that some of the stories in his era, whilst scientifically sound and mature in outlook, didn't match his potential or performance.

An even bigger surprise is seeing McGann's 9th here. I'm a big fan of McGann as an actor but like Davison, he didn't always get to show his full potential - especially because he only really had one shot to prove himself with (the 1996 TV movie) His sole outing is extremely iffy and far too US-centric, playing up to an idea of Englishness that only really exists in American's mids, but there's no denying McGann's abilities - as his brief return to the role in this week's mini episode The Night Of The Doctor proves. It's on the iplayer, Red Button and Youtube (and this very blog) if you haven't seen it.

In 6th Place, with 0%, 1 vote
The Seventh Doctor, Sylvester McCoy

I've got to admit, this did disappoint me. McCoy would be my third choice because McCoy was 'My Doctor'. I have childhood memories of Colin Baker's 6th Timelord and Davison too, but the Doctor I grew up with from the age of 7 in 1987 right through to the return of the show in 2005 was McCoy, thanks to his three years on the show and his lasting life through books like the groundbreaking New Adventures in the 1990s and audios in the 00s. Unfairly maligned during the show's dying breath thanks to low viewing figures (it was up against Corrie) and a disinterested BBC, McCoy gave us a wonderfully dark and manipulative Doctor beneath the occasional sleight of hand clowning diversions. He brought the mystery back into the role; this was a hero all the same, but a hero who would use his closest friends for the greater good. I loved him.

And lastly...

In 7th Place, with 0% and 0 votes
The Sixth Doctor, Colin Baker

Aw poor Col. There's no denying he's delightful in reality, but his character really was hard to take. Deliberately so, his incarnation was supposed to alienate in his alien state. But only initially. Unfortunately it was too bold a move for a show that wasn't getting the regular viewers it required, and they turned off and lost interest forcing the BBC to suspend the show just one series into Colin's tenure. He returned, softer and cuddlier for The Trial Of A Timelord but it was too late; the verdict was in and he was sacked. The garish outfit and the increasing violence displayed in the show meant the makers had lost touch with what Who was all about. Still, they did give us Nicola Bryant as Peri - and for that I am truly grateful. She got me through my teenage years alright!

A staggering 103 readers and visitors to this blog voted in this Classic Era category.
 I salute you all!

The Best New Era Doctor

In 1st Place, with 54%, 45 votes
The Tenth Doctor, David Tennant

This was probably never really in question was it? Tennant's Doctor seemed to take the world by storm. Beloved by teenage girls who fancied the pants off him and Americans who finally 'got' the show, it was undoubtedly Tennant and his era that made the show the mainstream success it now is. Do I agree? Well no, I voted for Matt Smith! Don't get me wrong, I really like Tennant and 10, but after two series I think we'd got the best of him. The Martha era,  the Donna era and the solo specials leading up to his departure...these left me a little cold as the whole thing seemed overshadowed by one person; Rose Tyler and the Doctor's emo angst about losing her. Rose was good yeah, but the show should never simply be about the Doctor's companion.

In 2nd Place, with 24%, 20 votes
The Ninth Doctor, Christopher Eccleston

The second place in this category was hotly contested from the off. As Tennant raced ahead all month, Eccleston and Smith battled it out for second place, overtaking one another daily and often coming neck and neck. In the end, Eccleston beat him out by just two votes. The Ninth Doctor brought the show back with a bang, and back to basics. It's easy to overlook just how pivotal Eccleston was in his one starring series, but if it wasn't for him, an actor with such gravitas, the show would never have survived and brought the casual viewer back. I loved his depiction of The Doctor, how anonymous he was; no mad costume, but a wildness behind the eyes that told you this man was far from normal. And he was Northern! His was a Doctor you couldn't be sure of. If he sat next to you on the bus was he really just a Mancunian nutter who'd popped too many E's in the Hacienda, or was he a Timelord, the last of his kind? You'd do well not to underestimate this Doctor.

In 3rd Place, with 21%, 18 votes
The Eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith

Shame on you!
OK, I sympathise, he hasn't always had the best stories (though his first season was an absolute blinder!) but his characterisation has been the most interesting, multi layered and the most complete since McCoy's. Part clown, part excitable six year old boy, part unthinkably aged and wounded old man, Smith's Doctor is both young and old all at the same time. It's an uncanny performance from what has been the youngest actor ever to play the role. As showrunner Steven Moffat explains, The Eleventh Doctor is a young man designed by a committee of old men; dynamic and fusty at the same time. Whereas Davison's 5th Doctor was an incarnation frustrated at being old in a young body and not being treated with enough respect, Matt Smith's Doctor glories in wrong footing those foolish enough to take that first impression.

A staggering 83 readers and visitors to this blog voted in this New Era category.
 I salute you all!

And lastly...

The Best Doctor Overall

In 1st Place with 37%, 34 votes
The Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker

In 2nd place, 22%,  20 votes
The Tenth Doctor, David Tennant

In 3rd Place, 11%, 10 votes
The Second Doctor, Patrick Troughton

In 4th Place, 8%, 8 votes
The Third Doctor, Jon Pertwee

In 5th place, 7%, 7 votes
The Eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith

In 6th Place, 5%, 5 votes
The Ninth Doctor, Christopher Eccleston

In Joint 7th Place, 2%, 2 votes each

The First Doctor, William Hartnell and The Seventh Doctor, Sylvester McCoy

In Joint 8th Place, 1% 1 vote each

The Sixth Doctor, Colin Baker and The Eighth Doctor, Paul McGann

In 9th Place, 0%, and 0 votes
The Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison

A staggering 90 readers and visitors to this blog voted in this Overall category.
 I salute you all!

(Though I've no idea how Davison got Zero and Colin got 1!?!)

So there we have it. 

Did your favourite win? Who did you actually vote for? Why did you pick them - were they your Doctor? How old are you? How long have you watched? Where are you from, the UK or elsewhere?

 I'd love to hear from you so please, post a comment below!

All that's left is to wait with baited breath for tonight when we can meet one more incarnation, previously unknown to us all. One that came between McGann's 8th and Eccleston's 9th....

The War Doctor, John Hurt

The Day Of The Doctor
7:50pm, Tonight, BBC1

Happy Birthday Doctor Who!!!!

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