The Second Doctor’s Best Moments
John Hussey looks at some of the Second Doctor’s best moments on Patrick Troughton’s birthday.
Today we celebrate Patrick Troughton’s birthday, who sadly passed away twenty-six years ago. So as a dedication piece to the man who was responsible for bringing new life into the show after the daring replacement of William Hartnell and the invention of regeneration, I look back at the cosmic hobo’s time on the show and share with you some of his crowning moments as the Second Doctor.
5. Reunion with the Brigadier
My first choice goes to the reunion scene in ‘The Five Doctors’ between the Second Doctor and the Brigadier. Firstly, I love his entrance, “Not allowed. Me? I’m allowed anywhere.” Such a subtle display of authority from the cosmic hobo. Plus the Second Doctor is wearing his famous fur-coat which he wore in ‘The Abominable Snowmen’ during his adventure in the Himalayas. I really liked his friendship with the Brigadier. It was warm and yet hectic. They greet with welcoming hands before deciding to go for a stroll in the grounds in order to catch up on old times. This then leads into the brilliant line of, “You’ve had this place redecorated haven’t you? I don’t like it.” This famous line was first used in ‘The Three Doctors’ when he commented on the TARDIS’ change by the Third Doctor. It was later used by the Eleventh Doctor in ‘Closing Time’ when he commented on Craig redecorating his house (not noticing of course that he had clearly moved house).
Their walk in the grounds really did symbolise their long friendship and the many tales the Second Doctor endured.
The Brigadier: “Yeti. Cybermen. We’ve seen some times, Doctor.” The Second Doctor: “And Omega. Don’t forget Omega.”
The Brigadier: “As if I could.”
4. Chase with the Ice Warriors
This is a very comical scene displayed by the Second Doctor and showcases really how silly he could be. It’s scenes like this that make you wonder whether he took his life seriously; being the laid back and wacky character he was. Then again, it’s his comical attitude and silly behaviour which got him out of a lot of trouble. In many ways it was a ploy to his enemies and in reality he was strategising the best possible way of attack.
During this scene he races around the corridors of the T-Mat Moonbase like a character out off a cartoon as he tried desperately to escape the Ice Warriors. Every so often he would bump into one of the Martians and make a hasty retreat back in the direction he came from. In the end he became cornered and tried frantically to pull open a locked door. The Ice Warriors prepare to zap him but the Second Doctor cunningly pulls out his panic mode to fool his enemy and escape death, “Your leaders will be angry if you kill me! I’m a genius.”
By announcing his intellect, he was able to escape unscathed and survived a few moments longer in order to figure out his next move.
3. “The final end…”
In ‘The Evil of the Daleks’ the Second Doctor announced the apparent end of the Dalek race. This is one of the rare times the Second Doctor showcased a massive sign of hatred and destruction. Also it is a shocking moment from the Doctor’s history in general as he nearly committed genocide upon an entire species. This apparent end was accomplished through the Second Doctor creating a civil war on Skaro after infecting three Daleks with the Human Factor which ultimately gave them emotions and they rebelled against the Emperor Dalek. The Second Doctor then sabotaged the Daleks’ archway, a device that was meant to infect humans with the Dalek Factor, by changing the input factor to Human instead of Dalek. This in turn caused further Daleks to be infected with the Human Factor and the civil war thickened to the point where the Dalek city was ablaze. The Second Doctor turned to his companions, as they looked down upon the city from the hills above, and declared this to be the Daleks’ final end.
2. Encounters with himself
The encounters the Second Doctor had with himself were priceless. Within ‘The Three Doctors’ he was nearly constantly bickering with the Third Doctor. They certainly didn’t have a warm welcome with each other and they most certainly didn’t get on. Most of these arguments started off from the slightest thing, like the Second Doctor’s recorder for example. It’s perfectly shown within this episode that the Doctor’s multiple personalities are enough to wind himself up. But when it came down to it, they managed to work together in order to solve the problem at hand – i.e. stop Omega from destroying Gallifrey. Contact.
His other brilliant encounter was when he bumped into the Sixth Doctor in ‘The Two Doctors’. Although sadly they didn’t get much screen time together, it’s fair to say that their chemistry was even worse than it was with the Third Doctor. They didn’t get on at all; accept when it came to escaping the basement in order to save Jamie from Shockeye. My favourite scene with them together is when the Sixth Doctor dragged the Second Doctor out of Oscars’ restaurant, with him being angered by all the trouble his younger self had gotten him into. They began bickering over which direction they would take and it ended up being settled by Peri, who was fed up with their childish squabble. In the end the Second Doctor got the last laugh as he showed off his reward of a Stattenheim remote control to call his TARDIS back to him which he’d earned after working for the Time Lords. This made the Sixth Doctor extremely jealous and furthered his dislike towards the Second Doctor.
I love the concept of multi-Doctor stories and I think the Second Doctor’s cartoony nature fits hand in hand with this concept.
1. “Our lives are different to anybody else’s…”
How can we forget about the Second Doctor’s famous speech from ‘The Tomb of the Cybermen’? This was the first time the Doctor spoke of his family and it was, if a little short and sweet, an interesting dive into his life and how he worked emotionally. If not for these reasons, it’s just because it was a beautiful speech delivered brilliantly by Patrick Troughton. It certainly shows off his kindness as he attempted to make his companion Victoria remember the light within her father’s life and to shroud away the dark. It also shows off his alien nature and years of authority and ancient wisdom. It is certainly a scene well worth remembering, and that is why it is my favourite Second Doctor moment.
Also, I can’t go without mentioning the Second Doctor’s tragic final moments within ‘The War Games’ when he was forced to regenerate by the Time Lords upon his exile to 20th Century Earth. Even in his final moments he tried desperately to fight back against those he opposed.
The Second Doctor: No! Stop, you’re making me giddy! No, you can’t do this to me! No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no!
Patrick Troughton brought a lot of new life into the Doctor’s character and went on to create a fine tradition within the show – i.e. the Time Lords change in personality and character. This has allowed the show to progress through the ages and still be alive this very day, just as bright and full of life as it was back when it started in 1963. So a lot of thanks goes to Troughton for his brilliant acting skills, talent and love for the show. May he continue to rest and peace and I hope for the 50th Anniversary he is honoured and represented, for I believe he deserves it for all his contributions to the show’s long legacy.
Hope you liked the choices I picked. Feel free to use the comment section below to create your own choices for the Second Doctor’s top 5 moments.