First Doctor - character arc?

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by FreddyE, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. FreddyE

    FreddyE Captain Captain

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    I´m watching the first serial right now and the only episode left is "The Firemaker", I really have to say that the first doctor has traits that go on my nerves...he seems to be so damn arrogant..sometimes even almost tending towards downright mean.

    Often I feel like "Okay, could Ian or Barbara please slap him? Hard."

    Does he stay like that, or does he mellow with time?
     
  2. Candlelight

    Candlelight Admiral Admiral

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    He mellows by the end of The Edge of Destruction (serial 3), though he's always a lovable grumpy bastard. :)
     
  3. StCoop

    StCoop Commodore Commodore

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    The thing that people forget is that Ian and Barbara were the main characters in the very early days of the series, not the Doctor; which allowed him to be a character who'd do things like contemplate bashing a caveman's skull in.

    He only really becomes "The Doctor" as we think of the character in 'The Sensorites', which was the first story where he chooses to become involved in a situation because it's the right thing to do.
     
  4. Green Lantern

    Green Lantern Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I've always thought the first doctor was a bit of a bastard. But not in a good way. I've never really been a big fan if the first doctor. In the first serial, he was the closest there was to a bad guy.
     
  5. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The first Doctor is the one who knocks.
     
  6. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    As David Tenant put it, the irony is that the First Doctor seems least "doctorish" to modern viewers.

    People tend to forget what a jerk and an anti-hero he started out as.

    But yes, Hartnell's Doctor mellows out a lot in the later stories, and becomes more recognizably "doctorish."


    The Sixth Doctor borrows a lot from the First, with the abrasiveness, arrogance, and the way they sometimes treated their companions.
     
  7. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    I think The Aztecs is often the episode that's pointed to as the point he mellows out. Certainly, The Edge of Destruction itself resulted in everyone being at each other's throats. Certainly, by the Dalek invasion of Earth, he's affirmatively seeking to be a hero.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Even before that, in "Planet of Giants," the Doctor's adamant that they have to intervene to help make things right, although the biggest scene where he expresses that view was cut out when they combined episodes 3 & 4 into one. (It's included in the reconstruction on the DVD.)

    Although ultimately their attempts to make a difference in "Giants" didn't actually achieve anything. Even if they hadn't been there at all, the nosy operator would've still saved the day.
     
  9. Wereghost

    Wereghost Part-time poltergeist Rear Admiral

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    He broke bad.


    Ten deserves a mention here too, if only for what he was apparently prepared to do in The Fires Of Pompeii. That kind of struck me as the Doctor kind of reverting to form, going back to his default settings as it were and perhaps temporarily forgetting the life lessons that his adventures had taught him.
     
  10. diankra

    diankra Commodore Commodore

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    Another missing example of the first Doctor being the Doctor we know is The Smugglers, right at his end: he just treats 17th century Cornwall as a fun place to look around, is delighted when it gives him a mystery to solve, but when he could just get out, he goes back and puts himself in danger to prevent a massacre.
    Troughton is the first Doctor who is always the meddling hero we know, but Hartnell has become it well before his end.
     
  11. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

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    I think it took the Daleks to make turn the Doctor into a moral hoer, in Dalek Invasion Of Earth he willingly attempts to stop the Dalek's plan to mine the planet.
     
  12. marillion

    marillion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I wonder if we might have an overall different opinion of the First Doctor if more episodes had survived. We have a few complete episodes but just bits and pieces of others...
     
  13. Sindatur

    Sindatur Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Eh, we've got 17 out of 29 stories complete. One that has been completed with Animation (So, 18 complete altogether out of 29), and another that is only missing 1 episode which is being animated now, that's much better than what we have for Troughton, and about 2/3 of the overall quantity of stories made for Hartnell.
     
  14. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    we've got more complete First doctor stories than we do Second, Sixth, or Seventh.
     
  15. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Which is sad, because Troughton is definitely the one who set the tone of the Doctor as he's been since.
     
  16. diankra

    diankra Commodore Commodore

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    But the surviving Hartnells are largely from his first two seasons (14/17 stories, and at least half of two more). There's less of the later, more heroic though more silly Doctor of season three (3/12, plus one almost complete story, and bits from three more).
    So we tend to see the harsher early portrayal as definitive... but there's a lot of Troughton/Tom in later Hartnell.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2013
  17. Candlelight

    Candlelight Admiral Admiral

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    ...or kill Marco Polo if he doesn't return the Tardis key...
     
  18. FreddyE

    FreddyE Captain Captain

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    Well...I´m watching the second serial right now (I finished the third episode yesterday), and I think I can already see him changing slightly. He´s actually working together with the others (more or less) for a change. He does seem a bit less sinister this time.