Doctor Who – The Eighth Doctor

Played by: Paul McGann

When: 1996

Significant contributions to the Whoniverse:   Doctor Who had been off the air for seven years when the first attempt at a reboot was attempted.   A such, the most significant contribution of McGann to the Whoniverse is the fact that Doctor Who has survived at all.   Talk that the 1996 telemovie was to be a reboot for the series never became reality, but the fact it happened at all proved there was still interest alive and well in the franchise.

Being a reboot, it was a big event and some significant additions to Whovian lore.   A new function of the Eye of Harmony was revealed.   The Eye has appeared previously, originally in the Fourth Doctor’s era.   It is an artificial black hole which provides the power for Gallifrey and for time travel technology.   In the telemovie, a resurrected Master attempts to use the eye to steal the Doctor’s remaining regenerations for himself.

Another element introduced in this film, though subsequently ignored in future incarnations of the Doctor, is the implication that the Doctor is half human.   While making a significant plot point in this story, it seems now to be flatly denied.   I have read that explanations have been flying around the interwebs and in print media of the further adventures of the Doctor, including that this particular incarnation alone is half human.   In the end though, I find it amazing the lengths people can go to explain away a plot discrepancy    In the end, it is just an introduced idea into the franchise which was later decided to be dropped.

Eighth Doctor

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Doctor Who – The Third Doctor

Played by: Jon Pertwee

When: 1970-1974

Significant contributions to the Whoniverse: Firstly, and most clearly, the advent of the Third Doctor was also the advent for colour in Doctor Who.   Hence, this post as well will be more colourful than my First Doctor and Second Doctor summaries.   In addition, this Doctor remains on Earth for the majority of his tenure, as a result of the ruling of the Time Lords.   This does not stop him continually trying to fix his TARDIS though, while helping  UNIT on a fairly regular basis.   The Third Doctor does get a regular nemesis, in the form of The Master, another Time Lord that will remain a thorn in his side right up until modern times.   Roger Delgado played the character during the Pertwee era.   New recurring aliens were also introduced, including the Silurians, the Sontarans, and the Autons.   For the first time, a Doctor also had a phrase that for perpetuity is recognised as being unique to this regeneration; “Reverse the polarity”.   Pertwee was still playing the Doctor on the shows tenth anniversary.   Hence, he had the honour of being the lead Doctor in the series on the first occasion when his predecessors all appeared on-screen with him.   Sadly, this was to be William Hartnell’s last ever appearance on the show.   Finally, the term regeneration is uttered for the first time, and it only took us the third regeneration to get there!!

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