Thursday, October 17, 2013

Season 4 Overview

Polly (Anneke Wills, left) and the Doctor
(William Hartnell, center) face off with a Cyberman in
The Tenth Planet
Throughout the 26 year run of the classic series, Doctor Who faced several moments where the survival of the show was very tenuous indeed. Moments where, if a single element had not come together, the series would have ended. Surely there was no moment more fraught than the one where William Hartnell left the series that carried his character's name and Patrick Troughton stepped into the role.

The idea that the leading actor of a series could be replaced was certainly unusual, though not unheard of, but it was an idea that was risky in the extreme. The further idea that the lead actor could be replaced by another actor, playing the same character, was even more unusual. And the even further idea that the new actor could play the character in a completely different way, with a completely different look, than his predecessor, is something that could only happen in Doctor Who. The fact that so little had been revealed about the character and that the series had already established itself as the kind of show where anything could happen, is what allowed such a fantastic development to take place.