In the comments, John S. Drew wrote, “See, I got Tom Baker and I would have thought I would have been more like Peter Davison.” This was one internet quiz where I thought the final result wasn’t obvious from the questions. Too often the questions are few and rather pointed, so gaming the answers can produce the desired result. I was genuinely suprised to discover that, were I the Doctor, I would be the Colin Baker Doctor, at least according to this quiz.
In thinking the result through I can see that. I can be stubborn, abrasive, even coldly cyncial, all traits the sixth Doctor displays frequently during season 22.
John continues, “Quick question, is Colin Baker one of your favorites or your overall favorite? See, Peter Davison is my overall favorite.” I have a favorite Doctor to the same extent that I have a favorite Beatle; I like and appreciate each of the Doctors on their own terms. I will say that in the audio medium, Colin Baker is my clear favorite for the reason that he isn’t trying to recapture his performance for Big Finish; instead, he has crafted a new interpretation of his Doctor. I always liked Colin Baker’s television performance, but none of his stories stand out as being something special (except maybe “Revelation of the Daleks,” though for being Doctor Who it’s a rather Doctor-less story), and for that reason I would rank Colin in my top five Doctors, but he wouldn’t make my top three.
On what basis do other fans pick their favorite Doctor? John notes, “In fact, it’s weird. Most people say their favorite is the one they watched first. Not me. I watched Tom first,” and he noted above that he rates Davison as his favorite. I’m often reminded of something a friend said to me some years ago. “So, who’s your favorite Doctor, other than Tom Baker, of course?” as if a person couldn’t prefer an actor in the role to Tom Baker’s interpretation. But I realized why that’s true for so many Americans–oftentimes it’s because Baker is the Doctor we’re most familiar with due to the way Doctor Who was shown on this side of the Atlantic. When I discovered Doctor Who it was with Tom Baker, and what a surprise it was a few weeks later to see “The Five Doctors” as part of a PBS pledge drive and have absolutely no idea who these other blokes were but the Doctor I knew they certainly weren’t. Yet I wouldn’t say that Tom Baker is my favorite Doctor, either. I love Tom’s performance, and he has some classic stories (including my top three), but there are times when I prefer Peter Davison or Sylvester McCoy or even Patrick Troughton.
Perhaps the best measure of who one is favorite Doctor would be which Doctor goes in the VCR or DVD player first. Which is as good a measure as any. 🙂