On November 23, 2013 there will be the 50th anniversary of “Doctor Who”. To celebrate this important moment let’s go over the Doctor’s history again. This article remembers the Second Doctor.
Played by Patrick Troughton, the Second Doctor is a profound change from the First Doctor. “Doctor Who” production crew had the courage to make significant changes to the character and the show as well. If the Doctor was initially presented as a grumpy grandfather, after his regeneration, a word that was used only years later, he became a kind of playful uncle.
In fact, the Second Doctor is a bit of a clown, even according to the First Doctor, and often behaves in a bizarre and sometimes apparently clumsy way. But this is only a facade that hides a remarkable intelligence that allows him to anticipate the moves of his enemies, who are deceived by his attitude.
The Second Doctor takes advantage of this and other ways also to manipulate people but he never does for personal purposes but with the ultimate goal of helping someone. However, sometimes his plans don’t work perfectly and at that point the Doctor can only resort to emergency measures, which often means running.
In addition to the character, changes were also introduced to the show. In the First Doctor era historical adventures were normal as there was an educational purpose. Over time, even in these adventures science fiction elements were introduced and in the Second Doctor era purely historical adventures were abandoned after “The Highlanders”.
The Second Doctor era started with Ben and Polly as companions, who left the show after a few serials. The companions kept on coming and going but in that era there was a stability under that point of view, with few changes. In fact, almost immediately, Jamie arrived, then Victoria and especially Zoe.
Together with Jamie and the Doctor, Zoe formed one of the most iconic groups of protagonists in the show despite having been together only a little more than a season. Among the actors playing these characters a relationship of personal friendship formed that allowed them to work together with an extraordinary chemistry.
Unfortunately, many episodes of the Second Doctor era are among the missing ones so it’s impossible to fully appreciate it and give it a full review based only on the complete serials published on DVD and the reconstructions of the missing episodes. Luckily, a couple of almost complete adventures have recently been found and if at least some of the rumors are true in the coming months more announcements of findings will come.
The Second Doctor era ended with the great epic “The War Games“, a milestone in “Doctor Who” also because the Time Lords were introduced. After six seasons in which information about the Doctor’s origins were vague, something about his people was finally revealed. This profoundly influenced the whole future of the saga.