Saturday, 29 March 2014

When I Say Run,Run.

(Troughton From my sketchbook.) You know it still astounds me when I think about it; just where did it come from; that strange mojo that drove Patrick Troughton's performance in his time as The Doctor. So unlike what had come before, the stately high church of William Hartnell. Yet this is the same man with the same moral compass and the same unquenchable thirst for adventure. The notion and possibility of ongoing regeneration and renewal was a welcome surprise addition to the sparse information regarding the Doctor's background. Remember, this was an era when The Who in Doctor Who had meaning. A mystery wrapped in an enigma draped in a frock coat( and not always a neatly pressed one at that.) With his mop top hair, his safety pinned bow tie, his very British wonky teeth( I love the idea that the most advanced species in the whole universe of space and time sacrificed zero time obsessing about eugenically engineered rows of symmetrical teeth or expensive dental plans) and his brain the size of Alexandrian Library he was most certainly the same beloved renegade alien. An endearing visitor hiding in a junkyard in a fog shrouded ghost of a city at the interesting(well, to me anyway) end of the sixtes.
               Nearly every actor who has portrayed The Doctor says his personality is not to be found in the script. It is all in the performance. Even so, that first couple of men who brought him to life had nothing behind them to act as template. So they must have reached inside themselves to pluck out a character who would in time become Who. This is ever more evident to me now that I have watched and re-watched the two most recent found stories from the Troughton era( I hesitate to describe these stories as lost. They were not lost. They were deliberately wiped.) These two classic tales  demonstrate an actor at the very top of his game, an artisan weaving his magic gift. There are so many moments to enjoy these two stories I had previously only absorbed on audio recordings conjuring up very different visuals in my broken brain. That said, they both display the very elements that have sustained this iconic figure across the decades for us; The Doctor's Unseen Companions who follow him always.
                And as such we know our stories will one day end.
                The Doctor's never will.