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Dr Who

Up to date as of January 31, 2010

From TARDIS Index File, the free Doctor Who reference.

"Planets come and go. Stars perish. Matter disperses, coalesces, reforms into other patterns, other worlds. Nothing can be eternal"
―The Doctor
Sixth Doctor
Also known as:
Race: Gallifreyan (Time Lord)
Home Planet: Gallifrey
Home Era: Rassilon Era
Appearances: Full List of Appearances
Actor: Colin Baker

Contents

Biography

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Early travels

Regeneration

The newly regenerated Sixth Doctor decides on his new attire.

The Doctor regenerated for a fifth time after exposure to spectrox and contracting the fatal spectrox toxaemia disease on the planet Androzani Minor. He had given his companion, Perpugilliam "Peri" Brown, the last of the antidote, leaving none left for himself. He remarked in his final moments that the regeneration felt "different this time". (DW: The Caves of Androzani)

Post-regenerative crisis

Following this regeneration, he suffered from a particularly unstable personality and even attempted to throttle Peri to death. The Doctor then decided to exile himself on Titan III, but soon got involved with stopping Mestor and his gastropods. On Titan III he also met another Time Lord, his old friend Azmael. Throughout, he experienced extreme lows to bouts of near-insanity and violence. (DW: The Twin Dilemma)

The Doctor and Peri.

With Peri and Frobisher

After a short time, the Doctor's personality settled down into an extremely large ego with a side of compassion only experienced by his closest friends. He set out to fix everything wrong with his aging TARDIS and succeeded in fixing its broken chameleon circuit. For a brief time, it managed to change shape. (DW: Attack of the Cybermen)

Peri must have parted company with the Doctor for a short amount of time; however, the Doctor stumbled upon Whifferdill calling himself "Avan Tarklu," a private investigator set upon the Doctor as revenge by Josiah W. Dogbolter. Initially the Doctor's tormentor, the whifferdill decided to travel with the Doctor, changing his name to Frobisher and his shape to that of a large, rather cartoonish penguin. (DWM: The Shape Shifter)

Peri and Frobisher would travel together with the Doctor for periods of time, between taking breaks from him.

The Trial

The Prosecution

During an adventure on the planet Thoros Beta, the Doctor and Peri were forcibly separated by the Time Lords. Peri remained on the world in dire peril of having of the Mentor Kiv's mind transferred into her body. Meanwhile, a council of Time Lords forced the Doctor into his TARDIS and made the ship re-materialize in the Space Station Zenobia. (DW: Mindwarp)

The Valeyard (as he learned later both enemy and, in some sense, the Doctor himself) acted as prosecutor and there was an Inquisitor, Darkel. Because he had been taken out of time, the Doctor suffered from partial amnesia. He found himself once again on trial for interfering in the affairs of the universe. He elected to represent himself in the trial, for which he and his prosecutor, the Valeyard, would present events from his life as evidence via the Matrix. (DW: The Mysterious Planet, Mindwarp) The Doctor suffered a severe emotional blow as he witnessed the apparent destruction of Peri's mind and her physical death on Thoros Beta. (DW: Mindwarp)

Defence

After a recess, the Doctor would have the opportunity to present a case for defending himself, presenting an adventure from his own future, by which time he had met an Earth woman Melanie "Mel" Bush. The Valeyard seized on this as a chance to try the Doctor for the genocide of the Vervoids, prohibited by Article 17 of the Constitution. (DW: Terror of the Vervoids)

Aftermath

The Valeyard had falsified some of the evidence (which included the supposed death of Peri) with the aid of the High Council, in order to cover up a conspiracy which the Doctor had unknowingly uncovered. By this time, though, the Doctor had gradually won Darkel over to his side.

The Valeyard schemed to steal the Doctor's remaining regenerations with the help of the corrupt Council. Paradoxically (because in the Doctor's timeline, he had not met her yet) Mel was brought to the trial as a witness, as well as Sabalom Glitz. The Doctor's enemy, the Master, intervened. As the populace of Gallifrey reacted to news of the dishonesty of their High Council, they seemed ready to overthrow their leaders. Subsequently, Darkel suggested the Doctor as the new Lord President, but the Doctor suggested that Darkel herself would make for a better choice. The Doctor left in his TARDIS with Mel. The Valeyard, apparently killed inside the Matrix, had actually survived. (DW: The Ultimate Foe)

At some point the Doctor must return Mel to her original point in time following the conclusion of the trial. (MA: Time of Your Life)

Later travels

The Doctor travelled to Bianca's Bar and became involved in a problem concerning Iris Wildthyme. (BFA: The Wormery)

Following his trial, the Doctor appears to have become a more sombre individual, (DWM: Time & Time Again) at one point even contemplating suicide. (MA: Killing Ground)

He spent some time on the planet Torrok, determined to become a hermit and avoid becoming the Valeyard by avoiding meeting Mel; however, he was interrupted in this venture. He eventually met a young man, Grant Markham. (MA: Time of Your Life)

At some point Grant departs from the Doctor.

The Doctor (at some point after his trial) was tracking nexus point distortion and encountered Evelyn Smythe. The Doctor then took her back in time to stablise the nexus point and save her life. (BFA: The Marian Conspiracy)

At some point Evelyn leaves the Doctor and settles down on the planet Vilag.

At some point after his travels with Evelyn but before meeting Mel, the Doctor picked up a distress signal from a desert island in the year 500,002. There he rescued a young girl named Charley Pollard who, unbeknownst to the Doctor, was, in fact, the companion of one of his later incarnations. (BFA: The Condemned)

At some point Charley leaves the Doctor.

It is confirmed that the Doctor reunited with Jamie McCrimmon and travelled with him for a time, but the details of these adventures have yet to be revealed.[1]

The Doctor met Melanie Bush on a beach in Brighton in 1989. Mel was a computer programmer. She elected to travel with the Doctor for some time, until the end of the Doctor's sixth regeneration. (PDA: Business Unusual)

The Doctor regenerates.

Regeneration

The Sixth Doctor ended up regenerating after the Rani blasted his Tardis with a Tractor Beam causing him to regenerate into his Seventh Form. (DW: Time and the Rani)

For a list of Sixth Doctor stories in the order in which he experienced them, see Sixth Doctor - Timeline.

Characteristics

The sixth incarnation of the Doctor is probably the most consistently arrogant, and certainly the most bombastic. He almost never doubted his own ability, and considered himself greatly superior to nearly everyone he encountered. This included his companions, especially Peri, though he seemed to have mellowed during his time with Evelyn. More than his other incarnations, the Doctor could be something of a fatalist, more than once deciding he was doomed and resolving to accept his fate.

Physically, he is very tall; Mel also considered him to be overweight, and forced him to take up both a diet (consisting mainly of carrot juice) and an exercise regime, neither of which he felt he needed. (DW: Terror of the Vervoids)

Psychological profile

The Sixth Doctor was known to have a bad temper.

Personality

The Sixth Doctor was unpredictable. Arrogant and self-absorbed, stubborn and childish, argumentative and tasteless, he could often be seen as un-likeable or even loathsome. At other times, he could be seen as melodramatic. This was a Doctor who did not suffer fools gladly; he sometimes seemed to endure his Companion's presence far more than he actually appreciated it, and held himself as superior to almost anyone he encountered. But the new incarnation's brash exterior hid the fact that this was a Doctor more determined than ever to defeat the evil he encountered. He was possessed of a tenacity and a thirst to do what was right that was far more visible than ever before. Despite his often unstable demeanour, he was always quick to act when the situation called for it, and very little -- even his Companions -- could hope to get in his way.

It was during this incarnation that in some instances he began to see the logic in murder. (EDA: Alien Bodies) This might be reflected by how he seems to be a bit more accepting of violence in certain circumstances. While his physical attack on Peri can be attributed to a post-regenerative crisis, he reacted with humour after witnessing two men fall to their death in an acid bath (DW: Vengeance on Varos) - rumours that he pushed them in are unfounded. Most notably, he smothered Shockeye to death in self defence. (DW: The Two Doctors). Peri sometimes appeared nervous around the Doctor (DW: Attack of the Cybermen, Timelash), perhaps due to his initially erratic behaviour (or possibly as-yet unchronicled incidents).

The Doctor takes a much needed break.

Habits and Quirks

The Sixth Doctor was very fond of cats, and always wore one of a number of cat-shaped pins or brooches in his possession (by the time of his tenth incarnation, however, he had developed a dislike for the breed (DW: Fear Her)). His taste in clothes was the subject of much ridicule, though it has been suggested that he wore his outlandish coat in order to distract people from noticing anything else about him. He once mentioned that his coat was the "height of sartorial elegance." (BFA: Jubilee) At some point, the Doctor abandoned his outlandish multi-coloured outfit for a more subdued blue costume (WC: Real Time, plus assorted Big Finish cover art), though by the time of his regeneration, he had resumed wearing his original garb (DW: Time and the Rani).

After an unpleasant encounter with an Androgum in Spain, the Doctor proclaimed that he was becoming a vegetarian, though it's not known if or for how long he followed this promise. (DW: The Two Doctors).

He also had an ear for poetry, often reciting bits of it when events remind him of it (DW: The Twin Dilemma, The Mark of the Rani, Terror of the Vervoids).

This Doctor also had a habit of walking in a different direction to where he proclaimed he would be going; this quirk was mirrored in the Doctor's tenth incarnation, though it was more of the Doctor simply going the wrong way as opposed to purposely going the wrong direction. This led to the Tenth Doctor being corrected more than a few times.

Mysteries and Discrepancies

  • Why was he so much more erratic than the other Doctors immediately following his regeneration? Is Spectrox toxaemia especially toxic to Time Lords?
It's entirely possible. Regardless, every incarnation has different aspects to his personality. It's also theorized that this incarnation was the closest the Doctor came to becoming the Valeyard. Some believe that he intentionally triggered his next regeneration, because he could feel himself giving in to his darker impulses. Also possible is simply the violent circumstances surrounding the Fifth Doctor's regeneration plus how close he actually came to death (having held off the regeneration for quite some time after it should have kicked in) led to this erratic behaviour. This is consistent with the Eleventh Doctor's shown violence: his predecessor also postponed his regeneration.
  • Why did he leave with Mel at the end of his trial? Wouldn't taking her back to her proper place with his future self flout the Laws of Time?
Perhaps the Laws of Time work differently than the way which has been assumed. A possible alternative interpretation lies in the trial itself. Prior to providing his own defence (Terror of the Vervoids) the Doctor is given access to the Matrix, and allowed to study his own future. Having witnessed an undisclosed amount of his own future adventures it is possible he realized that whether he becomes the Valeyard or not, travelling with Peri was essential. Choosing to carry her someplace other than the station (and not trusting the time lords with her return) may be his way of taking control of the situation.

Undocumented adventures

The Doctor's first introduction to Mel, and stories intended for the aborted Season 23, have been covered in spin-off media, specifically novels and audio dramas.

Key Life Events

Behind the scenes

  • According to Colin Baker his coat was created (the way it appears) because John Nathan-Turner had the idea that it should be in "very bad taste". (DWM: DWM Issue 118 - Colin Baker Interviewed)
  • Baker declined an invitation to film the regeneration sequence at the start of Time and the Rani, so his successor, Sylvester McCoy, donned a blonde wig and briefly appeared on screen as the Sixth Doctor.
  • Spiral Scratch by Gary Russell gives a "revisionist" account of the circumstances behind the Doctor's regeneration, explaining that it had not simply happened because he had hit his head. Love and War by Paul Cornell had offered a different revisionist explanation, or at least implied one (Although it should be noted that neither theory expressly contradicts each other; Scratch features the Doctor being weakened after having his chronal energy drained fighting the Lamprey, while Love and War implies that he deliberately flew into the tractor beam to trigger his regeneration, but it is possible that the injuries the Doctor sustained in the beam were simply made worse by his already-weakened state and his incarnation could have otherwise lived for a while longer even in his weakened condition).
  • In August 2009, Big Finish Productions announced that Jamie McCrimmon, last seen in DW: The Two Doctors, will become a companion to the Sixth Doctor for a series of audio dramas scheduled for release in 2010.[3]

External links

The incarnations of the Doctor
FirstSecondThirdFourthFifthSixthSeventhEighthNinthTenthEleventh
Companions of the Sixth Doctor
Television
Peri Brown  • Melanie Bush
Other media
Frobisher  • Jason  • Crystal  • Zog  • Grant Markham  • Evelyn Smythe  • Will Hoffman  • Emily Chaudhry  • Charley Pollard  • Jamie McCrimmon  • Zoe Heriot

This article uses material from the "Sixth Doctor" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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