The Seventh Doctor
The Seventh Doctor was an inquisitive explorer, revelling in adventure and investigations into the unknown. He might trick you into thinking he was a buffoon, playing the fool or muddling his words – but these traits belied a sharp intelligence and a shrewd judge of character…
The Seventh Doctor was a complete contrast to the bombastic Sixth Doctor. He could be quiet and sweet and loved introducing people to new experiences, helping them find wonder in the slightest detail. ‘Nothing’s just rubbish,’ he once told his companion, Mel, ‘if you have an inquiring mind!’ Before landing the TARDIS he once crossed his fingers and declared, ‘I intend to explore!’ like a schoolboy enthusing about a trip he couldn’t wait to embark on… Such exuberance was typical of the Seventh Doctor’s spirit of adventure. He would arrive in the middle of an apparently dangerous situation, declare, ‘I don’t like the look of this!’ before promptly continuing into the unknown, simply to find out what was going on.
Every great decision creates ripples… Like a huge boulder dropping in a lake.The Seventh Doctor
There was a melancholy side to this Doctor as well. When Mel declared she was leaving, he was reluctant to accept the fact at first, before coming round to her departure and finally saying, ‘Think about me when you’re living your life one day after another, all in a neat pattern. Think about the homeless traveller and his old police box, with his days like crazy paving…’
His next companion was the teenage tearaway, Ace. The two became good friends and developed a great understanding of each other. The Time Lord knew when she was trying to get one over on him – ‘Ace, give me some of that Nitro-9 that you’re not carrying!’ – and she was aware she could gently tease him about his eccentricities. ‘You're just an ageing hippy, Professor,’ she once joked.
But a darker side to the Seventh Doctor emerged during his travels with Ace. He lured both the Daleks and the Cybermen into deadly traps, and plans he had set in motion centuries before came to a head in his dealings with the ancient evil of Fenric. And it wasn’t just his enemies who wound up as pawns in his games. He would often keep important details from his companion and some of his attempts to help her face and accept her past, although well-intentioned, put poor old Ace through the wringer. On one occasion he took her back to a house that held bad memories for her, but the ‘confront-your-fears’ exercise took a dangerous turn when it turned out the place was now housing a mad man, a Neanderthal, murderous husks and an alien bent on destroying humanity. Luckily, the Doctor was able to scupper its plans!
The Seventh Doctor finished up traveling alone and his end was swift and brutal, shot down as he stepped out of the TARDIS in San Francisco in 1999. The ensuing regeneration brought to a close the days of a Doctor who played games with the universe, but never tired of its wonder: ‘There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea’s asleep, and the rivers dream,’ he memorably mused. ‘People made of smoke, and cities made of song. Somewhere there’s danger, somewhere there’s injustice, and somewhere else the tea’s getting cold. Come on, Ace, we’ve got work to do!’