Thursday, April 5, 2007


Since the TV Crossover Hall of Fame officially began back in 1999, I've tried to use the April induction to celebrate all aspects of "The Fool". There have been those who have been foolish or just plain dumb; others who have celebrated the traditions of clowning; and others who have embodied the Shakespearean sense of the Fool with insight, wit and guile; perhaps even assuming the role of Trickster.

Here are the Hall of Famers who have been inducted over the years during April:

John Munch
Lucille Ball
Maxwell Smart & Agent 99
Luther Van Dam
Montgomery Scott
Ted Baxter
Mike Logan

This year, we're kicking off a mini-theme, celebrating one of the longest-running dramatic series on Television. And April just seemed to be the perfect month in which to launch this theme with the main character who serves as the inspiration. (Especially since his show just returned for a new season this past Saturday!)

Throughout his career in Toobworld, he has been all those aspects of the Fool - witty, clownish, even a bit of a dolt at times. At one point in his career, he was often referred to as a baggy-pants clown; even a galactic hobo. And later that incarnation met up with himself from the future who was quite literally, a "wearer of the motley". (He would be dressed as though he had escaped from an explosion in a buffoon's wardrobe.)

There hasn't been much consistency to this aspect of his personality; indeed, there hasn't been any consistency at all to how he's been portrayed. And little wonder, since we're talking about a gentleman who's been portrayed in Toobworld by at least ten different actors (with additional casting side trips in the Tooniverse, the Cineverse, Skitlandia, and in the universes based on audio plays, comic books, comic strips, theatrical productions, and even on the Internet).


Exactly. The Doctor.

The Gallifreyan Time Lord of 'Doctor Who' had been on the air since the early 1960s until the late 80s. He came back for a charity special, and then a FOX TV movie, and then brilliantly returned for what looks to be another long run in 2005.

And throughout it all, the Doctor had the most ingenious way to splain away the "Darrin Discrepancies" caused by recasting the actor in the title role: the Gallifreyans can regenerate their bodies upon the point of death so that they can begin anew with a new physical look, with new personality quirks, and with a new taste in fashion. (This is what kept actors interested in taking up the role; they never had to be a slave to what the previous actor brought to the Doctor.)

Whether or not you consider the show one seamless ride from its original run through the TV movie and now into the new series, there have still been enough side trips into other tele-venues for the Doctor to qualify for membership in the TV Crossover Hall of Fame.

There are the two "Children In Need" charity specials - 'Dimensions In Time' which featured all of the Doctors and many of his Companions up to the Seventh Incarnation (and which crossed over with 'EastEnders' to boot!), and the 2005 vignette which served as a bridge between the first two seasons of the revival.

The Doctor materialized in the year 123 AD, just long enough to pop out of his TARDIS for a quick "look-round" (Okay, okay, he had to take a leak!) before heading off to his next adventure. ('Chelmsford 123') The TARDIS was seen stored in the docking bay of the space ship Starbug which would indicate that for a time, the Doctor was on board as well. ('Red Dwarf')

Although it's not usually a dimension we should be paying attention to here at "Inner Toob", the movie universe had its own version of the Doctor in two different movies. Peter Cushing played the role in both and was actually named Doctor Who.

Over in The Tooniverse, we've seen the Fourth Incarnation of the Doctor at least twice on 'The Simpsons' and a serialized cartoon has just begun broadcasting on the BBC with an adventure for the Tenth Incarnation, "The Infinite Quest".

Then there are his many other incarnations in Skitlandia, that dimension made up from comedy sketches on variety shows, late night talk shows, etc. With a sketch on the Comic Relief telethon called "The Curse of Fatal Death", we saw the Doctor run through his last remaining regenerations with the actors Rowan Atkinson, Richard E. Grant, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant, and finally Joanna Lumley in the role!

Richard E. Grant also played the role of the "Ninth Doctor" in an animated adventure "Scream Of The Shalka" for the Internet. The "jury" is still out as to whether or not Web content should be absorbed into the canon for any TV show, whether it be 'Doctor Who' or 'The Office' or 'Rescue Me', etc. But in this case, I think "Scream Of The Shalka" should be kept separate, as this Doctor was specifically referred to as the Ninth, and that role has been usurped in Toobworld by Christopher Eccleston's portrayal.

Here is a list of actors who have played the Doctor in Toobworld:

William Hartnell & Richard Hurndall as the First Incarnation
(Hurndall played the role in a guest re-appearance, "The Five Doctors", as Hartnell had already passed away. I like to think that Hurndall's portrayal was from slightly earlier in the First Doctor's life. But details from "The Five Doctors" may trip me up on that.)

Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor
(I know I shouldn't play favorites, but he is the one I like the best.)

Jon Pertwee as the Third Doctor

Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor

Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor

Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor

Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor

Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor in the 1996 TV movie

Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor

David Tennant as the Tenth, and current, Incarnation

(Also, there should be some consideration for Michael Jayston, who portrayed the Valeyard in "Trial Of A Time Lord". The Valeyard was a future incarnation of the Doctor.)

Just the ten incarnations of the Toobworld Doctor alone will make for a very crowded exhibition. We may have to open a separate wing!

Welcome to the Hall, Sir... and Sirs!



Anonymous said...

That was AWESOME! Totally cool. I wish I could write like you with them big wordy things and stuff

NYC Mark

Anonymous said...

I think you just about covered it. Good job! :o)

Michael C.