If you go by birthdays, then technically Peter Davison is my Doctor. But if you go by what you remember growing up, then Sylvester McCoy is very much my Doctor. He’s the one I remember the most and he’s the one responsible for my obsessive love of all things Whovian.
What do I remember about Doctor Who way back when? Well, I remember that it used to scare the crap out of me and keep me awake at night. But it also enthralled me, taking me off to other planets, other solar systems despite the crap sets and sometimes even crappier monsters. But at that age, all the BBC needed to provide me with was someone growling wearing green bubble wrap and my young mind filled in the gaps.
I do faintly remember the arrival of McCoy as the Doctor. I believe it was my first regeneration experience and my father was most excited about it. I know people knock The Time and The Rani for how utterly rubbish it was but I like it. And Kate O’Mara was camp as anything in that episode which made me love it all the more! I re-watched it over Christmas and thoroughly enjoyed it. It did make me realise how different McCoy’s Doctor became over the course of his run as our favourite Timelord. He was very different in his first episode. But I liked him! He was funny and I remember him getting all his words and phrases wrong which I remember I found really rather amusing as a child.
One of my favourite things about Seven is that he had, in my mind anyway, the best companion, Ace. She was AWESOME! No-one has compared to her since. Forget the Ponds, forget Rose, forget even Donna – Ace was the best! She was headstrong, decisive and got the job done. I fell utterly in love with the pair of them, her especially. No-one has compared to her since. They were a fantastic team and one of the better suited pairings that have shared the T.A.R.D.I.S. together. I actually had the chance to meet McCoy and Aldred at the London Film and Comic Con last year at Earls Court and I’m not ashamed to say that when I saw them, there were some tears on my part. It was a highlight in my life that I shall never forget.
I do think it’s unfair that McCoy gets labelled as the destroyer of Doctor Who. It was failing before he became The Doctor and most of that was down to the fact that the BBC Controller at the time, Michael Grade, openly hated Who. He made no bones about changing the times that Doctor Who aired, regularly putting it up against Corrie on ITV. No wonder the viewing figures for Doctor Who dropped off dramatically – Grade was determined to kill it come hell or high water. SHAME ON YOU GRADE!
Thanks to my father, I’d already seen some Doctor Who episodes with both the Bakers, Troughton, Pertwee and Davison but McCoy was my real introduction to Doctor Who. My father was determined that I would watch his stint as the 7th Doctor from the very beginning and no matter how awful some of his episodes were, how tenuous his plot lines were or how much people knocked his performance, McCoy will always be MY Doctor and I shall defend him to the death!