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Fandom / Television PopWrapped | Fandom

The Seventh Doctor: The Mask of a Clown

PopWrapped | PopWrapped Author


11/07/2013 3:59 pm
PopWrapped | Fandom
The Seventh Doctor: The Mask of a Clown
Media Courtesy of Google Images

Heather Maloney

Staff Writer

After the dark events in The Trial of a Time Lord, when Doctor Who returned there was a lighter air about it.  When The Rani attacks the TARDIS, The Doctor regenerates into Sylvester McCoy and the era of the Seventh Doctor begins.  Assisted by companions Melanie Bush and Ace, this Doctor utilized his clown like nature and sleight of hand to trick his enemies, however there was a mysterious sadness underneath it all.  From playing his spoons whenever appropriate to his secretive and contemplative side, The Seventh Doctor truly had viewers trying to answer the question “Doctor Who?” As a showman, The Seventh Doctor utilized a large array of magic tricks and illusions to thwart his enemies and entertain himself.  Similar to Patrick Troughton’s Second Doctor, McCoy’s incarnation was not afraid to act a fool in order for others to underestimate him and therefore gain an advantage.  This Doctor was very secretive only revealing information on a need to know basis.  He was not above lying to those around him and often took a very dark and somewhat final approach when defeating the enemy.  However, The Doctor did not tolerate violence of any kind and abhorred the use of firearms. When The Doctor began his tenure in 1987, continuing companion Melanie Bush joined him on his adventures.  Mel was a perfect partner for the new Doctor; he was jovial, she was cheerful.  When Mel decides to leave The Doctor in Dragonfire, he befriends a sixteen-year-old waitress named Dorothy Gale McShane; also known as Ace. Ace was a breath of fresh air.  While she was a female companion, she fought danger head on and would never scream and hide.  Young and naive, Ace turns to The Doctor when he shows an interest in helping her with her education.  She fondly gave him the nickname of ‘Professor’ and was gifted in Chemistry.  In fact, she never went anywhere without her trusty Nitro 9 even when The Doctor forbid it.  Luckily for The Doctor, Ace was always there to save the day with Nitro 9 when he needed it.  With a close mentor relationship, The Doctor and Ace also struggled through some tough moments.  When The Doctor would try to have Ace figure out a solution on her own he sometimes would manipulate her and thus cause resentment.  However, this never held Ace back and she famously even beat a Dalek with a baseball bat. Sadly, we never saw on television what became of Ace.  On December 6, 1989, the final episode of Survival aired which would be the end of an era.  After struggling in the ratings, the BBC finally cancelled the 26-year-old television program.  Luckily, The Doctor’s story was continued on in the Virgin New Adventures novels.  Furthermore, in the 1996 Doctor Who Television Movie, fans were able to witness The Seventh Doctor’s final moments and regeneration into Paul McCann. With question marks adorning his entire wardrobe, Sylvester McCoy portrayed a dark and lonely Time Lord who excelled in diversion.  Even though the show was cancelled during his time on the program, Sylvester McCoy was the embodiment of The Doctor that was needed at the end of the 1980s.  Fun and comical, yet dark and sad, The Seventh Doctor graced television screens around the world with pizazz and depth.


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