You may be *a* Doctor, but I'm *the* Doctor. The definite article, you might say.
Have you ever been apart from someone for so long that you have forgotten that you even miss them? And then, all of a sudden, there they are again and the years melt away like you have never even been apart? After nearly seven months of continuous daily viewing of Doctor Who, I finally got to meet Tom Baker again for the first time and it was magical.
Let's talk about that.
Robot - Parts 1 & 2
(TARDIS Data Core recap)
Thus for the Doctor we have had a Waspish Prick, an Intergalactic Hobo, and a Dandy Man of Action. Each of them are fine in their own ways, but if you close your eyes and imagine the classic Doctor, the real Doctor, there's really only one person that comes to mind. Tom Baker burst into the show in 1974 and absolutely defined the character. He somehow manages to be completely human and completely alien simultaneously, balancing beautifully between deft comedy and staunch stoicism. If perhaps it takes him a couple stories to really settle in, that's no real surprise (the same is true for virtually every Doctor). Even so, here he is right out the gate being unmistakably unique and unmistakeably the Doctor. Check out his first several costume choices, before he lands on the trademark scarf and hat:
The plot of the first story is almost irrelevant - there is a string of high-security thefts, stealing first the plans and then the materials to construct a disintegrator gun, and not surprisingly they turn out to have been executed by the titular Robot under the control of a pair of scientists who want to rule the world in some kind of high tech meritocracy. Sarah Jane does her intrepid reporter thing, the Brigadier is appropriately bemused by the Doctor yet again changing his appearance, and we get new companion Harry Sullivan to round things out. He's a bit of a wet blanket so far, but he'll come around.
Truly, though, the magic of the story is watching the Fourth Doctor do his thing. There's a reason that Tom Baker stayed in the role for seven full years. There are just so many beautiful moments, such as when the Brigadier confidently declares that a particular location has been fully secured from all sides as well as from above, to which the Doctor points out that that still leaves one direction -- immediately followed by the robot burrowing its way up through the ground to steal the device. Another comes when the Doctor completely bamboozles a mad scientist character, while Sarah Jane and the Brig gape in astonishment from the background. There is just no question that this is Tom's show now, and everyone else is along for the ride. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Companion(s): Sarah Jane Smith, Harry Sullivan, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart
Episode(s): Robot - Parts 1 & 2
Steps Walked: 6,528 today, 1,309,547 total
Distance Walked: 3.10 miles today, 647.87 miles total
Weight: 259.78 lbs (five day moving average), net change -47.52 lbs