Doctor Who: Four Doctors and Captain Jack Come to Houston

Categories: Doctor Who

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Last year Comicpalooza was scheduled to host Peter Davison, the Fifth Doctor, but unfortunately Davison was forced to cancel. This year Comicpalooza will accomplish something no Houston comic or geek culture convention ever has, and something all but the largest conventions in the country can claim. This weekend there will be four of the immortal Doctors in attendance, as well as John Barrowman, the one and only Captain Jack Harkness of Doctor Who and Torchwood.

All the surviving classic Doctors save Tom Baker will be joining us.

Peter Davison was 29-years-old when he agreed to take over the role of The Doctor from Tom Baker, a legendary figure that set a record when he traveled in the Tardis for seven straight years. Davison was then the youngest Doctor ever, until that record was broken by the 26-year-old Matt Smith.

The year 1981 brought many changes to Doctor Who. Though Baker himself remained beloved and popular, the ratings were beginning to slip and new showrunner John Nathan-Turner was eager to shake things up quite a bit. Much of the production talent such as writers Robert Holmes and Douglas Adams that had crafted some of the most iconic episodes in the show's history were replaced in favor of a more sensationalistic approach full of twists, surprises, guest actors, and a keen ability to manipulate the media to keep Doctor Who in the news.

Flashback
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Davison is arguably the actor who was most popular at the time he took over being The Doctor. Having become a household name from his performances in All Things Great and Small, he was a little flavor-of-the-week. That said, for three seasons Davison brought a sweetness to The Doctor's heroism, as well as much tragedy. His final adventure, "The Caves of Androzani", is considered to be one of the best Doctor Who stories ever told.

Davison's successor, Colin Baker, joins him at Comicpalooza. Perhaps no other Doctor has had quite as hard a time as Colin Baker, and he remains the only actor ever actually let go from the part. Baker himself hoped to bring a dark suaveness to The Doctor, and has lamented since that the approach Christopher Eccelston took was what he had in mind for himself.

Nathan-Turner had other ideas. Decking Baker out in a clownish coat of many colors and molding the Time Lord into an egotistical madmen, many accused Nathan-Turner of basically inserting himself into the show. Nonetheless, Baker's tenure has aged much better than it initially played. His stand against the corruption on Gallifrey in the season long "Trial of the Time Lords" in particular stands out, and until "Day of the Doctor" his team-up with Patrick Troughton in "The Two Doctors" was far and away the best multi-Doctor special ever. This doesn't even cover his audio work as The Doctor for Big Finish, a venue in which he is possibly the best Doctor ever.

Eventually, it was decided that a change was needed, and so fed up with the politics of the set was Baker that he refused to film his regeneration.

This story continues on the next page.

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George R. Brown Convention Center

1001 Avenida De Las Americas, Houston, TX

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