The Second Doctor: The Cosmic Hobo

Regeneration as a concept is a highly risky one. In any other show, recasting the main character is pretty much a death sentence; just look at Netflix and the Witcher. Integrating that change into the story? That’s a different beast altogether!

It must have been especially terrifying back when it was a brand new thing. People had fallen in love with William Hartnell as the Doctor. How could anyone follow that act?

In Patrick Troughton’s case, it was brilliantly.

The second Doctor is a wild departure from the first. Whereas the first was generally stern and serious with a kind and caring side, the second is much more energetic, silly, and sassy. If the first was a wise grandfather, the second is a clown with a flute.

Despite the dramatic change in his personality, the second Doctor is still very clearly the Doctor. He maintains that gentle kindness and ancient wisdom that made the character so beloved in the first place. While this iteration is much more goofy, the heart of the character remains.

All of this is escalated even further by the late Patrick Troughton’s performance. This dude is wildly entertaining in every scene he’s in! He perfectly balances energetic comedy with dramatic weight. It’s easy to see how he managed to win the fans of the first over to his side.

Alas, a good number of his stories have not survived the test of time. Not in that they’ve aged poorly, mind you. No, a solid chunk of Troughton’s episodes simply don’t exist anymore. A similar problem plagued the first Doctor’s era, but it is especially prevalent with the second’s.

Thankfully, Troughton himself would return to the show multiple times in the coming years after his original run. Pretty much every multi-Doctor special the Classic era had featured him among the cast. If you’re worried you won’t get enough second Doctor, no need to fear.

He also has one of the best companions in Doctor Who history: Jaime. Whenever these two interact, it’s always a delight.

With how far along the series has come, and how many actors have taken on the mantle of the Doctor at this point, it can be easy to forget about the second. Which is unfair, because the second Doctor is still a delight to watch even today!

Sadly, the days of the clown are over. Now, it’s time to talk about the dandy.

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