Main Character Rerailment Discussion

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02:46:51 AM Sep 21st 2014
  • The Doctor himself:
    • The Third Doctor era had done a drastic Re Tool into a Spy Fiction-influenced series, with the Third Doctor being a radical departure from the first two Doctors in being a rather more humanlike, severe character with a job in UNIT and a rather militaristic attitude. While this era is well-liked, some regard the characterisation as Doctor Who In Name Only. When he regenerated into the Fourth Doctor he reverted to a clownish characterisation quite similar to the Second Doctor (although this developed in a more nuanced and rounded direction after his first serial) and cut most of his ties to Earth and UNIT, in favour of the wild space travel and battles with monsters upon which the first two had focused. He even does some Leaning on the Fourth Wall to inform the other characters that he's back to being how he should be ("I'm THE Doctor. The definite article.").
    • The Seventh Doctor era attempted - at first - to make the Doctor a lot Lighter and Softer, making him a foolish Cloud Cuckoo Lander who didn't seem to have a clue what was going on and would break into vaudeville spoon-playing and clowning. In addition to this being a very shallow interpretation of the Doctor's characterisation, it caused severe whiplash coming as it did after an era with a particularly Jerkass Doctor who had featured in some very dark and violent stories. However, once the Executive Meddling eased up, the script editor and Sylvester Mc Coy teamed up to gradually rerail the Doctor back into being a mysterious, powerful and frightening figure, who just also happened to be a loveable figure of fun into the bargain as well, as he had always been before that and will likely always be after.
    • The Tenth Doctor era tried to make him Darker and Edgier but went to the point of having him do some truly unheroic things and never get called on it (even though, as mentioned above, people were more likely to complain than thank him when he was clearly saving their asses.) However, the Tenth Doctor's last story contains none of the above and neither does the Reunion Show, and when the Eleventh Doctor is dark it's against actual bad guys, and we also finally get a What the Hell, Hero? moment done right (When the Doctor is about to leave a guy who'd once done awful things to his fate at the hands of the supposed villain of the episode, who proves to have come for revenge, Amy reads him the riot act, and the Doctor says that as the only one who can fight such creatures, he feels that every time he shows mercy to a villain who goes on to abuse it, he feels that he's responsible for everyone who suffers at their hands. Though he doesn't directly connect it to any of them, a lot of seeming Jerkass moments from the previous era look more forgivable in that light. And this time, Amy is able to talk him out of going through with it.)


Isn't this Character Devellopment? Also isn't a point in the series that each of the doctors have their own personalities?
03:05:23 AM Sep 21st 2014
That sounds more like Character Development, yes. And far as my knowledge of Doctor Who goes, the latter is true as well.
02:23:15 AM Jul 29th 2011
Why is this page YMMV when Character Derailment is not?
09:19:00 PM Aug 5th 2012
More to the point, Character Derailment is Flame Bait and this is not, but it's hard to talk about Character Derailment without ind8icating that they've been derailed in the first place.
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