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Second Doctor

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/2e4c5d66231c1066816754294d634c39.jpg
"Our lives are different to anybody else's. That's the exciting thing! There's nobody in the universe can do what we're doing."

First appearance: "The Tenth Planet" (1966)
Debut: "The Power of the Daleks" (1966)
Exit story:note  "The War Games" (1969)
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Regeneration comic stripnote  "The Night Walkers" (1969)

Played by: Patrick Troughton (1966–69, 1972–73,note  1983, 1985)
Voiced by: David Coker (1997)

"There are some corners of the universe which have bred the most terrible things. Things that act against everything we believe in. They must be fought!"

The cosmic hobo with the Beatles haircut. A more easy-going personality than his predecessor, and very much an anti-authority maverick, the Second Doctor was a gadfly who enjoyed annoying everyone he met; he made an art form out of stealthily insulting his foes and allies alike.

Unlike his predecessor, who would often end up as a circumstantial hero by way of getting himself accidentally embroiled in dangerous situations and then having to find his way out of them again, the Second Doctor more actively felt he had somewhat of a moral obligation to help the oppressed and fight injustices wherever he came across them doing his journeys.

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He also had quite the knack for manipulation and deception; his favorite trick by far was pretending to be a bumbling and somewhat scatterbrained and naïve buffoon, generally acting clumsy and a little cowardly and asking seemingly perfectly innocent, but annoying questions, only to catch his adversaries off-guard and reveal that a darker and more cunning and strong-willed personality lurked under this harmless surface.

He liked to play the recorder (the musical instrument), and he carried a massive number of useful things in the pockets of his coat, including the now famous sonic screwdriver. (The Tenth Doctor would confirm that, as many fans had long suspected, the Doctor's pockets are bigger on the inside in "The Runaway Bride")


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    TV Series Tropes 

Tropes associated with the television series

  • Abandoned Catchphrase: The Second Doctor had "I would like a hat like that" as a catchphrase for the first two or three stories before it was dropped off.
  • Arch-Enemy: The Cybermen and the Great Intelligence.
  • Ambiguously Gay: He and Jamie. According to Frazer Hines, who played Jamie, he and Patrick Troughton deliberately snuck as many innuendos into the program as they could, just to spite The BBC, including the now famous:
    Jamie: Doctor, look at the size of that thing!
    The Doctor: Yes, Jamie, it's a big one!
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: The first of many to demonstrate this trait, especially in his early adventures. He never quite stopped being distracted by Nice Hats, though.
  • Awesome Anachronistic Apparel: A sort of ill-fitting ensemble of early 20th century clothes.
  • Butterfly of Transformation: Uses it to explain his transformation.
  • Came Back Wrong: Being that he's the first regeneration to appear at a time when the concept didn't exist yet, the Second Doctor went through a few rewrites: originally being envisioned as a windjammer captain (!) and then a "Mister Hyde" version of his predecessor, with a tramp version of the First Doctor's wardrobe. A few of these traits made it into the final version, and though the Doctor soon mellowed, his initial craziness was the basis for "regeneration" traumas we see again later. It certainly scared the pants off One's companions when the venerable old man shrank down into a giddy, flute-playing nutter.
  • Catchphrase: "When I say run, run." Also, "Oh, my giddy aunt!", and "Oh, crumbs!" And uncommonly, "Oh, my word!"
    • In his reappearances, some version of "Oh—I see you've redecorated (fill-in-the-blank), haven't you?—hmm. I don't like it."
  • Cavalry Betrayal: At long last, the Doctor found one enemy (The War Chief) he couldn't fight without sending for reinforcements from Gallifrey. The Time Lords aren't amused: they find the Doctor guilty — with some equanimity — of ruining whole civilizations and then splitting before the clean-up. His sentence is separation from his companions with their memories of him wiped, the removal of his knowledge of how to pilot the TARDIS, and exile in modern day London. Oh, and they execute himnote  just for shiggles.
    War Chief: Doctor, you mustn’t call them in, or it will be the end of us. They’ll show no mercy.
  • Character Tics: He had a habit of wringing his hands constantly. The Eleventh Doctor imitated this. If he couldn't wring his hands, he'd twiddle his fingers and drum them on things, such as his other hand. Also lots and lots of eyebrow quirking.
  • Characterization Marches On:
    • This was the first time the Doctor changed and no-one quite knew what effect this could, or should, have on the Doctor's personality - only that he would have to be different to the First Doctor. He started out being written as an interstellar 19th-century ship captain, then as a 'Mr Hyde' version of the First Doctor who took on distorted, dark versions of his quirks, before settling down into the cuddly but dangerous Hobo character he'd be for the rest of his run. Fortunately, this worked really well - this initial confusion over his personality was explained eventually as the result of the shock of undergoing an obviously physically traumatic process, and became a stock feature of regeneration ever after. Later Doctors, even ones whose personalities have already been planned out in full, traditionally kick off with a story in which they are completely loopy (ranging from confusion to yelling non-sequiturs to thinking they're their previous incarnations to trying to murder their companions) before settling into their main personality.
    • He started out with several gimmicks, such as his fondness for ridiculous hats, playing the recorder, and his love of disguises. As his character became more fleshed out these were gradually abandoned. His hat obsession is gone for good after "The Underwater Menace", his disguises are dropped in favour of Master Actor bluffing after "The Enemy of the World" and his recorder is last seen being (inexplicably) used as a telescope in "The War Games", with it last being played in "The Web of Fear". Season 6 gives him "Oh my word" and "oh my giddy aunt" as Catchphrases and alters his sense of humour to be more of a Deadpan Snarker rather than a clown.
  • The Chessmaster: Not to the extent of Seven, but he had his moments of this.
  • Continuity Snarl: Since the Second Doctor got so many opportunities to meet his other incarnations personally, there were going to be continuity glitches. There is even an "Season 6B" theory to explain the references to "The War Games" in "The Two Doctors," which the BBC has officially acknowledged as "making sense".
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: Contrasts his predecessor's grumpiness with a warm, emotional attitude. He also contrasts One's stubborn straight-forwardness by being ruminative, subtle, and sneaky.
  • Cowardly Lion: The only Doctor who frequently shows open fear of his enemies, and in a way that does not make it look like a deliberate performance.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Always seemed to have some sort of situation-suitable item in those pockets of his.
  • Cuddle Bug: Has his arms around his companions more often than not.
  • Denser and Wackier: Though ultimately, the series proved to be Growing the Beard.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Whether it is by accident or design, this is a Doctor who can watch a civilization go up in flame or a man being sucked out through the TARDIS doors into space, dust himself off, and play a few notes on his recorder. Cold as ice.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: With much glee.
  • Failed a Spot Check: He does this quite often. Notably in "The Dominators," when he clearly pointed out that the newly formed volcano was erupting, but didn't notice that the volcano was erupting.
    Jamie: C'mon! The whole place is going to blow up!
    Second Doctor No, it's quite all right, Jamie. The planet is quite safe. There's only going to be a localized volcanic eruption. It'll only affect the island.
    Jamie: Maybe so, but we happen to be on the island.
    Second Doctor: Oh, my word!
  • Famous Last Words: "No! Stop, you're making me giddy! No, you can't do this to me! No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no!"
  • Fun Personified
  • Future Me Scares Me: Absolutely can't stand Three, and has a lot of fun insulting old "fancy pants" every chance he gets. Two and Six arguing is also a sight to behold.
  • Gainax Ending: His regeneration into Three. The timeline is all screwed up, and it's very possible that what we saw on screen wasn't even his regeneration — these days, the Beeb considers the Season 6B theory valid.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: "Oh, my giddy aunt!" and variations.
  • Harmless Lady Disguise: Harmless lady with a gun concealed in her robes. (It's not like it was even loaded, though.)
  • Herr Doktor: Or as he liked to call himself, Doktor von Wer.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: The Doctor and Jamie were together for all but one serial and for more episodes than any other companion.
  • Hobos: More like a WHO-bo.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: The Doctor crawls out of the TARDIS on all fours, waving a white hankie in surrender — and then lobs a smoke bomb. Viva la revolucion!
  • Iconic Item: His recorder (the musical instrument), though it was used less and less over time. Loses one in "The Three Doctors" as a necessary sacrifice, but gets a replacement.
  • Iconic Sequel Character: It's been argued by many that Troughton is when the general concept of "the Doctor" snapped into sharp focus. David Tennant noted that all the Doctors these days are variations on the themes he set down.
  • Identical Stranger: This regeneration had a doppelganger, Ramón Salamander, a nefarious Emperor Scientist from the near future. Not only was Salamander a capable villain, he bluffed his way into the TARDIS (a feat which few have accomplished).
  • Idiot Hair: There's always this one bit of his hair that loves to stick up.
  • Master Actor: The main selling point of his identity tricks is his ability to act like the person he is trying to portray, arousing little to no suspicion of a fallacy even without a donned disguise.
  • Master of Disguise: He had an interesting fondness for disguises and clever identity lies, which he usually backed up with some persona-appropriate accent.
  • Messy Hair: He had an unkempt mop-top haircut as well as an abiding five o' clock shadow, both of which sets him off against the clean-cut First Doctor. He has his hair tidied in "The Macra Terror" and "Enemy of the World" and apparently hates both the look and sensation of having it combed both times.
  • Nice Guy: When compared to his more strict predecessor, Two is a warm, gentle, and whimsical oddball with a clownish sense of humor and always keen to solve a problem or make new friends.
  • Nice Hat: In addition to wearing a very tall stovepipe hat in his first three stories, the Doctor would sometimes note when he saw an interesting piece of headgear, "I would like a hat like that." It was something of an early catchphrase, discarded (like the hat) after a few serials.
  • Noodle Incident: A possible adventure with the Eighth Doctor, it seems. Also, in "The Five Doctors" he recalls a never-seen adventure with "The Terrible Zodin".
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Usually when he's frightened at something.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Absolutely loved it. His main tactic for any situation. Shown masterfully in "The Three Doctors".
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: As seen in "The Name of the Doctor", he had a mostly off-screen adventure with the Eighth Doctor.
  • Parental Substitute: To Victoria, after her father died saving his life on Skaro. She even refers to him as her guardian.
  • Protect This House/You Shall Not Pass!: The "Base Under Siege" episodes. These became a trademark of the Second Doctor's tenure, though they're not exclusive to him.
  • Recycled In Space: Is often described as Charlie Chaplin IN SPACE!
  • Rogues Gallery: Daleks, Professor Zaroff, Cybermen, Macra, Chameleons, the Dalek Emperor, the Cyber-Controller, the Great Intelligence, Robot Yeti, Ice Warriors, Ramón Salamander, Cyber-Planners, Dominators, Quarks, Tobias Vaughn, Krotons, and the War Chief.
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: Invokes the trope at times, especially towards UNIT.
  • Security Cling: All the time. Given and received.
  • Shot at Dawn: In "The War Games." Don't worry, he was saved... but as the show went on and the writers hammered out what exactly regeneration was, his "change of appearance" later on in that episode was revealed to have been his execution.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: He was so good at this that he successfully did it to himself in "The Three Doctors."
  • Summon Bigger Fish: His eventual undoing.
  • Tranquil Fury: "You tried to destroy an entire world", his chillingly calm response to the Ice Warriors' protests that he's destroyed their fleet.
  • Trojan Prisoner: Used on occasion.
  • Trope Codifier: Having defined most of the Doctor's chief characteristics, Second's role influenced several of the later Doctors, especially the Seventh and Eleventh.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: 99% of his dialogue with The Brigadier is them trying to out-snark each other.
  • Wig, Dress, Accent: He loved dressing up.

    Comic Tropes 

Tropes associated with the TV comics line

  • Arch-Enemy: The Cybermen are still a consistent threat during John and Gillian's time with the Doctor, but they become overshadowed by the Quarks by the time Jamie rejoins the TARDIS.
  • Famous Last Words: "Fear no more, Hogan... after this dreadful night has passed your scarecrows will not walk again!"
  • Rogues Gallery: The Extortioner, Daleks, the Master of Spiders, Cybermen, the Grand Witch, Sabre-toothed gorillas, Quarks, Father Time, and the Time Lords.

    Book Tropes 

Tropes associated with the Virgin Missing Adventures

Tropes associated with BBC Past Doctor Adventures

  • Never My Fault: An interesting example of this, as Heart of TARDIS sees the Doctor claim that his difficulties in piloting the TARDIS are actually the result of security protocols that inhibit a thief’s ability to control a stolen TARDIS rather than just that he doesn’t know what he’s doing (although the evidence suggests that he was at least exaggerating the impact these protocols have on his ability to control the ship).
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The Final Sanction sees the Doctor almost alter history so that the planet Ockara and the ruthless Selachian natives aren’t destroyed in 2204, to the point that a group of surviving Selachians nearly destroy Earth in retaliation.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: The Doctor adopts one in World Game to pose as Napoleon Bonaparte and deliver important messages for the British during the Battle of Waterloo; characters explicitly observe that the Doctor only bears a slight resemblance to Napoleon, but with the right clothes the Doctor makes a convincing enough Napoleon to the average Frenchman who would never come that close to his Emperor but only see him at a distance.
  • Rogues Gallery: Administrator Greene, Captain Stanislaus, General Cruger, Kepennis, Leonard De Sande, Myloki, the Players, President Sabit, & Selachians.

Tropes associated with other books

  • Amnesia Loop: At the end of Save Yourself it's revealed that after he completes each mission for the Time Lords his memory is erased, so he believes this is his first mission and therefore he goes into it believing he will soon be free.

    Audio Tropes 

Tropes associated with Big Finish

Voiced by: Frazer Hines (2007–present)

Stories with Two tend to be sweet and relatively drama-free, staying extremely close to the atmosphere of his TV series episodes.


Alternative Title(s): Second Doctor

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