This is a post in the Tor.com Twelve Doctors of Christmas series. Click the link to peruse the entire series.
In his first story, “The Twin Dilemma,” Colin Baker’s Sixth Doctor proclaims, “I am the Doctor, whether you like it or not!” It was hard to like the version of the Doctor who burst onto BBC1 in 1984: he was arrogant, pedantic, and sporadically violent, and wore a costume so hideous and brightly colored that it’s been known to cause migraines. It didn’t help that his opponent in that story was a giant slug, a production decision that affected the image of Doctor Who enough for Ricky Gervais to riff on it nearly a quarter-century later.
“The Twin Dilemma” was an ignominious start. But judging the Sixth Doctor by that first appearance is like judging Tom Hanks’ dramatic talents based on an episode of Bosom Buddies.