The Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker)
Arrogant, dramatic, self-absorbed, driven and stubborn, the Sixth Doctor, played by Colin Baker, instantly believed himself superior to almost anyone he encountered. He would often browbeat others into submission with his savage wit and his grammarian’s interest in language. Even so, his mercurial and flippant tendencies did not define the true heart of his persona. Beneath his thunderous and turbulent exterior, he was quite the opposite: a passionate, warm, virtuous and empathic individual.
He was profoundly difficult with his first companion, Peri Brown, whom he initially challenged for her use of American English and her as-yet-incomplete education. Indeed, during the early hours after his regeneration he also physically assaulted her, because the regenerative process had addled his mind to the point of paranoia. It took considerable time for himself and Peri to stop bickering and start behaving as genuine friends, but eventually the Sixth Doctor became someone she could rely upon. With enough distance from the regenerative event, she was able to look to the Doctor for strength after her mother’s death.
Despite his bluster, the Sixth Doctor did possess great reserves of compassion. His gentler side began to blossom largely as a consequence of travelling with Evelyn Smythe, a university lecturer whose verbal dexterity was on a par with his own. Also helpful to this transition were Frobisher, a shapeshiftingprivate eye who often masqueraded as a penguin, Melanie Bush, a brilliant computer programmer from late 80s, and Flip Jackson, a young woman from twenty-first century London.
A dominant feature of his life was yet another Time Lord trial. Though this one sought to blame him for a shifting docket of crimes, it in fact turned out to be an elaborate ruse. He later found himself in a reverse situation where he became the prosecutor against the Valeyard, the malicious being that had framed him in an attempt to steal his regenerations. He discovered that the Valeyard’s dubious existence was somehow tied to his own and took shape from his inherently darker characteristics.
Long after this trial, the Doctor was slowly manipulated by the Valeyard across different moments of his life until the Valeyard had the means to replace all Time Lords in existence. Forced to arrange his own demise to undo this wicked plot, the Sixth Doctor influenced his younger self into inadvertently crossing paths with the Rani, who dealt him a fatal blow. He regenerated, putting his future in the hands of his successor.