1) THE SECOND DOCTOR
And now, dear friends, we get to perhaps the greatest and most successful retcon in modern fiction, the retcon upon which a half-century of brilliance was built. When William Hartnell debuted as The Doctor in ’63, it was clear that he was an alien, and the series did play with his unusual attitudes and general impatience with the puny humans. But when Billy started feeling the strain of weekly live television and having health problems, the decision was made to replace him in the role. Since The Doctor was an alien, the producer had a once-in-a-lifetime brilliant lightbulb over the head idea: Rather than try to play it off or cast a lookalike, they came up with the idea of “renewal”, wherein The Doctor collapsed and woke up as the younger Patrick Troughton. At first, it seemed that Two was merely a rejuvenated younger version of One, later stories established that Time Lords of his race could repeatedly regenerate into entire new forms as necessary. Fifty-five years later, fourteen actors have officially made the role their own, a phenomenon that has undoubtedly contributed to the show’s long run…
Thanks to Faithful Spoilerite Vistapa for this week’s topic! Feel free to follow along @MightyKingCobra for more Ten Things madness on Twitter or check out the full archive here! As with any set of like items, these aren’t meant to be hard and fast or absolutely complete, especially since this entire article has been retconned while I was writing it!
Either way, the comments section is Below for just such an emergency, but, as always: Please, no wagering!