What If the Companion Was the Time Lord?

There are myriad quantum possibilities, whole universes existing just a molecular vibration away from our own, worlds where things are very different and others where they're almost the same. In what we call "Whoniverse-B", the Doctor's adventures are just a touch different...

In this iteration, the "Doctor" wasn't a strange old man. He, or rather she, was a strange eccentric woman! We're casting the actresses who played the Doctor's COMPANIONS and making THEM the Doctors. Of course, to make things work, we're allowing ourselves to move time up or down in defiance of the actress' age when they were actually on the show. What would have happened, for example, if (an older) Carole Ann Ford had been the original Doctor instead of his odd granddaughter Susan?
The 1st Doctor-B had the curly hair before our 3rd and 4th Doctors, and sported trainers before her 10th incarnation. Her various patterned shirts would become how fans remembered which serial was which, and her small stature made sure she would be underestimated by opponents.
At the end of "Planet X", she dies and is, astoundingly, replaced by Anneke Wills, the first Doctor to wear a scarf as part of her costume. As elegant as Troughton wasn't, her Doctor effortlessly moved through high and low society alike, with poise, grace and humor. But she was caught by the Time Lords and forced to regenerate at the end of "The Toys of War".
Initially exiled on Earth, the 3rd Doctor-B, as played by the cartoonish, bangled Katy Manning, entertained audiences and confounded UNIT's Brigadier on a weekly basis with near-sighted slapstick (famously the actress' own condition, folded into the character) and cartoon voices. Of course, in our own world, Manning would go on to play a Time Lady of some disrepute, while our other strongest candidate, Lis Sladen, became a Doctorish figure on her own Doctor Who spin-off.
So who does Whonivere-B get to replace our own Tom Baker? If Sladen is off the table, and the two Romanas already Time Ladies, that leaves...
Of course! Louise Jamison, with her natural curly hair and piercing blue eyes, is a perfect candidate. Bringing an earthy sexiness where her predecessors played on aloof elegance or quirky eccentricities, the 4th Doctor-B surprised audiences by wearing a leather jacket and adopting a rock and roll attitude. One of the things the female Doctor had to deal with in those first couple decades was asserting authority in a patriarchal world, and Jamison's Doctor did that with sheer force of will and punky toughness.
You know how our 5th Doctor was the youngest of them all, controversially so? Well, we've got nothing on Whoniverse-B, where they cast the very young Sarah Sutton as the Doctor (above seen on a blue screen set). This Doctor was a child with the mind of an adult immortal, as creepy at times as the monsters she battled.
But she grew up fast, thanks to regeneration. While our 6th Doctor was a Crayola factory explosion, the 6th Doctor-B, Bonnie Langford gave us black and white mod outfits that would have fit the palette of the show back in the 60s, like this slightly futuristic baton twirler look from "Memory of the Daleks". Langford was the perfect Doctor for her era, providing razzle-dazzle thanks to her skills as a stage entertainer, never afraid to do wire work, do a song-and-dance number, and so on. She brought ENERGY at a time when the production was getting lethargic.

But she wouldn't be witness to the cancellation of the series. That dubious honor would belong to another actress. Next week, who that was and how others would take up the sonic baton in the future.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bah, Liz Shaw never gets the credit she deserves.

Siskoid said...

Or in this case, I couldn't find pics of Caroline John in an appropriately Doctorly outfit.

 

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