|Haters gonna hate|
You can consult my book report on The Valeyard or the Topless Robot article I cited as one of my main sources to see how much I think Colin Baker got completely fucked over by the BBC. Colin Baker did an excellent job of portraying the Doctor. It just happened to be a Doctor that was the exact opposite of what the fans wanted to see. The writing can't even be blamed, as many of Colin Baker's supporters have tried to claim. The writing was actually excellent. Colin Baker's acting was excellent. What was wrong was the way in which the writers and producers read their own audience. They went darker with the stories, and made the Doctor meaner, and both turned out to be choices that the audience sternly objected to. They weren't bad plot choices, but they were a stark contrast from the Davison era. Virtually no Doctor in the history of the show had to steer such a drastic change in tone, and, had the public been ready for it, he would have been praised for his masterful handling of that change.
|Kill it! Kill it with fire!|
Despite its unpopularity, though, the Sixth Doctor's obnoxious costume, probably because of its uniqueness, is one of the most common Doctor costumes at conventions. It's hard to dress up as the Ninth Doctor because his costume isn't distinctive. Nobody can say the same of the Sixth Doctor.
Personally, I love it when Doctor Who gets really dark. The fun of the deep, dark, terrifying moments of the show is the moment when the Doctor stands up and says "No. Not here. Not this time. Not while I'm here." The darker it gets, the better it is when the Doctor brings the light.
Had Colin Baker been allowed to continue the role as he should have, he would have been playing an arc that would see the Doctor go from a brash and pompous regeneration to a much calmer and kindly version of the Doctor after the death of his companion, Peri. It would have been a difficult arc to carry off, and a marvelous feat if done correctly, but I think Baker probably could have handled it. Frankly, once the show was put on 18 month hiatus after the first Colin Baker season, they would probably have been better off just going back to what they were working on with this arc. Instead, they did "The Trial of a Timelord," which is fascinating as a metaphor for what was happening to the show, but which made very little sense in the end. The Colin Baker era might have lasted longer had they stuck to their guns.
As it is, we saw a very complex Doctor in the Sixth incarnation. Even though, during his regeneration crisis in his first serial he attempted to strangle his companion and also cravenly tried to give her up to save his own life, this soon proved to be a temporary problem caused by a very difficult regeneration. Once he got adjusted again, Colin Baker portrayed a character whose pompousness and brashness didn't completely conceal the Doctor's love for all living creatures and his generous nature and spirit. Those who see the Sixth Doctor as nothing more than a blowhard are missing the point. He was a blowhard on the outside, but Colin Baker made sure that, underneath the surface, the Sixth Doctor was still, without a doubt, a Doctor.
Hopefully, by the time this is published, I'll have met the man and be able to tell you about that experience. Until then, know that The Horror of Fan Blog loves Colin Baker, whether you like it or not.