(Apologies to those who just discovered my blog over the course of CGE and are now asking “WTF? What’s all this geeky action figure stuff all of a sudden?” You folks’ll just have to deal. And I hope you like baby and kitty pics.)
The very recent announcement that Character Options will be supplementing its series of Doctor Who toys based on the new series with a compatible line of heroes and villains from the original series has sent me on one of my Hypothetical Toy Binges. I’ve been known to do this for various properties that simply don’t have action figures, to try to tax my brain to come up with a lineup for a viable line of toys. (Remind me sometime to show you my dream list of nonexistent Blake’s 7 and Babylon 5 figures.) Hey, I’ve worked in marketing many times – I do mental exercises like this.
That being said, as much of a Doctor Who fan as I am, there are certain biases that admittedly sneak into play here. I tried to select fan favorite characters and important characters. While it’d be hypothetically possible to present the complete lineup of companions for certain Doctors (such as the sixth, seventh and second Doctors, who had a very limited number of companions), the classic collection would have to be viable enough to go on for years before we got to Dodo, Steven, Ben and Polly, or Liz Shaw. My list also omits a big bugbear of my toy-collecting existence: duplicates of existing characters in different costumes. Once the JNT era kicks in, certain characters practically have a “uniform” that stays the same, but not so much at other times in the show’s history.
For my entirely hypothetical first wave, let’s assume that there’ll be one enemy and one companion to accompany each Doctor. In reality, it’s worth noting that nothing of the sort has been touted in the official Character Options press releases; all they’ve promised us is unspecified past Doctors and enemies. This list is complete and total fantasy.
- Hartnell + classic Dalek + Susan (as seen in An Unearthly Child)
- Troughton + Invasion Cyberman + Jamie
- Pertwee + Delgado Master + Jo (as seen in The Sea Devils or Terror Of The Autons) and/or the Brigadier
- Tom Baker + Zygon and/or Davros + Leela
- Davison + Ainley Master + Tegan (season 21 outfit)
- Colin Baker + Sil + Peri (preferably in the Trial pts. 1-4 outfit, though I’m sure many will disagree)
- Sylvester McCoy + 80s Cyberman + Ace
- Paul McGann + Eric Roberts Master + Grace
If the range goes beyond that, then an additional monster and companion for each Doctor:
- 1st Doctor era: Tenth Planet Cyberman + Ian
- 2nd Doctor era: Yeti + Zoe
- 3rd Doctor era: Silurian + Jo or the Brigadier (whoever missed the first companion wave)
- 4th Doctor era: Sontaran + Sarah Jane (Planet Of Evil or Hand Of Fear outfit)
- 5th Doctor era: Tractator or Sharaz Jek + Nyssa (I really had to struggle to come up with another 5th Doctor-specific enemy here; Nyssa should be in the brown Traken outfit)
- 6th Doctor era: Davros, Rani or the Valeyard + ……..Mel!? Inquisitor?
- 7th Doctor era: Special Weapons Dalek + ……..Bernice? (I know that companion choice is really stretching it – maybe instead of a companion, do a TV Movie 7th Doctor)
One further wave of companions for Doctors 1-6:
- 1st: Barbara
- 2nd: Victoria
- 3rd: Sgt. Benton (I doubt the masses are really clamoring for Liz Shaw in action figure form)
- 4th: Romana II
- 5th: Adric
- 6th: Inquisitor (from “Trial”)? Sabalom Glitz? (Maybe no 6th Doctor wave 3.)
Now, on to possible playsets. The following is just an unabashed wide-eyed fanboy wish list. But based on how spectacular the new series TARDIS playset looks, I bet these would be equally awesome, though in some cases I had difficulty coming up with an iconic “environment” for each Doctor. I’ll be totally honest here: I would be cool with these being “playset fragments”, a la the original Hasbro Death Star Escape scene which was a tiny portion of the hexagonal prison corridor from Star Wars. Also, please note that Character Options has not, thus far, been in the habit of including premium pack-in figures, so again, pure fantasy here:
- 1st: original Peter Brachaki TARDIS console room (Ben & Polly as bonus pack-in figures?)
- 2nd: Tomb of the Cybermen (Cybercontroller + Tomb/Moonbase Cyberman as bonus pack-in figures?) OR
2nd: Emperor Dalek in his chamber from The Evil of the Daleks
- 3rd: Doctor’s UNIT lab + Bessie (include Mike Yates and/or Sea Devil as bonus?)
- 4th: Gallifrey citadel (emaciated Master as bonus?) OR
Ark/Nerva Beacon (w/Harry Sullivan as bonus)?
- 5th: TARDIS corridors / Zero room (can be attached to original console room; Turlough as bonus?)
- 6th: Trial room or Mike Kelt TARDIS console – or maybe nothing at all
- 7th/8th: McGann TARDIS console room (drool – who needs a pack-in? Add Chang Lee if one is absolutely needed?)
Granted, this is a sprawling list of At Least 45 Characters From The Original Series That I’d Love To Own, not counting potential pack-in characters, and to be brutally honest, despite the third season’s startling number of references to the original series, I’m not sure anything more than a core audience of diehard fans would spring for that kind of a commitment to the old show, especially once you get into big-dollar items like playsets.
But I’ll be damned if it wouldn’t be cool.