(or rather, Day 13: Part Two)
In my continuing game of catch-up, I’ve had loads of extra time to think and re-think this. It’s pretty easy to come up with OTPs and BrOTPs (or OT3/BrOT3) for each respective Doctor’s era. And there are so many lovely ones.
But amazingly, I haven’t wavered on this one at all. In a continuation from my previous post, my all-time favorite Classic OTP (or BrOTP, whatever) has to be the Sixth Doctor and Peri Brown.
I said earlier that I hate Peri’s ending (whichever version you choose to believe), and I really, really do. They all feel wrong to me. The Sixth Doctor without Peri feels wrong to me. Much in the same way that the Twelfth Doctor without Clara feels wrong. And the more I watch, the more I’ve come to see a lot of similarities in their relationships. I’ve made no secret of my adoration for Twelve and Clara together (in any context). Sometimes you get chemistry between a Doctor and companion that is just electric. Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman’s chemistry jumped out of the screen and punched me in the face repeatedly every single time. Even if the story itself wasn’t necessarily working for me. And that’s exactly the same feeling I get when I see Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant together.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. And yes, I agree. Of ALL the beginnings of a new Doctor/Companion relationship, they have about the worst it’s possible to have. As if we’re not shocked enough by the sudden departure from the wonderfully affable Fifth Doctor into the (at first) more conceited, superior Sixth Doctor; the shock of him then immediately trying to strangle this still very new and completely innocent companion is a bit horrifying. It makes you question everything. And it should because what this really shows us is that the writers didn’t know what the hell to do with this new Doctor yet.
They really did set out to make him as unlikeable as possible just to contrast with his predecessor, who admittedly did have a rather tragic existence and an unfortunate ending. And in some ways, it’s a good thing they wanted to establish the differences between these two Doctors. But they took it too far, and it’s no secret that the reputation of Colin Baker’s Doctor paid dearly for it. Which is a shame, because none of it was his fault and he never got a real chance to prove (at the time*) how amazing he was. He was a victim of bad writing and unfortunate production choices (the infamous coat-need I say more?), not unlike his companion.
Even though Peri was often written to be the damsel in distress**, she does have brilliant moments where we know that the Doctor would be completely lost without her. She’s valuable as a character even though she was written and cast to entertain the dads that were watching. Thankfully, if you’re really paying attention to the show and not just repeatedly going back to “Planet of Fire” to rewatch the bits with her in the bikini, you can see that Peri was so much more than that. And that this especially snarky Doctor was a better man when she was around.
Look at them. Even when they argue, you can tell that Colin and Nicola were having the most tremendous fun together. The bickering is lovely. Even when the Doctor sometimes bullies Peri, it still feels as though he’s not deliberately cruel. The Sixth Doctor is, in many ways, a great deal more alien than his predecessor, and he has trouble dealing with other people. Peri helps him with that and she is so incredibly patient with him. Even when it’s obvious she is SO DONE with him. Sound familiar?
And when they’re not arguing, and often even when they are, it’s very obvious that they care a great deal for one another. Each would do anything they could to save the other. They enjoy each other’s company. They really are best friends (and I know there are some who would argue more). I mean look at them. No matter how you read their relationship, they’re totally adorable together.
That is why of all the relationships in the Classic series, the Sixth Doctor and Peri will always be my OTP.
Who is your Classic Who OTP? Are you a Six/Peri fan? Let us know in the comments!
* I feel like Big Finish has gone a long way to redeeming Old Sixy’s reputation. I highly recommend checking out some of those stories because Colin Baker is absolutely brilliant and lovely. Go do it now. I’ll wait.
** Which is such an incredible waste because Peri was, after all, a botanist. This rarely ever gets referenced other than in “The Mark of the Rani” and that is incredibly frustrating.