Doctor Who Dropped A Weird Trait Of The First 3 Doctors Without Explanation (It Hasn’t Aged Well)

In the vast and evolving universe of Doctor Who, a peculiar trait once exhibited by the first three incarnations of the Doctor might puzzle contemporary fans. Originally, these early iterations of the charismatic Time Lord expressed a notable distrust, even a disdain, toward computers—a sentiment that now seems at odds with the character’s later portrayals as a techno-savvy genius.

From the inception of Doctor Who in 1963, the First (William Hartnell), Second (Patrick Troughton), and Third (Jon Pertwee) Doctors all shared a conspicuous aversion to computers. This anachronism was starkly evident in several episodes. For instance, Hartnell’s Doctor exhibited skepticism toward the sentient supercomputer WOTAN in “The War Machines,” while Troughton openly declared, “I hate computers” in “The Invasion.” Pertwee’s era further cemented this trait, particularly in “The Green Death,” where he dismissively referred to an advanced AI as “nothing but a gigantic adding machine.”

This peculiar characteristic of the early Doctors mirrored the broader societal apprehensions of the 1960s and early 1970s towards the burgeoning field of computer technology. This skepticism was not unfounded during a time when computers were gigantic, inscrutable machines capable of performing tasks beyond the comprehension of the average person.

However, as technology advanced and public perception shifted, so too did the character of the Doctor. The introduction of Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor marked a significant departure from this trend. With Baker’s portrayal, the Doctor embraced technology and computers, reflecting the changing attitudes toward technology. As computers became more familiar and integrated into daily life, their portrayal in Doctor Who transitioned from objects of mistrust to essential tools in the Doctor’s vast arsenal for combating cosmic threats.

Such changes highlight Doctor Who‘s adaptability to societal shifts and its progressiveness in adopting new themes and attitudes. Initially aligned with contemporary societal fears, the series evolved to embrace technological advancements, just as the audience’s understanding and acceptance of these technologies grew.

Legacy and Learning from the Past

While the early Doctors’ apprehension towards computers might seem quaint or even misguided by today’s standards, it serves as a fascinating reflection of the times in which those episodes were produced. As a show that has spanned decades, Doctor Who provides a unique lens through which to observe the evolving relationship between society and technology.

Today, the series continues to explore complex themes involving technology, demonstrating both its perils and promises. The evolution from a mistrust of computers to an embrace of technological wonders underscores the timeless nature of Doctor Who—constantly adapting, evolving, and moving forward with the times.

In its journey through time and space, Doctor Who has embraced change, not only in its storytelling but also in its central character’s attitudes toward technology. From skepticism to acceptance, the shift in the Doctor’s relationship with computers is a testament to the show’s enduring legacy and its capacity to reflect and adapt to the world around it.

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