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Patrick Troughton is the reason Doctor Who continued, says his son

Patrick's son Michael reflected on his father's work ahead of the release of audio series The Second Doctor Adventures: Beyond War Games.

Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor
BBC
Published: Tuesday, 5th July 2022 at 9:00 am
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Michael Troughton, the son of Doctor Who's Second Doctor actor Patrick Troughton, is stepping into his father's shoes for a brand-new series of audio adventures, and he recently spoke about Patrick's prevailing legacy when it comes to the long-running sci-fi show.

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Troughton chatted with RadioTimes.com and other press ahead of the release of Big Finish's The Second Doctor Adventures: Beyond War Games, and suggested his father's involvement with the series is a big part of why it's still on our screens today.

"He was a bloody amazing actor. And that's essentially, really why Doctor Who carried on, let's be honest. If it hadn't been for him, I don't think we'd be sitting here. It's that transition from Bill [Hartnell, the First Doctor] to Patrick that really made it continue."

Hartnell, who played the First Doctor, stepped aside from the role in 1966 and was replaced by Troughton, with the concept of regeneration being devised to explain the switch. It has undoubtedly aided the show's continuation, granting the opportunity to repeatedly change the show's lead actor across the decades.

Michael Troughton recording The Second Doctor Adventures
Michael Troughton recording The Second Doctor Adventures Big Finish

In his interview, Michael Troughton said that he "certainly did look at a lot of episodes, the ones that are available" when it came to crafting his version of the Second Doctor for the new audio dramas.

He explained that he saw "an awful lot of improvisation" in the episodes, "because it was shot as if it was live, [so] they only had a certain amount of time because it was very expensive, the tape."

He continued: "And he had to do an awful lot of improvisation when things went wrong or an actor forgot their lines, whatever. So it's an incredibly energetic thing to keep up. No wonder by the end of the first year he just thought, 'Oh, God, I don’t think I can carry on like this'. Because he was the engine behind every scene, essentially, and he would drive it forward."

Troughton was also asked what it's like to have such a strong continuing relationship with the show across the years, having also appeared in an episode of the TV show in 2014, the Christmas special Last Christmas.

He said: "Oh it’s wonderful, Christ. I mean, I was 12, 13 when dad was Doctor Who. It really was an incredible moment during my life really, one that I remember really well.

"The first time I met Frazer [Hines, who played Second Doctor companion Jamie McCrimmon] after God knows how long, we were in Los Angeles doing a convention, and it was the first time I'd seen him since I was 12 years old. And I was in shorts in the studio.

"I think the first time I saw Frazer as a boy, it was the emperor Dalek one, Evil of the Daleks, which is actually part of the first episode that you hear me in. Which is a bit weird really because there I was in a sound booth, recreating something that I had watched when I was 12."

Troughton also recently spoke of what an "honour" it was to play his father's role, saying "I'm sure he'd be absolutely delighted that I was doing it and having fun with it."

The Second Doctor Adventures: Beyond War Games releases July 2022. Doctor Who is available to stream on BBC iPlayer with episodes of the classic series also available on BritBox – sign up for a 7-day free trial.

Check out more of our Sci-Fi coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.

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