Tuesday, 26 April 2016


Taking a brief break from charting the First Doctor's Progression to look at a chronological arrangement of all stories involving those adorable potato-headed Sontarans. As there are considerably less stories involving them, this shouldn't go on as long as my Dalek history did! 


In a distant galaxy, a species of war-like beings developed on the planet Sontar. Since their earliest days, these creatures were in love with conquest. Before they discovered interstellar travel, they were content to attempt to dominate each other. Wars were constantly erupting within their society.

Like Earth, the varied climate of Sontar created different races. Sontarans that inhabited the colder regions of the planet had one type of appearance. Whereas the denizens of warmer climes looked another way. These minor variations, of course, provided enough reason for these races to hate each other and battle endlessly.

As they warred against each other, the Sontarans were still able develop technology among all this bloodshed. They eventually managed to begin travelling in space. As they did, their society re-shaped itself. They discovered other life forms and immediately decreed them inferior. They would need to be conquered and enslaved. This was a task that required the entire planet to unify itself. Racial differences were cast aside and the Sontarans went out into the universe to plunder it.

For quite some time, this went well for them. But, eventually, they encountered an equally-xenophobic race that were making their way through the galaxy on an invasion campaign of their own. The Rutans provided a challenge that was almost too great for the mighty Sontarans. The two warrior races began to clash.


Much to the shock of the Sontarans, the Rutans were actually able to push them back in their advance upon the Universe. This Host of amorphous jelly-fish like creatures proved not only difficult to kill, but also quite lethal in the way they attacked. The Sontarans were forced to retreat against their might.

And so, genetics became the great obsession for the Sontaran military scientists. The species re-designed itself. Taking after their enemy, they became creatures that fed off pure energy to survive rather than consumption of food. They did this by developing a probic vent in the back of the neck to use as a feedline for the energy. This also became known as a Sontaran's only weakness. Their genetically-modified bodies and space armour was so resilient, that they were impervious to most forms of attack.

But these genetic improvements were not enough. Sheer weight of numbers was the only way to crush the Rutan Host. In combat, it would take dozens of Sontarans just to down one Rutan. Having made the perfect warrior's body, Sontaran scientists then went on to master the cloning process. Millions of Sontarans could be hatched on a regular basis and programmed from an early age to become ruthless warriors dedicated to the destruction of the enemy. We see slight variations to those clones (ie: Sontarans in Two Doctors seem considerably taller), of course, because there were different races on Sontar. Each race got their own clone batch.

At last, the Sontarans were able to pose a legitimate threat to their foes. Their campaigns began to advance again.The war between the Sontarans and the Rutans could begin in deadly earnest.


Up until Series 4 of the New Series, placing The Invasion of Time in this timeline was pretty simple. It seemed to me that this would be the final story in their chronology. Which made sense. The Sontarans would have to be at their greatest, most advanced stage to penetrate that Transduction Shield and conquer the Panopticon. It helped that this is one of the few Sontaran stories that doesn't mention the Rutans. In my imagination, it signified that they had finally beaten their greatest enemy and could move on to bigger and better things like the conquest of Gallifrey. Again, this made me believe that this must have taken place at the end of all the other Sontaran stories we've seen.

But then we get The Sontaran Stratagem - which takes place sometime around 2008. General Staal laments toward the end of the episode of how the Sontarans were not allowed to participate in the Time Wars. Up until that moment, I liked to believe that the Time Wars took place in the far-flung future so that Invasion of Time could still fit my version of Sontaran history. Sometime after the events of Sontaran Experiment the Sontarans lead an aggravated assault on Gallifrey. But Staal's complaint indicates that the Time Wars probably happened in the 2000s. I suppose we could set up all kinds of timey whimey arguments that would still support my initial view. These are time-travelling Sontarans that have come back to the past. Or the Time Wars are in their own special time zone. Or Invasion of Time actually took place in an alternative reality where the Time Wars never happened. There's lots of directions we can take this in. But I prefer to just say that Invasion of Time takes place in a different point of Sontaran history than I had previously envisioned.

So now, I put Invasion of Time at the beginning of the timeline. At some point during their war against the Rutans, the Sontarans are winning and can start concentrating on side-campaigns. Seeing the tactical advantage that time travel could afford them, they begin experiments in the Fourth Dimension. This leads them to discovering the existence of the Time Lords. Sontaran mentality being what it is, the decision is made to devise a way to invade Gallifrey. A false alliance with the Vardans is forged and their plans are set in motion. The Invasion of Time takes place.


A specific date for Invasion of Time is difficult to determine - but we're assuming it takes place, at least, a short while before the next story in their timeline: The Time Warrior.

Linx is in possession of an osmic projector - a sort of primitive time scoop with limited range. Perhaps the Sontarans managed to steal some of the secrets of the Time Lords during their short-lived occupation. Or, perhaps, Sontaran scientists made these discoveries on their own. Either way, Sontarans are now capable of short jumps through time.

There is no indication that it's time travel that brought Linx to Irongron's castle sometime during the 1200s so we have to assume that this is the proper era in which this tale takes place. Linx does talk to the Doctor about the little knowledge he has about Time Lord society. He doesn't have much good to say about them. According to the data he's been given, they are not even worth being conquered. We can safely assume this was propaganda created to cover up a defeat. It also gets Invasion to fit a bit more nicely at the beginning of this timescale.

Fortunately for Earth, the Sontarans see no real use for this world. Linx's crashlanding was a fluke. The strange little blue/green planet is too far out of the way of the main war. Of course, seven-or-so centuries later, a Rutan scout would be sent to investigate this part of the galaxy and have its efforts thwarted by the Doctor, too.


Sometime between The Time Warrior and Horror of Fang Rock, the Rutans make their own technological strides to combat the advantages that their enemies were holding over them. They don't seem to discover time travel but they become masters at shapeshifting. This ability to perfectly duplicate other life forms changes the tides of battle. The Sontarans are losing again. They need to take drastic steps to increase their numbers even more. Those super-resilient bodies are intentionally weakened so that larger batches of warriors can be hatched. They are not told, of course, that they are genetically inferior but we see evidence of greater vulnerability during the next few stories.

Deciding the osmic projector is not enough, the Sontarans decide they need to enhance their time travel abilities. They strike an uneasy alliance with Dastari and Chessene from Space Station Chimera to steal the Kartz/Reimer time travel module. They also abduct a Time Lord (who turns out to be the Doctor) to discover where his Rassilon Imprimature lies in his genetic code. Their operations lead them to Earth in 1984. The events of The Two Doctors take place. Like The Time Warrior, there is no implication of time travel so we can assume this is the proper year in which this adventure transpires. It is here where we see the first evidence of weaker Sontarans. They now seem to be vulnerable to coronic acid. Jamie's knife also seems to be capable of doing some legitimate harm to Group Marshal Stike. Information stated about Sontarans in previous stories insinuate that they are, generally, invulnerable to such attacks. That the probic vent is the only way to take them down (or a significantly large explosion). But this doesn't seem to be the case, anymore. Although, Stike does seem to recover from his knife wound fairly quickly. So this particular generation of Sontaran is still reasonably strong.

Over the next few decades, though, the gene-strain is diluted even further to swell their numbers. The Sontarans that attempt to convert Earth into a clone hatchery in 2008(ish) are now even vulnerable to a mere bullet. We have never seen such weak Sontarans as we do in The Sontaran Stratagem/Poison Sky. I like to think that there's a legitimate reason for this inconsistency. Which is why I came up with my silly weakening of the gene strain theory.


And now we must jump forward a considerable amount of time to The Sontaran Experiment. Dating this particular story can be a bit tricky. It takes place sometime after all the solar flare trouble that Earth experiences in the 30th Century that gets discussed in stories like Ark In Space and Beast Below. But it needs to occur before we see the Earth that is, once more, thriving in the 40th Century in stories like The Dalek Masterplan.

A general impression is given that the sleepers on Nerva Beacon were meant to stay in hibernation for 5 000 years. The Doctor claims they've overslept by a few thousand years due to Wiirn sabotage. So let's say Sontaran Experiment takes place sometime in the 38th Century. That gives enough time for the planet to re-colonize and show real political strength as Mavic Chen's dastardly schemes start hatching.

While the Sontarans learnt a bit about humans way back in the late 20th/early 21st Century, that knowledge has been intentionally lost. Again, Sontaran propaganda always ascertains that defeats were forgotten. But, once more, it's become strategically-sound to investigate humanity's corner of the universe. So Field Major Styre is sent off to assess humans and uncover their weaknesses.

Why does Styre have five fingers while all other Sontarans have three? Sontaran scientists are always assigned five fingers at their hatching so they can better handle delicate scientific apparatus.


Although most of his stories take place on 18th Century Earth, Strax becomes Madame Vastra's butler through a convenient trip in time shortly after A Good Man Goes To War. Our favorite bumbling Sontaran really hails from the 41st Century. The first time we see him, Moff is nice enough to display that it is the Year 4037. We must assume that, even without Styre's report, the war with Earth and its associated colonies eventually proceeds. Strax's penance at the Battle of Zaruthrstra seems to be a definite conflict between Sontarans and humans. Interestingly enough, Sontaran nurses appear to be completely neutral on the field of battle. Willing to help either side with their medical needs.

After being transported to Demon's Run, Strax is killed and then resurrected. We're still not entirely sure how. Perhaps some kind of cloning trick that actually seems to downgrade him, slightly. Like taking a photocopy of a photocopy. But all his adventures in Victorian London that we see in The Snowmen, The Crimson Horror, The Name of the Doctor and Deep Breath are the result of a trip through time. Strax really comes from one of the latest points in the Sontaran timeline.

It may be entirely possible that the Sontaran gene-pool has, once again, been compromised. Strax is seen to be rendered unconscious in a bar brawl during Name of the Doctor by a blow to the front of his face by a shovel rather than to the probic vent (it's difficult to ascertain - given the fact that the attack is filmed as a pov shot). This weakness, however, might also be due to whatever was done to him at his resurrection. We can't be sure...


We see the Sontarans making a few brief cameos in the New Series along with a Rogue's Gallery of other recurring villains. Since the Daleks were there too, I've mapped out the timeline of those appearances during my post on their history. Putting the Sontarans into that timeline won't be difficult.

While there's no real indication of an exact date, I estimate that the Alliance to seal the Doctor in the Box of Pandorica must have happened sometime after the 40th Century. As I explained in my summary of Dalek History, the various aliens are from the future but they travel back in time to Stonehenge in 102 AD. More than likely, the Daleks set up some huge time corridor to get them all there. The Sontarans, with their own knowledge of time travel, may have assisted. Or, proud warriors that they are, they may have gotten there on their own.

Finally, there's the blockade around Trenzalore in Time of the Doctor. Again, no real date can be given but I estimate that it takes place sometime after the events of Pandorica Opens/Big Bang. I could go into detail about about how it all lines up in Dalek History but it's not particularly efficient to re-state it all here when there's another post that has it all, already. I'll post a link at the bottom if you want to look it over.

All righty, then. Sontaran History charted. We'll deal with other recurring baddies in future posts. There's still quite a few of them to sort out. Oh yeah, here's that link to Dalek History that explains that last section a bit better:


Wednesday, 13 April 2016


We return you, now, to our Progressive Doctors Series: an examination of incarnations of the Doctor that go through significant character growth.  Our first episode looked at the Doctor's most current body. Now, we go all the way back to the beginning. 

There are some basic "rules" as to what qualifies as a truly Progressive Doctor. Here's a link to the first part where those rules are contained therein.


I should also note that the First Doctor is, without a doubt, the most Progressive of them all. It's going to take two parts to cover everything properly. 



As "clunky" and dated as those first few seasons of Doctor Who look, I treasure them (and, of course, seethe in anger over the number of episodes that were deleted). While there have been many tales of Bill Hartnell being not particularly easy to get along with, we can see that this role meant the world to him. After many years of being typecast in some very unchallenging material, he was finally given something with some real meat. And he took that bull by the horns as he portrayed this mysterious character who captured the imaginations of the British public. Every second that he is on the screen - he is giving it his all.

At the same time, though, a production team is offering their own one-hundred-and-ten percent effort to the project. It's like everyone knows they have something special on their hands. In truth, no one actually had the faintest glimmer that the show would last as long as it has . But they're making it as if, someday, it will have the legacy it currently possesses. And it's a beautiful thing to see.

One of the best ways in which we see these ideologies reflected is in the character of the Doctor, himself. While he is, now, commonly referred to as "The First Doctor" - back then, no one knew Hartnell would be turning into Pat Troughton after a few seasons. So, in his actual era, he was just The Doctor. A time traveler we knew little or nothing about. The actor and the various production teams that he worked with took it upon themselves' to put some serious concentration into the development of the character. As the Doctor traversed the Vortex, he went on an enormous personal journey, too. In fact, no other incarnation has gone through as much character growth as the original has.

It would be safe to say that no other Doctor is as Progressive as the First.


There is such a high abundance of that character growth in the Hartnell Era that it would be immensely difficult and convoluted to try to chart it all at once (I still seriously considered it - just to try to show off my "chops" as a writer). In order to make it easier to analyze, I've divided this essay into two specific "Streams". We'll follow two succinct character traits that develop the most prominently over the course of three-seasons-and-then-some period that the First Doctor exists in. It will just make the whole Progression easier to view and understand.

With both of these streams, I will try to illustrate key points where that trait underwent some serious expansion. As usual, there will be times when these turning points were influenced by external factors. While, on other occasions, these emotional growth spurts were the result of an internal decision made on the Doctor's behalf.

But before we get to the streams, let's look at the First Doctor's starting point:


At the very beginning, the Doctor was far from likeable. He was, in fact, a legitimate anti-hero. It seems almost odd that it's his name in the title sequence. Of the four main characters featured in An Unearthly Child, the Doctor is the least accessible. Perhaps, even, the least interesting. Certainly the least charming.

Of course, the sequence that best shows us just how rotten of a fellow the Doctor is occurs in Episode Three of his first adventure. Lumbered with the inconvenience of an injured caveman that he does not want to help because it will slow down his escape, the Doctor actually appears to be making a move to kill him. That's the sort of fellow he is back when we first meet him. It's hard to believe he would ever be this way - given how high-principled and genuinely good-hearted he is, these days. But that's how he started.

His callousness doesn't stop, there. In the next story, he campaigns to get a race of peace-loving people to fight on his behalf to recover his fluid link. In the story after that, he is ready to just fling Ian and Barbara out of the TARDIS into what appears to be a fairly hostile environment.

Basically, in his first few stories, he is just not a pleasant man .

Yes, there do seem to be hints of a better person somewhere beneath it all. In many ways, he seems to side with what is right. Given that he has a ship that can take him anywhere in Time and Space, he could be up to far more malicious things than just exploring. But this man who would, someday, champion the cause of good against the most oppressive of evils does not seem the slightest bit nice. It's hard to believe he will be any sort of hero at all. At least, not at this stage of the game.


As a fan of the show who was not there at the very beginning, it was quite the shock to go back and watch the first few stories. The Doctor I'd first met (if you read an earlier post - you'd know it was Tom Baker) was a high-principled being who always fought for what's right. But this is not the Doctor we're seeing at the opening of the Hartnell Era. However, by the time his reign comes to an end, the morals we see him upholding for the rest of the show are firmly in place. So let's see where those turning points occur.

While we don't see the Doctor partaking in anything particularly malicious in his fourth adventure - he also doesn't seem to be portraying any firm moral backbone, either. He just wants to get his TARDIS back from Marco Polo and move on. Any decisions he makes that may have an influence on the cause and effect of the situation come from a largely selfish motive. Essentially, the Doctor is not doing anything particularly "bad" in this story - but he isn't doing anything particularly good, either.
The Keys Of Marinus, to all intents and purposes, is the first occasion where we see any real development in the moral code of the Doctor. At first, he still seems pretty ambiguous in his ethics. The Conscience of Marinus is usually the type of computer that he would express considerable outrage against. But, in his initial appraisal, he seems almost impressed with a device that is capable of controlling the minds of others. He also only offers his help to Arbitan because, like Marco Polo, he has cut him off from his TARDIS. So there's still no real sense of a Doctor who wants to do good.

It is only as he re-joins the party at Millenius that we first see a real sense of that heart of gold shining through. Ian has been accused of a crime he hasn't committed and will be sentenced to death if he's found guilty. Who comes forward to represent him pro bono? The Doctor, himself! If we look at the way he was during An Unearthly Child, he should not care one bit about Ian's problem. It's his own predicament. Perhaps, after Susan argued on the schoolteacher's behalf, her grandfather might decide to help him. But that's not what we see. The Doctor is more than willing to represent Ian at his trial. He not only wants to help his friend - he needs to see that justice is properly served. This is the first real sense of right or wrong that the Time Lord seems to be exhibiting. It's further re-enforced as he makes a pronouncement at the end of the story that the Conscience of Marinus is wrong. That people should be allowed to think for themselves'.

That trial at Millenius will also be discussed in our Second Stream. We will see some external influence having a bearing on how his attitude changes. But, for the most part, this first sign of the Doctor's morals seems to be more of an internal choice. He's just decided that it's time to start taking sides. To start standing up for certain principles.


While he is starting to develop a moral compass, there is still a strong impulse that stops the Doctor from acting too much on anything he believes in. As a time traveler, the Early Days First Doctor emphasizes most heavily the importance to never damage the Web of Time by getting too involved in things. In his eleventh body, he delivers a speech to Amy at the beginning of The Beast Below that delves into this philosophy quite heavily. He very quickly shows, however, that he doesn't truly follow this ideology. All it takes is a crying girl for him to leap in and start trying to influence things for the better. But back in his first incarnation, it's a concept he adheres to with an almost white-knuckled conviction.

He presents this argument most strongly in his next story. There is much about Aztec culture that a modern day Doctor would deeply object to. Even the First Doctor seems to find this culture's love of torture, war and religiously-justified murder repugnant. But he insists to Barbara that they must allow these people to conduct themselves' in the ways they see fit. His famous "You can't re-write history - not one line!" speech is delivered, here. And it seems to almost be a mantra that he continues to follow for several more stories. Even in The Sensorites, the help he offers to the telepathic aliens is much like the involvement he has with Marinus and Marco Polo - he's doing it only to get his TARDIS back. In stories like The Reign of Terror, Planet of Giants and even Dalek Invasion of Earth, the plot is more about a TARDIS crew that's caught in a nasty situation and is just trying to get out - rather than a group of people that have arrived at a place where an evil is at work that they feel they must fight it.

However, we do observe the Doctor showing some desire to see justice served. While Planet of Giants is still mainly about the TARDIS crew trying to restore themselves' to normal size, the Doctor does want to report to the proper authorities that a man has been murdered. We see this need for justice grow even stronger in the next story. The return of the Daleks would probably represent the first real external influence in propelling the Doctor's moral impetus. He knows these creatures are nothing but evil and he takes a very strong stance against them. Particularly at the beginning of Episode Two. Strongly disputing the Daleks' claim of being "the Masters of Earth" is not the smartest thing one should do against such a hot-tempered species, but the Doctor's sense of right and wrong has become too pronounced. He must vocalize his contrary stance. In so doing, he is also showing his first real sense of moral backbone. He's going to get involved and try to change things for the better. It's a fairly pivotal moment for him that is prompted purely by the fact that these creatures are evil and must be stopped. For once, it's not an internal force compelling him - but circumstances outside of him.

We see one more key element of the Doctor's integrity shine through in this tale. As the Doctor and Susan take to the sewers with David Campbell, they run back into Tyler. A short while later, they also run into two Robomen. One is killed, the other disabled. As Tyler aims his pistol to dispatch the unconscious Dalek servant, the Doctor stops him. "I only take life when it directly threatens mine", he declares. That wasn't the case at the beginning of the show. He has most definitely grown in his attitude. He has also developed one of the most important elements in his core philosophy: the need to preserve life at all costs. It's almost a throwaway moment in Dalek Invasion of Earth, but it's a sequence that displays a key point in the Doctor's moral growth.

Ultimately, though, we could argue that a lot of what the Doctor does in this story is still just a course of action that will enable him to eventually unearth his buried TARDIS. There is still some selfish intent, there - it's not purely an act of good. As we move on to The Rescue there's little opportunity for him to really act out of a moral motivation. Koquillon/Bennet is a nasty fellow - but the fight he takes up against him is more a struggle for self-preservation than it is an attempt to see justice served. Still, the confrontation in the council chamber of Dido shows a Doctor who is standing up to a villain and calling him out on the carpet. It's a step in the right direction...


Who would've thought that such a goofy little farce would be such a vital turning point for the Doctor's ethics? But as he and Vicky are on the road to Rome, they find the body of Maximus Pettulian. When the Doctor is mistaken for him, he decides to assume the role. He and Vicki become embroiled in politics at Nero's royal court.

And why does he do this? Well, there may be several reasons. But the one he explicitly states to Vicki is a desire to see justice served over the murder of Maximus Pettulian's death. There is probably also a bit of an interest in being able to get so close to a famous historical figure. But still, this is the first time we see the Doctor want to do something good without any real personal reward at stake. This isn't like The Keys of Marinus or The Sensorites, where he's lending a hand to regain access to his TARDIS. Or Dalek Invasion of Earth where he's fighting an evil monster who is, at the same time, posing a threat to his own personal safety. He's really quite selfless, here.

While his companions have, no doubt, been influencing him to become more and more humane - this still seems to be a decision drawn mainly by internal motives and not external influences. The Doctor has just decided to become a better person. To do good wherever he goes.

He also revokes his credo to never get involved in a pretty big way. In stories like The Aztecs and The Reign of Terror he is doing his damnedest to stay out of history's path. Here, he becomes partially responsible for one of the most famous disasters in human history.

It is in The Romans that we see the first seeds truly planted that will eventually grow into the Doctor we see nowadays: a man who always gets involved and tries to bring about positive change wherever he goes.


Perhaps the burning of Rome set a bit of a scare into the Doctor and he relapses for a bit. In Historicals like The Crusade, he reverts back to just being a man who is merely trying to survive during a turbulent time in the past. He does not attempt to influence things for the better. In stories like The Web Planet, The Space Museum and The Chase, any good he does is for the sake of looking after his own needs and/or safety.

It is only as we reach the end of Season 2 that we see him acting, once more, from a non-selfish standpoint. Another wrong must be righted and he doesn't care what good it might do for him. It just needs to be fought.

This time, it seems like an external influence that's motivating him. But it's not the guidance of a good friend. But, rather, the machinations of one of his own people. The latest evil that the Doctor feels he must stamp out is a plot by the Monk to change history. More than likely, the Doctor's own sense of obligation to see that the Web of Time isn't damaged is what gets him to start getting involved, again. But, after several stories of remaining on the sidelines and only effecting change if it benefits him, he needed something major to break the habit.

As Season Two wraps up, the Doctor's morals are becoming a major part of who he is.


Galaxy Four sees a Doctor who is acting mainly under threat, but we still see him take great personal risk to ensure that Rills can launch their ship before the planet is destroyed. Mythmakers doesn't give much opportunity for him to show off his ethics, but he does become involved in another pivotal historical moment -  he comes up with the idea for the Trojan Horse.

Dalek Masterplan, however, really puts the Doctor's moral streak to the forefront. Just as they did on Earth in the 22nd Century, the Daleks' plans for conquest galvanize the Doctor's ethics. But, whereas he merely told off the Daleks in Dalek Invasion of Earth, this time he openly fights them. In Episode Two, he willingly disguises himself as Zephron and becomes embroiled in a protracted counterplot against the Daleks' Time Destructor Project. He could've looked for a way out and left things to Bret Vyon. That might have been something he would've done back at the beginning of Season 1. But that's not the Doctor, anymore. Now, he's a man who steps in and gets involved. When Bret praises him for his courage - he even shrugs it off.

The Doctor's desire to always do what's right has become so deeply ingrained that he's, now, willing to sacrifice himself to accomplish it. In the final episode of Dalek Masterplan, he's ready to die as he activates the Time Destructor and carries it off. We see the Doctor's morality come to full bloom, here. He is now willing to die for his beliefs.

Onwards from this 12-part Dalek Epic, he is the Doctor we currently know and love. His courage and moral fortitude are the very core of who he is. And if he needs to become involved to make a difference - he will do so. Oddly enough, he should be thankful to the Daleks. They are the ones chiefly responsible to turning him into the man he is.


Aside from a bit of caution that he reluctantly shows in The Massacre, the Doctor continues to seek justice wherever he goes. He fights the oppression of the Monoids, the Elders and WOTAN. He even interferes in history a bit during The Gunfighters. He does actually try to plead for peace among the participants of the gunfight at the OK Corral. It's an event that he knows must happen but he still tries to apply his morals to the situation. If only Barbara had been around to see it!

After a quick little runaround of little consequence on the 17th Century Cornish Coast, we arrive at The Tenth Planet. Many fans complain of the Doctor not being more involved in the story. That he should've had a greater role to play in the defeat of the Cybermen. But from the point of tracking his moral compass, this is an excellent final story for Doctor One.

While he may not have done much to make a difference, the Doctor's ethics are proudly on display in this story. Understanding that Mondas has returned to Earth, he very quickly asserts himself into a position of influence to help with the battle.  There is no hesitancy to become involved - he must help Earth in its time of need. As the Cybermen arrive in Episode Two, the Doctor stands up to them and berates them constantly for their deplorable behavior. It's the best he can do under the circumstances - but it's beautiful to watch. He is a man who can no longer ignore his conscience and must always speak out in the name of righteousness. Even when surrounded by enemies that could easily kill him, he's not afraid to stand up and be heard.

It is true, he doesn't do much to tip the scales in The Tenth Planet. But he's won a much bigger fight in this story. He's defeated his own sense of indifference.

He has truly become the Doctor.

So, that's Stream 1 clearly charted. When we re-join the Progressive Doctors Series, we'll look at the development of a character trait that we also watched grow in Doctor Twelve. The "softening" of the character. Moments where the First Doctor became less and less abrasive and learnt to actually bond with the people around him. It was quite the process for Capaldi's Doctor - it's an even bigger journey for Hartnell. 

Stay tuned... 

(Just in case you want to read the Twelfth Doctor Essay and are too lazy to scroll up to the top of the page, here's that link again):