We’ve written before about that special, and perhaps all-too-rare Whovian delight of serendipity, naming seeing someone you know from Doctor Who popping up on another context or piece of media, almost always TV, in ways that are both delightful and illuminating at the same time.
The revelation that William Russell, Peter Davison or, in this case, Patrick Troughton, are in some sense, just jobbing actors taking parts outside of ‘our corner of the world’ shouldn’t surprise and yet somehow it usually does, much like when we were kids and you saw a teacher out personally shopping away from school.
The Tour quite unexpectantly caught the second Doctor in an episode of ‘Special Branch’ titled ‘Alien’ from April 25th, 1974, so well after The Three Doctors. We chanced upon Elizabeth Sladen in another ‘Special Branch’ episode last year.
It’s typical Troughton insofar as it’s a small role, with decent accent work, which he seems to have more or less specialized in. Just decent character work, but then again Troughton himself always referred to himself primarily as a character actor. For him three years as the Doctor was very much the exception.
That’s what made him exceptional.