The Second Doctor was played by Patrick Troughton from 1966 to 1969, and was a more upbeat, comical and active Doctor than his predecessor. The Second Doctor was the first to meet Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, leader of the extra-terrestrial threat-fighting organization UNIT (UNified Intelligence Taskforce). The organization was recurring force in Doctor Who as well as its spin-offs Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures.
His companions came from all walks of life, including primary companion, the kilt-wearing Jamie McCrimmon, iconic “60s girl” Polly and Royal Navy member, Ben Jackson.
When Troughton left the show for worries of being typecast, his decision sparked an unwritten law for some actors known as the “Troughton Law,” warning them to avoid getting typecast in a long-running program. Hi did, however, make later appearances in the Tenth Anniversary “Three Doctors” special, the 20th anniversary “Five Doctors” special in 1983, and the “Two Doctors” episode in 1985.
Four later incarnations of The Doctor have even said The Second Doctor was their favorite, but many of the “lost” BBC episodes were from The Second Doctor’s era.
The Second Doctor was actually the first doctor to sport a bow tie, and his look was made to appeal to a younger, hipper, 1960s Beatles-era audience. His black frock coat and pants were bigger and baggier than the First Doctor’s, giving him his signature “Cosmic Hobo” look, and his bowl cut hair was a nod to the style of the British Invasion era. He also wore stovepipe hat sometimes, and carried his signature flute and a 500-year diary.
The Prop: The Flute
While most Doctors used their screwdriver, the Second Doctor enjoyed playing his flute to entertain himself and to think better. He loved his flute so much, he even sent himself back in time to recover it one time (causing a complicated story in which he meets his future self). He even used it as a telescope in one episode, a blowpipe in another, and even foil Daleks. The flute has also been chopped up, given away, and dropped into a force field generator, but there always seemed to be new one. Even later versions of the Doctor made reference to the flute, and the Fifth Doctor tried playing one in his first episode, but decided it wasn’t for him.
How to make one:
This is really much easier to make than to try and find one pre-done, although there are plenty of makers of DeviantArt, who have tried their hand at it, with great success.
The Second Doctor was the project of the late 1960s with its free-spirited edge, so the flute had a very hand-made look to it.
This is just a simple re-paint of a common recorder, although The Second Doctor didn’t appreciate it being called that.. it was a “flute”. Leaving the mouthpiece unpainted (plain beige or brown works best), spray or hand paint the entire recorder light blue, then add a darker spiral with blue painter’s tape. This the right color and won’t stick to the paint if you need to adjust it. Tape is also much tidier than trying to paint a dark strip. Intersperse a few dots of light and dark blue paint along the shaft, and paint a few silver bands around it. You can use silver thread in place of the paint, as well. Spray the finished flute (excluding the mouthpiece) with clear gloss to keep the paint from chipping. Attach a green or blue tassel to the end, and there’s a nice tribute to his recorder (flute).
“Logic merely enables one to be wrong with authority.”
Besides, he did say he had extras.
— Lisa Kay Tate
Story originally ran June 2015 in Minion Feeding 101.