The Doctor & Patrick Troughton
I would argue that Patrick Troughton was one of the most important and influential Doctors – and I’m not just saying that because he’s “my” Doctor, nor am I alone in that assertion. Steven Moffat revealed that Matt Smith recently claimed Patrick Troughton as his favourite – and it is also clear that his chosen costume is an homage to Doctor Two.
Matt Smith is not alone in his admiration of Patrick Troughton: Christopher Eccleston, the Ninth Doctor, referred to him as “the great” and Jon Pertwee was a huge fan. William Hartnell, the first Doctor, personally recommended Troughton as his successor.
If William Hartnell created the Doctor, then Patrick established the character we know and love today. When Troughton took over the role, he was about to do something which had never been done before: replace an actor on a popular series.
No one knew how the audience would react. He could have chosen to play the character in the same way, but instead he created an entirely new Doctor, not only in appearance, but also in speech and mannerisms: the “cosmic hobo.” It was a huge risk. If he had got it wrong, The Doctor would not have continued.