Join us every day from August 28 to September 6 as we take a look back at a half-century of Who and - in a new daily blog - weigh up the merits of each Doctor - from William Hartnell to Matt Smith, before finally revealing DS readers' favourite Doctor of all time on Monday, September 9.
Today we cast our eye over the 7-year tenure of - to date - the longest-serving Doctor of them all, the Bohemian legend who wandered in eternity... Tom Baker!
While he's arguably been usurped by David Tennant in recent years, from 1974 when he assumed the role of the Doctor to the early '00s, Tom Baker was the face that most people associated with Doctor Who.
Think of the scarf or the mop of curly hair - traits more-or-less unique to Baker's Time Lord, yet they became part of the show's wider iconography. "Every interview I get with non-fans has [the question] 'Where's your scarf?'" sixth Doctor actor Colin Baker once lamented...
You could put Tom's dominance down to sheer longevity - but there's so much more to it than that. That Baker's take on the Doctor remained so prevalent in the public consciousness for so long is testament to the power of his performance - a bravura turn that veered from warm, childish glee to potent righteous fury.
In many ways, the fourth Doctor was the most alien of them all; Baker's physical appearance - all teeth and curls, and *those* eyes - aided in that, as did his distinctive, booming voice, but his behaviour and mannerisms were also wonderfully oddball and unpredictable.
Regardless of who might be your favourite Doctor, there's no denying that Baker delivered a truly unique performance - one that achieved the difficult task of being utterly distinct from his three predecessors' and one that none of his successors have dared to try and imitate.
An arresting lead in his early seasons - which contained such all-time great stories as 1975's 'Genesis of the Daleks' and 1977's 'The Talons of Weng-Chiang' - it's undeniable that Baker becomes visibly bored as he approaches the final third of his era.
But ever the showman, he never allowed the viewer to be bored, expressing his lingering dissatisfaction in ever more imaginative and original ways - even daring to break the fourth wall on occasion...
Reined in a little for his last season - the show's 18th - Tom Baker again excels. The fourth Doctor becomes a less bombastic, more sombre figure - again, many have speculated, as a result of Baker's own dissatisfaction with the role - but it's a shift that seems to fit with a character approaching his final end.
The longest-serving Doctor, certainly one of the most fondly-remembered and the winner of many, many previous polls of this nature... but is Tom Baker the greatest Doctor of them all?