theoriginalbeatlebug:

so I read this post and then this happened
 

theoriginalbeatlebug:

so I read this post and then this happened

 

margflower:

I didn’t even notice this the first time. Bless.

Why I like Harry Sullivan

ilikedoctorwhoproject:

HARRRRRRY SULLLLLLLLIVAN IS AN IMBECILLLLLLLLLLLLE!!!!!!!

heh heh heh heh…okay, he’s really not that bad. Harry Sullivan is a competent doctor - a UNIT doctor at that - and the one the Brig thinks is qualified to work on his best friend, so high praise indeed. He has somehow managed to not be briefed on the whole “two hearts” thing, which is kind of impressive, but Harry is an impressive kind of guy.

Harry is sweet, genteel, easy going, old fashioned, and completely inept. Ineptitude is his chief defining characteristic. This is not because he is stupid, because he’s not, he just is blessed with the magnificent ability to put his foot in it. It’s utterly adorable. (That’s Harry’s other chief defining characteristic).

Harry was originally intended to be the next Ian Chesterton - the young active Leading Man to do the Doctor’s hitting for him. When it turned out that Tom Baker was perfectly capable of hitting people his own self (they had originally planned to cast a much older actor), Harry rolled with it and managed to turn third wheelism into an art form. And it’s beautiful. The other important role he fulfills is to be a foil for Sarah Jane. Sarah is a Feminist (tm), but how will we know if they don’t keep reminding us? She needs things to assert her feminism against. Having it come up on every alien planet ever gets old after a while, and you don’t want to give that role to the Doctor because he’s supposed to be Better Than All That. And so you’ve got Harry, who means well, but is a total Edwardian throwback. He’s a little bit sexist, mostly (you get the impression) because he doesn’t know any better, and hasn’t ever had the inherent problematicity of chivalry properly explained to him. It’s just another way for him to exercise his well-intentioned ineptitude, and an opportunity for Sarah to be a Strong Female Character (tm) by calling him on it. It changes what could have been anvilicious (and therefore off-putting) into banter. This works extremely well - especially since they genuinely do like each other. 

Sarah: [coming out of hypnosis] Harry…?
Harry: Yes, Sarah? I’m here, Old Girl
Sarah: Call me “old girl” again…and I’ll spit in your eye…

The Four-Sarah-Harry team is often cited as people’s favorite Team TARDIS, and that’s precisely because they really do like each other. Despite a somewhat rocky start that involved the Doctor tying up poor Harry with a jump rope, long before he even remotely had it coming. (Post-regenerative brain-crazies and all that). But really, Harry. You’re a trained soldier. How do you (a) get yourself tied up and (b) not manage to get yourself untied again? Aren’t you trained for this? Ah well, Harry is a bumbler, not a fighter. But he’s a really excellent support character, and all his misfortune serves to render him mostly just adorable, since he takes it all with equanimity and edwardian gentility. 

Harry’s other major defining characteristic is to put his foot in it. Figuratively, of course (“NO NOT THAT BUTTON”, “Harry, did yo make the rocks fall?”, etc.) but also completely literally. And it never stops being funny. His first step out of the TARDIS and he’s getting lasered in the foot. He finds the ancient london sewer system by falling into it (also, off a cliff). He fails to outrun giant immobile clams. Let’s talk about the clams…

Ooksaidthelibrarian writes: “I like Harry Sullivan because he gets attacked by a giant clam. Who are the most adorable and peaceful of all creatures, but he manages to stumble into one. And you have to be really determined to get stuck in a giant clam, believe me.”

I dispute this. Harry Sullivan is the most adorable and peaceful of all creatures - Giant Mutant Clams are merely a close second. Really, this is all you need to know about Harry. He’s the sort of guy who gets his foot stuck in clams. Giant Clams. They’re giant enough that you really can’t miss them, and they’re clams enough that they can’t chase you down. The only way to be attacked by a giant clam is put your foot in it - in short, to be Harry Sullivan. And how does he react? “I’m always the one to put my foot in.” Yes, Harry, you are. And…do you step in clams often? Is this something that has happened to you more than once? (Incidentally, this scene is the subject of one of my very favorite Arthur, King of Time and Space sketches. That’s Lancelot there. Who is also Spock. There’s something deeply beautiful about him managing to also be Harry Sullivan.) Harry eventually escapes the Giant Clam, but once more manages to lose his shoe.

Let us all observe a moment of silence for Harry’s shoes…

For those of you who have been keeping count, this means that Harry has managed to lose three shoes in two episodes (his shoes somehow made it through “the Sontaran Experiment” unscathed). But… he hasn’t been back to the TARDIS. Where did the second pair of shoes come from? Does Harry have the ability to magically spawn shoes??? I mean, the way he goes at it he definitely needs it. And then the third pair of shoes… I have a deep and abiding love for Harry’s ill-fated shoes. (I suppose this is similar to the question of where Sarah Jane keeps getting new outfits all through season 12, but it’s just funnier in terms of Harry’s poor shoes.)

Harry is the consummate loveable bumbler. That said, Dark!Harry in “Terror of the Zygons” may be one of the most terrifying things ever. Because he’s just so cold and creepy. It’s one of the best and most frightening examples of Bad Guy impersonating a trusted loved one I’ve ever seen. Partly because Ian Marter is a fantastic actor, and partly because Harry is just so…safe that the contrast is particularly striking. It’s not the Loch Ness Monster or creepy nurses or infiltrating aliens or the mystery of the moors that gives the episode its titular terror - it’s Harry Freakin Sullivan. eaughsh. *shudder.*

Harry’s first trip in the TARDIS manages to last an entire season. When she miraculously lands him about where he stared (well, several hundred miles north and a few months late) he wisely decides not to risk a second trip. He doesn’t seem to regret his time as a companion, but he’s just like “okay. that was good. and I’m done now.” It was probably the wear and tear on his shoes that made his mind up. Probably the least emotional or difficult companion departure of all time. But that’s Harry to a tee. “Difficult” is the opposite of Harry. Life is hard on him, but he bumbles good-naturedly through it with a smile, a salute, and an increasing lack of shoes. 

He is also the only character in “Genesis of the Daleks” who is not actively considering genocide. Mostly because he’s too busy standing in clams.

notjustabook:

Cute Harry by ~Randalassa
This made me think of Llywela - thought you’d want to see more Harry love :D It’s not made by me but by someone really cool and talented from deviantART (I asked for permission to share, of course) - I definitely recommend checking out all the rest of this person’s stuff.

notjustabook:

Cute Harry by ~Randalassa

This made me think of Llywela - thought you’d want to see more Harry love :D It’s not made by me but by someone really cool and talented from deviantART (I asked for permission to share, of course) - I definitely recommend checking out all the rest of this person’s stuff.

Classic Who Men Are Awesome→ Harry Sullivan

isayharrysullivan:

nerdylifeinhiding:

Four: Now that he’s gone, any chance of a cup of tea? Haven’t we had a trying experience, Harry?

Harry: Very trying, Doctor.

I love how Harry has finally picked up on the Doctor’s way of handling things. 

llywela13:

There are lots of things I love about The Ark in Space. The many scenes that are just the Doctor and Harry wandering around chatting among themselves are right up there at the top of that list. These are scenes that simply would not happen in NuWho, there wouldn’t be room for them, yet they are so important in terms of both establishing the characters (new Doctor and new companion) and exploring the situation they find themselves in, as well as being enormously fun to watch. The two of them have such a cute dynamic! I love watching them together as the Doctor strides around assessing the situation and putting all the clues together, while Harry struggles desperately to keep up, completely pole-axed by culture shock. He doesn’t do too badly, all things considered!

Also, all those people who think Classic Who did not allow characters to develop want to compare Harry’s utter bewilderment here to his cool competency in Genesis of the Daleks, his confidence in Revenge of the Cybermen and his cross-examination of his alien captors in Terror of the Zygons despite being concussed, all the while remaining very much who he has always been. It isn’t the same kind of character development you might expect in a modern show, but it’s there nonetheless! The Harry who leaves the Tardis at the end of his run is a lot more open-minded and adaptible than the Harry we first meet in Robot and Ark in Space - that potential was always in him, but it took his experiences with the Doctor to bring it out.

doctorwhogifs:

Happy Birthday, Ian Marter

onna4:

Have changed a little. Harry provoked me. Coat Deal with it)

Harry gets more costume changes in this one serial than he does in the remainder of his time on the show put together

brigwife:

Granted, 4 is the same as 3 just without the hat and coat, and he could have just switched the naval hat and jacket from 2 for a white coat in 1

But still

heathenbanana:

It’s actually kind of amazing how many scenes in this episode made me immediately love Baker. 

youre-standing-on-my-scarf:

Why am I reading through posts on Tom Baker’s website (yes, he has a website)?

Oh, right, because occasionally this happens:

Question asker: So, as I’m currently trying to finish my ph.d. about the “Relationships between the Doctor and Early Male Companions beside the Obvious Female Damsels in Distress”, might you have any light to shed upon the issue of the Doctor’s lesser than usual friendliness towards mr. Sullivan?

Dear Jag,

You must remember that I came from somewhere else, a place where patience and politeness were not highly regarded. I had also just gone through a process called regeneration and found myself in a new body which felt very very odd. I also felt that Harry was better looking than I was, and I was jealous. Before this transformation I was taller and wore elegant clothes with lovely frilly shirts and spoke with a charming lisp and also dyed my hair white. So I hope you will forgive me my slight impatience with Harry in the early days. Later we became great friends though the BBC did not write about this.

All the best

Tom

Ooooh Four! you little bastard

isayharrysullivan:

“Worst of all is Harry. Ian Marter always was absolutely marvelous as Harry, mixing with Baker and Sladen perfectly and adding a brilliant comic touch. Here, he does get an effective sequence where a Zygon impersonates Harry, which Marter makes absolutely terrifying. But otherwise, Harry has little to do, other than take advantage of what lame villains the Zygons are by messing with their controls when they basically let him roam around their ship free. He barely appears after the second episode. Which makes his departure at the end of the story an abrupt and unsatisfying end to his character - not the worst companion farewell, but not far from it. Still, Marter brings real conviction to his frustratingly limited role, making every scene count.”

isayharrysullivan:

“Worst of all is Harry. Ian Marter always was absolutely marvelous as Harry, mixing with Baker and Sladen perfectly and adding a brilliant comic touch. Here, he does get an effective sequence where a Zygon impersonates Harry, which Marter makes absolutely terrifying. But otherwise, Harry has little to do, other than take advantage of what lame villains the Zygons are by messing with their controls when they basically let him roam around their ship free. He barely appears after the second episode. Which makes his departure at the end of the story an abrupt and unsatisfying end to his character - not the worst companion farewell, but not far from it. Still, Marter brings real conviction to his frustratingly limited role, making every scene count.”