So, you’re a fan of Doctor Who but you started with the new series. You’re intrigued by the classics though. You want to know what classic era stories are worth watching, but the backlog is phenomenal. Where do you start?
Or maybe you’re a fan of the classic era, but loved that hated episode or hated that loved one. Does anyone else agree with you?
Roger and I have been friends for over a decade and have been fans of Doctor Who even longer. Discussing all of the episodes on the Junkyard revealed that even fans can view episodes drastically differently from one another. Here is a season-by-season overview starting all the way back with the original Season 1. Feel free to use it as a companion piece to jump over to the episodes for additional information; I’ve made each title a link. Or just have fun seeing how we rated the stories.
Let the fun begin…
RP: 5 – A difficult one to give a numerical value to, because it’s a near-perfect opening episode, followed by three episodes that were a complete mis-step for Doctor Who and the series would have died after 13 episodes if it wasn’t for…
ML: 7 – With a stellar opening episode to start off an amazing series, I want to give this a 10, but with three additional episodes of abject tedium, I dropped it one point per episode. I probably should be harsher, but it’s such a fantastic opener, I can’t bring myself to do it.
RP: 8 – Thematically rich, if a little confused. Slow at times, but Doctor’s Who’s longevity and success starts here. The first episode is stunning and atmospheric, and I still think that model shot of the city is incredible.
ML: 7 – I would agree with my colleague that episode 1 is again brilliant and atmospheric and really sent the series to the stratospheric heights but I do find it a bit too slow to give anything greater than a 7. It is also the first time where we see the down side of over-long stories.
RP: 7 – Look at this through 60’s eyes – the TARDIS as a living being, the kidnapper Doctor forcing himself to apologise… but a bit of a clunky script.
ML: 10 – I loved this story. Dark, eerie and atmospheric, it has to be kept together by the amazing cast. No monster or enemy, just a mystery in the darkness. It was probably terrifying back when it first aired and it really hasn’t lost that charm. The music is also excellent. A perfect story and only two parts long.
RP: 6 – Not quite as good as people say, but it builds atmosphere at all the right moments and is full of twists and turns. Just a little slow at times and the educational remit is forced.
ML: 5 – Hard to really assess since it’s a lost episode. Good story, great cast. A good attempt to give us another historical. But just not my cuppa…
RP: 8 – Completely bonkers and brilliant, hugely ambitious, and the debut of the Cybermen.
ML: 8 – Great quest-style story effectively linking smaller stories into a larger one by giving each quest a personality. Plus this one has so many blunders, from Voord tripping into rooms, Flat Stanley’s falling into pits, and Hartnell blundering his way through lines, it’s a blast!
RP: 6 – Everything about this is confident and impressive, but at its heart it has the problem of being about the Doctor being proved right in his fatalism, Barbara being proved wrong, and the TARDIS crew making things a bit worse and escaping.
ML: 9 – Not typically a fan of the historicals, but it was the first Target Novel I read and it has a special place in my heart. The acting is great, but the fight scenes are a little weak by today’s standards. Still, a very solid story.
RP: 3 – A brilliant first episode, followed by one of the slowest moving Doctor Who stories ever. Also the Doctor stamping all over his granddaughter’s abilities is nasty.
ML: 4 – Pretty weak overall. Made better by some intelligent storytelling and one of those marvelous creepy scene when the Sensorites appear in the window. John is a very likable character but it has a hard time ever reaching new heights.
RP: 4 – Cleverly plays on the fringes of history, but nobody has worked out how to integrate the Doctor into an historical story yet, and his character takes a major step backwards.
ML: 3 – Again, a historical that doesn’t really do anything. The humor is fun but the story can’t sustain itself on those minor amounts of humor. The lack of anything for the Doctor to do leaves us feeling let down for a season finale.
We’ll check out Season 2 very soon… ML