Top of the Docs: Season 5

What we have by season five is noteworthy in one major way: our graph looks like I’ve ignored Roger for most of it.  The fact is, we are both so fond of this entire season, that we are in almost perfect sync all season long.  That’s significant because the question one has to ask is: are we both just in love with the hype of the season?  I’d argue against that for one major reason: every episode that does exist, supports our beliefs.  So I stand behind the ratings.  Here is season five at a glance…

season 5

The Tomb of the Cybermen

RP: 10 – My favourite Doctor Who story.  Doctor Who doesn’t get better than the Cybermen descending from their icy tombs.

ML: 10 – Hands down, the one episode I wanted to see found.  The book was amazing.  The episode was even better.  The music as the Cybermen descent is a triumph. Everything about this story is magnificent.

The Abominable Snowmen

RP: 9 – Doctor Who does cryptobiology for the first time, and turns the creepiness up to the max with Padmasambhava and the Great Intelligence.

ML: 9 – Eerie sums this story up perfectly.  The yeti are not even the main attraction; it’s the Great Intelligence with that whispering voice.  Love the Lovecraftian influences.

The Ice Warriors

RP: 9 – “Computer says no”.  Years ahead of it’s time in many ways, and the Troughton era keeps creating memorable monsters.

ML: 9 – Only losing a point for being a little long, this introduced one of my favorite villains.  Great cast, great base-under-siege.  Troughton is amazing.  And the story was ahead of its time.

The Enemy of the World

RP: 10 – I knew how good this was before it came back.  Oh yes I did.  A fabulous genre clash in the middle of a monster season.

ML: 10 – Couldn’t care less if they ever found this one.  When it was found, I was blown away.  Troughton is a master of his art.  He plays two leads flawlessly and neither suffer as a result.  No monster, no problem.  People can be monsters too.

The Web of Fear

RP: 9…and I knew we already had the best episode of this.  Clearly magnificent, but manages to attack two minorities in one story.  That’s fewer than some Hartnell stories manage though.

ML: 8 – I expected this to be a masterpiece and was a little let down.  My mistake might be my own; I attempted to watch the recon of the missing part.  Loved the entire idea behind it though.

Fury from the Deep

RP: 8 – A triumph of style over substance, which somehow manages to make seaweed frightening.  And finally a companion departure handled well.

ML: 10 – Loved the book and love something else that Doctor Who does so well: makes the commonplace frightening.  When seaweed is scary, you know they’ve done something right.  The two guys in the seaweeds control are terrifying too.  And yet, no one dies!

The Wheel in Space

RP: 8 – Whitaker doesn’t entirely understand what Doctor Who has become, but he certainly understands the path that the Doctor has been following, learning how to become the man who fights the monsters.  Zoe is perfect.

ML: 8 – Another great Cyber-story, another great new companion.  Zoe is a major triumph.  The Cybermen continue to impress.  Pure art!

Troughton’s era was legendary and I think this speaks for itself.  If we ever get lucky enough to have these found, we’re all in for a treat!  ML

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