Looking at our graph, it’s clear that Roger and I saw the decline of season 10. I see it steadily declining until it takes a sharp drop. But this is where a picture speaks a thousand words. We can see what we might have otherwise missed in the numbers.
RP: 8 – Circumstances always conspire against multi-Doctor stories to make them not as good as they could be, but this one is a lot of fun, and highlights the genius of Troughton.
ML: 10 – The first multi-Doctor story, Gallifrey, legendary characters from Time Lord society and Dr. Tyler. Sheer brilliance!
RP: 9 – Holmes’s glorious attack on bureaucracy and trash television via a third wall lean, complete with Doctor Who’s best puppet monster.
ML: 9 – Solid pacing gives this break in the fourth wall some added merit. Drashigs are so much fun that I even have a hand-puppet of one! The costumes are a bit weak and I didn’t like the bureaucracy of the Inter Minor natives…
RP: 5 – A story that gamely tries to say “aliens aren’t monsters” and then makes the aliens feudal, sexist monsters, but it’s a good effort, and Delgado is as brilliant as ever in his final appearance.
ML: 8 – Better than average long story, but it ends abruptly. Delgado is great and the Draconians are fantastic looking. Complex story that had a lot of potential. Might have actually been the start of the Time War.
RP: 6 – Terry Nation sells us his old ideas again, and most of them don’t really work any more, but it’s a triumph of style over substance.
ML: 7 – Solid pacing for a 6 part story. Great opening and a good message about bravery… but told through regurgitated material.
RP: 3 – Letts and Sloman try to make a statement, but get there clumsily at the expense of characterisation. “Industry is bad and hippies are good” gets hammered home without realistic motivations, and hanging scripts on coincidences is not a writing skill just because you call the coincidences “serendipity”. The Cliff/Jo relationship is hideous, trampling all over the character of Jo in her final story. But the maggots are fun.
ML: 2 – Another slog through long stories, bad characterizations, an attempt at an environmental message and a menace that could have been ended by cutting power to the facility… give me a break! Another weak season closer!
Look, it’s still Doctor Who, but some Who is just harder to get through. I think we can clearly see what we enjoy and what we could do without, huh? I think we can all agree that the Pertwee era has a lot of ups and downs. We’ll see where his last season leaves him soon enough! ML