Top of the Docs: Season 10

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.

season 10

The Three Doctors

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!

Carnival of Monsters

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…

Frontier in Space

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.

Planet of the Daleks

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.

The Green Death

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

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