Top of the Docs: Season 12

Tom Baker – the man with whom I was introduced to Doctor Who.  The Glorious Madman!  The character that irrevocably changed my entire existence.  The Doctor is in!  And look at those numbers!  Roger and I both giving this season consistently high scores.  Even the weakest of the season is still higher than average, albeit only slightly.

season 12

Robot

RP: 9 – Apart from the special effects, a near-faultless debut for the new Doctor – if only they were all this good!

ML: 8 – It’s a slower start and Kettlewell’s hair… But a strong start to a new Doctor.

The Ark in Space

RP: 9 – Almost as good as its reputation suggests, and one of the best first episodes of any story.  The other three episodes never quite hit those heights, but the story is never less than very, very good.

ML: 10 – My intro to Doctor Who.  A very special place in my heart.  Claustrophobic and tense, this is Alien for the television audience.  Bubble wrap never looked so awesome!

The Sontaran Experiment

RP: 8 – A very silly story but a huge amount of fun despite that.

ML: 9 – Great pacing, loved the Sontarans (my intro to them too).  Short and sweet!

Genesis of the Daleks

RP: 8 – Some stand out amazing moments but also some complete failures of logic and poor execution of some scenes, most notably the cliffhanger with Sarah falling from the scaffolding.  Not quite the classic it’s supposed to be, but not far off.

ML: 9 – I’ll never forget standing there playing with my Star Wars action figures when the Doctor came out of the incubation chamber with the Dalek on his throat.  A classic on so many levels.  Utter brilliance!  (And a lesson about how sometimes even a bad thing has a silver lining…)

Revenge of the Cybermen

RP: 7 – The reimagining of Cybermen and Cybermats is awful, and the whole point of the Cybermen beyond scary big robot people has been lost.  Having said that, there’s never a dull moment, so you can’t beat this for entertainment value.

ML: 6 – By contrast to all the other Cybermen stories, this just pales.  The Cybermen have emotions and are out for Revenge?!  The title says it all.  And they decide to invade a planet made of gold, knowing they are basically highly allergic to it… sensible.  NOT!

This was the start of fandom for me nearly 40 years ago.  Of course I would rate it highly.  But it is gratifying to see that I’m not alone!  But season 13 is where it was really at…  ML

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1 Response to Top of the Docs: Season 12

  1. scifimike70 says:

    Revenge Of The Cybermen was my first Cybermen adventure as a kid and, even though I for one consider the Cybermen to be specifically more impacting than the Daleks, this classic-series story disappointed me simply because I didn’t get to see what was beneath the Cyber helmets. I had a fairly imaginable idea of what their ‘organic’ heads might have looked like. Earthshock made vast amends for this much by proving how the fixed Cyber heads (aside from their silver jaws we were allowed to see for just this one story) could more effectively work.

    Thank you both for this article.

    Liked by 1 person

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