Doctor Who

In October 2015, I began rewatching at least one Doctor Who story per week. I began with those broadcast between 1963 and 1996, and did them in a random order. Then I moved onto the post-2005 stuff, which I’m doing in transmission order. Here are the quick reviews I’ve been tweeting…

1963-1996

1 Mawdryn Undead (1983): Super stuff. More a plot than a story, but very clever and very entertaining. The Brig’s ace too. (Watched: 24 October 2015.)

2 The Seeds of Doom (1976): Two bases under siege – one cold, one old – for the price of one. Vivid, violent and verdant. (Watched: 31 October 2015.)

3 The Krotons (1968/69): Dull drama about dull people doing dull things. Patrick Troughton was ace, though, wasn’t he? (Watched: 7 November 2015.)

4 The Two Doctors (1985): There’s a great, macabre, witty story in there somewhere, but it’s badly directed. Still fun. (Watched: 14 November 2015.)

5 Carnival of Monsters (1973): Wow. Based on some sensational ideas. Witty and dynamic. Two great cliffhangers. Tremendous. (Watched: 21 November 2015.)

6 The War Machines (1966): Rooted in the present but looking to the future. Ben and Polly instantly great. Dodo: extinct. (Watched: 28 November 2015.)

7 Delta and the Bannermen (1987): Dreadful script. Inept direction. Some really poor acting. Irretrievably ghastly. (Watched: 5 December 2015.)

8 Nightmare of Eden (1979): Clever, pacey, built on terrific ideas. Shame it looks cheap and one actor’s taking the piss. (Watched: 12 December 2015.)

9 The Crusade (1965): The cod-Shakespearean dialogue is good fun, but after a strong start the plot peters out a bit. (Watched/heard: 19 December 2015.)

10 The Claws of Axos (1971): Brisk storytelling, the UNIT family, psychedelic direction, Jo’s short skirt… Just fabulous. (Watched: 26 December 2015.)

11 The Underwater Menace (1967): In-fucking-sane. And mostly rubbish. Lovely to see early Troughton, though. He sparkles. (Watched: 27 December 2015.)

12 The Invasion of Time (1978): A thoroughly interesting set-up, but it just descends into technobabblistic tosh. (Watched: 28 December 2015.)

13 Resurrection of the Daleks (1984): Dr Who as a muscular action movie. Not subtle but great fun. Brilliantly nasty too. (Watched: 29 December 2015.)

14 The Daleks (1963/64): The storytelling is as simplistic as it comes. The first one to bore me rigid, sadly. (Watched: 30 December 2015.)

15 The Sontaran Experiment (1975): Inconsequential, forgettable filler. (Watched: 31 December 2015.)

16 Ghost Light (1989): Great Doctor Who = fascinating ideas + engaging storytelling. Well, this has tons of the former. (Watched: 1 January 2016.)

17 Death to the Daleks (1974): Pertwee, Sladen, Carey Blyton, the CSO operator – they’re all trying hard to polish a turd. (Watched: 2 January 2016.)

18 The Enemy of the World (1967/68): Tremendous fun. It rattles along and is inventively directed. (Watched: 9 January 2016.)

19 Meglos (1980): Mostly garbage, but as I’d only seen it once before it was fun to refamiliarise myself. (Watched: 16 January 2016.)

20 The Visitation (1982): Always loved this one. A solid, enjoyable serial that accomplishes what it sets out to do. (Watched: 17 January 2016.)

21 The Myth Makers (1965): Some funny lines and nice ideas, even if not a huge amount happens. (Listened to: 19-22 January 2016.)

22 The Hand of Fear (1976): Stylish location work, great first cliffhanger, good creature make-up… Really dull second half. (Watched: 23 January 2016.)

23 The Trial of a Time Lord (1986): Episodes 5-12 are diverting but there’s a lot of dross. The trial format totally fails. (Watched: 26-30 January 2016.)

24 Spearhead From Space (1970): This is so well made that part of me wishes they’d shot all Dr Who on film. Terrific. (Watched: 31 January 2016.)

25 The Mind Robber (1968): *Wildly* inventive. Surreal, pacey and a lot of fun. (Watched: 6 February 2016.)

26 The Rescue (1965): Far too simplistic. The set of the crashed space ship is nice, though. (Watched: 7 February 2016.)

27 The Ribos Operation (1978): Marvellous. A smart, Hustle-like plot, some fun characters and a sexy Romana. (Watched: 13 February 2016.)

28 Arc of Infinity (1983): …[sigh]. Just nonsense, isn’t it? (Watched: 17 February 2016.)

29 Silver Nemesis (1988): This is like that trifle Rachel makes in Friends. Ingredients thrown in whether they work or not. (Watched: 20 February 2016.)

30 The Curse of Peladon (1972): Terrific. Lovely detail in writing and acting. Pertwee and *excellent*. (Watched: 27 February 2016.)

31 The Android Invasion (1975): The first half is good fun, but once the mystery is solved the story gets very dull. (Watched: 5 March 2016.)

32 Marco Polo (1964): Slow, but delightful. And the on-set photos and telesnaps convince me it must’ve looked gorgeous. (Listened to: 5-11 March 2016.)

33 The Faceless Ones (1967): Too long, but fun, engaging, well directed, funny and features Wanda Ventham. Enjoyed it. (Watched/listened to: 12 March 2016.)

34 The Horns of Nimon (1979/80): A dreary, tatty, Poundland-budget story with a rotten guest cast. What *is* Crowden doing? (Watched: 20 March 2016.)

35 The Caves of Androzani (1984): Intense and inventive. Superb performances. The best Doctor Who story of all time. (Watched: 25 March 2016.)

36 Planet of the Daleks (1973): Is this as bland and boring as 1970s Doctor Who ever got? A slog to sit through. (Watched: 26-28 March 2016.)

37 The Savages (1966): Enjoyable stuff. Pacey for a Hartnell, with some great grandstanding for the Doctor. (Listened to: 29 March to 1 April 2016.)

38 Horror of Fang Rock (1977): Magnificent. Brilliantly written, claustrophobic and detailed. Tom’s on monumental form. (Watched: 2 April 2016.)

39 The Ice Warriors (1967): Enjoyable start, but decends into generic monotony. Worth it for Peter Barkworth: he’s great. (Watched: 9 April 2016.)

40 Robot (1974/75): There’s a real sense of this being made by people who know what they’re doing. Very enjoyable. (Watched: 19 April 2016.)

41 Vengeance on Varos (1985): So much good stuff – great ideas, satire, cynicism – but all muddied. Not a success, sadly. (Watched: 24 April 2016.)

42 Paradise Towers (1987): Decent ideas. Good visuals. But, Jesus wept, the drama-school performances are so tiresome. (Watched: 7 May 2016.)

43 Four to Doomsday (1982): Never seen old Doctor Who and are curious what it was like? Yeah, don’t watch this one… (Watched: 15 May 2016.)

44 Terror of the Autons (1971): Entertaining stuff. Debutants Jo and the Master are instantly great. (Watched: 21 May 2016.)

45 The Smugglers (1966): Buggered if I could follow what was going on half the time. (Listened to: 24-30 May 2016.)

46 Full Circle (1980): Lovely stuff. Very good storytelling. Nicely directed. Enjoyable. (Watched: 5 June 2016.)

47 The Seeds of Death (1969): Drawn-out, but generally enjoyable space pulp. (Watched: 12 June 2016.)

48 The Reign of Terror (1964): Middling, with boring guest characters. (Oh, and the epileptic editing of the animated eps!) (Watched: 18 June 2016.)

49 The Robots of Death (1977): Plotting, dialogue, (most of) the acting, direction, design, Pamela Salem… All *gorgeous*. (Watched: 19 June 2016.)

50 The Monster of Peladon (1974): Not as fresh, fun or focused as Curse, but still more engaging than I’d remembered. (Watched: 20 June 2016.)

51 The King’s Demons (1983): Dreary, dull and forgettable. Everyone looks like they know it’s nonsense. (Watched: 21 June 2016.)

52 The Pirate Planet (1978): Funny dialogue gets steamrollered. The production comes off as tatty. All a bit of a mess. (Watched: 22 June 2016.)

53 Planet of Giants (1964): It’s a very Dr Who-y idea and is staged inventively… Just a shame it’s really boring. (Watched: 23 June 2016.)

BONUS-WATCH K9 & Company (1981): Not great, not awful. Sladen shines. (Watched: 24 June 2016.)

54 The Curse of Fenric (1989): Absolutely magnificent. There’s a huge amount going on, all weaved together with panache. (Watched: 26 June 2016.)

55 The Power of the Daleks (1966): It’s striking how much it focuses on the guest characters. Good stuff, though. (Listened to: 27 June-2 July 2016.)

56 Doctor Who and the Silurians (1970): Great, dynamic storytelling. The plot keeps moving; the characters are interesting. (Watched: 3 July 2016.)

57 Terror of the Zygons (1975): Such confidence to it! It’a marvellously directed and zips along. The monster’s shit, tho’. (Watched: 15 July 2016.)

58 The Awakening (1984): A fun story with a good guest cast and great sets. Flashes of horror too. Rushed ending, though. (Watched: 17 July 2016.)

59 Mission to the Unknown (1965): What a bizarre thing… (Listened to: 18 July 2016.)

60 The Daleks’ Master Plan (1965/66): Rambling but occasionally entertaining. Daleks often least interesting thing in it. (Listened to/watched: 18-25 July 2016.)

61 Destiny of the Daleks (1979): Terry Nation plotting + Douglas Adams flippancy = not terribly successful. Dull. (Watched: 23 July 2016.)

62 The Mark of the Rani (1985): Was getting quite caught up in this one… But then it falls apart alarmingly in Part Two. (Watched: 24 July 2016.)

63 The Time Monster (1972): This one falls into a certain category of Doctor Who story: rubbish… but fun with it.  (Watched: 25 July 2016)

64 The Web of Fear (1968): I just don’t see what the fuss is about. An often boring and repetitive base-under-siege. (Watched/listened to: 26 July 2016)

65 The Invisible Enemy (1977): Technically ambitious, full of good ideas… But quite shallow. No heart to anything. (Watched: 30 July 2016)

66 Kinda (1982): A fascinating, ornate serial where writing, acting and direction are working in harmony. A real treat. (Watched: 6 August 2016.)

67 Revenge of the Cybermen (1975): Lots of ‘As you know’-type dialogue, not gripping, but it passed the time well enough. (Watched: 12 August 2016.)

68 The Greatest Show in the Galaxy (1988/89): Great set-up – stylish, surreal, sinister – but I’m not sure it sustains it. (Watched: 13 August 2016.)

69 The Three Doctors (1972/73): Worth seeing for Pertwee and Troughton (and Katy and Nick). Nothing special otherwise. (Watched: 18-19 August 2016.)

70 The Keys of Marinus (1964): Like some weird cheese dream. Acid seas! Snow! A rapist! A courtroom! George Coulouris! (Watched: 20-21 August 2016.)

71 The Space Pirates (1969): What a load of old shit. Probably the worst serial yet in this redo. (Listened to/watched: 22-25 August 2016.)

72 The Keeper of Traken (1981): Some nice concepts. But, Christ Almighty, it needs more oomph. So, so dull. (Watched: 26 August 2016.)

73 Snakedance (1983): Stunning. Fantastic. Written with depth and feeling; acted and directed with skill. (Watched: 1 September 2016.)

74 The Talons of Weng-Chiang (1977): Wildly entertaining mish-mash of Victorian cliches. (Aside from the rat and racism.) (Watched: 2-6 September 2016.)

75 Colony in Space (1971): Not as bad as its reputation suggests, but still nothing special. Interesting situation. (Watched: 8-10 September 2016.)

76 The Romans (1965): Witty, dynamic, economic. An epic movie on a TV budget and in 100 mins. Really enjoyable; never dull. (Watched: 13 September 2016.)

77 The Evil of the Daleks (1967): Blimey, that fight between Jamie and Terrall bangs on when you’re listening to the audio. (Listened to/watched: 16-18 September 2016.)

78 The Stones of Blood (1978): Fun to begin with, but sadly the second half swaps a Wicker Man vibe for some silly sci-fi. (Watched: 20 September 2016.)

79 Doctor Who (1996): The plot’s nonsense, but never mind. This is fun, zippy, looks great and is brilliantly directed. (Watched: 27 September 2016.)

80 Timelash (1985): Let’s be positive: Herbert’s quite fun and likeable. (Watched: 4 October 2016.)

81 Dragonfire (1987): Not a classic, but more fun and more interesting than I’d remembered. Best story of its season. (Watched: 10 October 2016.)

82 Warriors of the Deep (1984): Tripe dialogue, LE lighting, dodgy cast. But I like the setting and action-film feel. (Watched: 18 October 2016.)

83 Planet of the Spiders (1974): Less than the sum of its sometimes interesting, sometimes nonsensical parts. (Watched: 24-25 October 2016.)

84 The Edge of Destruction (1964): Bold, brave, bonkers… but boring. (Watched: 30 October 2016.)

85 The Brain of Morbius (1976): Enjoyable. Shame there’s no location filming. Staging of outdoor bits feels a bit am-dram. (Watched: 31 October 2016.)

86 Fury From The Deep (1968): A great, pulpy thriller. The missing Troughton story I’d most like returned. (Listened to: 1-6 November 2016.)

87 The Creature from the Pit (1979): Fun, breezy and entertaining. Good storytelling too. Shame about the blowjob. (Watched: 13 November 2016.)

88 The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve (1966): Beaucoup d’hommes parlant puis beaucoup de gens mourir. (Listened to: 22-27 November 2016.)

89 The Ambassadors of Death (1970): Gets a bit meandering after a while, but still plenty to enjoy. (Watched: 28 November-4 December 2016.)

90 Genesis of the Daleks (1975): Lots of style; some substance. Overrated, perhaps, but still very, very good. (Watched: 4-11 December 2016.)

91 Black Orchid (1982): Lightweight but very charming. Good fun. (Watched: 13 December 2016.)

92 The Dominators (1968): This one made virtually no impression on me! (Watched: 17-18 December 2016.)

93 The Tenth Planet (1966): Enjoyable enough. Love the Cybermen having human hands. It’s a shame that was dropped. (Watched: 20 December 2016.)

94 State of Decay (1980): Spooky and macabre. Good stuff. But what actually *is* the Wasting? (Watched: 22-23 December 2016.)

95 Survival (1989): Brilliantly written (with focus and fun) and directed (shit fake cats aside). Very good score too. (Watched: 27 December 2016.)

96 The Mutants (1972): A couple of good ideas, but a mixed guest cast. Poor and quite dull. (Watched: 29-31 December 2016.)

97 The Sun Makers (1977): Got quite caught up in this one and enjoyed it. Shame it looks so cheap, though. (Watched 7 January 2017.)

98 Terminus (1983): Got quite bored during this one, sadly. Didn’t seem to have much impetus. (Watched: 13-14 January 2017.)

99 The Dalek Invasion of Earth (1964): Much better than the first Dalek story. It’s got bite. (Watched: 18-19 January 2017.)

100 The Macra Terror (1967): Such a shame it’s missing. The visuals of the colony and the monsters must have added a lot. (Listened to: 24-27 January 2017.)

101 The Face of Evil (1977): Not been a big fan of this one before but on this viewing it grabbed me. Clever and satirical. (Watched: 27 January 2017.)

102 The Twin Dilemma (1984): There *are* plusses – Colin, Nicola, Kevin McNally – but it’s so gaudy and chintzy. (Watched: 30 January-1 February 2017.)

103 The Green Death (1973): Should be talked of with Caves, Talons, et al. As close to perfect as makes no difference. (Watched: 5-10 February 2017.)

104 An Unearthly Child (1963): One of telly’s great first episodes… then 75 minutes of dully dull dullness. (Watched: 14 February 2017.)

105 The Androids of Tara (1978): Chuffing brilliant. Terrific plot, well directed, lots of fun, and it looks great. (Watched: 18 February 2017.)

106 Frontios (1984): Rough round the edges, but still has things to commend it. Entertaining. (Watched: 24 February 2017.)

107 Remembrance of the Daleks (1988): A sportscar of a serial: there’s huge power, high speed & precision engineering. Wow. (Watched: 3 March 2017.)

108 The Abominable Snowmen (1967): Very boring. (Listened to/watched: 4-9 March 2017.)

109 The Dæmons (1971): Very enjoyable. A fun, pacy story made by a cast and crew on top form. (Watched: 10 March 2017.)

110 Pyramids of Mars (1975): Entertaining and well made. But I’m not convinced of its greatness. Part Four is nonsense. (Watched: 12-13 March 2017.)

111 Galaxy 4 (1965): Enjoyable enough fluff. Love the flashback in episode three – artfully directed. (Listened to/watched: 15 March 2017.)

BONUS-WATCH Shada (1992): The really interesting thing about this serial is (Watched: 18 March 2017.)

112 Earthshock (1982): Not flawless – it ain’t the strongest guest cast ever assembled – but very exciting and well staged. (Watched: 24 March 2017.)

113 Invasion of the Dinosaurs (1974): A good thriller with intrigue, twists, action and politics. (Poor SFX, obvs.) (Watched: 31 March-1 April 2017.)

114 The Invasion (1968): Diverting enough. Good incidental music. Jamie goes mising for nearly two eps and no one notices. (Watched: 4-7 April 2017.)

115 The Web Planet (1965): The staging (SFX, costumes, sound design, camerawork) more interesting than ice-age-slow story. (Watched: 9-14 April 2017.)

116 Image of the Fendahl (1977): Percentage of plot understood: 50. Percentage of Wanda Ventham ogled: 100. (Watched: 21 April 2017.)

117 The Ark in Space (1975): Very enjoyable. The three regulars all shine. (Watched: 23-24 April 2017.)

118 Attack of the Cybermen (1985): Starts well, but gets increasingly dull the longer it goes on. Just mush by the end. (Watched: 30 April 2017.)

119 Time and the Rani (1987): Without merit. (Watched: 2-3 May 2017.)

120 Enlightenment (1983): Super. Engaging, inventive and well directed. Could do without the Guardians subplot. (Watched: 5 May 2017.)

121 Inferno (1970): Stunning. Gripping. So intense at times (Episode 6’s cliffhanger!). Sounds great too. One of the best. (Watched: 7-13 May 2017.)

122 The Celestial Toymaker (1966): Characters bickering over the rules of games. Childish and boring. (Listened to/watched: 14-17 May 2017.)

123 The Highlanders (1966/67): Nothing special, but it passed the time. The Doctor has fun with disguises, voices and hats. (Listened to: 17-19 May 2017.)

124 The Space Museum (1965): Spunks out its one great idea in the first ep and is then bland. Hartnell says ‘Hmm?!’ a lot. (Watched: 20-21 May 2017.)

125 Logopolis (1981): Big ideas, lots of series significance, but it judders and creaks. There’s no finesse to anything. (Watched: 24-25 May 2017.)

126 The Masque of Mandragora (1976): Not the most gripping plot (also too earnest), but pleasant enough and looks lovely. (Watched: 26-29 May 2017.)

127 Day of the Daleks (1972): Classic Pertwee-era Who: great storytelling driven by ideas, action and vivid characters. (Watched: 31 May-1 June 2017.)

128 The Sensorites (1964): Viewers in 1964 must have been easily pleased. Or maybe they had a lot more patience than I do. (Watched: 3-12 June 2017.)

129 Time-Flight (1982): Awful, tatty and an embarrassment. And that’s just the DVD packaging. The serial’s not great either. (Watched: 14-17 June 2017.)

130 The Wheel in Space (1968): It’s interesting how styles of storytelling have changed. This is so slow and plodding. (Listened to/watched: 18-21 June 2017.)

131 The Power of Kroll (1978/79): An enjoyable bit of sci-fi pulp, for the most part. (Watched: 22-23 June 2017.)

132 The Ark (1966): A fun story with good sci-fi ideas and very impressive camerawork. (Dodo also sounds like Daphne Moon.) (Watched: 27-30 June 2017.)

133 Battlefield (1989): Really enjoyed seeing this one again. It’s pacy, fun and there are lots of nice touches. (Watched: 1-4 July 2017.)

134 Frontier in Space (1973): Great fun. Instances of characters being put in a cell/prison – Doctor: 11. Jo: 11. Master: 1. (Watched: 5-10 July 2017.)

135 Planet of Evil (1975): Not awful, but certainly on the boring side. The jungle sets look amazing, though. (Watched: 11-12 July 2017.)

136 Planet of Fire (1984): It’s diverting enough… but I don’t really have any idea what’s going on or what anyone wants. (Watched: 13-14 July 2017.)

137 The War Games (1969): Impressive, entertaining and it (more or less) holds its 10-episode length. Very well directed. (Watched: 15-20 July 2017.)

138 City of Death (1979): A thoroughly charming, endlessly witty serial driven along by an undimmable joie de vivre. (Watched: 20 July 2017.)

139 The Chase (1965): It’s got the Beatles in it, I suppose. And Barbara, Ian & Steven are good. Shabby & boring otherwise. (Watched: 21-22 July 2017.)

140 Revelation of the Daleks (1985): So alive with ideas, details and visuals that the Doctor and Peri feel superfluous. (Watched: 23-24 July 2017.)

141 The Mind of Evil (1971): However cool you think you are you’re not Roger Delgado smoking a cigar in the back of a limo. (Watched: 25-26 July 2017.)

142 The Leisure Hive (1980): I’m all for a more cinematic style in Dr Who but here it fails to lift a very boring plotline. (Watched: 27-30 July 2017.)

143 The Aztecs (1964): Really good stuff. Substance for the regulars to play and some very fine costumes and sets. (Watched: 1-4 August 2017.)

144 Castrovalva (1982): Lots to enjoy – Davison’s performance, the village itself – even if I don’t understand the story. (Watched: 5-6 August 2017.)

145 The Moonbase (1967): Love the bit in Episode 3 where the Doctor has a conversation with his own internal monologue. (Watched: 7-9 August 2017.)

146 Warriors’ Gate (1981): Strange, smart, stylish, surreal, and so ambitious it makes most Doctor Who seem tame. (Watched: 10 August 2017.)

147 The Happiness Patrol (1988): Good stuff. Tone is so important in Doctor Who: this one pitches it just right. (Watched: 11-13 August 2017.)

148 The Time Warrior (1973/74): Sarah’s great straightaway, and the location stuff is fun. Hackneyed guest characters, tho. (Watched: 14-15 August 2017.)

149 Underworld (1978): Well, it just doesn’t work, does it? Is this the cheapest-looking Doctor Who’s ever been? (Watched: 16-17 August 2017.)

150 The Gunfighters (1966): ♫”The accents may vary, the set’s not High Noon/But there’s fun to be had at the Last Chance Saloon!”♫ (Watched: 18-19 August 2017.)

151 The Five Doctors (1983): A critic-proof collection of delights. Tremendous fun. (Watched: 20 August 2017.)

152 The Tomb of the Cybermen (1967): Superb. Directed and played with flair, energy and pace. The filming’s great too. (Watched: 24-25 August 2017.)

153 The Deadly Assassin (1976): No serial better illustrates the storytelling brilliance of the Doctor Who companion. (Watched: 26 August 2017.)

154 The Sea Devils (1972): Very, very enjoyable. Pertwee, Manning and Delgado were all just sensational, weren’t they? (Watched: 27-29 August 2017.)

155 The Time Meddler (1965): Give the Monk a sidekick; he’s a fun character but has no one to collude with. (Watched: 30-31 August 2017.)

156 The Armageddon Factor (1979): It’s a good job Mary Tamm was such a looker. Needed a nice distraction sitting thru this. (Watched: 1-2 September 2017.)

2005 onwards

1 Rose (2005): Lots of fun. Superbly structured. Chris and Billie excellent; Camille too. Occasionally too silly but mostly ace. (Watched: 12 September 2017.)

2 The End of the World (2005): Recast the Ninth Doctor and Rose 1000 times and you won’t beat the chemistry of Chris and Billie. (Watched: 16 September 2017.)

3 The Unquiet Dead (2005): Enjoyable first half, then a bit more ordinary. I wonder why Gwyneth says ‘big bad wolf’ at one point. (Watched: 19 September 2017.)

4 Aliens of London (2005): Fun, fast, good ideas…. Then the episode becomes like a CITV sitcom and I started to lose interest. (Watched: 23 September 2017.)

5 World War Three (2005): Too silly for my tastes. The political stuff is also strangely American (an order of succession, etc). (Watched: 25 September 2017.)

6 Dalek (2005): Terrific, with an action-movie vibe and intensity. It’s really well staged and shot. I’m not sold on Adam, tho’. (Watched: 26 September 2017.)

7 The Long Game (2005): Looks great. Tamsin Greig’s fun. But the plot’s bobbins and (for first time) there’s a whiff of smugness. (Watched: 29 September 2017.)

8 Father’s Day (2005): Breathtaking. Superbly written, played, directed, Shaun Dingwall = the best ever guest perf. in Doctor Who. (Watched: 3 October 2017.)

9 The Empty Child (2005): Beautifully structured. Intriguing story. Eccleston on top form. Detail. Jokes. Scares. *Masterful*. (Watched: 6 October 2017.)

10 The Doctor Dances (2005): Magnificent in each and every way. (Well, maybe except the gag about the woman’s leg growing back.) (Watched: 8 October 2017.)

11 Boom Town (2005): It’s a shame the episode feels the need to have a clunky sci-fi plot. The drama doesn’t need it. (Watched: 11 October 2017.)

12 Bad Wolf (2005): Very good. And I nominate Lynda with a Y as Doctor Who’s best ever shoulda-been-a-companion. (Watched: 16 October 2017.)

13 The Parting of the Ways (2005): Bit deus-ex-machina-y, but fun. Really gonna miss Eccleston. He’s been… well, fantastic. (Watched: 20 October 2017.)

14 The Christmas Invasion (2005): As an intro for a new Doctor, it works. It’s a shame Rose (our POV) has so little to do, tho’. (Watched: 21 October 2017.)

15 New Earth (2006): Better than I’d remembered. Decent plot. Fun comedy. The ending bangs on a bit, though. (Watched: 22 October 2017.)

16 Tooth and Claw (2006): Wonderfully entertaining. A great script with a super structure. Brilliantly staged too. (Watched: 25 October 2017.)

17 School Reunion (2006): Watchable because of Tennant, Piper, Sladen and Clarke. But the plot’s simplistic and naff. (Watched: 29 October 2017.)

18 The Girl in the Fireplace (2006): Breathtakingly, heart-poundingly, mind-bogglingly, pant-pointingly magnificent. (Watched: 30 October 2017.)

19 Rise of the Cybermen (2006): It should work. But it doesn’t. There’s no tension or intrigue and it goes over old ground. (Watched: 2 November 2017.)

20 The Age of Steel (2006): The first episode to actually bore me. (Watched: 3 November 2017.)

21 The Idiot’s Lantern (2006): Never understood why this one isn’t more liked. It’s engaging, fun and looks fab. (Watched: 4 November 2017.)

22 The Impossible Planet (2006): Terrific. Atmospheric, authentic and unsettling (in a good way). Great score too. (Watched: 5 November 2017.)

23 The Satan Pit (2006): Amazing. Scenes of Aliens-like action sit alongside moments of quiet, measured reflection. Very impressive stuff. (Watched: 8 November 2017.)

24 Love & Monsters (2006): There’s so much to enjoy (the structure, the sweetness, LINDA… Jackie!) that it’s a shame when it’s occasionally flippant or crass and spoils the effect. (Watched: 10 November 2017.)

25 Fear Her (2006): Death by a thousand cuts: there are just too many elements to this that are poor, sloppy, loose or off the pace. Oh, and Huw bloody Edwards! (Watched: 11 November 2017.)

26 Army of Ghosts (2006): Is ‘Well, Peggy heard this noise in the cellar, so she goes down…’ the best gag in all of Doctor Who? (Watched: 14 November 2017.)

27 Doomsday (2006): The action plot does nothing for me, but the climax is emotional. Gonna miss Rose: Billie Piper really has been extraordinary. (Watched: 18 November 2017.)

28 Runaway Bride (2006): I’m in a tiny minority, I know, but I just don’t like this one. And not just because draining the Thames makes no sense. (Watched: 22 November 2017.)

29 Smith and Jones (2007): An enjoyable new start. Martha is a boon, rather than a loon or a goon who swoons when the Judoon platoon soon arrive on the moon. (Watched: 26 November 2017.)

30 The Shakespeare Code (2007): Tremendous. There’s a real unity of purpose: the plot, the characters, the action, the comedy… all click together satisfyingly. (Watched: 30 November 2017.)

31 Gridlock (2007): Brilliant. Love the tone, the humour, the surrealism, the look of it all… This season’s going really well so far. (Watched: 5 December 2017.)

32 Daleks in Manhattan (2007): So on-the-nose and broadly played that it’s difficult to get caught up in what’s happening. Not great, sadly. (Watched: 10 December 2017.)

33 Evolution of the Daleks (2007): Yeah, okay, the moment where a Dalek turns round to see if anyone’s listening to a private conversation is quite good. Otherwise poor. (Watched: 17 December 2017.)

34 The Lazarus Experiment (2007): The CGI’s the most obvious flaw, but it’s sadly not the only one. There’s a fairly bland plot too. Unsatisfying. (Watched: 22 December 2017.)

35 42 (2007): The real-time format means we don’t get a chance to know the characters before the madness takes over. Feels quite superficial, unfortunately. (Watched: 28 December 2017.)

36 Human Nature (2007): Wow. Tremendous. Wonderful on every level. Scene after scene of genuine class. A great episode for Martha too. (Watched: 3 January 2018.)

37 The Family of Blood (2007): A brilliant second part. David Tennant shines throughout: the Doctor and John Smith absolutely feel like two different men. (Watched: 4 January 2018.)

38 Blink (2007): Bewilderingly inventive, dazzlingly produced, thrillingly scary and beautifully melancholic. Near enough perfect. (Watched: 6 January 2018.)

39 Utopia (2007): Mostly nonsense. The Captain Jack retconning is retconny. Chan, exciting last few minutes, tho. (Watched: 13 January 2018.)

40 The Sound of Drums (2007): Well, things happen in a defined order. Not sure it counts as storytelling, though. It’s all a bit scattergun. (John Simm’s great fun.) (Watched: 22 January 2018.)

41 Last of the Time Lords (2007): I just don’t buy a single thing that happens. Nothing in the story strikes me as plausible – even in a sci-fi context – so I really don’t enjoy this one. (Watched: 27 January 2018.)

42 Voyage of the Damned (2007): Big, bold and very enjoyable. The best Christmas special so far in #DrWhoRedo. (Watched: 30 January 2018.)

43 Partners in Crime (2008): A tough one for me to judge because I’m the only Doctor Who fan in the world who doesn’t like Donna. Best to just say: not my cup of. (Watched: 3 February 2018.)

44 The Fires of Pompeii (2008): Feature-film-quality sets and locations. Decent plot too. But the Blackadder-ish comedy just doesn’t work. (Watched: 5 February 2018.)

45 Planet of the Ood (2008): For an episode with so much *stuff* – locations, characters, subplots, action sequences – it’s strangely boring. Didn’t engage me at all. (Watched: 6 February 2018.)

46 The Sontaran Stratagem (2008): Getting really quite bored of the sonic screwdriver now. It’s become a magic wand that can do *anything*… unless the plot needs an arbitrary obstacle, then the word ‘deadlock’ gets trotted out. (Watched: 10 February 2018.)

47 The Poison Sky (2008): The Sontarans’ plan is a weird one. It’s kinda reliant on it not being windy anywhere in the world. Too preposterous for my tastes. (Watched: 11 February 2018.)

48 The Doctor’s Daughter (2008): …well, she’s not his ‘daughter’, is she? If only that were the biggest problem, though. Worst episode so far. (Watched: 13 February 2018.)

49 The Unicorn and the Wasp (2008): A total joy – breezy, witty and confident. The best episode since Blink. (Watched: 22 February 2018.)

50 Silence in the Library (2008): Good stuff. Alex Kingston is instantly brilliant. (Watched: 24 February 2018.)

51 Forest of the Dead (2008): Holy cow, *that* River scene packs a punch now we’ve seen the events she’s referring to… (Watched: 28 February 2018.)

52 Midnight (2008): Doctor Who as a horror film. Built on an amazing conceit and really well directed. Fantastic music too. (Watched: 12 March 2018.)

53 Turn Left (2008): Turn off, more like. A far-fetched, facile story. I don’t buy any of it. (Watched: 17 March 2018.)

54 The Stolen Earth (2008): So overblown, overpopulated and over-egged that it’s impossible to take seriously. Aren’t stories meant to make some kind of sense? (Watched: 24 March 2018.)

55 Journey’s End (2008): The polite way to put it would be to say that this episode is not to my tastes. (Watched: 29 March 2018.)

56 The Next Doctor (2008): I like the steampunkiness and David Morrissey. Not sure about the rest of it. It was only an hour but felt longer. (Watched: 2 April 2018.)

57 Planet of the Dead (2009): I can accept aliens, time travel, ghosts, faster-than-light space travel, psychic powers… But a London bus where not one of the passengers is a twat? Give over. (Watched: 6 April 2018.)

58 The Waters of Mars (2009): Of all the Doctor Who stories that are riffs on the movie Alien, this is certainly one of them. Not great but not awful. (Watched: 11 April 2018.)

59 The End of Time Part One (2009): As I’m reaching the end of the Russell T Davies era, here’s part one of my top 10 RTD stories:
10 Midnight
9 The Unicorn and the Wasp
8 Gridlock
7 The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit
6 Human Nature/The Family of Blood
(Watched: 18 April 2018.)

60 The End of Time Part Two (2010): I’ve reached the end of the Russell T Davies era, so here’s part two of my top 10:
5 Tooth and Claw
4 Blink
3 Father’s Day
2 The Girl in the Fireplace
1 The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances
(Watched: 24 April 2018.)

61 The Eleventh Hour (2010): *Dazzling*. So fresh, so dynamic, so smart, so entertaining. An extraordinarily impressive relaunch of the series. Also: #kissogram (Watched: 26 April 2018.)

62 The Beast Below (2010): Some good stuff – Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, the production design, the Star Wars references – but doesn’t really succeed overall. (Watched: 29 April 2018.)

63 Victory of the Daleks (2010): Spitfires flying in space? A bomb talked out of exploding? Amy having next to nothing to do? A limp climax? For me, how the Daleks look is far from the biggest flaw. (Watched: 6 May 2018.)

64 The Time of Angels (2010): Very good. This was the first stuff Matt Smith and Karen Gillan shot, right? And they were this good straight away?! Amazing. (Watched: 10 May 2018.)

65 Flesh and Stone (2010): Matt Smith and Karen Gillan are the best Doctor/companion combo since Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper. Superb chemistry. (Watched 16 May 2018.)

66 The Vampires of Venice (2010): Not great, not awful. Some of it looks very pretty, but I’m not sure how well it works as a Rory-joins-the-team episode. People smarter than me have pointed out it has a plethora of similarities to 2006’s School Reunion. (Watched: 17 May 2018.)

67 Amy’s Choice (2010): Super. Good stuff for the regulars and an entertaining guest character. (Watched: 20 May 2018.)

68 The Hungry Earth (2010): The Silurians + Inferno + Frontios + Russell T Davies-style characters who are so nice I find it hard to care about them + great ‘monster’ design = ….meh, sadly. (Watched: 26 May 2018.)

69 Cold Blood (2010): The Silurians are one of Doctor Who’s best ideas. They deserve a more engaging story. (Watched: 31 May 2018.)

70 Vincent and the Doctor (2010): Very special indeed. This is rich, mature storytelling. Beautiful, poignant, moving. Just wonderful. (Watched: 6 June 2018.)

71 The Lodger (2010): Can’t claim I understand what’s going on at the end with the flat upstairs, but this is still an ace episode. Also: fat-lad-gets-the-hot-girl stories are A-OK with me. (Watched 12 June 2018.)

72 The Pandorica Opens (2010): Fun to a degree, but it does feel more like a collection of mysteries than an engaging story. (Watched: 16 June 2018.)

73 The Big Bang (2010): This was like watching a good Shakespeare. I enjoyed the performances and the staging. I liked the gags, and was occasionally wowed. But I didn’t really follow what was going on half the time. (Watched: 22 June 2018.)

74 A Christmas Carol (2010): Gorgeous in every way: clever, moving, funny and looks like a feature film. (Watched: 25 June 2018.)

75 The Impossible Astronaut (2011): Sadly, I’m not sure how well these episodes where it’s all about mysteries piled upon mysteries work on a second viewing. There’s fun, but it felt a bit empty this time round. (Watched: 1 July 2018.)

76 Day of the Moon (2011): But why…? Why doesn’t he…? What’s happ- Eh? Hang on, so who’s…? What does that palm thing do again? So Rory CAN remember being a Roman, then? What? Why? How? Where? Eh? (Watched: 5 July 2018.)

77 The Curse of the Black Spot (2011): More enjoyable than I’d remembered, but it is another episode without a villain character so the Doctor has to essentially guess what’s going on and happens to be right. (Watched: 9 July 2018.)

78 The Doctor’s Wife (2011): Freewheelingly wonderful. Inventive, quirky, smart, engaging, and looks like a Hollywood movie. Great guest cast too. Just magnificent. (Watched: 14 July 2018.)

79 The Rebel Flesh (2011): Boring. There’s also a nagging sense of seen-it-all-before – the stock characters (the tough woman, the guy who wistfully talks of his family), the forced banter, the horror-movie cliches. (Watched: 20 July 2018.)

80 The Almost People (2011): My mind has wandered so much during this drab episode that I’m tweeting about it before it’s finished – which I’ve never done before in this process – just so I have something to do. (Watched: 26 July 2018.)

81 A Good Man Goes to War (2011): Convoluted and not entirely convincing, but still enjoyable. For one thing, it looks *stunning*. (However, where did the ‘the Doctor is famed and feared throughout the universe’ idea come from? It’s very odd.) (Watched: 28 July 2018.)

82 Let’s Kill Hitler (2011): I’m getting the feeling that Steven Moffat enjoys writing strong, ballsy, wisecracking women who are sexy and know they are. (He also doesn’t mind women who get over having their baby taken away from them.) (Watched: 2 August 2018.)

83 Night Terrors (2011): Spooky sci-fi in a beautifully photographed council estate tower block? Wanna watch Attack the Block again now… (Watched: 8 August 2018.)

84 The Girl Who Waited (2011): Terrific. An entertaining SF idea done with emotional punch and good stuff for the three regulars (who all really are great). (Watched: 15 August 2018.)

85 The God Complex (2011): Enjoyably atmospheric, but it’s another episode that could do with a villain character. Becomes meandering after a while. (Watched: 20 August 2018.)

86 Closing Time (2011): Delightful and a lot of fun. Matt Smith and James Corden make for an excellent double act, again. (The bit where we learn Amy has become a model is a bit bizarre, though, innit?) (Watched: 27 August 2018.)

87 The Wedding of River Song (2011): Nope, still don’t understand the plot. (Watched: 1 September 2018.)

88 The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe (2011): There have been worse episodes of Doctor Who. Not sure there have been any more boring than this one, though. (Watched: 7 September 2018.)

89 Asylum of the Daleks (2012): I mean…

Screenshot 2018-09-12 18.59.08

(Watched: 11 September 2018.)

90 Dinosaurs on a Spaceship (2012): Enjoyable. Rory’s dad is fun and – like so many Moffat-era episodes – it looks amazing. As much as I like them in other things, Mitchell and Webb are a bit annoying, though. (Watched: 19 September 2018.)

Running total of character appearances:
Just for a laugh, I’m keeping a note of how many episodes each regular character* has been in. (*Any character who’s in more than one story.) So far, I’ve had:

Total number of episodes watched: 786 (plus six episodes of Shada, and K9 & Company)

Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) – 175 (plus six episodes of Shada)
First Doctor (William Hartnell, Richard Hurndall) – 133
Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) – 130
Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton) – 129
Jamie McCrimmon (Frazer Hines, Hamish Wilson) – 116*
Colonel/Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney) – 103*
Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) – 85 (and K9 & Company)
Ian Chesterton (William Russell) – 77
Jo Grant (Katy Manning) – 77
Barbara Wright (Jacqueline Hill) – 74
Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison) – 70
Sergeant Benton (John Levene) – 65*
Tegan Jovanka (Janet Fielding) – 65*
Susan (Carole Ann Ford) – 52
K9 [2] (David Brierley, John Leeson) – 50 (plus five episodes of Shada)
Zoe Heriot (Wendy Padbury) – 49*
Nyssa (Sarah Sutton) – 48*
Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) – 47
The Master [1] (Roger Delgado/Peter Pratt/Geoffrey Beevers) – 45
Steven Taylor (Peter Purves) – 45
Adric (Matthew Waterhouse) – 44*
Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) – 43
Captain Mike Yates (Richard Franklin) – 42*
Romana [2] (Lalla Ward) – 41 (plus six episodes of Shada)
Leela (Louise Jameson) – 40
Victoria Waterfield (Deborah Watling) – 40
Vicki (Maureen O’Brien) – 38
Ben Jackson (Michael Craze) – 36
Polly (Anneke Wills) – 36
Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) – 34
Peri Brown (Nicola Bryant) – 33
Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker) – 32
Turlough (Mark Strickson) – 32*
Ace (Sophie Aldred) – 31
Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) – 31
Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) – 30
The Master [2] (Anthony Ainley) – 28*
Harry Sullivan (Ian Marter) – 27*
Liz Shaw (Caroline John) – 26*
Romana [1] (Mary Tamm) – 26
Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill) – 24
Mel Bush (Bonnie Langford) – 20
Dodo Chaplet (Jackie Lane) – 19
K9 [1] (John Leeson) – 19
Martha Jones (Freeman Agyeman) – 19
Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) – 17
Davros (Michael Wisher, David Gooderson, Terry Molloy, Julian Bleach) – 16
Mickey Smith (Noel Clarke, Casey Dyer) – 16
Jackie Tyler (Camille Coduri) – 15*
Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) – 13
The Black Guardian (Valentine Dyall) – 12
River Song (Alex Kingston) – 12
Professor Travers (Jack Watling) – 12
Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) – 11
Alpha Centauri (Ysanne Churchman) – 10
Sabalom Glitz (Tony Selby) – 9
Sylvia Noble (Jacqueline King) – 9
Wilf Mott (Bernard Cribbins) – 9
Trinity Wells (Lachele Carl) – 8
Francine Jones (Adjoa Andoh) – 7
The Meddling Monk (Peter Butterworth) – 7
Omega (Stephen Thorne, Ian Collier) – 7
Kamelion (Gerald Flood) – 6*
Kovarian (Frances Barber) – 6*
The Rani (Kate O’Mara) – 6
Sil (Nabil Shaban) – 6
Amelia Pond (Caitlin Blackwood) – 5*
Corporal Bell (Fernando Marlow) – 5
Katarina (Adrienne Hill) – 5
The Watcher (Adrian Gibbs) – 5
The Castellan (Paul Jericho) – 5
Dalek Caan (Nicholas Briggs) – 5
The Master [3] (John Simm) – 5
Winston Churchill (Ian McNeice) – 4*
Cyber-Controller (Michael Kilgarriff) – 4
Lytton (Maurice Colbourne) – 4
Pete Tyler (Shaun Dingwall) – 4*
Dalek Sec (Nicholas Briggs, Eric Loren) – 4
Harriet Jones (Penelope Wilton) – 4
Jason Mohammad (himself) – 4
Leo Jones (Reggie Yates) – 4
Tish Jones (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) – 4
Clive Jones (Trevor Laird) – 3
Dorium Maldovar (Simon Fisher-Becker) – 3
The Face of Boe (Struan Rodger) – 3
Jake Simmonds (Andrew Hayden-Smith) – 3
K9 [3] (John Leeson) – 3 (and K9 & Company)
Lucy Saxon (Alexandra Moen) – 3
Luke Smith (Tommy Knight) – 3
Margaret Blaine (Annette Badland) – 3
Rassilon (Richard Mathews, Timothy Dalton) – 3
The White Guardian (Cyril Luckham) – 3
Adam Mitchell (Bruno Langley) – 2
Alonso Frame (Russell Tovey) – 2
Carter (Richard Dillane) – 2
Lady Cassandra (Zoe Wanamaker) – 2
Craig Owens (James Corden) – 2
Danny Boy (Mark Gatiss) – 2
Charles Dickens (Simon Callow) – 2*
Edwin Bracewell (Bill Paterson) – 2
Henry Avery (Hugh Bonneville) – 2
Liz Ten (Sophie Okonedo) – 2
Malohkeh (Richard Hope) – 2*
Novice Hame (Anna Hope) – 2
Oliver Morgenstern (Ben Righton) – 2
Queen Elizabeth II (Mary Reynolds, Jessica Martin) – 2
Sophie (Daisy Haggard) – 2
Toby Avery (Oscar Lloyd) – 2
Vincent van Gogh (Tony Curran) – 2
Brian Williams (Mark Williams) – 1
Jenny (Catrin Stewart) – 1
Strax (Dan Starkey) – 1
Vastra (Neve McIntosh) – 1

* including episodes as alternate-reality versions of character, android doubles and dream sequences.

Also: I reviewed a 1965 episode as part of my Dracula blogging project.

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