• Top Eleven – Patrick Troughton

    Counting down the 11 2 days to the 50th anniversary, here are my top 11 stories for each Doctor, continuing with 2 (Patrick Troughton).

    As experiments go, the idea of regeneration worked out pretty well thanks to Patrick Troughton. Not only did he take over a much-beloved character from the only name anyone would have associated with it, but he made the character completely his own. Troughton has been cited by almost every other actor to take on the role as their model for the Doctor. Unfortunately, a good chunk of his episodes are lost due to the policy of re-using tapes or simply destroying film after broadcast (no such thing as re-runs then). So, I’m only able to see and rank the eleven remaining stories.

    1. The War Gamesdoctor_who_the_war_games_philip_madoc
    The Time Lords are an immensely civilised race. We can control our own environment – we can live forever, barring accidents and we have the secret of space/time travel.

    The Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe land in the middle of a World War I battlefield and taken for German spies. Soon, however, they find that by passing through a strange fog, they are transported to the time of the Romans and also the American Civil War. A renegade Time Lord, the War Chief, is kidnapping soldiers and placing them, like chess pieces, in various zones to fight and die over and over. This prompts the Doctor to call upon his brother Time Lords for the first time since he ran away. This is the end of the 2nd Doctor’s run, where we say goodbye not only to Patrick Troughton and Jamie and Zoe but also to black-and-white, as Jon Pertwee’s series will begin in full color.

    2. The Tomb of the Cybermentve9388-19670916-98
    The Doctor: You look very nice in that dress, Victoria.
    Victoria: Thank you. Don’t you think it’s a bit…
    The Doctor: A bit short? Oh, I shouldn’t worry about that. Look at Jamie’s.

    The Doctor, Jamie, and Victoria arrive on the planet Telos to discover an archaeological team trying to blast open the doors to the lost tomb of the Cybermen. Need I say more?

    3. The Invasion_41631822_invasion1_416bbc_5135
    I hate computers and refuse to be bullied by them!

    The Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe investigate the disappearance of a scientist, and the trail leads to London and the headquarters of International Electromatics, run by Tobias Vaughn. It turns out that Vaughn plans to aid the invasion of the Cybermen in exchange for promised power. With the help of the newly formed United Nations Intelligence Task Force (UNIT) and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, the Doctor and friends must defeat an army of Cybermen and their incoming battle fleet.

    4. The Web of Fearqq_02.jpg
    [the TARDIS has landed, rather bumpily, in a London Underground railway tunnel]
    Dr. Who: For the moment, we have eluded our captor. Look at the scanner, both of you.
    Victoria: Well, where are we?
    Dr. Who: I really don’t know, Victoria. Shall we go out and have a look.
    Victoria: Now? Is it safe?
    Dr. Who: [mischievously and airily] Oh, I shouldn’t think so for a moment! Jamie… I think we’re going to need torches.

    The Great Intelligence returns, as Professor Travers (whom the Doctor met 30 years earlier in the Himalayas) has re-activated one of the Yeti robots, and now they are attacking through the London subway system. The Doctor and his companions join with the army and Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart to repel the invasion.

    5. The Mind Robberdoctor_who_frazer_hines_and_wendy_padbury_in_publicity_shot_for_the_mind_robber
    We’re nowhere. It’s as simple as that.

    As the TARDIS is buried in lava, the Doctor attempts a desperate maneuver that takes them completely out of time and space. In an empty, white void, Jamie and Zoe are menaced by robots. As they try to flee back to the safety of the ship, it explodes, leaving Zoe clinging to the TARDIS console. When they revive, they find themselves in the Land of Fiction, presided over one who calls himself the Master (not that Master) who turns out to be a writer from 1926 and whose brain is being controlled by the Master Brain computer. The Master desperately wants to force the Doctor to take his place, and the crew encounter various fictional characters, including Rapunzel, Gulliver, and a uniorn.

    6. The Ice WarriorsIce_Warriors
    (The Doctor listens at a door.)
    The Doctor: It sounds like electronic machinery. Like a computer. But there’s something wrong with its pitch.
    Victoria: Oh, no. Now look, it might be dangerous. Now let’s leave it.
    The Doctor: No.
    Victoria: Doctor.
    The Doctor: [Smiles mischievously] Let’s go in!

    The TARDIS lands on Earth in the future as glaciers caused by mankind’s destruction of all plant life threaten to engulf the planet. Scientists excavating a nearby ice formation discover a creature in the ice, which turns out to be a Martian warrior. When he is thawed, they discover that he is part of a crashed ship, and he kidnaps Victoria in order to force the Doctor and the scientists to help him free his crew. Once that is done, the Ice Warriors determine to take over the planet for themselves.

    7. The Seeds of Deathdoctor-7-final
    Your leader will be angry if you kill me… I’m a genius!

    The TARDIS lands in late 21st century museum filled with remnants of spaceflight. Since the invention of the T-mat, which offers instant travel between points on Earth and the Moon, people have lost interest in space travel. After the Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe travel to the Moonbase, they discover that a squad of Ice Warriors has taken over and plan on using the T-mat network to launch an invasion of Earth by transporting deadly spores all around the planet, which will kill humans and block out the sun, producing a new ice age.

    8. The Enemy of the Worlddw50revenemyoftheworld
    People spend all their time making nice things and then other people come along and break them!

    In 2018, a powerful man, known as Salamander, is being hailed as the “shopkeeper of the world” for his ability to relieve famine and predict natural disasters. It turns out that Salamander’s enemies keep disappearing, and there is a rebellion forming against him. When the TARDIS lands, the Doctor is captured by the rebels because he looks exactly like Salamander. They ask for his help to take down the would-be dictator.

    9. The Moonbasedw50revthemoonbase4
    There are some corners of the universe which have bred the most terrible things. Things which act against everything we believe in. They must be fought.

    The TARDIS arrives on the Moon in the year 2070 where a small weather station is fighting off a plague. Jamie falls sick and is rendered unconscious, leaving the Doctor, Ben, and Polly to fight off what really is a toxin delivered by the Cybermen.

    10. The Krotonsvlcsnap-2012-04-09-09h03m19s178
    Great jumping gobstoppers!

    The TARDIS lands on the planet of the Gonds, where centuries before a Kroton ship crash landed. The Krotons lay dormant in a crystalline slurry, but use their mental powers to dominate the Gonds. When needed, they take the two brightest Gond students as “companions” (unwittingly being drained of their mental energy to feed the Krotons). When the Doctor and Zoe take the student test, their mental powers are strong enough to re-animate the Krotons.

    11. The DominatorsDoctor_Who_The_Dominators_Rago_and_Doctor
    An unintelligent enemy is far less dangerous than an intelligent one, Jamie. Just act stupid. Do you think you can manage that?

    When two rogue Dominators and their robotic servant Quarks land on the peaceful planet Dulkis, planning to drop a radioactive seed into the planet’s core to refuel their spaceship, the Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe must attempt to inspire the pacifist Dulcians to resist.

    Thursday, November 21st, 2013 at 07:00
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  • Top Eleven – Jon Pertwee

    Counting down the 11 3 days to the 50th anniversary, here are my top 11 stories for each Doctor, continuing with 3 (Jon Pertwee).

    The serious Doctor with the fine hair and the Venusian akido ju-jitsu karate whatever. He liked gadgets and cars and was the James Bondiest of the Doctors.

    1. Spearhead from SpaceFile created with CoreGraphics
    Liz Shaw: What are you a doctor *of*, by the way?
    Doctor Who: Practically everything, my dear.

    The newly regenerated Doctor arrives on Earth to begin his exile. The TARDIS will not function, and he soon is involved with UNIT and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and his new assistant, Liz Shaw, in stopping an invasion by the Nestene and their army of plastic Autons.

    2. The Green Deathprotectedimage (1)
    Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart: I never thought I’d have to fire in anger at a dratted caterpillar.

    Mysterious deaths at a Welsh mining village bring in the Doctor and Jo Grant along with UNIT to investigate. A group of environmentalists, led by Professor Clifford Jones, is determined to stop the Global Chemicals petroleum factory from putting the miners out of business when giant slugs begin crawling to the surface.

    3. Carnival of Monstersdoctor-who-carnival-of-monsters-carnival-workers
    Would you kindly stop referring to me as “the creature”, sir. Or I may well become exceedingly hostile!

    The Doctor and Jo arrive on a cargo ship crossing the Indian Ocean. Soon a monster appears and things start repeating themselves. When a giant hand steals the TARDIS, it becomes apparent that they are stuck in a miniscope–an alien peepshow with different miniaturized environments which showman Vorg and his assistant Virna have brought to entertain the residents of Inter Minor.

    4. The Silurianssilurians-41
    My dear Miss Shaw, I never report myself anywhere, particularly not forthwith.

    A nuclear research facilities tests have awoken the original inhabitants of Earth–the Silurians. The Doctor and Liz try to prevent a war between the humans and the Silurians, but the military on both sides have different plans.

    5. Terror of the AutonsAutons_attack
    You know Jo, I sometimes think that military intelligence is a contradiction in terms.

    The Master arrives and signals the Nestene, awakening the plastic Autons, and begins to use them to take over the world. The Doctor and his new assistant, Jo Grant, must stop him.

    6. InfernoThe_Brig_Inferno
    The Doctor: But I don’t exist in your world!
    Brigade Leader: Then you won’t feel the bullets when we shoot you.

    An experimental drilling project is designed to penetrate the Earth’s crust and release a previously untapped source of energy. However, the drill head starts to leak an oily, green liquid that transforms those who touch it into vicious primeval creatures with a craving for heat. The Doctor is accidentally transported by the partially repaired TARDIS control console into a parallel universe where the drilling project is at a more advanced stage. There, he meets the evil twins of the Brigadier and Liz who attempt to stop him as he works to save both universes.

    7. The Time Warriordoctor_sontoran_sarah_timewarrior_400_400x300
    A straight line may be the shortest distance between two points, but it is by no means the most interesting.

    In the Middle Ages, a crashed Sontaran is trying to repair his spaceship by kidnaping scientists from the future and forcing them to help. The Doctor and UNIT investigate and journalist Sarah Jane Smith tags along.

    8. The Sea DevilsChief_Sea_Devil
    I reversed the polarity of the neutron flow.

    The Doctor and Jo visit the Master in a high security prison on an island off the coast of England. While there, they learn of mysterious ship disappearances, and the Doctor cannot resist investigating.

    9. The Three Doctors3Doctors
    First Doctor: [As he appears on the TARDIS’s television screen] Ah, there you are! I seem to be stuck up here. [He examines the Second and Third Doctors.] So you’re my replacements. [They smile at him.] Humph. A dandy and a clown. [They appear insulted.] Have you done anything?
    Second Doctor: Uh, well we’ve assessed the situation-
    First Doctor: Just as I thought! [Chuckles] Nothing.

    The first multi-Doctor story came during the 10th season of the show, and it featured the return of both Patrick Troughton and William Hartnell. Hartnell was very sick and near the end of his life, but he was determined to participate. He was inserted into the story via TV monitor, as his Doctor was trapped. The story involves Omega, one of the greatest Time Lords and the engineer of their ability to travel in time. While using the Hand of Omega, a stellar manipulator that could make stars go supernova, he vanished into a resulting black hole and into an anti-matter universe. The pocket of normal matter in which he resides only exists via the force of his will, and he wants to force the Doctor to take his place.

    10. The Mind of Evilscreen_shot_2013-06-21_at_10.04.39_am_large
    People who talk about infallibility are usually on very shaky grounds.

    The Doctor and Jo investigate a new machine that has been invented for humanely dealing with prisoners. Instead of execution, they have their evil tendencies sucked out and stored in the machine. The resulting man is quiet, compliant, and knows no evil. The Master decides to use the machine for his nefarious purposes, but the machine has a will of its own.

    11. The Daemons297407
    Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart: Jenkins…chap with wings there, five rounds, rapid!

    The Master, disguised as a rural vicar, summons a winged demon to terrorize the village.

    Wednesday, November 20th, 2013 at 07:00
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  • Doctor Who – The Companions

    I’ve been recapping the top 11 stories from each Doctor in anticipation of the 50th anniversary, but in the recaps there have been names tossed around that a casual viewer or fan of the new series may not recognize. So, here are the Doctor’s travelling partners through space and time (so far).

    (There are a number of companions from the Big Finish audio productions that may or may not be included. Most of these were travelers with the 8th Doctor. However, I am only covering the TV series here.)

    First Doctor
    An Unearthly Child 2 (1)Susan Foreman, the Doctor’s granddaughter and fellow Time Lord. She first appeared in the first episode, An Unearthly Child, posing as a student at the Coal Hill school while the Doctor and she were stopped in 1963 London. She took the name “Foreman” from the junkyard where the TARDIS was parked. She stayed behind in 22nd Century London to be with a resistance fighter at the end of The Dalek Invasion of Earth.

    Ian2Ian Chesterton, a science teacher from 1963 London. Ian and fellow teacher Barbara were curious about Susan’s odd behavior and followed her home from school one night, only to be taken away by the Doctor in the TARDIS. He first appeared in An Unearthly Child. He and Barbara were returned to London in 1965 in the story The Chase.

    02 Barbara_WrightBarbara Wright, a history teacher from 1963 London. Barbara, more than any other companion, helped to humanize the Doctor, standing up to him when he misbehaved in his early incarnation. She and Ian were a pair, and it is rumored that they were married after their return to their own time and place.

    VickiSoloShotTM1Vicki Pallister, a girl from 25th Century Earth. The Doctor found her on the planet Dido where her ship had crashed (The Rescue), and he immediately took to her as a substitute for his departed granddaughter, Susan. She left when they arrived on Earth during the Trojan War (The Myth Makers). She fell in love with a Trojan named Troilus and was called Cressida by King Priam. She stayed with them, giving rise to a poem by Chaucer and a play by Shakespeare.

    d1258ca9987011e0905512313b10052d_smallSteven Taylor, a spaceship pilot from somewhere between the 23rd and 38th Century Earth. He stumbled into the TARDIS on the planet Mechanus (The Chase) after escaping imprisonment and surviving the destruction of the Mechanoid city. He left to help rebuild a pair of reunited societies–the Elders and the Savages (The Savages).

    companion-6-Katarina-doctor-who-36047055-472-628Katarina, a Trojan girl. She joined the Doctor and Steven when Vicki stayed behind in Troy at the end of The Myth Makers. On her very next adventure (The Dalek’s Master Plan) she was kidnapped and held in an airlock. She became the first companion to die when she forced the doors of the airlock open to space, taking her captor with her.

    SarakingdomSara Kingdom, a Space Security Service agent from the year 4000. Sara began by doing her assigned duty and tracking down the Doctor and Steven (The Dalek’s Master Plan). Soon, she discovered that the people she worked for were evil, and she helped the Doctor fight them, resulting in her own death.

    tumblr_lgzxenpIx51qgn3ano1_r1_500Dorothea “Dodo” Chaplet, a girl from 1960’s London. Dodo stumbled into the TARDIS while trying to use it as an actual police box to call for help for an injured boy (The Massacre). Rather than let two approaching policemen into the TARDIS, the Doctor took off with Dodo inside. She left when the Doctor returned to 1966 London in The War Machines.

    07_PollyMoonbasePolly Wright, a personal assistant from 1960’s London. By chance, the Doctor met Polly in a nightclub while looking for Dodo. At closing time, the Doctor, Polly, and a sailor they met named Ben headed out and were soon embroiled in the fight against the super computer WOTAN (The War Machines). She left when the TARDIS returned to London in 1966, just prior to her taking off with the Doctor (The Faceless Ones).

    Ben_JacksonBen Jackson, a sailor from 1960’s London. Ben met Polly in the Inferno night club the evening she first encountered the Doctor. From that moment, it was always Ben and Polly. They exited together when the TARDIS returned to 1966 London on the same day they left.

    Second Doctor
    Ben and Polly witnessed the regeneration of the Doctor into his 2nd incarnation before they left the TARDIS later on.

    JamieCUAbominableJamie McCrimmon, a Scottish Highlander from the 18th Century. Jamie was part of a Scottish force defeated at the Battle of Culloden. After escaping the noose, he followed the Doctor, Ben, and Polly into the TARDIS (The Highlanders). He was forced to leave, and his memory wiped, when the Time Lords exiled the Doctor to Earth at the end of The War Games.

    tve18014-19670902-98Victoria Waterfield, an orphan girl from 1866 England. Victoria’s father, Professor Edward Waterfield, was experimenting with time travel when he opened a portal to the Dalek city on Skaro. He was killed while saving the Doctor from the Daleks (The Evil of the Daleks), and Victoria joined the Doctor and Jamie. She left when Maggie and Frank Harris offered to be her foster parents in 1968 England (Fury from the Deep).

    ZoeQuestioningWISZoe Heriot, an astrometricist first class and astrophysicist with a photographic memory from the 21st Century. She met the Doctor and Jamie on board Space Station W3 (The Wheel in Space). She was forced to leave, and her memory wiped, by the Time Lords at the end of The War Games.

    brigadier-COURTNEYBrigadier Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, one of the founders of the United Nations Intelligence Task Force (UNIT) and its UK commander on Earth in the 1960’s and 1970’s. As a Colonel, he took over in charge of the Army’s forces in the attack by the Great Intelligence’s robot Yeti (The Web of Fear). He next met the Doctor during the invasion of the Cybermen (The Invasion), shortly after UNIT was formed. When the Doctor appeared on Earth in his third incarnation, he became a scientific advisor to UNIT, and worked closely with the Brigadier and his soldiers. Later on, the Brig kept popping up at various times through the Doctor’s adventures in the 70’s and 80’s. Lethbridge-Stewart last battled the forces of evil alongside the Doctor in 1997 (Battlefield). His daughter, Kate, told the Doctor that he died in a nursing home sometime before the year 2020 (The Power of Three), a fact which the Doctor had been made aware during the episode The Wedding of River Song.

    Third Doctor
    Liz_ShawDr. Elizabeth “Liz” Shaw, a civilian scientist assigned to UNIT in the 1970’s. Upon the Doctor’s arrival at UNIT, Liz was attached to the Doctor by the Brigadier (Spearhead from Space). Ultimately feeling that “the only thing the Doctor needed was someone to pass him his test tubes and tell him how brilliant he was,” she asked to be released to return to her own research at Cambridge (Terror of the Autons).

    benton-unit-doctor-who-John-Levene-300x209John Benton, a member of UNIT. Benton started out as a corporal, first meeting the 2nd Doctor in The Invasion when the Cybermen attacked Earth. He was a sergeant throughout the Doctor’s exile on Earth, becoming a Warrant Officer by the time the 4th Doctor appeared. He last appeared in Mawdryn Undead as a used car salesman in 1983.

    jo-grant-katy-manning-5Josephine “Jo” Grant, a civilian lab assistant with UNIT. Jo was assigned to the Doctor after Liz departed (Terror of the Autons). She left to marry Professor Clifford Jones in 1973 at the end of The Green Death.

    mike_yatesMike Yates, a Captain assigned to UNIT. Yates was with UNIT through most of the Doctor’s adventures in his third incarnation. He was hypnotized by the BOSS computer in The Green Death, and the Doctor snapped him out of it with the help of a crystal from Meteblis III, but he became depressed and eventually joined a secret organization with designs on reverting the world to prehistoric times and left UNIT (Invasion of the Dinosaurs). His final appearance was in the 3rd Doctor’s final story, Planet of the Spiders.

    elisabeth-sladen-sarah-jane-smith-7-3404-pSarah Jane Smith, an investigative journalist from 1970’s Earth. Sarah Jane posed as her aunt in order to get into a UNIT-controlled facility where scientists had gone missing. She snuck into the TARDIS and was transported back to the middle ages where a Sontaran was doing the kidnapping (The Time Warrior). After that, she joined the Doctor on his adventures. She witnessed his regeneration into the 4th Doctor and only left when he sent her back home due to his receiving an emergency summons to Gallifrey (The Hand of Fear). She met him again in 2007 in his 10th incarnation while investigation strange happenings at a school (School Reunion). She was there during Davros’ plot to steal several planets, including Earth, to setup a reality-killing wave (The Stolen Earth / Journey’s End), and caught a glimpse of him during his “farewell tour” as the 10th Doctor (The End of Time). Her final meeting with the Doctor was with the 11th in Death of the Doctor.

    Fourth Doctor
    HarryFlummoxedROTCHarry Sullivan, a Royal Navy surgeon working for UNIT. After the Doctor defeated the robot K1 (Robot), Harry found himself in the TARDIS with Sarah Jane. He wound up following along on several adventures until he stayed behind in 1970’s England (Terror of the Zygons). He helped the Doctor one other time, during The Android Invasion when the Kraals made an android duplicate of him.

    louisejameson03Leela, a warrior of the savage Sevateem, a tribe of regressed humans on an unknown planet in the far future. Leela believes that the Doctor is one of their gods, since his face appears carved into the side of a mountain (The Face of Evil). She forced her way into the TARDIS and traveled with the Doctor until they arrived on Gallifrey, and she fell in love with the Chancellory Guard, Andred, and stayed behind (The Invasion of Time).

    k9-doctor-who-257404_1024_768K9, a robot dog from the year 5000. Professor Marius invented the first K9 to keep him company and because they wouldn’t allow him a real dog in space (The Invisible Enemy). The Professor offered the dog to the Doctor, and after some adventures, K9 Mark I decided to stay with Leela on Gallifrey (The Invasion of Time). The Doctor built K9 Mark II as a backup and unpacked him immediately after leaving Gallifrey (The Ribos Operation). K9 Mark II traveled with the Doctor and Romana to E-Space, and he decided to stay with Romana when she left the TARDIS (The Warrior’s Gate). K9 Mark III was a model shipped to Sarah Jane in 1978 and stayed with her until he began to break down. He was reunited with the Doctor in his 10th incarnation before sacrificing himself to save others (School Reunion). The Doctor created K9 Mark IV and left him as a present for Sarah Jane at the end of that adventure. He subsequently appeared with the Doctor during The Stolen Earth / Journey’s End.

    Romana_(Doctor_Who)romanameglosRomanadvoratrelundar (“Romana”), a Time Lord, freshly graduated from the Academy on Gallifrey. Romana was assigned to the Doctor to assist him in finding the pieces to the Key to Time (The Ribos Operation). Once their task was complete, Romana, who seemed to possess the unusual ability to choose the form of her regeneration, took the form of a princess whom they had met (Destiny of the Daleks). She left the Doctor when they were in E-Space (another universe) in order to help the enslaved Thrarils regain their freedom (Warriors’ Gate).

    140809sad_DoctorWho_Earthshock1Adric, a boy from the planet Alzarius in E-Space in the 32nd Century. Adric was an elite mathematical student who stowed away on the TARDIS (Full Circle). He traveled with the 4th and 5th Doctors until he died trying to save the Earth from a plan by the Cybermen to crash a freighter powered by anti-matter into it (Earthshock).

    NyssaInAmsterdamNyssa, the daughter of Consul Tremas of the planet Traken in 1981. Nyssa lived a life of privilege as the Consul’s daughter, but she was a brilliant intellect, specializing in bioelectronics. The Master killed her step-mother and father, then took over the body of Tremas. Nyssa was taken by the Watcher, a mysterious white figure, into the TARDIS and on to Logopolis, where the Master accidentally unleashed a wave of entropy over the universe. Traken was destroyed. Nyssa and Adric, with the help of the Watcher, took the TARDIS to Earth. By the time they landed, the Doctor and the Master had arrived using the Master’s TARDIS, but the Doctor was mortally wounded, and she witnessed his regeneration into his 5th incarnation with the help of the Watcher. She stayed with the 5th Doctor until leaving to help find a cure for the Lazar’s Disease she had contracted (Terminus).

    tegan-jovanka-janet-fielding-8Tegan Jovanka, an Australian flight attendant from 1981. When her car broke down, she mistook the TARDIS for a police call box and stepped inside. Not knowing she was on board, the Doctor and Adric took off for Logopolis. She traveled back to Earth in the Master’s TARDIS and witnessed his regeneration. Tegan traveled with the 5th Doctor until she finally had enough of the violence and left him in 1984 London (Resurrection of the Daleks).

    Fifth Doctor
    mark-stricklandVislor Turlough, a political refugee from the planet Trion. Turlough was a member of a wealthy and powerful family who was exiled to Earth after a civil war. He posed as a schoolboy at Brendon Public School where Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart was teaching. He convinced his classmates to steal the Brig’s antique car and crashed it. While unconscious, he had a vision from the Black Guardian who offered him freedom from exile in exchange for the life of the Doctor (Mawdryn Undead). Turlough tried to kill the Doctor several times, but he eventually came to the light. He traveled with the Doctor until he decided to return to Trion after learning that his brother still lived (Planet of Fire).

    Kamelion_in_TARDISKamelion, a shape-changing android. The Master discovered and used Kamelion to impersonate King John (The King’s Demons). After the Doctor freed him from the Master’s control, Kamelion chose to stay in the TARDIS for fear of being controlled by another. He was finally destroyed at his own insistence after becoming under control of the Master once again (Planet of Fire).

    Peri-BrownPerpugilliam “Peri” Brown, an American college student from 1984. While on vacation in Lanzarote, she was saved from drowning by Turlough. Kamelion, under control of the Master, shape-shifted to look like her step-father and lured her into the TARDIS, where he took her to see the Master. After the events of Planet of Fire, she stayed on with the Doctor and witnessed his regeneration into his sixth incarnation. At some point, she was separated from the Doctor by rival Time Lord factions. In one fate, she was shown to be killed by King Yrcanos (Mindwarp). In another, she married Yrcanos and became his queen (The Ultimate Foe).

    Sixth Doctor
    bonnie4Melanie “Mel” Bush, a computer programmer from 1989. Mel met the Doctor in 1989 in Brighton, but she was pulled out of her time stream to testify on the Doctor’s behalf in his trial (Terror of the Vervoids / The Ultimate Foe). She was unconscious when the Doctor regenerated into his seventh incarnation. Mel traveled with the 7th Doctor until she departed to begin traveling with Sabalom Glitz (Dragonfire).

    Seventh Doctor
    Sophie-Aldred-aceDorothy Gale “Ace” McShane, a teenager from 1980’s Earth. She was a rough street kid who, despite failing her chemistry exams, liked to make bombs. Somehow transported to the far future and to a trading colony called Iceworld, she got a job as a waitress and met the Doctor and Mel (Dragonfire). She traveled with the Doctor through the last televised episode before cancellation in 1989 (Survival).

    Eighth Doctor
    GraceDr. Grace Holloway, a San Francisco cardiologist from 1999. She operated on the 8th Doctor after he was shot by a street gang, but not knowing about his alien physiology, she apparently killed him. He regenerated into his eighth incarnation, and Grace ultimately helped him defeat the Master (Doctor Who: The Movie).

     

    Ninth Doctor
    Rose-Tyler-rose-tyler-32316553-700-400Rose Tyler, a shop clerk from 2005 London. Rose met the Doctor when she was being threatened by plastic Autons, and he was planting a bomb to blow up her department store. She was bored with her humdrum life and joined the Doctor on his journeys (Rose). She witnessed the Doctor’s regeneration into his tenth incarnation and fell in love with him. They were separated when the Doctor sent armies of Cybermen and Daleks into the void between the worlds. Her father, who had died in this universe but was alive in an alternate reality, rescued her before she fell into the void, trapping her in the parallel world (Doomsday). She found her way back when the universes were shrinking thanks to Dalek manipulation (The Stolen Earth / Journey’s End), but the Doctor took her back to her universe along with a part-human version of himself.

    adamAdam Mitchell, a young English researcher working for billionaire Henry Van Statten in Utah in 2012. Adam joined the Doctor and Rose as Van Statten’s underground facility was being demolished (Dalek). Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for Adam to get greedy and try to use knowledge of future technology to his advantage, becoming implanted with a brain infospike that could access thousands of computers directly. The Doctor stranded him on present day Earth after hypnotizing him such that any snap of fingers would open the infospike, revealing him to be a freak (The Long Game).

    JAck-harkness-captain-jack-harkness-6779000-1024-576Capt. Jack Harkness, the alias of a Time Agent and con man from the 51st Century. While running a scam during the London blitz in 1941 (The Empty Child), he rescues Rose from being stranded on the rope of a barrage balloon and sweeps her off her feet in his stolen ship. The con turns out to have triggered a deadly plague of nanobots that are re-writing any human with whom they come into contact. Jack helps save the world by taking a bomb into space, and the Doctor rescues Jack in his TARDIS (The Doctor Dances). Jack travels with the Doctor until he is disintegrated by a Dalek on the Game Station satellite and resurrected by Rose using the energy of the time vortex from the heart of the TARDIS. Not realizing this, the Doctor and Rose left Jack stranded on the station. He eventually found his way to Earth in 1869, where he discovered that his resurrection was permanent. He can never die. He was recruited by and eventually ran the Cardiff branch of Torchwood. When the Doctor was leaving after he stopping to refuel on the space-time rift in Cardiff, Jack leapt at the disappearing TARDIS and rode on the outside through the time vortex to the end of human history (Utopia). Reunited with the Doctor in his tenth incarnation, he went on to help him defeat the Master before returning to Torchwood (The Sound of Drums / Last of the Time Lords).

    Tenth Doctor
    s2_05_wal_36Mickey Smith, an auto mechanic and boyfriend of Rose Tyler from 2005. Mickey wasn’t brave or heroic when he first met the Doctor (Rose). He spent the next couple of years helping out the Doctor and Rose when they would come into contact, but it wasn’t until after the events of School Reunion that he accepted the Doctor’s invitation to join the TARDIS crew (mainly to prove that he was more than just their version of the “tin dog”). Mickey stayed behind in an alternate universe where his alter-ego, Ricky, was killed and his grandmother was still alive. He took on the mantle of Ricky with the freedom fighters against the Cybermen (Rise of the Cybermen / The Age of Steel). He would reunite with the Doctor and Rose in the attack by the Cybermen that ultimately trapped Rose in the alternate dimension (Doomsday).

    Donna-Noble-doctor-who-for-whovians-28289816-360-270Donna Noble, a temp worker from London in 2007. At her wedding, she was transported aboard the TARDIS (The Runaway Bride). She helped the Doctor defeat an alien invasion, but then declined his offer to join him in his travels. In 2009, she encountered him again, and this time she was ready to join him (Partners in Crime). She stayed with the Doctor until the events of Journey’s End forced him to wipe her memory of him lest she burn up. He returned her to her mother and grandfather with strict instructions that she was not to be reminded of any of her adventures.

    tumblr_m1vi4eHk511r8aaivDr. Martha Jones, a British physician from the early 21st century. Martha was trapped inside Royal Hope Hospital in London when it was transported to the moon by aliens. While others panicked, she kept her wits, and the Doctor asked him to join his adventures (Smith and Jones). Her unrequited love for the Doctor made her decide to stay on Earth after The Last of the Time Lords. She later joined UNIT and Torchwood and helped the Doctor during a Sontaran invasion (The Sontaran Stratagem / The Poison Sky).

    tve12102-20071225-1628Astrid Peth, a native of the planet Sto who worked as a waitress aboard the starship Titanic. She helped the Doctor as the starship hurtled toward Earth thanks to its mad creator. She died saving the Doctor (Voyage of the Damned).

    jenny_doctor_whoJenny, the Doctor’s cloned “daughter” from the planet Messaline. When a tissue sample from the Doctor was forcibly taken, a fully-grown, battle-ready clone was produced. She instantly called him “dad” and is referred to as The Doctor’s Daughter. After she was shot, the Doctor left her for dead, but she regenerated in the same form after the TARDIS left, and she decided to head out into the stars on adventures.

    356216-s4_08_river_songProfessor River Song, the alias of Melody Pond, a professor of archaeology and the Doctor’s wife. The Doctor met River in tangled, mostly reverse, order. His first encounter with her was one in which he saw her die (Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead). Earlier and earlier incarnations of her met with later incarnations of the Doctor until he met her as a baby (A Good Man Goes to War / Let’s Kill Hitler).

    nextdoctor3Jackson Lake, a math teacher from 1851 London. Traumatized by the death of his wife at the hands of the Cybermen, he took on the persona of the Doctor based on electronic recordings that the Cybermen possess. He helped the Doctor fight off a Cyberman invasion, and the Doctor helped him realize who he really was and rescued his son (The Next Doctor).

    s0_06_wal_22Lady Christina de Souza, a thrill-seeking burglar from London in 2009. Escaping from the police, Christina wound up on the same bus as the Doctor, as it was taken through a wormhole to another planet filled with deadly aliens. When they returned, she begged the Doctor to take him with her, but he refused (Planet of the Dead).

    AdelaideCaptain Adelaide Brooke, Ph.D, commander of the first base on Mars in 2050. The Doctor arrived on Mars as an alien life form began taking over the crew of Bowie Base. Unlike most times, he could not interfere, as the well-known deaths of the crew of the base spurred on other astronauts, including Adelaide’s granddaughter who would pilot the first lightspeed ship. If he saved them, it would destroy a fixed point in history. Dismayed at the sight and sound of the dying crew, the Doctor chose to interfere, with grave consequences (The Waters of Mars).

    wilfredWilfred Mott, Donna Noble’s grandfather. Wilf met the Doctor on Christmas Eve 2008, when he appeared from the crashing spaceship Titanic (Voyage of the Damned). He saw the Doctor again when Donna waved at him as the TARDIS passed through the field of his telescope (Partners in Crime). Wilfred was the last person to travel with the 10th Doctor, as he helped him fight the invasion of the Time Lords (The End of Time).

    Eleventh Doctor
    karen-gillan-681294206-1792267Amelia “Amy” Pond, a girl from Leadworth. Amy’s meetings with the Doctor were convoluted. When the Doctor crash landed in her aunt’s garden in 1996, she was only 7. She invited him in and fed him and showed him the odd crack in her wall (The Eleventh Hour. He then got back in the TARDIS to do some repairs and promised to be right back. Instead, he showed up in 2008 when Amy was 19 and working as a kiss-o-gram. After they defeated an alien menace, he took his repaired TARDIS on a “quick flight to break her in” and didn’t come back until 2010. Finally, Amy took off with the Doctor…on the night before her wedding. She stayed with him (along the way becoming the wife of Rory Williams and the mother to Melody Pond) until she voluntarily had a weeping angel send her back in time to be with Rory (The Angels Take Manhattan).

    cult_doctor_who_s06_roryRory Williams, a nurse in Leadworth. Rory met the Doctor when he was trying to save the planet from an alien invasion just after regenerating into his eleventh incarnation (The Eleventh Hour). Rory was Amy’s childhood sweetheart, and they were set to be married when she ran off with the Doctor. He joined the TARDIS crew at the Doctor’s insistence (The Vampires of Venice), but he was sucked into the crack in time and erased from history after the events of Cold Blood. He returned as an Auton duplicate (The Pandorica Opens / The Big Bang and finally was forced to leave when he was sent back in time by a Weeping Angel (The Angels Take Manhattan).

    Craig_owensCraig Owens, an office worker from 2010 London. When his roommate mysteriously won the lottery, Craig put out an ad for a new one. Investigating some time-space disturbances and cut off from the TARDIS, the Doctor posed as a regular “Joe” and answered the ad (The Lodger. Later the Doctor returned to see Craig in his new home and met Craig’s baby, Alfie (who, according to the Doctor, preferred to be called Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All). They helped the Doctor defeat a Cyberman attack (Closing Time).

    kazran-sardickKazran Sardick, a rich and powerful man who controlled the skies over Sardicktown in the 44th Century. As a starliner filled with passengers, including a honeymooning Amy and Rory, was crashing toward the surface of the planet, Kazran Sardick refused to accommodate any landing. The Doctor used Sardick’s past self, the love of one of the peasants he had imprisoned, and a flying shark to melt the old man’s heart (A Christmas Carol).

    abigail-pettigrew-katherine-jenkins-62Abigail Pettigrew, a peasant girl from the 44th century. She was cryogenically frozen as collateral on a family debt. A young Kazran Sardick and the Doctor let her out every Christmas Eve until Sardick fell in love with her (A Christmas Carol).

    Canton-Everett-DelawareCanton Everett Delaware III, an FBI agent from 1969. He was a part of a security team in President Nixon’s office when the Doctor arrived in President Nixon’s office an invisible TARDIS. Delaware assisted the Doctor in his battle against the Silence, later witnessing the apparent death of the Doctor in 2011 (The Impossible Astronaut / Day of the Moon).

    Madame_VastraMadame Vastra, a Silurian warrior from Victorian London. The Doctor found Vastra after she had been awoken from suspended animation by the construction of the London Underground. He convinced her not to kill the innocent passegners and workers. Later, she set up shop as a detective, solving mysteries in the shadowy streets of the city. She answered the call when the Doctor summoned his friends to fight (A Good Man Goes to War) and continues to have adventures with him when needed.

    253_jenny_flintJenny Flint, a girl from Victorian London. Jenny is Vastra’s lover who poses as her maid, but helps her in her crime fighting. Jenny knows her way around a sword and is an acrobatic fighter. She joined Vastra when the Doctor called in A Good Man Goes to War.

    Damn_Moon..Commander Strax, a Sontaran warrior. He was forced by the Doctor to become a nurse to restore the honor of his clone batch. He was serving at the Battle of Zarathustra in 4037 when the Doctor called him (A Good Man Goes to War). After the battle, he joined Vastra and Jenny in Victorian England as a member of their detective gang.

    The-Doctor-The-Widow-and-The-Wardrobe-7Madge Arwell, a wife and mother in World War II Britain. Along with her children, Lily and Cyril, they were transported to another planet through a portal to a snowy forest world where the trees are fighting back against their harvest (The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe).

    Queen_NefertitiQueen Nefertiti, queen of Egypt from 1334 BC. She traveled with the Doctor for a time after he rescued her people from a swarm of giant alien locusts. She was present when the Doctor encountered a Silurian ark that had been hijacked by the trader, Solomon (Dinosaurs on a Spaceship. After the adventure, she stayed in Africa in the 20th century with the big game hunter, Riddell.

    Riddell_looks_leftJohn Riddell, an English big game hunter from the early 20th century. Riddell was an unlikely friend of the Doctor’s, but he joined him on the Silurian ark when he thought he might have a chance to hunt dinosaurs (Dinosaurs on a Spaceship).

    oswin-doctor-who-series-7-3Clara “Oswin” Oswald, a girl from the 21st century. Clara seemed to be just an ordinary girl, but she kept popping up in the Doctor’s history. He first met her when she was trapped in the Dalek asylum on Skaro (Asylum of the Daleks), then in Victorian England as a nanny (The Snowmen, and again in 2013 (The Bells of St. John). As it turned out, she was everywhere at once in the Doctor’s timestream (The Name of the Doctor).

    Tuesday, November 19th, 2013 at 07:44
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  • Top Eleven – Tom Baker

    Counting down the 11 4 days to the 50th anniversary, here are my top 11 stories for each Doctor, continuing with 4 (Tom Baker).

    The scarf, the wild hair, the googly eyes, and the wicked grin. This is the classic Doctor the most people think of when someone said “Doctor Who” before 2005.

    1. The Talons of Weng-ChiangThe Talons of Weng-Chiang (1)
    This pig thing is still alive. Needs an operator, of course. But the mental feedback is so intense that somehow the swinish instinct has become dominant. It hates humanity, and it revels in carnage.

    Doctor Who does Sherlock Holmes. The Doctor brings Leela to Victorian London where women are disappearing off the streets. The trail leads to a theater where a Chinese magician, Li H’sen Chang, and his strange ventriloquist dummy, Mr. Sin, are performing. The proprietor, Jago, teams up with the local mortician, Professor Lightfoot, to help the Doctor and Leela solve the kidnappings. Meanwhile, strange things are going on in the basement of the theater.

    2. Genesis of the DaleksGenesis-of-the-Daleks
    Do I have the right? Simply touch one wire against the other and that’s it. The Daleks cease to exist. Hundreds of millions of people, thousands of generations can live without fear, in peace, and never even know the word Dalek.

    The Time Lords send the Doctor back to the creation of the Daleks on the planet Skaro to try and prevent it from happening. There, he and Sarah Jane and Harry are caught in the war between the Kaleds and the Thals and the cast-off mutants of the no-man’s land. The scientist Davros, more machine than man, has created the ultimate weapon to help the Kaleds win the war–the emotionless killer mutants housed in their Mark III travel machines that he calls Daleks.

    3. City of Death20120601192527-36c9da20
    What a wonderful butler. He’s so violent!

    The Doctor and Romana are on holiday in Paris. There, they run afoul of a detective who is tracking art thieves and the thieves themselves. Millions of years earlier, an alien spacecraft exploded on take-off from Earth. The explosion not only sparked the origins of life on the planet, but also split the alien pilot across time into several splinters of himself. They have a plan to sell multiple copies of great works of art across the centuries in order to fund a device that will merge themselves back together before the explosion, thus surviving and wiping the human race from ever being born.

    4. Pyramids of Marsdwpom2
    I’m a Time Lord… I walk in Eternity.

    In a Victorian Gothic mansion, the master of the house, away in Egypt, has been replaced by a sinister Egyptian. Cloth-wrapped Mummies roam the grounds killing people. Beneath a pyramid, the last of the Osirians–Sutekh the Destroyer–waits to be freed to at long last bring his gift of death to all who live. The Doctor and Sarah Jane must stop him.

    5. The Seeds of Doomsarah_doctor_400_400x300
    That chap you called in from Unit: is he quite sane?

    A pair of alien pods is found in the Antarctic. Before the Doctor can prevent them from hatching, an insane plant lover, Harrison Chase, takes them to his green house and releases them, setting loose giant, man-eating plants.

    6. The Robots of DeathThe Robots of Death
    I never carry weapons. If people see you mean them no harm, they never hurt you – 9 times out of 10.

    The TARDIS materializes inside a giant sand-miner where the crew is apparently being murdered, either by one of their own or one of the robots on board. When the Doctor and Leela arrive, suspicion falls upon them instead.

    7. The Androids of TaraTara_part3
    Would you mind not standing on my chest, my hat’s on fire.

    The Doctor and Romana arrive at Tara for a rest during their search for a segment of the Key to Time. They find that there is unrest in the politics of the area, as android doubles and a princess who looks exactly like Romana are making things difficult for the coronation of Prince Reynart.

    8. The Ribos Operationprotectedimage
    The Doctor: …One more thing. Your name.
    Romana: What about my name?
    The Doctor: It’s too long. By the time I’ve called out, “Look out…” What’s your name?
    Romana: [slowly] Romanadvoratrelundar.
    The Doctor: By the time I’ve called that out, you could be dead. I’ll call you “Romana”.
    Romana: I don’t like “Romana”.
    The Doctor: It’s either “Romana” or “Fred”.
    Romana: All right, call me “Fred”.
    The Doctor: Good. Come on, Romana.

    Saddled with a new companion, a recent graduate from the Time Lord Academy, the Doctor is tasked by the White Guardian to find the segments of the Key to Time. His first stop is Ribos, where he and Romana and K9 become entwined in a plot by a con man to sell a planet to an unstable war lord.

    9. The Horror of Fang RockDoctorWhoHorror_of_Fang_Rock
    Gentlemen, I’ve got news for you: This lighthouse is under attack and by tomorrow morning we might all be dead. Anyone interested?

    The cursed island of Fang Rock, off the south coast of England, is a place of tales of beasts from the sea. Three lighthouse men at the turn of the century face their fears when something comes from the sea to bring death to all it touches. The Doctor and Leela arrive to investigate.

    10. The Deadly Assassinda2
    We have him now, but beware. The Doctor is never more dangerous than when the odds are against him.

    The Doctor is summoned back to Gallifrey for an emergency session of the Council of Time Lords. They are electing a new President, but in the shadows lurks his old enemy, the Master, and soon the Doctor is accused of assassinating the President-elect.

    11. The Brain of Morbiusdoctor-who-the-brain-of-morbius-1-480x316
    You really can’t go on calling yourself Morbius. There’s very little of Morbius left. Why don’t you think of another name? Potpourri would be appropriate.

    Doctor Who does Frankenstein. The Doctor and Sara Jane arrive on Karn at an ancient castle where the mad scientist Solon is trying to rebuild the evil Time Lord Morbius from spare body parts. He figures the head of the Doctor would do just nicely. Meanwhile, the Sisterhood of Karn, guardians of the Sacred Flame and the Elixir of Life, use their psychic powers to crash the ships from which Solon obtains his body parts. The Sisters, who once shared the Elixir with the Time Lords, think that the Doctor is there to steal it and sentence him to die.

    Tuesday, November 19th, 2013 at 07:00
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  • Top Eleven – Peter Davison

    Counting down the 11 5 days to the 50th anniversary, here are my top 11 stories for each Doctor, continuing with 5 (Peter Davison).

    After the huge success and lengthy run of Tom Baker, the producers of Doctor Who turned to an established star, Peter Davison. Davison was known for All Creatures Great and Small when he signed a 3-year deal to take over as the Doctor. His portrayal was almost a complete turnaround from Baker’s crazy alien quirks, and though he was the youngest to yet play the part, he portrayed the old man’s soul with great skill.

    1. The Caves of Androzanithe-caves-of-androzani
    Is this death? Feels different this time…

    The last story for the 5th Doctor is arguably his best. The Doctor and Peri land on the cave-filled planet, Androzani Minor, that serves as a base for the production of spectrox, a drug made from the bats that inhabit the caves. Spectrox is highly valued on Androzani Major, as it can extend life. But the flow of spectrox is threatened by a masked madman, Sharaz Jek, and his androids. An army sent by the ruthless head of the Sirius Conglomerate, Trau Morgus, who controls the flow of spectrox and other minerals mined on the surrounding planets, is fighting Jek’s androids, unaware that Morgus also supplies guns to Jek for profit. The Doctor and Peri are caught in the middle and eventually contract fatal poisoning from exposure to unrefined spectrox. The only cure lies deep in the caves of Androzani Minor.

    2. Earthshock140809sad_DoctorWho_Earthshock1
    Adric: Now I’ll never know if I was right.

    Adric, a young mathematical genius who has been complaining to the Doctor that he isn’t appreciated, proclaims his desire to go home to Terradon, a planet in E-Space (another universe), from which he joined the TARDIS crew in the 4th Doctor story, Full Circle. The Doctor dismisses him out-of-hand, and spends quite a bit of time being annoyed with the boy. Meanwhile, a conference of Galactic powers is planned on Earth to design battle strategies against the Cybermen. The Cybermen plan to explode an anti-matter bomb that will destroy the conference, then attack any survivors with an army hidden on an intergalactic freighter. The Doctor, Adric, Tegan and Nyssa arrive to help thwart the Cybermen, but it is Adric who makes the ultimate sacrifice.

    3. Resurrection of the DaleksDoctor_Who__Resurrection_of_the_Daleks
    Davros: I have waited a long time for this. Once the Doctor is exterminated, I shall build a new race of Daleks. They will be even more deadly and I, Davros, shall be their leader! This time we shall triumph. My Daleks shall once more become the supreme beings!

    The Doctor, Tegan and Turlough are being dragged down a time corridor and forced to land on 20th century Earth. The corridor runs between an abandoned warehouse in London and a prison ship that holds the shunned Dalek creator, Davros, in suspended animation. The Daleks are trying to break Davros out so that he can find a cure for a virus developed by their enemies, the Movellans. Instead, Davros has a plan to kill off the Daleks that spurned him and create a new race of Daleks under his control (and a side plan to clone the Doctor and have the clone infiltrate and assassinate the High Council of Time Lords).

    4. The Five Doctorsdoctor-who-the-five-doctors-25th-anniversary-edition-20081009005104195-000
    A man is the sum of his memories. A Time Lord even more so.

    The 20th anniversary of the show brought together three of the original five actors, plus a stand-in for the late William Hartnell. Tom Baker, who had just left the role, decided not to participate, so previously unused footage of him and Romana was used to explain their absence. Meanwhile, the rest of the Doctors and several companions, including Tegan, Turlough, Sarah Jane, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, and Susan, are swooped up by a mysterious cone of energy and placed at different points in the Death Zone on Gallifrey and pitted against various enemies, including a Dalek, Cybermen, Yeti, and a Raston Warrior Robot. The Master is summoned by the Council of Time Lords to enter the Death Zone and help the Doctor, as whoever is behind this is also draining the Eye of Harmony, threatening all of Gallifrey. With the help of the Master, the Doctors reach the Dark Tower at the center of the Death Zone and find the Tomb of Rassilon, wherein supposedly lies the secret of eternal life.

    5. CastrovalvaCastrovalva 1
    That’s the trouble with regeneration: you never quite know what you’re going to get.

    Carrying on from the previous story in which a fall from the top of the radio antenna of the Pharos Project critically injured the Doctor to the point of regeneration, arriving authorities put the unconscious Doctor in an ambulance and intend on taking him and his companions into custody. Adric distracts them with a story about being aliens arrived to answer the project’s call, and Nyssa and Tegan steal the ambulance and take the Doctor back to the TARDIS. Once inside, the Doctor heads straight into the corridors looking for the Zero Room–a space completely cut off from the rest of the universe that will give him a chance to stabilize his erratic regeneration. The Master appears and stuns all the guards and Adric. Nyssa and Tegan rush to help Adric, who comes to life long enough to set some coordinates on the TARDIS console and also head for the Zero Room. As it turns out, this Adric is a computational simulation and the real one is held hostage by the Master. The TARDIS has been set on a course toward the Big Bang, and only a last minute attempt by Tegan seems to change their course to the idyllic planet, Castrovalva.

    6. Enlightenmentdr-who-enlightenment
    These creatures have vast powers, that’s why none of them must win. To achieve further power would be a disaster.

    Sailing ships from different eras in Earth’s history are found racing around the solar system. The TARDIS materializes in the hold of an Edwardian naval vessel whose crew has no idea how they arrived. Meanwhile, the Doctor’s companion, Turlough, has been secretly working for the Black Guardian in exchange for his freedom as a political exile from his home planet, Trion. The Guardians of Time (which included the Black and White Guardians) set up the race for a group of Eternals, powerful beings that exist outside of Time, with the prize being Enlightenment–which would grant them their hearts desire. The Eternals created the ships and kidnapped the crews to run them.

    7. Mawdryn UndeadDoctor_Who__Mawdryn_Undead
    Black Guardian: We haven’t much longer. I need to know that I have your assent to our arrangement. You will find me the most accommodating of partners.
    Vislor Turlough: But, Murder. I’m not sure I could go that far.
    Black Guardian: You will be destroying one of the most evil creatures in the universe. He calls himself “The Doctor.”

    In 1983, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart is retired from UNIT and teaches mathematics at Brendon Public School. A mischievous student, Turlough, convinces his classmate to steal the Brigadier’s antique car for a joyride, and they veer off the road and crash. While unconscious, Turlough is contacted by the Black Guardian. The Black Guardian knows Turlough is actually a political prisoner from another planet. He offers Turlough transportation off Earth if he will kill the Doctor. Meanwhile, the Doctor, Tegan and Nyssa are caught in a warp ellipse on a starliner. Turlough uses a transmat from the Black Guardian to appear on the starliner, and he escapes with the Doctor. Tegan and Nyssa are sent to 1977 where they meet an earlier version of the Brigadier, and an alien scientist called Mawdryn who pretends to be a failed regeneration of the Doctor. In reality, he has been conducting experiments to try and discover the secret of Time Lord regeneration, creating mutated monsters instead.

    8. Kindadoctor-who-kinda-20110426111055515-000
    An apple a day keeps the… Ah, never mind.

    The TARDIS visits the jungle planet Deva Loka. While Nyssa remains behind in the ship to recover from a mild mental disorientation, the Doctor, Tegan and Adric explore. Tegan falls asleep under some wind chimes and becomes possessed by an evil force, a Mara, a being that dwells in the dark places of dreams. It manifests itself here as a huge snake.

    9. Frontios2011-11-13-doctorwho-davison
    I’m not helping you, officially. And if anyone happens to ask whether I made any material difference to the welfare of this planet, you can tell them I came and went like a summer cloud.

    Frontios is one of the last human outposts in the far future. But since it is a colony that is just starting out, it is forbidden for a Time Lord to meddle in its affairs. But a violent meteor storm appears to destroy the TARDIS, and when it is discovered that a tachnologically advanced race of insectoid aliens is living beneath the surface, the Doctor attempts the get them to repair his lost ship.

    10. The Visitationdvd-doctorwho-visitation-500
    I’ve never been able to reconcile the Terileptil’s love of art and beauty with their love of war.

    The Doctor tries to take Tegan back to Heathrow Airport, but they arrive 300 years early. They find that three alien Terileptil fugitives have crash landed and are planning on wiping out all life on earth with a modified version of the Black Plague.

    11. Black Orchidvlcsnap-2011-04-26-14h14m02s135
    Why do I always let my curiosity get the better of me?

    The TARDIS lands in rural England in 1925 where the Doctor is mistaken for an aristocrat and thrown into a game of cricket. Later, he and his companions are invited to a fancy dress ball at the Cranleigh Estate where stranger murders begin to occur.

    Monday, November 18th, 2013 at 07:00
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  • Top Eleven – Colin Baker

    Counting down the 11 6 days to the 50th anniversary, here are my top 11 stories for each Doctor, continuing with 6 (Colin Baker).

    Colin Baker’s Doctor gets a bad rap as “the one with the clown suit,” but the sinking quality of the stories wasn’t for lack of effort on his part. In fact, there are a good number of 6th Doctor stories that are just fine (or would have been if they’d been given the proper time and money).

    1. The Two Doctors08 The Two Doctors
    When you travel around as much as I do, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll run into yourself at some point.

    The 2nd Doctor visits a famous scientist in order to get him to stop his time travel experiments. Just after his arrival, one of the scientist’s other experiments, the genetically modified Chessene, a member of the bestial Androgum race, helps the Sontarans invade the space station. Someplace else in time, the 6th Doctor feels the pain of his earlier incarnation’s torture and imminent death. He coincidentally decides to visit the same scientist to seek answers and finds the destroyed station. The 6th Doctor and Peri track the 2nd Doctor and Jamie to a Spanish hacienda where Chessene and the Sontarans plan on obtaining the ability of time travel.

    2. Vengeance on Varos627
    Etta: [watching the Doctor on TV] I like that one, the one in the funny clothes.

    The Doctor arrives on Varos in search of a rare mineral to repair the TARDIS. He and Peri discover that political prisoners are executed on live TV as viewers vote on the outcome. Naturally, as soon as the Doctor and Peri land, they are taken as political prisoners. The colony is ruled by a Governor who lives in fear of his own execution, as each referendum he loses results in him being tortured slowly to death. Meanwhile, Sil, a representative of the Galatron Mining Corporation (and a particularly nasty creature) is negotiating the price of the mineral the colony produces. Along with the Chief Officer, he has been swindling the colony for years.

    3. Attack of the CybermenAttack_of_the_Cybermen
    The TARDIS, when working properly, is capable of many amazing things. Not unlike myself.

    While trying to fix the TARDIS’s chameleon circuit, the Doctor returns to Foreman’s Yard on Totter’s Lane in 1985, where he meets the Cybermen. They have come from the future to change history by sending Halley’s Comet crashing into Earth. Lytton, a mercenary working for the Daleks last seen in the 5th Doctor story Resurrection of the Daleks, is involved in the Cybermen’s plot.

    4. Revelation of the DaleksRevelationOfTheDaleks
    Jobel: You know, if the statue HAD been made of stone; I doubt if it had killed YOU.
    The Doctor: Really?
    Jobel: No. It would take a mountain to crush an ego like yours.

    The Doctor and Peri land on a planet with a facility that serves to cryogenically freeze wealthy patrons at the moment of death. What they find is that the facility is being run by Davros, who has set himself up as a savior of the galaxy due to finding a way to relieve food shortages. Guess where the food comes from?

    5. Mindwarpmindwarp_peri_bald
    Sil: [watching Peri chained to the beech as the tide comes in] Just like in the old days. There’s nothing more enjoyable than watching people suffer.

    This was the 2nd serial in the Trial of a Time Lord arc that ran through the entire 23rd season in 1986. The Valeyard is prosecuting the Doctor for violating the First Law of Time and interfering with other races (a charge that he has already faced as the 2nd Doctor, after which he was forced to change into the 3rd and banished to Earth). In this part, he is accused of interfering on the planet Thoros Beta, where dangerous experiments are being conducted, and his meddling winds up getting Peri killed.

    6. Terror of the Vervoids68080-doctor-who-original-terror-of-the-vervoids-3-episode-screencap-23x11
    I am being manipulated, but the only way to discover why and by whom is to press on.

    The 3rd serial in the Trial of a Time Lord, the Doctor attempts to show evidence of his good work by presenting a future adventure where he and Mel attempt to prevent a murder on the starliner, Hyperion III.

    7. The Mark of the Ranithe-rani
    The Rani IS a genius. Shame I can’t stand her. Wonder if I was particularly nice to her if she might… Nope!

    The Doctor has to outwit not one but two competing Time Lords. Both the Master and the Rani are scheming in a 19th Century English village, turning miners into murderous thugs.

    8. The Ultimate Foedocwho.valeyard
    In all my travelings throughout the universe, I have battled against evil, against power-mad conspirators. I should have stayed HERE! The oldest civilization: decadent, degenerate and rotten to the core! Ha! Power-mad conspirators, Daleks, Sontarans, Cybermen – they’re still in the nursery compared to us! Ten million years of absolute power – that’s what it takes to be really corrupt!

    In the final installment of the Trial of a Time Lord, the Doctor discovers (thanks to the sudden appearance of the Master) that the Matrix–the memory bank of the Time Lords in which all of the previous events have been displayed–has been tampered with by the Valeyard. The Doctor goes into the Matrix to discover the truth, which is part of the Master’s plan to get both the Doctor and the Valeyard trapped in the Matrix.

    9. The Mysterious Planettrial_7978
    Planets come and go. Stars perish. Matter disperses, coalesces, reforms into other patterns, other worlds. Nothing can be eternal.

    The first part of the Trial of a Time Lord introduces the trial, the Valeyard, and the Inquisitor. The first bit of evidence for the Doctor’s meddling comes in the form of a trip to Ravolox, where Peri and the Doctor wind up in the conflict between a warrior tribe, a pair of intergalactic con-men, and a god-like robot.

    10. Timelashtimelash 5
    The stories I’ve heard about you. The great Doctor, all knowing and all powerful. You’re about as powerful as a burnt out android.

    The 3rd Doctor first visited the planet Karfel with Jo Grant and Mike Yates about 20,000 years in the future, at the height of its civilization. During this visit, a local artist painted a mural of the 3rd Doctor in the Citadel. Jo gave a locket containing a photo of herself to the father of a Karfelon named Katz. The Doctor reported to the local authorities the “unethical” experiments of a scientist named Megelen on a local life form called Morloxes. The 6th Doctor’s TARDIS became trapped by a kontron tunnel and landed on Karfel once again. By this time, Megelen, as the Borad, now ruled the planet as a dictator with the aid of androids. The Borad created the kontron tunnel, which he called the Timelash, and used it as a means to exile his enemies. With Peri and a young H. G. Wells, the Doctor attempts to free Karfel of the Borad and avert a war with the Bandrils.

    11. The Twin Dilemmatumblr_lp7lmkEB721qebtweo1_500
    Well, look at me. I’m old, lacking in vigor, my mind’s in a turmoil. I no longer know if I’m coming, or have gone, or even been. I’m falling to pieces. I no longer even have any clothes sense.

    The first story of Colin Baker’s run as the Doctor, and it’s a stinker. This is consistently held up as one of the worst (if not the worst) Doctor Who episodes ever. A newly regenerated Doctor and Peri become involved and help the planet Jaconda’s elderly former ruler Professor Edgeworth, who is really a Time Lord named Azmael, to defeat Mestor, the leader of a race of gastropods that have taken over the planet. Mestor has kidnapped a pair of twin geniuses from Earth to help work out the mathematical equations to be able to spread his peopls’s eggs throughout the galaxy. The Doctor and Peri attempt to stop Mestor and free the planet’s bird-like indigenous people from the gastropods.

    Sunday, November 17th, 2013 at 07:00
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  • Top Eleven – Sylvester McCoy

    Counting down the 11 7 days to the 50th anniversary, here are my top 11 stories for each Doctor, continuing with 7 (Sylvester McCoy).

    McCoy was the last actor to play the Doctor in the original run of the series. He reappeared in 1996 at the beginning of the TV movie long enough to be killed and regenerate into Paul McGann. His Doctor started out as a clown, but in the final two seasons began to display his darker, more manipulative side.

    1. Remembrance of the Daleksdoctor-who-remembrance-of-the-daleks-ace-and-dalek
    You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies.

    A pair of warring Dalek factions, both trying to get their hands on a powerful Time Lord device–the Hand of Omega. This one showcases how spunky the Doctor’s companion, Ace, can be as she takes a baseball bat to the dome of a Dalek (it’s been charged with energy from the Hand of Omega, but still). This is the first episode of the 7th Doctor’s run where he begins to show his scheming side and hints that he has more than a little to hide in his Gallifreyan past.

    2. The Curse of Fenriccurseoffenric-vampiregirls_jpg_300x1000_q85
    Ah… the sound of dying. When it comes to death. Quantity is so much more satisfying than quality.

    An ancient evil, given the name ‘Fenric’ by Vikings, was defeated and imprisoned by the Doctor in the 3rd Century. His prison was a flask buried beneath a church on the English shore, which is now part of a naval base in World War II, where a scientist is working on the Ultima Machine, an early computer designed to break German codes…but is used to translate long-forgotten runes that lead to the release of Fenric. Vampires, mutants from the future, Soviet troops, and a scheme by the Doctor to have Ace fulfill her own timeline by saving a baby–which, unknown to her, is the mother that she hates. This one is almost too full of plot goodies.

    3. Survival250px-Acekarra
    There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea is asleep and the rivers dream; people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there’s danger, somewhere there’s injustice, and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on, Ace, we’ve got work to do.

    This was the last regular episode of the series before its return in 2005. The Master has been stranded on a planet inhabited by hunters called the Cheetah People. They use cats to lure prey into a dimensional trap that brings them to their planet. When the portal starts being used on Earth, the Master hopes to capture the Doctor and use him to help go back the other way.

    4. The Greatest Show in the GalaxyAceWithClowns
    Scared to come to the Psychic Circus?

    A strange circus in the middle of nowhere filled with robot clowns and led by the sinister “chief clown” is visited by the Doctor, Ace, and an assortment of strange travelers. Unfortunately for the circus patrons, it is a deadly trap where the Gods of Ragnarok destroy those who fail to entertain them.

    5. Ghost Lightdoctor who a day holsman ghost light 2
    I can’t stand burnt toast. I loathe bus stations – terrible places, full of lost luggage and lost souls. And then there’s unrequited love, and tyranny, and cruelty.

    The Doctor brings Ace to 1883 and a house that she burned down in 1983. Turns out that thousands of years ago, an alien spaceship came to catalog all life on Earth, but one of the crew decides to imprison the others, murder Queen Victoria, and rule the world.

    6. Paradise Towers03
    Hail Pex. Hail the unalive who gave his life for the Towers. In life he was not a Kang, but in death he was brave and bold as a Kang should be.

    The residents of Paradise Towers are being terrorized by unexplained disappearances. Meanwhile, the Caretakers hunt wild teenage girls who have formed gangs called the Kangs (Red, Yellow, and Blue). A mysterious creature is lurking in the basement. The Doctor and Mel arrive and try to sort it all out.

    7. The Happiness Patrolthe-happiness-patrol-2
    This is a public happiness announcement. A depression is moving towards Forum Square. The proper authorities will restore harmony and peace.

    On the planet Terra Alpha, sadness is against the law. And it’s the job of the Happiness Patrol to enforce the law. The penalty for those found guilty of unhappiness is death in a stream of molten candy prepared the robotic Kandy Man and his associate, Gilbert M. The Doctor and Mel help form a rebellion against the planet’s rulers and destroy the Kandy Man. Not really as silly as it sounds, but still pretty silly.

    8. BattlefieldDoctor_Who__Battlefield
    Don’t worry, Brigadier. People will be shooting at you soon.

    Knights from another dimension come to an English village in search of a spaceship containing the body of King Arthur and the sword Excalibur. They are followed by Mordred and Morgaine who want to claim the sword for themselves and intend on using the nuclear missile that is being transported by a UNIT convoy. Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart comes out of retirement to help. Meanwhile, the aliens all recognize the Doctor as Merlin.

    9. Dragonfiredrwho_dragonfire
    It’s just… I don’t feel properly dressed without a couple of cans of nitro.

    On the planet Svartos, Iceworld is a trading colony. There, the Doctor and Mel unexpectedly encounter an old friend, Sabalom Glitz. Joined by Ace, a teenage waitress with a love for explosives, the group ventures off to find the fabled Dragonfire treasure. It turns out that Iceworld is really a spaceship under control of a frozen creature named Kane. This is where Ace hops on for her continuing adventures in the TARDIS and Mel leaves with Glitz.

    10. Delta and the BannermenDoctor_Who__Delta_and_the_Bannermen
    Now are you telling me that you are not the Happy Hearts Holiday Club from Bolton, but instead are spacemen in fear of an attack from some other spacemen?

    The last surviving Chimeron is being chased by the murderous Bannermen. They wind up hitting 1950’s Earth just as the Doctor and Mel arrive for a holiday. Meanwhile, a pair of CIA agents are trying to locate a lost satellite.

    11. Silver Nemesissilver
    Hello. I’m the Doctor. I believe you want to kill me.

    Cybermen. A killer asteroid. The 25th anniversary. You would think this might add up to a smashing good episode. Unfortunately, it can’t decide if it’s slapstick comedy or the end of the world. This is the kind of crap that the show descended into before rising from the muck in time for cancellation. (Yes, it’s the best 11. Doesn’t necessarily mean all 11 are good.)

    Saturday, November 16th, 2013 at 07:00
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  • Top Eleven – Paul McGann

    Counting down the 11 8 days to the 50th anniversary, here are my top 11 stories for each Doctor, continuing with 8 (Paul McGann).

    He only had one turn at the Doctor on TV, but Paul McGann went on to star in dozens of audio adventures in the Big Finish series.

    Doctor Who: The Moviedoctor-who-96-tv-movie-8thdoctor
    The universe hangs by such a delicate thread of coincidences that it would be useless to meddle with it, unless like me you’re a Time Lord.

    It wasn’t the greatest thing ever, but in 1996, after being without the Doctor on television for almost seven years, we got another glimpse at our hero. Personally, I find it great campy fun, and Paul McGann makes a great Doctor. It was hoped that this would turn into a pilot for a Fox TV series, but the ratings didn’t justify it. So, back to sleep it went for another nine years.

    Special bonus: The Night of the Doctor

    Friday, November 15th, 2013 at 08:13
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  • Top Eleven – Christopher Eccleston

    Counting down the 11 9 days to the 50th anniversary, here are my top 11 stories for each Doctor, continuing with 9 (Christopher Eccleston).

    Eccleston didn’t stick around long enough to have 11 stories (if you count multi-part episodes as one). So, we’ll just go with a ranking of what we have.

    1. The Empty Child / The Doctor Dancesmummy
    Are you my mummy?

    It’s World War II and a mysterious alien disease threatens to turn everyone into the zombie likeness of a small boy wearing a gas mask and searching for his mother. This is the introduction of Steven Moffat’s writing to Doctor Who, and it’s fantastic. Not only does it have a creepy “monster” but it introduces Captain Jack (John Barrowman) to the world of Doctor Who. It also has great performances by Florence Hoath as Nancy and a pre-Merlin Richard Wilson as Dr. Constantine.

    2. Dalekd-doctor-dalek-eye-496
    Your race is dead! You all burned, all of you. Ten million ships on fire. The entire Dalek race, wiped out in one second. I watched it happen. I *made* it happen!

    They had just brought Doctor Who back to television after an interminable absence, and while I liked the new show, I still wasn’t positive that they were really going to carry on from the original series. Yes, Rose featured the classic villain that started the 3rd Doctor’s era (the plastic-controlling Nestene Consciousness and its mannequin minions), and a lot of the trappings of the Doctor (the TARDIS, sonic screwdriver, etc.) were still there, but this wasn’t the same Doctor. He was often in a bad mood and his appearance–leather jacket and short hair–was a far cry from the wild outfits of the past. He seemed depressed. Well, from seeing his first realization that the creature locked up in Van Statten’s dungeon is a Dalek, we know why. The extent of the Time War comes into focus, and Eccleston fully inhabits the character of the Doctor–at least for me.

    3. Bad Wolf / The Parting of the Waysdw_bad-wolf_rose-as-bw
    Time Lords have this little trick, it’s sort of a way of cheating death, except, it means I’m gonna change. And I’m not gonna see you again, not like this, not with this daft old face.

    This two-parter starts out as a silly romp through TV show spoofs (Big Brother, The Weakest Link, What Not To Wear) and winds up with the shocking departure of two of the three lead actors. I didn’t follow all the rumors and news surrounding the show then the way I do now, so it came as a total shock to me when Christopher Eccleston started regenerating. Add in a fleet of Daleks and Captain Jack turning to dust, then that guy from Harry Potter showing up as the Doctor, and this was a pretty exciting finale.

    4. The Unquiet DeadDoctor_Who__The_Unquiet_Dead
    But its like – think about it though. Christmas. 1860. Happens once – just once – and then its gone, its finished. It’ll never happen again. Except for you. You can go back and see days that are dead and gone a hundred thousand sun sets ago. No wonder you never stay still.

    This is a nice little ghost story with some Christmas-y elements that features a fine performance by Simon Callow as Charles Dickens. The alien Gelth are refugees from the Time War, and they think it will be just nifty to put their gaseous forms into dead human bodies. The Doctor isn’t even all that opposed to it (as icky as it sounds to Rose), but then the Gelth get greedy.

    5. Rosedoctor_who_screencap_1
    Nice to meet you, Rose, – run for your life!

    Here we go. It’s 15 years, 3 months, and 20 days since Doctor Who was on regular TV. But wait a minute…this guy look like he’s just come off a WW2 U-boat. Are we sure it’s the same show? Well, it is and it isn’t. For one thing, it’s got an actual budget. No more running through quarries or up and down the same corridor. No more wobbly walls. No more terrible effects and bad makeup. And the companion…she’s swinging from ropes and saving the Doctor instead of standing around screaming in terror. But, really, there’s the good old Autons as villain #1. There’s the TARDIS and the sonic screwdriver and a brief nod to regeneration. And the first word out of his mouth is “Run!” It’s perfect.

    6. Father’s Dayep1x08
    I should have known. It’s not about showing you the universe. It never is. It’s about the universe doing something for you.

    Rose can’t resist the chance to save her father’s life, despite the damage to her personal timeline that it will bring. Not only does it set off a paradox, but a set of ugly creatures swoops in to try and handle it…by destroying everything in their path.

    7. The Long Gamesnapshot200505072000051lo
    The thing is, Adam, time travel is like visiting Paris. You can’t just read the guide book. You’ve got to throw yourself in, eat the food, use the wrong verbs, get charged double and end up kissing complete strangers – or is that just me? Stop asking questions. Go and do it!

    This episode reminds me of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, with the Doctor as Willy Wonka, Rose as Charlie, and Adam representing all the bad kids who didn’t do as they were told while in the candy factory. First, Adam doesn’t appreciate the universe he’s being shown, and then he tries to take personal gain from the technology he’s seen. So, Adam gets dumped and the good little child, Rose, gets to inherit the factory. Meanwhile, there’s a mind-controlling alien and Simon Pegg as its mouthpiece.

    8. Aliens of London / World War ThreeAliens-of-London
    Excuse me, do you mind not farting while I’m saving the world?

    The Slitheen. No, farting aliens who unzip themselves from human skins isn’t exactly something that showcases how the show has matured, but the episodes aren’t really as bad as this particular bad joke makes it sound. At the very least, it introduces us to Harriet Jones, future Prime Minister, played marvelously by Penelope Wilton.

    9. Boom Townboomtown-dinner
    You’ve been in that skin suit too long. You’ve forgotten. There used to be a real Margaret Blaine. You killed her and stripped her and used the skin. You’re pleading for mercy out of a dead woman’s lips.

    Really, I don’t think there was any big clamor to bring back the Slitheen, but this one gives us a chance to see how the Doctor deals with “bad guys” after the events of the Time War. He’s not very forgiving. But, of course, his companions and the TARDIS have other plans.

    Thursday, November 14th, 2013 at 08:17
  • Top Eleven – David Tennant

    Counting down the 11 10 days to the 50th anniversary, here are my top 11 stories for each Doctor, continuing with 10 (David Tennant).

    1. The Girl in the Fireplacereinette
    I’m The Doctor. And I just snogged Madame de Pompadour!
    This one has just about everything present in modern Who–a little time travel, plenty of romance, the Doctor as clown and hero, crushing sadness, a dash of scifi, and even the hint of Doctor Who backstory (“Such a lonely little boy. Lonely then and lonelier now! How can you bear it?”). Sophia Myles crushes it as the older Reinette Poisson (Madame de Pompadour), and the connection between the Doctor and her feels more real in the 40 minutes of this story than any of the future ones where he seems to be in love with Rose.

    2. Human Nature / Family of Bloodfamily
    I’ve seen him. He’s like fire and ice and rage. He’s like the night, and the storm in the heart of the sun. He’s ancient and forever… He burns at the center of time and he can see the turn of the universe.

    In this one the Doctor isn’t even the Doctor for most of the story. Instead, he’s hiding in the guise of John Smith, a school teacher in rural England in the early 20th century. But it’s not just play-acting. He’s buried his true persona, his memories, and even changed his physical attributes to become human…and then he’s forced to choose between an idyllic life with a family and kids or the wandering Time Lord. It reminds me very much of ending of “The Last Temptation of Christ.” And David Tennant plays the two characters of John Smith and the Doctor with such light deft that you can see both men as different creatures without condescending to the audience by beating them over the head with it.

    3. Silence in the Library / Forest of the DeadDOCTORWHOx409x2538
    Hey! Who turned out the lights!

    Steven Moffat’s plans for threading the character of River Song (Alex Kingston) throughout the 11th Doctor’s reign may or may not have been pre-planned from here, but he sure picked up the ball and ran with it. Like River or not (and I do), this is where her backwards journey begins. But it’s not just the River Song show. The best companion in the new series (and one of the best ever), Donna Noble (Catherine Tate), gets a huge and sad tale to go right along with the Doctor’s own. Throw in a really scary monster–the invisible, flesh-eating Vashta Nerada–and this is one great two-parter.

    4. Blink
    Blink_(Doctor_Who)Don’t blink. Don’t even blink. Blink and you’re dead. They are fast. Faster than you can believe. Don’t turn your back, don’t look away, and DON’T blink.
    This one doesn’t even feature the Doctor all that much. It’s really brought to life by Carey Mulligan before she went on to become Oscar-nominated Cary Mulligan (for “An Education”). The weeping angels are handled so well in this one, and I remember watching it in the dark and nearly jumping out of my skin. They’ll probably never have the same impact, sadly, despite being mentioned again and again as one of New Who’s best villains.

    5. MidnightTen_utter_terror
    Ahh, taking a big space truck with a bunch of strangers across a diamond planet called Midnight? What could possibly go wrong?

    Basically, just David Tennant as the Doctor and a handful of extras with a completely unseen monster–just banging on the metal walls of the cylinder in which they’re riding. This one is intense, and the scenes where the Doctor is trying to convince the murderous mob first not to throw a suspect passenger out to her death, then not to throw him out, and the face-to-face conversation with the entity that has possessed said passenger are riveting. It also features the 2nd Doctor’s son, David Troughton, and a pre-Merlin Colin Morgan.

    6. The Waters of Marsp00j5gkh
    There are laws of time. Once upon a time there were people in charge of those laws but they died. They all died. Do you know who that leaves? *Me!* It’s taken me all these years to realize that the laws of time are *mine* and they will obey me!

    During the year leading up to the end of David Tennant’s run, we were left with a small number of specials instead of an actual season. Most of them were “ok”–enjoyable, but nothing special–but this one shook the Doctor’s own faith in his abilities, as he goes against the rules (because they seem stupid and cruel) only to find there are limits to his powers. It also leads straight into his final two-part story, The End of Time.

    7. Turn LeftDonna_and_the_Time_Beetle
    Sometimes I think there’s way too much coincidence around you, Donna. I met you once, then I met your grandfather, then I met you again. In the whole wide universe, I met you for a second time. Like something’s binding us together.

    In her own little “It’s a Wonderful Life,” Donna is shown what would have happened had she made the wrong turn on the fateful day she met the Doctor. It ain’t pretty. It turns out that an attack by the unseen Trickster’s Brigade (a Sarah Jane Adventures villain) affects a parallel universe where everything is just anti-good.

    8. The Impossible Planet / The Satan Pitthe-satan-pit
    We are the legion of the beast. The legion shall be many; and the legion shall be free. He has woven himself in the fabric of your life since the dawn of time.

    As with many monsters, this one is scarier in the first part when you don’t see him, but there are plenty of creepy bits to this two-parter, including the unsettling look (and initial introduction) of the Ood, the mysterious writing that even the TARDIS can’t translate, and a deep-voiced spirit that possesses a hapless crew member. This is a “base under siege” episode with the base simultaneously threatened with attack from an unseen evil entity and being sucked into a black hole. The tension is ratcheted up to…eleven.

    9. School ReunionDoctor-Who-fina
    The Doctor likes traveling with an entourage. Sometimes they’re human, sometimes they’re aliens and sometimes they’re tin dogs.

    Companions from the past, Sarah Jane Smith and the Doctor’s robot dog, K9, return as a link to the stories of the 70’s and 80’s. Sarah Jane was one of the longest running companions, starting with the 3rd Doctor (Jon Pertwee) and getting dropped off miles from her home when the 4th Doctor (Tom Baker) gets a summons to return to Gallifrey at the end of The Hand of Fear. This story reunites her with the Doctor, but she gets to see him hundreds of years older, several regenerations later, and with a new, young companion. Anthony Head (Giles of Buffy fame) gets a chance to camp it up as an alien baddie, too.

    10. Army of Ghosts / Doomsdaydoctor-who-four-to-doomsday7
    Cyber Leader: Daleks, be warned. You have declared war upon the Cybermen.
    Dalek Sec: This is not war – this is pest control!
    Cyber Leader: We have five million Cybermen. How many are you?
    Dalek Sec: Four.
    Cyber Leader: You would destroy the Cybermen with four Daleks?
    Dalek Sec: We would destroy the Cybermen with one Dalek! You superior in only one respect.
    Cyber Leader: What is that?
    Dalek Sec: You are better at dying.

    The heart-wrenching end of Rose as a regular companion brought two big surprises–the return of Mickey and the appearance of the Daleks in what was a Cyberman story. A dream match up between two of the Doctor’s oldest foes really serves to highlight the also-ran status of the modern Cybermen, but it’s fun to watch, if only for the above exchange. Meanwhile, Torchwood is introduced as a sorta well-meaning but inept organization designed by Queen Victoria after an earlier meeting with the Doctor (see Tooth and Claw) scares her into finding ways to prevent him and other aliens from invading England. Oh, yeah, did I mention it was the end of Rose, too?

    11. The Christmas Invasion05DrWhoXmasList1
    See, that’s the thing, I’m the Doctor, but beyond that, I… I just don’t know. I literally do not know who I am. It’s all untested.

    This is the first David Tennant episode, and like the first one for any Doctor, it’s met with a bit of hesitation. “Am I going to like this Doctor? What if the actor is all wrong? I really liked the last guy.” And for most of the episode, he’s stuck in a coma! It turns out this is as planned, as the tension of an alien invasion that threatens to kill a bunch of hypnotized humans builds up to a fantastic reveal for the 10th Doctor. He comes out with a bit of the swagger and sword play of the 3rd Doctor and the quirky alien humor of the 4th. This episode started the great tradition of Christmas episodes and planted seeds for future events (the severed hand, controlled regeneration energy, Harriet Jones, Torchwood, etc.).

    Wednesday, November 13th, 2013 at 07:00
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