The new series of Doctor Who starts this Saturday on the BBC.


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Am i the only one who is nervous with the latest revelations in the last episode that there is a strong possibilty that there will be an effort to rewrite/remove/stop the time war from ever happening?

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No, wicked cool, I don't think you are.

Honestly, I never liked the Time War concept, especially since it unravelled from the start (all the Daleks are dead, except they're not. All the Time Lords are dead, except they're not).

But I think if it was going to happen, they should stick to their freaking guns (where they haven't already failed to, as above) and let it be what it is.

Frankly I wish the whole story would just move away from all the murky Time Lord history and timey wimey crap so we can just enjoy the Doctor defeating monsters in different and cool and unusual places without all the useless baggage. You can have character development without history having to be rewritten every time.

Grand Lodge

I did not know that Mary Tamm also died of Cancer at 62 in 2012. So we lost Sarah Jane in 2011 and 1st Romana in 2012. Very sad! They were two of my all time favorite companions.

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Mazra wrote:
I did not know that Mary Tamm also died of Cancer at 62 in 2012. So we lost Sarah Jane in 2011 and 1st Romana in 2012. Very sad! They were two of my all time favorite companions.

Yeah, many of the 3rd/4th Doctors' companions are gone now. Ian Marter died in 1986. At least Louise Jameson is still around (and recording audio for DW).


Jeff Erwin wrote:
Mazra wrote:
I did not know that Mary Tamm also died of Cancer at 62 in 2012. So we lost Sarah Jane in 2011 and 1st Romana in 2012. Very sad! They were two of my all time favorite companions.
Yeah, many of the 3rd/4th Doctors' companions are gone now. Ian Marter died in 1986. At least Louise Jameson is still around (and recording audio for DW).

Caroline John, who played Liz Shaw, died last year, too. And Nicholas Courtney (the Brigadier) died just a short time before Elisabeth Sladen. :(


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Lord Snow wrote:
Ah, alright, the Romana regeneration thing makes more sense now. I always wondered about that, given that regeneration is a death to a certain aspect of a time lord, so it seemed wierd so many Romanas in a row were willing to die because thier look wasn't all that amazing.

It also makes the Doctor not seem like such a jerk. Seriously, if your traveling companion was a fellow Time Lord who was using up a regeneration every time she changed her appearance, would you express disapproval of her current appearance and suggest that she change to something else? But if she has a limited amount of time to try out different appearances before settling on one, then you would definitely try to help her pick a look that both of you could live with for the next several years.

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Navior wrote:
Jeff Erwin wrote:
Mazra wrote:
I did not know that Mary Tamm also died of Cancer at 62 in 2012. So we lost Sarah Jane in 2011 and 1st Romana in 2012. Very sad! They were two of my all time favorite companions.
Yeah, many of the 3rd/4th Doctors' companions are gone now. Ian Marter died in 1986. At least Louise Jameson is still around (and recording audio for DW).
Caroline John, who played Liz Shaw, died last year, too. And Nicholas Courtney (the Brigadier) died just a short time before Elisabeth Sladen. :(

It's been a sad couple years. Fortunately there are still many Doctor Who alumns still with us, many of whom are also still active in Doctor Who (recording Big Finish and such).

I so very much hope the former companions--and Doctors!--are not ignored for the 50th Anniversary, it would be so sad and so insulting, and Moffat would deserve a punch in the nose for it. I don't need to see them in the anniversary STORY--I can see how it would be a nightmare to try and write them all in and have a coherent story--but they need to be brought together and acknowledged and THANKED somehow, in a documentary or something.

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DeathQuaker wrote:
I so very much hope the former companions--and Doctors!--are not ignored for the 50th Anniversary, it would be so sad and so insulting, and Moffat would deserve a punch in the nose for it. I don't need to see them in the anniversary STORY--I can see how it would be a nightmare to try and write them all in and have a coherent story--but they need to be brought together and acknowledged and THANKED somehow, in a documentary or something.

Aside,

I watched the fifth Doctor special On Demand last night. It was so nice to see the Doctor *and his companions* alive and having aged well. After getting bummed about not aaving the first three in their specials, and sad that Lis and Nick Courtney didn't get to contribute, it was nice to see them all alive and well (Well, except for Anthony Ainley)


It was really good to see Doctor #5 and all his companions like that. It made for a good show. Are they planning specials for all 11 Doctors? I wonder how they'll handle #8 (with so little screen content) and #9 (since apparently Christopher Eccleston isn't keen on participating in Who anniversary activities).

As a side note, I like how Cubicle-7 did the First Doctor Sourcebook for the Who RPG. Basically it gives some general ideas for adventuring in the first Doctor era and then basically provides a summary of each episode for Doctor #1 along with guidelines on how to run that as an adventure and also stat blocks for new creatures (or variations off the base creatures) that appeared in that episode. It has an appendix with stat blocks for Doctor #1 and all of his companions and then an index. The interior of the book is all black and white but given all of those old episodes were black and white anyway it doesn’t really bother me at all. Presumably, hopefully, when they get to the later Doctors with color episodes the interior will be done in color as well. I hope they put out a book for all of the Doctors. They're great companion pieces to the series.


What happended with Christopher Eccleston? Assuming money/contract negotiations?

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wicked cool wrote:
What happended with Christopher Eccleston? Assuming money/contract negotiations?

Seems more like creative differences, as in he wasn't a fan of how the show was being run.

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On the 4th doctor revisited, why on earth didn't they cover Romana? Seriously, WTF?

We honor Lis Sladen's memory but we don't honor Mary Tamm's?

Matthew, I agree on the 5th Doctor story. Janet Fielding's been ill so I'm glad in particular to see she looks well.

With Christopher Eccleston, he's always seemed rather insistent on burning his bridges with Doctor Who. A shame, but if he felt he had a bad experience, I can't blame him.

Quote:
I hope they put out a book for all of the Doctors. They're great companion pieces to the series.

I have the old Peter Haining commemoratives for the 20th and 25th anniversaries, and it would be amazing to see something like that for the 50th.

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Re: Romanna
I was disappointed too. I don't know if it is because we lost Mary Tamm, or if it is Tom Baker and Lalla Ward's history, or some combination of the two factors.

Grand Lodge

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David knott 242 wrote:

Actually, Hugh Grant was the 12th doctor, making Joanna Lumley the 13th. The problem at that point was not that the Doctor had run out of regenerations but that Hugh Grant's Doctor was killed in a way that (supposedly) prevented regeneration.

But for going past 12 regenerations, we have a precedent in the Master, by various acts of villainy, gaining extra regenerations beyond the standard 12.

If you remember "The Five Doctors" the Time Lords had recruited the Master by promising a full new cycle of regenerations for his stolen Trakenite body, which technically was his 14th incarnation. He passed on that offer when tempted by the false prize of perpetual regeneration, a fate he was saved from by the Fifth Doctor. He apparantly fixed that problem on Sarn as he has regenerated, (including from complete combustion, a few times since then.)

The Time Lords apparantly were also supplying regenerations to those who were fighting in the Time War. This wasn't a suitable prize for the Master who dodged the draft by fleeing to the end of the universe and hiding out in a Human identity, similar to what the Doctor himself with less success in "Family of Blood".

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LazarX wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:

Actually, Hugh Grant was the 12th doctor, making Joanna Lumley the 13th. The problem at that point was not that the Doctor had run out of regenerations but that Hugh Grant's Doctor was killed in a way that (supposedly) prevented regeneration.

But for going past 12 regenerations, we have a precedent in the Master, by various acts of villainy, gaining extra regenerations beyond the standard 12.

If you remember "The Five Doctors" the Time Lords had recruited the Master by promising a full new cycle of regenerations for his stolen Trakenite body, which technically was his 14th incarnation. He passed on that offer when tempted by the false prize of perpetual regeneration, a fate he was saved from by the Fifth Doctor. He apparantly fixed that problem on Sarn as he has regenerated, (including from complete combustion, a few times since then.)

The Time Lords apparantly were also supplying regenerations to those who were fighting in the Time War. This wasn't a suitable prize for the Master who dodged the draft by fleeing to the end of the universe and hiding out in a Human identity, similar to what the Doctor himself with less success in "Family of Blood".

Actually, the only time he has regenerated since he took over Consul Tremas' body (Anthony Ainley) was when Professor Yana regenerated into SimMaster.

I don't remember how he survived Sarn, but the "combustion" in "Planet of Fire" IIRC was illusory. He is still Ainley Master in "Mark of the Rani" and "Survival," no regenerating happened. That Master was killed (by Daleks???) in the events prior to the TV movie. His essence was contained in a box the Doctor was returning home during the movie. The essence overtook Eric Roberts' ambulance driver just in the same way the Master overtook Consul Tremas--no regeneration there.

Somewhere, during the Time War, he WAS likely supplied regenerations by the Time Lords, and at some point took on the body of Professor Yana, which became human with the use of a chameleon doodad thingy--but he was a Time Lord with regenerations. when Yana's chameleon doodad thingy was broken, and he was "killed", he reverted to Time Lord form and then, because he was dying, regenerated--with all the proper light show and everything--into SimMaster.

When SimMaster was killed, he willed himself not to regenerate but purportedly had the ability to do so, and was dying just to piss the Doctor off. Because, after all, he is the Master, and he would die if it would devastate the Doctor enough.


Assuming the Daily Mail has the right of it, Matt Smith has quit.

No word yet on when (I'm presuming after Season 8, as he'd just been confirmed by the BBC as being in it).

EDIT: His last appearance will be in the 2013 Christmas special, so before Season 8.


The full story is here.

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Well, that was fast.

I was wondering if that was their plan all along.

vague speculation about character from finale:
But I doubt, somehow if John Hurt's character is the next doctor. I still think he's a past doctor.

Scarab Sages

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I'm sorry to see Matt go. He was my favorite Doctor after Sylvester.

I see three options for who John Hurt's Doctor is.

1)He is either pre-Hartnel or is Hartnel just before he and Susan left. It has never been explained why the Doctor left Gallefrey. John's Doctor could have done something that left him with regret; whether he did it on accident, on purpose, was forced to do it, or been a part of others who did something.

2)He is the end of McGann's Doctor and is responsible for killing the other Time Lords during the Time War. This could be it because he said he did something out of neccessity.

3)He is the final Doctor/Valeyard who did something bad and died doing it or shortly afterward. This is also possible as according to "The Trial of a Time Lord", the Doctor turned evil in his final regeneration.

I think 2 and 3 are most likely because of

Matt & John's coversation:

Matt: "My real name is not the point... The name you choose is like a promise that you make. He's the one broke that promise. He is my secret."
John: "What I did, I did without choice."
Matt: "I know."
John: "In the name of peace and sanity."
Matt: "But not in the name of the Doctor!"

Grand Lodge

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DeathQuaker wrote:
I don't remember how he survived Sarn, but the "combustion" in "Planet of Fire" IIRC was illusory. He is still Ainley Master in "Mark of the Rani" and "Survival," no regenerating happened. T

Unlike the Doctor who's essentially a basket case when it comes to regeneration, most other Time Lords have a good deal less trouble, some like Romana and the Master have perfect control over the process. The Master simply doesn't change between regenerations... unless he wants to. (or when actors are unexpectedly killed.)

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Jeff Erwin wrote:

Well, that was fast.

I was wondering if that was their plan all along.

** spoiler omitted **

I'd imagine he's (John Hurt) quite expensive, as well.

I'm a bit sad and anxious; Matt Smith has become my favorite, second only to the great Tom Baker.

This bit from the BBC article:

"Of course, this isn't the end of the story, because now the search begins. Somewhere out there right now - all unknowing, just going about their business - is someone who's about to become the Doctor. A life is going to change, and Doctor Who will be born all over again! After 50 years, that's still so exciting!"

I'm not sure if that's misdirection, or if it indicates Smith's departure was unexpected.


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I'll miss Matt Smith in the role. I'd wish Moffet would dial back the manic-ness and allow whomever plays the Doctor the lattitude to have more quiet and more serious character moments.

Well, whomever they pick for #12, I'm certain we sadly won't get a female Doctor. But I'd love to see someone like Idris Elba or Chiwetel Ejiofor in the role. Elba seems out, as he's still in the (excellent) Luthor series, but I think Ejiofor would be available.

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DeathQuaker wrote:

On the 4th doctor revisited, why on earth didn't they cover Romana? Seriously, WTF?

Sarah Jane WAS the definitive Companion for the 4th Doctor, and she was there for the longest of any of them. I don't think that either of the Romanas was received as well as either Sarah or Leila. The first one was the Bossy Female that most male fans really didn't relate to that well, and the Second Romana had very little presence by comparison.

Grand Lodge

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wicked cool wrote:
Am i the only one who is nervous with the latest revelations in the last episode that there is a strong possibilty that there will be an effort to rewrite/remove/stop the time war from ever happening?

I don't think so. What I rather suspect is that we'll find that the Time War was even more tragic than we suspected, and that the Doctor himself is a good reason why. Rememember it was the Fourth Doctor's mission to abort the creation of the Daleks which ultimately led to the Daleks declaring Time War on Galifrey itself. The big question... how did they get to the point where they were able to pull it off? The Doctor himself may bear some guilt for this.

Grand Lodge

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Werthead wrote:

Assuming the Daily Mail has the right of it, Matt Smith has quit.

No word yet on when (I'm presuming after Season 8, as he'd just been confirmed by the BBC as being in it).

EDIT: His last appearance will be in the 2013 Christmas special, so before Season 8.

Four years is a hell of a run for the role. I suspect that it was Smith's decision to leave, and he's chosen the very wise move of leaving on a high note.


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Eddie Izzard would make a great Doctor too.


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I've only watched the new show, so if I was interested in getting into the older staff, what would be the best way to go about this?


Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Eddie Izzard would make a great Doctor too.

Ow. I think you just broke part of my brain. I tried to imagine that and...

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Zaister wrote:
I've only watched the new show, so if I was interested in getting into the older staff, what would be the best way to go about this?

You can find a pretty nice collection at iTunes.

If you have an Amazon Prime membership, you can watch a huge collection of classic episodes for free.

BBC One has clips, if you just want to see a smattering.

Low quality episodes are on YouTube.

The most enjoyable classic episodes for blokes in their 20s-40s are probably those of Tom Baker and Peter Davison.

Your local library may have DVDs or VHS tapes available.

Grand Lodge

I am very sad to see Matt Smith leave the show. I thought no one could surpass David Tennant or Tom Baker as the Doctor. I was wrong. He was manic and one of the more physically animated Doctors. Yet he could be quiet too. They were rare; but when they occurred they were powerful. It would take someone of John Hurts stature to fill his shoes.


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What always amazed me with Matt Smith was his ability to seem like a young, energetic man...and then in a moment make you feel like you are looking at an ancient being with the weight of the universe on his shoulders. A really astonishing ability.

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LazarX wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:
I don't remember how he survived Sarn, but the "combustion" in "Planet of Fire" IIRC was illusory. He is still Ainley Master in "Mark of the Rani" and "Survival," no regenerating happened. T
Unlike the Doctor who's essentially a basket case when it comes to regeneration, most other Time Lords have a good deal less trouble, some like Romana and the Master have perfect control over the process. The Master simply doesn't change between regenerations... unless he wants to. (or when actors are unexpectedly killed.)

LazarX, there is absolutely no evidence that the Master regenerated in those episodes. If I am remembering wrongly, please provide proof explicitly. Now, there is no on screen explanation for why the Master survived (originally, the Master wasn't supposed to return again after "Planet of Fire") but according to this, there was an explanation (that was not regeneration) provided in the novelization. Unfortunately, I've got a bunch of the Target Novelizations, but that is not one of them, but if I find it I'll look it up. But again I'm absolutely certain that he never regenerated. Quick and possibly dubious Google searches suggest he either faked his death or the numismaton gas he was experimented with restored him (which might be regeneration, but was not Time Lord regeneration). Nowhere do I see a suggestion he regenerated.

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I still think David T was a better Doctor than Matt S or Chris E. but Matt grew on me over time and Amy Pond was my fave nu Who companion.

Tom Baker and Liz Sladen will always be my overall fave combination.

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LazarX wrote:
Sarah Jane WAS the definitive Companion for the 4th Doctor,

According to whom? You? Russel T Davies' fanboyism? Does that kind of subjective nonsense get to dictate what shows up in what is supposed to be a documentary on the history of the series?

Even if she is a fan favorite among many, if you are doing a HISTORICAL OVERVIEW, you do not skip one of the Doctor's companions like they didn't even exist--especially when all the other revisiteds I believe got most of the companions in.

Especially the only Time Lord companion he's had. That's rather significant, and important if you're educating a new fan on old Who. And the Key to Time storyline in particular was quite important.

Besides, if fan opinion dictated what the documentary included as important, then in the Fifth Doctor Revisited, Adric would have been completely skipped and replaced by a 20 minute ode to Peri's breasts.

Quote:
and she was there for the longest of any of them.

Actually, that's incorrect. I think she had the most stories, but Tegan was there for the longest duration.

And Romana as a single character, counting both regenerations, might beat both of them, but I haven't counted.

Quote:


I don't think that either of the Romanas was received as well as either Sarah or Leila. The first one was the Bossy Female that most male fans really didn't relate to that well, and the Second Romana had very little presence by comparison.

If fan opinion counts so much, then in my opinion as a fan, you are wrong. Romana was brilliant and a delight to watch, and watching Sarah Jane was like watching paint dry. But then again, these matters of opinion shouldn't affect what is shown in a documentary. All four actresses should have gotten their due credit, end of story.

Ambrosia Slaad wrote:
Eddie Izzard would make a great Doctor too.

IIRC, Tom Baker once made the same suggestion. :)

I'm sad to see Matt go, but three-four years is the usual journey. I will miss him though, I've really, really enjoyed his performance as the Doctor. Some episodes of his tenure I've loved, some I've hated, but he's always carried through all of it splendidly.

Am I right that there is a separate anniversary special in November, so he is leaving the episode AFTER, in the Christmas special? Which is probably smart.

Shadow Lodge

Hmmm, didn't really see that (Matt Smith's departure) coming. Kinda sad to see him go, he's definately my favorite Doctor of nuWho. As far as I know, Jenna is still sticking around for series 8, however.


Quote:
Unlike the Doctor who's essentially a basket case when it comes to regeneration, most other Time Lords have a good deal less trouble, some like Romana and the Master have perfect control over the process. The Master simply doesn't change between regenerations... unless he wants to. (or when actors are unexpectedly killed.)

The Master did not regenerate after 'Planet of Fire'. The most basic reason is that he couldn't: the body he was in at the time (Anthony Ainley) was Treman, and could not regenerate. The Master was incapable of regeneration between the death of his original body in 'The Keeper of Traken' and the Time Lords giving his non-Time Lord human body a new set of regenerations after the 1996 TV movie. So no, no regeneration occurred.

Quote:
I don't think so. What I rather suspect is that we'll find that the Time War was even more tragic than we suspected, and that the Doctor himself is a good reason why. Rememember it was the Fourth Doctor's mission to abort the creation of the Daleks which ultimately led to the Daleks declaring Time War on Galifrey itself. The big question... how did they get to the point where they were able to pull it off? The Doctor himself may bear some guilt for this.

The general assumption is that the Daleks launched the Time War in the distant future (after the 201st Century setting of several Season 27/1 stories) after they had become strong enough to fight the Time Lords on an even footing. Those Daleks were vastly more powerful and more skilled in their ability to travel through time than in the original series.

The general course of the Time War seems to be:

1) The Time Lords try to destroy the Daleks at the moment of their creation and fail. The Daleks are aware of this, thanks to Davros's interrogation of the Doctor ('Genesis of the Daleks').
2) The Daleks retaliate by trying to send android duplicates of the Doctor and his companions to destroy the High Council of the Time Lords, but the Doctor stops them before they can do so ('Resurrection of the Daleks').
3) The Doctor, presumably at the Time Lords' instigation, obliterates Skaro and its entire star system with the Hand of Omega ('Remembrance of the Daleks').
4) Full-scale war breaks out between the Daleks and Time Lords. The war is fought on many, many different fronts and in different time zones.
Davros is apparently killed in the first year of the war but is actually saved by Dalek Caan.
5) The war becomes quite dark and desperate. The Time Lords use both the Master and Rassilon, but even the Master finds the scale of the conflict overwhelming and flees. Rassilon hits on the idea of using the Final Sanction to destroy the universe and elevate the Time Lords to a race of pure energy. The Doctor stops them be using a weapon known as 'The Moment'. The Moment apparently destroys both Gallifrey and (New) Skaro and seals the entire war behind a time lock.

What exactly 'the Moment' is has never been revealed, though a comic strip suggested it might the De-Mat Gun (from Tom Baker's Gallifrey stories) redeployed into a weapon of mass destruction.

Quote:
According to whom?

Actually, to be fair, this was the case. Sarah-Jane was consistently voted the #1 companion by fans in the old Doctor Who fan club and by readers of Doctor Who Magazine throughout its run (aside from a period in the late 1980s when she was pushed to #2 by Ace). The audience seemed to respond really positively to her and her departure from the show was one of the few times that a companion's departure was covered with as much fanfare as a Doctor's. Sarah-Jane was also the companion during several of WHO's most highly-regarded stories ('Genesis', 'Ark in Space' and 'Pyramids of Mars').

I agree it's still a bit harsh to skip some other companions who were also important (and Romana was the companion during 'City of Death', possibly THE most highly-regarded story of the original run), but there was some basis for picking Sarah-Jane over the Doctor's other companions (she was also the basis of two spin-off projects and appeared in both the new series and one big later episode of the original series).

The longest-serving companion in terms of episodes and screentime was Jamie in the 1960s.


Zaister wrote:
I've only watched the new show, so if I was interested in getting into the older staff, what would be the best way to go about this?

Here's my ten recomendations:

1) AN UNEARTHLY CHILD (Season 1, 1963): The first-ever episode of DOCTOR WHO and is still quite watchable, though talky. Don't bother with the rest of the story as it's extremely dull (the Doctor meets some cavemen and, erm, hangs out until they get violent and then leaves).

2) THE DALEK INVASION OF EARTH (Season 2, 1964): The Daleks invade Earth en masse and the First Doctor has to defeat them, basically. By the standards of the time (when the episodes were very, very slow) this serial moves fast and has some (relatively) impressive production values.

3) THE WAR GAMES (Season 6, 1969): The Second Doctor arrives on the Western Front of WWII...or does he? This is a long serial (10 half-hour episodes) but is constantly inventive and interesting, constantly putting Patrick Troughton on the back foot and bringing in escalating new threats and enemies. Events culminate in the final episode, DOCTOR WHO's biggest-ever gamechanger, when we finally find out where the Doctor came from and how badly his people want him back.

4) DAY OF THE DALEKS (Season 9, 1972): The Third Doctor encounters a time paradox when he discovers that the Daleks are still ruling Earth in the 22nd Century, despite him defeating them before. A good story for keeping the Daleks in the background and featuring one of the few morally ambiguous antagonists in the old series, a good man forced into becoming a collaborator against his better judgement.

5) THE SEA DEVILS (Season 9, 1972): Not actually a fantastic story, but an excellent showcase for Roger Delgado as the original Master as he faces off against Jon Pertwee's Doctor. The story itself is a bit weak, but it's a joy to see these two great actors sparking off one another (Delgado's tragic death a year later was a major factor in Pertwee deciding to leave the show).

6) THE ARK IN SPACE (Season 12, 1975): DOCTOR WHO does ALIEN, only four years early. One of the most-quoted episodes ever, with a disturbing and horrific premise, this is Russell T. Davies's favourite story and one of Moffat's. Tom Baker puts in one of his best performances as the Fourth Doctor and there's some great, morbid humour. The production values are a mixture of the impressive (the sets are pretty good, by the standards of the time) and the risible (the alien grubs are people thrashing around on the floor dressed in green bubble-wrap).

7) GENESIS OF THE DALEKS (Season 12, 1975): The Doctor has to obliterate the Daleks at the moment of their creation on the orders of the Time Lords. The Doctor is unhappy at being told to commit genocide, resulting in one of his strongest moral dilemmas. The story itself riffs on Nazi imagery, introduces the horrific character of Davros and features some fantastically-acted moments. The bit where the Fourth Doctor tries to argue with Davros scientist-to-scientist in a reasonable way, only for it to backfire as the Doctor realises that Davros really is totally insane, is excellent.

8) CITY OF DEATH (Season 17, 1979): A serial written by Douglas Adams, featuring extensive location filming in Paris, a random cameo by John Cleese and a superb villainous performance by Julian 'Grand Maester Pycelle/General Veers' Glover. This may be DOCTOR WHO's funniest story, a tremendous romp that is consistently entertaining and fun.

9) THE CAVES OF ANDROZANI (Season 21, 1984): What DOCTOR WHO would look like if it was written by George R.R. Martin. A very bleak story packed with morally dubious protagonists and antagonists in which just about everyone dies (even the Fifth Doctor; this is final story). Also, well-written, fantastically-acted and excellently directed (by Graeme Harper, the only director to work on both the original and new series). DOCTOR WHO at its bleakest, but possibly its most brilliant.

10) REMEMBRANCE OF THE DALEKS (Season 25, 1988): A very clever story featuring the Seventh Doctor who, for once, instigates the events of the story himself. This is the Doctor as a grand puppet-master, manipulating everyone in sight as he tries to get the outcome he (and probably the Time Lords) wants without the enemy realising it. Also notable for its action scenes showing two factions of Daleks blowing the hell out of one another and London in general. The writer of this story, Ben Aaronovict, has gone on to become a very successful author of urban fantasy novels (the RIVERS OF LONDON series).

Grand Lodge

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Werthead wrote:

Assuming the Daily Mail has the right of it, Matt Smith has quit.

No word yet on when (I'm presuming after Season 8, as he'd just been confirmed by the BBC as being in it).

EDIT: His last appearance will be in the 2013 Christmas special, so before Season 8.

Actually Series 7 concluded with "Name of the Doctor"

November 23rd is the start of Series 8.

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Werthead's list is really good, but if I may add (if he does not mind, I hope)...

Werthead wrote:
Zaister wrote:
I've only watched the new show, so if I was interested in getting into the older staff, what would be the best way to go about this?

Here's my ten recomendations:

1) AN UNEARTHLY CHILD (Season 1, 1963): The first-ever episode of DOCTOR WHO and is still quite watchable, though talky. Don't bother with the rest of the story as it's extremely dull (the Doctor meets some cavemen and, erm, hangs out until they get violent and then leaves).

You know, I just watched 100,000 BC (which is the story that follows An Unearthly Child), and while it is ridiculously slow, it actually has some moments of awesome in it, and start to establish how the Doctor goes from antagonistic to part of the team with Ian and Barbara.

"Fear makes companions of us all, Miss Wright."

While I wouldn't prioritize watching it, if you've got your hands on the whole serial, you may as well stick through with it if you can.

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2) THE DALEK INVASION OF EARTH (Season 2, 1964): The Daleks invade Earth en masse and the First Doctor has to defeat them, basically. By the standards of the time (when the episodes were very, very slow) this serial moves fast and has some (relatively) impressive production values.

I would add the original Daleks story, which is the second full serial. IMO it's to date still one of the best Dalek stories, and I really like the warlike vs pacifist people issue set up.

I'd also suggest "Edge of Destruction" for 1st Doctor stories... a lot of people don't like it, but I love it, and it's the first story that explores the semi-sentience of the TARDIS.

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3) THE WAR GAMES (Season 6, 1969): The Second Doctor arrives on the Western Front of WWII...or does he? This is a long serial (10 half-hour episodes) but is constantly inventive and interesting, constantly putting Patrick Troughton on the back foot and bringing in escalating new threats and enemies. Events culminate in the final episode, DOCTOR WHO's biggest-ever gamechanger, when we finally find out where the Doctor came from and how badly his people want him back.

For 2nd Doctor stories, I would recommend "The Mind Robber" (a very innovative story where they get trapped in a world made up of other people's imaginings) and "The Invasion" (one of the BEST Cybermen stories EVER, and blatantly ripped off when the Cybermen were reintroduced in the new series) over this one, which IMO runs rather slowly. However, as the War Games introduces the Time Lords for the first time, it is rather seminal. If you can, watch all three.

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4) DAY OF THE DALEKS (Season 9, 1972): The Third Doctor encounters a time paradox when he discovers that the Daleks are still ruling Earth in the 22nd Century, despite him defeating them before. A good story for keeping the Daleks in the background and featuring one of the few morally ambiguous antagonists in the old series, a good man forced into becoming a collaborator against his better judgement.

5) THE SEA DEVILS (Season 9, 1972): Not actually a fantastic story, but an excellent showcase for Roger Delgado as the original Master as he faces off against Jon Pertwee's Doctor. The story itself is a bit weak, but it's a joy to see these two great actors sparking off one another (Delgado's tragic death a year later was a major factor in Pertwee deciding to leave the show).

I would suggest also "Spearhead in Space," the first third Doctor story, which introduces the Autons and is a good solid story, as well as "Inferno," which IMO is one of the best written stories in the entire Pertwee run.

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6) THE ARK IN SPACE (Season 12, 1975): DOCTOR WHO does ALIEN, only four years early. One of the most-quoted episodes ever, with a disturbing and horrific premise, this is Russell T. Davies's favourite story and one of Moffat's. Tom Baker puts in one of his best performances as the Fourth Doctor and there's some great, morbid humour. The production values are a mixture of the impressive (the sets are pretty good, by the standards of the time) and the risible (the alien grubs are people thrashing around on the floor dressed in green bubble-wrap).

7) GENESIS OF THE DALEKS (Season 12, 1975): The Doctor has to obliterate the Daleks at the moment of their creation on the orders of the Time Lords. The Doctor is unhappy at being told to commit genocide, resulting in one of his strongest moral dilemmas. The story itself riffs on Nazi imagery, introduces the horrific character of Davros and features some fantastically-acted moments. The bit where the Fourth Doctor tries to argue with Davros scientist-to-scientist in a reasonable way, only for it to backfire as the Doctor realises that Davros really is totally insane, is excellent.

8) CITY OF DEATH (Season 17, 1979): A serial written by Douglas Adams, featuring extensive location filming in Paris, a random cameo by John Cleese and a superb villainous performance by Julian 'Grand Maester Pycelle/General Veers' Glover. This may be DOCTOR WHO's funniest story, a tremendous romp that is consistently entertaining and fun.

I would add to this list "Robots of Death" which is a superbly written "whodunnit" story as well as a jamjar story (everyone's stuck in one ship and having to get along). Plus it has Leela, who is one of the best companions ever. She stabs people.

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9) THE CAVES OF ANDROZANI (Season 21, 1984): What DOCTOR WHO would look like if it was written by George R.R. Martin. A very bleak story packed with morally dubious protagonists and antagonists in which just about everyone dies (even the Fifth Doctor; this is final story). Also, well-written, fantastically-acted and excellently directed (by Graeme Harper, the only director to work on both the original and new series). DOCTOR WHO at its bleakest, but possibly its most brilliant.

For 5th Doctor stories, I'd suggest "Castrovalva"--a good story, introduces the 5th Doctor, and has a good "party dynamic" of Nyssa and Tegan. I'd also suggest "Earthshock," which while having some holes in it, is a good story and gets a bit gritty without wallowing in it like Androzani does. Plus it's highly pleasurable to watch what happens to Adric (YMMV on the last bit).

For 6th Doctor stories, absolutely positively grab "Vengeance on Varos", an utterly brilliant script amid a lot of ones that were rather mediocre on the time. The Doctor and Peri land on a prison planet where capital punishments are televised as a form of entertainment as well as behavior control.

I might also suggest "Mark of the Rani," which introduces another Time Lord villain, who is valuable at least for how much she mocks the Doctor and the Master's rivalry.

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10) REMEMBRANCE OF THE DALEKS (Season 25, 1988): A very clever story featuring the Seventh Doctor who, for once, instigates the events of the story himself. This is the Doctor as a grand puppet-master, manipulating everyone in sight as he tries to get the outcome he (and probably the Time Lords) wants without the enemy realising it. Also notable for its action scenes showing two factions of Daleks blowing the hell out of one another and London in general. The writer of this story, Ben Aaronovict, has gone on to become a very successful author of urban fantasy novels (the RIVERS OF LONDON series).

This is a fabulous one. I'd add of course, "Survival" which is the very last story of the classic series. It gets a little cheesy but is worth it alone for the ending.

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Werthead wrote:

Actually, to be fair, this was the case. Sarah-Jane was consistently voted the #1 companion by fans in the old Doctor Who fan club and by readers of Doctor Who Magazine throughout its run (aside from a period in the late 1980s when she was pushed to #2 by Ace). The audience seemed to respond really positively to her and her departure from the show was one of the few times that a companion's departure was covered with as much fanfare as a Doctor's. Sarah-Jane was also the companion during several of WHO's most highly-regarded stories ('Genesis', 'Ark in Space' and 'Pyramids of Mars').

I agree it's still a bit harsh to skip some other companions who were also important (and Romana was the companion during 'City of Death', possibly THE most highly-regarded story of the original run), but there was some basis for picking Sarah-Jane over the Doctor's other companions (she was also the basis of two spin-off projects and appeared in both the new series and one big later episode of the original series).

The longest-serving companion in terms of episodes and screentime was Jamie in the 1960s.

I am aware of her being voted in DWM. You are missing the point that I think fan popularity should not dictate priorities when making a historical documentary.

If they had consistently chosen to highlight ONE companion per Doctor, and for the 4th Doctor they chose Sarah, I could get that.

But all the prior Doctors, they covered most of his companions. For 4, they covered Sarah Jane AND Leela AND even K9. Romana's absence is conspicuous because she is the only character skipped. THE ONLY ONE. Do you get that? The only reason I mentioned Lis Sladen alongside Mary Tamm was because someone said, "well, maybe they didn't want to do Mary Tamm because she died," but that doesn't make sense because Lis Sladen passed on as well so it seems odd not to skip one out of purported "respect" but not the other. I am not trying to invite a fight between Sarah Jane and Romana, as Leela and K9 were also covered, and I'm sorry I let myself get dragged into that, I just though the "because she's a fan favorite" argument is frankly stupid based in the context of a documentary that is supposed to educate about the series, not just talk about who everyone's favorites were. Again, if favorites were only covered, Adric would've been skipped totally, but yet HIS (minor) importance was covered because he was the first major regular death on the show.

I am not some insane fangirl whose favorite is Romana or something (my favorite companions per covered Doctors are Barbara, Zoe, Liz, Leela, and Tegan, who all got their due in the Revisited series); I'm not defending her out of some weird sense of only liking that companion. I am defending her because she was the ONLY ONE EXCLUDED, and to me that seems really, really bizarrely weird. If you're going to introduce new fans to Doctor who, cover the companions, and skip someone as important as she is storywise to the history of Doctor Who, something is terribly wrong.

The reason it happened is probably simply that BBC America is run by a bunch of incompetent buffoons, so I'm not going to worry about it any longer though. Done ranting.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

I'd also add to Werthead's excellent list. The Curse of Fenric. Sylvester McCoy's take on a much darker Doctor when he needs to be, and his destroying of a companion is wonderfully painful. Perhaps as dark as Remembrance. Though Remembrance is the trope codifier for both Crowning moment of awesome, and the companion test.

Amazon Prime has Ark in Space, City of Death, and the Caves of Androzani, as well as Curse of Fenric.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Thanks for the tips, guys! I'll see what I can scrounge up of these lists here in Germany.

Shadow Lodge

DeathQuaker wrote:
For 2nd Doctor stories, I would recommend "The Mind Robber" (a very innovative story where they get trapped in a world made up of other people's imaginings)

It also features Wendy Padbury in a sparkly catsuit.

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Kthulhu wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:
For 2nd Doctor stories, I would recommend "The Mind Robber" (a very innovative story where they get trapped in a world made up of other people's imaginings)
It also features Wendy Padbury in a sparkly catsuit.

True, in addition to a rather innovative storyline with excellent puzzles the Doctor and companions have to solve, more importantly, we have Zoe's sparkly bum spinning around on the TARDIS console. :)

Grand Lodge

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DeathQuaker wrote:
I am not some insane fangirl whose favorite is Romana or something (my favorite companions per covered Doctors are Barbara, Zoe, Liz, Leela, and Tegan, who all got their due in the Revisited series); I'm not defending her out of some weird sense of only liking that companion. I am defending her because she was the ONLY ONE EXCLUDED, and to me that seems really, really bizarrely weird. If you're going to introduce new fans to Doctor who, cover the companions, and skip someone as important as she is storywise to the history of Doctor Who, something is terribly wrong.

Romana's importance to the series is questionable. The First Romana was imperious to the point of snottiness, and she didn't contribute much or grow in personality due to her run. And quite frankly, I'm not sure Lalla Ward would have even been on the show if she wasn't intimately involved with Tom Baker at the time. Like her earlier role, Lalla Ward's Romana was passive near to the point of lifelessness. While there were worst Companions in temperament, Both Romanas were virtually dead weight on the TARDIS. And as companions, both had fairy short runs.

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Andrew Turner wrote:
Jeff Erwin wrote:

Well, that was fast.

I was wondering if that was their plan all along.

** spoiler omitted **

I'd imagine he's (John Hurt) quite expensive, as well.

Then again Peter Jackson has offered to direct a Who episode for free if he gets a Dalek out of it. ("One of the new Gold ones, please")

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Actually Series 7 concluded with "Name of the Doctor"

November 23rd is the start of Series 8.

Series 8 does not start until 2014, and won't start shooting until a bit later this year. The anniversary and the Christmas special are both counted as '2013 specials' in the filming blocks, filmed separately from both Series 7 (which concluded shooting last autumn) and 8.

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I'm not sure Lalla Ward would have even been on the show if she wasn't intimately involved with Tom Baker at the time

They weren't. They only got together during 'City of Death' (her second serial, the third if you count 'The Armageddon Factor' when she played a different role) and got married after she left the show (though just before her final episodes aired).

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LazarX wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:
I am not some insane fangirl whose favorite is Romana or something (my favorite companions per covered Doctors are Barbara, Zoe, Liz, Leela, and Tegan, who all got their due in the Revisited series); I'm not defending her out of some weird sense of only liking that companion. I am defending her because she was the ONLY ONE EXCLUDED, and to me that seems really, really bizarrely weird. If you're going to introduce new fans to Doctor who, cover the companions, and skip someone as important as she is storywise to the history of Doctor Who, something is terribly wrong.
Romana's importance to the series is questionable. The First Romana was imperious to the point of snottiness, and she didn't contribute much or grow in personality due to her run. And quite frankly, I'm not sure Lalla Ward would have even been on the show if she wasn't intimately involved with Tom Baker at the time. Like her earlier role, Lalla Ward's Romana was passive near to the point of lifelessness. While there were worst Companions in temperament, Both Romanas were virtually dead weight on the TARDIS. And as companions, both had fairy short runs.

LazarX, your personal opinion and obvious dislike of Romana does not get to dictate the impact the character had on the show. If we are going to look at "fan favorites," while Sarah Jane usually tops polls of favorite companion (alongside Rose and Donna, usually), Romana is usually high on the list (for example, she's in the top 20 here. She is a popular and liked companion, sorry to inform you. But again, popularity should not be a factor in what gets included in a historical overview of the series.

In terms of general significance, Romana was the first and only companion who was a Time Lord (besides, possibly Susan, and many feel she was unlikely a graduate of the academy); that alone is very important. Through her, we learn a lot more about what Time Lord society is like--and she has an interesting arc where she grows from representing Time Lord status quo to being excited and engaged by the Doctor's "renegade" lifestyle. We learn more about the possibilities of regeneration--as seen still discussed by fans today, per the earlier exploration of that. Through Romana, we also learn more about the Doctor himself, as she has studied him at the Academy, and can reveal things about the Doctor in a way that no other companion could. In terms of establishing series lore, she plays a notable role. It may be a role you dislike or refuse to acknowledge, but ignoring them will not make these facts go away.

Romana is part of the Key to Time story, which is a major arc and one of the few and earliest(although the "War Games" is first) full-season story arcs to appear in Doctor Who; this is also notable. She is chosen and known by the White and Black Guardians, major players in the Doctor Who universe; I would suggest the Guardians including her in the Key quest also implies she has unique qualities. She performed skillfully and helped the Doctor numerous times as has any other Doctor Who companion, and ends her story helping save, protect, and work with an entire race of people, the Tharils--also significant creatures in their own right in the Doctor Who universe for their time-warping capabilities.

As for longevity, Romana as a single character was on Doctor who for four years, from 1978-1981. Mary Tamm served for one season (16), Lalla Ward for two (17 and 18). Romana was in 17 serials. Compare with Leela, who did get coverage in the documentary, only appeared for one and a half seasons (part of season 14 and all of season 16) and only 9 serials (I am not suggesting Leela shouldn't have been covered).

I don't know what your agenda is LazarX, but considering every time I say, basically, "it's important to cover all the companions for the purposes of a documentary, whether individuals like them or not" you basically go back to "but I think Romana is annoying," as your only main argument, I have to wonder if you really have anything substantive to suggest as to what SHOULD go into a documentary series about the history of Doctor Who.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

DeathQuaker wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Sarah Jane WAS the definitive Companion for the 4th Doctor,

According to whom? You? Russel T Davies' fanboyism? Does that kind of subjective nonsense get to dictate what shows up in what is supposed to be a documentary on the history of the series?

Just wanted to add, Neil Gamian for one ;-)

Seriously, Because of her long run, Lis Sladden is likely the Ur Companion. (And yes, we could picture her beating Daleks with a baseball bat.)

Now that said, I missed Romanna too. We don't know why they chose that route. Then again, we could easily have had an hour special on the Baker years. If we'd not lost Lis, I bet we would have.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Matthew Morris wrote:
DeathQuaker wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Sarah Jane WAS the definitive Companion for the 4th Doctor,

According to whom? You? Russel T Davies' fanboyism? Does that kind of subjective nonsense get to dictate what shows up in what is supposed to be a documentary on the history of the series?

Just wanted to add, Neil Gamian for one ;-)

Seriously, Because of her long run, Lis Sladden is likely the Ur Companion. (And yes, we could picture her beating Daleks with a baseball bat.)

Now that said, I missed Romanna too. We don't know why they chose that route. Then again, we could easily have had an hour special on the Baker years. If we'd not lost Lis, I bet we would have.

More than likely, given the limited time space, they had decided what they wanted to cover of Tom Baker's run. (Also remember that Tom Baker still has the longest run of Dr. Who on the series), its more likely they simply didn't bother to ft her within the limited amount.

And it's worth noting that Romana does lack one thing in common with all other companions. Being a Time Lord herself, she's not an audience avatar. The other companions represent us, the mere mortal representatives on the TARDIS. They serve as the Doctor's foils in a way another Time Lord can't. The Doctor's rebukes and criticisms about Humanity have impact when they're being said to a Sarah, an Amy, a Harry, a Brigadier. When they're said to another Timelord, it's just talking shop.

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