Daleks, the TARDIS
and Other Stuff.

A Sort of Blog from 2008
I used to occasionally write waffley nonsense about various pointless things from the world of Doctor Who, which, like most things on the internet are of no interest except to the person who wrote it. And that's not even the case here. The pages remain for posterity.

Some random thoughts and discussions from years gone by


creative things


research and facts


images and misc


archives of long ago


Sunday 11th May 2008 - Ratings Revival

The ratings perked up this week which I'm very pleased about. I wasn't overly concerned about the drop but it's never nice to see. It still pains me that The Satan Pit and Blink have been two of the lowest rated stories since the series returned, but that's the problem of the weather for you. And also I think people get a bit forgetful as the weeks drag on. I don't watch a lot of TV but I haven't seen any trailers.

I'm guessing yesterday was the hottest day of the year too so very good really.

However, looking at the fan's popularity view, I'm disappointed to seee last night's come in at a low #26. According to the fans, the episode was worse than 42, Smith and Jones and Gridlock! Madness.

Satursday 10th May 2008 - What Do Fans Think?

I've been updating the fan's popularity view, as I find it very interesting to match my own personal tastes against a relatively definitive guide to what's perceived as "good" and "bad" Doctor Who by fandom at large.

I would rather watch Partners in Crime or New Earth any day to the oppressive and non-sensical 42. (Toby Hadoke said it best on Sunday when he said a child had asked him, 'Why do they say "Burn with me?" Why don't they say, "Can we have a bit of our star back, please?"')

Why do people hate the Christmas Specials so much?!

Have you noticed the only two of season three which aren’t really low on the list are the ones which Martha hardly features due to a different lead female?

I’m really sad to see the epic The Fires of Pompeii sitting behind the more run-of-the-mill likes of Tooth and Claw and The Unquiet Dead.

I am really sad to see The Sontarans languishing below The Age of Steel. Although both of them were good, I thought the Sontaran one was excellent.

I’m not surprised to see Partners in Crime dubbed the 7th worst new series story, and the worst new series story of the last two years. But it’s shocking to see that lower than Daleks in Manhattan and Gridlock.

Thursday 8th May 2008 - Utopia 1 of 3?

It may be a tired old question, but I still don't know if Utopia is part one of a three parter, or a stand-alone story. How should it be judged?

The main problem is that it's in a different production block and even has a different director. With the setting, and director all different, it feels like something totally separated from the modern-Earth period of the next two episodes. So does the production have any bearing on how it should be separated?

Well, The Edge of Destruction has a different director for each of its two episodes! And The Daleks' Master Plan has two writers alternating episodes! At least RTD did all three of this enigma.

And what about Trial of a Timelord? Most fans feel that's four stories, but there's no denying that the title sequence says: Trial of a Timelord Episode One.. Episode Two, Three, Four, Five, etc. Should we only judge this story as parts together?

I think not in the case of Trial. Regardless of the theme which ties all the episodes together, there's no doubt that four different writers did create four stories from start to finish, each self-contained. The writers had a free-hand in their own ideas, despite it relating to the courtroom, so I think that they can be judged as stories on their own merits.

I think fundamentally you have to accept that the plot of Utopia is not concluded in that episode, even if the scenario and characters are left behind. I don't just mean in the sense that there's a cliff-hanger which leads into the next episode (that happens on a number of occasions such as the Titanic coming through the TARDIS wall). The real point is that the humans' fate at the end of the universe is not resolved until The Last of the Timelords. Of course you don't know that in Utopia, but I think the threads left hanging are unlike any other story in which everything is wrapped up and then a new event creates the cliff-hanger.

Wikipedia seems to reflect this view. A three parter.

However, the official BBC website however does NOT!

Have a look here and you'll see Utopia is treated as one story, and it is then followed by a two-part season finale. Now is this indicative? Or is this just because it's an image gallery, so they've grouped things logically when they have shared settings?

I give up!

Saturday 3rd May 2008 - Are Daleks Scary?

My mate asked me when were the Daleks most scary.

I never found the Daleks actually scary, except in Destiny so I agree totally there.

In the early ones they're kind of compelling and a bit disturbing, but in the 60s they're a really intelligent foe. You worry about what they're up to, rather than what they're going to do to you if they're in the same room as you.

Evil is quite an unnerving situation, not because you worry they're going to shoot you, but just because they're in total control of the situation and the Doctor is basically screwed.

Saturday 3rd May 2008 - Does Who Really Ruin Your Career?

Hartnell only did a bit of TV after Dr Who. Just a couple of TV appearances but I think he was ill.

Troughton was a very successful and popular character actor before and after. He was the kind of person like David Warner who won't exactly go down in cinema history as a true great, put pops up in virtually everything and gives a good performance. There are nearly 150 entries for Troughton in IMDB. He did a lot of TV Shakespear stuff and was relatively famous for being Robin Hood in the fifties. After Doctor Who he appeared in Dracula, Dr Finlay's Casebook, Doomwatch, Out of the Unknown, Softly Softly, Jason King, Z Cars, The Sweeney, Treasure Island, The Omen, The Box of Delights, Inspector Morse and Supergran! He was pretty much constantly on TV until he died. I think he's the only actor who has bucked the trend.

Pertwee complained bitterly that he just couldn't get work after Doctor Who. He said no-one would touch him.

Jon Pertwee has about a third as many entires on IMDB. It looks like he only has three or four TV appearances in the 70s after Doctor Who. That's not much work for an actor, less than one bit a year. He must have been pissed off!

Tom Baker has about the same number of entries as Pertwee, but that includes all his Little Britain stuff and other voice overs. He only had 8 roles in the rest of the 1980s after Doctor Who. Again a very low number.

Colin Baker's work after Who consists mostly of Doctor Who spinoffs!

Sylvester's IMDB profile just has the word "crap".

McGann seems to have done okay, but nothing majorly famous.

Looks like Eccleston did sod all until Heroes! Good job he got out of Doctor Who after a year to get all that extra work then!

I've heard quite a few companions say that Doctor Who is a curse, including Anneke Wills who I'm sure said that last year. I just looked at William Russell and he only got about one job a year after Who until the seventies when things perked up a bit. Looks like he had a really good career again by the 80s so people must have forgotten him by then!

Looks like Jacqueline Hill did nothing until Meglos!

Thursday 8th May 2008 - Planets? SPOILERS

I’ve been thinking about Skaro and it appearing in the new series. I want the final story to be “War on Skaro” so much. Imagine how good it will look. I think they will retain some of the design elements from the original city from 1963, but then with all the modern bells and whistles. It would look amazing.

If the story title is actually "The Missing Planet" as I was told a couple of months ago - then why would this be held back? It isn't really a spoiler unless you know which particular planet it is. Obviously it could be Gallifrey, Skaro or Earth, but you'd have to know in order to be excited by it. I think "War on Skaro" is far more likely to be the title, because it is too revealing.

Sunday 27th April 2008 - References

A mate of mine reckons Donna making the Doctor change history in Pompeii has screwed up the time line which is what causes Rose to come back.

Cor - that's a bit heavy isn't it? And can't he always see the things he can change and things he can't?

I'm not sure they'd throw a reference that far back? Bad Wolf was mentioned in every episode and casual viewers still didn't pick up on it.

Saturday 26th April 2008 - After The Sontaran Stratagem

Really funky monster romp. Clever bits, funny bits, exciting bits. And a really scary cliff-hanger!

Yes, it’s the same Helen Raynor, but if you believe the grapevine, RTD was around to re-write it to death, and make it good this time!

I got really bored as Donna walked down the street, and then we got the clip sequence, and then all the waving. I was just thinking, "back to the monsters, please!"

Martha is a proper "screaming" companion, struggling against her feminist script. The bit where the arm came up - it seemed natural that she would scream. But we're supposed to believe she's amazing and special, and toughened up walking the Earth for a year, and all that crap. The character doesn't remain true to itself.

I liked the traditionally daft UNIT guys. They find something really dodgy, and instead of calling for backup, they have a look at it and poke around until they come a cropper!

Question though - If the Sontarans are clearly so good at hypnotism, what's the pointing in cloning Martha?

I liked the Sontaran costumes in the end. For what they were, I thought they worked really well. It was a shame they chose a really short actor for Rattigan because it meant the Sontarans looked normal size!

I wasn't that happy with the "cool" line. I thought it was too much of a cliché and reminds me of an awful Star Trek The Next Generation scene where Geordi says "We are armed to the teeth" and the alien says to him "Teeth are for chewing."

I had mixed feelings about the ship interior. It was so brief that I didn't mind it too much, and I liked the big round monitors, but it did seem a bit cheap and is struck me that it isn't going to be in the next episode much, as they obviously didn't want to spend any money on it! But for a ten second shot, I'll forgive it.

I had no problem with "He's like fire" line which others grumbled about. Didn't seen any worse than her usual acting!

I wasn’t totally keen on the rugby chanting at the end but it was okay.

Friday 25th April 2008 - Empty Child and Manhattan Again

I watched The Doctor Dances / The Empty Child tonight (God, I still hate the two different names for one story) and still loved it. What is particularly beautiful is the way the whole thing is crafted. It unfolds gently but compellingly, with lots of very important plot points gently rolled out, and a mystery which is really interesting. Within the first 25 mins we find an invisible spaceship is parked by Big Ben, weird zombie boy and all sorts of other interesting stuff. The story is dark and sinister, but not moody or depressing. The setting remains creepy but the characters remain optimistic. Fundamentally nothing is bad. The TARDIS phone rings, and the audience is freaked out, but the Doctor is not scared, which in a strange way makes it more disturbing. We can sense something is wrong – so why can’t he? The Doctor’s innocence balances the horror. The pattern is repeated through the story as we’re given really frightening scenes, such as Jamie reaching his hand through the letterbox. The Doctor is happy to reach out to the boy, but it’s Nancy who sees sense, like the audience, and tells him not to. And it’s a good job too because the story is heading towards a very logical destiny where every strand of the plot is tied up, and every tiny detail makes sense. And during this wonderfully structured delight, the script is peppered with witty remarks, sweet bits of dialogue and very clever references, both to the classic series of Doctor Who, and the literary world at large. Thoroughly enjoyable.

I then watched Daleks in Manhattan (just part one). I was very keen to cast off all my prejudices and like it on some level I had not done before. Unfortunately, I just can’t engage with it in the way of the story I had just watched. First and foremost, none of the characters are enjoyable. Tallulah is annoying with her faux Jewish New York accent, and whiney voice. Lazlo is the most preposterous hero you could imagine. Diagoras is a one-dimensional gangster, also with dodgy accent. Soloman is the only half-decent character there, and even he is prone to spouting cheesy dialogue about being scared, or being in the Great War. Sadly I just don’t like Martha either. Freema Agyeman is not a very good actress and the part is not very well written. She bleats really pointless lines of dialogue when the Daleks are around, and is failing to fill Billie Piper’s shoes.

As to the plot, I just can’t get swept up in that either. Everything seems so run-of-the mill. The Daleks are there, as we find out early on, and they no doubt have a plan. I don’t find myself hugely enthralled by the plan, because it’s clearly the reason humans are disappearing, and that is the whole pretext on which we waste the first twenty five minutes getting the Doctor into the tunnels... then out of the tunnels... and then back into the tunnels again. The whole lumbers along without any panache. It feels like there’s potential in the story perhaps, but the script seems so sterile. I found myself smiling and laughing throughout The Empty Child, and this alternated with frights and explosions, and people being chased by zombies. But Daleks in Manhattan I found charmless and gloomy. I’m sure if it had been given a Steven Moffat script polish there might have been some fun to be found in there, but as it stands it’s very route-one, as all the characters get the job done, with their cheesy lines such as, “Your heart may break, but the show must go on.”

The episode feel bleak, with its Great Depression setting, characters without hope, and heroes without wit. David Tennant is about the only bright thing in it. The Pig Slaves are ill-conceived and further add to the atmosphere of impurity and confusion, with their precise function and origin remaining somewhat murky. They were apparently created to do the Daleks’ bidding, but the Daleks have a long history of brain-washing, duplicating and bribing humans. So why bother to create pigs? As part of the Great Experiment? How many practise attempts do they need? Not only that, but the Daleks’ whole agenda is meaningless.

These four Daleks have sanctioned a plan to make Dalek-humans, and yet at the very last moment, one of the Cult tries to intervene. Why chose that moment? Why not weeks ago when the whole crazy plan was hatched? The whole behaviour of the Daleks, despite these being a special breed designed to think “outside the box”, is unfitting to the Daleks. In their previous times of need, such as in The Power of the Daleks, all their resources were funnelled into using their guile to obtain the resources to build a Dalek production line. Why not do that now? We are given some token sub-plot that they have failed to successfully clone themselves to get round this discontinuity. So this time they have suddenly decided that being a Dalek is not the way forward, and they should take on human form. Not since the very first Dalek story has a Dalek ever dreamed of leaving the confines of his shell. These creatures are totally dictatorial, xenophobic, hate-filled exterminators. To see humanity as the future is akin to Osama Bin Laden taking over a multi-national company and going all bling. It is totally and completely against every principal the Daleks stand for. And if it’s taken one of the gold Daleks until the eleventh hour to realise this, then what is going on?

The story is hard to enjoy because there’s no sparkle in the script. But it would get by as mildly enjoyable if the Daleks were well handled. Daleks are, after all, the stars of the show. Therefore to strip away their dignity by dumping them down the sewers, flanking them with grotesque farmyard monsters, making their eyesticks wobble as they speak, and finally having Dalek Sec gyrate with smoke billowing until a pin-stripe-suite-wearing-tentacle-headed man stands up, it destroys any possible chance of redeeming in this story.

I will watch episode two at some point and let you know if my thoughts change at all!

Thursday 24th April 2008 - TARDIS Console

Always in need of a new project to abandon half way through, I’ve been working on a 3D model of the TARDIS console. It is going to take a while because of the level of detail I'm doing. I'm determined to make it the best and most completely accurate real thing I've ever attempted.

Wednesday 23th April 2008 - Non-Identical Sontarans?

Well, mystery solved as to how the Sontaran in the publicity photos has a massive gap in his teeth... It's not Christopher Ryan! I was hoping they would do lots of fun split-screen stuff to have all the Sontarans proper clones.

My mate has seen the Sontaran Stratagem now and didn't like it. His main problem was the lack of a brilliant character performance.

I think he's hit the nail on the head with the characters. I decided that was my problem with the Ood story. Great idea, great setting, not bad dialogue... but I just wasn’t hot on the characters. Okay, Percy from Blackadder was okay, but one man doesn't carry a story. The Indian girl was bland and annoying, the black guy was a tit, and that was all. The rest of the characters were Ood.

And I was thinking about all the stories I really love. They probably would have been good stories anyway, but the characters really raise them. I love the dialogue in Talons, and the double-act of Jago and Lightfoot are amazing and I could listen to them waffle on all evening, even if it has nothing to do with the plot. Similar Robots of Death - all the Sand Miner crew are either interesting or likeable, or both, except for that whiney girl who dies.

I think that my dislike of fan favourites such as Doomsday are down to the characters too. The woman in charge of Torchwood never did much for me, so when you ignore all the action which takes place, you've only really got the Tylers to carry the story. They're okay as people but I was never dying to find out what they did next.

In Pompeii the previous week, I liked the dad of the Roman family, I thought he was quite approachable. I liked the mental baddie bloke, he was good, and the sisterhood were intriguing.

I think we underestimate the importance of a big role in how we feel about stories. Daleks in Manhattan I disliked almost every actor in it, except the black guy, so it never stood a chance of being a classic.

Tuesday 22nd April 2008 - That Red Dalek Again

I’ve been having a good old think and I’ve back-tracked on what I said earlier.

I think that the Dalek in the Moyles clip is a red-herring (no pun intended).

It could easily just be the same effect prop we’ve seen before (although I wasn’t sure if this is currently on tour at an exhibition somewhere). It’s neck section looks to have gold paint sloppily sprayed around.

If you were painting a normal Dalek mostly red then you would paint the slats a different colour, wouldn't you? The whole shoulder section just looks so lazily painted, I think they are having fun with us!

Monday 21st April 2008 - More Red Dalek Thoughts

A slender, long-fingered claw could actually be what I’m seeing in the “egg whisk” attachment in the trailer. It just looks like the finger tips are actually joined together. Maybe they’re not.

Why would this red Dalek be seen on Moyles if there was a banket ban on spoilers? Well, if you imagine a situation whereby the Moyles team with their own digi-cam go on location to a freelance effects place, which is on their own property and contains their own gear, they might not even have the same staff around who worked on Doctor Who, and may therefore have no idea why a Dalek would be a big spoiler. And then Will Kinder has just thrown together the video for website, which they edited themselves, I don’t even know if it would go anywhere near Cardiff’s approval before going online.

All the people in the studio were saying the clip would be delayed until tomorrow, and then they were told it was already online. I could quite imagine another “Oh my God, they’ve got the black one...” moment from RTD again! I think the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand’s doing at the Beeb! (Don’t say that in front of Davros, it upsets him).

Sunday 20th April 2008 - After Planet of the Ood

The Ood story. It hard to appraise in a strange way. It was kind of exactly what I expected (even though I didn't know the plot). It was no more or less than I would expect from a Doctor Who episode. I'm not raving about it, but there was nothing wrong with it. Just kind of ... fine!

I suppose because it was so traditional. It was in many ways the most totally typical Doctor Who story and could have slotted into a Jon Pertwee season.

Sunday 20th April 2008 - A Red and Gold Dalek?

This image is from a clip of Chris Moyles's team's recent visit to Any Effects.

Interesting... but surely too obvious?

Are we seeing another Black Dalek BAFTA type cock up? Or is this a red herring?

Why mock up a fake red Dalek? Maybe to hide the real one?

Sunday 13th April 2008 - After The Fires of Pompeii

Everything I could ever possibly want from a 45-minute Doctor Who.... and a volcano exploding!

I have desperately resisted re-watching new Who straight away, but this one I just wanted see it again NOW! But I am being strong... It will be more exciting in a few months when I’ve forgotten it.

A friend of mine didn't like the "volcano" naming bit, but I think that it doesn't hurt for Doctor Who to be educational. Prior to yesterday, several million kids did not know the word "volcano" came from the Roman fire god "Vulcan". Now they do. Okay, it may have seemed a little forced, but I think that's largely with retrospect because we use the word Volcano all the time. So, if you've got a Roman watching the fire and saying the sight was "Vulan-ic" meaning it must have been caused by his fire-god, it could seem a bit contrived. However since that is how the word was formed, someone must have been the first person to say it.

The water pistol reaching the very tall monster was the only bit that bothered me, although I didn't like Catherine Tate's Roland Rat impersonation - "Yeaaahhh" to Dave Clifton. The "space man" line didn't bother me at all which it did some.

The escape pod bit I thought was fantastic and that shot as they run away from it with the volcano erupting is one of the single greatest sights Doctor Who has ever produced. Alien technology sitting in front of one of the most devastating events in human history. Brilliant.

Loved it.


Saturday 12th April 2008 - Evil of the Daleks Website

Nick Scovell and Rob Thrush were kind enough to hand over control of their old website to me, so I've worked hard to created a totally new site.

The new site features information on the original TV show from 1967, fans reconstructions of clips or whole episodes which are now sadly lost, and most significantly an extensive section on the fantastic 2006 stage play which they put on.

You will find the new website at: www.evilofthedaleks.co.uk.

Thursday 10th April 2008 - Totally Not

I wonder why they've ditched Totally Doctor Who this year? I thought its rating were exceptional at some point? Maybe the adults (who were the main audience) stopped watching?

Wednesday 9th April 2008 - Looney Decision

Did you know that this cameo in Looney Tunes film was one of the reasons the Terry Nation estate were blocking the return of the Daleks in 2005 because it had been done without permission?


Tuesday 8th April 2008 - Worst Ever?

Someone asked me recently what the worst Doctor Who is.

Surely Time and the Rani. The worst script ever in the show's history. This line being of particular note:

"In the aftermath of the explosion, helium 2 will fuse with the upper zones of the Lakertyan atmosphere to form a shell of chronons... In the same milliseconds as the chronon shell is being formed, the hot house effect of the gamma rays will cause the primate cortex of the brain to go into chain reaction, multiplying until the gap between shell and planet is filled."

I think Time Flight is a pretty close second. It has a horrendously bad concept behind it. Terrible acting. All those awful studio sets of prehistoric Earth - at least Time and the Rani had a real quarry! The awful plasmatons and the Master doing his lady voice chanting.

Tuesday 8th April 2008 - Best Ever?

I was discussing with someone recently what my favourite Doctor Who stories are.

I tried to list my top ten, but ten was too hard to narrow down because I excluded too many which I loved, so here is my top twenty!

1) The Talons of Weng Chiang
2) Robots of Death
3) The Evil of the Daleks
4) The Ark in Space
5) Spearhead from Space
6) Day of the Daleks
7) Terror of the Zygons
8) The Empty Child / The Doctor Dances
9) Pyramids of Mars
10) The Five Doctors
11) The Power of the Daleks
12) The Time Warrior
13) Earthshock
14) City of Death
15) Remembrance of the Daleks
16) Human Nature / The Family of Blood
17) The Seeds of Death
18) Logopolis
19) The Sea Devils
20) Blink

Even in that list there are some I feel very guilty about leaving off. I love The Brain of Morbius and Death to the Daleks. But are they great Doctor Who? Well I could watch them both any day. Isn’t the judgement of a good story how much you enjoy it, rather than how clever or allegorical it is?

I think my tastes have changed somewhat. There was a time when I would have put City of Death in my top three, but now it just seems too silly. Maybe I’m taking Doctor Who too seriously at the moment but I’m really excited by decent, meaty science fiction and no so much of the frivolous silliness.

This is actually really hard to do because Doctor Who is so varied. I really want to include Blink in my top 10 but then I look at what’s there and I honestly have no idea if Blink is better than Day of the Daleks. They’re so different. How do you start to compare them? Logopolis is total nonsense, but it’s brilliant. Is Blink better than that? I have no idea! I don’t want to betray the classic series by picking something which doesn’t even have the Doctor in!

Sunday 6th April 2008 - After Partners in Crime

I personally didn't think it maintained the pace enough in the first 15 mins, and it started to drag where she was chatting to her grandpa and arguing with her mum, etc.

However once it hit the scene where the Doctor and Donna were doing the mime through the window - comedy genius - the episode was just brilliant through to the end.

The Adipose aliens have to be one of the most original creations in the history of the show.

I think whether it was a good story should looked at along with the question: was it a good re-introduction of Donna and her relationship with the Doctor? RTD can’t necessarily structure a class Doctor Who episode. But what he can do is set out to achieve a goal, whatever he sets himself. His goal was to provide something light which reminded the kids why they love the show, give adults something to laugh at, and mainly show us Donna in a different light so people instantly forgot the shouty cockney. On that level it worked perfectly.

It also had a truly stunningly original story idea, with the monsters breeding off human fat, whilst tapping a strong cultural reference in people’s minds at the moment. Plus it had a few great set pieces, and a stunning spaceship at the end.

Personally I found it a bit too close to Sarah Jane territory and the espionage stuff was tiresome. But Catherine Tate is absolutely brilliant and the intelligence she will bring to the role is priceless (and something Freema never had). For instance, that whole scene through the glass was improvised by Tate. Can’t imagine many other actors being that creative.

So how does it compare to other season openers?

Loved Smith and Jones at the time, except for one or two awful bits, but it had brilliant monsters and I loved the hospital going to the moon. New Earth was good stuff, and was very funny all the way through. Rose probably my least favourite on first impressions - very luke warm at the time, and awful burping wheelie bin and plastic Mickey... Hmm even though it introduced Rose, it's probably the least good.

Not sure how I feel about last night's over all. It had no bad bits, just some boring ones. And the ending was pretty good, except for the cartoon moment where the woman didn't fall straight away until she realised. God, can you imagine that in Genesis of the Daleks? But Doctor Who has always been a strange one for shifting tone between stories.

Sunday 6th April 2008 - My Robot


Just seen Lee Binding's Shining Darkness cover in DWM which incorporates my Robot artwork! Very exciting to see in print!

Amazon Link.

Saturday 29th March 2008 - Naughty

Just watching The Friday Night Project. They were just reading fans filthy Who porn to David Tennant.

Thursday 13th March 2008 - Old Versus New

As the excitement increases and the new series draws near, how have the last three seasons shaped up over all? What has been strongest and weakest?

I don't know why I keep getting my hopes up that the next season will be amazing, because since the outset, there have been only three stories per season which I have LOVED. To say which season is better comes down to which has the most stories will fall on the good side of average.

Season one:

LOVED: Dalek, Father's Day, Empty Child/Doctor Dances
Didn't mind: End of the World, Unquiet Dead, Long game, Bad Wolf/Parting of the Ways
Disliked: Aliens of London/WW3, Boom Town

Season two:

LOVED: School Reunion, Rise of the Cybermen/Age of Steel, Impossible Planet/Satan Pit
Didn't mind: New Earth, Tooth and Claw, Fireplace, Ghosts/Doomsday, Love &
Disliked: Idiots Lantern, Fear Her

Season three;

LOVED: Lazarus, Human Nature/Blood, Blink
Didn't mind: Smith and Jones, Shakespear
Disliked: Gridlock, Manhattan/Evo, 42, Utopia/Drums/Last

Even though season 1 & 2 are the same in the way I've grouped them, there were more "nearly good" episodes in season two. I'm tempted to bump up Tooth and Claw and Fireplace, and even Doomsday, but I didn't love them, coz certain things about them pissed me off too much, but generally okay.

When you look at it, season three was poor. I'm sad that Utopia and Drums have ended up in the "disliked" category because there were some good bits. But its their choice to group them into one story, and I have to assess them on that basis. It's two and a quarter hours of television, and of that entire adventure, there were ten good minutes at the end of Utopia, some interesting bits in Drums, but lots of pointless running around, and nothing can make up for the horrendous awful ending of Last of the Timelords. So to ruin an entire three part finale is unforgivable.

there the same amount of good and bad stories as the old series?

The early stuff is generally all of a higher of storytelling. Okay they're let down by the budget but they're much less rarely let down by awful plot lines and really cheesy moments. In fact all the cringes in old Who are generally mistakes, like people forgetting lines, or Zarbi hitting cameras. The new series should have no excuse for the kind of awful, flawed and meaningless storytelling of we've had to put up with, or the entire script in Fear Her. They're just a total embarrassment.

The old Doctor Who could be slow and a bit wordy, but it was generally of a good standard considering the volume they produced, comparable to everything else at the time. Many of the awful ones are only bad because they're boring. If you edited some of the worst 60s stories (like The Gunfighters) into 45 mins, you'd have a reasonably watchable little story. Honestly, go and watch The first two episodes of The Gunfighters with an open mind. Pretend they get in the TARDIS at the end of episode two. It's quite good fun!

And I'm not being hypocrtical about endings here (bearing in mind what I just said about Utopia and Drums being ruined by Last of the Timelords) - I don't think episodes three and four of The Gunfighters are that much worse, I just think there isn't enough interesting material to sustain that amount of screen time. Just cut it short, leave it as a fun little misunderstanding which got resolved and everyone can go on their way. Oh, I suppose that does kind of chop off the actual gunfight at the OK Corral... Hmm, maybe I'll shut up about The Gunfighters then... And saying that, there's probably no saving The Dominators either... Okay, maybe it's not just boring. Maybe it is bad...

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