Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary: The Top Five Sylvester McCoy Stories

Unfortunately just like with Colin Baker Sylvester McCoy did not have a huge backload of stories.  Yes he was The Doctor for three season but in that time he had only 12 stories one more than Colin Baker.  So to be fair this list will be a Top 5 as let’s face it a top ten list would not make much sense at all.  So here we have what I think is the best of Doctor Seven and in fact this list was not that hard to come up with.

5. Dragonfire
Written Ian Briggs
Directed By  Chris Clough
Why It’s In The Top 10:
Dragonfire is the story that introduced Ace and more or less got the ball rolling on the changes in the 7th Doctor’s character.  Gone was the bad rhyming and the excessive silliness that was evident in the first three stories of his era.  It is also the only story that had the feel of a Doctor Who story which was sorely needed in a very poor season 24.  Dragonfire saw the return of Sabalom Glitz and unfortunately he gets stuck with Mel as she leaves the TARDIS for good.  In Dragonfire you see a Doctor that seems to be getting more mysterious and darker and that is a good thing for the show going forward.

4. Battlefield
Written By Ben Aaronovitch
Directed By Michael Kerrigan
Why It’s In The Top 10:
For fans of the Merlin and Arthurian Legend it is a good story for you as it gives a different spin on that legend and for the Doctor also.  The Doctor takes the role of Merlin in this story as he is mistaken for the legendary wizard or is he.  Battlefield is also the last time Nicholas Courtney plays The Brigadier in Doctor Who and it is something special to see these two old friends united again to save the planet. 

3. The Greatest Show In The Galaxy
Written Stephen Wyatt
Directed By Alan Wareing
Why It’s In The Top 10:
This is just a fun story that has the feel of a classic story that has been lacking in the McCoy era to this point with the exception of the Daleks story so far and makes up for the lack luster stories before it in season 25.  The Greatest Show in The Galaxy closes season 25 on a high note and brings the season some scare factor as this is one has some scary moments.  It also is based at a circus and shows that circuses can be evil but more to the point it tells us clowns are evil also.  In fact the Chief Clown is pretty creepy and Ace can attest to that.

2. The Curse of Fenric
Written By Ian Briggs
Directed By Nicholas Mallett
Why It’s In The Top 10:
More of The Doctor’s dark past is revealed and more manipulations of Ace happen in this conclusion of Ace’s tests by The Doctor.  Ace meets her mother as a baby during the height of World War 2.  Plus this story has vampires or Haemovores as there were some really cool scenes seeing them come out of the ocean.  We see The Doctor manipulating everyone trying to trap the Fenric yet again but the plan almost back fires as Ace isn’t wise to what is going on and almost ruins it.  A really good story that feels more like a traditional Doctor Who story while also staying true to the new direction the production crew were trying to pull off.

1. Remembrance of the Daleks
Written By Ben Aaronovitch
Directed By Andrew Morgan
Why It’s In The Top 10:
It is just one of the best Dalek stories ever and definitely the best one from the 80’s plus it has the Special Weapons Dalek.  This story in a way reboots the series as we see a different take on The Doctor as they make him more mysterious and darker.   There were seeds of it in Dragonfire but in Remembrance we see it full blown as new aspects were added to The Doctor’s mythology.  We also for the first time see the Daleks go up steps for the first time as we see them elevate up the steps in the cellar.  Many consider that this story should be the 25th anniversary story as there were more nods to the past in this story than in the actually anniversary story Silver Nemesis.  What is also shocking is that The Doctor destroys Skaro and many believe that is the first shot fired in the Time War.


  1. A very unimaginative list. How can a story where the Doctor talks a dalek to death be any good? Time, Paradise & Delta - silly? At least the Doctor isn't strolling around in complete control rendering any danger pointless. Season 24 is one of THE best.

    1. Well this is my top 5 not the Calvin Saxby top 5. You are more than welcome to send us your top 5 and we will post it.

    2. Of course I appreciate that. It just seems remarkably similar to others, that's all. I seem to be in a minority regarding the McCoy era but the Doctor has never been someone in control knowing everything - he stumbles into a situation & tries to help - look at Caves Of Androzani for example. My McCoy top 5 for what it's worth: Paradise Towers, Time & The Rani, Delta & The Bannermen, Dragonfire & The Curse Of Fenric. Could explain why as you did but it'd take a lot of space & it is your blog. Thank you for responding, Calvin.

  2. At the time I found some of McCoy episodes like Time, Paradise and Dragonfire to be really good but I have since cooled off toward those. I always hated Delta and Happiness with a passion. There isn't that many McCoy's to choose from and I don't feel the need to pick out controversial or out of the box selections for this era. I tend to like the stories on Jeff's list but I have grown to like Ghostlight a bit more than I did in the past and I have not seen some of these in years.