Sunday, November 3, 2013

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary: Top 50 Doctor Who Stories 40 to 31

Here we are marching down to Doctor Who's 50th Anniversary with my top 50 Doctor Who stories.  The second installment takes us through the stories that fill out the rest of the bottom half as we get closer to the halfway point. This is the only part of the top 50 that does not have any stories from New Doctor Who.  Enjoy the list and check back next Sunday for 30 to 21. 

Top 50 Doctor Who Stories 40 to 31

40. Enlightenment
Written By Barbara Clegg
Directed By Fiona Cumming
Why It’s In The Top 50:
Enlightenment is a classic story that takes place on an old whaling ship from the past but in space.  The Eternals are having a race to see who would win Enlightenment and they are using sea faring ships from Earths history and even humans from that era to sail them.  Enlightenment is visually stunning for the Eighties and the sets and costumes are really well done especially Tegan’s gown that she wears at Captain Wrack’s party. This is also the end of the Black Guardian Trilogy as Turlough must make a choice of giving The Doctor to the Black Guardian or not.

39.  Fury From the Deep
Written By Victor Pemberton
Directed By Hugh David
Why It’s In The Top 50:
This story is absolutely scary and has a lot of chilling moments.  Even though it is the 60’s the sea weed creature is a pretty effective creature even if the effects of the day are crude.  But the way it shot gas into the air and took control of you was pretty scary.  Plus it has a pretty chilling cliffhanger for episode three.  Under the control of The Weed Maggie walks into the ocean to kill herself as Robson stands by after getting the Weeds instructions from Maggie.  That scene was a very chilling moment in the shows history and pretty daring for the Sixties and a family time slot.  Fury From The Deep also has a very prominent historical aspect to it as the sonic screw driver made its first appearance. 

38.  Spearhead From Space
Written By Robert Holmes
Directed By Derek Martinus
Why It’s In The Top 50:
The first appearance of the Third Doctor is one that is well write and fun to enjoy.  The Autons make their first appearance and are a formidable foe for the new Doctor as the try to take over the Earth by building an army out of plastic.  The Nestenes are using a plastic factory as a base and have made duplicates of government officials.   Spearhead from Space also ushers in a new era for Doctor Who as The Doctor begins his exile on Earth and has adventures protecting the Earth with UNIT and works as the Brigadiers scientific advisor. It also looks stunning on the Blu Ray release and adds to the imagery of the era and really adds to the enjoyment of the story.

37. The Edge of Destruction
Written By David Whitaker
Directed By Richard Martin & Frank Cox
Why It’s In The Top 50:
It is the only story to take place entirely inside the TARDIS until the Series 7 story Journey To the Center of The TARDIS.  It is a great story that pulls on the paranoia of the travelers.  Plus Barbara really lays into The Doctor and shows a backbone as she refuses to be bullied by him.  It is also a great science fiction story with a pretty cool premise.  Plus it is a story that has little effects and utilizes the TARDIS set.  The director makes good use of the two TARDIS sets and makes a story that is really eerie.  Also has a pretty controversial scene for the time of 1964 with Susan attacking the sleeping cot with a pair of scissors.  Pretty bold move for a children’s show in the Sixties.

36. The Mind Robber
Written By Peter Ling
Directed By David Maloney
Why It’s In The Top 50:
Well it is a pretty cool story and it takes place in a void and not on a planet.  It takes the literature characters and pits them against The Doctor.   Patrick Troughton turns in one of his best performances during his tenure.  It is a great story that is about a battle of wits between The Doctor and The Master of the Land of Fiction.  The Mind Robber is a pretty imaginative story that is something entirely different than what has been done before.  I just really like it and it is a fun story to watch especially with all the characters in it and for the funny part of The Doctor not being able to put Jamie’s face back together.  You would have thought he would know what Jamie looks like after traveling with him for so long. The Mind Robber is just a brilliantly written story and one that should be watched over and over again.

35. The Celestial Toymaker
Written By Brian Hayles
Directed By Bill Sellars
Why It’s In The Top 50:
The Doctor meets his match.  It is a really clever story with lots of interesting characters. It is one of the few stories in Doctor Who that the Doctor has to use his brains and outsmart his opponent.  It takes place in another dimension where games are played and are deadly to the player. For if you lose the games you are trapped in the Celestial Toymakers dimension forever and you become one of his playthings.  It is a really clever story as for most of it the Doctor is invisible and you only see his hands playing the trilogic game.  It is a really clever story as The Doctor faces a foe he has meet before and one that uses games as its weapon.  The Celestial Toymaker was one of the cleverer written stories from the 1st Doctors era.

34.  The Three Doctors
Written By Bob Baker and Dave Martin
Directed By Lennie Mayne
Why It’s In The Top 50:
It’s the first multi Doctor story and the Tenth anniversary special.  The Three Doctors is a great celebration story and you get great moments watching Doctors Two and Three bickering and working together.  It is also the first appearance of Omega and we learn more about Time Lord history and how they achieved time travel. The Three Doctors is the story in which the Time Lords release The Doctor from his exile to Earth and allow him to roam the universe once again.  The Three Doctors is the benchmark for multi Doctor stories and also the torchbearer for Doctor Who Anniversary stories that continues to this day.  It’s just an all-around great story and one that still holds up well today.

33. The Curse of Fenric
Written By Ian Briggs
Directed By Nicholas Mallett
Why It’s In The Top 50:
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.

32. The Five Doctors
Written By Terrance Dicks
Directed By Peter Moffatt
Why It’s In The Top 50:
The Five Doctors is the ultimate anniversary story as the past Doctors of the time (Except William Hartnell who was no longer with us and was replaced by William Hurndell)
all unite in a story that takes place on Gallifrey.  In the Death Zone where the Game of Rassilon is played where the victor must make it to the tomb of Rassilon and accept their prize of immortality. They have been taken out of their respective times and placed in the Death Zone with some familiar friends and also some enemies to fight.  This was the first non Tom Baker story I saw and my first exposure to the other Doctor’s while living in the US I only had the Tom Baker stories at the time.  The US also got to see this story before the UK on November 23rd as JN-T held it over in the UK till the 25th to show it during Children In Need.   The Five Doctors is a true joy to watch and one of the ultimate fanboy stories that might never be accomplished again.

31. Kinda
Written By Christopher Bailey
Directed By Peter Grimwade
Why It’s In The Top 50:
Kinda is a story that deals with mental illness.  Doctor Who often deals with real life scenarios in its stories but not very often does it deal with mental illness.  It is also the first appearance of the Mara as it tricks Tegan to get back out to our reality.  Kinda also has one of the best lines ever as Hindle yells after one of his paper people is ripped ‘You can’t mend people!” Kinda is another story that is that has sets that are visually appealing and also has a very silly snake at the end but that does not damper the strong story. Kinda is a story that tries something different and is a story with little action but with a lot of dialog and that is something that should be attempted again as plot driven as this story is really worked during the eighties.

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