Sunday, November 17, 2013

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary: Top 50 Doctor Who Stories 20 to 11

Here we are more than half way through and in fact we are a shade over 3/4 through the Top 50 Doctor Who Stories.  This is the Top 20 and some of these stories would be a number one or number two on most people s lists.  Well take a look and see who is in the second 10 and around the end of the week we will find out who is number one.

20.  The Web of Fear
Written By Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln
Directed By Douglas Camfield
Why It’s In The Top 50:
Well it’s pretty obvious and it is not for the return of The Yeti and The Great Intelligence but that is a big factor.  The Web of Fear is the first appearance of Alistair Gordon Lethbridge – Stewart otherwise known as the Brigadier but in this story he is a Colonel and is part of the army as UNIT wasn’t formed yet.  It would be the beginning of a great relationship between him and The Doctor that would last a lifetime.  Here is another great story the builds on the fears of the viewer as the Yeti are in the London Underground planning their invasion.  This time The Great Intelligence had laid a trap by invading London with his fungus web so he could take over the Doctor’s mind.  This story is really good with lots of twists and cool scenes in the London Underground sets and it has been recently discovered which makes its placement on the list even higher as I just love this story and how cool it is to watch The Doctor and Brigadier interact for the first time.

19. The Ark In Space
Written By Robert Holmes
Directed By Rodney Bennett
Why It’s In The Top 50:
The Ark in Space is another Robert Holmes masterpiece. This time he uses bugs as the main catalyst. Not just any bugs but a wasp like creature that absorbs the human conscious into the swarm.  The Wirrn are a cool creature that deserves to come back and wreck mayhem in Doctor Who.  They are just that cool and this story was just so good and scary that it defined the Robert Holmes era of Doctor Who.  Plus this was the first Doctor Who story I saw and it holds a special place in my heart as it was the one that got me hooked on Doctor Who.

18. The Evil of the Daleks
Written By David Whitaker
Directed By Derek Martinus Timothy Combe
Why It’s In The Top 50:
The Daleks want the human factor and are asking The Doctor to give it to him by threatening Jamie and plus they have his TARDIS.  The thing that is clever is that The Daleks end up making a time machine that brings them all back to 1866.  What I liked about this story is what Jamie goes through in the house as he goes through some traps and eventual fights Kemel and once saving Kemel they become friends and fight the Daleks.  Plus It is enjoyable seeing The Doctor with the human factor Daleks and the mischief they cause when they end up back on Skaro and meet The Emperor Dalek.  This Dalek story was different than the Dalek stories we’ve had before as it wasn’t centered on them conquering a planet or the universe but more on being able to make themselves invincible by being able to think like humans. 

17. The Girl Who Waited
Written By Tom MacRae
Directed By Nick Hurran
Why It’s In The Top 50:
Here is a really good story that deals more with Amy and Rory than The Doctor which is a rarity in itself in the new series.  We have the dilemma of old Amy and young Amy and what to do with both of them.  Rory is torn because he wants his Amy back but wants to keep old Amy also but The Doctor knows what can happen if both are in the TARDIS together.   The Doctor makes the decision to lock old Amy out of the TARDIS despite the threats from Rory.  An unpopular choice he makes but it is the best decision and the right one.  Rory actually stands up to The Doctor in this story and actually shows some back bone.  The Girl Who Waited is a strong story with a sad ending and yet again the writer and producer have decided to do something different and go outside the box and came up with a story that was clever and excellent.  It worked out perfectly and is one of the best stories in the Matt Smith era.  

16. The Robots of Death
Written By Chris Boucher
Directed By Michael Briant
Why It’s In The Top 50:
I love the fact that robots are used to kill off the crew.  Since it is set on a star miner there is nowhere to go and it gives you a really freaky paranoia feeling to the whole story.  The robots are so cool looking and they do have certain creepiness to them as Leela so aptly labeled them.  The Robots of Death is such a great story that it also has quite a bit of action to it that gets forgotten mainly to the great writing of the story.  It also is a good mystery as you try and figure out who is the one making the robots kill.

15. City of Death
Written By David Agnew
Directed By Michael Hayes
Why It’s In The Top 50:
It’s a Douglas Adams story written under an alias.  It is pretty brilliant the way the whole story takes place and comes about.  The Jagaroth played brilliantly by Julien Glover is split to pieces through time and is trying to get home by pulling himself together.  It is just a well written story that has some great moments and has that Douglas Adams humor that you would expect from him.  Plus the story isn’t all that silly which is not the norm for this era of Doctor Who.  Plus it is filmed partially in Paris, France and is the first story filmed outside of the UK.  Plus the Jagaroth with its spaghetti style head and one eye does look pretty cool.  Plus there is that little sub plot of trying to steal the Mona Lisa also.

14. Earthshock
Written By Eric Saward
Directed By Peter Grimwade
Why It’s In The Top 50:
Earthshock is one of the all-time best Cybermen stories ever.  Their appearance was kept a secret so no one knew they were going to appear as the cliffhanger for episode one and what a great surprise reveal it was.  It is creepy and claustrophobic feel to it makes it one of the best behind the sofa stories to watch with children.  Plus it has an historical aspect to it and one of the most important and shocking one of its time as a companion dies.  Adric sacrifices his life to save the Earth from being destroyed.   Not since the Hartnell era has this been done and to a regular companion that has been traveling with The Doctor for a while. It was truly a moment that the Doctor was powerless and could only watch.

13.  The Mind of Evil
Written By Don Houghton
Directed By Timothy Combe
Why It’s In The Top 50:
The Mind of Evil is a story that I can see happen if it was made today.  The themes and situations that are in it seem perfect for today’s world.  The Chinese and US as the two main powers trying to come up with an agreement to avoid war is not that unbelievable.  The hijacking of a missile that has chemical or nuclear capabilities is truly believable especially with all the terrorist threats in the world.   Plus The Master is in it as Roger Delgado gives us another wonderful performance. 

12. Terror of the Zygons
Written By Robert Banks Stewart
Directed By Douglas Camfield
Why It’s In The Top 50:
Terror of the Zygons is a really great monster story with a monster that is finally getting another chance at The Doctor later this year.  It’s also the last of the true UNIT stories and the last time we see the Brigadier in active duty.  I love how it uses the myth of the Loch Ness Monster as the basis for the story.  It is a great way to disguise and explain the Skarassen and keeping the myth alive.  Of course The Zygons are in it and they are a fan favorite but do little as they do more in their human form.  It is a classic monster story that is well done and this story you really get a feel for what Tom Bakers Doctor will become.

11. The Talons of Weng - Chiang
Written By Robert Holmes
Directed By David Maloney
Why It’s In The Top 50:
It is one of the best stories that Robert Holmes has written. It has a everything you would want in a Doctor Who story.  It has a great villain in Magnus Greel and the way he uses his puppets the illusionist Li H'sen Chang and the Peking Homunculus Mr. Sin is brilliant and using a theatre as cover is brilliant and scary in itself.  It also works because it takes place in Victorian Times and that sets the whole story up to be brilliant as it is in the past and it derives on the fears of that time.  Plus Jago and Lightfoot make a good team and add a sense of comedy in what is a pretty serious story.  I just love that murderous Mr. Sin played by Deep Roy.  He is a truly evil character and eventually tries to kill everyone.

1 comment:

  1. Many of my favorites on this list, especially The Ark in Space