Doctor Who: Eighth Series Summary
It’s not looking good for the Third Doctor. Series Seven started on a major high, and even though it slipped as the stories rolled on, it ended up finishing with a strong 3.8 score. Series Eight also started strong, but it fell fast and finally ended up third from the bottom in my rankings, only beating the Third and Sixth Series.
The strongest serial was Terror of the Autons, which brought back the Autons and Nestene Consciousness, a villain with strong but untapped potential, and introduced a strong nemesis in the Master. It also started a loose series-long arc in the Doctor battling the Master, who kind of stood in for his frustrations against his own people. Sadly, the stories got progressively weaker, and the battle with the Master (whose role in each story was essentially the same) wasn’t enough to hold them. That’s not Roger Delgado’s fault by any means, as he has been fantastically evil in the role. I think the writers started to depend too much on that element and less on a good plot to support it.
As I’ve noted in previous reviews, the Doctor is beginning to parallel James Bond in his arrogant attitude and physicality. He is rude, considers himself above everyone around him, and is prone to assault people more and more. The Third Doctor has taken the grumpiness and arrogance of the First Doctor and melded it with his frustration at being locked in one place and time against his will. He’s not a nice man.
As a result, I’m still not sold on his relationship with the Brigadier. Sure, the Doctor is saving the world on a routine basis, but he’s consistently condescending and rude toward the Brigadier, and I don’t know how a man who lives and breathes in an environment that depends on a certain degree of respect for people can tolerate such blatant disrespect.
I do have a degree of sympathy for the Doctor’s situation because the Time Lords are far more arrogant and abusive. They exiled the Doctor as punishment for meddling in time and space, yet they call on him (sometimes without his knowledge) to solve their problems. They know that he’s bitter, and they build and capitalize on it. If his exile is supposed to be teaching him how to be a better Time Lord, I don’t know how it’s supposed to work when they’re constantly making him more and more angry toward them.
And yet, despite how much he claims to the contrary, the Doctor is more like his people than he realizes. It’s quite the dynamic.
Terror of the Autons – 5
The Mind of Evil – 4
The Claws of Axos – 3
Colony in Space – 3
The Dæmons – 2
Series Eight Average Rating: 3.4/5
UP NEXT – Doctor Who: Day of the Daleks
The Timestamps Project is an adventure through the televised universe of Doctor Who, story by story, from the beginning of the franchise. For more reviews like this one, please visit the project’s page at Creative Criticality.
6 thoughts on “Timestamp: Eighth Series Summary”
Oh I definitely agree with you that the Doctor is a product of Time Lord culture and can be just as bad as they are. My take on the Third Doctor has always been that he doesn’t suffer fools gladly. Yes, he’s condescending and rude to officious oafs and sometimes that Brigadier can be that guy, but he’s also charming and affable to people that he respects.
His abrasiveness with the Brig I get, but his constant rudeness directed at Jo upsets me.
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