Timestamp: Ninth Series Summary

Doctor Who: Ninth Series Summary

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The difference between the Eighth and Ninth Series is night and day.

Where the Eighth got bogged down in the series-long Master arc, this series got back to telling relevant and moving stories. The Master even returned in The Sea Devils and The Time Monster, which both still used the same trope of the Master trying to take over the world with power he can’t control, and they were still better than the majority of the Eighth Series because they felt fresh.

The feather in the cap for this set was The Mutants, which nearly broke my rating scale with how dense and symbolic it was. If there was a low point for me, it was The Time Monster, and not because it wasn’t good but because it wasn’t as good for me.

This also marked a major return to space/time travel for the Doctor, despite the fact that his TARDIS is still locked out, and it really shows how much of a critical component it is in the Doctor Who formula. Having that power, despite being limited by the Time Lords who are still using the Doctor as a puppet, seems to lift a burden from the Doctor’s shoulders. He’s high-spirited again, and even though he’s still arrogant and rude, he’s less rude to those around him. Whether that’s because he’s grown to respect Jo, the Brigadier, and the UNIT team, or just because he enjoys his slackened leash, it’s made these stories much more enjoyable.

Meanwhile, I still don’t like the Time Lords. They obviously get off on yanking the Doctor around by that leash, and have no problem with the hypocrisy of sending him off to meddle in affairs of space and time so they don’t get their hands dirty. You know, despite the fact that they punished the Doctor for doing exactly what he’s doing at this point with their blessing.

Contrast that with Jo, who has become absolutely fantastic as a companion now that she and the Doctor can (in a limited fashion) travel in space and time. Her fear has been replaced with bravery, and her horizons have been broadened by getting off the planet and seeing how humanity evolves. Series Eight Jo has climbed the ranks of my favorite companions.

This series is the highest rated (so far) in the Timestamps Project, and the closest contender is Fifth Series at a 4.1. I really hope things keep climbing, even if there is so little room to do so.


Day of the Daleks – 5
The Curse of Peladon – 5
The Sea Devils – 5
The Mutants – 5
The Time Monster – 4

Series Nine Average Rating: 4.8/5


UP NEXT – Doctor Who: The Three Doctors


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.


18 thoughts on “Timestamp: Ninth Series Summary

  1. I love that you’re digging Pertwee. Season 9 is really good and I think that a huge part of that is getting the Doctor back into time and space as you’ve already said. I still don’t understand what Derrick Sherwin was thinking when he thought that the Doctor Who could just be a series set in modern times, and I’m glad that Barry Letts decided to overturn that as soon as he became producer. Wisely, he chose to do it gradually, so that it didn’t seem to convenient.

    I’m not sure that I’d say that season 10 is a better season, but my favorite Pertwee story of all is in it.

    About the Time Lords, you’ll learn later that they have politics and factions just like we do. There’s a group of Time Lords known as the CIA (Celestial Intervention Agency) and they’re the ones advocating for the Doctor to meddle in affairs. It’s never been clear if their use of the Doctor as an agent were clandestine or if the High Council as a whole knew about them.

  2. […] Series Six earned a 4.2 average. That leave this group at eighth place overall, tied coincidentally with the classic era’s Eleventh Series. Ahead of it in this ranking are Series One, Series Three, and Series Five (all tied for fifth), David Tennant’s specials, the TV Movie, Series Four, and the classic era’s Ninth Series. […]

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