Doctor Who: Ninth Series Summary
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.
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.