Timestamp: Thirteenth Series Summary

Doctor Who: Thirteenth Series Summary

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The Thirteenth Series showed us the Fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith in their grooves.

With respect to this project’s reviews, the thirteenth year of the Doctor’s travels series has seen ups and downs, but none of the downs were severe. The high point was definitely Pyramids of Mars, which was a fun adventure with a complex story where the villains actually won until a last minute (almost deus ex machina) save. I would normally dislike a deus ex machina, but Doctor Who is formed from the premise of an unexpected power or event saving a seemingly hopeless situation. the Doctor is, from the human perspective, a god who emerges from a machine. So, it works for me.

The lows were Terror of the Zygons and The Brain of Morbius: Terror of the Zygons felt like a paint-by-numbers romp filled with Scottish stereotypes, and The Brain of Morbius shared the problem of a story built strictly on tropes. Both also used famous monsters to drive the story, but instead of making Frankenstein’s monster or Nessie a clever nod, the routine stories made the monsters almost groan-worthy.

It’s worth noting, however, that neither of them fell below a mid-range grade.

All of that aside, I am still enjoying the dynamic between Tom Baker’s Doctor and Sarah Jane. I admire his whimsy and her strength, and together they make a fantastic team. It’s going to shake things up a bit when she departs in the next series, but from the experiences of this project, it’s also good to shake up the formula from time to time.

By the numbers, this series is on par with the Seventh and Tenth. It is tied for fifth overall, coming in behind the Twelfth, Fifth, Eleventh, and Ninth, in ascending order.


Terror of the Zygons – 3
Planet of Evil – 4
Pyramids of Mars – 5
The Android Invasion – 4
The Brain of Morbius – 3
The Seeds of Doom – 4


Series Thirteen Average Rating: 3.8/5


UP NEXT – Doctor Who: The Masque of Mandragora


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.


7 thoughts on “Timestamp: Thirteenth Series Summary

  1. I’m kind of surprised that this season ranks fifth for you overall, due to the great amount of love that exists out there for the Tom Baker era, but that’s a large part of why I find your reviews interesting. I do think that the next season is overall better than this one and I can’t wait to see how the Tom Baker era as a whole shakes out for you.

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