Timestamp: Fifth Series Summary

Doctor Who: Fifth Series Summary

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I am of two minds with this series/season. Before I get there, I do realize that I’ve been using the terms series and season interchangeably. The TARDIS wiki that I use as the reference for Timestamps tends to call the classic years by season and the new years by series. Most BBC shows I’ve watched tended to use series regardless of production year, so I tend to use series more frequently. I may eventually settle on a standard, but I think it’s pretty clear what I’m talking about within the confines of Timestamps, especially since I hyperlink frequently.

On to Series Five…

Starting with the negative, the entire group of stories was in the “base under siege” style. From what I understand, this was a move to save money and time, especially since the show was constantly under the threat of cancellation. This set was also mostly reconstructions, and none of the stories were known to have survived the BBC’s tape purges until the 1990s when The Tomb of the Cybermen was unearthed. Between the repetitive storylines and the visuals of the reconstructions, it was difficult to be motivated to watch. I did, however, try to be fair by judging each story on its own merits rather than judging it against the feel of the series overall.

On a tangent, I do need to revisit The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear at some point in the future since they have been recently discovered.

On the positive, this was one of the strongest set of performances in the show so far. The scores reflect that, with Fury from the Deep taking the low end with a middle of the line rating. When compared against the Second Doctor’s serials in the fourth series, it’s also a strong improvement. This series received the top average of any series so far.

The top score don’t necessarily mean that I like the Second Doctor more, though. Hartnell’s Doctor was very strong even when his stories were not, and in his curmudgeonly yet caring grandfatherly portrayal, he brought to the show what was needed to get it moving. Troughton’s Doctor has been a different take that keeps the undercurrent of grumpiness with a whimsy and childlike outlook that makes the lead character relatable in what was historically a children’s show. The First Doctor made audiences identify with the companions as they explored time and space, and the Second Doctor (so far) makes audiences identify with the team as a whole. Whether it was intentional or accidental, it is a beautiful formula that I have enjoyed watching develop.

I’m looking forward to watching it continue to grow as the sixth series starts, and I’m also looking forward to saying goodbye to the reconstructions as Timestamps enters the homestretch of the Second Doctor’s adventures.

 

The Tomb of the Cybermen – 5
The Abominable Snowmen – 4
The Ice Warriors – 4
The Enemy of the World – 5
The Web of Fear – 4
Fury from the Deep – 3
The Wheel in Space – 4

Series Five Average Rating: 4.1/5

 

UP NEXT – Doctor Who: The Dominators

 

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.

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Timestamp: Fourth Series Summary

Doctor Who: Fourth Series Summary

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This only contains the reviews for the Second Doctor since the First Doctor episodes in the fourth series were average as part of the First Doctor’s summary.

I was really skeptical about this season after The Power of the Daleks and The Highlanders came out so strong, and then The Underwater Menace took a nose-dive. The gradual climb back to the 3 and 4 range with the final four serials was rough in some spots, but a welcome return to what I came to expect from the first three seasons.

Looking back, I shouldn’t have been worried: This season earned higher grades than all but one of the First Doctor’s years, and has been just about as even as I look back over the spreadsheet I’m using to keep track.

Yes, I’m using a spreadsheet. Yes, I’m a nerd. But you knew that, since I’m devoting the time to watch Doctor Who from the very beginning.

Anyway, this start for the Second Doctor is very promising as we head into the fifth season.

 

The Power of the Daleks – 5
The Highlanders  – 4
The Underwater Menace – 2
The Moonbase – 3
The Macra Terror – 3
The Faceless Ones – 4
The Evil of the Daleks – 4

Series Four (Second Doctor) Average Rating: 3.6/5

 

UP NEXT – Doctor Who: The Tomb of the Cybermen

 

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.

Timestamp: Third Series Summary

Doctor Who: Third Series Summary

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I really enjoyed the third series, though it was not as strong as the first two. The Daleks got a wonderful serial that went on a bit long, and it finished strong with three good stories that I felt started to bring the show into a good stride. There are some less exciting adventures, like The Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Eve and The Celestial Toymaker, which brought the score down a bit, but overall I’m still enjoying the First Doctor a lot more than I thought I would.

It will be sad to seem him go with only two serials to go. Before I start into Series Four, however, I plan to visit the Peter Cushing big screen interpretation one last time with the remake of Series Two’s The Dalek Invasion of Earth.

 

Galaxy 4 – 3
Mission to the Unknown  – 4
The Myth Makers – 3
The Daleks’ Master Plan – 4
The Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Eve – 2
The Ark – 4
The Celestial Toymaker – 1
The Gunfighters – 3
The Savages – 4
The War Machines – 3

Series Three Average Rating: 3.1/5

 

UP NEXT – Special #2: Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.

 

 

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.