Continuing my plan to post what I think to be the highlights of every season of Doctor Who, old and new.
For each series I'll try to choose 2, maybe 3 of what I consider to be the best stories, which may comprise any number of actual episodes (somewhere between 1-14, typically 4 or 6). Older Who is nearly always episodic, with NuWho most episodes are self-contained. Feel free to expand on my brief comments, agree, disagree etc. This is, after all, purely subjective.
Season Eight (1971)
The second Pertwee season introduces The Master for the first time, played excellently by Roger Delgado but having him in every story renders him a bit over-used and diminishes his credibility as an opponent. We also see the introduction of Jo Grant and the consolidation of the recurring UNIT characters.
The Mind Of Evil
– Starts out as an interesting political thriller and a meditation on the nature of good and evil. Sadly the interesting political angle gets lost by the end, as it turns into a fairly standard Pertwee-era runabout involving the Master. Also features the unlikely revelation that the Doctor counts Chairman Mao as a friend.
– Not, perhaps, as good as its reputation makes it out to be, but certainly the first in a long line of stories where a god or supernatural being turns out to be a powerful alien entity. A fun riff on Denis Wheatley novels, featuring the Brigadier’s immortal line “Jenkins, chap with wings there. Five rounds rapid.”
Terror Of The Autons
– introduces both Jo Grant and the Master. However, it would seem that the technique of colour separation overlay had just been invented and so they use it (badly) for everything, making the story look gaudy and dated.
The Claws Of Axo
s – more CSO, but better. Some good attempts at really alien stuff, but at four episodes it ultimately feels a bit light, and probably didn’t need the Master.