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 choose 2 or 3 of what I consider to be the best stories, and a selection of also-rans. "Stories" 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 Eleven (1973-1974)
The last of the Pertwee series, but also the first for Lis Sladen as Sarah-Jane Smith. Although he'll never be my favourite, Pertwee's Doctor has grown on me. The problems are generally not with the actor's portrayal (a surprisingly serious version of the Doctor), more with the six-part serials that tend, for the most part, to feel badly padded. I guess the production team must have felt the same as from now on most stories are four-parters.
The Time Warrior
– introduces Sarah-Jane Smith and Sontarans, in an entertaining historical setting and good guest stars (including Jeremy “Boba Fett” Bulloch and June “Dot Cotton” Brown). Tightly scripted with not as much running back and forth as most Pertwee stories.
Death To The Daleks
– I’ve not chosen a dalek story for a while, so it’s about time. Certainly not the strongest of episodes, but the overall season is quite weak. Good for the idea of the living city, the city “tentacles” and the scene where one attacks a dalek. Bad for the awful incidental musical theme for the daleks.
Invasion Of The Dinosaurs
– Watch a couple for the sheer badness of the dinosaur models. Give a wry smile as you bear in mind that the story was only made because Clifford Culley of Westbury Design and Optical Ltd. pushed for it because he wanted to showcase their dinosaur models. Actually, the rest isn’t bad, with an interesting arc for Mike Yates.
Planet Of The Spiders
– Potentially a good story, with a touch of Buddhist philosophy. Terrible acting by the humans of the eponymous planet, some rather archaic “yellowing-up” of western actors to portray east Asians, a long and pointless chase and some dodgy spider models are just about redeemed by the ending.