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.
And so, we move onto the Tom Baker era which, it has to be said, does contain some of the best stories. The first few seasons feature a cast and production team full of energy and ideas, and the move towards mainly four-part stories cuts out some of the flab that marred a lot of the Pertwee adventures. Watching these you can see why Baker remains the definitive Doctor for many people. By the end of his run, though, he does begin to outstay his welcome a bit! For now though, enjoy...
Season Twelve (1974-1975)
The Ark In Space
– atmospheric and creepy, with some nice claustrophobic sets and “body-shock” horror. Fairly straightforward in terms of plot, but prefigures some elements of Alien.
Genesis Of The Daleks
– carries a grim atmosphere throughout, with the Thals finally a bit more interesting than their future (in the timeline) bland and blonde incarnations. Moral ambiguity abounds, a wonderful turn by Michael Wisher as Davros, and only a little bit of Terry Nation’s favourite crawling through air ducts. Rightfully considered one of the best of the Classic Who era.
– This is mainly worth watching for being Tom Baker’s first episode, as its always good to see the contrast between the new and the previous Doctor, and strangely wrong to see him driving Bessie. The story and effects aren't up to much with this one, sadly.
The Sontaran Experiment
– short and brutal, with a lot packed into just two episodes. A nice touch to give the astronauts South African accents to mimic vowel shift.