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.
Finally we get to the Fifth Doctor, in many ways "my" Doctor as this was the first season where I was able to watch all the episodes in a story (and so it made a lot more sense). This was because this season was shown on weekday evenings rather than Saturday teatime - I was rarely in range of a TV on Saturdays, and video recorders were still new and clunky at this time. However, this is the first series where I have early memories to compare the recent viewings with. There are still some I have no recollection of, though.
Peter Davison's tenure has some ups and downs, but I'm inclined to place some of the good stories amongst the best, at least for their interest rating if not the production quality.
Season Nineteen (1982)
– As with other seasons, it’s good to catch the first episode for a new Doctor by way of contrast. This one’s not bad in terms of invention either, even though the special effects aren’t quite up to the task of capturing an Escher-like setting. Bet they could do it justice these days. There is a frustrating quality, however, to post-regeneration stories where the Doctor is out of action for most of it (cf. The Christmas Invasion) because one of the things you want to see is how the new Doctor behaves compared to his earlier versions.
– I found this one really freaky when I as younger. I possibly had one of my recurring sinus infections and was thus feverish at the same time, which in many ways improves it (and many of the characters spend a lot of the time sweaty and out of their minds). Amazing how scary purple teeth can be. The line “You can’t mend people!”
somehow stuck in my mind until I forgot where it came from, until I saw this story again. Very different, very interesting. Shame about the terrible non-cliffhangers (Nerys Hughes’ pointless scream), and The Rubber Snake.
– An entertaining pseudo-historical, and the terileptil animatronics aren’t too bad, but it feels a bit slight to be a full classic. The historical twist to the ending is fun, though, and something I remember from first time around. This one feels like it inspired RTD with his pseudo-historical stories.