Monday, November 18, 2013

50 Things for the 50th Anniversary, Plus 1

I love Doctor Who, that's no secret. I thought that in honor of the 50th anniversary I'd put together some "top" lists related to Doctor Who covering many of my favorites from across all of the time and space that the Doctor has covered. As a disclaimer, I have not yet finished watching all of the Fourth or Fifth Doctors yet.

Top 5 Companions:
1. Rose
2. Ace
3. Donna
4. Barbara
5. Jamie

I hope I'm not offending too many people immediately by omitting Sarah Jane Smith. For whatever reason I've never felt attached to Sarah Jane like I have to the five on my list (or another tough omission, Rory).

Top 5 Secondary Characters:
1. Wilfred Mott
2. Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart
3. Captain Jack Harkness
4. Craig Owens
5. Sabalom Glitz

This list could be split into a top 3 and a next 2 and you could order them in any order and it would be ok with me. Captain Jack brought fun to the show, both the Brigadier and Wilfred bring, in their own way, a reliability that otherwise was missing from the Doctor's world. Glitz may be the surprise entrant but I really enjoyed how utterly bendable his will was as long as he thought he was seeking his own best interests.

Top 5 Repeating Villains:
1. The Daleks
2. The Master
3. The Silence
4. The Cybermen
5. The Ice Warriors

This list could be split into a top 2 and a bottom 3. The Daleks and the Master are transcendent villains, especially the Roger Delgado incarnation of the Master. The Daleks get the edge for me probably in part because of their central role in the Davies era and the subtlety of their storyline. The Silurians just missed the cut. The Weeping Angels didn't.

Top 5 Single Episode Villains:
1. Vashta Nerada
2. Count Scarlioni
3. Mr. Finch
4. The Family of Blood
5. Sharaz Jek

I find the Vashta Nerada to be the scariest monster in all of Doctor Who.

5 Episodes that are Brutally Bad:
1. The Web Planet
2. The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe
3. The Happiness Patrol
4. More than half of the episodes written by Mark Gatiss, my least favorite being Night Terrors
5. The Mark of the Rani

I really, really, really don't like the writing of Mark Gatiss. I wish he would stick to acting. I appreciate the political statement of the happiness patrol, but the episode itself is awful (and the Kandyman had great promise!).

Top 5 Partially Extant Episodes that I Wish Were Complete:
1. The Tenth Planet
2. The Faceless Ones
3. The Reign of Terror
4. The Daleks' Master Plan
5. The Invasion

The Enemy of the World was on the original version of this list. Hopefully there's still a remote chance of further discoveries.

Top 10 Classic Episodes for the Modern Series:
1. The Robots of Death
2. The Leisure Hive
3. Remembrance of the Daleks
4. Revelation of the Daleks
5. The Talons of Weng-Chiang
6. The Pirate Planet
7. The Doctor Who Movie
8. The Dalek Invasion of Earth
9. The Spearhead from Space
10. The Silurians

I love seeing how the writers reused ideas from the classic series. Davies grabbed ideas left and right. Moffat is more measured, but his influences shouldn't be overlooked.

A Ranking of the Doctors (plus my favorite episode for each Doctor)
1. David Tennant (The Stolen Earth/Journey's End)
2. Tom Baker (The City of Death)
3. Patrick Troughton (The War Games)
4. John Pertwee (Frontier in Space)
5. Christopher Eccleston (Bad Wolf/The Parting of Ways)
6. Peter Davison (Earthshock)
7. Matt Smith (The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon)
8. William Hartnell (The Chase)
9. Colin Baker (Terror of the Vervoids)
10. Sylvester McCoy (Remembrance of the Daleks)
11. Paul McGann (The Night of the Doctor)

I feel bad placing any Doctor at the bottom of this list, they're all good, but hey, someone has to lose. I do not feel bad picking a favorite. David Tennant brought the justice, intensity, curiosity, and intelligence that we expect from the Doctor, while still having that dark side lurking that we all fear.

It has been a wonderful 50 years of Dcotor Who. Here is to 50 more wonderful years!

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