April 7th, 2010

doctor who

Doctor Who Rewatch: 07

Interesting to note that the six fifth-season stories in this run all have six episodes, and in all cases there was certainly scope for some judicious trimming. (I started the fifth season last time with Tomb of the Cybermen, which has four episodes.)

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We had five stories in a row set on Earth here, the second longest continuous run of such stories in Old Who (exceeded only by the first six Pertwee stories; possibly tied, depnding how you count, by the combination of the last four Seventh Doctor stories and the TV movie). Also five out of six stories were bases-under-siege; funny how rapidly the show became formulaic. (In fairness the next season is much less so.)

We also had here the joint longest run of destroyed episodes - I had thought previously that the gap from The Tenth Planet #4 to The Underwater Menace #2 was the longest, but in fact the sequence from The Web of Fear #2 to The Wheel in Space #2 is also thirteen episodes. Not a single one of these six stories written up in this entry survives in full. I am very glad that there will be far fewer gaps in my next write-up, and none at all after that.

Somewhere in this run I have passed a significant milestone: I have now watched the first 25% of Old Who (including K9 and Company) in order, whether you count by episodes (697 in total, the 175th being The Abominable Snowmen #1) or stories (160, counting Shada and four stories rather than one in Season 23, so the 40th story is The Web of Fear). I haven't worked out where the first quartile point is in screen minutes, but it is clearly somewhere in between as the relatively small number of episodes longer than 25 minutes are all concentrated towards the end. Anyhow, it is a nice point to mark. (If you flatten out the time period between 23 November 1963 and 6 December 1989, the first quartile point falls two years later, in late May 1970, because of the intense production schedule of the first six seasons.)

< An Unearthly Child - The Aztecs | The Sensorites - The Romans | The Web Planet - Galaxy 4 | Mission To The Unknown - The Gunfighters | The Savages - The Highlanders | The Underwater Menace - Tomb of the Cybermen | The Abominable Snowmen - The Wheel In Space | The Dominators - The Space Pirates | The War Games - Terror of the Autons | The Mind of Evil - The Curse of Peladon | The Sea Devils - Frontier in Space | Planet of the Daleks - The Monster of Peladon | Planet of the Spiders - Revenge of the Cybermen | Terror of the Zygons - The Seeds of Doom | The Masque of Mandragora - The Talons of Weng-Chiang | Horror of Fang Rock - The Invasion of Time | The Ribos Operation - The Armageddon Factor | Destiny of the Daleks - Shada | The Leisure Hive - The Keeper of Traken | Logopolis - The Visitation | Black Orchid - Mawdryn Undead | Terminus - The Awakening | Frontios - Attack of the Cybermen | Vengeance on Varos - In A Fix With Sontarans | The Mysterious Planet - Paradise Towers | Delta and the Bannermen - The Greatest Show in the Galaxy | Battlefield - The TV Movie >