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The Discontinuity Guide seems to suggest that Season 7 (Pertwee's first) was particularly good. Views?


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 15th, 2006 08:16 pm (UTC)
I'd agree. Basically, it's three superb stories and The Ambassadors of Death, which has a plot that was re-written three times anbd yet still manages to be rather good. Both Doctor Who and The Silurians and Inferno are seven-parters with enough plot and characterisation to make that work. The season has Liz Shaw, one of the best companions ever, and a UNIT team that hadn't become cosy and familiar. Spearhead From Space contains the iconic scene of the shop window dummies, obviously, but as it was all shot on location on film it looks fantastic as well.

Doctor Who and the Silurians is simply one of my favorite Who stories of all time. It's got complex characters with believable motivations, both human and reptilian, it's got a fascinating premise that sets up a primal conflict which works both at face value and as a metaphor for other conflicts where one race of people has surplanted another, and it has a cast to die for. Even Paul Darrow's OK.

Yes, I agree completely. Dr Who at its finest.
Mar. 15th, 2006 08:50 pm (UTC)
This pretty much sums up what I think! I'm no great fan of Pertwee, but I really love the look, feel and ideas of the season 7 stories. The later seasons have their moments, but too often the Doctor becomes patronising, the ideas are leaden, the stories silly and the characters - particularly Jo Grant - annoying.

Liz Shaw really is one of the best companions ever - I get so cross with lazy writers on the show who argue she had to be got rid of because she couldn't say "what's that Doctor?" enough - and Pertwee's character really is a suave, sophisticated, intelligent and compassionate character, rather than the slightly tiresome and petulant self-righteous busybody he later became.

Completely agree about Doctor Who and the Silurians - the ending is what RTD wanted to achieve in Christmas Invasion but utterly failed to do so (although I enjoyed this story immenesly in every other respect)/
Mar. 15th, 2006 09:41 pm (UTC)
I'd agree too, for many of the reasons given above. All of the stories work on multiple levels, good characters, good plots etc.

I don't know if there's any truth to the story that some of these script ideas were originally being worked on for an adult-orientated Quatermass series, but they certainly have that aspect to them - especially Spearhead from Space with tailor's dummies and shock fake policemen.

Dr. Who at its best - though I may be biased since Pertwee is 'my' doctor, and caught me at an impressionable age.
Mar. 15th, 2006 08:48 pm (UTC)
I really hate Pertwee but Season Seven is definitely his best, largely because the abomination (or Jo Grant, as she may also have been called) hadn't turned up at that point.
Mar. 15th, 2006 08:56 pm (UTC)
Season 7
Actually, since the DG was published years ago, I've become a much bigger fan of Pertwee in general and Season 10 in particular.
Mar. 15th, 2006 08:57 pm (UTC)
Re: Season 7
I didn't want to be Anonymous, it's me, Paul C!
Mar. 15th, 2006 11:25 pm (UTC)
Re: Season 7
I did wonder! I remember putting the point about Seasons 10, 12 and 14 as being Just Great back at Worldcon. But I am always willing to be educated!
Mar. 15th, 2006 11:38 pm (UTC)
Re: Season 7
Season 10 has Carnival of Monsters in it, which I must say I thouroughly enjoyed watching again on DVD. Frontier in Space is probably my favourite of the late Pertwees - a great, political story, well told with one of the series most believable alien cultures. I have a soft spot for Planet of the Daleks, although it's a bit rubbish, because it was one of the first DW books I ever read. The Three Doctors really isn't up to much, though - apart from seeing Troughton do his thing again.

The Green Death is almost a brilliant story in a lot of ways - Brigadier stops being a buffoon, fairly well handled eco-subtext, some icky monsters and a lovely performance from the chap doing the voice of BOSS, but too much hippy dippy nonsense and cardboard-cut-out Welsh types for my liking. Great ending, mind; one of the best farwell-to-a-companion bits.

It's certainly a lot better than season 11.
Mar. 16th, 2006 06:44 am (UTC)
Re: Season 7
That pretty much sums up what I think. ;-)

Season 10 is the first season I watched (aged five), which gives it a special status in my affections. For ages, Carnival of Monsters was my favorite Pertwee, if only because I thought the Drashigs were very scary. In context, Planet of the Daleks is a dreadful pastiche of Dalek stories that have gone before, but when you're five and it's your first Dalek story, you don't know that. There's a part of my brain that, whenever I hear a Dalek voice, flashes back to the malevolent fungus-spitting jungle of Spiridon and shudders.
Mar. 16th, 2006 08:43 am (UTC)
The Silurians is particularly good IMHO, and Liz Shaw is a far better companion than Jo Grant.
Mar. 16th, 2006 12:13 pm (UTC)
Liz Shaw is my favourite companion, ever - (A) Caroline John was gorgeous (B) Liz was intelligent and sharp (C) I loved the obvious sexual tension between the Doctor and Brigadier over her... ;)

Spearhead from Space looked gorgeous because it was made on film but the first episode is very slow; it perks up from there. The Silurians is just superb, Doctor Who pretty close to its finest with some real moral complexity to it.

Ambassadors of Death and Inferno are both too long. There's probably enough material for a good four-part story in AoD - the low-key atmosphere of paranoia and suspense is great, but the runaround and thick-ear stuff with Reegan is rubbish.

I liked the parallel universe in Inferno and hated the slime/mutation subplot; other people think the exact opposite. Courtney was icily excellent as the alternate-world Lethbridge-Stewart, though.

7x25 didn't seem to be a good length for the series, with only the Silurians being an unqualified success. It's noticeable that they went back to shorter stories after S7.
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