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Favourite Eras

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Post by codywillis1 on Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:38 am

Here's a different one - Favourite Eras (because that and Favourite Doctors aren't quite the same thing).

1 Tom Baker (Williams - JNT Era)

My favourite period of Doctor Who bar none. Tom at the height of his powers, a barking mad force of nature, with a set of fantastic companions (Leela, K9 and both Romanas), great stories and an overall atmosphere of fun and real magic. I love it to bits and then some.

2 The McCoy Era

Okay, so season 24 is a bit crappy, but 25 and 26 are two of the best ever. The McCoy era's tales range from slam-bang actioners (Remembrance, Silver Nemesis) to sword and sorcery (Battlefield), all-out horror (The Curse of Fenric) and the "dark fairytale" style 20 years before a certain Mr Moffat (Happiness Patrol, Greatest Show, Ghost Light, Survival). With one of the all time greatest Doctor/companion teams thrown into the mix, I couldn't do without it.

3 The Pertwee Era

A little inconsistent over the course of its five years (from the heights of season 7 to the lows of season 9), but the Pertwee era is enormous fun, drowning in classics, with a fabulously charismatic and commanding Doctor, some fun companions and the regular presence of the ever-dependable Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, one of the show's greatest icons. Lovely.

4 The Colin Baker Era

Painfully underrated to this day. I love Colin's Doctor, his snarkiness and his pompous theatricality never fail to make me laugh and cheer me up. His two year (and one story) run is far too short, and while the Trial season is a bit iffy (though still better than its reputation sometimes suggests) his first season is one of my all time favourites, with some fantastically dark, macabre and darkly comic tales, the zenith of Eric Saward's dark vision for the show. A favourite.

5 The William Hartnell Era

Many moons ago, I didn't really have time for the First Doctor, perhaps partly due to age and the terrible quality of many of the VHS releases. Fortunately, time and gloriously remastered DVDs have seen my affection for old Bill and his era grow enormously. While much of the first season is a bit dull, The Aztecs and the original Dalek story are sublime, and his second season ranks as one of my all time favourites. Such a shame so much of season 3 is missing (though The Gunfighters is glorious). Ian and Barbara are two of the greatest companions, and I adore Vicki too. There is something genuinely magical about this first era, where everything and anything was possible, and nothing was set in stone.

6 The Peter Davison Era

A funny one, this. The Davison era is immensely watchable and fairly consistent across the course of its three seasons. None of them are really spectacularly great, but none of them are less than good either. On the downside, many of the era's companions are not among the greatest, and Davison himself can vary between great and clearly bored depending on the story, but the era is rarely less than enjoyable.

7 Tom Baker (Hinchcliffe Era)

Many fans seem to rank this is as their favourite, but I've never been that taken by it. Genesis and Zygons are terrific, but for my money neither it nor Tom really come into their own until the last two thirds of the last season (from Assassin). I find Sarah pretty irritating too, which probably doesn't help, particularly after the terribly likeable Harry leaves. Good, but rather overrated IMHO.

8 The Patrick Troughton Era

I like Pat's Doctor more than Davison's, but the truth is there's just way too much of the era missing to make an accurate judgement. Of the only one of his three seasons to be 95% remaining, season 6 earns major brownie points for the lovely Zoe and the sublime The Invasion and The War Games, but the rest of the season isn't that impressive. Until someone finds or animates the rest of his time, I can't really rank the era any higher than this.

9 RTD Era (Eccleston)

Wouldn't normally separate out just one season, but with a different Doctor, you kind of have to. Much better than the rest of the RTD era, thanks partly to a better lead actor, but also due to a greater sense of freshness, before complacency set in.

10 RTD Era (Tennant)

My least favourite era of Who, with my least favourite Doctor. To be fair, his second season is pretty good, and there are a smattering of other good stories (Tooth and Claw, Silence in the Library) but an irritatingly acted and hard to like central character, together with some poor companions and an array of gobsmackingly inept stories, with the success of the first season having apparently almost instantly bred smug complacency and self indulgence on the part of the production team means that I was actually very, very relieved when this overhyped, frequently unwatchable era came to an end.

Not ranking Moffat/Smith yet. Too early, though it's off to a pretty decent start so far, certainly above 9 and 10. I'd be really happy to see at least one modern era beat at least one era of classic for me, and I love Smithy's Doctor, so that's a good start, but whether they can continue - and improve on - the promise of last season remains to be seen at the moment.

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Post by kembel on Sat Dec 18, 2010 4:17 pm

1. Pertwee era - including the much maligned S11. Maybe its simply because I have such fond memories of growing up watching this stuff, (my first Who memory is of The Master 'taking his phone repair man mask off' moment in the workmans hut in The Mind Of Evil). However, I consider myself lucky that this was 'my era' of the show growing up as a kid, with an all action hero in the lead, great companions in Jo and Sarah Jane, and great monsters (and yes, jaded, cynical adult eyes will say that the Dinosaur effects in Invasion Of the Dinosaurs; are crap, but I was a kid in 1974 and I can tell you IT DIDN'T MATTER because having Dinosaurs in Doctor Who was THE BEST THING EVER.

2. Tom Baker - Hinchcliffe -Holmes 1974-77. It took a while to get used to the new guy on the block after Pertwee but the quality of the production, the scripts and the fact that the lead was taking it all very seriously meant that as a kid I became totally caught up in this period of the show, even if the quality seemed to get a bit hit and miss after Horror Of Fang Rock (hindsight shows that, for me, there are no bad stories between Spearhead From Space in 1970 and Fang Rock in '77 (with the possible exception of The Mutants, which would have benefited from being a four parter)

3. Tom Baker S18 Chris Bidmead - A genuine attempt at a different approach. Many people credited JNT with a change of direction but a lot has to be said for Chris Bidmeads job as script editor. He practically wrote or re wrote most of the stories himself anyway

4. Troughton / Hartnell - I can't differentiate between the two. I was too young to see them on original broadcast but the wonders of DVD have enabled me to see them for what they are, groundbreaking BBC family escapist hookum with two compelling mesmeric leads and the mother of all theme tunes. I love the B&W Who to bits.

5. Peter Davison - S19 - I have a soft spot for his first year. Then it all goes horribly wrong.

6. RTD - 9 & 10 - My eight year old LOVES New Who and I love watching it with him. In lots of ways its a completely different show (more so under RTD than Moffet thus far) but in other ways it is the same. I like it. So there.

7. McCoy - S24 is a dog turd of a season, followed by S25 which produced some of the best Who since about 1982, and S26 which produced some of the best Who. Ever. Amazing turnaround, and I give McCoy and Cartmell credit for that.

8. T Baker 1977-79 Williams and Read/Adams - I love one or two of these, but I suddenly realised that T Baker was taking the bleedin' piss. Hardly the right move when you're hoping to capture the hearts of young kids getting caught up in a drama, OK if your a student or older adult watching with cynical eyes anyway. I was still rather young and earnest about the show. Now I'm old, but still rather earnest.

9. JNT and Eric Saward - Davison - C Baker - From about Arc of Infinity onwards, up until Cartmell begins to find his feet in S25. The show completely loses its way. I can count the number of decent stories on one hand with a digit to spare, and the blame for this falls entirely on a producer who has a wrong vision and a script editor who wasn't as good as he thinlks he is. The show is badly written. The show is over lit. The show is, quite frankly stuck up its own backside and written for fans, not the genereal viewing public. It is at times violent and nasty. The lead becomes either a bore or ineffectual. I blame none of this on Davison or C Baker, both fine actors and nice chaps I'm sure. But every decision is a wrong one, no one seems to care, and I grew so bored of it all. I'm glad it didn't stop with cancellation in '85 as we would never have got some rather good McCoy stories later on, but there was a very strong argument for putting the show out of its misery right now.

10. The TV Movie- Americans should not be allowed anywhere near this show. it does not require a car chase.

To early for Moffat and Matt Smith yet, but I really like what I've seen thus far.


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Post by GBF on Sun Dec 19, 2010 4:44 pm

The Tom Baker era would be my first choice - and now I read we have Katherine Jenkins to look forward to...hmm, I may have to miss this one too... lol! Favourite Eras 10625

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