Doctor Who Discussion

I've been watching the Matt Smith episodes from the start - I'd only ever seen his first episode and I'd really been enjoying every episode so far!

But I just watched The Doctor's Wife and thought it was one of the most rotten things I've seen in ages.

Absolutely every review I've seen seems to be extremely positive about it (to a kinda weird degree TBH), so its perfection has obviously just gone way over my head 😅
I've been watching the Matt Smith episodes from the start - I'd only ever seen his first episode and I'd really been enjoying every episode so far!

But I just watched The Doctor's Wife and thought it was one of the most rotten things I've seen in ages.

Absolutely every review I've seen seems to be extremely positive about it (to a kinda weird degree TBH), so its perfection has obviously just gone way over my head 😅
IIRC I was not a fan of that episode either; although in fairness there were not that many episodes that I was a fan of since Tennant left, I'm just hoping that with RTD coming back that the series is in line for a renaissance; something that the ending of Whittaker's final episode gives me hope for with it's classic Russell T twist.
I'm sorry but the Doctor's Wife is Brilliant and not just because it is Gaiman's writing so I automatically adore, but in fact the camera work is wonderful also and the beautiful colours and black / green atmoshphere
Looks like the long-awaited release for Season 20 has finally come to fruition:
They’ve been working on this set since 2019!
Forgot to post about this. Happy to see the animations continuing - that and we’ll finally get proper recons of episodes 1 & 4.
A huge amount of classic Doctor Who has been added to BBC iPlayer. Weirdly, An Unearthly Child seems to be missing, but at a glance I think everything else might be there, including episodes from incomplete stories and animated reconstructions.
A huge amount of classic Doctor Who has been added to BBC iPlayer. Weirdly, An Unearthly Child seems to be missing, but at a glance I think everything else might be there, including episodes from incomplete stories and animated reconstructions.

The son of the writer of An Unearthly Child has withheld rights from the BBC for reasons. It gets pretty sordid, but the bottom line is that the UK won't see the first Doctor Who story again any time soon. It'll vanish offline, and when the current DVDs sell out, it's gone. On the other hand, Disney Plus does have An Unearthly Child for the US, so VPN?

Watched the new Talking Doctor Who documentary last night, focusing on Classic Who. Tennant watching 4's regeneration into 5 is a highlight. Gonna watch Tales of the Tardis next to get me further into the mood before revisiting the classics.
In anticipation for the 60th anniversary I decided to rewatch some of the classic stories as the hype is actually real for the new specials with both RTD and Tennant coming back for it, rather than clog the viewing journal with tons of non anime stuff, I figured I'd post my thoughts about a few of them seeing as it's a dedicated thread for Doctor Who.

The Web of Fear

The rediscovery of this and Enemy of the World was nothing short of miraculous, Web was a story that many wanted back in the archives and Enemy was one that people didn't think they needed until they finally got to see just how good it was, I didn't quite get to fully rewatching Enemy of the world recently but that one is my favourite of the two, however, Web of fear is also a fantastic story and, as usual, Pat Troughton is one of the best doctors of all and it's great to see the first story of one of the most significant figures in the classic series, Lethbridge Stewart.
Also 60's who is one of my favourite parts of the classic series as it has a great atmosphere mixed with some genius scripts, also the wonky effects blend in so much better in black and white and as soon as colour starts coming into the mix, the cracks in the effects are as clear as day, don't get me wrong, there are some amazing colour stories such as Earthshock and The Caves of Androzani but 60's who was far more consistent IMO; I'm just really hoping they can find more episodes in the coming years as the last find was this and Enemy back in 2013.

The Ambassadors of Death

Thanks to the series coming to Iplayer, I decided to check out some stories I didn't get on DVD or Bluray and this one is the only S7 story I haven't seen on DVD, honestly, it's really good, S7 is perhaps the best of Pertwee's era although his later seasons were really good as well, TBH I don't think the series started dropping the ball until S15, a far cry from the new series that only took a third of that time but I digress, The Ambassadors of Death is a fantastic story by David Whitaker, just as Enemy of the World is as well, it's just so addictive watching how the events unfold and the constant guessing of who to trust and who not to, this one would be Pertwee's best if not for the fact that there are other classics such as Inferno that make the choice of best Pertwee story not such an easy decision to make but this one is up there.

Horror of Fang Rock

S15 was the point where the series started falling apart but it did have a great start, Horror of Fang Rock, another one I saw on Iplayer, was a story that I thought I might have seen growing up but nothing was ringing a bell, nonetheless it is easily the best I've seen out of S15, the other two being Underworld, which has some of the worst use of CSO I've seen and The Invasion of Time which I don't remember liking that much either, unlike those two however, this one is actually genuinely fun to watch, atmospheric and it doesn't hold back, it's also cool seeing what the Rutans look like after hearing them mentioned in several other stories, also it's got Colin Douglas in it, same guy who played Bruce in Enemy of the World, just a fun fact to point out, also I know I've mentioned Enemy in 3 paragraphs now, it's just a really good story overall but I'll try not to sound like a broken record going forward.


Peter Davison's Era is a funny one, on one hand we have some of the most incredible stories to ever grace the classic era, on the other hand, we have Time Flight, luckily this is not Time Flight but rather a story that fits in the former categories, because of how good the optional CGI effects are in Kinda I knew I had to get the S20 bluray to see the updated special effects here and while they are great when they do happen, they don't occur very often, but the overall story is fantastic with it touching on how a once grave threat becomes romantisised and commercialised over the years, also the set design here is brilliant, it's one of the few classic stories that stand out perfectly in colour and the even fewer that are great when being overlit as opposed to underlit, also, one thing that does make the home video version a must is the fact that there is an aftermath to the story but it's a deleted scene, if not for that deleted scene, I would have been underwhelmed by the ending as I see the aftermath as the reward for sticking out with the story that you're invested in and it is a story well worth watching, as are quite a few of Peter Davison's stories.


I've so far been covering good stories, well it's time for that to change, I'll say this one is underrated for the only reason that it is considered the worst story in the series, I didn't think it was the worst overall, of the classic series that would possibly be Time Flight but there are a few that contest that slot, however I just think Timelash is dull, now the reason I watched this one is because I had yet to see it, I had a lot of the S22 Bluray unwatched and I only had three Colin Baker stories left, 2 now that I've sat through this sludge, the two remaining are Mark of the Rani and The Twin Dilemma, I didn't want to end Colin's era on this note so that's why I sat through it first, I think I've seen all the good one's from Colin's era, Vengeance on Varos and Revelation of the Daleks are fantastic, both of which I've seen on DVD in the past but I've heard that Mark of the Rani is one of the better ones so I'd rather wrap up Colins era on that one, anyway, Timelash is just boring for the most part, also the scene inside the Timelash itself looks bad whether the CGI effects are on or not, with them on, the crystals that The Doctor must collect look like video game collectables with how their shiny effect vanishes as soon as he puts his hand on them, with them off, the Timelash does not look anything like it's description, although ironically I will say that the original set for it looks slightly more interesting but only slightly, furthermore the 6th Doctor is really unlikeable here, I know he's had his bad moments before but here he really is trying to cement himself as one of the worst Doctors, though this is definitely down to shoddy scriptwriting as opposed to Colin himself, the much better Big Finish audio stories prove this.

I also checked out some of the animated missing episodes on Iplayer but the animation on all too many of them is dreadful and I've already seen the few good ones on DVD, I also used the opportunity that Iplayer presented to check out The Underwater Menace Episode 2 as that was the only surviving black and white story I haven't seen, now I've seen all the live action ones.
Timelash is nowhere near the worst Doctor Who story in my books (it is one of the weaker Colin Baker serials though), especially taking the modern era into consideration. The Borad’s makeup is some of the series’ best full-stop, and thanks to the collection box set for Season 22, there’s a new version of the story with better effects which works wonders with some of the serials’ shortcomings, like the Timelash itself.
Timelash is nowhere near the worst Doctor Who story in my books (it is one of the weaker Colin Baker serials though), especially taking the modern era into consideration. The Borad’s makeup is some of the series’ best full-stop, and thanks to the collection box set for Season 22, there’s a new version of the story with better effects which works wonders with some of the serials’ shortcomings, like the Timelash itself.
The outside of the Timelash did look better with the updated effects, though the inside of it just looked like mush with them on, the Borad's makeup did indeed look great but by that point in the series, I think they had really gotten the hang of prosthetics anyway, I mean, by the time they got to Battlefield, they made the Destroyer look basically like you'd expect the new series to look.
It's true that, compared to post RTD modern who, Timelash certainly is not the worst story, I wouldn't even quite mark it the worst of the classic series, but it's certainly not a good story.
I won't hear a bad word said against Time Flight!
If you like Time Flight that's fine but I personally didn't, I'll admit it's been a few years since I saw it last and it did have the unenviable task of coming immediately after Earthshock but I would have still been able to appreciate it regardless were it better than it is, maybe if I ever gave it another watch I might change my mind but for now I simply remember it as possibly my least favourite classic who story, though it's not the only story in the running for that unenviable title.
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Because of Doctor Who's Iplayer release I decided to check out the animations for the missing episodes, something that I would otherwise not usually be watching due to the mostly bad quality of them, regardless I thought with the 60th anniversary coming up, it would be fun to rank all the ones that I've seen at least one episode of, as that's usually enough to gauge what the animation quality is like for the rest of the serial.

A bit of context for those unaware as to why these are animated rather than live action, during the 60's, TV episodes were usually only showed once, if you needed the loo or were stuck in traffic, you'll never get to watch Feast of Steven and you'll have to live with that fact for the rest of your life because the BBC back in the days treated their old Doctor Who tapes like junk to be thrown into the furnace, or whatever they use to dispose of them, never to be seen again, well luckily they realised the error of their ways just in time and were able to recover a lot of episodes, including all of Pertwee's ones, mostly from foreign broadcasters but also private collectors and some other unexpected sources on very rare occasions, however, to this day 97 episodes remain lost to the ravages of time, with only the increasingly dwindling hope that some will be recovered; however, for all of them, the audio survives thanks to people placing their tape recorder by the TV, IIRC one individual, Graham Strong even managed to rewire his telly to plug his recorder directly into it, capturing the audio at full quality, thanks to him and everyone else who recorded the audio, we can listen to all the stories, on that note, DW has fared far better than say, The Quatermass Experiment for instance, it is thanks to this audio as well as some telesnaps, still pictures of frames from the show, that the BBC and other's can animate the stories for modern audiences to enjoy, the only issue is that a lot of these animations are not very good.

A lot of these animations are pretty bad to say the least but there's a few that are ok, so let's get the worst ones out the way first before we can get to the better ones.
I want to point out that I have not seen the Abominable Snowman animation as it's not on Iplayer and I don't fancy buying a DVD or Bluray of any of the animations I don't already have on home video so that one is excluded.
Finally I should point out that this does not refer to the quality of the story it's based on, otherwise the list would be greatly rearranged, rather it is solely related to the animation quality and the animation quality alone so without further ado.

12: The Web of Fear

Wait a minute, I was saying good things about this story not long ago, well that's because I was talking about the story itself, the one missing episode's animation however is nothing short of hideous, with that said, the use of CGI could have worked wonders if not for two things, the model quality looks like something that would be better suited to a parody of the show rather than the show itself and the animation which is clearly unpolished, an issue that will come up a lot with these but this one is CGI so there's even less of an excuse as it is far easier to animate a 3D model than it is to animate a 2D image, oh and the yeti look like they're in the wrong production, I guess that makes three things.

11: The Ice Warriors

Once I considered marking this at rock bottom but this one might actually be subject to change, I recall watching it back in 2019 when I had far less tolerance for tween based 2D animation which this one revels in, I didn't get much of a chance to rewatch it recently so I'm mostly going off my past thoughts for this one, I just remember a scene where an Ice Warrior grabs Victoria's arm and it simply looked like a lego hand slotting onto her arm on the animation, on a more recent rewatch, still a while ago, I switched to disc 2 and watched the cut down recon and just the still frame for that particular scene had more impact than the animation ever did.

10: Fury From the Deep

While a lot of these are bad, none stand so counter to the theme of the story quite as much as this one, Fury From the Deep is said to be the scariest Troughton story of them all but how can I possibly be scared when the characters look and move the way they do here, I don't usually find Doctor Who scary anyway but the audio here did indicate something that could give me the creeps if only the original episodes had survived, in any case I've only seen an episode of this just in case they actually manage to turn up the live action version, highly unlikely I know but I'd rather not have this story ruined by sub par animation.

9: Power of the Daleks

Now we get into the realm of animations that are not very good but are mostly similar in quality to each other that ranking them becomes rather difficult, Power of the Daleks' animation however, is once again sub par with the ever present issue of very few in between frames that are actually drawn, I'll admit I haven't gotten much of a chance to see the CGI Dalek's in action but I can kind of imagine that they're basically, well, CGI Daleks, now there is one thing to point out, this has been redone for the special edition release, I saw it on Iplayer so I don't know whether this is the original or updated animation but, whatever version it is, is not very good, I guess they did alright with the end part of episode 1 but other than that, it's kind of a similar situation as the next few, only without colour.

8: The Faceless Ones

The Faceless Ones' animation is your bog standard run of the mill BBC animated story, you've got constant tweening to try and pretend the characters are moving but it just looks unnatural, honestly I'd rather they just skipped animating the surviving episodes and used the time and budget saved from that to polish these animations because they are sorely in need of it.

7: The Evil of the Daleks

Basically like the Faceless Ones but a bit better, it's use of colour is pretty good I guess but as far as animating the characters go, it's the same story, one example to point out is that in the surviving episode 2, the beginning scene where that one guy get's exterminated, naturally we see him fall down to the ground normally in the live action but how does the animation capture that moment? one millisecond he's standing up, next, he's on the ground with no in between frames to bridge the gap.

6: Galaxy 4

I've got some good news, this is it for the bad ones, Galaxy 4's animation treads the line between being watchable and not so much, there's more actual frame by frame work here which is good but still a fair amount of tweening, it's like the last two listings but better I guess; still gonna stick with live action Air Lock though.

5: The Reign of Terror

A lot of people do not like this one, I can understand why, it does keep cutting away from the actually well animated stuff to show some CGI face close up's which, are not too bad as far as the models are concerned, especially compared to Web of Fear 3, but certainly not great, with that said I personally like it enough as far as being a bridging the gap kind of episode, it's not suitable for a full story but it's watchable enough, though it is easily Planet 55's worst one.

4: The Macra Terror

Something strange has happened... back in 2019 I bought the Blu-Ray of this one, hoping against hope that I might be able to tolerate the animation and enjoy the story aaannndd I hated the animation, I couldn't stand how the characters were dependent on tweening to move and I also remembered a badly animated can can scene, even though that was only there for just a second or so but I decided to rewatch this one just the other night and blimey, my thoughts have flipped like a pancake on this one, yes there is tweening but it's actually effectively used here, the character movement is more natural than I remembered and it's certainly not much different to the animation of say, Aggretsuko, yeah the can can scene is still absolute cringe but it's very brief, other than that, this one's actually not half bad and definitely the best in house animation.

3: The Invasion

So, the Invasion's animation uses tweening once again and not in a good way like The Macra Terror, there are not that many hand drawn frames and yet, despite that, I've ranked it very high, the reason for that is the aesthetic of this animation and how it blends flawlessly with the story, it kind of reminds me of the cutscenes of Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker which is perfect for this story, giving it an almost noir comic like aesthetic, also the background art is some of the best in these animations, even rivaling the next two.

2: The Tenth Planet

The first animation that I actually liked, technically I saw the Invasion's animation before but it took a rewatch or two to warm to it, regarding this one however, Planet 55's animations are among the best we've gotten for these missing stories, there's actual real quality to the character sprites, kind of resembling anime levels of quality, there are a lot of frame by frame scenes, though there are still a few tween based, can't have it all perfect I suppose, with that said the animation quality here is mostly great with a good number of really well animated shots, overall while it is frustrating that the first regeneration story's climax is missing, at least those who animated it are actually really good at animation for a change, which brings me to.

1: The Moonbase

This is it, the pinnacle of Doctor Who's missing episode animation, basically Tenth Planet's quality but even better, the amount of frame by frame shots are plentiful and the tweening is minimal, it's not gonna make Redline or One Piece Film Z be shaking in their boots but by the standard of the missing episode animations, it is top tier, I was able to happily watch this one even back in 2019 before I came to appreciate non anime animation, in fact, the animation here is so good that I wouldn't be too fussed if they never found the original version of this story, don't get me wrong it'll be great if they do but there are so many other stories out there that need the original print found far more than this because my first thought when I saw this animation is that it makes it feel like nothing is lost.
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I’m curious as to how it will turn out - they’re apparently working on another colourisation so there seems to be faith in the concept.