A Quick Guide to Classic Who- Season 02

Hagan is doing a guide to Classic Doctor Who. The whole thing! This is Season 2.



  1. Another great episode. A lot of information in there while still being entertaining.

    So, is The Web Planet more or less silly than Webworld?

  2. The Time Meddler was the first story worked on by Donald Tosh who I think was the best writer/ Script Editor of the first doctor era. Who do you think was the best Script Editor during Hartnells tenure on the show?

    • If you would like to read an extensive interview with Donald Tosh please got to: http://www.kaldorcity.com/people/dtinterview.html

      • That was a very interesting interview Mr. Stevens. I have liked Mr. Tosh since I first heard his DVD commmentary. I thought he was going to be in An Adventure in Space and Time, but I did not see him listed in any credits.

      • Glad you liked the interview.:) Donald Tosh did appear in An Adventure in Space and Time. He can be seen as one of the crowd singing “For she’s a jolly good fellow” during Varity’s leaving scene, although he doesn’t look very jolly himself. Probably annoyed at all the massive historical and technical errors that littered this particular drama-doc.

      • thanks I now know were to look for him

      • Talking of massive historical errors in An Adventure in Space and Time, for a full update, please read this:


    • I dont think one really leaps out ahead of the others for me. I tend to go by season to season or story to story.

      • Here’s my brief evaluation of Doctor Who story/script editors of the classic era. David Whitaker was a good story editor, strong on characterisation and dialogue, but not a very good script writer. Dennis Spooner was an okay writer and story editor, but was prone to comedy that verged on the broad farce, he also didn’t want to rock the boat during season two, which resulted in a lot of very bland stories. Donald Tosh gave Doctor Who a good kick up the arse, and introduced a dark moral complexity, however, Gerry Davis went in the opposite direction, turning the show into one about evil space monsters. Victor Pemberton’s tenure as story editor was far too brief to make an impact. Things improved under Peter Bryant, where an element of moral ambiguity again started to seep back into the villains the Doctor faced. Derrick Sherwin is mainly known for attempting to turn Doctor Who into Quatermass, but he also introduced a bizarre psycho-sexual vibe to the show. Terrance Dicks was good on dialogue, but his plotting was poor. Robert Holmes was generally strong on both. Sometimes his villains were down right evil (Magnus Greel), sometimes they were morally ambiguous (Noah), but all his stories had a strange sadistic undercurrent. Anthony Read was solid on both dialogue and plot, but could be a little bland. Douglas Adams had good ideas and his dialogue was strong and inventive, but his plotting was atrocious. Christopher Bidmead was strong on dialogue and concept, but at times could be a little weak on storylining. Anthony Root’s tenure on the show was too short for any accurate assessment. Eric Saward was all over the place. During his first three years on the show his dialogue and characterisation vacillated between the banal and the awful, and his plotting was equally haphazard. Then, during seasons 22 and 23, his dialogue and character development improved enormously; this was probably induced through his friendship with Robert Holmes, which would also explain the huge increase in sadism. Finally, we have Andrew Cartmel, who tries to go in two directions at once, having an evil Doctor fighting evil forces, with an ethically compromised companion stuck in the middle. Hope that’s some help.:)

  3. I think Doctor Who series two was a bit of a disappointment. In fact the programme appeared to be running out of steam by “The Reign of Terror.” Whereas season one has stand out classics like “An Unearthly Child” (that’s the opening episode I’m referring to here) “The Daleks,” “Marco Polo” and “The Aztecs”. The only stories that really stand out in series two are “The Dalek Invasion of Earth” and “The Time Meddler.” Equally, although “The Keys of Marinus” and “The Edge of Destruction” are basically crap, they are also a lot of fun, but many of the clunkers of series two (“Planet of Giants,” “The Web Planet,” “The Romans,” and “The Space Museum”) are not just badly written/directed/produced, but are also as boring as hell. Only “The Rescue,” and “The Chase,” manage to achieve that so-bad-it’s-good feel. Amazingly, series two’s audience is enormous, and it’s the far superior season three that gets the ratings crash. Just shows, you can dumb down, but you can’t dumb up.

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