A Quick Guide to Classic Who Season- 11

Hagan is doing a guide to Classic Doctor Who. The whole thing! This is Season 11.

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21 Comments

  1. SJS was beautiful, sassy, smart, strong and yet still screamed a lot, thus still showing a vulnerability. She was the archetypal companion.

    saying that however I’m also a little baffled as why she seems to be highlighted from all the others. I Do like her but it’s obvious it had to do with her being on the show at its (arguably) finest era”
    .
    oh and turning her into a love-sick ex-girlfriend in “School Reunion” was lame.

    • SJS was based on George from The Famous Five, a girl who wants to be a boy. That is the then current production team’s very conservative take on Women’s Liberation. The character, would take off in a different new direction once Hinchcliffe and Holmes took over the series.

  2. It’s strange… I’m almost a little sad that the Pertwee part of the guide is already over. It almost seems like the feel of your show changes with the feel of the original show.
    In any case, great work once again!

  3. I gotta disagree on one point. The Sontorans had the best look in “The Sontaran Experiment.

  4. Just a fun note:
    The eighth Doctor in the Audio Dramas (which Night of the Doctor made canon) did encounter the giant spiders again on earth. During that adventure they brought a ton of those crystals to earth so he could have just held on to one of them during THAT adventure (especially considering the state he left the Spiders in at the end of that storyline).

    • Night of the Doctor does not make the eighth Doctor Audio Dramas canon. Indeed, what is, or is not, cannon isn’t something that can be easily defined in Doctor Who, and with time constantly changing and being rewritten within the series, it can be argued that certain televised episodes my no longer be part of the Doctor Who narrative.

      • True, but the simple fact of having Mcgann name drop all of his Big Finish companions and only them does tend to make one more inclined to count those stories as official as opposed to some of his other stories.
        Besides I’m just noting a potential solution to the crystal problem that doesn’t make the Doctor look like a complete idiot.

      • The eighth Doctor may name drop his BF companions, but at this stage he’s also supposed to be sporting a number 2 haircut and wearing a leather coat, which isn’t the case in Night of the Doctor. Again, canon is an odd concept when applied to Doctor Who as the programme spans many different media and has many different authors. Basically, there is no one delineating factor that you can use to define whether a story is canon or not, and eventually what you decide to accept or reject has to come down to where you personally draws the line. Equally, the idea of a “personal canon” is a nonsense, because “canon” is meant to represent a generally held view, not something that only exists in the head of one person. Also to include BF is to muddy the waters even more, because although they may list their listenership in the thousands, Doctor Who on TV has an audience of millions, with a world wide viewership of around 110 million, so it’s doubtful that any author working on the TV show would rely entirely on a BF audio to explain a plot point.

  5. I’m with you on Sarah Jane Smith. I don’t despise her, but I don’t see the appeal either. She’s just okay for me.

    The Time Warrior: Yes, the blue doesn’t seem to fit with the Sontorans, but I still like the New Who Sontorans better, since they kept the whole race short, they’re fun and exciting, and they have Strax, who was the only best thing about season 7. Everything else about that season was a huge pile of meh.

    Time of the Dinosaurs: Never saw this one, but I did see Nash’s review of it.

    The Monster of Peladon: both Curse and Monster were okay for me. Speaking of Cold War, what did you think about the Ice Warrior being CGI? I struggled to argue with one of my friends that it could have been done with makeup, and the CGI was really, really unnecessary!

  6. I always thought the Sontarans looked like humanoid baked potatoes in tinfoil.

    • Oh, you’re not the only one who thinks that.

      • I always thought they’d be pretty vengeful if that was the case. “Now it’s YOUR turn to be sliced open, stuffed with sour cream, chives and bacon bits, and roasted alive!!!!”

  7. Re: The Time Warrior. This is the best story to feature the Sontarans, in that it’s basically about how a group of knights from the middle ages get to interact with a alien knight from space. Once you remove that context, however, all you’re left with is a bunch of military baffoons, which probably explains why so many subsequent Sontaran adventures were pants.

    Re: Invasion of the Dinosaurs. Diamanda, you describe this as the perfect Pertwee story, but you also list is as the worst story. Could you please expand on this?

    Re: Death to the Daleks. This is possibly the best story of season 11. Here’s my review: http://www.kaldorcity.com/features/articles/death.html

    Re: “Rejigg.” Malcolm Hulke’s Invasion of the Dinosaurs rejiggs plot elements from Doctor Who and the Silurians, in that both feature a secret underground government establishment and a group of people trying, in some way, to cancel out history and rewind to a preferred different age. And yet it’s poor old Terry Nation you single out as the writer who rejiggs story elements! Talking of which, did you know that Terry Nation’s first draft of The Daleks’ Master Plan featured Mavic Chen planning to use the time distructor to reverse the Earth back to a “virgin land” which he and a selected elite of 50 would then rule over? Is this a case of Hulke “regigging” Nation?

    Re: Pertwee more adult era of Doctor Who. I don’t agree. I think the Hartnell era was much more adult. The Pertwee era is almost infantile in comparison.

    Re: SJA being the best Doctor Who TV spin-off. That’s true only because the other’s were so awful.

    • Here’s something I should have posted yesterday:-
      http://www.kaldorcity.com/features/articles/masterplan.html

      It’s an article on the making and origins of The Daleks’ Master Plan, which also references and contains small extracts from Nation’s draft scripts. This was written with the kind co-operation of Master Plan story editor Donald Tosh, who provided some intersting background details for me, and also read the final article through before publication. Tosh is a very nice guy, and a talented writer.

    • Torchwood was, well, okay. I can’t say it’s awful, but I can’t see it as something that I would watch again.

      • If The Sarah Jane Adventures are better than Torchwood, then the latter must be pretty god awful.

  8. Can’t wait for next time with MY favorite Doctor 😀

  9. Hey, where’s Season 12?

    • Im taking a couple weeks to do other stuff. Scripting the Tom Baker seasons right now. Will be back soon.

      • Okay, cool.

  10. I like Sarah Jane just fine except when she’s being frightened or upset. Something about the way Elizabeth Sladen played those emotions always made me imagine a whole lineup of people waiting to slap her out of it as in Airplane.

    I think I found Jo Grant very likeable because it was obvious how much Katy Manning and Jon Pertwee liked working together. If only the writers could have made her character a little more able. I suppose you do need someone there who knows less than the Doctor in order to justify the exposition – with either version of Romana for example there really shouldn’t have been too much dialogue at all when you think about it.

    When I first saw the band The Residents I immediately thought of Centauri from the Peladon stories. Just add a top hat.

    Now we’re on to the era that features the man who I would have said was my favorite Doctor for years. Baker was also the first one I ever saw. For some reason though when I go to watch Who nowadays I almost always put on a Pertwee era story.


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