A Quick Guide to Classic Who Season- 19

Hagan is doing a guide to Classic Doctor Who. The whole thing! This is Season 19.

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26 Comments

  1. I love how you do trivia about writers and staff … and stuff.

  2. Actually, I personally think the pertwee era used the sonic screwdriver more as a magic wand then when tom baker was on the show. During the pertwee years it detected and blew up mines, was able to track where that glob thing in the 3 doctors went, and detected the trap the master put on his TARDIS is colony in space. Any those are only the ones I can know of or can remember. It’s true that the 4th doctor used it more, and it was a crutch for him, but the 3rd doctor used it the most as a magic wand. So, I guess we can blame barry letts for having the sonic screwdriver being a magical do all machine in the new series

    • I think you’re right, danny. Although the forth Doctor did switch his sonic screwdriver to a “theta omega” setting in “The Android Invasion” so it could cut through “plastic ivy”, that’s the only occasion during his era, I can recal,l where the device was used like a magic wand.

  3. I’ve been dying to see this episode. I really wanted to see how you treated Five when he’s your least favorite classic Doctor. The answer is: very fairly! Excited to see more! ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Castrovalva – There are some things in this one that are good, but the sets are pretty bad. Plus, the fact that the Doctor had to learn from a kid that 3 comes after 2 made me ask myself “why do I get the feeling that this is how Gabe Newell will finally make Half-Life 3?”

    Four to Doomsday – It was interesting, and I can’t dislike it. The biggest complaint that made me hate Adric was him calling women impatient, dumb, and selfish. If anything, I’m glad they killed him off.

    Kinda – Haven’t finished watching this one yet. So far, it’s close to being as good as Earthshock in this season.

    The Visitation – Yeah, this is really forgettable. I couldn’t remember what this was about till you explained it. Plus, I have to agree with you on the sonic screwdriver.

    Black Orchid – I almost came close to asking if you don’t consider Vincent and the Doctor as a historical, but I don’t know if I should, since there’s an alien bird monster in it.

    Earthshock – Yes, this one is really good! Nothing much to say about that, except that me and my brother noticed that the communicators in this story were a multitester, which is a device that checks the power within batteries. Really good device, by the way.

    Time Flight – Never saw this one. I remember Nash reviewed this one. It looks pretty bad!

    As for Anthony Ainley, he’s my 3rd favorite Master, followed by Roger Delgado as 2nd, and YANA being my #1 favorite. I really do wish that they did continue to use Derek Jacobi, that way the Sound of Drums and Last of the Timelords could have been a little bit watchable, as well as The End of Time. His time in Utopia was great, until the butt of the Master appeared in the last few minutes. Why did they switched the actors?

    • Derek Jacobi also played the Master in the animated story “Scream of the Shalka”, which was originally meant to be the canonical continuation of the series after the TV movie but was removed from continuity by the RTD series.

      • And thank god, it was awful.

      • Is Alan Stevens right about “Scream of the Shalka”? Is it really bad?

      • Yes, he is. The dialogue, in particular, is awful and even Russell T Davies has stated that Richard E. Grant phones in his performance; although I’d go further and say that it sounds more as if Grant attached his performance to the leg of a carrier pigeon and then shot it down with an 88 millimeter flak cannon. BTW, David Tennant provides the voice of the uncredited Caretaker in episode 1, and gives his all time best performance in Doctor Who.

  5. Well, that was very good. I’d even go so far as to say it was excellent, except that it would make me sound like a Cyberman. My only issue is with Diamanda’s unfathomable dislike of season 18. As for season 19, it generally works out because:

    1/ Some stories had already been put in the pipeline by Christopher H. Bidmead.
    2/ New script editor Anthony Root was competent.
    3/ Eric Saward was mainly confined to writing his own scripts, and not badly rewriting everybody elseโ€™s,
    4/ John Nathan-Turner was treading carefully and did not, as he would later do in season 20, chop and change ideas on a whim (thereby screwing up story comprehensibility).

    So really, season 19 can be seen as the calm before the storm.

    • While I can’t speak for Diamanda, the usual reason people give for not liking season 18 is because the show stopped being any fun. While that seems strange considering thats what people hated about season 17, that is the usual reason thats given. I cant speak for myself though, as Ive never seen the season.

      • ” the usual reason people give for not liking season 18 is because the show stopped being any fun.”

        Well, whoever these people are, they are wrong. I watched all but one story (‘State of Decay’) from season 18 a few weeks back, and I thought it was, on the whole, very well done. And there was loads of humour in it, in fact, much more than you get in any of the Davison era stories.

        I’m aware that there is a biased against season 18 from some of the more fanatical elements of Nu Who fandom, because the script editor, Christopher H. Bidmead, said publically that the science in Nu Who was terrible (which it is) and that many of the scripts by Russell T. Davies appeared to be first drafts (which was later proved to be correct). I also remember, when Bidmead said this, the DWM ‘Time Team’ attacked season 18 (coincidence?), while, in the same breath, praising season 17 (script edited by RTD favourite Douglas Adams) to the skies, so maybe this is influencing current perceptions.

        I watched season 17 a few months ago, and thought it highly variable. The scripts were basically okay, but the poor production values ruined some (“The Nightmare of Eden,” “The Horns of Nimon”) and I found that the series felt tired, as if it was just going through the motions, with what little excitement there was being undermind by flabby comedy and lazily written, and rather coarsely acted, stereotype characters.

        At the time fandom hated season 17 and loved season 18, whereas the ratings from season 17 where huge, and the ratings for season 18 were small. I’m not sure what that tells us. Perhaps the general public preferred season 17 because it was cosy, and hated season 18 because the style of the show had changed too much, or maybe it was simply down to the competition, in that ITV being on strike boosted ratings for season 17, but being scheduled next to Buck Rogers in the 25th Century was more than season 18 could handle.

        Then again, perhaps it was none of those things, and that the audience, fans and general viewers alike, were just sick to death of Tom Baker. I know I was. I know most of my classmates as school were, as many of them defected to Buck Rogers.

  6. I’ve been listening to some Big Finish recently and for some reason I find that 5 goes really well with pure historicals. maybe it’s his passive nature that lets history play out. I think it also gives that doctor some depth, it strange to see this pleasant fellow be so casual about wars and massacres. intentional or not it does make a little more alien.

  7. Finally! I’d been dying to see you tackle the Doctor you’d previously described as “sopping blonde vagina”. Your criticisms do remain very fair, however. I’m also kind of impressed that you held back on the opportunity to bash “day of the doctor”‘s big continuity issue that is created when #5’s Sonic Screwdriver is destroyed.
    Including the DVD commentary clips was a really fun idea – In hindsight, it does feel like a vital companion (no pun intended) to the 5th’s era.

    • I will talk about Day of the Doctor when I get to my Twatty Who review of the Quadrilogy of the Doctor ๐Ÿ™‚

      • welp.. I hope you’re nice to “night of the Doctor”, as someone who likes the 8th Doc love it, my fav thing to come from the 50th year.

        p.s. it is a pity we had to have to the war Doctor instead of a weary mc Gann though.

      • Quadrilogy of… The whole thing?! *vibrates in anticipation*

    • There are 4 ‘of the Doctor’ in a row so I’ll do a single video (maybe 2) about the whole thing. None are bad enough to warrant a full Twatty Who.

    • And theres also the fact that 10s screwdriver was destroyed in 11s first adventure which makes that entire cross driver calculation completely redundant and stupid.

  8. I admit I really like Four to Doomsday because of its visual quality and the actor who plays Monarch, who is a joy to watch. When I ask people about it, they don’t say its horrible they just shrug and say they don’t know about it.

    Visitation is really just for fun. The Terriptle designs are interesting and the dialogue is fun. Its a well worn trope done well. Its no Kinda though, its kind of the opposite; the story of Kinda is multi-layered, interesting and philosophical but has a rubbish looking reptile villain (the snake looks like a bouncy castle), whereas Visitation is a simple and well worn story with better looking reptilians.

  9. YAAAY, FINALLY!!!!

  10. I think that the main problem with the 5th doctor was that he was so passive and not assertive enough. That, combined with his only other trait being kind of gentlemanly is why I think this incarnation seems to come off as so bland. Anyway, although iv’e seen very little of the 5th doctor era, I would defiently say this was by far the best season overall from what I have heard.

    • “I think that the main problem with the 5th doctor was that he was so passive and not assertive enough.”

      To be honest, I dont’ think that really stands up. Davison’s Doctor used to shoot people. He even shot dead one of his own campanions, and I don’t remember any other Doctor doing that. I think if there is a problem with Davison, it’s that the fifth Doctor can be a bit samey and bland at times, although how much this is to do with the actor, and how much is simply down to the poor quality of the scripts, it’s hard to tell.

      Robert Holmes said that he found it difficult to get a grip on who exactly the fifth Doctor was, and so when scripting “The Caves of Androzani” he just wrote it for Tom Baker. The fact that Davison gives his best performance in that story, might suggest it was a scripting problem.

  11. Everyone check out 10:23. Why is Nyssa grinding her crotch into the Tardis console? Is this really the sort of behaviour we should expect from a high-born young lady from Traken?

    BTW, here’s my review of “Earthshock”:
    http://www.kaldorcity.com/features/articles/earthshock.html

    • Seeing as it is a classic set, I’m just going to assume that it was coming apart and she had to hold it up inconspicuously. :p

      • That console seems pretty firm to me. Also all this stuff about how the sets in classic Doctor Who wobbled all this time is just a lazy journalistic invention.


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