back to article Doctor Who fans name best episode ever

Over 6,700 Time Lord fans responded to a Doctor Who Magazine call to rate all 200 episodes of the classic sci-fi TV series, and selected 1984's The Caves of Androzani - in which fifth Doctor Peter Davison hung up his sonic screwdriver - as the best of the bunch. Davison's finale beat 2007's excellent Blink, with David Tennant …

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Happy

Re: @Bo

I see your Victoria and raise you a Jo Grant.

As for the comments about Peri's boobs, if that had been the major factor "Planet of Fire" would have won hands down...

*Anyone else see the Spitting Image style Dr Who "making of" pisstake that had in the credits: "Peri's boobs by Industrial Light and Magic"? I'd give my eyed teeth for a copy of that.

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Coat

@ By Gordon is not a Moron

The title you're looking for is "The Curse of Fenric" one of the better Sylvester McCoy stories.

GVood thing "Silly Nemesis" isn;t in there.

Mine's the one with the sonic screwdriver in thepocket.

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WTF?

Re: More Moffat?

Totally agree. Silence in the Library/Forests of the Dead was my all-time fave Who story, with Blink coming a very close second. I have high hopes for the Moffat-led episodes to come. Hope we haven't seen the last of River Song or Sally Sparrow (although she did have 'closure' at the end of Blink).

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Having a Dr Who nerd for a brother...

... has resulted in some knowledge transfer.

@Rod MacLean

I believe the one you are referring to is "The Tenth Planet" which was the last of William Hartnell's stories. Last I heard the first three episodes survive but the only remaining bit of the concluding episode is a clip of the regeneration scene.

@AC 12:40

That would be Jon Pertwee''s final story entitled (appropriately enough) "The Planet of the Spiders"

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Anonymous Coward

Best episode EVER?

These headings are always soooo stupid:

a) There will be more.

b) There's always going to be a huge bias towards the more recent ones.

The fact that some of the older ones got to the top only goes to demonstrate that the kids are turning off the idiot-box. Unfortunately, they're turning on the idiot-interspazz-social-nets-web instead.

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Unhappy

Killer foam

I remember a real oldie, one where deadly 'foam' was spewing out of the ocean via pipes?

Scared me whit-less as a kid.

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Lu
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@Graham Bartlett and Toastan Buttar

Couldn't agree more. The climax of that episode had one of the greatest lines in television:

"My name is The Doctor and we're standing in the biggest library in the Universe. Look me up." Invincible alien pauses, and decides not eating The Doctor would probably be the better part of valour.

CLASSIC.

Can't wait for the new season.

Oh, good to see "Blink" in there, of course.

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WTF?

The Girl in the Fireplace

has to be one of the best IMHO, and I'm an old fart who's been watching since the Patrick Troughton days. I too am surprised that it's not in the top 10.

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Alien

Stupid Question

Can anyone point me to a site where I can order/download all the Dr. Who episodes? MY only exposure here in 'Merka is from the now-named SyFy channel with Christopher Eccleston being "that guy in G.I Joe" and David Tennant being "the Harry Potter guy".

I'm reading right now "HGTG"; I want to move onto Lovecraft next. Why does it seem, that for good stories that have some science in them for fun and not the other way around, I need to look across the ocean?

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If I had voted

I would have voted for Hartnell's "The Aztecs" (episode 6) or Troughton's "The War Games" (episode 50). I liked "The Aztecs" because it didn't have any alien/robotic antagonists and gave what was for the time an accurate view of aspects of the Aztec civilization.

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Hold on a minute

If an episode with John Pertwee didn't win, it's flawed.

How can anyone not like that bouffant hair and crushed velvet jacket?

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Alien

Spewing out of the ocean via pipes?

That would be Fury from the deep (goodbye Victoria).

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Logopolis? You must be joking

I loved that as a child and watched it again about four years ago. It's painful. Wooden acting, deeply crappy sets. I'll grant that the ending is good and the plot isn't that bad but it really doesn't stand up when stripped of its nostalgic glow.

I agree that War Games was pretty good and much of Moffat's episodes were excellent. Ditto lots of Holmes episodes.

No one seems to have mentioned Impossible Planet/Satan Pit which has a hackneyed plot but great implementation. Likewise Family of Blood.

I have a soft spot for Warrior's Gate, Black Orchid and The Deadly Assassin too.

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Happy

Stupid Question @ Chris Seiter

I just ordered one off eBay. Do you have eBay in 'Merka'.

You could also try the BBC shop although just looking now BBCmerica looks a little expensive.

Of course you could hunt around but I would never condone infringing BBC License Payers copyright.

Does anyone remember the Dr Who with Peter Cushing and Roy Castle?

Pure suspense in greyscale

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Pirate

Re: Stupid Question

<cough> TPB </cough>

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re-visited the chronology

Having lived in Australia I was lucky enough to be able to revisit - with my daughter - the whole run of Dr Who from first opening in the junkyard to today.

Sure, a lot of the older episodes where pretty cheesy - wooden acting, plastic sets, and plots you could drive a truck through... but for sheer entertainment I really enjoyed it (and was really glad to be able to introduce my daughter to the whole back story)

Nice to see some of my favourite episodes on this list, though Fang Rock was the one that scared the willies out of me as a kid and even re-watching it made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck.

Big fan of the new series (and Torchwood and even Sarah Jane Chronicles)... really keen to see how it evolves

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Stephen Gallagher

I'm rather fond of the two stories he wrote for Doctor Who - Warrior's Gate (4th Doctor) and Terminus (5th Doctor)

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What was the one with Jo Grant

And the big green maggots. I liked that one.

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Joke

Re: Blink

"Blink was awesome, as was the Empty child - adopting a childlike voice to say "Are you my mummy?"scares the bjesus out of my missus!"

I bet it does - especially during sex!

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Linux

Too Many Good Lines...

Greetings and Salutations....

Alas, I have not seen ALL the episodes, but, the thing that impresses me about them is the continual flood of amusingly subtle (and not so subtle) humor that shows up. The Talons of Weng-Chaing is one of my favorite episodes, too, both for the over the top acting and, that golden moment when Li H'sen Chang opens the box of swords, to discover that the Dr. has slipped out; looks at the audience and says in that delightfully bad Chinese accent "One of us is Yellow...".

All in all, though Dr. Who demonstrates that a well written show, even with cheesy effects and amazingly huge calls for the suspension of disbelief can provide pleasure for generation after generation, and, can evolve to bring a "reality" to the characters in it. Some of the recent episodes where the Dr. has been truly scary have done just that, and have enriched the show by the exposure of these facets of his complex personality.

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Anonymous Coward

@Chris Seiter

BBC America show it, not sure how often they repeat it though, and NetFlix have just about all the modern series available, apart from the Christmas specials.

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Anonymous Coward

@Gordon is not a Moron, @Ian Ferguson

Gordon is not a Moron, you are thinking about "The Curse of Fenric".

Ian Ferguson, I don't remember an excellent episode with Peter Kay. There was an increcibly lame one, though, called "Love and Monsters".

I agree with someone else who commented that the large number of episodes from the last three series is probably largely due to them being most recent. but I personally think that Blink is possibly the best episode ever.

And City of Death has to be there, if only for John Cleese's cameo in the art gallery (oh, and it is a genuinely excellent story as well).

(Anonymous, to avoid getting lynched by all the RTD and/or Peter Kay fans.)

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FAIL

Time(lord) sensitive poll

And if you do this poll again in ten years you will get a more recent doctor's episode as favorite I bet. It all depends on the ages of those surveyed. Its unlikely the poll was weighted by age....

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Boffin

Mr. Rockman, your story is...

..."The Green Death".

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Go

Re: Stupid Question

Amazon.com has nearly all the commercially available DVDs. I've been getting mine from a mixture of them, DVD Empire, Deep Discount, and, in a couple cases where I was willing to pay the trans-Atlantic shipping charges and absolutely couldn't wait the extra couple months for the region 1 DVD, Amazon.co.uk.

I've seen better prices than Amazon.co.uk for the region 2 DVDs, but none of those sites are willing to ship outside the EU.

If you want a list of all the "classic" stories currently available, see the DVD list on the Doctor Who Restoration Team site at: http://www.restoration-team.co.uk/

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just wanted an excuse to say...

"wibbly wobbly, timey wimey..."

and

"reverse the polarity of the neutron flow!"

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Flame

Jenkins! Chap with wings there. Five rounds rapid.

How could The Daemons be missing from that list?

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The first daleks - beats anything these youngsters enjoy.

To this day I remember (in black and white, of course) the Doctor and granddaughter landing on the planet of the Daleks, with the dark spindly forest and the (probably plywood) city full of humans trying not to get killed by Daleks. Lifts with big round buttons for the Daleks to push, and corners for unsuspecting humans to get ambushed and turned into negatives.

But I was a rather small and gloriously terrified child. Nightmares for weeks!

BTW, talking of back stories, what happened to the Doctor's granddaughter? She seemed to drop off the plotline quite early.

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Flame

This poll was obviously rigged...

...by the people who say they can't make any sense of "Warriors' Gate". Best. Story. Ever!

I do agree "Logopolis" (rather like the idea of trying to fix the universe) and "The Aztecs" (what's this rumor about all the female companions before Ace being wimps, huh?) belong up there as well.

My soft spot is for the reunion shows, so "Mawdryn Undead", "Battlefield", and all the multi-Doctor stories would be on my list...

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McCoy

Definitely does not deserve any episodes in the top 10, or top 100 for that matter. I can't believe anyone actually paired up "decent script" with "McCoy era" using a straight face...that's just not on, even accounting for differences in taste. I saw a few of them this year for the first time in decades, and even the ones I remembered as "not bad for a McCoy episode" were deeply nonsensical. I think the only half-decent one of the lot was Remembrance of the Daleks (in which a Dalek happily levitated up the stairs, so the commentators you see wibbling on about "ooh, the Daleks can fly in the new Who, they could never get up the stairs before" can kindly stuff it, thank you). Maybe Fenric was OK; I haven't seen it lately, but I remember it as what should have been a 6-parter crammed not entirely successfully into a 4-part story.

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My children

Being modern kids, they thought most sci-fi/horror stuff was a bit naff.. but Blink and the echo's of "are you my mummy" (Empty child) had them squirming on the couch (and my 8 yr old diving behind the couch to hide at key moments).

Brings back fond memories of me having nightmares as a kid watching Tom Baker. I have never gone back to the old episodes; I suspect my memories are far better than the actual quality of the programs.

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@Mark York 3

Great !!

I'll check it out.

it's probably not scary at all now..

Thanks.

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Happy

Pertwee

Top 5 Pertwee IMHO

The Green Death (I cried with the Doctor at Joe leaving)

Brain of Morbius (scared the bejesus out of me)

TOW The demon in the cornish village (witchcraft, ancient alien science being like magic to us - mind expanding stuff to a kid)

The Axons (golden coloured people?) and the Nestens (plastic people horror)

Pyramids of Mars (birthed my fascination with Egyptology)

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Hartnell & Pertwee

They should be on this list.

I remember going to an SF con as a teenager and wondering who the guy with the perm and the scarf next to the words "Doctor Who" was. I'd seen Doctor Who, and it wasn't him! I came to like Tom Baker later, but it took a while. Hartnell _is_ Doctor Who to me. The mystery of the early episodes, never knowing where things would go or what the Doctor could do, is something later episodes just can't match.

I'd have expected Pertwee, Jo, the Brigadier, Benson and the gadgets to come high on the list,too. Ah, well. Talons of Weng-Chiang made it. Unearthly Child belongs there, too.

And Fang Rock--if nothing else for:

"Are you in charge here?"

"No, but I've got lots of good ideas!"

Still gets me, every time.

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Anonymous Coward

As tvtropes puts it

who can forget the scenes leading up to the regeneration in the final episode of The Caves of Androzani? Carrying Peri across a battlefield surrounded with explosions, nearly dying of asphyxiation in an earlier scene and generally engaging in derring-do - all so he can save the girl he accidentally got into this situation and all while dying from spectrox poisoning. And not only this, but in the final moments of the first scene mentioned, he knows he has no cure for himself - he still delivers Peri to safety and meets death with dignity. And people thought the Fifth Doctor wasn't badass.

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Happy

The Caves of ... recalled

Besides Peri's gravity-defying boobs, I remember the 'Caves of ....' episodes as marking one of the first TV appearances for 'Hustle' ever-present Robert Glenister (Ash Morgan), brother of Philip Glenister (Life on Mars/ Ashes to Ashes). He played the rather shifty android Salateen.

I bet that's made everybody's Friday.

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Moz
Flame

Tsk.

No 'Girl in the Fireplace'?? No 'Seed of Doom'???

Tsk. That's all I can say. Tsk.

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Unhappy

Fury from the Deep - 1968

"Only stills and/or fragments exist" - wikiwhacky

awwwww.

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Hmmmmm,

Certainly peri brought a couple of important qualities to that episode. (Davidson often remarked afterwards that his death scene was his finest moment of acting, but nobody's ever seen it because their attention goes elsewhere.)

I'd prefer Earthshock though, the script wasn't that good but Adric getting killed whjile trying to save the dinosaurs earns him a fairly unique Darwin award.

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Badgers

Fang Rock

Terrified as a kid. For years afterwards my dad would make the monster noise.

All this "voted for by the kids" complaining is nonsense. Anyone can vote. Kids don't watch Doctor Who more than adults nor do they vote more. It's one of those shows you watch *with* your kids if anything, a tradition I'm more than happy to perpetuate.

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Anonymous Coward

@ Winkypop

Not the same as the DVD, by may be good enough to bring back the memories....

http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/classic/photonovels/fury/

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Big Brother

Anyone...

remember Pirate Planet by Douglas Adams? A classic Dr Who for me along with "the Dr Who Movie"

Im old old, saw my first Dr in 1963.

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Alien

Re: Mr. Rockman, your story is…

The Ark in Space. Big green maggots, played by actors in bubble-wrap.

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E-Space Trilogy

Just bought and watched the E-Space Trilogy. Full Circle was interesting, the deciders reminded me of some of the managers I work with. State of Decay was a bit lame. I first heard this on Audio Tape and was much scarier. Warriors Gate had an awful lot of bad acting and maniacal laughing in it.

People also need to remember that at the time time of broadcast, the TV SFx were cutting egde. Dr Who was the first TV serial to use CSO and boy, was some of it crap - Underworld in particular.

I'm glad that Talons is in the top 10 as it is my favourite, but the Key to Time Saga was an excellent season.

People also have to remember that Dr. Who has been going on for 46 years, not 4.

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Happy

@Quirkafleeg

No, "Green Death" is right. Big green maggots down mineshafts. The requirement for Jo Grant is a giveaway here as it makes it a Jon Pertwee / Katy Manning outing. "Ark in Space" is a Tom Baker / Liz Sladen piece.

I do appreciate the opportunity to think about Jo Grant again though. Thank you.

Re: "Planet of the Spiders". I went to a convention once where one of the guests was Matt Irvine (spelling?) of the BBC effects department. He brought the animatronic spider with him. Quite large, but nowhere near as scary once you find out it's called, er, "Boris" (announced to a roomful of groans at the sheer cheese involved). Bloody tempremental, rather difficult to control and a tad fragile (says he wot drove it off a table edge).

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Got some videos

I was able to find episodes from the originals to 2007(I think); some recreated. I just watched the first episode yesterday where we they go back to 100000bc (the timer said "0") and they have to teach the cavemen fire to get out.

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RE: Author! Author! #

@ Francis Vaughan

"Great, so the rankings credit the actor who played the Doctor. Not the writer. Nor even director. This seems to say something fundamental about tthe nature of the fans, and it isn't all good."

The thing is that most people who are Doctor Who fans would know the story by who played the Doctor in it, not the writer or director. They would know, for instance, that The Doctor in Caves of Androzani was Peter Davison, they would not necessarily know that the director was Graeme Harper, despite Graeme Harper directing many excellent stories in both New and Classic Who.

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