When a programme has been around as long as Doctor Who there are bound to be moments that jar, that feel at odds with the ethos of the show, that somehow just don’t feel right… Whether it’s the Doctor boffing someone over the head, a companion becoming subject to cruel and unusual treatment or a plot point that leaves you asking what in the name of Gallifrey you’ve just seen, join us as we present the Kasterborous guide to Doctor Who Moments That Weren’t Quite Right!
Rock On, Doctor
Perhaps it’s unfair to start with something so early in the life of the programme when the character was still being formed but, certainly from a modern standpoint, the moment in the very first story when the First Doctor picks up a rock, slyly hatching a plan to cave in a caveman’s head on the grounds that he’s injured and slowing down the group’s escape is shocking stuff. Never again would the Doctor be presented as so ruthlessly calculating.
Never cruel or cowardly? Don’t you believe it.
The Doctor Offs An Ogron
For all his self-professed pacifism and antipathy for weapons, there have been a number of occasions when the Doctor has been more than happy to ‘lock and load’. A long-discussed moment came in part two of Day of the Daleks when Jon Pertwee’s Doctor terminates an Ogron with extreme prejudice. In fairness said Ogron, whilst not posing an immediate threat, was most definitely up to no good, what with all the paradox-causing shenanigans during that mysterious affair at Styles peace conference…
Not A Patch On You
Terry Nation was responsible for some bonkers plotting, God love him, and he outdid himself in The Android Invasion, a non-Dalek story for Tom Baker’s Doctor. Astronaut Guy Crayford’s realisation that the Kraals have hoodwinked him into believing they saved his life on the grounds that the eyepatch he’s been wearing for… oh, it must have been at least a few weeks, presumably, covers up a perfectly healthy eye is often quoted as one of Doctor Who’s most hilariously nonsensical explanations.
Ah well, it made a change from Terry’s regular favourites of countdowns, radiation poisoning and incarcerations.
Stop Myrka-ing About
I swore to myself I wasn’t going to resort to that hoary old cliché of criticising Doctor Who’s special effects when I started writing this but there’s no denying that Warriors of the Deep’s heart-sappingly dreadful Myrka fits this article’s theme… and then some. Even allowing for every excuse you want to make regarding budgets, time restrictions and all the rest of, there is something just so wrong about this frightful-for-all-the-wrong-reasons creation that you can only pity the poor actors who had to appear on screen with it before discreetly moving on.
Peri in Peril
It may have been a bold decision of the production team to make their new Doctor not just unlikeable but out-and-out murderously psychotic when Colin Baker made his debut in The Twin Dilemma, but it’s hard not to view it as a mistake now. The Sixth Doctor may have softened over time and his appearances in Big Finish audios have led many to view him as a true favourite incarnation, but he never got a fair crack of the whip on screen and it all started here with that alarming attack on his companion in his very first episode.
Decency of the Daleks
There are many moments in the TV Movie that could have been chosen for this piece: a half-human Doctor; a camp as Christmas Master; the programme’s continuity generally being stuffed in a washing machine and put on an extended spin cycle… But my nomination comes very early on in the piece, when we’re told that the Daleks agreed to the Master’s last request for the Doctor to collect his old foe’s remains. This reimagines the Daleks as being an altogether more decent, honourable bunch than we’d previously been led to believe.
I like to imagine the Doctor and the Daleks gathering for a rather stilted wake, sipping tepid sherry and wondering just how soon it would be polite to make excuses and get away. The Doctor: ‘So, see much of Davros these days…?’
Wheelie Good Fun
I remember meeting a friend in the pub that night back in 2005 when, after an eternity of waiting, we’d finally got to see the new series with the much-trumpeted transmission of Rose. I was thrilled to have the programme back, of course, but something didn’t sit right with me. Struggling to articulate why, I asked John (who likes the show but is by no means a fan) what he’d made of it.
Nicely encapsulating my misgivings far more succinctly than I had managed to, he responded: ‘Not sure about the wheelie bin…’
I Don’t Care If You Don’t Want To Go, You’re Going
It’s no wonder the Tenth Doctor regenerated at the conclusion of The End of Time. If it hadn’t been the radiation that did for him he would surely have died of old age, so long did he spend on that emotional tour of the galaxy to catch up with old friends one last time.
That aside, his parting wail of ‘I don’t want to go’ struck a wrong note with me and I couldn’t help feeling that it was a shame that this most popular of modern day Doctors had to bow out not bravely facing up to his unknown future, but as a bit of a self-pitying wuss.
Get Out Of Jail Free
What a fantastic set up for the season finale we were given in The Pandorica Opens. An impregnable prison built to hold the galaxy’s most brilliant mind, constructed by a fearsome alliance of every enemy from across time and space. Was I alone in finding the explanation for the Doctor’s escape less than satisfying? He got out… because he got out (that was basically it, right?).
Eh? That, together with those larky goings on with a fez and a mop, left me struggling to care by the time we got to that nonsense about rebooting the universe. Yeah, whatever…
Life After Death
Bringing us up to date, there are many things we could pick from for this list from Series 8’s closing episodes Dark Water and Death In Heaven. The Brigadier resurrected as a Cyberman and those unsettling ‘don’t cremate me’ pleas have been much discussed but my moment that didn’t feel right was the Doctor agreeing to help Clara find out what happens after death in the first place.
Why did he do this, when soon after he’s rubbishing the idea of an afterlife and dismissing the whole 3W presentation as a con? If the Doctor always knew that death really was the end why did he hold out the hope of rescuing Danny?
That’s our view; what about you? Which moments in Doctor Who didn’t feel right? What made you splutter out your fish fingers and custard? Let us know!