NuWho 10th Anniversary: What Is Your Favourite Series 2 Story?

March 12, 2015

This year, Doctor Who has been back on our screen ten whole years. It feels like yesterday that the TARDIS materialised once more; suitably, it also feels like forever.

So join us as we celebrate a decade with the Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Doctors. Let’s find out which serials are our favourites, and shine a light on the underrated ones too. Watch us run.

And then vote on your favourites. At the end of the year, we’ll find out which serials showcase our beloved show at the height of its game.

The Doctor has a new face. Series 2. Rose Tyler carries on through time and space with a man who has regrown his hand, likes his teeth, and has really great hair. They’re off to New Earth; see an old friend; crash into a parallel world; fight a scribble monster; and come face-to-face with the Cult of Skaro. How long is she going to stay with him? Forever. Apparently…

Alex Skerratt: The Impossible Planet/ The Satan Pit

10th Tenth Doctor - Satan PitThe Impossible Planet / The Satan Pit has to be one of the Series 2 highlights, in my ‘umble opinion. Although to call it a ‘highlight’ is slightly disingenuous, as it’s actually one the darkest stories of the season, if not the entire Who canon!

But I admire its bravery. I think it pushes the boundaries of horror to the limit, following in the footsteps of such flicks as Event Horizon and, dare I say it, The Exorcist. As a Christian, I also find it refreshing to watch the Doctor tackle some of those bigger questions, such as does God exist, does Satan exist, and did anything exist before the creation of the Universe? Plus, the story features the surreptitious and seductive tones of Gabriel Woolf, who delivers a truly terrifying performance as the voice of the Beast. Nine year-old me would have been sleeping with one eye open!

Becky Crockett: The Girl in the Fireplace

10th Tenth Doctor  - Girl in the Fireplace

Favorite story? Same one a lot of people will mention – The Girl In The Fireplace. There’s just so much about it – the insane combination of a spaceship and the French royal court that completely makes sense, the creepy, very sci-fi idea of being able to fix a spaceship using human body parts, the time travel WITHOUT the use of the TARDIS, and that for a change, the Doctor is so overwhelmed by someone else instead of being the one that confounds people. He just can’t help but want to be with Reinette. And then there’s that kiss…

Scott Varnham: Army of Ghosts (but not Doomsday)

Army of Ghosts - Cybermen

You know, Doomsday gets all the hype (coming top in lists of emotional moments and whatnot), but for me it’s Army Of Ghosts that’s the better story of the two on offer here. Ol’ Rusty turns what should’ve been a fairly dull build-up episode into the more interesting of the two (admit it, there are only two reasons to watch Doomsday: Stephen Hawking vs. the Speaking Clock, and That Bit On The Beach).

Army Of Ghosts gives the concept of hauntings the interest and exploration it deserves and sustains a well-plotted mystery, which really helps to make this episode one of the more interesting ones under Davies’ reign. (Although it’s not my favourite; that honour is reserved for Utopia…)

Jonathan Appleton: The Girl in the Fireplace

The Girl in the Fireplace 2

No doubt this choice makes me a sentimental old fool, but I find this beautifully told, elegant story endlessly re-watchable.

We didn’t really need reminding by this point that the revived Doctor Who was prepared to do stories that the old series would never have gone anywhere near, but this tale of the Doctor finding and then losing his one true love certainly provided confirmation. The scene where Rose visits Reinette to warn her just how much danger she’s in is one of my favourite scenes in pretty much any series of anything. Rose’s moment of realisation that, however strongly the Doctor may feel about her, it’ll never match the feelings he has for this remarkable woman (“He was right about you…”) is truly wonderful stuff, even if it was rather undermined by all that blubbing in Bad Wolf Bay later on.

James Lomond: The Impossible Planet/ The Satan Pit

This is perfect Doctor Who. There are no campy winks to the audience, no design mistakes, and no dialogue disasters. Just good characters, good drama, a good story and some of the best and most haunting music Murray Gold has written on Who.

The Ood, before the shades thrown on them by later capers and silliness, were perfectly introduced and used to optimum sinister effect.

So much worked brilliantly in this episode. An ancient underground civilisation, Rose and Ten awkwardly pondering a mortgage, the dwindling crew trapped on the brink of oblivion and the Doctor engaging in a real and believable existential conversation without treading on any religious egg shells. There were some wonderful performances here, notably from Clare Rushbrook and a gutsy, satisfying ending. The script, actors and direction manage to convey a real sense of loneliness and fear while never letting the story lose pace. Brilliant. Loved it. Love it. More like this, please!

Drew Boynton: School Reunion

School Reunion

In a series full of entertaining winners like The Girl in the Fireplace and Tooth and Claw, not to mention the two-part emotional rollercoaster that is Army of Ghosts/Doomsday, I will take School Reunion every time. Every time.

From the introduction of Sarah Jane and K-9 to a new generation of Whovians, to the sneering Master-like villainy of guest star Anthony Head (loved him on Buffy and Merlin!), to the hilarious-yet-poignant realization by Mickey Smith that HE’S the modern day “tin dog,” to the heart-stopping scene in which Sarah Jane stumbles upon the TARDIS in a darkened school basement, to the tear-inducing finale (Spoilers, sweetie!) when it turns out that the Tenth Doctor has given K-9 a new leash on life, School Reunion is fantastic. It is simply one of my favorite Doctor Who episodes ever.

Philip Bates: The Impossible Planet/ The Satan Pit

The Impossible Planet - Scooti

Forget favourite of Series 2: The Impossible Planet/ The Satan Pit is one of the best serials ever.

Everything about it is stunning: its themes, ideas, CGI, dialogue, design, direction, and music. Heck, even its lighting is superb. And it’s packed with spine-chilling moments, lines that could wake you in the middle of the night. Just like Midnight, we don’t know the threat. Not really. It’s the Beast. Is that the Beast? Is that a pretender? It doesn’t matter: he’s terrifying, even when confined. This is the tip of the iceberg. The things we don’t know – primarily about the ancient race that lived on Krop Tor – are incredibly enticing. Then there’s the Ood. Love an Ood.

The Pyramids of Mars villain Gabriel Woolf returns, giving a petrifying smoothness to every speech, one of my favourites being: “You know nothing. All of you: so small – the captain, so scared of command; the soldier, haunted by the eyes of his wife; the scientist, still running from Daddy; the little boy who lied; the virgin… and the lost girl, so far away from home. The valiant child, who will die in battle so very soon.”

And on top of all this majestic terror, we have one of my favourite lines accompanying one of my favourite deaths. I can forgive writer Matt Jones for killing off the lovely Scooti Manista (MyAnna Buring) because he does it brilliantly. Impossibly, Toby is standing on the surface of the planet, defiant and peaceful against the raging storms, revelling in his first taste of freedom in centuries. “He bathes in the black sun.” And Scooti reaches out to him, the temptation almost too much. She pulls away, but she can’t escape. The hull is breached. Chaos. Scooti’s missing, and the Doctor finds her, drifting towards singularity. Murray Gold’s score echoes the chilly abandonment, and David Tennant’s eyes are the very picture of sorrow.

I could write a 10,000-word dissertation on how good The Impossible Planet/ The Satan Pit is. But I don’t need to. Because if you’ve seen it, you already know.

James Whittington: The Girl in the Fireplace

The Girl in the Fireplace 3

After the emotional pull of School Reunion, Series 2 (or whatever we called it back then) decided to try something a bit different to get our emotions running and introduced copious amounts of time travel to the core of the story.

Well, that’s what they appeared to do on the surface but scratch underneath and what we really have here is a delicate love story, one that is bigger than the series itself and tugged at everyone’s sentiments. Come on, admit it, when you knew the Doctor was falling in love with Madame de Pompadour you felt good and those final moments as he watched her coffin being driven away was just amazing television drama. The episode contains some of Steven Moffat’s most considered writing and gave David Tennant more to do than just play a slightly arrogant Time Lord with a self-satisfied demeanour.

Let’s not forget the Clockwork People, a great idea that helped pave the way for other robot foes to come along. Oh, and Billie who proved that she could do more than look doe-eyed at her Doctor; instead her green-eye of envy was perfectly played.

It’s a shame such a strong story was followed by the rather dull Rise Of The Cybermen adventure.

Those are a few of our favourites from Series 2. Now it’s your turn! Vote below for your favourite, and we’ll find out the overall winner later this year…

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0 comments on “NuWho 10th Anniversary: What Is Your Favourite Series 2 Story?

  1. Dr Moo Mar 12, 2015

    Anyone who voted for “Love & Monsters” get out.

    • FrancoPabloDiablo Mar 12, 2015

      Sorry, but I’d rather vote for Love And Monsters than Fear Her!!!

      • Dr Moo Mar 12, 2015

        “Fear Her” is underrated, I’ll explain why when we get to the most underrated series two story in the near-future, whilst “Love & Monsters” is irredeemable tripe ends with jokes about oral sex and starts with a poor imitation of Scooby-Doo. Everything in between is garbage, the acting, writing, everything about it makes “Time & The Rani” bearable; At least T&TR is watchable!

        • FrancoPabloDiablo Mar 12, 2015

          Fear her is irredeemable tripe that ends with the Doctor running with the Olympic Flame and starts with a crap doodle drawn by one of the worst child actors I’ve ever seen. Everything in between is garbage, the acting, writing. Everything about it makes Time And The Rani bearable. At least L&M is watchable.

          See how easy it was to turn the table there?

          Also, I’d rather have oral sex than crap doodles any day 🙂

          • Dr Moo Mar 12, 2015

            Nicely done! But I stand by what I said.

            Do you really find ANYTHING even vaguely good about L&M, I mean, anything at all? L&M is THE worst Doctor Who story of all time, FH is still rubbish but not as bad. FH was even ranked second worst of all time by a poll recently (The Twin Dilemma alone ranked worse) but I fail to see how it can be bad enough to deserve that. Yes it’s utter crap but it’s not crap on the level of The Twin Dilemma.

          • FrancoPabloDiablo Mar 12, 2015

            Erm… exactly. Fear Her was recently voted as the 2nd worst story ever!!!!!! Thanks for backing me up 🙂

          • Dr Moo Mar 12, 2015

            Hardly. I was backing up my claim of it being underrated; It’s not so bad that it deserves that level of dislike, even if it is rubbish.

          • FrancoPabloDiablo Mar 12, 2015

            To quote yourself: “FH was even ranked second worst of all time by a poll recently (The Twin Dilemma alone ranked worse)”

            You said it, and I find it hard to disagree.

          • Dr Moo Mar 12, 2015

            Remind what I said immediately after that…?

          • FrancoPabloDiablo Mar 12, 2015

            After that you state you are unable to comprehend why. Then you go on to say you understand that The Twin Dilemma is worse. No argument at all in your Love and Monster’s defense to be fair.

          • Dr Moo Mar 12, 2015

            All I can say of The Twin Dilemma that is good would be Colin Baker’s performance and that there is one worse story than it: Love & Monsters. But to say that something is better than L&M is not exactly high praise, for example this morning I was unfortunate enough to step in some dog turd but I still thought that was time better spent than the 45 minutes it took me to watch L&M.

          • FrancoPabloDiablo Mar 12, 2015

            Don’t get me wrong, I think FH and L&M are both Sh*t. I Just don’t understand how you, in your own post, pointing out that Fear Her was voted 2nd worst story ever only behind The Twin Dilemma is in any way, shape or form an argument for your defense of Love And Monsters being worse???

          • Dr Moo Mar 12, 2015

            What it comes down to, for me, is if it holds up on repeat viewings, what the overall quality is (writing, acting, etc), things like that. And ultimately it is Love & Monsters that comes out as worst overall of the two. My pointing out the results of general fan opinion is nothing more than an argument for why Fear Her is underrated, it’s not a defence of my opinion of Love & Monsters but is a part of me justifying my opinion of Fear Her. 🙂

          • FrancoPabloDiablo Mar 12, 2015

            Repeat viewing and quality for me too. Fear Her and Love &Monsters are both short on each but at least Love & Monsters has Humour, is the best single episode for Jackie, has a scenario of fans getting together and forming friendships through their love and intrigue of the Doctor, and best of all.. ELO!!!

            Whereas FH has… bad child actress. crap story. scary crayon drawing in a wardrobe, rubbish doodle thing, the Doc running with the Olympic Flame.

            And, sorry, but how is mentioning that Fear Her is 2nd worst an argument for it being underrated?

          • Dr Moo Mar 12, 2015

            In that it doesn’t deserve such a low opinion from the general fandom. I acknowledge that I am in a minority here but that’s what I think. And to include ELO in that episode was an insult to music, they should have featured in a good episode at least!

            Somewhere else where I clash with the fandom is located in the same poll, specifically the top ten, more specifically number eight best: Pyramids of Mars. I’m sorry but that deserves only a 6 out of 10 at best! I could go into my reasoning but I don’t have to because someone else feels the same way about it that I do and has had her husband put it up online: http://wifeinspace.com/2012/04/pyramids-of-mars/ This ‘review’ sums up my thoughts on that serial beautiful.

          • Dr Moo Mar 12, 2015

            My views on L&M have also been summarised by one who feels the same way about it as me here: https://wilybadger.wordpress.com/2009/08/18/the-worst-of-doctor-who-love-and-monsters/

          • FrancoPabloDiablo Mar 12, 2015

            The whole ELO thing is probably my favourite aspect of the episode, not just because it’s super cool music in the first place but also because that was what represented the group coming together (a shared love apart from their shared interest in the Doctor). It made them bond. It made them happy. Some of them fell in love. And then some kid from Blue Peter drew a monster that came and took it all away 🙁

          • Dr Moo Mar 12, 2015

            Peter Kay is a comedian. Peter Kay is NOT an actor. People should stick to what they’re good at. Who decided to cast him in a TV show where the show’s genre is (technically) drama??? Seriously?!

          • FrancoPabloDiablo Mar 12, 2015

            Seriously, you have got to be kidding me with that one Dr Moo? Lee Evans? Frank Skinner? Bill Bailey? Ken Dodd? Nicholas Parsons (primarily a game show host, not a comedian) gave one of the finest performances I’ve ever seen in the show. Do you need any more examples? Also, Peter Kay was playing the part that was written, it has nothing to do with his abilities. And what did you expect from a story for which the monster was devised by a young child?

          • Dr Moo Mar 12, 2015

            Really? You decide to cite Planet Of The Dead, The Doctor The Widow And The Wardrobe and Delta And The Bannerman as examples of good episodes?

            I’ll let you have Frank Skinner and Nicholas Parsons there though! Note how most of the time when a comedian appears on DW it’s actually one who does acting too: Peter Butterworth, James Cordon, David Walliams, Simon Pegg, Jessica Hynes, John Cleese, Olivia Colman, Ardal O’Hanlan, Nick Frost, Catherine Tate — Even Peter Capaldi, Jon Pertwee, David Tennant and Sylvester McCoy!

          • FrancoPabloDiablo Mar 12, 2015

            Of course they are known for being actors, in your words “on some level”. But I made it clear they are all primarily known for their comedy work – which was the problem you seem to have with Peter Kay. So to have a go at him seems a bit unfair. Maybe you haven’t seen or heard of Phoenix Nights? A sitcom that he wrote and ACTED in? Comedians can tell jokes and act too you know. Sorry to burst your bubble but Peter Kay is both a comedian and an actor.

          • FrancoPabloDiablo Mar 12, 2015

            Oh God, how did we both forget Catherine Tate??? 🙂

          • Dr Moo Mar 12, 2015

          • Philip Mar 12, 2015

            I agree with you, Dr Moo. Fear Her is by no means a highlight, but it’s not unwatchable. David and Billie (we’re on first name terms) are good in it, as is Nina Sosanya. I like some of the cheesy jokes. I like the idea of a scribble monster even. Many would disagree, but I’d prefer to watch Fear Her than Kill The Moon, for instance.

          • Dr Moo Mar 12, 2015

            Any sane individual would rather watch it than Kill the Moon; Beyond Love & Monsters, The Twin Dilemma and Time & The Rani it is hard to think of anything worse than it!

          • Philip Mar 12, 2015

            Mind you, there were some saying Kill The Moon was their favourite DW ever. Makes you worried about the future of the huamn race, doesn’t it?

            Oh, and I actually quite like Peter Harness, but honestly, KtM isn’t Doctor Who.

          • Dr Moo Mar 12, 2015

            To be fair to those people who did enjoy KtM there was a lot to like in the first fifteen minutes and the last five minutes, it’s everything in between that ruins it and drags it beyond redemption. If it weren’t for those beautiful final scenes (everything after the second moon is ‘born’) it would be the only Doctor Who, besides L&M of course, worth skipping.

          • Philip Mar 12, 2015

            Oh, that last scene with Clara looking up at the moon is beautiful: lovely direction, lovely acting. Jenna is never anything less than astounding.

          • Dr Moo Mar 12, 2015

            If she’s ever anything but then we know there’s something wrong!

          • Random Comments Mar 12, 2015

            I…don’t understand. Kill the Moon was so much better than both of the episodes under discussion here. Like, miles better. Not best-of-season, that goes to Listen and the Matheson episodes, but definitely past the “5” marker on a 1-10 scale. 7 or 8 I’d say.

          • Dr Moo Mar 13, 2015

            WHAT??? Any more than 3/10 is more than it deserved!

          • Random Comments Mar 13, 2015

            My rating may be slightly influenced by all the vitriol I saw poured on the episode in certain corners, and I quite enjoyed Akhaten (on the basis of the singing concept, and except for the terrible world building), too, which should tell you something.

  2. Dr Moo Mar 12, 2015

    There really is no competition here because “The Impossible Planet / The Satan Pit” is not only the best series two story, it’s one of the best stories ever put to film for the Tenth (or any) Doctor. The supporting cast are all excellent (especially Will Thorp as Tobias Zed) and it’s our first glimpse of the Ood and let’s not forget that the main villain is none other than Satan himself. The cliffhanger as the Doctor looks into the pit is brilliant as we’re not allowed to see what he sees until part two. Whatever your beliefs about the devil and whatever else, anyone can find something to like about it.

    • Random Comments Mar 12, 2015

      Nope, I hate it. Sorry for ruining the curve. But then, I think Series Two is an astonishingly bad run of episodes.

      • Dr Moo Mar 13, 2015

        It is definitely “an astonishingly bad run of episodes” but I personally thought that TIP/TSP was the silver lining in that it was the only actually good story in there, that and The Christmas Invasion but TIP/TSP surpasses that. Hence my opening remark: There really is no competition. I’d be intrigued to know what you voted for.

        • Random Comments Mar 13, 2015

          School Reunion, on the strength of Sarah Jane and K-9. Elizabeth Sladen’s return and acting can cover many faults.
          And I’m probably predisposed to dislike TIP/TSP, as I’m fairly religious. (Couldn’t stand The Holy Terro, either, and I keep hearing people saying it is Colin’s best story…)

          • Dr Moo Mar 13, 2015

            I’m religious too. I apreciate it as a piece of well written well performed drama because that’s what the two episodes are: Drama. Nothing more than a work of fiction. Creative liberties are taken and maybe there are occasional anti-religious undertones (it was made under RTD’s supervision, what do you expect?) but this is ultimately a secular TV show so that’s not an approach that should come as a surprise.

          • Random Comments Mar 13, 2015

            Yeah, I know. It’s a show about a fairly-atheist time traveller, after all. I just had, as my high school English teacher used to say, a “Knee-jerk hostile reaction” to it. And it wasn’t just the religious parts I had issues with, they’re just the most immediately obvious. I find Rose grating, the treatment of the Ood disturbing, and the imagery unpleasantly freaky. But I can accept that others see merit in it, and I’m not going to fight you or anyone about that. (Now, Love and Monsters, on the other hand…)
            I’ve been introducing a friend to Who recently, so I’ll probably revisit it when we get to Series Two next month. TIP/TSP, that is. Not sitting through L&M again, even for friendship.

          • Dr Moo Mar 13, 2015

            You find Rose grating? Is there anyone on Earth who doesn’t?! Why did you feel the need to spell that out, it should go without saying!!! 🙂

          • Random Comments Mar 13, 2015

            Just wanted to be clear. :p

          • James Lomond Mar 19, 2015

            Do you mean how the Ood were treated as a slave race was disturbing or something else as I’ve always seen that piece of scifi story telling -that advanced humans of the far future are just as capable of evil and framing the world in terms convenient to them- as one of its strengths. Or do you mean that that aspect of the story was just so dark and unpleasant as to put you off it in general?

          • Random Comments Mar 19, 2015

            More the fact that the episode never bothers to deal with it, IIRC, and nobody even bats an eye at it. I mean, sure, they were busy, but still, the Doctor could have said something.

          • Dr Moo Mar 19, 2015

            But he does! He expresses great regret at failing to save them and redeems himself of this later in Planet Of The Ood. It still seems to hurt him though even in his next incarnation, seen in The Doctor’s Wife as he complains about “yet another Ood I failed to save”.

          • James Lomond Mar 19, 2015

            Rose certainly is disgusted at the treatment of the Ood- I got the feeling that was where the commentary was located.

  3. TimeChaser Mar 13, 2015

    The return of Sarah Jane and K9? This wins any day of the week for me. Plus Anthony Head as the villain? Exceptional casting. Admittedly there are flaws, mainly due to having to edit the episode to fit the time slot, but that first meeting between new-new-new-new-new-new-new Doctor and one of his oldest and most dear friends is just magic. Sladen and Tennant have such great chemistry. I wish they’d have dumped Rose and had Sarah travel with Ten!

    • Dr Moo Mar 13, 2015

      I had a problem with that episode and it was this: It seems to believe that Rose can do no wrong. It tells you explicitly that Rose is the best companion of them all and will not let the viewer decide that anyone else is entitled to that honour, even going so far as to put her next to Sarah Jane Smith with the sole purpose of making us believe that Rose surpasses her. It’s almost as if Rose wanted us to hate her!!! Thankfully Liz Sladen agreed to return again for a spin-off but after how she was treated by the script to School Reunion you’d be right to wonder why she ever worked with these people again.

      Your assessment of the rest of the series is spot-on though. I don’t know what happened to the quality of Doctor Who during 2006, it just seemed to lose that spark, thankfully it only happened for one year. In 34 seasons it was the 28th season (series 2) that turned out to be the worst of them all. Not even Moffat could deliver the goods!

      • TimeChaser Mar 13, 2015

        Yeah, but I choose to ignore all the Rose crap and just focus on Sarah. 🙂

        I’ve long said that the first season of any new actor in the role is going to see a dip in quality, as the production teams and everyone else get used to the new dynamic. This applies more to the new series than the classic, as you only really see it from Colin Baker on. David and Matt’s second seasons far surpass their first. I’m hoping the same will prove true for Capaldi.

        • Dr Moo Mar 13, 2015

          I would dispute that. It’s true for Tennant, McCoy, Davison and BakerC. Troughton has many missing from his first so it’s hard to comment and Hartnell’s in a position where we have nothing to go by, same for McGann, Hurt and Eccleston the three of whom have only 12 TV stories between them. However Pertwee, BakerT, Smith and Capaldi all had brilliant debut years which collectively saw such wonders as “Spearhead From Space”, “Inferno”, “The Ark in Space”, “Genesis of the Daleks”, “The 11th Hour”, “Amy’s Choice” (very underrated), “The Pandora Opens / The Big Bang”, “Listen” and “Mummy on the Orient Express” so let’s not dismiss these seasons. Yes, they did include the likes of “Victory of the Daleks”, “Kill the Moon” and “In The Forest of the Night” but even so the good outweighs the bad significantly.

          If we exclude Doctors 1, 2, 8, War & 9 (due to the reasons given earlier in my comment) we have a debut season success rate of 50%, or if we’re sticking to just the ‘modern series’ that success rate is even better at 66.7%.

          NuWho series five is better than series six in my opinion but since you feel otherwise (Care to tell me why?) you may disagree with my conclusion. 🙂

          • TimeChaser Mar 13, 2015

            I’m with you, Troughton’s first season had some good tales, as did Pertwee, Tom, and Davison. And of course Hartnell’s is chock full of classics.

            I feel that Series 5 was uneven, much like series 2 and 8. Series 6 was much better (not perfect) partly because Matt grew into the role. He was still a young man but he looked just a bit older and projected more confidence after his first year.

            I think I have an issue with Series 8 because the missteps were so colossal. We hadn’t had anything as bad as “Kill the Moon” in a long time, and honestly the story should have been killed on the drawing board before it ever got to the script phase. Pretty much the same with “In the Forest of the Night”. I cannot take either story seriously or even accept that they ever happened.

          • Dr Moo Mar 13, 2015

            KtM and ItFotN are garbage, I agree with you totally there. If it weren’t for the final scene of KtM it would be the only episode since L&M worth skipping, something I say with a heavy heart because I don’t like to skip episodes, even bad ones, where avoidable. Instead that dishonour comes three episodes later with ItFotN which I guess they wanted to act as an antidote to the dark and sinister finale that followed.

            It’s a bit of a theme to do things like that in Doctor Who at the moment and it’s rarely worked: Closing Time was a bit iffy as was Boom Town. Then there’s the abysmal Nightmare in Silver. And the less said about Fear Her the better! The penultimate story of the series can be good like it was with The Lodger, Blink and Turn Left; Hopefully series nine will restore things to that level? I have my doubts but we’ll see.

          • TimeChaser Mar 13, 2015

            The thing about Nightmare in Silver is it could have been much better if it had been two episodes. I wanted to have more build-up, more mystery to the story. We needed to get more back story on the amusement park and what led to it being shut down, and definitely more development of Porridge and the animosity Angie had towards Clara. It could have been terrific as an audio or book, but as a TV episode the time limit leaves it seriously lacking.

          • Dr Moo Mar 13, 2015

            All the signs of a good episode were there and it would have got away with it too if not for those pesky kids! I hate to repeat the “children can’t act” cliche but episodes like that one don’t help things. And then a year later we got Courtney so they clearly didn’t learn anything. Angie and Artie are not representative of real-world children: They’re on another planet which is also an amusement park and they’re claiming to be bored… REALLY?! Do the writing team not know children? I don’t buy it but the story insists that we do since their running off is what leads to them being captured by Cybermen in the first place! And Matt Smith, my favourite of all the Doctors, was wasted on that story. He’s great as ever as the Doctor but his dual role as also the villain fails to deliver. To see this done properly see The Massacre Of Saint Bartholomew’s Eve (if you can put up with reconstructions) and The Enemy Of The World or to a lesser extent The Face Of Evil and Arc Of Infinity. The thing with Smith is that he’s a great actor as the hero but not so much as the villain, at least not on that occasion. It could have been wonderful but it just wasn’t. What a wasted opportunity! At least Neil Gaiman will always have his other works (The Doctor’s Wife for example) to fall back on.

  4. Ranger Mar 13, 2015

    School Reunion. Just for the sheer joy of Sarah Jane.

    Looking back at it, series 2 didn’t really have great stories – passable ones, but not great. They are all lacking in some respect. But I didn’t feel this at the time; still, I suppose, caught up in the euphoria of DW’s return.

    Fear Her and Love and Monsters are, of course, the weakest. Love and Monsters really being the bottom – a great performance by Marc Warren, but the monster was rubbish (sorry, to the little boy who won the Blue Peter competition!), I’m not a big fan of whiny Shirley Henderson and it ended with an unbelievably crass oral sex joke, that has no place in DW. Whereas, at least Fear Her had a cat in it. I love cats.

    It was around about the School Reunion mark that I started getting really irritated with Rose. A whiny, entitled, selfish, manipulative little tart. Up against a true heroine in Sarah Jane, it just became more obvious.

    • Andy B Mar 15, 2015

      That moment when Sarah Jane first sees the Tardis… goosebumps! I could really feel how she must have felt and what it meant to suddenly be confronted with it.

    • Mess du Chien Mar 16, 2015

      “Looking back at it, series 2 didn’t really have great stories – passable
      ones, but not great. They are all lacking in some respect.” This is why I think Tennant gets a rather harsh deal from so called “true” fans. He carried his first season very well. Had it been a weaker actor I think the show may have struggled that year.

  5. Mess du Chien Mar 16, 2015

    I loved School Reunion but my favourite, and this isn’t a wind up, is Love & Monsters. I think fans who don’t like this episode take the show too seriously. If you’ve ever been truly in love then the episode makes for a really sweet, satisfying story that you can easily associate with. I’ve returned to it a great deal more than any of the dire episodes offered from the pen of Mark Gatiss for instance. Schoopl Reunion also lost out on top spot for me because I thought the monsters were disappointing,

    Really didn’t care for the Cybermen story. I also think that Girl in the Fireplace is really overrated. Otherwise I enjoyed the otter two parters, especially the Impossible Plant storyline.

    Idiot’s Lantern and New Earth are perfect examples of what I call “average, forgettable fillers”.

    Fear Her and Tooth and Claw are the ones I just haven’t bothered to revisit through just not caring for them the first tine around.

    • Dr Moo Mar 16, 2015

      Are you feeling okay?

      I’ll just say this: Paving slab blow jobs.

      • TheLazyWomble Mar 16, 2015

        “I would doubt, since you like L&M, whether you’re truly a fan.”

        Harsh and unwarranted, Dr Moo.

        I agree that there is a lot that is wrong with Love & Monsters. But there are things in it to like. Camille Coduri is brilliant (as always). Marc Warren also. It touches on the question of what happens when the Doctor is not around to deal with threats. It shows that there are consequences to the Doctor’s lifestyle.

        I like LINDA! It’s meant to igneore the Doctor and Rose: it’s a Doctor-light episode that enabled the season to get finished ready for transmission (See, Mr Moff? It CAN be done!)

        It was an experiment: not a wholly successful one, but we should at least applaud the attempt.

        • Dr Moo Mar 16, 2015

          Okay, maybe I was a little harsh. Sorry. Please accept my apology.

          I suppose you’re right, it was just an experiment. Not a successful one. I do like the other Doctor-lite episodes Blink and Turn Left which prove there is some merit to trying. I guess I see what they were trying to do. 🙂

        • It’s not one I’d rewatch, but I appreciate the use of the Absorbaloff as a ‘thought police uberfan’ who destroys the creativity and friendship of more relaxed fans, who perhaps represent this sort of site at its best.

          • Dr Moo Mar 16, 2015

            There’s a thought. I shall take this on board and try to make this clearer in future! I never like to be negative but sometimes I am prone to being a bit full-on. I have that problem in “real life” too!

          • Boundary between ‘real life’ and various other communities is blurring – this site is the first time I’ve been drawn into a digital one, and it’s a pleasant surprise. But yeah, it’s harder to express tone or mood, even if you know how to do smileys!

          • Dr Moo Mar 16, 2015

            Behold the emoticon Doctors: ?????????????

            …close enough!

        • Dr Moo Mar 16, 2015

          “It shows there are consequences to the Doctor’s lifestyle.” I would suggest that the likes of Boom Town, Human Nature/The Family Of Blood, Turn Left, Journey’s End, A Good Man Goes To War, The God Complex, The Day Of The Doctor and The Time Of The Doctor have all dealt with that subject area in various ways with greater success. And that’s just from the revived series; Need I mention such serials as Genesis Of The Daleks, The Trial Of A Time Lord or The Curse Of Fenric to name just a few that look at this topic in some way?

          • Steven, and the Doctor’s soliloquy at the end of ‘Massacre’? it’s the balance between teh consequences of doing somehting, and those of NOT doing something. Or as Warrior’s Gate puts it, knowing how to do the right kind of nothing!

          • Dr Moo Mar 16, 2015

            I’d forgotten them but yes very much so…

            DOCTOR: My dear Steven, history sometimes gives us a terrible shock, and that is because we don’t quite fully understand. Why should we? After all, we’re all too small to realise its final pattern. Therefore don’t try and judge it from where you stand. I was right to do as I did. Yes, that I firmly believe. (Steven leaves the Tardis) Even after all this time he cannot understand. I dare not change the course of history. Well, at least I taught him to take some precautions. He did remember to look at the scanner before he opened the doors. Now they’re all gone. All gone. None of them could understand. Not even my little Susan, or Vicki. And as for Barbara and Chesterton. They were all too impatient to get back to their own time. And now, Steven. Perhaps I should go home, back to my own planet. But I can’t. I can’t.

            Forget “Someday I shall come back” this is the defining moment, for me, of the original Doctor!

          • TheLazyWomble Mar 16, 2015

            I couldn’t agree more. Love & Monsters is very far from being the best example of the points I made. But I was trying to show why there are fans who like it.

          • Dr Moo Mar 16, 2015

            Your point was proven well. Can’t really knock your argument unless I want to be extremely picky (even by my standards) with it.

      • Mess du Chien Mar 16, 2015

        “I would doubt, since you like L&M, whether you’re truly a fan.”

        I’ve watched the show since the first airing of Frontios. It’s fan snobbery like yours that I find very distasteful. Simply because people view the episode differently from you doesn’t mean they aren’t a fan. I dare say I need to remind you that the episode itself was written by a long term fan, the same long term fan who you need to be grateful to for being able to discuss ten years of New Who today. What’s more, you’re clearly taking the episode waaaaaaay too seriously. It’s meant to be lighthearted fare, nothing more, nothing less.

        It is by no means the best episode ever made. But as lighthearted trash it is enjoyable.

        • Dr Moo Mar 16, 2015

          My good man, I refer you to the comments that have been made to me on this one already. Also my response: “Okay, maybe I was a little harsh. Sorry. Please accept my apology. I suppose … it was just an experiment. Not a successful one. I do like the other Doctor-lite episodes Blink and Turn Left which prove there is some merit to trying. I guess I see what they were trying to do.”

          I extend to you that apology once more. Virtual handshake is being offered. No hard feelings, I hope!

          • Mess du Chien Mar 16, 2015

            Ok, fair enough.

          • Dr Moo Mar 16, 2015

            Thank you. I’m just thankful that you came back to see my comment!!!

          • Mess du Chien Mar 16, 2015

            I use disqus a lot on another site to I usually check my message at least once a day.

            Look mate, I’d rather talk to someone who has a sense of humility than some turd that has to argue for the sake of it because the former is the bigger man. So no bad blood. 🙂

          • Dr Moo Mar 16, 2015

            I just apologised for my earlier comment AND acknowledged my wrongdoings AND did all within my power to make amends for it. So let’s not call me (or anyone else, for that matter) “some turd that has to argue for the sake of it”. And how horribly hypocritical of you to say that and follow it by claiming to be “the bigger man”!

            I’ve tried to make things right but if this is how you will respond then maybe I shouldn’t have wasted my time doing that. Good day to you.

          • TheLazyWomble Mar 16, 2015

            On the basis that blessed are the peace makers: is that how you read the comment, Dr Moo? I thought Mess du Chien was referring to other commentators as “turds”. Not really for me to say, of course, but that is how I read it. I think they were comparing you to those who argue with humility.

          • Dr Moo Mar 16, 2015

            Did I get the wrong end of the stick? Maybe I did; Let’s give Mess du Chien the benefit of the doubt and go on that basis!

            Talk about being the voice of reason, my dear Womble, someone should give you a medal for the comments here!

          • Mess du Chien Mar 16, 2015

            Yes you were on the wrong end of the stick. That is unless you don’t realise that to recognise man’s humility is to recognise a strength of character. That said, you’ve sort of undermined that a bit with the overraction…but then you are still humble enough to accept another’s judgment so no matter. 🙂

          • Dr Moo Mar 16, 2015

            Indeed. Let’s put this whole ugly business behind us!

          • Mess du Chien Mar 16, 2015

            You read how it was intended. Thank you.

          • TheLazyWomble Mar 16, 2015

            Glad to help 🙂

          • Mess du Chien Mar 16, 2015

            Wow. Just wow. Calm down fella. You get a compliment and you assault the giver?

            I suspect you don’t want friction with people so I’ll give you a pass, but maybe some more thought before posting?

          • Dr Moo Mar 16, 2015

            Maybe stop calling me “some turd”? It’s hard to justify calling me that “a compliment”.

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