Season 02: Reflections

Season 2 was rather uneven. It ranged from the excellent (The Time Meddler) to the experimental (The Web Planet) to the slapstick (The Romans) to the positively awful (The Chase). It’s clear the Doctor Who is still searching for its identity. It’s still clinging to what I think they were trying to be educational. This season I learned about the burning of Rome, Richard the Lionheart, the Viking invasion, the dangers of pesticides, not to mention a couple of somewhat harsh assessments of imperialism (The Web Planet, The Space Museum).

At the end of season 1 I liked both Ian and Barbara. By the time they left, I wasn’t much of a fan of Ian and not particularly interested in Barbara. I have a suspicion this may be partly to do with using multiple writers and directors. This may have created a slight unevenness in character, something that contributes to the uneven nature of the season in general. The pretty consistent bright is the Doctor. Hartnell delivers his witty, grumpy one liners with perfect comic timing. And his adventurous/curious nature truly drives the show. Vicki has turned into a great replacement for Susan. Her character, which had such potential, became very flat. At first I thought it was odd that they ditched her so quickly, but seeing the way Vicki was able to fill the granddaughter-esque role and still be a meaningful contributor to the adventures, she’s a much better companion. She has a wittiness that Susan never could have pulled off. Not to mention her apparent chemistry with Steven. Steven himself seems like a good enough companion, but I haven’t seen enough to make a good evaluation.

In reading some other reviews, mostly at the Dr. Who Ratings guide, it seems that I tend to disagree with other Who fans. One example is The Chase. Quite a few reviewers enjoyed the campiness. Another difference is The Crusade. I found it incredibly boring, others evaluated it as the best of the season. I’m not sure where the difference lies. Perhaps I’m looking at different elements of the show than they are. Perhaps hindsight and a larger comparison sample changes one’s opinions.

Lastly, there seems to be an increase in readership lately. That’s awesome. Thanks to those who are reading regularly, especially those whom (who?) have this blog on their Google Reader. It’s nice that others are interested. Please keep reading, I’ll keep watching. I’ve also added a couple of other blog links off to the side there, a movie/television review blog and another, more intense, Classic Who blog.

Favorite Story: The Time Meddler

Least Favorite Story: The Chase

Best Villain: The Monk, maybe Nero

Worst Villain: The Daleks in The Chase — stuttering, ridiculous fools

Biggest Question: How many others are out there TARDISing from the Doctor’s Planet?


4 Responses to “Season 02: Reflections”

  1. 1 Jules
    16.January.10 at 2:00 pm

    I try to take not much notice of these ratings guides because I frequently find myself in the minority. For instance, there are several top rated stories which I simply don’t agree with – Earthshock, which is an 80s story and while it is very good, I don’t think it merits a place in the top 20. And I thought the Curse of Fenric, which many Whovians love, was bloody terrible.

    The reverse is also true – the worst rated story – another 80s one called The Twin Dilemma which in my view is simply nowhere near bad enough to be considered the worst Doctor Who story; those prizes go to either Warriors of the Deep or Four to Doomsday.

  2. 16.January.10 at 6:09 pm

    Glad to find your blog, since I am also watching through from the beginning and am about a season ahead of you at present.

    I agree that this second season shows Verity Lambert running out of steam a bit. I will be interested to read your reflections on the early third season stories, which to my mind have a consistency of quality which was not reached again until the Tom Baker era.

    I also agree that Vicki is rather good – Susan would never have armed the rebels in the Space Museum.

    I do recommend that you try to get hold of two of the novelisations from this season – Ian Marter’s Doctor Who – The Rescue and Donald Cotton’s Doctor Who – The Romans. Both develop the original story in rather radical and interesting directions. (And John Peel’s Doctor Who – The Chase manages to salvage some dignity for that story, though that is not saying much.)

  3. 3 jacob1480
    16.January.10 at 7:35 pm


    Thanks for reading! Vicki does so much Susan would never be able to do. She’d have been too busy screaming.

    I’ve thought about checking out the books, but haven’t done it yet. I will definitely take your suggestions to heart when I do eventually look into the novelizations.

    Thanks again!


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About These Adventures

This blog exists to document my trip through over 30 seasons of the British science fiction television show Dr. Who. Prior to beginning, I had never seen a single episode of Dr. Who and will be learning the show's mythology and experiencing it all for the first time. I began sometime in July of 2009. Hopefully it doesn't take me over 30 years to reach the end.

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