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?