Mark Watches a Classic ‘Doctor Who’: Round 2



1) You are allowed as many submissions as you like as long as someone else has not already suggested that episode/arc and you are not flooding the comments so that others cannot pitch their suggestions.

2) I am aware that some of the older episodes are actually part of 3-4 episode arcs. If an episode is part of an arc, please suggest the entire arc, not an individual episode.

3) Leave a comment pitching your suggestion. Please don’t spoil the episode, but sell it to me. Why should I watch it? You can obviously give basic facts about casting and slight plot hints, but don’t say, “OH YOU SHOULD WATCH THIS BECAUSE THE DOCTOR’S COMPANION DIES AT THE END.” GIF images from that episode/arc are acceptable as long as they are not massively spoiler-ish.

4) VOTE! We have this nifty up- and down-voting system in place with Intense Debate, so we’ll use that. Up-vote the episode/arcs you think I should watch next or ones you were going to suggest. Down-vote those you think I should not. CUTTHROAT COMPETITION.

5) Each round, the comment with the highest up-vote will be the episode/arc that I watch! In the case of a story arc, I might split the review up in parts for length, but otherwise the next post will be about the one voted highest by the community!

If your comment disappears, it is most likely a repeat of another suggestion. I will make sure to do this after series 4 and, because people asked, YES, I will continue to do classic Who episodes after I’ve caught up to real time. Weeeee!


I know there is a set of specials after series 4 ends. SO: When should I watch this serial you are voting for? After all the specials or before them? Which breaks up the continuity least?

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
This entry was posted in Classic Who, Doctor Who and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

426 Responses to Mark Watches a Classic ‘Doctor Who’: Round 2

  1. THE Nessa says:

    I don't know about old episodes, but at some point you should watch the American Doctor Who movie. With Eric Roberts as the Master. Because it's fucking terrible.

  2. buyn says:

    Robot. Season 12 1-4
    Because it Has 4, and Sarah Jane, and *Sniff* The Brig.
    Also it would go well before or after the specials. Heck, you could even do an arc, then special, then arc, etc.

    • PeterRabid says:

      "Robot" was the first Classic serial I ever watched, and as such it has a special place in my heart. Good choice. 🙂

    • nyssaoftraken74 says:

      It's worth it for the Toy Tank + Action Men alone!

    • anobium says:

      On the before or after question, I think "Robot" would go well after the specials.

      I have a specific reason for thinking this, but explaining why would involve talking about one of those things that Mark doesn't like to know in advance.

  3. Hokuto says:

    Old serial first, specials after!

    Now that you've met the Master, it is past time to meet – the Master. I nominate Terror of the Autons for the Master's very first appearance in the show!

    • atalantapendrag says:

      Seconded SO HARD. Plus it has the Brig, and it's Jo Grant's first ep. And Three is just so very THREEISH in it!

    • maccyAkaMatthew says:

      Terror of the Autons isn't out on DVD yet, so it's difficult. I'm going to set up a post for The Sea Devils as an alternative.

    • carma_bee says:

      Yes! I was going to suggest this ep too. 😀 And in case it's hard to find somewhere else, it is on youtube.

    • grlgoddess says:

      I just watched that today. It's amazing, and only four parts (which is my favourite length for serials)!

  4. Kaci says:

    I vote for The Genesis of the Daleks once again. It's exactly what it sounds like: the genesis story of how the Daleks came to be. It was the first classic Who I watched and is still my go-to recommendation for people interested in getting started there. Bonus points for having Sarah Jane Smith.

    • Eric Johns says:

      YES. It’s absolutely amazing.

      Also, Mark, my computer apparently isn’t showing the same comment system as everyone else’s. There’s no voting, registration isn’t available, images never embed and always show up as code linked to TinyPic’s home page… What’s up with that?

      I’m using Chrome on a macintosh……

      • xpanasonicyouthx says:

        WTF. I use Chrome too. Was it fine before, Eric? I AM CONFUSED.

      • echinodermata says:

        I was on a different computer once and I realized it was the NoScript firefox add-on that totally screwed with the site. Is it possible it's an add-on messing things up?

      • Will says:

        I'm pretty sure that version of the comments comes up if you have a slow connection and/or a mobile browser, such as on a phone.

        • Will says:

          Basically, the mobile browsers can't handle the more sophisticated comment system so just use the crappy version with non-embedded images and stuff.

          If you have a slow connection it tries to load the normal comment system, but if it takes too long it just uses the simpler one because it is faster to load.

    • Kraznit says:

      Seriously. Dalek origins story. Fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane. First appearance of one of the best villains the show's ever had, and I'm not talking about the Daleks. Watch it before the specials. You're gonna be grateful you picked it. Not spoiling, but you're going to want to watch it.

    • maccyAkaMatthew says:

      Definitely second this one. And I'm going to post, again, the piece that Russell T Davies wrote for the Doctor Who Annual, that ties Genesis of the Daleks into the Time War. It's slightly spoilery for Genesis…, but only for the very first scene, which gives you the premise as an introduction anyway.

      Last time I posted this (after Mark watched New Earth) I left out the last paragraph, now it's OK to include it.

      "Meet The Doctor"

      When the Doctor came to Earth – to track down the Nestene Consciousness and its plastic servants, the Autons – he had no intention of finding a human companion. He'd had fellow travellers alongside him before, of course, and most of them human. His favourite species! But that was in the old days, when the universe seemed young and fresh and more inclined to friendly gestures.

      The universe, since then, had changed. At least for the Doctor.

      There had been a War, the Great Time War between the Daleks and the Time Lords. There had been two Time Wars before this – the skirmish between the Halldons and the Eternals, and then the brutal slaughter of the Omnicraven Uprising – and on both occasions, the Doctor's people had stepped in to settle the matter. The Time Lords had a policy of nin-interference in the affairs of the universe, but on a higher level, in affairs of the Time Vortex, they assumed discreetly the role of protectors. They were the self-appointed keepers of the peace. Until forced to fight.

      Now, the story of the Great (and final) Time War is hard to piece together, because so little survived. Certainly, both had been testing each others strength for many, many years. The Daleks had threatened the Time Lord High Council before, by trying to replace its members with Dalek duplicates. And one of the Dalek Puppet Emperors had openly declared his hostility. Though perhaps the Daleks' wrath was justifiable – they had been provoked! At one point in their history, the Time Lords had actually sent the Doctor back in time, to prevent the creation of the Daleks. An act of genocide! The Time Lords fired the first shot – though in their defence, they took this course of action because they had foreseen a time when the Daleks would overrun all civilized life and become the dominant life-form in the universe.

      Some tried to find a peaceful solution. While it's hard to find precise records of these events, it's said that under the Act of Master Restitution, President Romana opened a peace treaty with the Daleks. Others claim that the Etra Prime Incident began the escalation of events. But whatever the cause – and its almost certain that the full story has yet to be uncovered – the terrible War began. The Time Lords reached back into their own history, to assemble a fleet of Bowships, Black Hole Carriers and N-Forms; the Daleks unleashed the full might of the Deathsmiths of Goth, and launched an awesome fleet into the Vortex, led by the Emperor himself.


      • maccyAkaMatthew says:

        The War raged, but for most species in the universe, life continued as normal. The War was fought in the Vortex, and beyond that, in the Ultimate Void, beyond the eyes and ears of ordinary creatures. The Lesser Species lived in ignorance. If a planet found its history subtle changing – perhaps distorting and rewriting itself under the pressures of the rupturing Vortex – then its people were part of that change, and perceived nothing to be wrong. Only the Higher Species – those further up the evolutionary ladder – saw what was happening. The Forest of Cheem gazed upon the bloodshed, and wept. The Nestene Consciousness lost all of its planets, and found itself mutating under temporal stress. The Greater Animus perished and its Carsenome Walls fell into dust. And it is said that the Eternals themselves watched, and despaired of this reality, and fled their hallowed halls, never to be seen again…

        Years passed, as the mighty armies clashed. And then, silence. No one knows exactly what happened in the final battle. And no one knows how it came to end. All that is known is that one man strode from the wreckage, one man walked free from the ruins of Gallifrey and Skaro. The Time Lord called the Doctor. And his hearts were heavy as he boarded his ship once more, and took to the skies, to escape everything he had just seen; everything he had just done…

        He is alone and thinks, somehow, that he deserves this. And as he wanders on, he decides that no one should stand beside him. He's got no room, on board his TARDIS. He is a traveler, and needs no other.

        But then he finds himself in the cellar of a London shop at closing time, and he grabs the hand of an Earthling called Rose Tyler, and looks into her eyes, and all those resolutions go out of the window! The journey goes on, with a human at his side, and who knows where it will end…

        And far away, across the universe, on the planet Crafe Tec Heydra, one side of a mountain carries carvings and hieroglyphs, crude representations of an invisible War. The artwork shows two races clashing, one metal, one flesh; a fearsome explosion; and a solitary survivor walking from the wreckage. Solitary? Perhaps not. Under this figure, a phrase has been scratched in the stone, which translates as: you are not alone…

    • Mark says:

      ^^^^^^ This. I watched it for the first time last week, and it is hands-down the best classic Doctor Who serial/episode I've seen, which encompasses everything from William Hartnell's first episode to the end of Tom Baker's first season.

    • Reddi says:

      Genesis of the Daleks is well worth watching.

    • RJM says:

      Also, Harry Sullivan vs the giant clam. Which still isn't an action figure, dammit. I even signed the petition.

  5. echinodermata says:

    Not suggesting an ep/serial, but I do vote for watching classic Who before we do the post-S4 specials.

    • arctic_hare says:

      I just want to second this.

    • bookling says:

      Thirding! Definitely watch before the specials.

    • sabra_n says:

      Agreed. The specials are quite easy to split off from S4.

    • Tauriel says:

      Agreed. And I would suggest watching one classic Who serial after the Series 4 Christmas Special, and one classic serial after the last of the 2010 specials (i.e. immediately before Series 5).

      • feminerdist says:

        I'm agreeing on this one most definitely. Mark could do a Classic Who both before and after the specials. I mean, they're sorta like a short season in themselves, as far as continuity goes. I mean, they frakking drug it out like a season, making us wait to watch them and all.

    • petite-dreamer says:

      Sixth-ing. I sometimes think of the specials as Series 4.5 – they total 313 minutes, which a little more than half of a season (13 episodes at 45 minutes apiece).

      Although now that I've added up each season, it looks like they're getting progressively longer. Series 1 was 569 minutes, 2 was 584, 3 was 590, 4 was 607, and 5 was 630 – at this rate, Series 6 would be 645-ish minutes. This is good, y/y?

  6. PeterRabid says:

    "THE MIND ROBBER" Second Doctor, 5 parts, 1 hr 40 min, available on Netflix Instant

    The Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe are trapped in a Land of Fiction. What follows is the most gloriously cracktastic thing ever committed to film. It's is one of those serials that does the most it can with the budget, creatively and ingeniously. It may be a black and white 60s episode, but I've never had as much fun watching Doctor Who as I have with "The Mind Robber."

  7. David Montgomery says:

    "The Talons of Weng Chiang," Fourth Doctor. Basically, the Doctor as Sherlock Holmes in an intentional pastiche of Doctor Who and Sherlock Holmes. It's routinely voted among the best serials of the classic Who. Plus, it's a sort of controversial episode that's been accused of being a little racist, so there's ground for substantive discussion, too.

    • bibliotrek says:

      "A little racist"? Its racism is JAW-DROPPINGLY ENORMOUS. All the worst sorts of orientalism.

      • Shane says:

        I KNOW RIGHT

        I've only read the novelization (because I was really, really bored in high school and wanted MOAR OF THE DOCTOR) but the orientalism IS SO BLATANTLY OBVIOUS even in the written word. The only reason I finished it was because Leela was amazing and badass.

      • RJM says:

        Saying Weng-Chiang is "a little racist" is like saying that the UK is "a little wet."

    • It also has Leela being forced to wear more clothes than she likes to. :->

    • Mark R says:

      I think this is my all time favourite ep to be honest.Yes the racism is more than a little blatant, yes the effects are a whole lot less than special bu the strength of the story and characterisation is wonderful and Four/Leela arefantastic together.

  8. UsualThing says:

    Watch them before the specials! It will be much better for continuity.

  9. bibliotrek says:

    Last time Araniapriime suggested The Happiness Patrol (Seven and Ace), and it did really well in the poll, so I'm re-nominating it! Here's her original blurb:

    Please watch "The Happiness Patrol" with the Seventh Doctor and Ace. Seven and Ace were my first exposure to Doctor Who, and they are BADASS AND AWESOME. Ace is a teenage girl in a leather jacket who carries explosives in her knapsack. Explosives that she MAKES HERSELF.

    In "The Happiness Patrol" the Doctor and Ace visit a planet where unhappiness is illegal. If you're ever found to be unhappy, you're sent to the Kandy Kitchen. SRSLY. The secret police wear miniskirts and pink wigs and bizarre outer space bondage gear. And the first thing they do is paint the TARDIS pink because it's a happier colour. That all happens in about the first five minutes. Then hijinx ensue.


    • maccyAkaMatthew says:

      The only way Mark (or anyone else) could watch this legally would be to buy a second hand copy of the VHS release. It hasn't been released on DVD yet so it's not on Netflix in any form.

      It is possible to find it online, I'm sure, but do we want to go down that route?

      • bibliotrek says:

        Oh, boo! I hadn't realized that. I guess I did watch it on VHS from my local library. SADFACE FOREVER by which I mean UNTIL IT COMES OUT ON DVD.

        • maccyAkaMatthew says:

          They're releasing a box set of two Ace stories at some point:

          "The Ace Box commissioned and in production. #doctorwho"

          "Ace Box = two Classic stories featuring the feisty companion. Titles to be released at a later date."

          The only stories featuring Ace that haven't been released are Dragonfire, The Happiness Patrol and The Greatest Show in the Galaxy. My guess is that Dragonfire will be the one that doesn't feature as she isn't properly a companion at that point – but who knows…

    • Karen says:

      I love this story!!!

      But annoyingly, it's not readily available because it's not out on DVD yet.

    • RJM says:


      • maccyAkaMatthew says:

        There's no legal reason why there can't be a DVD, they just haven't finished their release schedule yet. They're due to have everything that isn't missing out by November 2013.

        It's anyone's guess when they'll finally release it, but it hasn't been announced yet.

        • RJM says:

          Oh? I heard that there were these licorice people who were blocking it because the Kandy Man looked too much like their mascot, Bertie Bassett. I'm glad if that's not true, for truly it is the most awesome serial.

          • maccyAkaMatthew says:

            From Shannon Sullivan's site:

            "On November 10th [1988], after episode two was aired, HB Stokes, chairman and chief executive of Bassett Foods plc, wrote to Nathan-Turner to complain that the Kandy Man infringed on the trademark of his company's advertising icon, Bertie Bassett. After investigating the matter, Brian Turner of the BBC Copyright Department informed Stokes on November 25th that he had determined that no transgressions had occurred — although he did promise that the Kandy Man would not be used again in future storylines."

            If Bassetts had any rights in this they could have stopped the VHS release in 1997, which they didn't. So there's nothing stopping the DVD release except the release schedule.

  10. Hotaru-hime says:

    I will always recommend the First Serial. It's not the greatest, but DEAR GOD YOU MUST WATCH IT.
    It's called An Unearthly Child. And I don't think any of them are reconstructions.

    • maccyAkaMatthew says:

      None of them are reconstructions. It's listed on Netflix as part of "The Beginning" box set.

    • pica_scribit says:

      I really love the first episode. It's such a great introduction to the Doctor and the first central cast. But the first storyline with the cavemen is so boring it make me weep. Better, I feel to skip from the first ep. directly to the first Dalek serial.

  11. Openattheclose says:

    Mark, my recommendation is not for a Classic Serial and I am not sure if this is the correct place to recommend this or not. If you don't think it is, just let me know, and I will delete it.

    I really think that you should watch the third episode of Series Three of the Sarah Jane Adventures called "The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith." I really can't say why though, only that I think you will really enjoy it. It is really awesome, and if you do watch it, it was originally aired in between the 2nd and 3rd Specials of Doctor Who. I don't know if you were planning on watching SJA at a later date or maybe just watching on your own and not reviewing it, but I would really recommend SJA in general. It's a great show.

    Awkward recommendation is awkward.

  12. E.L.S.O.S says:

    I know it's not classic, BUT I have two suggestions for you anyway! Since my first suggestion was the same as Openattheclose, I'm going to say "DO IT!" and just start in on the second.

    My other suggestion would be to watch the other Who spinoff: Torchwood. More specifically, the miniseries "Children of Earth." You're right that at the end of series 4 there's a ton of specials and this miniseries happens right after the summer special. It actually sort of sets up the end of the mid-series finale before we hit series 5 too. In "Children of Earth" an alien force is coming, well, for the children of Earth and demand that the human race hand over 10% of the world's children or be destroyed. Torchwood, led by pansexual-sexy-time-man Captain Jack Harkness, could be the only thing capable of stopping the children from being taken, but will they be able to do it?

    Normally, I'd suggest watching all of Torchwood, but I recently started watching series one and it's nearly all rubbish. Series two is proving to be better, but I've heard that 'The Children of Earth' miniseries is fantastic and beautiful and it's the sole reason I'm slogging through all the 'meh.' Plus, unless you want us to tell us what happened during the miniseries you won't fully get the end of the Doctor Who specials. Or at least I didn't until someone filled me in on the events that occurred.

    • Openattheclose says:

      Sorry E.L.S.O.S, we submitted our posts nearly at the same time I think. I obviously agree with both your first recommendation and Children of Earth :). I also agree that Torchwood Series One, and some of Series Two is rubbish.

    • Callia says:

      I disagree… I think if you’re going to watch Torchwood, you should watch it all. The previous two seasons give (necessary, I feel) context for where the characters are at in the beginning of Children of Earth, which makes the rest of the arc that much more poignant.

      Also, I feel the rest of the series isn’t “meh” at all, but that may be a more personal bias. I quite enjoyed it and am very much looking forward to Season 4.

    • maccyAkaMatthew says:

      I agree and since both The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith and Children of Earth occur during the specials, they could be added into Mark's schedule to make the specials year roughly the same length as the other series.

      There's no need to watch any of the preceding stuff to understand them, either. I still think that Mark would enjoy all of Torchwood, but it's not essential viewing as a lead in to Children of Earth.

    • You Are Not Alone says:

      Yes! Watch Children of Earth! I thought it was transcendental television.

      • feminerdist says:

        I agree. Torchwood is okay, but not nearly as good as Doctor Who. However, Children of Earth is a damn masterpiece of television, and it can be watched without seeing the previous seasons. I mean, I watched Serenity before Firefly, and while I missed a lot of good stuff, it still stood alone just fine. I think Children of Earth has that same ability to stand alone.

    • NB2000 says:

      I'll add that, as someone who had only ever seen one episode of Torchwood beforehand (Series 2's Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, because James Marsters!!YAY!) I had no trouble following Children of Earth. I'm sure it's a different experience watching it with more kowledge of the characters and stories that had gone before, but it does stand on its own rather well.

      • feminerdist says:

        Oh THAT episode. The first thing of Torchwood I ever saw was a two minute clip of that first scene of that episode (you know the one I'm talking about, trying to not spoil) and my immediate reaction was bouncing up and down in my chair, clapping while going "More, more of this, I want more!"

        • nyssaoftraken74 says:

          I'm sure it's no co-incidence that Russell wrote that bit. In the Writers tale, he talks about his frustration over Torchwood, saying the show is `in trouble` but simply not having time to fix it. But Children of Earth is a masterpiece.

    • Karen says:

      Children of Earth is possibly my favorite thing that RTD has ever written, and that is saying a lot, considering both my stanning of RTD and my general disdain for Torchwood. It is really some brilliant television.

  13. Radagast says:

    On the timing question, watch before the specials (and hey, why not another one after?) The specials are a mini-season to themselves, really.

    My vote right now would be one of the '60s B&W serials – my personal faves being The Aztecs and Tomb of the Cybermen. Each has their unique appeal, Aztecs being a great example of a pure historical (no sci-fi trappings other than the Doctor and TARDIS), Tomb being a claustrophobic horror tale. As you've already met the Second doctor (though outside his own era), Aztecs would give you the First (and Ian, Barbara and Susan, his best crew IMO).

    • maccyAkaMatthew says:

      Tomb of the Cybermen now has a post of its own (below) so people can vote for it there. If you want to put The Aztecs up for voting, it needs a post all to itself.

    • Hotaru-hime says:

      One, I totally love your name! Isn't it awesome that Sylvester McCoy is going to play Radagast the Brown?!
      Two, I think I like Vicki better than Susan- she was everything Susan should have been but wasn't.

      • nyssaoftraken74 says:

        I agree over Vicky. Much more likely to at least *try* to do something constructive, even if she sometimes got it wrong.

        There's a brilliantly brave decision she makes in The Chase, which I won't spoil for ppl who haven't seen it. But those who have will know what I mean. Susan could never have coped – she burst into hysterics if her grandfather disappeared over a hill!

  14. PeterRabid says:

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    I love TARDIS trios. The two companions can play off each other and commiserate about the weirdness of the Doctor.

    "Fanfic" is one way of putting it. XP

    • ThreeBooks says:

      …Oh, so this is a serial I should watch if I want to suddenly ship Jamie/2 all of a sudden 😀

      • PeterRabid says:

        Really, you could watch any Two serial after "The Highlanders" and instantly ship Two/Jamie. My favorite part is counting how many times they cling to each other. 😉

  15. jackiep says:

    Given that there's a set of specials, I'd suggest one serial before the Christmas special, another before the Easter Special and then a third before the October one.

    Endorse the Genesis of the Daleks suggestions. Also The Silurians. Both are long (might need two nights to do them both justice).

    Might also be worth looking at something different – The Deadly Assassin.

    • maccyAkaMatthew says:

      If you want people to vote for the Silurians or The Deadly Assassin, you need to give them their own posts.

    • Reddi says:

      I think your 'schedule' suggestion of a classic before the Christmas Special, one before the Easter ep, and one before the two part finales is a very good idea.

  16. maccyAkaMatthew says:

    Another vote for watching before the specials and afterwards, since they're the rough equivalent of a half a series anyway.

    I don't know how much this is a factor, but only a few episodes are available to stream via Netflix instant. The ones that Mark hasn't already seen are:

    1st Doctor:

    The Aztecs (4 parts)

    2nd Doctor:

    The Mind Robber (5 parts)

    3rd Doctor

    Spearhead from Space (4 parts)
    Carnival of Monsters (4 parts)
    The Green Death (6 parts)

    4th Doctor

    The Ark in Space (4 parts)
    Pyramids of Mars (4 parts)
    Horror of Fang Rock (4 parts)
    The Ribos Operation (4 parts)
    The Pirate Planet (4 parts)
    The Androids of Tara (4 parts)
    The Power of Kroll (4 parts)
    The Leisure Hive (4 parts)

    5th Doctor

    The Visitation (4 parts)

    7th Doctor

    The Curse of Fenric (4 parts)

    There's a lot more available on DVD but not everything (The Happiness Patrol for example, isn't out on DVD yet). In the replies to this comment, I'll list what is currently available on DVD from Netflix, by Doctor and season. I'm also adding links to episodes that are available to stream legally – although only the YouTube links will work in the US.

    Hopefully, the list will also be of some use to anyone wanting to explore the old stuff. The Netflix search system isn't very good and you'll miss some titles if you search for "Doctor Who" without knowing the specific serial names.

    In general, searching is good as a last resort for finding some version of a story. The official releases are much better, though.

  17. maccyAkaMatthew says:

    The Sea Devils as both an interesting story in its own right and the best introduction to the original Master of those that are available on DVD.

    I've partly posted this as an alternative to Terror of the Autons which isn't on DVD yet. Hokuto has already suggested that one:

    "Now that you've met the Master, it is past time to meet – the Master. I nominate Terror of the Autons for the Master's very first appearance in the show! "

  18. Tauriel says:

    I will suggest The Tomb of the Cybermen from the Second Doctor's era. It is considered one of the best (and, incidentally, it made the current Doctor, Matt Smith, fall in love with Doctor Who 😀 ). The Cybermen are properly creepy and the Doctor is just loveable. Plus, there's also the awesomeness that's Jamie! 😀

    • RJM says:

      Dude, yes! There are some Issues re: Toberman, but all in all it is an awesome serial. Plus we get Victoria at her best! Which makes me happy, because I've got a soft spot for poor Victoria, whose other serials all got eaten up during the burnination.

  19. nyssaoftraken74 says:

    It's high time you had some 7th Doctor and Ace because Seven is dark and sneaky and Ace just rocks. I'm really torn for which one to recommend, but I'm going to go with…Survival because it's the final serial of the Classic show.

    Ace decides to pop back and look up her old mates in her former home town of Perivale. "Nothing ever happens here," she says, but something is happening now. Something strange and deadly. Something is lurking among the tin cans and stray cats. Something that connects to another place and an old foe waiting in the shadows…
    …There really is no place like home.

    See the direction Doctor Who was taking when it was cruelly taken from us. And then compare to your memories of New Series 1, Episode 1 `Rose` and tell us: Does it really look like there were 16 years between them?

    As for timing, I'm sticking by my previous comment on this: treat the Specials as a mini-series. That is essentially how the DVDs were packaged. So therefore, the order should be:


    In other words, you watch a classic after each series, so why should the Series of Specials be different just because it's shorter? Never tamper with what works, that's my advice! 🙂

    • RJM says:

      Survival is win. Seven's final words as he and Ace walk off make me teary, too.

      (Weirdly enough, I think it was one of the first classic serials I watched, despite it being the last.)

  20. maccyAkaMatthew says:

    We're supposed to be voting for one story for Mark to watch, so posting a long list isn't any use. Pick a suggestion, pick lots if you want – but only put one story per post so that people can vote on them and don't post a story that someone else has already suggested.

    • Bilbo-sama says:

      Ah. Sorry, I wasn't very awake when I made that comment at the time. I wont do that again. OTL

      (Er, can someone delete my comment of fail please?)

  21. Doctor WhoLoverr says:

    1. The War Games.

    Second Doctor. Ten Episodes. Really good. You have to see it some time.

    2. Genesis of the Daleks.

    Just plain Epic

    3. Tomb of the Cyberman

    Really good episode.

    • maccyAkaMatthew says:

      Genesis and Tomb have their own posts, above, so vote there if you want those.

      If you want people to vote for the War Games, you should give it a suggestion post on its own – so it's clear.

  22. Karen says:

    I vote for The Curse of Fenric just because Seven is my favorite Classic Who Doctor and it's the only Seven Era story that is easily available.

    • maccyAkaMatthew says:

      Seven and Eight are also the only Doctors that Mark hasn't seen, at least briefly, yet.

      If he's going to live blog the movie then a 7th Doctor adventure makes sense as his next choice.

    • nyssaoftraken74 says:

      As I said above, I'm torn over which Seventh Doctor story to recommend, and this was the other one I was thinking of, so this gets an upvote from me.

    • Starsea28 says:

      HELL YES.

      "It's like it some kind of game and only you know the rules!"

      "Evil! Evil from the dawn of time!"

    • RJM says:

      Fenric is indeed awesome, but it is NOT the only Seven story that is easily available. Remembrance of the Daleks, Ghost Light, and Survival are also on DVD too. And I think maybe Battlefield too, which means that all of S26 (my favorite series/season!) is on DVD.

      • maccyAkaMatthew says:

        It's the only one that's available to stream via Netflix Instant, which is how Mark has watched all the classic stories so far. We seem to be recommending a lot of stuff that's just on DVD from Netflix, though – it remains to be seen if this is a problem or not (no word from Mark on this so far).

        Battlefield is on DVD, there's a list of the seventh Doctor stories available here:

        The other comments have lists for the other Doctors.

        • RJM says:

          Ohhhhh. Well, darn. That does cut down on recommendations, then.

          • maccyAkaMatthew says:

            Unless Mark says he can't watch stuff that's only on DVD I think it's not worth worrying too much about the Netflix Instant thing.

            Suggesting a story that's not even available from Netflix on DVD is probably asking too much, though, which is why I made that list.

    • flamingpie says:

      I would go for Happiness Patrol over Curse of the Fenric, but if Fenric is easier to come by then I would definitely vote for that too. Any Seven needs to be seen!

  23. jackiep says:

    The Deadly Assassin. Unusual story, set immediately after Sarah Jane's departure (really the cause of Sarah Jane's departure).

    • maccyAkaMatthew says:

      Also one of the key stories in the evolving series mythology, which Mark seems to love learning about.

    • anobium says:

      I vote Mark should watch "The Deadly Assassin" before the specials, because *spoilers* and also *spoilers*.

    • RJM says:

      Also, wet Tom Baker wearing nothing but trousers and a white shirt.

      … what? It makes ME happy.

    • Reddi says:

      The Deadly Assassin gives you a look at Gallifrey, and a great look at the doctor's mind, and there are other things that will help enlighten some stuff you've seen on nuWho. Don't want to say much more without spoiling but this is an excellent episode especially for someone watching nuWho, and wondering about some of the past details.

  24. jackiep says:

    The Silurians – The Doctor is only just starting to get used to the idea that he's stuck on Earth, the Brigadier is just getting used to his unexpected new employee. OK, it's got a lot of padding in (any 6 parter would have) but it's a good example of an early Third Doctor story.

    • maccyAkaMatthew says:

      Actually seven parts, but I've voted for it any way since I love the slow burn nature of the story. I don't think its padded in the sense that complications are inserted to make the story last longer – I just think it's a really long story. And I enjoy all of it.

  25. nextboy1 says:

    I've voted for the TVM already, but as for your question of where to watch the classic serial, it doesn't really matter. I don't know if you know, and I'm pretty sure it's not spoilery to say that these specials were broadcast over the space of a year, and so there were big gaps between most of them anyway.

    Personally I'd suggest watching the classic BEFORE the specials, for various reasons. upvote if you agree.

  26. The Face of Evil — it's Four, with the introduction of a companion I adore, plus it's a neat little self-contained sci-fi story.

    • maccyAkaMatthew says:

      And not out on DVD, unfortunately.

      Edit: someone has downvoted this?

      I don't decide the DVD release schedule. If it's not on DVD then Mark won't be able to get it from Netflix and nor will anyone else. That makes things difficult. The only legal way of watching is to get hold of a VHS copy from a library or buy a used copy, which isn't easy either.

      I feel very wary about venturing into pirated streaming internet versions of stories when so much is available on DVD. Now maybe someone can make a case for doing it that way – but downvoting a post that just clarifies the reality of the situation isn't the way to do it.

      • Imogen1984 says:

        I couldn't get this either, which really bugged me because it has one of Four's best lines ever :(. But The Robots of Death (which I will suggest below) has the same companion and is almost as good.

  27. elvwood says:

    I strongly endorse going back to the very beginning and watching An Unearthly Child – you can choose whether to stop after a single episode (it's pretty much a standalone) or watch the three following. But that's already been suggested, so how about The Time Meddler? It gives you a taste of the Hartnell era after everything's settled down a bit. I can't think how to say what I like about it without spoilers, but there's some good character interaction and a range of moods which shows much of what I like about the First Doctor's era. And it's got my favourite First Doctor TARDIS crew. 🙂

    • nyssaoftraken74 says:

      I'll certainly give the Time Meddler some love.

      The TARDIS crew land in 1066 and discover some strange anachronisms. It seems someone is messing around with this important moment in history. But who could be doing such a thing and why?

  28. Gil says:


    Sixth Doctor, features another evil Time Lord(Lady?) villain who was supposed to be a recurring villain before the series got cancelled

    • RJM says:

      It's pretty much one of the only watchable Six serials too. (Poor Colin Baker. *sigh*)

      (For me, at least, it comes down to this and The Two Doctors, although the presence of the other Doctor from that one probably helped a lot. Ironically, Six is probably my favorite audio play Doctor, which means its totally the fault of the Saward era writers and not the actors.)

  29. RJM says:


    Reason 1: Seven 'n' Ace! They are one of the most awesome Team Tardis ever and I feel fairly confident you will like them lots. (He's a devious and vaguely Scottish Time Lord from Gallifrey! She's a juvenile delinquent with a taste for high explosives! Together, THEY SAVE THE UNIVERSE.)

    Reason 2: The Brig! (Poor Nicolas Courtney. *sniffs*) I think all of us who are watching along with you might appreciate a chance to say goodbye to the man, plus BackIntoAction!Old!Brig is awesome anyway.

    Reason 3: Bambera & Ancelyn. Trust me on this one.

    Reason 4: The Brig. I am repeating myself, but the Brig deserves it.

    Reason 5: Jean Marsh, who long ago played Sara Kingdom in The Dalek Master Plan, is back to play the baddie.

    Reason 6: The Brig.

    Quality-wise, it's maybe middle or middle-high? Not exactly the distilled ZOMGness of the rest of S26, but fun and watchable.

  30. RJM says:

    Also, another vote for serials before AND after the specials, the better to give Mark the chance to watch everyone's favorites.

  31. LittleCaity says:


    Fifth Doctor. Tegan, the Australian companion actually FROM Australia. Turlough being utterly creepy and horrifying, his monologue will send shivers down your spine. Bad shit happening to the TARDIS. The last humans in quite deep excrement. The earth itself swallowing people whole. A reason for one of the S5 episodes to give you even more of the screaming heebie jeebies than it already would.

    And a killer hat stand.

    Sir, you owe it to yourself to watch this serial.

    • maccyAkaMatthew says:

      Another one that's still awaiting a DVD release, unfortunately, so Mark won't be able to get this one from Netflix.

      I'm also going to suggest a mod deletes your post since you've referenced new Who that Mark has still to watch. If it does get deleted – reposting without the reference should be fine. But, like I said, it's not on DVD.

      • LittleCaity says:

        …Oh bollocks! Mods, feel free to delete! I feel like a right twerp now.

        Mark's still gonna get the heebie-jeebies from that episode, mind you.

  32. pica_scribit says:

    I'm gobsmacked to see that no one had yet rec'd CURSE OF THE FATAL DEATH on this round. It's the series of mini-episodes Comic Relief made in 1999, so after the horrible Eighth Doctor movie, but before the series reboot. It stars Rowan Atkinson as the Doctor, and Jonathan Pryce as the Master (with many other recognisable faces besides), and was written by Steven Moffat. It is hilarious and completely brilliant, and totals about 30 minutes. It's not available on Netflix or DVD in America, but is easy to find on YouTube, where it is generally divided into two parts.

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  33. Parzival says:

    Of the suggestions above, I'd say Genesis of the Daleks, but for my own suggestion of what should be high on your list:

    Remembrance of the Daleks (4 parts)

    Several people have recommended a story with Seven and Ace, but this is probably the best place to start. It's their first real adventure together after he picked her up in the previous season, and it's the first one that really nails what's so awesome about the two. Seven is a fascinating Doctor, for all his goofiness one of the most devious and manipulative. And Ace is an awesome companion in so many ways.

    Remembrance is also an excellent serial in its own right — clever, intriguing, action-packed, and with a knockout climax. It's one of the best with Seven & Ace, and a perfect place to start.

    … but probably after Genesis.

  34. John says:

    I'll toss out my suggestion for The Key To Time arc. I suppose you could pick one serial out of the arc (which I'd go with the Ribos Operation), but the whole arc ties together pretty tightly, much more so than, say, Bad Wolf and Mr. Saxon tie together the revival series seasonal arcs. Plus, it has Tom Baker, Mary Tamm as Romana, and K-9, the trifecta of awesome.

    • Neil says:

      If you do fancy this and it's well worth doing it might be an idea once you're up to date with nu-who. Key to Time is an entire season of Doctor Who at 26 x 25 minute episodes mode up of six connected stories (5 stories of 4 episodes and 1 of 6 episodes). The stories do work as stand alone basis, but you do get more watching the whole season arc.

      • RJM says:

        I'd vote for this as well. The quality is variable–there's some really good stories, some average ones, and the least said about Kroll the best–but it's a great arc and lots of fun. And the second serial was written by Douglas Adams!

  35. Reddi says:

    I don't see INVASION OF TIME rec'd yet. This is another one that might be good to see before the last of the specials.

  36. Imogen1984 says:

    THE ROBOTS OF DEATH. It's a mystery type story arc, Fourth Doctor and a super duper companion you haven't met yet who is awesome and fun. Great acting and EXTREMELY CHEESY MAKEUP AND COSTUMES.

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