Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Doctor Who: The Russell T. Davies Years

Season 5 is upon us. The RTD era is dead but it was a fun five years and here’s a little look back on the times we’ve had – the best as a new and exciting era of the series comes into action.

Season 1

For a lot of people, it was the beginning of the series. I didn’t grow up with it so in a lot of ways, Christopher Eccleston literally was my first Doctor and he was a bloody fantastic one at that. The first series certainly had the odd ropey episode here and there but it set a wonderful dynamic with shop girl Rose Tyler and her mother Jackie and boyfriend Mickey while slowly introducing other companions types such as short lived Adam and ongoing Jack Harkness but more than that, it was the start of lightening striking twice. The show became a mega hit overnight and with the likes of the Daleks, Autons, Gelth, Slitheen (much as I dislike them) and Cassandra, we certainly had a fair share of interesting aliens. I suppose the regeneration from Eccleston into David Tennant with the finale could’ve killed things but we all know what would happen with the Tenth Doctor, don’t we?

Best Story: The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances.
Worst Story: The Long Game.

Season 2

I think the more and more I watch this season, the more that it’s not as good for me as following seasons. I think it’s because it’s always repeated on Watch and also because while it’s nice to see the Doctor and Rose being closer together, often you feel that other characters didn’t get a look in. Jackie mused about being left behind by her daughter while Mickey went into a parallel world to try and rid them of Cybermen. In terms of episodes, there was some interesting attempts. More mysteries on the Face of Boe, an alien based werewolf, Sarah Jane returning, Reinette, the Beast as well as a finale that would see Daleks and Cybermen duke it out only to be eclipsed by the powerful goodbye that the Doctor and Rose ended up sharing with each other on Bad Wolf Bay. Plus there’s a brief introduction of Donna, who would become the best thing in the series fourth season.

Best Story: Army Of Ghosts/Doomsday
Worst Story: Fear Her

Season 3

For anyone who viciously hated Martha Jones, I always think shame on you to a degree. She might not have had the same impact as Rose to some people but for me, she was every bit as worth watching as her blonde predecessor. The unrequited crush was something the writers could’ve knocked on the head earlier but overall, the third season is actually more enjoyable than the first two in my opinion. This was the season that had a hospital on the Moon, gave us Shakespeare, the Face of Boe’s parting words, tried something different with the Daleks, gave us a human Doctor, Weeping Angels and more importantly had a finale that returned both Jack and the Master to mostly successful effect. The Christmas special with Kylie Minogue was probably the weakest but still in a strong line of episodes for this impressive season.

Best Story: Human Nature/The Family Of Blood
Worst Story: The Lazarus Experiment

Season 4/2009 Specials

Without a doubt my favourite season and a bit from the new series. It was a greatest hits mash up with every companion coming back. Donna Noble herself went from being an ordinary temp to the most important woman in the universe to losing her memory, briefly halting a Master clone and marrying a nice bloke in 15 episodes. Martha joined and left UNIT in the same way she went from Tom to Mickey, Jack and Sarah Jane were around when the Doctor needed them the most, Wilfred provided an awesome support system for the Doctor and Donna and Rose wound up with a human version of the man she loved. In terms of returning aliens, we’ve got Davros and the Daleks trying to destroy reality, Cybermen in Victorian London, Sontarans choking the air, air piranhas with the Vashta Nerada, giant alien wasps, Haths, two significant females for the Doctor (daughter Jenny and future wife River), water based Flood, the Swarm and of course, the Master and the Time Lords with their own designs on conquering/destroying creation. There’s also the Ood, who were instrumental in telling us that the Doctor’s song was coming to an end as well. Overall, this was the busiest and best series from RTD’s run and a fantastic ending to David Tennant’s reign as the Doctor.

Best Story: The End of Time Parts 1 And 2
Worst Story: The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky

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