The Master

Top Five: Fourth Doctor Serials

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Talk about unexpected surprises… last weekend I was fortunate enough to meet the Fourth Doctor himself, Mr. Tom Baker, for a spot of tea and jelly babies! Kudos to everyone at Tenth Planet Events for putting on a well organised and smooth running signing session, and even just for getting Tom as a special guest in the first place! To celebrate, I’m going to take a look back at the five classic Doctor Who serials that made me truly love the Fourth Doctor – it’s been tough ranking these in order, because as with many of Tom’s episodes, any one of them could not only be considered the greatest story of his era, but perhaps in all of Doctor Who history…

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The Rabbit: Wonders of the Whoniverse

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This article was originally published in the 2011-2012 academic year.

And so, Saturday 1st October was the day that marked the end of the latest series of Britain’s best loved science fiction programme, Doctor Who (and the day I was left wondering what on earth I’m going to watch on telly now!?). While the quality of the most recent episodes is up for debate – something I’ll get into later – it’s impossible to deny the success that the programme has seen throughout its nearly fifty year run. From its rise in 1963 and fall in 1989 to its second coming in 2005 (not forgetting the failed attempt to bring it back in 1996 with a television movie), over the years it’s been a huge part of British culture as well as one of the BBC’s flagship shows. With it now appealing to people all across the globe on a scale that would have been unimaginable when it first started off, the question to ask is – what has kept it going all this time whilst other shows have crashed and burned in a season or two?

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Top Five: Doctor Who Christmas Specials (2005-2014)

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The last decade has given us not only countless episodes of new Doctor Who, but also ten (soon to be eleven) Christmas specials. Nowadays it just wouldn’t seem right to have a Christmas Day go by without a seasonal story of Doctor Who on BBC One, providing the perfect visual dessert after a belly full of roast turkey and all the trimmings. There’s been a real mixture of wintry tales over the years too – from Doctor debuts to emotional regenerations and everything in between, the Doctor Who Christmas specials have had it all. So, before we meet The Husbands of River Song and say goodbye to 2015, let’s look back at the episodes of Christmas past that have made for the happiest holidays of all…

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Top Ten: New Doctor Who Episodes (2005-2015)

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It’s no secret that Doctor Who is my favourite television programme in recent memory, and while I have taken the time to delve back and sample a fair few stories from the ‘classic’ era, I’d be lying if I didn’t say my heart truly belonged to the newer, more modern take on the series that has been airing on our screens since 2005. Now, a whole decade on from Russell T Davies’ triumphant revival, the show continues to go from strength to strength. Not only is it the most globally successful that it has ever been, but we’ve also just come out of Series 9, a string of episodes which I consider to be one of the best that the last ten years has had to offer.

Doctor Who is one of those rare programmes that offers limitless possibilities, and I can wholeheartedly credit it for inspiring me to be a writer and embrace science-fiction and fantasy like never before. My most prominent early memory of the new series was sitting down to watch The Parting of the Ways – all those Daleks, all that action, and then boom… a whole new Doctor, just like that! I’ve been hooked ever since, and despite the odd few duds and ventures into mediocrity, the show has never let me down and a stand out classic of an episode always feels like it could be right around the corner.

So, in celebration of 10 years of new Doctor Who, let’s raise a glass and take a look at my top ten favourite episodes from Series 1 to 9…

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