Top 10 ‘Doctor Who’ Episodes – 1st Doctor Edition
Over the past couple of months we’ve been posting reviews of the original Doctor Who adventures, and now we present a quick Top 10 of the 1st Doctor episodes to cap it all of! This is the second Top of Doctor Who episodes, with the 10th Doctor’s Adventures being found here. Keep tuned for the first batch of reviews of the 2nd Doctor’s adventures!
10. An Unearthly Child
Needless to say the original story requires a mention! It begins with two teachers, Ian and Barbara, who notice something odd about their student Susan. Although she has a strong knowledge of science and history she gets confused about some everyday occurrences, such as using currency. Investigating further they discover that she’s the grand-daughter of a time-traveling alien. When they stumble into his ‘TARDIS’ they set off on an unbelievable journey through time and space!
9. The Romans
At the beginning of the franchise producers hoped to provide an educational aspect to the show. This idea was discarded when the futuristic, sci-fi themed episodes proved substantially more popular. That isn’t to say that they weren’t without their merits, and one of the most entertaining serials of this ilk is ‘The Romans’. With it’s parallel narratives it provides a wide cross section of Ancient Roman culture and ends on a humorous note. Extra points for the Doctor’s lyre recital.
8. The Edge of Destruction
Very early on the series The Doctor and his companions weren’t completely trusting of each other, as evidenced in this two-part story. When the Doctor suspects that the TARDIS has been sabotaged he suspects Ian or Barbara to be the culprit. While the TARDIS is trapped floating in space the crew members turn against each other. A very well written plot.
7. The Keys of Marinus
Breaking away from the usual format the ‘Keys of Marinus’ involves the Doctor’s companions being tasked with having to recover a set of computer keys from around the planet. Each episodes sees them arrive in a new, vastly different location that houses a fresh set of challenges. This comes in the form of mind-games, dangerous hunters and traps, culminating with Ian on trail for murder and The Doctor taking up the role of lawyer.
6. The Space Museum
One of the first episodes that deals with the time continuum instead of the Doctor simply popping up in different parts of history. In this case it proves to be a very cool set-up for the coming episodes. Arriving in the future outside a museum they notice several odd happenings before venturing inside where nobody seems to notice them. The Doctor surmises that they’ve landed slightly outside of the time stream, putting them temporally outside of reality. Knowing that they’re going to be back in the normal time soon becomes a very real concern when they find themselves frozen and on display in the museum.
5. The Time Meddler
This story is significant as it’s the first time we encounter a Time Lord other than The Doctor. The Monk is cut from a different cloth, preferring to (you guessed it) meddle with history rather than adventure around and help people. His actions are never malicious, instead he likes getting involved with making sure good things take their course. In any event it’s against Time Lord protocol to intervene with history creating a conflict with The Doctor.
4. The Rescue
A very cool two-part episode – not as long as the usual serial from the era but it more than makes up for it in quality. The crew of the TARDIS arrive on a planet to find two stranded humans awaiting rescue. Vicki cares for the crippled Bennett and they both live in fear of the monstrous Koquillion that roams the landscape. A tightly written episode that contains a smartly delivered twist and introduces a new passenger of the TARDIS.
3. The Chase
Again with the Daleks! In this story the most famous of the Doctor’s enemies have built themselves a time machine of their own and are chasing the TARDIS through time and space. Being only a short amount of time behind them the Doctor and his companions hurtle from place to place without control, the longer they stay in the one locale the closer the Dalek’s get. After some memorable stops on the Mary Celeste and a haunted mansion they make their stand. If you want to see Daleks fighting Frankenstien’s monster then this is the one for you.
2. The Ark
The complete story arc of, um, ‘The Ark’ deftly combines two classic sci-fi tropes in one great group of episodes. When the TARDIS arrives on a giant spaceship transporting the remains of the human race to a new planet to be colonised they inadvertently unleash flu germs that the human race has long since eradicated among the highly susceptible population. Half way through the story seems to be resolved and the travelers move on, arriving in the same place further into the future only to find that the sub-servant alien race on the Ark have revolted and taken over. As equally good as the first plot, the two concepts and rich in ideas and fun to watch.
1. The Dalek Invasion of Earth
Possibly the most famous of the early adventures, also having been adapted to a Peter Cushing movie, it’s the first set of episodes that looks as though it had more than $5 in the budget. The Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Susan arrive back on Earth only to find that they’re far into the future and the Dalek’s have already invaded and conquered the planet. Groups of Dalek’s roaming around the deserted streets of London is a powerful image. With the Doctor and his companions separated out into groups we have multiple narrative threads to follow that paints a broad picture of what the Dalek controlled world is like. If you only see one classic Doctor Who episode this is the one to watch.