Top 10 ‘Doctor Who’ Episodes – 5th Doctor Edition
So we’ve finished reviewing the adventure of the Fifth Doctor, all of which you can find here, so it’s time to find the recap his adventures and pick the Top 10!
#10 – Snakedance
The second part of the mini-arc that features the Mara, a snake like deity who attacks people’s subconscious. After their original encounter with the creature Tegan has been unwittingly carrying the monster in the back of her mind, with it erupting into her nightmares when they approach it’s home planet a second time. This is a great story for Tegan, as she battles with the demon in her mind whilst the Doctor, along with a young and boorish Martin Clunes, try and solve the mystery.
#9 – Planet of Fire
It’s a shame that Turlough was left until his very last story before being given good character development. After a rather unremarkable couple of stories his history and exile from is home planet are finally revealed. This serial gave Turlough plenty of quality script to chew on while they battled the Master, met Peri and saw the destruction of Kamelion. A good finale to what may have otherwise been a wasted companion.
#8 – Black Orchid
Sometimes it’s important to mix up the formula. This short serial features no science fiction elements beyond the Doctor and his companions arriving in the TARDIS, instead going with a traditional murder mystery. Finding themselves at a manor party where the Doctor takes the chance to play some cricket, the uncover some classic mystery material including mistaken identity.
#7 – Frontios
As with many of the older Doctor Who episodes, this serial is slightly held back by the silly looking aliens. When that is put aside there is some fantastic sci-fi writing here. The planet of Frontios is under attack from an alien race who can manipulate gravity and have been bombarding the surface dwellers with meteorites. More interesting and creepy is the way the aliens use human corpses to power their machines. Some strong imagery and ideas makes this a solid story.
#6 – The Mawdryn Undead
The creature design of the Mawdryn is still horrible to look at, with the pulsating brain and all. Looking well past that, the return of the Brig is always going to be welcome and it’s good to see the Doctor being given a genuinely difficult conundrum. Turlough is introduced as a double agent for the Black Guardian, beginning the beginning of a decent trilogy.
#5 – Earthshock
The Cyberman and endured as one of the best villains in the Doctor Who saga, and their impact is always felt. Although they don’t reach the levels of global domination that they would in some episodes this is still a memorable appearance. Most of this is attributed the death of Adric at the end of the episode, but even before that there’s solid character development during the episode, and the destruction of the dinosaurs being wound into the plot is fun.
#4 – The Caves of Androzani
The final outing for the Fifth Doctor is quite the action packed adventure. Along with just Peri for the first time both her and the Doctor are poisoned, leaving them in a race against time to find the cure. With plenty of memorable characters and a plot involving the conflict between miners and the military it’s a well crafted story that moves at a brisk pace, ending with a powerful sacrifice on the behalf of the Doctor.
#3 – The Five Doctors
It’s always been reassuring that when a cross-Doctor special is put together the writers deliver the goods. Although Tom Baker only contributes some left-over footage from the unaired Shada, the reunion of Troughton, Pertwee, Ford, Sladen and others make it more than worthwhile. With all the versions of the Doctor (to date) and their companions trapped in the ‘Dead Zone’ battling their old foes, the Master is send in to rescue him. What they uncover is a powerful secret dating back to the beginning of Time Lord society.
#2 – Kinda
The first story featuring the Mara is a fantastic one. Rather than turning out standerd sci-fi tropes the entire serial is based around the teachings of Buddha. From the outset it seems as though there are many random occurrences used to propel the story forward, but everything contains a deeper meaning that builds up to the finale. The representation of the Mara and Tegan’s struggle with it is fresh and original for the long running series.
#1 – Enlightenment
A bunch of ancient ships being piloted through space by egomaniac deities trying to win the prize of Enlightment. Turlough battles with the Black Guardian who is trying to force him to kill the Doctor. Fantastic, imaginative and awesome fun.