Movie Stars and Gossip
Sometimes Doctor Who pushes the envelope. Sometimes it works, and sometimes we get the singing nonsense that was The Rings of Akhaten. Nu-Who is quite particular about this as there’s more of an emphasis on basing the events of episodes around either humans or specifically on Earth, so it’s easier to identify when they’re trying to do something a bit crazy.
A lot of the older Doctor Who episodes (for the purposes of this article, I shall call the grouped stories an episode) tend to wander off and talk purely about aliens on an alien planet. It’s a lot more pure science fiction than what we see today. For example, there’s no reason why the Leisure Hive couldn’t have humans in it, but instead they’re Argolin. Classic Who is full of examples of this, so it’s really hard to judge sometimes when they’ve surpassed expectations because it’s hard to form an initial idea of what was going to happen.Also, because now they’re so completely embedded in your childhood (at least they are mine) that I can’t remember a time when I questioned whether or not they were good. As a child, I didn’t care if the episodes were good – if it was Doctor Who I had to watch it.
These days I can take a more objective approach. Especially now we have this wonderful internet thing with all the social media bells and whistles, we can discuss spoilers and predictions until we’re blue in the face. It’s a good job that Doctor Who seems to be the best show on television for keeping secrets – how many of us knew about the plans for The Night of the Doctor before it was put online? Exactly. How many times now has Russell T. Davis and Stephen Moffat almost seemed to take pleasure in misleading us about storylines and episodes?
Also, and more importantly, how many times as Doctor Who seemed to jump the shark (or had a flying one pull a carriage) by announcing a completely batsh*t initial idea and then turned it into a stupendous masterpiece of television? Quite often, actually. So here’s my top ten of episodes that I figure should have been a pile of dross and yet they somehow ended up being something quite amazing.
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