Now that the 60th anniversary of Doctor Who has come and gone, fans are looking to the specials which are due to broadcast over the coming week. Like many hallmark landmarks, newspapers, tabloids, and on-line forums take to the internet with opinions and thoughts on what the worst of the worst in Doctor Who’s long-established, distinguished history. Is there a definitive answer? The simple responsible is, “NO!”. However, a recent article in The Daily Telegraph has provided a rather questionable 10 Worst Episodes of All Time – the choices are nowhere near the ‘truth’.
Amongst the supposed 10 Worst are The Web Planet (a fitting choice, and a real stinker), The Underwater Menace (hardly justified since ½ half of it is still missing from the BBC archives), Warriors of the Deep (a horrible put together production, there’s no denying the fact), Timelash (the only other justified placement),Time and the Rani (bottom tier stuff – but nowhere near downright terrible), and The Unicorn and the Wasp (an attempt to combine science-fiction and crime – does anyone really hate this one?). I am afraid so say that the writer of the article has very little understanding on what the good, the bad and the terrible really is. So, what are the 10 Worst Serials of all time?
Top 10 Lists are always hard to get right: opinions differ, and totally universal agreement is impossible to achieve. However, there are other serials which are so unilaterally hated that they deserved to be in the Top 10 Worst compared so the choices made by The Daily Telegraph. With 60 years of time-travel, over 300 stories, 15 incarnations of The Doctor, and 2 very different era of the shows it’s hard to decide which serials should be placed in the bottom 10. The classic and revived eras of the show have some real blunders, so who should have been considered to be in the bottom 10?
· The Sensorites the first turkey of the serial which comes across as annoying and tiresome.
· The Dominators hated by Doctor Who scholar and reference guide writers.
· The Space Pirates, hated because The Second Doctor, Jamie and Zoe hardly appear
· The Time Monster, notoriously ridiculed for being an unfunny comedic adventure.
· Underworld (CSO- colour separation overkill) – and the worst rated Fourth Doctor serial)
· The Monster of Peladon, a rehash of its superior counterpart and Alpha Centauri appears (again) - sigh
· The Horns of Nimon another unfunny serial with many production blunders
· Meglos, another poor Fourth Doctor era where Tom Baker plays the antagonist – rather poorly.
· Time-Flight everyone hates this one – find someone who gives this a passing grade.
· The King’s Demons: a pedestrian effort that doesn’t hold itself for 2 episodes.
· Attack of the Cybermen, hated for its high body count, blood gore and poor production values.
· Delta and the Bannermen, a musical Doctor Who which should be watched on mute
· Silver Nemesis, also known as Silly Nemesis, and a poor 25th anniversary special.
· Love and Monsters: what can be said, let’s not address the Abzorbaloff in the room.
· Fear Her: came 2nd bottom in the 2013 poll, 240th out 241st.
· Let’s Kill Hitler: doesn’t Hitler hardly appear in this one, maybe someone should have let him out of the closet.
· Kill the Moon, the one where the moon is an egg – science fiction anyone?
· Sleep No More: an episode put together from ‘lost footage’ and the worst Mark Gatiss serial.
· The Timeless Children: the one where the mystery behind Doctor Who was finally revealed and ruined.
I believe many fans would agree with some or many of the above choices. Other serials which appeared in The Daily Telegraph include The Crimson Horror, Arachnids in the UK and Village of the Angels. Whilst the final two series appeared during the Jodie Whittaker era - the worst era in my opinion and full of terrible episodes - they are nowhere near the most terrible serials that Doctor Who has produced.
So, I have suggested nearly 20 series for consideration, and would welcome others’ opinions. (Benedict)