Because of the way it was revived (and that the revival took a very different tactic to how stories were structured) Doctor Who appears twice on the 1001 list in both its classic and revived incarnations. As I have been watching the revived Doctor Who since it was brought back to the screen with Christoper Eccleston, I crossed off the later incarnation many years ago. However, I hadn’t seen too many episodes of the original era… that is until now.
Since my husband is a proper Whovian, I left the task of picking my sample of episodes. This left me with five episodes from the First Doctor (including the first ever episode) and four episodes each from the Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth Doctors. The chosen serials weren’t necessarily the best ones, but those that would give be an idea of some of the breadth of the classic era.
Now, obviously, I enjoyed some of the serials more than the others – and apparently that follows the general line of actual Doctor Who fans. Of the five doctors I saw (and yes, I know there are three more in the classic era) I think I have found a favourite in Patrick Troughton (aka The Second Doctor) and gained some respect for the original series over the reboot.
I am someone that, if it was not for my husband, I would have stopped watching the new Doctor Who a few years ago. There’s a number of reasons for this, but one of them is something that the original series got right – longer story arcs. The thing is, I get how difficult it is for them to come up with different concepts for an episode, then expand and resolve it within 50 minutes – which is what the serials do so much better.
Sure, in some of the serials there is some filler material. Then again, you try getting out 30-40 episodes a year without some filler. On the whole, however, I found myself enjoying the classic Doctor Who more than the revived series. I like having multiple companions who may be from different time periods in Earth’s history or from alien worlds. I like having time for a story to take it’s course rather than being rushed at the end.
Will I return to this later? Certainly – and not just because it makes my husband happy, but because it feels like there is a lot more to explore here.