Summary: The Doctor and Peri meet Anzor, a Time Lord who was basically the Academy’s school bully when The Doctor attended. He forces the TARDIS to take them to the binary planets Magnus and Salva. There he encounters a society where the women are outliving the men, and the women like it that way. He also meets two old enemies: Sil, and the Ice Warriors.
Companion: N/A (this is the only story from the classic era that did not feature a companion)
No. of Episodes: 4
Season: 14, ep. 3 (9-12)
Summary: The Doctor receives a premonition that the Time Lord President’s life is in danger. The Master has returned, having run out of regenerations. He is now a decaying husk, desperate to find any way to lengthen the one life he has left. To that end, he frames the Doctor for the murder of the president and attempts to kill him within The Matrix, where he can manipulate reality.
Summary: Susan Mendes has become the Daleks’ “Angel of Mercy”. She gives all the slaves just enough hope that they will be saved from Dalek rule, and gives the slaves enough food, water, and rest to be efficient slaves.
Companions: Dr. Liz Shaw (Caroline John) and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney)
No. of Episodes: 7
Season: 7, eps 18-25
Summary: The Doctor is using nuclear power from a power plant that is drilling into the Earth’s core because he thinks it will fix the TARDIS’s control console. He discovers that a toxic subatance has been unearthed, causing all who come in contact with it to mutate. When a disgruntled scientist cuts the power to the TARDIS console by sabotaging one of the plant’s computers, the TARDIS takes the Doctor to a parallel world. In this world, the experiment is being conducted, but Britain is now a fascist state. Lethbridge-Stewart is not ranked as a Brigadier, but as Brigade-Leader and wears an eyepatch. Dr. Liz Shaw is no longer a doctor, and is a brunette. Will he be able to return to the proper Earth and avert disaster?
Companions: Henry Jago (main narrator)(Christopher Benjamin), Professor George Litefoot (Trevor Baxter)
Running Time: 1 hour, excluding interviews
Summary: The renowned actor Henry Jago recounts to his old friend George Litefoot a recent encounter with a mystery he recently investigated. A dead body has been discovered on the banks of the Thames river, but in reality it’s a mannequin made out of wood. The mannequin is actually alive, and working for a scientist named Dr. Tulp.
Companions: Jamie McCrimmon (Frazer Hines), Victoria Waterfield (Deborah Watling)
Season: 5, ep. 4 (eps 17-22)
Summary: The Doctor discovers that he is mistaken for a mastermind named Leader Salamander, who is plotting to become dictator of the world. Both Jamie and Victoria are captured by the real Salamander, and the Doctor realizes he must impersonate Salamander to prevent him, with the help of a covert team plotting against the villain.
Well, not only do we have a new Doctor, but we also have a new composer and a new executive producer: Chris Chibnall. Chris is actually someone whose history with Doctor Who has been hit or miss. I’ve liked some of his stories, like “42”, and there were some that I didn’t outright hate, but I didn’t rank highly either, like “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship”. On the other hand, he also wrote many of Torchwood‘s best episodes.
While I do have faith that Chibnall will do the best he can, I can’t help but think of what I would do if I had the job. Here’s some ideas I had:
My Doctor would be either Eddie Redmayne, star of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, or my dream pick Liam Neeson. Both have shown they can do both dramatic and comedic performances, and I’d want a Doctor like characters they’ve portrayed.
One idea that they’ve already addressed is extending the run time. As I said in my overview of the Capaldi era, the pacing was a big problem. Many episodes felt like they didn’t have enough time to flesh out their concepts. Chibnall has decided to add fifteen extra minutes to the run time, which for Americans like myself means the show will probably run about 75 minutes with commercials.
No more leaks! Last season, we had too many things spoiled: Missy’s return, the Mondasian Cybermen, Rona Munro returning to write “Eaters of Light”, and the returns of John Simm and Matt Lucas. True, many of these did become great, but I’d much rather be surprised by their success. (Especially when the hype didn’t work out, as in the case of “Eaters of Light”)
No spin-offs–Torchwood and Sarah Jane Adventures were fine. We already have great spin-offs from Big Finish, we don’t really need more, especially when we have what happened with Class, where one of the big problems was that it was placed in a bad timeslot and it was barely promoted.
I have two companion ideas. One is a female android named Ardra. On her planet, androids are forbidden, even though they are programmed with the laws Asimov concocted for his robots: Don’t harm humans, do what humans tell them, and protect themselves. Ardra is also a blank slate, something the Doctor would have to fix. Ardra is looking for her “Father”, her inventor David Nikola, who would be introduced at Christmas. I don’t have preferences for their actors/actresses because I’d rather whoever got picked be relatively unknown and become a success later on, like Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, and John Barrowman have.
Summary: This docudrama looks at the Hartnell era of Doctor Who, as its first executive producer Verity Lambert and her mentor Sydney Newman (BBC’s head of serials at the time) look to create a brand new science fiction series that will be both fun and educational. The cast includes David Bradley as William Hartnell, Jessica Swaine as Verity Lambert, and Sacha Dawan as Warrin Hussein (director of “An Unearthly Child”, Doctor Who‘s pilot episode).
Steven Moffatt’s first Doctor, Matt Smith, became a fan favorite, and in some cases eclipsed his predecessor, David Tennant. It seemed as though he mostly proved he was a worthy successor to Russell T. Davies. But could the trend continue with Peter Capaldi?
“I do what I do because it’s right! Because it’s decent! And above all, it’s kind!”
About Peter Capaldi
At 59 years old, Peter Capaldi is the oldest actor to play the Doctor. He follows the tradition of Colin Baker in that he actually appeared in an episode of a previous Doctor’s run, “The Fires of Pompeii” as Lobus Caecillius (which became a plot point of the era). he’s also the second Doctor to have appeared in a spin-off prior to becoming the Doctor, playing Dr. Frobisher in the Torchwood mini-series “Children of Earth”. (David Tennant was the first, appearing in one of Big Finish’s UNIT audio dramas. He was a longtime fan of the show, much like Peter Davison, Colin Baker, and David Tennant before him. Prior to Doctor Who, his most famous role was Malcolm Tucker in the BBC TV sitcom The Thick of It. He played a “WHO Doctor” in World War Z and plays Mr. Curry in both Paddington movies.
In a Nutshell:
Catch Phrases: “Pudding brain” and “Shut up!”
Series 8’s premiere “Deep Breath” was an extended episode, which continued to be a fixture for all three series.
The Master returned in “Deep Breath”, having changed genders and referring to herself as “Missy.” She was played by Michelle Gomez.
Series 9 consisted mostly of 2-part episodes, with “Sleep No More” being the only stand-alone episode.
Series 10 was postponed one year, making the third time Doctor Who was put on hiatus during its history.
A new spin-off, Class, aired both online and on TV, but wasn’t nearly as successful as Torchwood or The Sarah Jane Adventures, only lasting one series.