In this blog, I have written about every classic episode of the television series Doctor Who as I watched them all from the beginning for the first time.
Please note, I am not a professional writer, but I can ramble on when I want to. I am also not affiliated in any way with the BBC, and use of any images is purely for demonstrative or critical purposes and not intended to infringe on any copyrights.
I started watching Doctor Who when the series was ‘rebooted’ in 2005, so I knew very little of the so-called “classic” episodes. The style of programming was very different back then, but I believe that interesting stories, good writing and strong performances are timeless qualities.
Why did you do this?
I like science fiction, but had never seen classic Doctor Who before. I also like looking back at the history of television, and Doctor Who certainly has a long history.
My interest was piqued when I noticed the very first episodes were available on Netflix. Once I started watching them, I felt compelled to carry on… so I did.
Blogs are nice to keep track of things and later look back on and remember them again. Perhaps they’re interesting for other people to read too! I’m pretty good with throwing words together, so it all came from that really.
Had you really never seen any of these before?
That’s essentially correct. I only started watching Doctor Who when it was brought back in 2005. However, I did have some vague childhood memories of hiding behind the sofa from the Daleks, which I now know were from Sylvester McCoy’s Remembrance of the Daleks in 1988. By the time I was interested in sci-fi, the show was off the air. I had also seen the TV movie in 1996, but having now seen it again, it appears I remembered very little of it. Basically, I came to this marathon pretty much fresh, with no preconceptions.
My blog entries for the series from 2005 onwards are more like reappraisals. I’ll be giving them all a second chance and seeing if my opinions have changed since I first watched them. I’m also now able to recognise some of the classic references that may have previously gone over my head. How exciting!
Aren’t loads of Doctor Who episodes missing?
Yes! In fact, at the time of writing, there are nearly one hundred individual episodes that are still “deleted” and as-of-yet unrecovered, nearly half of the episodes from serials featuring the first two Doctors. However, this hasn’t stopped me from ‘watching’ them. Thankfully, the audio from every episode survives, and fans have used still images, surviving clips and simple animation to bring these missing episodes back from the dead. The BBC is also in the process of restoring some missing episodes with animation. Thankfully, from 1970 onwards (the third Doctor), no more episodes are missing.
As new episodes are still being discovered, it raises the question of whether I’ll go back and re-watch them ‘properly’. That really depends on the quality of the episodes. I didn’t particularly enjoy Galaxy 4 or The Enemy of the World, but if The Power of the Daleks ever turns up, I’ll be over that like a rash!
Isn’t old Doctor Who a load of rubbish?
Some of it is, actually! But then, some of anything is rubbish; that’s the nature of things. Some of it is excellent, some of it is mediocre. This is also true of ‘modern’ Doctor Who, which varies greatly in quality from one episode to the next. This is no different. Old or new, good stories are good stories.