Analysing The Top Doctor Who Stories (DWM 2009)

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Guest contributor Thomas Capon analyses the top episodes according to DWM from 2009.

The-Caves-of-Androzani-art-cd

Previously we’ve considered the 1998 DWM survey in order to gain an insight into fan favourite Doctors, stories and seasons, all from the classic series. Back in 2009, DWM ran another survey. This survey included New Who stories up to The Planet of the Dead. Here are the results:

The Top 10

  1. The Caves of Androzani (5)
  2. Blink (10)
  3. Genesis of the Daleks (4)
  4. The Talons of Weng-Chiang (4)
  5. The Empty Child/ The Doctor Dances (9)
  6. Human Nature/ Family of Blood (10)
  7. Pyramids of Mars (4)
  8. City of Death (4)
  9. The Robots of Death (4)
  10. Bad Wolf/The Parting of Ways (9)

While Tom Baker succeeds in again securing half of the stories in the top 10, Genesis of the Daleks fails to regain the top spot missing out to Peter Davison’s swansong: The Caves of Androzani. The two new boys on the block, Eccleston and Tennant are able to make a name for themselves by grabbing two places each in the top 10.

The Bottom 10

  1. The Twin Dilemma (6)
  2. Timelash (6)
  3. Time and the Rani (7)
  4. Underworld (4)
  5. Time-Flight (5)
  6. The Space Pirates (2)
  7. The Underwater Menace (2)
  8. Paradise Towers (7)
  9. Fear Her (10)
  10. The Dominators (2)

The clear loser here is Colin Baker with the bottom two stories being from his era. But Pat Troughton doesn’t fair much better with three of his stories making it to the bottom 10. Sylvester McCoy’s Season 24 also contributes with two stories while David Tennant’s Fear Her and Tom Baker’s Underworld complete our list.

Average Rankings

rose-eccleston-2005

Below are the calculated average placing of a story from each Doctor’s era:

Doctor

Average Ranking

9th

73

10th

78

3rd

92

4th

94

2nd

98

5th

111

1st

121

7th

131

8th

135

6th

143

Note: Multi-doctor stories and Mission the the Unknown as part of the era of the incumbent Doctor at the time of airing.

Well I didn’t see that coming. Not only did Chris Eccleston’s era rank the highest, but Jon Pertwee was able to overcome Tom Baker to third place behind Eccleston and Tennant. DWM editor Tom Spilsbury recently stated that New Who fans tend to vote generously and perhaps that explains why Doctors number 9 and 10 did so well in the survey.

Regeneration Story Rankings

  1. The Caves of Androzani (1)
  2. Bad Wolf/The Parting of Ways (10)
  3. The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End (13)
  4. The War Games (29)
  5. Logopolis (53)
  6. The Tenth Planet (55)
  7. Planet of the Spiders (89)
  8. The TV Movie (135)
  9. Time and the Rani (198)

Notes: Brackets show the story’s overall ranking out of 200. The Stolen Earth has been included on this list even though it wasn’t strictly speaking a ‘Hand over the key to the TARDIS’ episode.

Not even generous voting New Who fans are able to deny that The Caves of Androzani is the ultimate regeneration story. Nor that Time and the Rani is the worst regeneration story for that matter.

Season Average Ranking

tom-baker-4th

In this section, we’re going to look at each season and find the average ranking for a story in that season.

Top 5 Seasons

Doctor

Season

Average Ranking

4th

13

48

3rd

7

51

4th

14

55

10th

Series 4

68

9th

Series 1

73

The Baker, Hinchcliffe and Holmes combination dominates this list with two of the top three seasons being from their era. RTD’s New Who once again puts up a good performance with last and first series taking spots 4 and 5. Season 7 completes this list.

Bottom 5 Seasons

Doctor

Season

Average Ranking

7th

24

189

6th

23

142

5th

20

137

4th

17

134

6th

22

134

Not many surprises here except perhaps for the inclusion of Season 20, the anniversary season leading up to The Five Doctors. Both of Colin Baker’s seasons also make this list along with McCoy’s first season and Douglas Adam’s season 17.

Full List

Doctor

Season

Average Ranking

5th

The Five Doctors

38

4th

13

48

3rd

7

51

4th

14

55

10th

Series 4

68

9th

Series 1

73

2nd

5

74

4th

12

74

3rd

10

78

10th

Series 3

79

10th

Series 2

81

7th

26

83

3rd

8

95

10th

2009 Specials

103

4th

18

104

5th

19

105

1st/2nd

4

107

1st

1

108

2nd

6

112

3rd

9

114

3rd

11

115

5th/6th

21

118

4th

16

120

7th

25

120

1st

2

126

4th

15

127

1st

3

131

4th

17

134

6th

22

134

8th

The TV Movie

135

5th

20

137

6th

23

142

7th

24

189

Conclusion

Well, I hope you’ve found that interesting. When the results of DWM’s latest survey are out shortly, we’ll go through them and then compare the changes in the fanbase’s taste over the years. We’ll even use some mathematical formulae to help us measure the changes.

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