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Top Post-Regeneration Stories (11-6)

Guest contributors Yossi Pinkus and Isaac Bowen begin the countdown to the top 11 post regeneration stories so far.

11. The Twin Dilemma

The-Twin-Dilemma-dvdThe Twin Dilemma introduces us to the Doctor we all love to hate: Colin Baker’s Sixth Doctor. After a tearful goodbye to Peter Davison, this new incarnation seems arrogant and egotistical from the moment we first meet him at the end of The Caves of Androzani and this is continued in his first episode. There aren’t many positives about the Sixth Doctor’s debut. The acting is well below par and the overall plot is layered with dreariness and blandness, making it feel more like a B-Movie than quality science fiction TV. We also see the Doctor suffering a chaotic regenerative crisis, going to far as to strangle Peri at one point, believing her to be an alien spy. This is probably the reason why it has been voted the worst Doctor Who episode to date in both the 2014 and 2009 DWM polls.

The Twin Dilemma, however, does take the Doctor into a new and interesting state of darkness, with the plan for his character to mellow over the years. It was just a shame that it didn’t occur on screen.

10. Time and the Rani

time-and-the-rani-mccoyThe year is 1987! A brand new Doctor is here after a nine month break with a new lease on life, begrudgingly given by the BBC drama department. What could possibly go wrong?

There’s really nothing we can say about Time and the Rani that hasn’t been said hundreds of times before, so instead of cursing the performances and scriptwriting that left some to be desired, let’s just go with the good bits. Firstly there’s the spectacularly-realised new CGI title sequence and theme arranged by Keff McCulloch (that offer a welcome change from Sid Sutton’s and Peter Howell’s still brilliant work) ushering Doctor Who into the digital age, keeping up with the future. Likewise the model work nicely expands the world of Lakertya, showing off the talent of the legendary BBC effects department. The Rani is a devious as ever with her disguises and bubble traps; she’s a masterful villain who’s fun to watch. McCoy’s a shining star in this story; he effectively brings back the mystery of the Doctor that is delved into so much further during his tenure.

With the Seventh Doctor, there’s much to look forward to.

9. Robot

tom-baker-4thRobot gives us our first insight into the man who would become the world’s most popular Doctor: Tom Baker. As the audience, after spending 5 years with a Doctor who was a dashing gentleman with the odd dabble in Venusian Aikido, we are shocked by how different a Doctor can be after regeneration. The Doctor is now childish, untamed and primarily unpredictable in his actions, something on which Moffat has claimed to have based Capaldi’s Doctor.

The weakest part of Robot, however, is its plot. In a new era of Doctor Who, the old-fashioned King Kong-esque approach to Kettlewell’s robot just didn’t seem to have the same appeal to viewers anymore.

Robot is an episode containing many firsts and lasts. Not only was it the first to feature Tom Baker as the Doctor and Ian Marter as Harry Sullivan, it was also the first to feature the brilliant Robert Holmes as script editor. Robot is also the last episode to feature the Brigadier as a regular returning character as well as the final story produced by Barry Letts. Although for most, Robot is a once off view, it sets up Baker’s Doctor nicely for the next seven years which are undoubtedly the high point of classic Doctor Who.

8. An Unearthly Child

doctor-who-an-unearthly-child-aN.B. Ok, this is far from a ‘post regeneration’ episode, but we will consider it as such because it is the first time we see the First Doctor in action.

No one could have possibly known that this story would grow to become a legend in itself. What An Unearthly Child sets in motion, this odyssey spanning over 50 years was totally unprecedented, and we have to remember the brilliance behind this vision of Newman and Lambert’s. The opening episode is simply magical, as we know nothing of the Doctor and Susan’s origins, or why they left their home planet. The idea that there is now so much of a mythos surrounding that is just masterful and those first 25 minutes did something that could never have been predicted.

Unfortunately, the sheer dullness of the following three parts is the story’s major let-down, and it seems such a shame that the story dragged on for too long. Not to say, of course that it doesn’t have its redeeming features. The chameleon circuit malfunctioning is a huge part of the evolution of Doctor Who and this was a genius decision, lending great attraction and charm to the series. And of course, William Hartnell’s performance is golden much of the way through, and it’s rather chilling to see this trusted grandfatherly figure attempt to murder an injured man, purely because he was slowing them down. We see a mystery man that we can’t quite trust, and the idea that his companions are what prevents him from going mad with power is a profound one that continues to this very day (consider Donna Noble).

It’s not always easy, but we have to look past the faults of episodes 2-4, as the guiding principles of these episodes made tremendous positive impact of the impossible journey that’s still going today.

7. Power of the Daleks

patrick-troughton-500-year-diaryIn 1966 Doctor Who did the unimaginable: recast the Doctor. This process of “renewal”, being totally unheard of was something that no one could have seen coming, and yet somehow it works beautifully. The glint in Patrick Troughton’s eye as a younger, more relaxed Doctor had exactly the same sense of wonder and brilliance about him as always, but he is absolutely his very own self: undeniably the Doctor, but also nothing like him.

Ben and Polly are the first of many to witness this Time Lord power and are rightfully bewildered by it. Thankfully this period of distrust passes, and the viewer is comforted into familiar territory with the conniving Daleks scheming against the human colony on Vulcan. These Daleks are cunning as ever, and the way that they exploit human compassion for their apparent weakness is horrifyingly evil; something that tried to be copied in Victory of the Daleks.

It’s a real shame that this story is lost, but we’re sure if it’s ever discovered it will be respected as a worthy example of Patrick Troughton’s wonderful performance as the Doctor.

6. The TV Movie

Doctor-and-Grace-Holloway-TV-movieAfter Doctor Who was axed in 1989, no one thought that a return would be likely. But then 7 years later in 1996 Doctor Who once again exploded onto our screens in the form of the TV Movie featuring Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor.

In terms of plot, it’s your basic storyline: The Master has a dastardly scheme to destroy the Doctor, and in doing so endangers the Earth, so it’s up to the newly regenerated Doctor to stop him before midnight on New Year’s Eve 1999. McGann plays the Doctor with extraordinary grace (no pun intended) and has a sense of wonder about him that makes you want to drop everything and join him on his adventures across time and space. The TV Movie was a breath of fresh air for Whovians everywhere and though it may always contain the controversial claim- whether you choose to believe it or not- that the Doctor is half human (on his mother’s side), it also has the Doctor’s first onscreen kiss with a companion, setting a precedent that’s been adhered to since the programme’s reinstatement another nine years later.

While this Fox reimagining of a classic show wasn’t quite enough to stop the dead from staying dead, it proved that a television revival can work, you really can turn back time.

Part two coming soon…

Step back in time...

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45 comments
UnixPimp
UnixPimp

Not sure why people are ranking Power of the Daleks, since unless you are 50-ish years old and saw it when it was originally broadcast, you cannot rank a story that does not exist in video form anymore.

gbollard
gbollard

It was all going fine until I saw where you placed the TV movie.  Nope, there's a small round filing cabinet for that one. 

nicktkh
nicktkh

The Power of the Daleks is arguably the best post-regeneration story in my opinion. The only reason for it being so low on the list HAS to be because it is missing

Exxilon5
Exxilon5

Good start to the list. In my opinion, "The Twin Dilemma" is awful, "An Unearthly Child" isn't worth watching after Episode 1 and I haven't seen "Time and the Rani" or "Power of the Daleks". However, I would disagree about " Robot". I personally love it and I think there couldn't be a better start to Tom Baker's era. Basically everything an introductory episode should be. I think "The Eleventh Hour" is another one which does this. "The TV Movie" doesn't feel to me like an introduction episode, so I can't really comment on that.

OndraH
OndraH

Power of the Daleks is and always will be THE BEST. It's best post-regeneration story, best Polly and Ben story, one of best Troughton's stories, one of best sixties stories and best Dalek story. I have this amazing story in both my hearts :o)


tardiselliot
tardiselliot

Personally I love Robot and think its a great first adventure.


My top 1st Episodes are probably


1. Eleventh Hour

2. Rose.

3. Spearheads from Space

4. Robot

5. Christmas Invasion

6. Unearthly Child

7. TV Move

8. Castrovalva

9. Time and the Rani

10. Twin Dilema


I can't rate Troughtons since I've not seen it.


wholmesian
wholmesian

my list is


11. The Twin Dilemma


10. Time and the Rani


9. An Unearthly Child


8. The TV Movie


7. Rose


6. The Christmas Invasion


5. Robot


4. Power of the Daleks


3. Castrovalva


2. The Eleventh Hour


1. Spearhead from Space

Ottoman14
Ottoman14

11. Time and the Rani

10. The Twin Dilemma

9. Robot

8. Power of the Daleks

7. The Christmas Invasion

6. The TV Movie

5. An Unearthly Child

4. Castrovalva

3. The Eleventh Hour

2. Rose

1. Spearhead From Space

ahunter8056
ahunter8056

A nice article, I think I agree with the placing.

floppy_who
floppy_who

Nice article..however Keff McCulloch's theme music replaced Dominic Glynn's version of the theme, not Peter Howell's.

:-)

RennocNosliw
RennocNosliw

11. An Unearthly Child

10. Time and the Rani

9. The Twin Dilemma

8. Spearhead From Space

7. Power of the Daleks

6. The TV Movie

5. Robot

4. Rose

3. The Christmas Invasion

2. Castrovalva

1. The Eleventh Hour

Pidipi
Pidipi

I love McCoy, but Time and the Rani is worse than The Twin Dilemma. And about this one. It's not so awful as many sustain. I mean, yes, the plot is dull, but we're plenty of dull stories and some even worse than this. I think is because of sixy characterization. But apart of the plot I consider the post-regeneration crisis actually a great one. Both concept and acting. Better than Davison one and his cute but bit fannish impressions. Though I admit that Six's coat is a big back step.

HitchcockWhovian
HitchcockWhovian

I think my list is quite different to yours:

11. The Twin Dilemma

10. The TV Movie

9. Time and the Rani

8. Robot

7. Castrovalva

6. The Power of the Daleks

5. The Eleventh Hour

4. Rose

3. An Unearthly Child

2. The Christmas Invasion

1. Spearhead From Space


Deus_Ex_Machina
Deus_Ex_Machina

So far I agree with this 100%. I've not seen (or heard, or read) "Power of the Daleks", but I agree with the others. It'll be interesting to see how the next half of this article goes. I think "Spearhead from Space" deserves the top spot as it is one of the best episodes in the shows history in my opinion, but I know a lot of people probably prefer "The Eleventh Hour".

mrclever
mrclever

Robot was one of my favorite stories.


P.S: does  Journeys ends count as a post regenerative story 

Spadesey
Spadesey

Personally - I would put "The Power of the Daleks" in the top 3 (around Spearhead from Space and The Eleventh Hour) I would go as far to say that beside "The Evil of the Daleks" it's the best Dalek story. It not only shows how cunning a new Doctor can be, but also how cunning the Daleks can be.    








troughton who?
troughton who?

I suspect Power of the Daleks would shoot up several places if it were ever found. It's nice to see Castrovalva getting some love (as it appears to be in the top 5). The TV Movie is so underrated it hurts.

Whodman6
Whodman6

How on earth can power of the daleks be lower than the likes of the Christmas invasion.

MeglosProductions
MeglosProductions

My ranking I'd say would be:

11. Time And The Rani (THE WORST THING EVER WRITTEN EVER IN TV HISTORY!!!!!!!!)

10. The Twin Dilemma

9. Castrovalva

8. The TV Movie

7. The Christmas Invasion

6. An Unearthly Child

DrWho879992
DrWho879992

11 Time and the Rani

10 Twin Dilemma

9 An Unearthly Child (Part One is good but from then on it is so dull)

8 Castrovalva

7 Rose

6 Robot

5 TV Movie (I really enjoy this)

4 The Christmas Invasion

3 The Eleventh Hour

2 Spearhead from Space

1 The Power of the Daleks

The Eleventh Hour and The Christmas Invasion are both great stories but Spearhead from Space and Power of the Daleks are just all time classics personally.

Jenna Coleslaw
Jenna Coleslaw

Is this ranking considering the quality of the stories themselves or of the Doctor introduction? Because Power of the Daleks does hardly do anything to establish the new character, but as a story, it is pretty much unbeaten by any Dalek story that came since and I have no idea how it would rank so low, given that I have yet to meet anyone who watched the recon or listened to the audio and didn't find it bloody terrifying and an amazing concept. It tops the polls on GB regularly. 

(Although you're of course entitled to your opinion and everything. I was just wondering.)


My ranking: 


1 The Eleventh Hour

2 Power of the Daleks

3 An Unearthly Child (counting just the first episode)

4 Rose

5 The Christmas Invasion

6 Spearhead from Space

7 Robot

8 The TV Movie

9 Castrovalva

10 The Twin Dilemma

11 Time and the Rani

TardisBoy
TardisBoy

Interesting list so far guys! Excited to see what gets number 1!! :D

microbat98
microbat98

Power of the Daleks being this low baffles me. Just listening to it shows how much of a perfect story it is in many ways. For me, it's joint first with The Eleventh Hour. If it were found it'd probably be an easy first.

10.) Time and the Rani

9.) The Twin Dilemma

8.) Castrovalva

7.) An Unearthly Child

6.) Robot

5.) The Enemy Within

4.) Rose

Bonus.) Day of the Doctor (sort of War Doctor)

3.) Spearhead From Space

2.) Christmas Invasion

1.) The Eleventh Hour

1.) The Power of the Daleks

Odd that my two favourite Doctors get too spot here.

The_War_Braden
The_War_Braden




Interesting list so far, looking forward to part two, my list would comprise of



11: Time & the Ran 

10: The Twin Dilemma 

09: An Unearthly Child 

08: Power of the Daleks 

07: Robot 

06: The TV Movie

05: Spearhead From Space

04: The Christmas Invasion

03: Rose

02: Castrovalva

01: The Eleventh Hour    




















DrWho879992
DrWho879992

Why is Power of the Daleks so low, it is an all time classic despite being lost

Antee991166
Antee991166

While I don't like The Twin Dilemma, I still consider it to be better than Time & the Rani. The Twin Dilemma still feels like Doctor Who, albeit terrible Who. Time & the Rani on the other hand feels like a different show entirely and I really can't stand it.


My list would probably go:


11. Time & the Rani

10. The Twin Dilemma

9. Robot

8. TV Movie

7. An Unearthly Child

6. The Eleventh Hour


No idea why you put The Power of the Daleks so low, but each to their own.

Mikeyboss182
Mikeyboss182

Great article. My list is pretty the same as yours although I would put Robot higher I have a soft spot for that story, I would replace it with Castrovalva, not a fan of that one. 








supermoff of Sherwood
supermoff of Sherwood

Yeah, fair enough, from what I've seen of these episode I'd probably rank them the same as this. 

elhakim
elhakim

How on earth is the TV movie higher ranked than Robot or Power of the Daleks? And why is An Unearthly Child even mentioned in this....sigh.....

Elionu
Elionu

@nicktkh Unfortunately there's people who refuse to at least try sitting through the reconstruction.

chrisew
chrisew

@Pidipi I can't recall how I felt after The Twin Dilemma, but Time and the Rani made me seriously question whether I even wanted to come back next week. Nothing during the Colin Baker elicited that strong of a reaction from me, so I'll always view Time as the worst.

RennocNosliw
RennocNosliw

I just want to say, I thought Spearhead From Space was boring. I found the ending anticlimatic and Pertwee has always been one of my least favorite Doctors.

Romanadvoratrelundar
Romanadvoratrelundar

@Deus_Ex_Machina I agree as well, this list seems pretty spot on so far as far as I'm concerned. Although it probably won't be I think The Christmas invasion should be 5th (IMO it was a pretty underwhelming post-regeneration, but I did like the part where the Tenth Doctor finally becomes the Doctor), and definitely either Spearhead from Space or The Eleventh Hour in 1st. As for Castrovalva and Rose I'm not really worried which order they end up in, they were both decent stories.

Deus_Ex_Machina
Deus_Ex_Machina

One other thing though, I wouldn't have put "An Unearthly Child" on the list. I agree with with where you put it though.

HitchcockWhovian
HitchcockWhovian

@Whodman6 Well, Power is wonderful, but The Christmas Invasion is equally so. Such an intelligent, well-crafted episode.

microbat98
microbat98

I actually majorly agree with your list. I'd put An Unearthly Child higher on mine if I'm counting only the first episode, but I view the entire story as a story, as that's what it&'so meant to be; showing the first adventure. So I have An Unearthly Child lower

microbat98
microbat98

Me neither. I tend to get bored with audios, but Troughton and Hines keep me entranced and The Power of the Daleks is something I could listen to at least a hundred times. It had better be found one day!

Tomb of the Cyberbob
Tomb of the Cyberbob

@Antee991166  I agree on Time and the Rani - definitely at the bottom - it has almost no merit whatsoever, except the fact that it introduces Sylvester McCoy to us.  I also have a strange regard for The Twin Dilemma, it has a charm of it's own .  Having said that - yes, probably 10th of the 11....

TardisBoy
TardisBoy

Because *le gasp* it is their opinion! :O


Antee991166
Antee991166

@microbat98  I haven't listened to the audio, but I have read the script and found it incredibly addictive. Hopefully both The Power of the Daleks and Evil of the Daleks will be found, two of possibly the best Dalek stories.

Antee991166
Antee991166

@Tomb of the Cyberbob @Antee991166  Personally, I don't think it even manages to introduce McCoy properly. McCoy's Doctor didn't work for me until Remembrance of the Daleks, turning from basically a clown, into an incredibly interesting an original Doctor.

microbat98
microbat98

You should listen to it; you'll no doubt love it if you liked the script.

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