Classic Doctor Who

Hello! I'm new. This is my first thread.

As the title says, this is a thread about the classic era of Doctor Who, focusing on the series prior to it's separate yet equally brilliant reboot in 2005. But while both are fantastic, for me the classic era has a sort of delightful, quaint charm that the new era has never quite been able to capture. Modern Doctor Who often focuses upon story arcs, and consequences, and lore, and what it means to be a time traveller. The classic era didn't do that. It is what it is - a simple story, about a face-changing alien hopping around space with a few friends in tow, getting into trouble.

Any other Classic Whovians on here? If so, what aspects of it do you particularly like? That could be particular Doctors, companions, stories, monsters, producers, whatever you like.

I'll start - for me, William Hartnell, the First Doctor, is absolutely the best Doctor. That's not a common opinion I don't think, but I can't get enough of the character. How quickly you realise, watching that era, that he is so much more than a grumpy old man.

Regarding favourite stories, I would cite The Seeds of Doom, the finale of Tom Baker's second season. Frightening, funny, dramatic, and not the least bit dull - although I love Classic Who, dullness is undeniably one of it's common vices. But this story? Not a bit of it.

Anyone else got any thoughts?
 

Autumn Rain

Well-known Member
I'm a fan too. In a way I prefer the classics to the more modern stuff, although that's not to say that I haven't enjoyed the latter (I would not have got into the classics without it). The original series is very much of it's time now, in just about every way possible, but if you can see past the dodgy effects and "old fashioned" writing and acting there is plenty to enjoy.

One of my favourite stories is City of Death. It's a lot of fun and although it sounds cliche Tom Baker is probably my favourite Doctor.

I'm not so keen on 80s Who (although it wasn't all bad) but I like the 60s and 70s stories, even if they are a slog to get through at times.
 

Cassandra1956

Well-known Member
I like the recent incarnations but I have to admit, my favourite Doctor was always Jon Pertwee. I know his tenure coincided with the series taking place on this planet but I really enjoyed it and he was a really good Doctor. I loved his car, too. UNIT featured prominently as well.

Liked Tom Baker and he became the quintessential Dr Who for many, I know. His reign coincided with me moving out of my parents'house house to go live in Cheshire near friends, so I recall it particularly well. I actually have a replica of his scarf hanging in my pantry. And one of my friends, who looked a little like him, had the full regalia and wore it a lot. This isn't as weird as it sounds as we were all regular science fiction/science fantasy convention goers and were often invited to events (one of them being the Star Wars Press premiere in Leeds at midnight one Monday! Not that he attended as Dr Who, by the way. This was just an example of the types of things our small group attended).
 

Autumn Rain

Well-known Member
I like the recent incarnations but I have to admit, my favourite Doctor was always Jon Pertwee. I know his tenure coincided with the series taking place on this planet but I really enjoyed it and he was a really good Doctor. I loved his car, too. UNIT featured prominently as well.

Liked Tom Baker and he became the quintessential Dr Who for many, I know. His reign coincided with me moving out of my parents'house house to go live in Cheshire near friends, so I recall it particularly well. I actually have a replica of his scarf hanging in my pantry. And one of my friends, who looked a little like him, had the full regalia and wore it a lot. This isn't as weird as it sounds as we were all regular science fiction/science fantasy convention goers and were often invited to events (one of them being the Star Wars Press premiere in Leeds at midnight one Monday! Not that he attended as Dr Who, by the way. This was just an example of the types of things our small group attended).
I have a replica Tom Baker scarf myself, it's very warm in the winter. I have a regular-length TARDIS scarf also.
 

Cassandra1956

Well-known Member
I have a replica Tom Baker scarf myself, it's very warm in the winter. I have a regular-length TARDIS scarf also.
Those Tom Baker scarves are flippin' long .... I don't think I've worn mine in years ...

We did visit the Dr Who display (can't remember where!) in 1977 ... lots of photos of the day. It was great!!! Got in amongst the monsters and everything.
 

Cassandra1956

Well-known Member
Was this not the one in Blackpool, you entered via a "TARDIS" ?
That sounds familiar.... I'll have to dig out my photos. Needless to say, we had great fun playing with the exhibits. And yes, we had permission. In fact, I think we were the only people there on that day.
 
I'm a fan too. In a way I prefer the classics to the more modern stuff, although that's not to say that I haven't enjoyed the latter (I would not have got into the classics without it). The original series is very much of it's time now, in just about every way possible, but if you can see past the dodgy effects and "old fashioned" writing and acting there is plenty to enjoy.

One of my favourite stories is City of Death. It's a lot of fun and although it sounds cliche Tom Baker is probably my favourite Doctor.

I'm not so keen on 80s Who (although it wasn't all bad) but I like the 60s and 70s stories, even if they are a slog to get through at times.

I agree with that. Strikes me that eighties Doctor Who was simply trying too hard, and became something of a pantomime. Mind you, the McCoy era was a marked improvement, and it was like a new show altogether by the time it was cancelled. Sadly while the quality improved, the ratings did not.
 

brian s

Distinguished Member
I agree with that. Strikes me that eighties Doctor Who was simply trying too hard, and became something of a pantomime. Mind you, the McCoy era was a marked improvement, and it was like a new show altogether by the time it was cancelled. Sadly while the quality improved, the ratings did not.

It was up against Coronation Street in the days before they counted people watching on video. So it didn't stand a chance in the ratings war. I'd have loved to have seen at least one more McCoy series.

Bri
 
It was up against Coronation Street in the days before they counted people watching on video. So it didn't stand a chance in the ratings war. I'd have loved to have seen at least one more McCoy series.

Bri

Yes. The ratings during Colin Baker's era - widely considered the nadir of Classic Who* - were actually fairly decent. It was the deliberately bad scheduling which saw it off, at a time where it was genuinely getting a lot better.

*Not a view I share - for me, Peter Davison's era was worse.
 

brian s

Distinguished Member
Yes. The ratings during Colin Baker's era - widely considered the nadir of Classic Who* - were actually fairly decent. It was the deliberately bad scheduling which saw it off, at a time where it was genuinely getting a lot better.

*Not a view I share - for me, Peter Davison's era was worse.
Ah PD's era is one of my favourites. As you say it was a deliberate attempt to kill the show. Had they counted video viewings the ratings would have been quite a bit better. It wouldn't have been to easy to cancel it.

Bri
 
Ah PD's era is one of my favourites. As you say it was a deliberate attempt to kill the show. Had they counted video viewings the ratings would have been quite a bit better. It wouldn't have been to easy to cancel it.

Bri

I just couldn't connect with Davison myself, although I'll admit some of his stories were incredibly good. But for me, he was just too nice. Too normal. A bit boring. I preferred Colin's more chaotic portrayal.
 

Rawschach

Distinguished Member
Tom Baker was genius. He got a bit carried away in the later years but most of his tenure was wonderful. He could lift any story with his sheer charisma.

I disagree about Peter Davison, I thought he did a good job. Colin Baker was also great in the role despite some poor scripts.

McCoy was the one I couldn't warm to and a lot of that was to do with some of the awful stories he had. Remembrance and Greatest Show were very good but surrounded by the likes of Silver Nemesis, Time and the Rani and Battlefield which were very poor.
 
Tom Baker was genius. He got a bit carried away in the later years but most of his tenure was wonderful. He could lift any story with his sheer charisma.

I disagree about Peter Davison, I thought he did a good job. Colin Baker was also great in the role despite some poor scripts.

McCoy was the one I couldn't warm to and a lot of that was to do with some of the awful stories he had. Remembrance and Greatest Show were very good but surrounded by the likes of Silver Nemesis, Time and the Rani and Battlefield which were very poor.

I liked McCoy's incarnation myself, but the personality transplant he underwent was quite jarring. He was very much played as a clown in his first series, but became something a whole lot darker in his second and third.
 

brian s

Distinguished Member
I just couldn't connect with Davison myself, although I'll admit some of his stories were incredibly good. But for me, he was just too nice. Too normal. A bit boring. I preferred Colin's more chaotic portrayal.
Peter"s Doctor was more vulnerable and the companions played a bigger part in it than usual. Those aspects made it a bit like Hartnell's era. Colin had that terrible costume and Mel who was the worst companion ever. Having said that Peter had the second worst companion Adric.

😄Bri
 

brian s

Distinguished Member
Tom Baker was genius. He got a bit carried away in the later years but most of his tenure was wonderful. He could lift any story with his sheer charisma.

I disagree about Peter Davison, I thought he did a good job. Colin Baker was also great in the role despite some poor scripts.

McCoy was the one I couldn't warm to and a lot of that was to do with some of the awful stories he had. Remembrance and Greatest Show were very good but surrounded by the likes of Silver Nemesis, Time and the Rani and Battlefield which were very poor.
They got it completely wrong with McCoy's first series and he owns up to that. It did improve with each series and a fourth might have been great. It's not too long ago that I bought a complete McCoy series DVD boxset from Germany. Watching the first series again was a chore but every now and again I saw glimpses of what made him such a good Doctor. Did anyone else see him guest star in the soap Doctors? He played a retired actor who had been the star of a TV show about a time traveler.

Bri
 

brian s

Distinguished Member
That sounds familiar.... I'll have to dig out my photos. Needless to say, we had great fun playing with the exhibits. And yes, we had permission. In fact, I think we were the only people there on that day.
The only people there? When did you go? On Christmas Day during a hurricane? 😆 It was packed when we went.

Bri
 

Cassandra1956

Well-known Member
The only people there? When did you go? On Christmas Day during a hurricane? 😆 It was packed when we went.

Bri
I think it's because we were invited guests? I can't remember, exactly. We were there with our friend who resembled Tom Baker and had the costume.

Similarly, apart from the press, we were the only group of people at the Star Wars (original) Press Premiere in Leeds (late, on a Monday, when I had to work the next day! I spent a couple of hours sleeping on the floor in someone's flat before leaving to go to my job .... God knows how I got through that day without falling asleep!).
 

Garrett

Moderator
They got it completely wrong with McCoy's first series and he owns up to that. It did improve with each series and a fourth might have been great. It's not too long ago that I bought a complete McCoy series DVD boxset from Germany. Watching the first series again was a chore but every now and again I saw glimpses of what made him such a good Doctor. Did anyone else see him guest star in the soap Doctors? He played a retired actor who had been the star of a TV show about a time traveler.

Bri
I never took to McCoy they wrote some very silly stuff for his doctor, in one he deliberately got into a cliffhanger climbing over a sheer drop and using his umbrella to hook on a rail.
Then they did the film and though why did they not get him to play the doctor that way in the short appearance in it I really took to him.
 
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The Exiled Dub

Standard Member
I never took to McCoy the wrote some very silly stuff in one he deliberately got into a cliffhanger climbing over a sheer drop and using his umbrella to hook on a rail.
Then they did the film and though why did they not get him to play the doctor that way in the short appearance in it I really took to him.
I never took to him either at the time. I was in my 20s, and thought that the show had become a parody of itself and far too childish. But I have reevaluated my opinion him after listening to the recent audio dramas. He is excellent in them ( as are all the others to be fair, especially Paul McGann as the 8th)
 

brian s

Distinguished Member
I never took to McCoy they wrote some very silly stuff for his doctor, in one he deliberately got into a cliffhanger climbing over a sheer drop and using his umbrella to hook on a rail.
Then they did the film and though why did they not get him to play the doctor that way in the short appearance in it I really took to him.

They didn't give him much to do in the TV movie. I was quite surprised that he was in it at all especially the American cut.

Bri
 

Garrett

Moderator
They didn't give him much to do in the TV movie. I was quite surprised that he was in it at all especially the American cut.

Bri
Short but sweet.
 

Garrett

Moderator
That's no way to talk about Sylvester.

😆
Bri
Was on about how much sugar he'd put in the cup of tea at the start of the film.
:rolleyes: :laugh:
 

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