I'm sure everyone's got their favourite Dr Who stories of Tom's era, but could you pick your top 10?
I stopped watching in the late seventies, but even limited by that, it's a tough choice!
1. Terror of the Zygons - this isn't perhaps the strongest story, but I think the cast were terrific (special mention for John Woodnutt), I also love the setting, and I think the chemistry between Tom, Ian, Lis is perfect here. It has a suitable dose of silliness as well.
2. Seeds of Doom - love the idea, even though it's basically Triffids. Great villain, just a lot of fun. I probably remember this more fondly as well since I haven't seen it for years, unfortunately.
3. Talons of Weng Chiang - again, I adore the Victorian London setting, some great sinister plot elements, the actor who plays the impresario is good as well. Only downfall is that it's Louise instead of Lis. Never quite got on with the Leela character. She lacked the humour and subtly of Sarah-Jane, though I liked Louise J in other things, such as Omega Factor.
4. Genesis of the Daleks - I remember this being my favourite as a child at the time. It seemed on such a grand scale story-wise, truly epic. Again, great chemistry between Doc and companions.
5. Hand of Fear - not a great story, I admit, but I was so devoted to Sarah-Jane that this made a great impression on me back then, and remains central to my memory of the show. After this, I started taking less interest.
6. Brain of Morbius - how they got away with this for kids I'll never know. Of course, it's essentially Frankenstein, but all great mythical stories are recycled. I remember two things distinctly as a child - the squeal of the ant-like insect when the servant beheads it...I found that deeply upsetting. The second thing was Sarah's, 'lovely fresh flowers guv' line when she is blinded — she’s at once terrified, sarcastic, and petulant...fab!
7. Robot – I loved Tom’s craziness, and the loony professor. I watched it again about two years ago and felt intensely sorry for the Robot…he was a bit like King Kong with the girl at the end. I often feel like that myself.
8. Pyramids of Mars – another one I haven’t watched for years, but it did impress me as a child. It harked back to some early Hammer films with the plundered Egyptian stuff, and the setting adds a lot.
9. Deadly Assassin – scared me at the time. Not because of the famous drowning scene, which didn’t bother me, but the whole idea of the Doctor stalked by a masked killer in a world that was recognisable as something earth-like, but in which no conventional rules held. That somehow made it scarier than if it had been a completely alien environment.
10. City of Death – I saw this one on VHS years after I gave up on the show, and have mixed feelings toward it. Julian Glover is great, John Cleese provides a funny cameo, and there’s some great dialogue. I had a bit of a problem with the Tom/Lalla chemistry though. Although I wasn’t aware of their off-screen relationship when I watched it, it seemed a little too much like ‘Doctor Who in Love’ to me. The dynamic of the companion/Doctor relationship had become distinctly different to how I remembered it, and it broke the conventions of the show for me a little. Had it been done not as Doctor Who, but as a one-off sci-fi drama I think I would have made the mental adjustment and loved it.
"A man's work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened."