Saturday, 10 September 2011

Top 7... 80s Who

Spanning 1983-89, or Seasons 20-26 if you prefer, these were out preferred viewing choices from the dog days and declining years of the Classic Series. Unfortunately Darth's taste for the Colin Baker years was not shared by the other two, and Vengeance on Varos and Revelation of the Daleks failed to make the cut. Those that did were (now with the respective votes of myself, Matt and Darth in that order):

Ghost Light (1989, D, 422)  Let me guess. My theories appal you, my heresies outrage you, I never answer letters and you don't like my tie. The genius of Marc Platt, Sylvester at his most mysterious - finally the series was back on track. Unfortunately the last story made prior to cancellation. None of our favourites, but top by consensus as one of only three in all our lists.

2 The Curse of Fenric (1989, M, -13)  Evil, evil since the dawn of time! Not in my list, though it wasn't far off, but as can be seen I was comprehensively outvoted. Very atmospheric and Nicholas Parsons proving that celebrity casting doesn't have to be a disaster.

3 Terminus (1983, T, 15-)  Short term memory... always the first to go...  My favourite Davison story despite it's poor reputation in fandom, and Darth only abstained from voting as he's never seen it. Nyssa in her undies and a star turn from Peter Benson as Bor, the radiation-ravaged Vanir.

4 The Caves of Androzani (1984, M, -33)  More of a tennis player than a cricketer.  Again not a favourite of mine, but I seem to be in a small minority. 80s Who at its bleakest, but as least in the hands of Bob Holmés rather than the Sawardinator done with some panache.

5 Frontios (1984, M, 646) I got this one cheap because the walk's not quite right... And then there's the accent...  Chris Bidmead's best Who script by a mile - Tegan as a defective android, a hatstand used as a weapon, and a quite clever story at its heart.

6 Paradise Towers (1987, T, 38-)  Red Kang eye-spy says we can't go through usual carrydor. Blue Kangs out and lurking... No yellows. All unalive now.  Hardly an unalloyed masterpiece, this had typically poor late 80s lighting, uninspired direction and Richard Briers not so much chewing the scenery as swallowing and regurgitating it, nonetheless after years of unremitting turgidity PT showed there was vitality in the old corpse yet - an intriguing backstory, some sharp political satire and Clive Merrison putting Briers to shame as a genuinely chilling Chief Caretaker.

7 The Greatest Show in the Galaxy (1988, T, 577)  Clowns are creepy.  Dr Who goes all postmodernist, a full 18 years before Love & Monsters. Creepy clowns, annoying fanboys, alluring vampires and Peggy bloomin' Mount, what's not to love? In fact how did this end up as low as 7th on this list?

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