Hello again, everyone. It’s been a while since I last wrote an article and now I’ve got some genuine free time, I thought I’d write a new one. So, to business. The kind of fan I am is one that finds it hard to hate a story. Classic Doctor Who in particular just has such a nostalgic feel to it that the excitement it brings me overshadows almost all negative thoughts I may have about the story. However, this does not mean I cannot distinguish between a good and a bad story, and I understand some are quite poor no matter how much I enjoy them. Still, there are some stories that’s reputations I just don’t get; stories I believe are excellent that deserve to be much further up the pecking order in terms of polls and general opinions…
One of Doctor Who’s many ‘lost stories’ that was junked by the BBC, Galaxy 4’s reputation isn’t helped by the fact it can’t be watched in its entirety. Oddly however, despite the fact one of its episodes was returned fairly recently, it seems to have slumped even further down the rankings. Galaxy 4 certainly isn’t subtle in its messages of ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ and ‘its what’s inside that accounts’, and its production values aren’t the greatest in the world either, but that doesn’t mean its a bad story. Galaxy 4 is a rather chilling tale with Maaga’s monologue and the cliffhanger of Steven running out of air just two of the prime examples when Galaxy 4 sends a shiver down your spine. If you haven’t read the Target novelisation, or watched the surviving episode and/or the reconstruction on The Aztecs special edition DVD, I recommend you do.
The Android Invasion
A chilling tale of eerie villages and scary people in pubs. I was really surprised at how much I loved The Android Invasion considering how much I’d heard people call it ‘the worst of Season 13, and by quite a bit too’. Personally, I loved it, and I found the whole thing creepy, mysterious, and criminally underrated. The Doctor and Sarah are their usual dynamic-duo-selves, the setting is genius, and Styggron’s final moments is one of my favourite Doctor Who deaths ever. A brilliant story unfortunately overlooked by the stories it’s surrounded by. Watch it outside of a marathon viewing, then you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Image of the Fendhal
Image of the Fendhal is by no means considered a weak story by the Doctor Who fandom, however I believed it is still not considered highly enough. The swansong of Doctor Who’s gothic era, Image of the Fendhal is a scary story with some frightening monsters, a creepy plot, and the usual witty dialogue you’d expect from a 4th Doctor and Leela story. K9 is left behind in the TARDIS (thankfully) so as not to ruin the dark atmosphere surrounding the story, and Benedict Cumberbatch’s mum makes her second Doctor Who appearance. What more could you want?
One of my favourite Doctor Who stories of the Classic era, I cannot recommend this story enough. (Although there’s always one thing I always wished had happened, and that’s that I think the episode 3 cliffhanger should’ve included the Fendhal core rising from the ground – just to make everyone at home feel even more doomed!
The Mark of the Rani
I think the reason people don’t like the 6th Doctor stories is because they hold a grudge against Colin Baker because they believe it’s the rules that they have to. Utter. Rubbish. Unfortunately, because of this utter rubbish, the 6th Doctor stories often end up 1000x more criticised than any Doctor Who story should be. The Mark of the Rani is one I feel should be much more appreciated than it actually is. The addition of the Rani is genius, especially since the plain old Doctor vs The Master started to get a little tedious towards the end of the 5th Doctor’s era. She brought a new dimension to the classic Time Lord feuds, as well as a whole host of brand new, crazy, bonkers schemes. The soundtrack for The Mark of the Rani, composed by Jonathan Gibbs, is beautiful, and the story as a whole is not uncomfortable to watch whatsoever – neither is Colin Baker or Nicola Bryant. The 6th Doctor and Peri are on top form and the plot is pretty darn easy to accept, even if it is a bit mad. I don’t get the hate for this story, I have to say; and I’m sorry but Missy should definitely have been The Rani.
Underrated Opinions – Part 2, coming soon…