Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER
Lisin

Past Seasons: Classic Who

Recommended Posts

I've mostly watched the new version of Doctor Who, and I've become interested in the "reboot" episodes. That's where the whole cast including the Doctor is new, there's a new showrunner, and a new ongoing story. What's the closest equivalent to these in the classic series? From the new series, I'd count the TV movie, Rose, The Eleventh Hour, and The Woman Who Fell To Earth. The classic series is more episodic and I don't know how the showrunners changed, or even if there were "showrunners". But I'd count the first episode itself, An Unearthly Child, and Spearhead From Space, where there's a new Doctor and a new, Earth-based premise. Anything else?

Share this post


Link to post

I think most of the time when we get a new Doctor things shift enough to fit your premise, even if it's the same showrunner.  RTD was responsible for both 9 and 10 and they couldn't be more different, in spite of Rose. 9 is fresh off the Time War and is in a much different place than 10, which makes the stories different too.   But that's just my opinion. 

I'm not as familiar with the classic series, though I've seen most of them. (Especially BTS info.) For me, I divide them into really, really old stuff, UNIT episodes,  the Doctor ungrounded, (3, 4, 5), the disaster of 6 (I like Colin a lot now but hated him at the time) and then  Time and the Rani, when McCoy took over as the 7th Doctor and the series went in a weirder direction.  If you visit more British-y boards where there are life long fans, they definitely have opinions about it but here in the US, we got DW on public television in the 1970s but mostly without the backstage gossip. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

YouTube critic/reviewer and Northern Irishperson Diamanda Hagan put out a series of videos a few years ago called "A Quick Guide to Classic Who."  In each video, she goes through a single series, talking about the highlights and lowlights of the stories within, and does regularly go into behind-the-scenes details, like the changes in show-runners and other BBC personnel, for context.  So this might help you some @Gareth3.

Video below is an introduction by Diamanda, setting up how she'll be covering things.

 

Note: Diamanda is generally not safe for work.  She does try to rein her language in for this series, but she's not always that successful.  Mostly when she's talking about something that reminds her of NewWho (she's not what you call a fan of the current series early run), and she starts to rant about that for a bit.  But definitely avoid the rest of her videography at work...except maybe the similar series she did for Red Dwarf and the episodic reviews of the little-known Adam Adamant Lives!.

Share this post


Link to post
10 hours ago, Gareth3 said:

I've mostly watched the new version of Doctor Who, and I've become interested in the "reboot" episodes. That's where the whole cast including the Doctor is new, there's a new showrunner, and a new ongoing story. What's the closest equivalent to these in the classic series? From the new series, I'd count the TV movie, Rose, The Eleventh Hour, and The Woman Who Fell To Earth. The classic series is more episodic and I don't know how the showrunners changed, or even if there were "showrunners". But I'd count the first episode itself, An Unearthly Child, and Spearhead From Space, where there's a new Doctor and a new, Earth-based premise. Anything else?

You mean the moments of 'soft reboot', which are a good jumping on point for new viewers?

Spearhead from Space, yes, definitely - not just a new Doctor but a new Earthbound setting, plus the switch from black-and-white to colour (although we'd met the Brigadier, Sergeant Benton and UNIT before). The Classic series didn't have showrunners in the modern style, the show back then was 'run' by a head producer and script editor as a team, and the changing of that production team could at times be classed as a soft reboot for the show. Which gives you Robot/Ark in Space as another soft reboot moment - and I list both because although Robot introduces a new Doctor and a new companion and is the first serial under a new production team, it is also a holdover from the old UNIT era, whereas Ark in Space sees the new Doctor leaving UNIT behind and striking out into the wider universe once more, and with it being Harry's first trip in the TARDIS it can work as a soft reboot story to introduce the show to new viewers, despite also having Sarah Jane, who had been around for a couple of seasons already. Actually, the Fourth Doctor's era has a few good soft reboot moments for new viewers to jump aboard - such as The Face of Evil, which sees the Doctor travelling solo and meeting a new companion in Leela, who has a bit of an Eliza Doolittle-type character arc over the next few adventures. He is travelling solo again at the start of the Key to Time series (season 16), which gives us a new companion in Romana and has an ongoing storyline that follows through the entire season. I would count both of those as soft reboot moments under your definition above.

You're counting An Unearthly Child? That isn't a soft reboot, it's the origin story of the entire show! After that, the First Doctor's companions always overlap. The Second Doctor's first adventure is not a good soft reboot point, as there are companions already with the Doctor and the story itself I think would be confusing for new viewers (plus it exists only as audio and animation). The Fifth Doctor's first adventure is Castrovalva, but again he already has a team of companions with him - although two out of three are brand new, and although the story its a bit abstract, I think I would count it as a decent soft reboot point for new viewers to jump on board. It feels very much like the start of a new era and has a very different tone to what came before.

The Sixth Doctor...well, he has an existing companion with him when he regenerates, and The Twin Dilemma is awful, so not a good soft reboot point. And then Time and the Rani introduces the Seventh Doctor, but again he has an existing companion with him - and spends much of the adventure with the Rani who has disguised herself as Mel, so...probably not a great one to watch as a soft reboot! Dragonfire would probably make a better soft reboot point for the Seventh Doctor's era, as it introduces Ace to take over from Mel and feels very much like a fresh new start.

Does that help?

Edited by Llywela

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks for the feedback, this has helped me a lot. I know calling the first episode a reboot is silly, but it's more looking at how a new cast and story is introduced. 

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Customize font-size