50 for 50 — The Greatest Stories in Doctor Who History — #26

The term ‘family’ has a curious double meaning in Doctor Who, depending on how steeped you are in the history of Doctor Who.  If Who for you is nu-Who, and 2005 is as far back as your curiosity takes you, then you would quite rightly be of a mind to consider ‘family’ to be the extended to immediate family of the current companion, a device RTD in particular used mostly to great effect.

But for fans with a longer-term view there is only one Doctor Who ‘family,’ and it was the family of UNIT, the heyday of which ran through the heart of the Pertwee era, with Katy Manning as Jo Grant, and the UNIT stable of Nick Courtney, Richard Franklin, and John Levene.  And the quintessential UNIT story is our #26, The Dæmons.

The Master as frocked, although highly unorthodox Priest, and the heaviest dose of magic as unknowable science in the whole of classic Who, the story sped along (by motorbike and copter) almost purely on the strength of the family, and the best of it was everybody got involved and had their moments, both dramatic and humorous.

The statue Bok was the original weeping angel, and Azal foreshadowed similar demi-Gods in The Satan Pit or even the quite recent The Rings of Akhaten.  The Dæmons usually rates either as a best or second-best Pertwee story, and while it barely misses that distinction for me (spoilers!) it’s at the very least a must watch for any semi-serious Doctor Who fan.  Did we mention the maypole dance at the end?  Worth a viewing just for that. — David

Alan’s #26 — The Evil of the Daleks
Andy’s #26 — Terror of the Zygons
Steve’s #26 — The Time Warrior

The 50 for 50 Countdown is (believe it or not) half over!  The back-half (and our first conflict) comes with #25 next week.