50 for 50 — The Greatest Stories in Doctor Who History — #38

When the return of Doctor Who was announced in the autumn of 2003, amongst the hundreds of questions that immediately came to mind for almost any fan who endured the entirety of the ‘wilderness years’ were the following.

  • Would the new series be a continuation of the old (classic) series… and
  • Would the new series move away from the homey but dated mix of film and taped production styles.  In short, would the new series be in line with what viewers would expect a SF series to look like in 2005?

To that end RTD cleverly designed the first three stories to kick off the new series.  Rose was fast, furious, and definitely modern.  The third story The Unquiet Dead was much more, at least in feel, of the classic series mold of story.  But the middle sibling, and #38 in our countdown, The End of the World, definitively stamped the series as up to the expected standards for what the new series could do in relation to spectacle and special effects.

But The End of the World was also the first “real” ninth Doctor story in a sense, the first trip for Rose, the first real insights into the Christopher Eccleston’s ‘damaged’ Doctor, and of course the first mention of the Time War, a huge and arguably most important drop of series mythology in nu-Who.  The coda at the end of End with Rose and Nine on a busy London street to contrast with the end of ‘everything’ is a great scene, and sets the tone for the rest of the series to follow.  — David

Alan’s #38 — Terror of the Autons
Andy’s #38 — The End of the World (good choice!)
Steve’s #38 — Terror of the Zygons

Beware the Ides of #37 coming next week…