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

To kick off 50 for 50 in this anniversary year  the Tour revisits an old Tour favorite, rated #50 not because it’s necessarily a great story, as it’s position at the bottom of this list at least indicates, but rather because, at least in this case, it had a high degree of difficulty to overcome in terms of storytelling and for it to succeed in doing so earns a ‘favorited’ place in the heart of this fan at least.

Some stories are great on their own merits and persist in the mind by general acclimation as much as anything else, but there should still be room for the underdog story that you seem to like well out of proportion to generally accepted fan opinion, which is why at #50 we present Planet of Fire.

Think about what this story has to accomplish.  Peri in, Turlough out, Kamelion really out, the Master back (yet again for the Davison era) BUT relevant, and the location (properly used) of Lanzarote.  That’s a relatively long laundry list and for it to all come together as well as it did is something of a minor miracle.  Even so there are obvious shortcomings.  This was JN-T’s all too overt attempt to cater to US fans (thanx but even in 1984 we didn’t need the help) and Nicola Bryant’s mastery of the flat mid-american accent was ‘variable’ to be charitable about it.

But this was also Peter Davison in full stride, although he would save his best for last. Definitely a story worth another look-see on a rainy afternoon.
50 for 50 kickoff week continues tomorrow.  I wonder what #49 will be?   — DSW

Alan’s #50 — The Mysterious Planet
Andy’s #50 — Tooth and Claw
Steve’s #50 — The Angels Take Manhattan