Seconds Anyone?

Two episodes of the Capaldi era in the books, and it’s another list from your old pals here @ the Tour.  Last week we gave a cursory look at the first stories for each Doctor as a way to show how typical, or atypical they were of the respective eras.  And with fifty+ years to chew on, you could certainly see what a mixed bag those initial stories were.  That same conventional wisdom goes on to say then that a Doctor’s era really starts with the second story, having thrown off regeneration trauma as a plot lever, story 2 would be the new Doctor in full form, and as such would be much more typical of the era.

Looking at our rankings below of second stories does indeed confirm that insight, but still has relatively little relevance as to the quality of that story.  There are still some relative ‘stinkers’ in the list.

  1. The Ark in Space  A true classic that firmly sets the tone of the three years to come.
  2. Into the Dalek  Only two stories in and the Capaldi era is off to a very nice start.
  3. The End of the World  An important story to show what modern Doctor Who could really look like and do.  The Time War as a plot driver began here.
  4. The Daleks Certainly the most important story on this list, but at seven episodes it might be overlong for some.
  5. (Doctor Who and) The Silurians  See #4.
  6. The Beast Below  A better story than first impressions might allow.
  7. Attack of the Cybermen  Certainly a big step up from the unmentionable 1st story, it’s only all right, so in relative terms that makes it wonderful.
  8. New Earth  A bit of a re-heat of #3, but with needless shouting and personality ping-pong.
  9. Four to Doomsday  Slow and mechanical, and Davison was definitely finding his way.
  10. Paradise Towers  Cartoony and …. well isn’t that enough?

Sadly Patrick Troughton’s The Highlanders misses the list for the same reason The Power of the Daleks missed.  Our loss.  And while we love The Night of the Doctor for McGann, it’s hardly his second story.

Enough of the lists you say.  We almost agree … until next week that is.