My Top 10 Classic Doctor Who Serials

10 – The Talons of Weng Chiang (1977)

Series 14, episodes 21-26. Doctor: Tom Baker. Companion: Louisa Jameson as Leela

This story certainly has its moments that to look back on, are quite controversial. The portrayal of Chinese people in this serial is certainly something that would not be allowed to let slide in the present day. Nevertheless, this story has a compelling mystery set in seedy Victorian London, and a fantastic, terrifying villain. It also features the much beloved companion Leela, in what is my favourite season of Classic Who

9 – Terror of the Vervoids (1986)

Series 21, episodes 9-12. Doctor: Colin Baker. Companion: Bonnie Langford as Mel Bush

While the overarching story of Trial of a Timelord has polarised Whovians and has been said to be a large factor in turning away viewers that led to its cancellation, there is one story that stands out. Terror of the Vervoids is a great story featuring plenty of murder and intrigue. The design of the villains is very intriguing and the actions of the Doctor cause serious debate towards his character.

8 – The Web of Fear (1968)

Series 5, episodes 23-28. Doctor: Patrick Troughton. Companions: Frazer Hines as Jamie McCrimmon and Deborah Watling as Victoria Waterfield

This serial terrified me when I first watched it as a child. Unfortunately, I was not able to finish the serial as it remains to be one of the missing tapes. I have since been able to watch four of the remaining five episodes and filled in the gaps by reading the story. This terrifying tale of Yetis also features the first appearance of the Brigadeer.

7 – The Daemons (1971)

Series 8, episodes 21-25. Doctor: John Pertwee. Companion: Katy Manning as Jo Grant

This story is often disregarded in lists of the best episodes. It is one that I have always enjoyed. Featuring my favourite incarnation of the Master, Roger Delgato. This story dabbles with religion, Satanism and the imagery is some of my favourite in all of Doctor Who.

6 – The Ark in Space (1975)

Series 12, episodes 5-8. Doctor: Tom Baker. Companions: Elizabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith and Ian Marter as Harry Sullivan

The imagery on this serial is absolutely fantastic. The sets are absolutely stunning and the compelling storyline really elevate this story. The use of bubblewrap, which now would be seen as cheap, was innovative at the time as it was not yet a common product. Although not listed as a direct inspiration for the film Alien, the themes and story are very reminiscent.

5 – The Sea Devils (1972)

Series 9, episodes 9-14. Doctor: John Pertwee. Companion: Katy Manning as Jo Grant

Ever since I was a child I have absolutely loved the Sea devils. The cousins of the famous Sillurians star in this serial alongside Roger Delgato’s Master. The scene in which the Sea Devils all rise from the Ocean is one of my favourites in Doctor Who history. The morality explored in this serial help to elevate this to number 5 on my favourite episodes.

4 – The Robots of Death (1977)

Series 14, episodes 17-20. Doctor: Tom Baker. Companion: Louisa Jameson as Leela

What a terrifying serial this is. Every moment of this serial is jam packed with action and suspense. The design of the robots is particularly appealing, along with the design of the mining vessel and its interior. I enjoy the exploration of Leela’s character and her sheer strength and intelligence. The characters are likeable and I felt myself rooting for them to survive the massacre at the hands of the robots.

3 – Tomb of the Cybermen (1967)

Series 5, episodes 1-4. Doctor: Patrick Troughton. Companions: Frazer Hines as Jamie McCrimmon and Deborah Watling as Victoria Waterfield

This absolute classic marked the third appearance of the Cybermen in Doctor Who. This episode is truly terrifying. The scene in which the Cybermen rise from their tombs will have be cowering behind the sofa every time I see it. Not only that, but another highlight from this episode is the conversation between the Doctor and Victoria. It is so sentimental and beautifully written.

2 – Genesis of the Daleks (1975)

Series 12, episodes 11-16. Doctor: Tom Baker. Companions: Elizabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith and Ian Marter as Harry Sullivan

The Fourth Doctor’s Fourth appearance on this list. This episode is sheer brilliance. Exploring the origin of the Daleks, we finally meet their creator, the sinister Davros. Not only are the Daleks absolutely terrifying in this serial, the moment when the Doctor has the chance to commit genocide and prevent the Daleks from ever existing is truly a fine piece of art.

1 – The Brain of Morbius (1976)

Series 13, episodes 17-20. Doctor: Tom Baker. Companion: Elizabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith

Taking the top spot is Tom Baker’s fifth appearance and Sarah Jane’s third appearance on this list. I love everything about this story. The Frankenstein homage and strong gothic imagery make this a terrifying tale. The horror is amped up in this serial too, with the effects on Morbius being frightening. I love the introduction of the Sisterhood of Karn, and the addition of another Time Lord villain that isn’t the Master. Every time I watch this episode I get chills and it is certainly the episode I rewatch the most.

Thank you for reading my list, I hope you enjoyed!

What are some of your favourite Classic Who episodes?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s