Season 10

“Which Doctor is Who? All is explained as Dr Who returns” promised the Radio Times as three Doctors stared out of the cover that heralded the start of the Tenth Season. Three Doctors! The Second Doctor hadn’t been on UK screens for three and a half years; the First Doctor had last been seen over six years before. There were very few ... More

Season 11

Doctor Who has many wonderful qualities, but one thing it’s not particularly known for is surprises. Of course there have been some over the years – the interior of the TARDIS in the very first episode, the deaths of Katarina and Sara Kingdom, the Monoid statue, and of course the change from Doctor One to Doctor Two – but in a show ... More

Season 12

“Looney.” “Stupid.” “Too silly.” “Crazy.” Those were some of the words used by children to describe the new Doctor, as reported in the Audience Research Report on Part One of Robot. Of course, after four and a half years of the authoritative, dignified Third Doctor, the arrival of the wide-eyed figure with a manic grin was ... More

Season 13

Thirteen: unlucky for some. But while season 13 was undoubtedly unlucky for many of the characters who appeared in it (oh Pyramids of Mars, couldn’t you have left at least one person alive?), viewers could count themselves very lucky indeed. Although conceived as a children’s programme, Doctor Who was usually aimed at a family audien... More

Season 14

Series Twelve and Series Thirteen had been fun for all the family. Monsters for the children, horror for the grown-ups. Would Series Fourteen, still controlled by the outstanding team of producer Philip Hinchcliffe and script editor Robert Holmes, continue in that tradition? Well, maybe not entirely. While the stories were still superb, was ... More

Season 15

Doctor Who had stopped being for children – and the powers-that-be thought it had become too violent. Producer Graham Williams was brought in and tasked with making a programme that was less violent, more funny – and, on top of that, cheap. Things started to go in a very different direction, especially when script editor Anthony Read took ... More

Season 16

“The Quest is the Quest!” Despite Underworld, the penultimate story of Season 15, being inspired by the story of the famous mythological questers Jason and the Argonauts, it’s really the tale of the Doctor stumbling upon someone else’s quest. Taking a quest at its narrowest definition – sent to acquire a particular prize, overcoming ... More

Season 17

Season 17 is an embarrassment. From Romana ridiculously trying on bodies at the very beginning – didn’t Douglas Adams know that regeneration is a serious business? – to Soldeed’s corpsing as he becomes a corpse at the end, this isn’t drama, it’s pantomime. This misguided direction overshadows any saving graces the stories might ... More

Season 18

“Entropy increases.” “There will be no future.” The opening shot of Season 18 is beautiful, perhaps the most beautiful shot in 49 years of Doctor Who (although I know a number of people who’d argue for the ‘Peri sitting up in bed’ shot in Planet of Fire instead). Beautiful – but sad. A beach outside holiday season is filled ... More

Season 19

Doctor Who is a series about the future and the past, about adventures and villains and monsters. What it isn’t about, really – at least for a fair chunk of its first 20 years – is the Doctor and his companions. Oh, they’re an essential part of it, of course. We care about them and we want to spend time with them. But they’re not ... More