Time Lord Tops returns to rank the worst of an era that is otherwise regarded as one of the best
Welcome back to Time Lord Tops! Today, it’s the Third Doctor’s turn to have his worst and best stories listed. This list was really tough to put together, because Pertwee had quite a few solid stories throughout his era. In fact, I’d consider it the most solid era of the show. But, I still found five bad ones worth mentioning. With that said, let’s begin!
When the conversation turns to Bad Third Doctor adventures, The Mutants seems to be brought up a lot. The issue with this story is that it’s pretty terribly average. You got this really cool monster of the week, but the story is just so unengaging. I don’t feel much of anything here. It has to be said, though, that the cliffhangers are good, but overall the rest of the story is poorly executed. Oh, and it probably didn’t need to be six parts long, either.
This serial was not written with the Daleks in mind, which really drags it down. Way way down. The idea is good on paper, though. A group of rebels goes back in time to prevent doomsday by stopping the events that caused it all, only to be pursued by those they are rebelling against into the past. If done right, Day of the Daleks could’ve been the Doctor Who version of The Terminator. But instead we got an uninspired Dalek runaround. If you’re gonna watch this story, watch the Special Edition. That version improves it tenfold.
Where do I start with The Monster of Peladon? It’s really a six part version of The Curse of Peladon. It’s got pretty much the same characters, plot points and design of the first Peladon tale. Even with gender-flipped characters and the Ice Warriors being moved to the villain role, it doesn’t help this story. It trashes the original. I don’t like it.
In my ranking of the Classic Dalek stories, Death to the Daleks was near the bottom because the Daleks looked so weak. I mean, they got beaten to death by guys with sticks. Really? And the rooms with puzzles and such were very underwhelming. Come now, how is a checkerboard floor worthy of a cliffhanger? The reason it appears much lower here is because this serial does not have a Special Edition to save it like Day of the Daleks.
Now, I like those outlandishly wild Doctor Who ideas. But whoever thought that a machine called TOMTIT would be a good thing for The Master to use was an idiot. And the whole timeflow analog bit where The Doctor does a balancing act to try and stop The Master is just ridiculous. The monster looks like a giant chicken crossed with a Roman Centurion. You can just tell they had run out of steam at this point. Watch The Time Monster for the completionist credit and that’s it. Seriously, the timeflow analog scene has to be seen to be believed.
I threw around the idea of putting Planet of the Daleks on the list proper, but then I remembered it’s only good if you pair it with Frontier in Space. There’s a reason they’re joined in a box set. However, that doesn’t excuse it from being a bad Dalek story. You simply can’t do Daleks on the cheap effectively. It doesn’t work like it has in the past, and without Frontier in Space this becomes the usual Dalek runaround. The writers of the Pertwee Era really did strike out with their Dalek stories in my opinion.
But I want to hear from you all. What do you think is the worst Pertwee story? Is there a story I left out? Let me know!
Until next time! Stay tuned for more Time Lord Tops!
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