As many of you know, my favorite television show of all-time is Doctor Who. A British program centered around the titular character who travels in time and space via his time machine known as the TARDIS, the show has been on the air, on and off, since 1963.
I became a fan of Doctor Who during the early 1980s, when the local PBS station aired it Monday-Friday at 10pm, and on Saturdays at 6:00pm and 6:30pm. I stumbled upon it by accident one night, as I laid in bed and mom stood there, changing the channels on the little black & white TV in my bedroom, until something looked interesting. I saw a man with curly hair tripping over a long scarf, and the rest is history.
I thought it would be fun to pick my 10 favorite Doctor Who stories, spanning 1963-2013. Probably should have done this in November of last year, when it was the show's 50th anniversary, but I didn't, so oh well. Without further delay, here, then, are my favorite Doctor Who stories, in chronological order:
A 6-part classic from the first season, it really captured my imagination as a child, and has held-up well upon viewing as an adult. Very much an adventure story.
The Time Meddler (1965)
The Doctor and his companions land in England in the year 1066, on the eve of the Viking invasion and the creation of what would become England as we know it. They also, for the first time, run into a fellow Time Lord, known as the Meddling Monk. A great, atmospheric story.
Capping-off my favorite Doctor's first season, this apocalyptic story about the dangers encountered drilling to the Earth's core is both fierce and scary. Featuring the Doctor in two parallel worlds, Jon Pertwee gives a tour-de-force performance.
The Daemons (1971)
An old English town with a strange new vicar, huge hoof prints in the countryside, and a legend of an evil, horned beast prophesied by the local white witch, it is any wonder UNIT and the Doctor end up there? Oh, and the Master, too.
The Curse of Peladon (1972)
Perhaps my favorite Doctor Who story of all-time? The Doctor and Jo lose the TARDIS down a mountainside on the planet Peladon, and become embroiled with a cornucopia of aliens attending a conference. Featuring the Ice Warriors and the awesome Alpha Centauri.
Horror of Fang Rock (1977)
An early-20th century lighthouse is under siege from aliens, and it's up to the Doctor and Leela to save the day. I love this story, and could watch it over and over. Great atmosphere and a closed setting make for a cracking good yarn.
City of Death (1979)
Co-written by Douglas Adams, this story probably features Tom Baker at the height of his silliness. Lovely little story set (and filmed) in Paris, France. You've got aliens, the Mona Lisa, Romana, lots of humor and even John Cleese... what more could you ask for?
This story shook me to my core as a kid, and is still effective today. The Cybermen return, more chilling than ever, and attempt to destroy the Earth. They do destroy one of the Doctor's companions.
The Five Doctors (1983)
Not nearly as weighty as the recent 50th anniversary special but, arguably, far more fun. The Doctors are summoned to Gallifrey by a malevolent Time Lord, and forced to play deadly games until they help uncover Rassilon's secret of immortality.
The current version of Doctor Who has had many good episodes, but no story has been as good as Blink. We're introduced to the Weeping Angels (at their most creepy and mysterious), and a lot of "timey wimey" stuff happens.
And, there you have it: my Top 10 Favorite Doctor Who stories. Of course, I like a ton more than this, of course, but these are my (current) favorites. You really couldn't go wrong with any of them. Splendid stories, all of them.