Doctor Who Mini-Reviews: Summary


Edmund and I have been re-watching the Doctor Who reboot from the beginning, and I wrote mini-reviews; having just finished the series, this is a little summary and analysis.

The scores I used go thus:

  1. This is embarrassing.  Go away.
  2. Weak.  I’m not going to try convincing my friends to watch the show based on this.
  3. Average for a Doctor Who episode.
  4. That was a good one!
  5. One of the best ever.

I assigned the scores as I watched on a completely subjective basis; at no point until tonight did I check my math to look for trends. But now it’s time; did some seasons rank much better than others for me? I recall Series 1, 3, and 6 most fondly. Did the scores reflect this? And when I assigned my scores, did I indeed grade on the normal curve, or did I bias high or low? Let’s find out.

First, some simple statistics:

Mean 3.15
Median 3
Minimum 1
Maximum 5
Std. Dev. 0.80

This is not too bad; it means I assigned a mean score of 3.15 ± 0.80, pretty close to the target average of 3. Yay me. In fact, it means that I slightly over-scored, but not too wildly.

Putting it on a chart, it looks like my favourite eras were the year of the Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston), the second half of the Tenth Doctor’s career (David Tennant), and the first half of the Eleventh Doctor’s tenure (Matt Smith.)


TARDIS Wallpaper DW by Vampiric Time Lord (Tylynn Kira A.)  The weird graph is mine, obviously.

Doctor Who Mini-Reviews: Series 1

TARDISEdmund and I have been re-watching the Doctor Who reboot from the beginning. I decided to write mini-reviews of the episodes; being lazy, I just grabbed the tables from the Wikipedia list of episodes, dropped it in a spreadsheet, added columns for my scores and comments, and now I just paste them back here. How’s that for low effort? It even allows you to click back to the episode summaries on Wikipedia with absolutely no effort on my part!

I’ll post them one season at a time.  This one is for “Series 1” of the recent collection, released in 2005 and starring Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor.  Or, as long-time aficionados might think of it, Season 27 or so.  I’ll confess right now, Eccleston was my favourite of the last three actors to play the Doctor, which places me in a minority.

The scores go thus:

  1. This is embarrassing.  Go away.
  2. Weak.  I’m not going to try convincing my friends to watch the show based on this.
  3. Average for a Doctor Who episode.
  4. That was a good one!
  5. One of the best ever.
No Title Score Comments Code Episodes Writer Director Original airdate
157 Rose 3 OK plot, nice performances by the cast, good portrayal of the Doctor by Eccleston. 1.1 1 episode Russell T Davies Keith Boak 26 March 2005
158 The End of the World 4 Pleasantly sinister cast of characters, like Agatha Christie in space. 1.2 1 episode Russell T Davies Euros Lyn 2 April 2005
159 The Unquiet Dead 3 Not too smashing, but Simon Callow was nice as Charles Dickens, and it’s amusing to see Eva Myles in the role of Gwyneth when soon she will play Gwen in Torchwood. 1.3 1 episode Mark Gatiss Euros Lyn 9 April 2005
160 Aliens of London
World War Three
3/3 First appearance of Penelope Wilton as Harriet Jones; best thing in the show. Nice to see Noel Clarke as Mickey again, and his chemistry with Camille Corduri as Jackie Tyler. Too bad a lot of promising support characters were killed. 1.4
2 episodes Russell T Davies Keith Boak 16 April 2005
23 April 2005
161 Dalek 4 Solid performance of Eccleston as a more somber Doctor. 1.6 1 episode Robert Shearman Joe Ahearne 30 April 2005
162 The Long Game 4 Nicely creepy, and Simon Pegg as the chilling Editor. 1.7 1 episode Russell T Davies Brian Grant 7 May 2005
163 Father’s Day 2 Fairly unoriginal plot and remarkably stupid monsters, but nicely executed. Good performance of Shaun Dingwall as Pete Tyler. 1.8 1 episode Paul Cornell Joe Ahearne 14 May 2005
164 The Empty Child
The Doctor Dances
4/3 Lots of foreshadowing and long-term plots; beautifully creepy “monsters”; good supporting cast. 1.9
2 episodes Steven Moffat James Hawes 21 May 2005
28 May 2005
165 Boom Town 4 Nice chemistry between Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor and Annette Badland as Margaret Slitheen. “Bad Wolf” theme finally picked up explicitly. 1.11 1 episode Russell T Davies Joe Ahearne 4 June 2005
166 Bad Wolf
The Parting of the Ways
4 A return to Satellite 5, amusing parody of British shows, and the Bad Wolf theme is revisited. / Dalek overdose and everybody sacrificing themselves for everybody else. A classic model for Jeremy Tidwell’s hack for Apocalypse World, “Companions.” 1.12
2 episodes Russell T Davies Joe Ahearne 11 June 2005
18 June 2005
167 The Christmas Invasion 1 Awful writing. The Doctor is absent for most of the episode, then wins through single combat; Rose’s creative effort bombs completely; and Harriet Jones (Penelope Wilton), the best PM ever knew, is demoted by the Doctor for making the tough call. 2.X Christmas special (60 mins) Russell T Davies James Hawes 25 December 2005

Jumbled Doctor Who impressions

Edmund and I have been watching a lot of British telly lately, finally catching up to the last 5 years of shows. We’re now in Season 4 of the new Dr. Who series. So far:

– I like the music best in Seasons 1 and 2. by Season 3 it gets overblown, and in Season 4 it’s completely over the top.

– I like the Doctor best in Season 1, played by Eccleston.

– I like the writing best in Season 3, especially episodes the ones not written by Russel T. Davies. I was very pleased with the way episodes like Human Nature and Blink were told.

– I liked both Rose and Martha — Martha a little more, I think. I have not warmed up to Donna.

– I liked Mickey a lot and I miss him.