Doctor Who Top Five – The Hartnell Years

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So everyone has their favourite Doctor. The one that no other will ever be able to surpass. But if you are looking to expand your Doctor Who horizons it’s often difficult to see where to start. So for all your Whoniverse expanding needs, the first of a series of top five lists showing off just some of the best the show has to offer.

The Daleks

The second ever story and the first to involve the Daleks. And they were fairly different creatures to how we see them today. For starters their guns had a stun setting which has not been seen since. A seven part story that shows Daleks that run by static electricity and the TARDIS crew all suffering from radiation poisoning, this story is fairly well paced and immediately breaks all the rules about not having ‘bug eyed monsters’ in Doctor Who!
There are elements of it that are so good, Steven Moffat just couldn’t resist stealing them. If anyone is wondering where he got the ideas of the sewers under the Dalek city from, look no further!

The Aztecs

A four part historical story that gives both Barbara and Ian a real chance to shine as characters. With Barbara mistaken for a Goddess and the rest of the team her servants, the Doctor is taken to a garden of restfulness and accidentally gets engaged while Ian becomes one of the top warriors. The fight scenes aren’t exactly brilliant, however as Ian Cullen (the actor who plays Ian’s rival Ixta) put it “You can’t fight someone with a rubber dagger and make it look convincing”.

The Reign of Terror

Ian, Barbara and Susan try not to get beheaded and the Doctor goes for a nice walk through the French countryside. This six episode story is full of twists as the group try to reunite without anyone getting killed and also help their new friends to survive the Reign of Terror in 1794. Several of the episodes are missing but have been brilliantly animated to restore them to almost their full glory.

The Dalek Invasion of Earth

The second Dalek story on this list however the six part Dalek Invasion of Earth is noteworthy even just for the bonkers plan the Daleks have concocted. What they’re going to do is… turn the Earth into a space ship! Seriously, it’s bonkers. However despite this the plot and writing is very good, Barbara gets to steal a truck and run over some Daleks with it and, a budding romance between Susan and a resistance fighter David leads to the first companion departure of the show and one of the most iconic scenes from the Classic era.

The Tenth Planet

The final story for William Hartnell, The Tenth Planet also shows the Cybermen for the first time and arguably at their most creepy. With bandaged faces and looking horribly human, the strange robotic sing song voices only add to the knowledge that they really were humans once. This story was a huge risk in terms of the longetivity of the show and one that paid off beautifully. No one knew what was going to happen or how the public would react when the Doctor collapses at the end of the story and becomes ‘renewed’ (the term ‘regeneration’ isn’t used until much later). However seeing as the show is still on now it clearly worked! The regeneration scene is also the only one to survive from the final episode of this story, however the episode has been brought back to life through animation.

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