Fri
Sep 20 2013 12:00pm

Classic Doctor Who: The Second Doctor’s Essential Episodes

Second Doctor, Doctor Who, Jamie

Last time, in discussing William Hartnell’s first fusspot Doctor, I mentioned that some 106 Doctor Who episodes are currently missing, following the tragic destruction and/or recycling of the master tapes on which they were recorded. (Damn you, BBC Archivists of the 60s and 70s!) Of these missing episodes, a disproportionate number belong to the era of the Second Doctor, which means that the recommendations made herein should be taken on the understanding that these are merely the best of what is available, rather than the best of what was produced.

While the First Doctor’s tenure might be lacking 6 complete serials to the Second Doctor’s 4, the lost episode tallies number 44 versus 62, and the fact that the latter has 15 incomplete serials out of his 21 total means that in real terms, we only have 6 full stories on which to evaluate his contributions to the Whoniverse, and only a few others that are even close to complete. Additionally, with so many of these missing from the Second Doctor’s first season at the helm—perhaps no more potent argument can be made for the notion that foreign broadcasters did not entirely approve of the casting change—it is difficult to give a full understanding of the evolution of his personality and relationships with his companions.

The Underwater Menace sees the Doctor and co. held prisoner on the sunken Atlantis, and what we have it is pretty great, but with bookending episodes 1 and 4 missing, can I really recommend the middle of a story as “essential”? The Wheel in Space introduces the kickass Zoe to the TARDIS, but with 5 of its 6 episodes missing, it’s hard to recommend it over those I have listed below; ditto, The Evil of the Daleks, the script of which suggests it would have been pretty freaking awesome, actually—if only we had more than 1/7 of it still existing, on which to judge for ourselves.

So the Top 5 “Essentials” of the Second Doctor’s sovereignty pretty much amounts to leaving out only a couple of the outings (mostly) remaining to us.

Without further ado…

THE SECOND DOCTOR

Played by: Patrick Troughton
First Appearance: “Episode 4” (The Tenth Planet, 29 October, 1966) *MISSING*
Last Appearance: “Episode Ten” (The War Games, 21 June, 1969)—although there is also a later guest appearance in The Two Doctors, alongside the Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker) in 1985
Episodes: 119
Serials: 21
Seasons: ~ 2.7
Style: “Cosmic Hobo”
Catchphrase: “Oh, my giddy aunt!”

Characteristics: Impish yet paternal, irritable yet kindly, deceptive when it’s called for (it’s apparently always called for) and with an absolute genius for playing dumb, the Second Doctor can perhaps be best described as House meets Columbo meets… well, the Eleventh Doctor, whom we are told was lovingly modeled after him. The Second Doctor’s almost constant mugging for the camera can be disconcerting, and his capering gait rather puts one in mind of a court jester—he’s also very shouty—but he is also passionate, considerate, valiant and really quite adorable in his ill-fitting suit, that scheming twinkle in his dark, fathomless eyes.

Companions: After inheriting Polly (Anneke Wills) and Ben (Michael Craze) from his former personality, the Second Doctor goes on to recruit 18th-C Scottish piper Jamie (Frazer Hines), adopts wilting Victorian orphan Victoria (Deborah Watling) and is blessed with stowaway future astrophysicist Zoe (Wendy Padbury). Some claim Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney) as his companion as well, but given he rarely travelled with the Doctor, whether in this or any later incarnation, I have long disputed this status.

THE ESSENTIALS:

Note: There is not a single serial from the Second Doctor’s debut season here, considering these grim facts: The Power of the Daleks (6 episodes, all missing), The Highlanders (4 episodes, all missing), The Underwater Menace (4 episodes, 1 & 4 missing), The Moonbase (4 episodes, 1 & 3 missing), The Macra Terror (4 episodes, all missing), The Faceless Ones (6 episodes, 2 & 4–6 missing) and The Evil of the Daleks (7 episodes, 1 & 3–7 missing).

Of these, I would like to think that The Highlanders (the last pure “historical” episode, and the first appearance of Jamie) would have made the cut, and I would also hope that The Faceless Ones (a farewell to Polly and Ben!) might have been a contender as well.

But as it stands…

 

Second Doctor, Doctor Who, Tomb of the Cybermen

1. THE TOMB OF THE CYBERMEN, Season 5, Episodes 1-4
Written by: Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis
Directed by: Morris Barry
Setting: The planet Talos
4 Episodes: “Episode 1” (September 2, 1967), “Episode 2” (September 9, 1967), “Episode 3” (September 16, 1967), “Episode 4” (September 23, 1967)

If it weren’t for the simple fact that this is the earliest complete serial of the Second Doctor’s reign, this one would most assuredly not be here. There are much, much better Cybermen outings—for evidence, see below—and, moreover, the addition here of that witless drip, Victoria, as companion is nothing to be celebrated. Nevertheless, this serial is as notable for its place in Whovian mythology as it is for being an unintentionally hilarious attempt at a homage/rip-off of The Mummy. To wit: for twenty years, Tomb of the Cybermen was believed to have been a lost masterpiece, a serial so good, so transformative, that were it to have remained in existence, surely it would have brought about a Golden Age of Awesomeness—the TV equivalent of Wyld Stallyns’ music. But then, in the early 1990s, it resurfaced, and those who remembered it so fondly as the greatest work the BBC ever aired were given a salutary lesson in the illusive power of rose-colored glasses. Because it’s backward, racist, dull, nonsensical and really not very good at all; still certainly worth the neophyte’s time, however, if only to hold its once-revered status over the heads of smug pre-reboot fans. (That said, bonus points must be awarded for the Brotherhood of Logicians, to whom logic is apparently a foreign concept. I appreciate them utterly, being a card-carrying member of the Society of Ironicists.)

EXPLAINED! More Cybermen back story.

 

Second Doctor, Doctor Who, The Ice Warriors

2. THE ICE WARRIORS, Season 5, Episode 11-16
Written by: Brian Hayles
Directed by: Derek Martinus
Setting: Britain, the distant future, an ice age
6 Episodes: “One” (November 11, 1967), “Two” (November 18, 1967) *MISSING*, “Three” (November 25, 1967) *MISSING*, “Four” (December 2, 1967), “Five” (December 9, 19667)

Admittedly only a partially-complete fifth season adventure, but since it a) features the first appearance of the titular Ice Warriors and b) has undergone an heroic animated reconstruction process, using the original audio, it would be remiss of me not to include this decidedly thrilling Mars Attacks the Future! story here. I know, “thrilling” is a big word to be throwing around early Whodom, especially when the tiresome Victoria is still along for the ride. But with an encroaching glacier, a defrosted alien menace, a pretty fair stab at future gender equality—at least as good as its contemporary, Star Trek, anyway—and an intriguing freedom vs. technology debate, The Ice Warriors is terrifically engaging right from its Theremin-heavy opening credits, and is a thoroughly satisfying Doctorly outing.

EXPLAINED! That enormous lizard-looking warrior faced by the Doctor and Clara in “Cold War” (7x08)—and perhaps why that plot seemed so much like Das Boot meets Encino Man.

 

Second Doctor, Doctor Who, The Mind Robber

3. THE MIND ROBBER, Season 6, Episodes 6-10
Written by: Peter Ling
Directed by: David Maloney
Setting: The Void! AKA the Land of Fiction
5 Episodes: “Episode 1” (September 14, 1968), “Episode 2” (September 21, 1968), “Episode 3” (September 28, 1968), “Episode 4” (October 5, 1967), “Episode 5” (October 12, 1967)

Oh, I could go on and on and on about The Mind Robber. It is without a doubt my favorite Second Doctor serial, and is Top 10 overall, as well. It is the kind of episode that is best to have come at you as a totally enchanting surprise, however, so let me just make mention of a few tales it brings to mind, and leave it at that: Thursday Next. Once Upon a Time. The TNG episode “Q Who?” The Farscape episode “John Quixote.” Recent Hugo-winner Redshirts. I think you get the gist; consider this kind of proto-meta, especially in the slyly clever manner in which Frazer Hines is casually replaced as Jamie in two episodes, due to a case of the chicken pox. Go, watch, love. Oh, and enjoy the blissful absence of the histrionic Victoria, who has (oh, frabjous day!) been replaced by that super-awesome super-cute super-genius, Zoe. (Yes. I really like Zoe.)

EXPLAINED! The Doctor’s fascination with the Master (maybe, anyway… and only if you really retcon it.)

 

Second Doctor, Doctor Who, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, The Invasion

4. THE INVASION, Season 6, Episodes 11-18
Story by: Kit Pedler
Written by: Derrick Sherwin
Directed by: Douglas Camfield
Setting: Mid-70’s (so, the future!) London
8 Episodes: “Episode One” (November 2, 1968) *MISSING*, “Episode Two” (November 9, 1968), “Episode Three” (November 16, 1968), “Episode Four” (November 23, 1968) *MISSING*, “Episode Five” (November 30, 1968), “Episode Six” (December 7, 1968), “Episode Seven” (December 14, 1968), “Episode Eight” (December 21, 1968)

I have to be honest with you. As terrific as The Invasion is—and it is; this is an early serial actually deserving of the multitudes of praise down the years—I almost didn’t include it here, in favor of its immediate successor, which holds a special place in my heart. However, to suggest that this particular Second Doctor story is non-essential (and that The Krotons, much as I adore it, is) is akin to recommending someone skip the entirety of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Seasons 2 and 3 in favor of, say, “Beer Bad” and that one where the burgers are people. It would be wrong. Possibly even actionable. So, instead, I will join the congregation and sing the praises of this fan favorite, the first incomplete serial to receive the animated-recreation treatment and, to many minds, the finest outing of the Cybermen. That said, though, despite the fact that they are at the heart of the titular incursion, the fearsome silver cyborgs put in a very late appearance here (indeed, their involvement must have come as an unnerving surprise to anyone who didn’t first encounter the DVD cover), and we mostly treat with a rather sinister electronics company and its oddly, one might even say suspiciously, dispassionate director. This story also features the first appearance of UNIT (UNified Intelligence Taskforce), of which we learn that Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart—met previously in the mostly-missing serial The Web of Fear and now a Brigadier—is in charge, paving the way much later for Torchwood, for which we can only be thankful.

EXPLAINED! Exactly how one becomes a Cyberman; the origins of UNIT.

 

Second Doctor, Doctor Who, The War Games

5. THE WAR GAMES, Season 6, Episodes 35-44
Written by: Malcolm Hulke & Terrance Dicks
Directed by: David Maloney
Setting: An unnamed planet; Gallifrey (though also unnamed here)
10 Episodes: “Episode One” (April 19, 1969), “Episode Two” (April 26, 1969), “Episode Three” (May 3, 1969), “Episode Four” (May 10, 1969), “Episode Five” (May 17, 1969), “Episode Six” (May 24, 1969), “Episode Seven” (May 31, 1969), “Episode Eight” (June 7, 1969), “Episode Nine” (June 14, 1969), “Episode Ten” (June 21, 1969).

This 10-episode serial feels like it should be two different story arcs: one, the compelling overthrow of a power-mad dictator who plans to take over the galaxy by winnowing out the weakest of his kidnapped fighting force; and two, the trial of the Doctor (and his compatriot, complicit in the war games) for crimes against their race, finally given a name here: the Time Lords. The former story is rife with action, as warriors from across time—Ancient Rome, US Civil War, WWI, etc.—are forced to compete for the right to be the villain’s foot soldiers. Quite why a force from pre-atomic Earth would be so desirable to an alien overlord isn’t sufficiently explained, to my mind; still, doubtless it helped with the costume budget. But for all that The War Gamesy-bit is cool, it is really the latter part of the story that most matters, as the Doctor is held accountable by his people for (it turns out) stealing the TARDIS/ meddling in history, and is thence exiled to Earth—and with a forced regeneration at that. Moreover, this episode also stands as a farewell to Jamie (longest-serving companion ever, with 113 consecutive episodes to his name) and Zoe (her voyages tragically curtailed, after only 50), after the Time Lords wipe their memories of all the cosmic coolness they have seen and return them to their own timelines, making sure they don’t encounter the Doctor at all. Which means Zoe is back bumbling around in the library of a 21st-C space station and Jamie is back battling the English in his native Highlands. Just… great.

EXPLAINED! The Doctor’s race, its customs and laws, and its bizarre penal code.

 

Of course, were it still in existence, naturally the fifth season serial The Fury from the Deep would totally have made this list, since it features the first appearance of the sonic screwdriver. On the other hand, I am not entirely sure what I would cut… I bet you are, though! Have at it.

Next Time: The Third Doctor—The Debonair Scientist


Rachel Hyland is Editor in Chief of Geek Speak Magazine.

30 comments
Fenric25
1. Fenric25
Loving these choices of essential Doctor Who episodes. I'll admit that, despite its many flaws, I have a soft spot for "Tomb of the Cybermen" and find it to be one of my favorite Cybermen stories-I certainly find it to be superior to The Invasion, which I've always found to be too long and too dull despite having several great moments here and there. Certainly, Tomb of the Cybermen is a mess in terms of plot and the racism/sexism is just so hard to watch without wincing, but the rest of the story is pretty fun (and was one of the stories shown to Matt Smith when he was first cast as the Eleventh Doctor). The Mind Robber is definitely Troughton's best surviving story, certainly my favorite of all the ones I've seen and one of my favorites of all time (also, The Master of the Land of Fiction is not The Master, two different beings, can't really retcon it unless a Chameleon Arch was involved seeing as this Master was a former short story writer from Earth) I'd also add The Web of Fear to this list-the one episode left is a fun one and the rest of the story seems pretty good from what I've read/heard, not to mention the fact that it had great early influence on Neil Gaiman, IIRC. Can't wait to read your choices of essential episodes for the later Doctors...
Fenric25
2. Joe Pranevich
I love this list, but have one thing to add about the already-great serial, "The Invasion":

In this serial, Zoe commits what may be the most realistic depoction of computer hacking to date. In Episode 2, Zoe speaks to a computer receptionist and after not getting the response she likes, she tries speaking to it in computer code, essentially giving it an impossible problem. The system fails to santize its inputs and so tries to execute the code, getting into a mess of trouble and letting them by. We might call it an injection attack today.

This is almost a year after Star Trek had Spock jack a computer by giving it an impossible-to-solve problem, but I like that while the Enterprise's computer was meant to answer questions (even hard ones), this is Zoe tricking the system into executing code.

XKCD has a comic about this problem here: http://xkcd.com/327/
Christopher Bennett
3. ChristopherLBennett
You neglected to mention that Troughton also reprised the Second Doctor in the two anniversary specials, "The Three Doctors" and "The Five Doctors." Of all the Doctors, he's the one who's made the most return appearances after his tenure.

And yes, Zoe is awesome. She was almost as smart as the Doctor (sometimes smarter), she was independent and resourceful (one of the best bits of "The Mind Robber" was tiny Zoe handily beating up a reified comic-strip he-man twice her size -- take that, Leela and Ace!), and she was devastatingly adorable and sexy (the other best thing about "The Mind Robber" is Zoe's sparkly catsuit).

Despite the name similarities, I don't think the Master of the Land of Fiction was the same person as the Master. "The War Games"'s War Chief, on the other hand, could definitely have been an incarnation of the Master, and FASA's RPG actually identified him as such (as well as the Meddling Monk, which doesn't work nearly as well).
Fenric25
4. nor
Thanks for the post - wonderful resource for New Whovians like me. Must get around to watching all of these!
David Levinson
5. DemetriosX
I can accept your reluctance to call the Brigadier a companion, I'm not quite sure he meets the criteria either. But then there needs to be another term for those like him, Sgt. Benton and Mike Yates who were regularly appearing characters.
Walker White
6. Walker
@3
You neglected to mention that Troughton also reprised the Second Doctor in the two anniversary specials, "The Three Doctors" and "The Five Doctors."
And "The Two Doctors" with Colin Baker.
Fenric25
7. GeorgeC
I can also understand not including the Brigadier, Benton and Yates as companions. But what exactly did Liz Shaw do that those 3 didn't, that earns her companionship status (other than being female)? Not that I have the answer either...
Christopher Bennett
8. ChristopherLBennett
@6: "The Two Doctors" is the one that did get mentioned in the article.

@7: I believe Liz was officially the Doctor's assistant, as Jo was after her. And the role of "assistant" is sort of lumped together with "companion" since they played the same role in story terms. The UNIT characters were more just colleagues/allies. Also, Yates and Benton were recurring characters, never regulars.
JoeNotCharles
9. JoeNotCharles
The Brigadier was the Doctor's nominal superior (and was sometimes an antagonist, even), Benton and Yates reported to him and not to the Doctor, but Liz Shaw was explicitly assigned to be his assistant.
The Underwater Menace sees the Doctor and co. held prisoner on the sunken Atlantis, and what we have it is pretty great, but with bookending episodes 1 and 4 missing, can I really recommend the middle of a story as “essential”?"
Really? The Underwater Menace? "Pretty great"? Really?
Fenric25
10. Brian Mac
Well, I can say that The Underwater Menace, what I've seen of it, had one of the more astounding examples of overacting I've seen in the series, and yes, I'm including Brian Blessed. So that's something.

I've often wondered if The Invasion has a greater impact if you're English. To an American, it's a good story, but to a Brit, the Cybermen marching down the steps of St. Paul's is downright iconic. Much like the Daleks in London in The Dalek Invasion of Earth, but that doesn't take place in the present.
Christopher Bennett
11. ChristopherLBennett
@10: What's cool about the sequence of the Cybermen marching on London in "The Invasion" is that they did it all with just something like four Cyberman costumes. They never had more than a few in any one shot, but with clever editing they made it feel like a whole horde.
Erik Harrison
12. ErikHarrison
As before, I made a similar list for the Second Doctor, when introducing friends to the old series. All of my stories were included in your list. My rules were to try make them short and enjoyable first, representative of the Doctor second, and important to the cannon in some way third. Just like with the First Doctor, I picked beginning, intermediate, and advanced stories so users could dial in the geekery.

Beginner story: "The Mind Robber". It's funny! It's experimental! It's visually arresting! It's short! The only mark against it as a pick is that it's experimental nature doesn't really give the flavor for what the series was doing at that point - the Base Under Siege template. But that's fine, because the last episode nicely cliffhangers into

Intermediate: "The Invasion". The one "recon" I'll show, because the officially licensed animation makes it totally watchable. It's long by modern viewing standards, but it's very good. The Brig! The Cybermen! The best Base Under Siege story! And if they make it through this, then you can go to

Advanced: "The War Games". Not only is it a good story, but it's narratively important for being the introduction of the Time Lords, the first "elaborate Time Trial" and the Second Doctor's regeneration. The only reason it's in the "advanced viewing" column is it's too long for an casual fans, and if you're doing the Second Doctor you need a Base Under Siege tale (The Invasion). But as a weekend of immersing yourself in the Second Doctor, it's a strong capper.

Bonus: "Tomb of the Cybermen". It's not a great story. It's got loads of strong moments - the Tomb itself, the Doctor's lovely little conversation with Victoria, the cybermat. But it's also stupid and racist and stupid. Which is one of the reasons it's worth watching for the dedicated fan wanting to connect with the roots of the show. It's good to be reminded that not even Doctor Who is perfect - and that there are things in the show now that no doubt future fans will be repelled by.
Fenric25
13. Kudzu
The Time Lords that sentenced Jamie & Zoe said that they would be returned to their timelines after meeting the Doctor - meaning they would remember the adventure they were in with the Doctor and remember him from there but not any of their travels afterward.

This apparently explains Series 6b which I've never really understood - don't want to fall down that rabbit hole - along with UNIT dating.
Deana Whitney
14. Braid_Tug
So, if friends don't have the DVDs. And you don't have the money to buy the DVDs
Where does one find these episodes?
Beccy Higman
15. Jazzlet
Jamie ... sigh. Probably singlehandedly responsible for my soft spot for Scots.
Lee Anderson
16. DSNiner
Rachel, you allude to the audio from "The Ice Warriors," but you may not be aware that all the missing episodes of Doctor Who exist in audio form. Thanks to some very dedicated fans who recorded the series from broadcast, the BBC has released CDs for these lost episodes. And having listened to several of them, I can tell you for a fact that "The Power of the Daleks" is one of Troughton's finest stories. Which is fairly remarkable, as it is also his first.
Christopher Bennett
17. ChristopherLBennett
@13: "Series 6b" is a hypothesis used to explain some discrepancies in the Second Doctor's return visits. In "The Five Doctors," he remembered that Jamie and Zoe had had their memories erased, even though that happened just before he regenerated so it should've been in his subjective future. And in "The Two Doctors" a seemingly much older Second Doctor is traveling with a much older Jamie in a different TARDIS console room, and mentioning dropping off Victoria to study graphology, something that doesn't fit anywhere in her known adventures. Not to mention that in that story he's evidently working for the Time Lords, following their instructions, which conflicts with "The War Games," in which he'd had no contact with them since his initial flight from Gallifrey. So all these bits of evidence suggest that the Second Doctor seen in those stories comes from subjectively after "The War Games," even though that appeared to be the very end of his life.

And so to reconcile the discrepancies, it was proposed that maybe he wasn't immediately regenerated at the end of "The War Games" -- that instead the Time Lords sent him on special missions for an uncertain amount of time, and that somewhere in there he visited the Brigadier as seen in "The Five Doctors" and then reunited with Jamie and Victoria for a time. This hypothetical period between seasons 6 and 7 was nicknamed Season 6b. And I gather that a few tie-in stories have treated it as a real thing and been set in that period.

All I have to say about UNIT dating is that when Jo Grant appeared in The Sarah Jane Adventures: "Death of the Doctor," she implied that she'd done a lot of it. ;)
alex
18. jerec84
Of the so few Troughton episodes to survive, why did the Dominators have to be one of them? You can almost pinpoint the moment where all three lead actors put in their resignation...

I agree with these five choices, but there's really not much else to recommend here. I really wish we had Power of the Daleks & Evil of the Daleks.

I think The Faceless Ones is decent except for the really poor way they handled Ben and Polly's exit from the show.
Paul Weimer
19. PrinceJvstin
Poor Troughton did get the short end of the stick in having his episodes lost.

I do think there is something to the idea of season 6b, if only to explain "The Five Doctors" and "The Two Doctors" both
Fenric25
20. RobinM
Before I watched the "Tomb of the Cybermen" on the BBC America channel I'd only seen him three other times. The Two Doctors, the Five Doctors and I think one of the ice warrior episode sets. I'd like to see the Time Robber and some others if I can. Any suggestions as to how? I guess I'll start with my local library and see what I can find. It's not usually Troughton episodes sadly but I'll try. I always thought Jamie's fate was the second worst fate of all the companions especially when they did the same thing to Donna. Worst is Adric's and third is Perri's.
Fenric25
21. Brian Mac
While I hate to advocate for any particular non-free service, Netflix -- the "sends discs in the mail" version, not the streaming side -- has almost all the classic Who that's been released on DVD. I've been spending this 50th anniversary year trying to watch them all, in order (I'm up to the Trial of a Time Lord right now).

There are some strange gaps (Netflix won't acknowledge that "Planet of Giants" even exists), and there are some discs that Netflix claims to have, but it can be a week or more before they actually arrive. They also don't get the newest releases very quickly, but you can put them in your "save for later" queue, and the more people who do that, the more likely they are to acquire the discs. For those discs that have been re-released as "Special Editions," Netflix usually has the original release, so you won't see all the special stuff. Finally, some discs that I know they had a few years ago (the last time I tried to watch them all) have gone missing in the interim, so Netflix's database says they have them, but then they'll spontaneously move to the "not yet released" list. "Time Flight" is one of these, for no reason I can determine.
Fenric25
22. Brian Mac
Also, I'm pretty sure the BBC have "officially" acknowledged Series 6b. It's the only way that "The Two Doctors" makes any sense at all. Of course, that's from the Colin Baker era, so "makes any sense" is sort of a bonus in those stories.

Anyway, I suppose the Series 6b theory, since it explains away some problematic episodes, and it doesn't seem to cause any additional problems. Not many retcons can say that.

However, I also refuse to touch the UNIT dating controversy. "The 70s or the 80s" seems to be as much explanation as we're ever going to get. Just waggle your hands and say "wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey" if it ever starts to bother you.
alex
23. jerec84
Speaking of Colin Baker, I'm hard pressed to think of five stories to recommend him. The problem with this "5 from each doctor" thing is you get 5 excellent Tom Baker episodes, missing out on many more classics, but you get 5 passably decent Colin Baker episodes... I'm interested to see how this plays out.

I've got my prediction for the 5 Pertwee picks, so I'll see if I'm close.
Kristen Templet
24. SF_Fangirl
I watched Doctor Who in the 80s on Friday and Saturday nights PBS. While I have a soft spot in my heart for the second Doctor the only story I actually remember seeing is "The War Games." I remember it fondly; it was also so long that PBS aired the serial over two nights (not common). I remember it as a fun but repetitive (they kept getting trapped in a war zone and escaping and getting trapped again). I didn't recall the Trial of the Second Doctor by the Time Lords taking up that much of the story at all. I may have some vague recollections "The Mind Robber," but its definately not a type of Doctor Who story that appeals to me.

I'm very disappointed "The Web of Fear" and "The Invasion" didn't survive. (Looking forward to tracking down the restored with animation version of "The Invasion.") I am probably most fond of the Third Doctor's period with UNIT and have always been curious about the Doctor's first encounters with UNIT and the Yeti which get mentioned in some of the Third Doctor's stories.

"The Ice Warriors" sound like fun, but "The Tomb of the Cybermen" was a disappointment. And I say that as someone who likes the Base Under Siege template.
Fenric25
25. JohnElliott
It's my belief that the Brotherhood of Logicians work with logic about as much as your average modern-day Freemason carves stonework.

Or, as I had Zoë say to one of them in a fanfic: "It isn't a prejudice, it's an axiom. Do you even know what one of those is? Or do you just wear a cloak and a hood and chant 'Barbara Celarent' and think that gives you an appreciation of logic?"
alastair chadwin
26. a-j
Years back I remember reading an interview with one of the writers of 'The War Games' who stated that the only brief they had was to end with the Doctor stuck on Earth and regenerated. He cheerfully admitted that the story they came up with was rather more detailed than the TARDIS crashes, injures the Doctor and needs extensive repairs storyline that the producers had been expecting.

Point of information:
Throughout classic Who, iirc, UNIT stood for United Nations Intelligence Taskforce. It was renamed during the Tennant era for no reason given. Surely the United Nations didn't object?
Christopher Bennett
27. ChristopherLBennett
@26: According to Russell T. Davies (in his column in Doctor Who Magazine #360), yes, the UN did object, although it's not clear why. Although they did the same decades ago with The Man from U.N.C.L.E. -- the titular organization was originally meant to be associated with the UN, but objections from that organization led them to call it the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement, and they included a credit at the end thanking the fictional organization for its cooperation so that its full name would always be included in the episode. Also, Robert Vaughn made a point of calling it "the U.N.C. (pause) L.E." when he mentioned it onscreen.
alastair chadwin
28. a-j
@27
Thanks. I've been wondering since the re-naming. And having once lost a pub quiz round by answering United Nations Command for Law Enforcement, I am pleased to know that snippet. And I did occasionally wonder why Robert Vaughan referred to U.N.C.L.E with that odd pause.
Lee Anderson
29. DSNiner
@27 If you're familiar with Davies' columns in DWM, then you should know that his middle initial carries no punctuation. I know it's a minor error, but it drives me nuts when I see it.
Fenric25
30. Gabriel Chase
Far be it for me to bring down the tone, but I have to say: The Mind Robber… Zoe on the console!

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