What would the Five Faces of Doctor Who look like today? #DoctorWho pic.twitter.com/8xVhbvQc2M
— Doctor Who Visual FX (@WhoSFX) September 24, 2014
TV The Twitter feed @WhoSFX usually spends its time posting images that generally disprove the still popular if incorrect notion that the production design on the classic episode was cheap amateurish crap. At present it's working its way through the stories which featured in the old Five Face of Doctor Who season which is when many of us first saw the first three Doctors in action and many other realised how devestating the junking process had been to Troughton's era (The Krotons? Really?).
This morning it posted the above photoshop marvel and immediately I began to think about which five stories you would choose for this lot if you wanted to run a homage to the season in the Eggheads slot on BBC Two (though less face it, BBC Three's more likely to replace their usual repeats of Doctor Who with it). Clearly this should be done next year for nuWho's Tenth anniversary, when it might actually make some sense. In an ideal world it'd be the various visages but even after the pretty good ratings for An Unearthly Child last year, BBC Four's was still more interested in reruning Richard Briers.
Some logistics. The old season ran for weeks and weeks and weeks because they "stripped" the various stories across the Monday to Thursday which is why the chosen stories were all four-parters. Logistically, my guess is they'd give this a week. Five days, five Doctors will be the thinking. Which is fine as we'll see. The next thing to do, much as it pains me, is to jettison McGann. Other than running the audio of one of his Big Finish stories with a title card there's not much else you can do. The TV movie doesn't make sense in this context.
Anyway, here are the choices:
The old Five Faces began with An Unearthly Child and this is a sort of homage to that. But it's also a good distillation of the Ninth Doctor with the mixture of goofy humour, poetry in the "turn of the world" speech and someone else saving the day at the end. Plus the whole of the Tyler "family" feature.
Choosing a Tennant story for this context is surprisingly difficult. So much of his era was tied up to arcs or multi-part stories that there's relatively few true stand alones. Blink's generally thought of as his best installment and he's hardly in it but its still very much of and about his era. Luckily another choice, further down the list, gives him a bit more screen time.
The Doctor's Wife.
The crowning achievement of the Eleventh Doctor era. Utterly peerless and a good choice for also having some decent scenes for Amy & Rory.
The Day of the Doctor.
Obviously. The original season had The Three Doctor of which this is an extended homage, plus it has the War Doctor making up numbers. You could run Night of the Doctor beforehand too I suppose to make up the numbers for people who don't believe Hurt counts. But if we're really going down that road you'd have to run two Tennant stories from before and after The Stolen Earth since he's apparently a different incarnation played by the same man or something. Which obviously means he's only had one face so that's still five faces. Oh sod this.
Which is a placeholder for now though even at this early stage, Listen feels like its going to be the episode everyone remembers from this run if not the whole of the Capaldi era. Unless there are some swears in the last fifteen minutes on Saturday.
What do other readers think?