Four Favourite Doctor Who Television Stories.

 TV  Due to recent events I haven't much felt like blogging and with my wildly sporadic posting rate anyway, my fingers and brain feel out of practice, so in an effort to write and post something here and hopefully Stella my way through things, I've decided to put together a new series of posts which list some favourite examples of a thing.  They're not always necessarily my favourite favourite, such things are impossible when there's so much to enjoy in life, but just four things which are meaningful and recommend you have a look at.  They're also in no particular order which is why there are no numbers.  Anyway, here's some low hanging fruit to get started (since it's Saturday night).  The following is in no way definitive. 

City of Death

Having missed it on broadcast, my first sight of what was to become my favourite Doctor Who story was on a VHS borrowed from a friend (this was years before I became a hardcore fan).  Irrespective of the story or the script, it's the shots of the Doctor and Romana gladding about Paris, which even in that vintage seemed to my young mind who'd spent most of his life in the suburbs of Speke, like the most glamorous, romantic and yet also alien place I'd ever had a window into.  When I ended up in Paris years later, I spent my time on the Eiffel Tower reading out loud the bouquet scene, much to the intrigue of some US tourists.

Marco Polo

Again it's the scenery, but on this occasion the version manifested in my imagination on each repeated listen through the soundtrack recording.  In my mind this takes place across the full epic cinemascope experience and it's impossible not be swept up in the adventure, even when it gets a bit slow and repetitive in the middle.  Writer John Lucarotti's own novelisation for TARGET doesn't do it justice as he tries to tell the whole story in the usual hundred and twenty odd pages, which removes some of the epic scale in favour of laying bare that repetitiveness, the Doctor and his companions becoming variously captured and rescued a bit too often.

Time and the Rani

Like I said, a favourite.  There's no doubt large parts of this story are absolutely terrible, but rewatching the recent re-release, it's impossible not to marvel and the audacity of some of the choices, primarily having Kate O'Mara giving her impression of Bonnie Langford, ginger wig and day-glo costume included.  Even as Sylv is grasping about for some clue as to how he's supposed to play the thing, their scenes together are magnetic.  Plus Doctor Who's often at its most interesting when its still cooking, before it reverts into some kind of formula.

Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead

Although he tried in his own era, I don't think Moffat created anything as rich and depthful as River Song's introductory story, especially since in retrospect, with the various noodling Big Finish are doing between her and Tenth in the audio, Alex Kingston's acting skills, and one of the longest durational attributions of the Kuleshov effect, we can absolutely feel her panic on realising that this is his first chronological encounter with her even with that daft old face, knowing this could be their final adventure together.