The DWM top 200 (or so) vote is creeping up on us and The Telegraph had a rundown of the 50 best stories as chosen by Gavin Fuller - that bloke who won Mastermind with our programme as his specialist subject - as part of a very linkbait-y season of coverage of the 50th anniversary.
Fuller certainly knows his onions, but has he got taste? I thought it a mixed bag myself - he's clearly a lad of the 70s (alebit with a slight return for season 25 and 26) and there are precious few stories from Davison or Colin (just two in fact - and one of them is rubbish; neither from Colin). Additionally I have no objection to a sprinkling of new series episodes - they're represented proportionately in my list - but Daleks In Manhattan? Good God.
These lists are, by their very nature, controversial. It's almost the point of them. But I don't think mine will be. Not especially. All the Doctors - bar McGann and I'd include The Night of the Doctor if I didn't think that was a cheat - are represented, not out of tokenism but because I think each era has something unique and brilliant to bring to the table.
The likes of Carnival of Monsters, Dalek, Tomb of the Cybermen, The Brain of Morbius I didn't include because, personally, they just don't really do it for me. The latter, particularly, might once have been on my top 20 but I find myself less impressed with it each time I see it. Maybe that's just over-familiarity - the same could be said for a few Troughton, Pertwee and Tom stories - The Mind Robber, The Mind Of Evil and The Seeds of Doom spring to mind.
Similarly I rewatched The Ribos Operation recently and, though I enjoyed it, my overwhelming impression was that it's a letdown; the Williams era doesn't float my boat, despite some wonderful moments. I can't say why - I probably couldn't rationalise many of these choices - it's just how I feel about them.
There's a good dose of nostalgia and how I was disposed to the series at the time here too. I loved Season 26 and always will - it reinvigorated my love of the series and, without it, I may have left it behind forever. So those stories are well-represented. Similarly Season Seven, undoubtedly my favourite in the whole run, does very well. Some stories rocketed back up the charts upon a rewatch, often to my immense surprise.
The Graham Williams era is not well represented and Hartnell and Troughton fans will probably find much to gnash their teeth at. Stuff like The Celestial Toymaker, The Invasion, The Reign of Terror and The Moonbase didn't miss out by much. These Doctors undoubtedly suffer from the lack of availability and those that are present, if incomplete, are really down to my devotion to the Targets I grew up reading. That factor may cause some raised eyebrows in the stories I did include...
As for the new series, I surprised myself somewhat. I love the classic series unequivocally. Not so with the latter, but I still included a dozen or so stories from that era (though they often seem less impressive on repeat viewings). Simply proof that, regardless of my grumbles, there's a hell of a lot of quality in later years. I even included an RTD script.
Anyway, these are they - I'll add them as they occur to me, rather than in numerological order. More fun that way I think. No doubt you will disagree and, frankly, a lot of them are interchangeable within a sensible range. Bring it on - that's very much the point and the case with such lists. Nine times out of ten...
45. Deep Breath
38. City Of Death
Gavin Fuller's Top 50
50 The Doctor’s Wife (2011)
49 Day of the Daleks (1972)
48 Rose (2005)
47 The Horror of Fang Rock (1977)
46 The End of Time (2009/10)
45 Fury from the Deep (1968)
44 Cold War (2013)
43 The War Games (1969)
42 A Good Man Goes To War (2012)
41 Carnival of Monsters (1973)
40 The Ark in Space (1975)
39 Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks (2007)
38 Planet of Evil (1975)
37 The Tenth Planet (1966)
36 The Power of the Daleks (1966)
35 The Unquiet Dead (2005)
34 The Curse of Peladon (1972)
33 The Invasion (1968)
32 Frontier in Space (1973)
31 Bad Wolf/Parting of the Ways (2005)
30 The Curse of Fenric (1989)
29 The Daleks (1963/4)
28 Ghost Light (1989)
27 Remembrance of the Daleks (1988)
26 The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End (2008)
25 The Green Death (1973)
24 The Brain of Morbius 1976)
23 The Sea Devils (1972)
22 The Waters of Mars (2009)
21 The Web of Fear (1968)
20 Dalek (2005)
19 Earthshock (1982)
18 School Reunion (2006)
17 Spearhead from Space (1970)
16 The Pyramids of Mars (1975)
15 Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead (2008)
14 The Robots of Death (1977)
13 The Seeds of Doom (1976)
12 The Mind Robber (1968)
11 The Daemons (1971)
10 Human Nature/The Family of Blood (2007)
9 The Massacre (1966)
8 Inferno (1970)
7 City of Death (1979)
6 The Deadly Assassin (1976)
5 The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances (2005)
4 The Caves of Androzani (1984)
3 Genesis of the Daleks (1975)
2 Blink (2007)
1 The Talons of Weng-Chiang (1977)