Doctor Who Classic - Best Classic Episodes

(66 votes, average 4.83 out of 5)

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Comments (116)
  • Stev3nj
    Sweet, a new upload. I always look forward to the Doctor Who stuff on this site.
  • KingNothing
    I started on Ark in Space -- after watching your review of Robot, Nash. AiS was, IMO, ridiculously boring, but since then it's been okay. Some of the longer-running serials don't really capture my interest after the first few parts, but the 2-4 episode ones are usually interesting. Haven't really seen many yet, but I did enjoy Terror of the Zygons (the infamous Loch Ness Monster one). Wish we could see the Zygons again :D

    As for Genesis of the Daleks, the only one you mentioned that I have seen, I thought it had a really well-done script and was overall pretty enjoyable, although it did kind of drag on a little much. Tom Baker is one of the greatest Doctors I have ever seen (that is to say, out of the four I've seen, he's third). When you see him, he doesn't have to say a word and you know he's The Doctor. And, as you correctly asserted, he's very good in this episode especially. Though I can't forgive this one for spending so much time with fucking Harry.

    Also, "can you help me? I'm a spy." Fucking excellent.
  • Ctu
    me to

    tho I will need to come back to this video to write down the list of episodes he mentioned and see if I can catch any on netflix.
  • ladydiskette
    Hey I didn't laugh until you told me to stop laughing Nash ;)

    And thank you for this review, when I was younger the only time I could watch Dr. Who was latenights on Sci-Fi Friday on PBS. And usually I would see the beginning and when I got to the middle I would fall asleep because my little 10 year old body couldn't stay awake for that long. So I had trouble getting into the series even if I tried. And when I did stay awake long enough to watch a episode it usually was one of those episodes where the storyline was kinda in the middle (since you know it ran as a serial) so you a bit confused with what was happening or whom someone was if you didn't watch it as much as I did.

    But I will say the one episode that intrigued me enough to know about this show and introduce me entirely to Dr. Who was was one of the old black and white episodes where they travel in time to Ancient Greece. I thought it was so cool because I was into Greek Mythologoy back then.

    So thank you for this video Nash I will be sure to look these episodes up on Youtube and check them out for myself :)
  • ladydiskette  - Cheessyyyyyyy!
    lol, funny you should mention the cheesy special effects Nash, I remember hearing that in some really early episodes when they made the Daleks big and imtimidating they would move them forward towards the camera to make it look like they were growing huge. And it wasn't a very subtle camera trick either. lol
  • kuijiblob
    werd. Never could get into the old who even tho i know its a classic but still i can see the appeal. Now the new show on the other hand i watched religiously i wish i could see the marvel you do in these eps but i dunno its just not there for me
  • Ratin8tor
    hmm not bad choices. I'd have added in The Dalek Invasion of Earth, Tomb of the Cybermen and City of Death. The first two scared me witless as a kid, and who could hate Douglas Adams episode :P
  • stargate12
    For those with Netflix, all of these are on DVD and The Three Doctors is on instant watch. I actually added them to my que as he listed them on the video.

    Thanks Nash, this is exactly what I need. I love the new series but can't stand the thought of going thru all of the previous seasons, especially since I like to watch every episode of a TV show in order until I finish the series (I'm still watching f%#@ing Smallville because a friend told me the 4th season was good).
  • KingNothing
    4th season wasn't very good, really. First half of the series = well-made, but kind of boring. Second half = less well-made, but much more interesting.

    But the whole series had the gorgeous Allison Mack, so you can't go wrong at any time :D
  • laughingman19  - Good List
    I would've also included "Terror of the Autons" for the Master's brilliant introduction and "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" for Susan's big goodbye. However, I understand the need to keep the list within a certain length and I can't think of an episode I would've taken off this list, so good all around.

    I am curious if there will be an exclusively New Who best of list, but I can't think of a good enough purpose outside of just being fair, which a lot of fans on both Classic and New Who sides don't want to be. Still, as a fan of both, I am curious which ones of New Who you actually like and would recommend to convince people to watch that series.
  • trlkly
    Yeah, I was surprised about no Master episodes. Well, I guess he could show up at least once, as I haven't seen these, but I don't remember them being on the list of Master episodes.
  • laughingman19
    I don't know about "The Three Doctors" as I haven't seen that one, but he is not in any of the others.
  • kluesner
    Dr. Who and the Daleks
    Daleks' Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D
    Two movies in 1960's that tried to cash in on Doctor Who.Because of this departure from the established continuity of the television series, these film's are generally not considered canon, although attempts have been made in various spin-off media to fit it in.
    The First one can be found in youtube's movie section for free.
  • ShadowWing Tronix
    I think the second one is up there, too, with the first one also available on Hulu.
  • SlipknotMaggot_666
    I love the Doctor Who videos from you Nash. Its so nice to see fellow Whovians on That Guy with The Glasses. I rarely find someone to talk to that loves the show as much as me and i feel at home on this site because so many reviewers love it and reference it.

    This list is a pretty good indication of the talented actors to fill the role of the Timelord we all know and love. I started with the new but it got me hooked i started going back and watching the classic episodes.

    I may be one of the few to say this BUT I LOVE LOVE Colin Baker. He is one of my favorites.
  • CPC24
    A pretty good selection overall.

    War Games-Never seen it, but it's probably the most important story for canon ever...

    Three Doctors-Interesting choice. Might be confusing for new series fans. I do have the DVD; it must have gone out of print.

    Earthshock-When Davison's writing was good, he was really good. An unreal twist ending.

    Remembrance-Good choice. McCoy's best story, IHMO. A bright spot in the lackluster late '80s Who era.

    Genesis- The golden age: DW at its peak with the Fourth Doc and Sarah Jane. Must watch!

    Whatever you do, don't start out with something like The Five Doctors, or you'll be very confused...
  • bojak90
    Definetly a good list for new fans. Genesis is probably my favorite serial and, aside from the clam monsters a perfect bit of sci-fi (imo).

    If new fans are interested in some more serials, then I would also suggest "Spearhead from Space" (the first post regeneration to not have missing episodes and Pertwee's first, it also introduced the Autons, which were used in "Rose" and "The Pandorica opens").

    If you want to become a real hardcore fan, you can also pick up the "lost in time" collection which has reconstructions of the missing Hartnell + Troughton episodes ("Web of Fear" introduces The Brigadier and the redesigned Yetis that showed up in "The War Games"). If you want to get the gist of those episodes, sfdebris did a great review series on them a couple months ago. If you're interested, you can watch here: opinionated-reviews/lost- in-time-hartnell-part-1- 4898399
  • Popcorn Jockey
    The Three Doctors is available to stream on Netflix
  • twistedpuppet
    It is also available on DVD from Netflix. I watched it last summer. It's my all time favorite episode. :D
  • SomeRandomGeek
    I think i caught the last five minutes of Earthshock. Unfortunately, I think ending didn't have the intended impact because of that but that was a good shocker of an ending.
  • Jezzy54
    Okay, cool. Thanks for the tip!
  • ggbhtg

    Dalek, Cybermen, and "Crossover" episodes? Can't go too wrong with those. I saw a few classic eps last year and, unless they were bad (or good?) enough to get a spot on a later episode, I'd like to read your or anyone else's thought on The Armageddon Factor, Five Doctors, and Arc of Infinity.
  • Artemus_Cain
    Seen all of the ones you posted except War Games. Yeah. I liked all of them. You should have posted more. It'd be longer, but hell your robot review was half an hour.

    Oh, and I just Bought the Three Doctors on DVD... a few days ago... at Barnes And Nobel... and they had three copies. It's out there.
  • Nash
    Yeah, that was my mistake there . . . apparently, I confused an upcoming box set special edition release with the original 2004 release.

    But hey, special edition. Box set. Coming soon. Not too shabby.
  • Beta Link
    Pretty good list! I was just about to watch the Three Doctors on VHS again a few days ago, in fact. But my dad accidentally recorded over it! Oi. Dunno why you say it isn't out on DVD though, I've found it on Amazon: ( Doctor-Who-Three-Doctors- Story/dp/B0000WN0YQ/)

    Anyway, only argument from me on the list is that I think "The Daleks" should have been somewhere on it. First appearance of the Daleks, and a beautifully crafted story, in my opinion.
  • doorofnight  - Earthshock
    Good list, I like your approach of listing good episodes that have some relation to the new series canon. However, I would put Caves of Androzani in place of Earthshock. Earthshock is a good episode with a good twist ending, but Caves is MUCH better and deals with pretty much all of the same themes as Earthshock, and I think actually does so at rather greater length than it does in Earthshock, where it only turns up with that twist. Also, as for the Davison - Tennant connection Caves has that the most clearly, I think. Again, good list and I like Earthshock, but just thought I'd bring that up(although I will admit that in part my comment is because you don't have any Robert Holmes on the list either, and his episodes are usually the best, hold up the best, and have a lot of parallels to how Stephen Moffatt does things).

    @stargate12: there is FAR less continuity between a lot of stories of the old show than there are of the new, so it wouldn't really be a big issue if you just cherry-picked the good ones. I love the old show, and have about 3/4 of what they've released on DVD so far, but a lot of them haven't held up that well, even if there are things for the fans to like, and I think all the actors they've gotten so far are good.
  • Arkle
    City of Death was my first Classic Who, and is my favorite story of the Classic era (though oddly enough I consider Davison to be my favorite Classic Doctor. Go figure).
  • Kayna
    From what I've seen of him, I really like the second Doctor so I'm really looking forward to War Games once it gets here. It's very annoying that there's so little of Troughton's run left intact.

    Also, Remembrance of the Daleks is awesome. But then, I love nearly all of Seven and Ace's run together (except the Happiness Patrol of course). Seven is my favorite doctor and Ace one of my favorite companions so yay.
  • doorofnight  - War Games
    Also, I'm glad someone else appreciates The War Games, yeah it is very long, it has a lot of padding, and the pacing is kind of slow, but good lord is that a well put together story. A lot of later stories of the old show, in which they'll spend 1 out of 4 episodes running around corridors in which nothing happens and the story doesn't progress. War Games, on the other hand, while there is a lot of corridor running as well, every time the Doctor and his companions get captured and escape they learn something new, and the story moves forward. There are also SOOOOOO many important revelations in the story that occur but are not commented upon until several episodes later. I also love that characterization of the Time Lords, you NEVER see them operate controls or do anything, they just say something is going to happen, or look at something, and it does, made all the better but the completely natural line delivery(the actors having been specifically told not to ham the part up(*cough* Timothy Dalton *cough)) If they had made it 4 episodes shorter this story would have probably been the all time great story of the show.

    . . . .rave over
  • Kayna
    Also, am I the only one who loves The Edge of Destruction? It's only two episodes long but I really like it and it's the first indication the show gives that the TARDIS might be rather more than just a time machine. Anyway, along with The Dalek Invasion of Earth, it's one of my favorites for the first Doctor.
  • Arkle
    I liked Edge too. The actors did a great job of conveying their growing paranoia (which is all I will say about it to avoid spoilers).
  • Kolonel  - RE: Edge of Destruction
    I liked it too. The mystery was constructed really well, and it was made early enough, that the Doctor's accusations (to Ian and Barbara) made sense.

    Besides, I liked the personal feeling of the black and white era (and Davison's era) much better than today's "the Doctor arrives just in time, right on the spot, and instantly figures out everything he can" style.
  • Void
    Wow, I was just thinking today that I'd like to go back and watch some of the better old Dr. Who episodes. I started the series with Tennant, and always feel a bit tacky not knowing any of the old series. Thanks for this list!
  • Kolonel  - Adding a few
    You made a good selection, but I'm gonna add a few in case someone wanted to check out a specific Doctor, who is not on this list.

    1st Doctor: the Aztecs (S1)
    3rd Doctor (alone): Frontier in Space (S10)
    4th Doctor (another must-see episodes): Talons of Weng-Chiang (S14), Armageddon Factor (S16), Keeper of Traken + Logopolis (S18)
    6th Doctor: Vengeance on Varos (S22)

    P.S.: What??? Four month brake?
  • Nash
    Yup! A two-parter will begin in early July, and end late September. So it'll be approximately four months until you see another new episode.
  • Kari
    Whoa. That's just evil. I'm suddenly a little glad I rely on the DVDs for this.
  • TragicGuineaPig
    Your logic is infallible! How does one counter the infamous "Nanny Nanny Boo-Boo!" argument?
  • themrginger  - Where are the caves?
    Aw man no cave's of Androzini I watched it right after Earthshock. I thought they complemented each other very well :) Good list though. I have alot of time till the second half of the season comes so I'm gonna be busy watching some classic who!
  • rockybalboa211  - Great review..
    This is totally off topic, yet has anyone seen the alternate version of "The Lazy Song" yet? It explains why Leonard Nimoy doesn't reply back to the plethora of photos I send him.
  • doorofnight  - Good Classic Stories
    I've seen almost all of the episodes of the old Doctor Who that still exist, so I figured I would post a list of stories of the old show that have on the whole held up well (in my opinion). I warning though, some of these might well be in some way a bit against what is continuity for the new show.

    First Doctor:
    An UnEarthly Child - very first episode(ever) is pretty interesting, rest of the story. . .less so.
    The Daleks - good origin story, rather too long
    The Aztecs - good history episode
    The Dalek Invasion of Earth - probably the First Doctor's best episode, really well put together
    The Time Meddler - first episode more in the tone of what the show became, kind of boring though, first appearance of another Time Lord. . .although that name and idea was still 4 seasons away

    The Second Doctor:
    Tomb of the Cybermen - Troughton at his best, probably the best Black and White Doctor Who story, Matt Smith's favorite
    The Invasion - first true UNIT story, good but rather padded
    The War Games - see video

    The Third Doctor:
    Spearhead from Space - strong first story for the Third Doctor and the first with much of the Doctor's story now established.
    Inferno - fair bit of padding but a really good sci-fi episode with some disturbing moments
    The Sea Devils - probably the best of the Master episodes of the third Doctor.
    The Three Doctor - see video
    The Time Warrior - introduction to Sarah Jane Smith, a good and fun episode as well.

    The Fourth Doctor:
    Tom Baker's run saw the height of the show in terms of production(amazing considering it is seasons 12-18) and quite a lot of them, though by no means all, hold up well and are at least watchable now. Specifically:
    Genesis of the Daleks - see video
    Pyramid of Mars - excellent episode, great writing, great villain
    Hand of Fear - Sarah Jane's last, well written with a touching farewell
    Robots of Death - great science fiction, great episode
    Talons of Weng Chiang - best put together 6 parter in the classic show, extremely well produced(save for one infamous 'monster', which is only onscreen for like 30 seconds), extremely well written and acted, could be accused of being a bit racist, which the story kind of acknowledges, but is really more just not very politically correct
    The Key to Time: All of season 16, first attempt at a season long story, the first two stories are great, the second two are good, the fifth is ok, and the final part is too long but very well done.
  • doorofnight  - Good Classics Continued
    City of Death - great episode, very well written, pacing rather slow.
    The E-Space Trilogy, The Keeper of Traken, Logopolis: Tom Baker's last 5 stories, well produced and written, chalk full of some pretty good sci-fi and philosophical material, has a great somber and almost funerial atmosphere and despite how much he apparently hated it Tom Baker's performances, almost always good, are really excellent.

    Fifth Doctor:
    Kinda and Snakedance: Stephen Moffatt's favorite two stories, has some great philosophical concepts, are well written and acted, and quite intriguing.
    The Visitation: Good pseudo-history, well written and acted
    Earthshock - see video
    The Five Doctors - fun anniversary episode
    Caves of Androzani - excellent episode, superb writing, Davison at his best

    The Sixth Doctor:
    Vengeance on Varos - well made, some nice social commentary
    The Two Doctors - too long, not all that impressive honestly but worth seeing just for Patrick Troughton, who is awesome.
    Revelation of the Daleks - well produced and written, some interesting characters and some well done black humor.

    The Seventh Doctor:
    Remembrance of the Daleks - see video
    Ghost Light - well written psychological and scientific thriller, well acted, you probably won't get it the first time or two you watch it
    Curse of Fenric - see comment for Ghost Light.

    I hope this list isn't confusing, and I've tried to avoid spoilers(hard given that this has been my favorite show since I was like 5(I'm an American, by the way, my dad is a fan too)) and avoid episodes that I like more as a fan of the old show. I would say the old Doctor Who, like any TV show, has at least four levels of quality: 1)wide appeal good, 2)good for fans, 3)objectively not that good but fans can enjoy and appreciate, 4)crap. Most stories fall in categories 2 or 3(which story falls where though is of course a matter of hot debate) and I've tried to keep this list to ones that are widely agreed to be in categories 1 or 2. I'll stop rambling now
  • punchline36  - 4th Doctor Fanboy
    Speaking personally, I don't think it gets any better than "Pyramids of Mars"- even though it has the most misleading title in the history of the show (most of the story takes place in an English manor), it's still a great little tale.
  • e33laf
    I'm glad to see some love for "Pyramids of Mars" too, if nothing else for it's awesome villian (who, if it could be done, I'd love to see come back in NuWho.)
  • danethefurry
    I have seen episodes here and there of the older doctors, making sure to see all the seventh doctor episodes because he's my favorite for several reasons but so are all the doctors in their own ways. I can't really get into the newer doctor but he isn't bad. Like Christopher Eccleston, Matt Smith will pass onto the next doctor rather quickly. I hope.
  • wolfwing
    I had kinda hoped you would do, the mutants :> Very classic :> Maybe I should go watch it again some time, I've gotten so confused with the time line of the dalek's every 5 serials.
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