“Classic” Doctor Who repeats finish tonight on the ABC, after running almost every episode still in existence over the past 2 1/2 years. It’s funny to think they started just before the new series was announced. It was also a few months after I had introduced my kids to the show (with DVDs and old videos) and over time it’s turned Isaac into a total 100% Doctor Who fanatic. I wonder how well he remembers the days when he didn’t tune into the ABC at 6pm every weeknight.
Here, in no particular order, are a few of my top “Classic” Doctor Who moments:
- Genesis of the Daleks, episode 6: Having gone back in time, The Doctor holds in his hands two wires connected to explosives, which would destroy the Daleks before they became such a threat to the universe. But he faces a moral quandry: should he wipe them out forever? “Have I that right?”
- Pyramids of Mars, episode 4: Sutekh stands up from his throne, revealing the hand of a BBC props person holding a cushion in position.
- Caves of Androzani, episode 3: This is my all-time favourite classic-series story, a fast-paced plot full of unfortunate events leading to the ultimate sacrifice, with some pokes at big business along the way. Episode 1 has a very strong cliffhanger, with the Doctor and Peri seemingly executed by firing squad. But the episode 3 cliffhanger seems even more exciting, as the Doctor, desperate to get back to the planet to save his friend, ignores the threats of the gunrunners and flies the ship they’re on straight towards the planet. “I’m not going to let you stop me now!” He grips the joystick, shuts his eyes, and the planet zooms towards them. Roll credits.
- Remembrance of the Daleks, episode 1: This had me enthralled when I first saw it as a teenager. The Doctor, chased by a Dalek, runs up the stairs, to find the door in front of him unexpectedly slammed and locked. The Dalek lifts off the ground and levitates after him, shouting Exterminate! Exterminate! From the Dalek’s point of view, we see the Doctor turn, terrified, to face it. Roll credits.
- Inferno: As episode six comes to a close, the Doctor has seen the parallel universe disastrous Earth’s core drilling project go wrong, causing lava to spew from the ground, putting the whole planet at risk. He makes his way back to his equipment in a desperate attempt to escape back to our Earth. As he struggles to leave, a wall of lava comes at him… roll credits.
And let’s not forget the final line of dialogue from the show, as it finished up in 1989, from the last episode to air tonight:
There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea’s asleep and the rivers dream, people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there’s danger, somewhere there’s injustice and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on, Ace, we’ve got work to do.