Baker (With a T)
Yes, an era wherein I'm not including opening or closing stories. Neither is particularly outstanding and the game-changing moves are to be found elsewhere in the run. Yes, arrival and exit of titular character is significant, granted, but here it really ain't, I'll come the long way round back to that...'The Ark in Space''Icky, innit?'Significant
as the true start of the Fourth Doctor's TV tenure. And by crimminy did that bubble wrap grub'n'transformations scare the heck out of me as a kid. And a truly outstanding
tale from now script editor Robert Holmes. Gloriously icky (if occasionally wobbly) and a very human heart (and playing of) at the core of the antiseptic space doughnut. As it were.'Genesis of the Daleks''The Doctor may get the upper hand but the moral degradation and squalor are Davros's fur immer Reverend'
I mean, wowza's...Outstanding
for Michael Wisher's Davros alone but there's so much more...script, direction, ye aulde (a)morality, giant clams...yerse. Now granted, Pertwee was 00Who on occasion, sent on a Time Lord mission or two but this is more Rassilon Supremacy/Conspiracy. Game-changing
on the count of a first, blatant instance on TV of the Time Lords encouraging the Doctor to, er, 'nudge' history a tad. Significant
in giving us a Dalek creator figure/origin story with Davros and apocalyptic, radiation blasted Skaro. One of the greats whichever way you square it. 'Pity? That word is not registered in my vocabulary bank.'
Shivers.'The Pyramids of Mars''A big (spare third) hand for Sutekh, Last of the Osirans'
I just love it Reverend. Several contenders for this sorta' outing with Baker T but I reckon this is the truly outstanding
ace in the pack. Yep, there's a pyramid sized plot hole you could drive a thousand fold slaves through in episode 4 but...A pseudo-historical, goth(ish) horror, Osiran zombie grotesque classic. Significant
also for the 'blasted alternate future'/'We have to go back' moment in episode 2 which would seem to contradict 'Genesis' 's 'a bit of a nudge doesn't matter' vibe. So meta-significance also in flagging up the 'making it up as we're going along' feel of the era. But basically glorious. (And yeah, I know, 'fixed points in time' but I'll come back to that with Ten!)'The Brain of Morbius''Scary Faced Morbius, he gonna' glower at you in stone.'
Oh but this is a contentious one for some. But there's no dodging the fact that the production team intended those extra 'Mind Bending' faces as pre-Hartnell Doctors. So a bit of a game-changer
in establishing the possibility of pre-'Unearthly Child' shenanigans with other Doctors, although it remains largely unexplored. That aside it's significant
for the introduction of a key figure in Time Lord mythology, rebel would be dictator Morbius plus The Sisterhood of Karn. Also confidently outstanding
for our core cast and a smoothly stunning guest turn from Philip Madoc as Mehendri Solon.
'The Deadly Assassin''A situation so hysterical the Master has quite literally corpsed.'
Much feted but, as with 'Pyramids', does go off the boil a tad in the last episode. But nary mind 'cos this is again outstanding
: Roger Murray-Leach's set design, the performances, the snarky tautness of the politically literate script, episode 3's Matrix nightmare. Significant
for the alteration of the presentation of Time Lord society, the grubby underbelly of the pomp'n'circumstance. Plus tantalising insight into the Doctor's background, a Prydonian renegade no less vicar. And game-changing
in that quiet insertion of the 'Thirteen Lives' maxim. (For now.)'The Robots of Death''Yer Creepy Mechanical.'
Well wow again. Simply outstanding
. Beautiful to look at as well as being beautifully played/written/designed/directed. Props. And great headgear abounds. Which is nice.'The Talons of Weng-Chiang''Magnus Greel- he plays the game for the merciless sadism's own sake'
Time bent out of shape. (Literally) warped future criminal caught in the unedifying altogether in merciless Jack's bloody London. Reality may I introduce you to this pantomime recreation? Mama, weer all sketched by Bob's uncomplimentary, unforgiving (unreconstructed) eye now. Beyond outstanding
.'The Ribos Operation''When we were walking up the stair, we met ourselves- we were not there. We were not there again today- best do as Guardian asks, hooray!'
Well a game-changer
fer sure, in inserting Guardians Black and White into the 'Who' canon. Celestial Absinthe? Don't mind if I do. Although not a trope that's latterly been made much of, bar various licensed fanwank of 'The Additional Guardians of Pastel Wax Crayons'. Which was nice but not ultimately much of a thing. The story here as is, well, it's Bob Holmes's oft overlooked masterpiece for meself. Spearing the cosmic and the commonplace with a brutal eye, low key outstanding
. Beyond outstanding for the 'you were right' scene with Binro and Unstoffe. And a little bit significant
for our first (and to date only) Time Lord companion (Missy's something different again) in Romana, capable of out-thinking and out-smarting our main character when needs must.'City of Death''Glorious my dears, glorious.'Significant
for seeing our first overseas filming in 'Who' and very nice it is too. Impeccably outstanding
on every other level (special mention to Dudley Simpson's score) from teeth and curls to the double waters and the fracture in time.'Shada''Not back in time for tea. Because tea never happened. Or did it?'
One that always causes a pang- partial absence making the heart grow fonder in my case. So some unfortunate meta-significance
for being the (to date) only 'Who' actually terminally stalled in production. Shame as I seriously think it could have been on for an outstanding if complete, Season 17's silver to 'City's' gold.'The Leisure Hive''End of the pier preja-vu: Everything's about to go a bit pantomime horse.'
for the huge change in tone as the production team changes (JNT- initials that'll loom large over the remainder of '63-'89 vintage 'Who') and Tom Baker's Doctor enters his twilight period, end of the pier indeed, no shore-line in sight...Splish, splosh, sploosh...is that entropy between me toes?
A long-running era that rarely looks to the past (Chris Chibnall please take note!) but rather coalesces and effervesces on the spot/hoof, really rather gloriously...and yer, returning to me original thortlets...Outside of the opening and closing seasons twelve and eighteen, the central five, from autumn '75 through early winter '80 are singular. The one instance when it wasn't a case of '... ..... is Doctor Who'
but 'Doctor Who is Tom Baker.'
Geezer. Although interestingly not a majorly game-changing era or one with many truly significant moments. And the game-changing stuff is often backgrounded or throwaway lines that have impact/come back to haunt us down the line. More just consistently brilliant in a creative sense, concerned mostly with having fun'n'scares'n'atmosphere and selling 'em hard: 'Doctor Who circa Baker T Era- 'Everybody's
Programme That It's Hard To Ignore' (Chris Chibnall please take note again!)