After Gally last year, I decided I wanted to catch up on all the Classic Who I hadn't seen. Like a lot of Americans of a certain age, I started watching on PBS with the Fourth or Fifth Doctor, and while I'd seen a whole heck of a lot of the original series, PBS' broadcast schedule was … let's say "quirky," shall we? Anyway, I looked at lists of old serials and calculated that I had at most 58 (I couldn't remember if I'd seen "Silver Nemesis") stories to go, which averaged to a little more than one per week if I wanted to see everything before Gally 2015.
As of today, I'm done.
If you follow me on Tumblr, you've already seen this list of highlights/lowlights, but I'm reproducing it here regardless:
The Edge of Destruction – like a little two-act absurdist play. SO GREAT.
The Keys of Marinus
The Gunfighters – SHUT UP, this was delightful, and the song cracks me up.
The Tenth Planet
The Power of the Daleks
The Abominable Snowmen
Any Pertwee-era episode with Delgado. Seriously, if it has Delgado in it, I will watch it.
The Curse of Peladon – full of hugely clichéd tropes, and yet utterly delightful just the same.
Invasion of the Dinosaurs – I have no excuse for loving this one as much as I did. Wait, no, I do: Sarah Jane is awesome in it. Also, the dinosaur puppets are lolarious.
The Greatest Show in the Galaxy
(You’ll note this list is missing some obvious favorites, like “The Aztecs,” “The Romans,” “The Enemy of the World,” “The Invasion,” all of S7, etc. This is because I’d seen those episodes before, so they weren’t part of this project.)
A few lowlights:
The Web Planet – Thank god I never have to watch this again. EVER.
The Celestial Toymaker – how you can take the game-playing trope and make it boring to me, I don’t know exactly, but this does it. I was really looking forward to this one, too.
The Space Pirates – tedium not helped by the generally poor quality of the reconstruction I watched.
Death to the Daleks – I was literally convinced for a while that this was some kind of experiment in just how boring you could make an episode of Doctor Who. Like “The Celestial Toymaker,” not even the game-playing trope, for which I am utterly weak and will watch in almost anything, could save this one.
The Monster of Peladon – I enjoyed the first three parts … and then the giant clusterfuck of parts 4-6 rolled around.
Planet of the Spiders – Laughably bad from start to finish. Boring, racist, stupid characters, and did I mention boring?
So, that's about 270 episodes I've seen over the course of the past nearly 30 years. And now, I can rewatch the ones I loved most without the slightest guilt about not watching the ones I didn't care for.