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Tardis-Console's Top Ten Third Doctor Stories

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Tardis-Console
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« on: January 06, 2013, 03:59:16 pm »

I came to Doctor Who with The Eleventh Hour. I had absolutely no idea of the show before then. I'd heard of it, but couldn't have pointed a Dalek out in Tesco's. When I got addicted, my gran went out and bought me some DVD's. She came back with a box set, but instead of the new series that I was trying to work though she got me a Third Doctor box set (Frontier/Planet). I groaned a little but decided to give them a watch and once I did I became hooked and no other Doctor has come close to Jon Pertwee in the classic run for me. It makes me understand more what people mean when they say 'my Doctor', because when it comes to the classics he is mine. I've since watched loads of classics and I love it all, but I always come back to Three when I want a quick fix.

There are still some of his stories I am yet to see, so this list is based solely on the ones that I have on DVD. I can't help that. It's also my own opinion and I am in no way trying to say that this is a definite list of his best stories, they are just my ten favourites.
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Tardis-Console
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« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2013, 04:18:25 pm »

10

The Claws Of Axos


From Season 8, 1971

Based on what I have read about other peoples opinions of this, I think it that this story would appear higher on most peoples lists. It nearly did on mine, but while I enjoy it a lot there are so many good stories from this era that it got itself bumped down the list a fair bit.

The script for this isn't perfect and it's not without it's issues visually, either, but there is just something about it that really pulls me in every time I watch it. I'm not sure what most peoples opinions are of having the Doctor on Earth so much, but I quite liked it. Unlike these days where he seems to just be addicted to the place and can't stop coming back, they had a good reason for having him there and it was lucky for earth too, because the early 70's seemed to be overrun with aliens attacking the streets of England. They at least made it a little different this time out by having the aliens appear friendly at first.

There is a lot of stories of the time which are very similar in plot and structure which means that this one is hardly original, but they try to make it a bit more interesting and it really stands out for me which is why it makes my list. The acting is good too, with the regulars on fine form. If you haven't seen it, you should.

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« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2013, 12:02:49 am »

I love this story. I've never paid an awful lot of attention as to what is popular in mainstream fandom but I have always assumed that this story was well liked. It would definitely make my top ten Pertwee stories list.
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« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2013, 01:58:08 pm »

I'm a great lover of the Third Doctor, but this story has always felt a bit stodgy to me. There is a lot of good in it, but it isn't one I revisit often because I always find myself losing concentration with it. It would have missed my top ten I think.
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« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2013, 05:05:15 pm »

I think The Claws of Axos should definitely be on the list. It's a great story and put a nice spin on the alien invasion theme
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« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2013, 01:12:03 pm »

I like this story a lot. I think it has a lot going for it. UNIT are used well, the Axons are interesting, the Master hadn't yet outstayed his welcome etc. It wouldn't have made my list though. There are far too many third Doctor stories that I love more, but it's still a great choice for inclusion.
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« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2013, 01:29:45 pm »

Brilliant story and exactly where I would have placed it on my list (this is one I considered doing myself).
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« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2013, 02:10:44 am »

I've never seen the fuss with this story. It's ok, but for me there is nothing remarkable about it.
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« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2013, 12:24:47 pm »

I'm not massively keen on this story. I'm getting there though. It's one of those ones that I didn't like the first time, but it gets better the more you rewatch it.
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« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2013, 11:58:59 am »

9

The Ambassadors of Death
From Season 7, 1970

Now, there is a good chance that had I done this list at a later date that this story would have charted a bit higher, but I've not had it for long and only watched it once, so while it may be a grower, I did like it enough on initial viewing to make it this high on the list, which says something for how good it is I think.

The thing that stands out to me most about this story is how grown up it feels. Most DW stories tailor to everyone or aim at the younger demographics, but this one feels like it's there for the adults and not the children. That isn't a downside, of course, but it definitely has that more grown up edge to it. The story itself is good and with it's aliens and government conspiracy angles has a huge touch of X Files about it. I love X Files, so this is no bad thing.

There are a couple of things that weren't so well executed, though. The ending seemed a bit rushed and I think that they could have perhaps dropped an episode to tighten up the action a bit, but other than that it's one that I really enjoyed and think will enjoy more on repeat viewings.
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« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2013, 10:31:44 pm »

It's a good story but I think it punches a little above its weight. I'd suggest making it a four parter and taking out a lot of the padding.
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« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2013, 09:42:59 am »

I don't agree with the above, I think the length worked fine. Perhaps one episode could have gone but any more than that and we'd have lost too much of the story, I think. It's a good story for inclusion though, but I am not sure I'd have it on mine.
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« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2013, 12:31:33 pm »

I like Ambassadors a lot. I've not had it for long but I've watched it a couple times now. It's a strong story. I'd have put it on my list.
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« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2013, 04:48:01 pm »

Both of those stories are good and I agree that Ambassadors is better that Axos, but I don't know if either would have made my top ten. Pertwee had come absolutely amazing stories that I think better represented his Doctor and his era.
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« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2013, 03:17:57 pm »

I love Pertwee - his tenure as the Doctor coincided with some brilliant writing. I know his Doctor has been criticized as being a bit too "establishment" but I enjoyed the extended group of UNIT.

Both of these stories are hugely enjoyable. If anything I might have been tempted to have swapped the order as I think Axos is a slightly better story (but I can follow the reasoning of why it is where it is)
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« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2013, 10:08:10 am »

This didn't live up to the hype for me. It's enjoyable but goes on far too long and is a bit over ambitious. After all the raving about it I was expecting something amazing when I finally got it. I think expectations were perhaps a little high
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« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2013, 02:50:40 pm »

8

The Mutants
From Season 9, 1972

I expect that on most people's lists this would probably either stand a bit higher or wouldn't make the list at all, as it seems to be a story that people either love or hate, so while I do enjoy it a lot I think there are a fair few stories that deserve to place above it.

The story isn't without it's flaws. Visually it falls a bit flat and some of the costumes and creations can only be described as terrible. It's six episode run is also a tad on the long side, but the core of the story is actually really interesting and if it had been cut do to about 4 episodes I think it would have placed higher up on my list. That being said though, every character and plot device is essential to the overall story and nothing really gets wasted aside from time. It's also one of my favourite team ups between Three and Jo and I think they work amazingly with each other here.
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« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2013, 10:45:18 am »

I like The Mutants, but it's not really one I go back to very often. I think as good as the story is, it's let down by how bad it looks. I'm not certain it would have made my list.
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« Reply #18 on: September 16, 2013, 10:57:59 am »

There are so many strong stories to choose from in this era and I love this story, but I don't know if I think it would be strong enough for me personally to make my top ten.
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