Between the Christmas Special, the second half of Series 7 including the return of Neil Gaiman and the Cybermen, and all the magic of the 50th Anniversary special(s) that I can dream about, Doctor Who has left little room in my brain for anything else. So to tide me over, I've been rewatching the series again.
And you know what? There really are some episodes that you don't have to live through a second time. In the spirit of my New to Who FAQ, I present this list of adventures that you can totally skip past if you're not feeling it because they A) Are not that great, and B) Don't really matter much in the long run.
Note: These are presented in chronological order, not by ranking.
Boom Town: As much as it pains me to skip any of the few Ninth Doctor stories available, "Boom Town" is really lacking in any point. The Slitheen were never very good villains, more an excuse to use a bunch of fart jokes, and we spend most of the episode watching Rose being conflicted between The Doctor and Mickey...something that literally no one can conceive of.
Love and Monsters: Otherwise known as 'The One with the Ridiculous Scooby Doo Chase Scene." Even the Fifth Doctor mocked it in "Time Crash." Plus, the ending where The Doctor "saves" Moaning Myrtle's life as a sentient face in a piece of paving stone is one of the most horrifying things ever placed in the show since Elton implies that he still has sex with her in this state.
Fear Her: It's understandable that "Fear Her" isn't very good since it was really just a low-budget replacement for another episode that got pushed back. That doesn't change the fact that whoever directed Abisola Agbaje to use an "evil voice" didn't realize that all they really did was make us wonder why no one gave the child with a sore throat a lozenge. The episode did give us the perfect shots to Photoshop David Tennant into the Olympics this year, though. That's something.
Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks: The Doctor really needs to stay away from New York. Everything goes wrong and it's always stupid. In this case, we get to see a human/Dalek hybrid that looks more like a Sid and Marty Krofft creation. It's almost merciful to see him killed.
The Wasp and the Unicorn: This episode is the one that proves Doctor Who needs to occasionally do historical episodes rather than insisting on aliens at every turn. The murder mystery aspect of it is fine, and the scene where Donna has to save The Doctor from being poisoned is comedy gold. Whenever the big alien bug shows up, it absolutely ruins the pacing completely. Seriously, the classic series was fine with the occasional pure history outings. Not everything needs special-effect antagonists.
The Waters of Mars: "Waters of Mars" is supposed to show the breakdown of the Tenth Doctor as he begins to ignore all the laws of the Time Lords and tries to order time as he sees fit. This results in a very important woman he spent the entire episode trying to save committing suicide basically just to spite him. It's almost the most completely pointless episode in the entire new show. Almost.
Vampires of Venice: Clearly the writers were trying to recapture the magic of "Tooth and Claw" by tackling vampires, but everything that the episode does with the Saturnyne they already did better with the Racnoss and the Master in earlier broadcasts. It's also one of the "Rory as incompetent" episodes that tarnish his legacy as a badass companion.
Curse of the Black Spot: "Let's do a pirate episode!" someone said in the production room, and they all adjourned for the day. "Black Spot" is supposedly about a killer mermaid, but is in reality a highly advanced medical program that was apparently programmed by someone who thought that marketing and public image were for stupidheads. In the end, it comes off mostly as an inferior copy of "The Girl in the Fireplace."
The God Complex: Trapped in what appears to be a haunted hotel showing everyone who ends up there their greatest fears, the truth turns out to be some kind of silly, nonsensical space prison that is less logical than putting convicts in clown suits. Rory as the voice of logic and reason makes it at least watchable, but he all but looks at the camera and says, "Your favorite character dies at the end. I'd stop watching if it were me."
Power of Three: Without a doubt, the fourth episode of the latest series is the biggest waste of 45 minutes ever done in Doctor Who. Even though it combines the comedic effects of the Craig Owens episodes with a U.N.I.T. adventure in a way that is actually pretty good.
The problem is that we knew that it was the second to last Amy and Rory episode, and the whole thing is a big set-up to the ending where they declare themselves willing to travel with The Doctor forever. Then "Angels Takes Manhattan" happens and it's all for nothing. I deeply suspect that "Power of Three" exists simply so they can sell new novels set after that but before Amy and Rory are trapped in the past.
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