The Five Doctors

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The Five Doctors
Daleks, Yeti, Cybermen… BINGO!

We watched the original broadcast version of The Five Doctors. Sadly, I couldn’t source an off-air copy with the Children in Need ticker running across the bottom of the screen. I hope this doesn’t invalidate the science at the heart of this experiment.

The Five DoctorsNicol: I’m not watching any William Hartnell with you. You can forget it.

Me: Be patient, Nicol.

Sue: Don’t worry, Nic. Neil’s promised me ...

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The Dalek Invasion of Earth

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The Dalek Invasion of Earth
Once again, I trick Sue into believing that this is going to be a run-of-the-mill adventure.

World’s End

Large chunks of the first episode are taken up with an exasperated Sue moaning about how the TARDIS crew haven’t noticed a huge, ominous sign that warns the public against throwing dead bodies into the river. It’s the oddest thing in the episode by far, and yet it isn’t remarked upon by the characters for ages. It’s ridiculous but it could be worse. It ...

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3

Planet of Giants

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Planet of Giants
I decide to have some fun with Sue before we dive into season two. When she asks me how many episodes make up this story, I tell her that it’s an eight-part epic and several chunks are missing, although there is a reconstruction of part seven that will be performed by an amateur dramatics group from Bournemouth. She simply shrugged her shoulders and sighed, “We’d better get on it with then”.

Planet of Giants

Sue is fascinated by the swanky new costumes ...

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4

The Reign of Terror

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The Reign of Terror
The end of the first season of is within our grasp. But we have one final obstacle to overcome: an incomplete story with a third missing from the archives. Cowards would probably skip this one but we’re in far too deep to turn back now.

A Land of Fear

I decide to stun Sue with a confession. Close friends should probably look away now.

Me: I’ve never seen this one before.

Sue spits a mouthful of hot coffee all over our kitten, Tegan.

Me: It’s ...

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6

The Sensorites

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The Sensorites
Of all the attempts to watch Doctor Who from the beginning, 67% fail halfway through this story. Can Sue defy the odds? Will she recognise Peter Glaze? And if she does, will she resist the urge to shout “Crackerjack!”?

Strangers in Space

The SensoritesThe Sensorites begins with an incongruous scene where our heroes stand around fondly remembering their many adventures together. No one mentions the weird one with the scissors.

However, Sue is ...

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9

The Aztecs

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The Aztecs
If Sue scores this lower than The Keys of Marinus, she could find herself sleeping on the sofa tonight.

The Temple of Evil

My hope that Sue would soak up this episode in revered silence is dashed within seconds, mainly because we get embroiled in two very tedious discussions. Well, tedious to us, I guess, but as far as Sue is concerned, these are fundamental details.

Sue: Why have they decided to visit the Aztecs? I thought Ian and Barbara wanted to ...

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The Keys of Marinus

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The Keys of Marinus
Up until now, Sue has been oblivious to some of the show’s more, shall we say, regrettable shortcomings. But that’s all about to change.

The Sea of Death

Sue: Press pause! Stop it! Rewind!

Damn, she’s good. Even I didn’t notice the production team pushing the revolving door when I saw this for the first time. And it happens at least twice (three times, says Sue). She spends the rest of the episode scanning the frame for the slightest hint of an AFM. ...

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5

Marco Polo

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Marco Polo
Against everyone’s advice, except for some divorce lawyers who contacted us last week, our adventure continues with a reconstruction.

If you read the last installment, you’ll already know that we have decided to ease ourselves into the recons with a condensed version of Marco Polo, available as an extra on the In the Beginning box set.

Sue is initially perplexed by the experience.

Sue: It looks like a normal episode to me. This isn’t so bad. I don’t know what all the ...

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2

The Edge of Destruction

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The Edge of Destruction
Sue knows this story is only two episodes. If she thought it could be dragged out for seven episodes, we really would be on the brink of disaster…

The Edge of Destruction

Once again, Sue is amused to discover that travelling in the TARDIS can be a traumatic experience for everyone concerned; when the crew are thrown violently to the floor, she doesn’t see it as a portent of doom, she just regards it as business as usual.

It takes her all of ...

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5

The Daleks

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The Daleks
Before we begin, I would like to point out that Sue initiated the screening of every episode of this story. Yes, I’m frightened too.

The Dead Planet

Sue: What’s this one called then?

Me: ‘The Dead Planet’.

Sue: How many episodes is it?

Me: One.

Sue: Excellent.

Me: When I say one, what I really mean is you aren’t supposed to know. All the episodes have individual titles so you wouldn’t know when one adventure would end and another would begin. A story might last for four ...

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