Thursday, 29 May 2014

Sergeant Benton's Double Hearts Club Band...

Back when DWM first announced there would be another big poll - this time marking the 50th Anniversary of the programme - I posted that I would be a bit disappointed to see Caves of Androzani come out top yet again. My main concern would be that people would vote it tops just because of other people's opinions - rather than actually sitting down, watching it, and considering it on its own merits.
Well, not only has Caves failed to seize the crown this time out, it has actually dropped to fourth place. My own personal favourite - Genesis of the Daleks - came above it in third place.
Second place went to Blink - making it the top "regular" story. That's because the anniversary tale Day of the Doctor is now "officially" the No. 1 adventure.
I had a feeling it would be.
I shan't go too much into the full poll, but it is worth drawing out some of the highlights (and lowlights).
If Day was favourite, The Twin Dilemma continues to languish bottom - still worst story ever.
Worst story of the 2005 and beyond series was Fear Her - and quite right too. It was voted second worst story overall.
Looking at the stories of individual Doctor's eras:
Best Hartnell at 46 is The Daleks (aka The Mutants). No's 47 & 48 are also Hartnell Dalek stories - Invasion of Earth and Masterplan respectively.
Worst rated Hartnell is The Space Museum, at 232 (out of 241).

Best Troughton: The War Games, in 12th place. This does surprise me. Too many people judge this on a single episode. I watched it again only last week, and it's 60% padding.
Lowest rated Troughton is The Space Pirates at 235. The Dominators just scrapes in above it at 234.

Best Pertwee: Inferno, at 18.
Worst Pertwee is The Time Monster (222). The old rule about stories with "Time" in the title being a bit rubbish mostly holds true again. (Even The Time of the Doctor only manages 95th place).

Best Tom Baker is the aforementioned Genesis of the Daleks.
(If this is also the best Dalek story, the two part Daleks in Manhattan tale was voted their worst outing at 208).
Least favourite Tom Baker story is Underworld (at 236).

Best Davison is, of course, still Caves of Androzani. His least favourite is, of course, still Time-Flight (fifth worst story overall).

We've already mentioned that Colin Baker's worst offender is The Twin Dilemma. His best effort is Revelation of the Daleks (in 70th place).

Sylvester McCoy's most favoured story is Remembrance of the Daleks (in a very respectable 10th place overall). Least favourite (third from bottom overall) is Time and the Rani.
Paul McGann's solo TV outing comes in at number 152 - quite a fall since the previous poll in 2009.

Christopher Eccleston's most popular story was the Empty Child two-parter (7th overall). His least popular story was The Long Game (at 205).
Tennant's best and worst have already been mentioned. In a way he gets to share the top spot.
Setting the winning anniversary tale aside for a moment, Smith's best regular story is The Eleventh Hour (at 17). His least favoured story is Rings of Akhaten (way down at 233).

We've mentioned the Daleks, so what about the Cybermen? Their best effort is Tomb of the Cybermen (23rd). Looks like the word "Silver" in the title is also a kiss of death. Worst Cyber-story is Silver Nemesis (206th). Nightmare in Silver is a mere 3 places above it.

Best Christmas Special is the first one - The Christmas Invasion (57th). Worst is Widow / Wardrobe, which sits at a lowly number 229.

Historical stories don't do too badly. Highest rated is The Aztecs (61st). Lowest is The Gunfighters (202 - so more popular than Nightmare in Silver).

Hands up who thinks Colin Baker is the bestest Doctor ever...
The other voting was for best Doctor, companion and Special Contribution. Tom Baker naturally tops the Doctors. Smith is only marginally ahead of Tennant (by less than 0.1%). Rather unfairly, the War Doctor comes out last. John Hurt is more of a guest artist, so least favourite Doctor really should remain with poor old Baker, C, who can't beat Paul McGann.
Sarah Jane Smith tops the companion poll - and quite right too. Nice to see Donna Noble come second.
Verity Lambert and RTD are first and second when it comes to Special Contribution. Hard to argue with that. One gave us the programme in the first place, and the other brought it back to us.

By the way, don't just download the full poll off the net. Buy the magazine and pore over that wonderful triple-fold cover. Sergeant Benton's Double Heart Club Band indeed.

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