Sunday 28 June 2020

DWM Season Poll

This week saw the publication of the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine, and one of the features is the regular Series Poll. One thing I've never done on this blog is any kind of ranking - something which you find a lot of on You Tube. Vloggers have an obsession with ranking - from stories, to Doctors, to companions. Though I don't do it myself, I do like to see what other fans think. Sometimes I'll agree, and sometimes I'll totally disagree. You can probably work out what my rankings for Series 12 would be from my reviews, written within 24 hours of broadcast and usually after a second viewing.
Each week I have been reviewing a Doctor Who story, or a spin-off one, working my way from An Unearthly Child onward. This blog started in the gap between Series 6 and 7, and my first contemporary review was of Asylum of the Daleks - so I'm basically catching up with myself. From Asylum onward, you'll be able to get my view of it now, today, but you'll also be able go back and see what I thought of it at the time. Some opinions on some stories might change. I may have gone off a story I initially liked, or others might have grown on me over time. What I've decided to do is not to reread the old reviews, to stop me influencing myself.
After looking at the DWM poll, I went on-line and looked at other season polls, from a range of blogs & vlogs, and I've found that there is a lot of similarity. First the DWM positions:
1. Fugitive of the Judoon
2. Spyfall
3. Ascension of the Cybermen / The Timeless Children
4. The Haunting of the Villa Diodati
5. Nikola Tesla's Night of Terror
6. Can You Hear Me?
7. Praxeus
8. Orphan 55
Looking at the other polls, Fugitive has fairly consistently tended to be top story for the season. Personally I thought it rather weak, if it wasn't for the Dr Ruth reveal, and the cameo from Captain Jack. Take them out and there's little of substance.
Every poll - and I mean every single one of them - had Orphan 55 as the least liked story. Considering they had a whole extra year to prepare this series, it's amazing that this one was allowed to go ahead. Too many characters, all under developed, irrational plotting, and some dreadful performances (and one in particular).
Orphan 55 also included some unsubtle preaching, as with the story which comes in at second to bottom in every poll I looked at - Praxeus. Clearly fans are okay with messages in the programme, but are turned off by blatant lecturing.
Can You Hear Me?'s position in 6th place has also been fairly consistent, as has the Tesla story in 5th. It's stories 2 - 4 where we get some variation.
Spyfall features in 4th place in a number of polls. I suspect that people generally liked the first half, but were in two minds about the second episode.
Readers of DWM put Villa in 4th position, but this episode fares much better in other people's polls, where it has been as high as 2nd place.
No poll I've seen has put the two part finale in top place, but then no-one has put it in the bottom half of the poll either. It floats between 2nd, 3rd or 4th place. I suspect that if the individual episodes were ranked, like Spyfall, one half would do much better than the other. The Timeless Children is a very divisive episode, and this is probably why this story overall has an inconsistent score.

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