Doctor Who Extended Media Review – The Complete History Volume #53

Doctor Who The Complete History was a series of hardback volumes which came out every two weeks and covered 3-4 stories each. These were in-depth volumes covering the production of each episode from the first in 1963 to the end of the Peter Capaldi era of the show. In addition to the extensive production notes there were also merchandise and publicity updates and actor profiles. The quality of each volume was exceptional overseen by several different editors. The volumes were only available in the UK and Ireland so were difficult to obtain in other locations. I am more of a Watsonian fan but if you are a Doyalist you will greatly appreciate these books. Even so I give the entire series a solid 8 out of 10. I will rate each episode covered below.

The Impossible Planet / The Satan Pit is one of the universally highly rated episodes on modern Doctor Who. For myself although the story is very good there is too much Doctor – Rose interaction for my liking. The relationship between The Tenth Doctor and Rose is one of the most unbelievable and annoying Doctor/Companion pairings in the entire series. I enjoy the use of “The Beast” and the characters of Zachary Flane and Ida Scott well deserve their return appearances in the Big Finish Torchwood audio stories. 8 out of 10.

In contrast to the previous story, Love and Monsters is a universally despised episode of the series that I feel is under-appreciated. The monster was a little silly but as it was devised by a fan I have no problem with it. The “Doctor Lite” aspect was new and may have been an initial surprise for viewers. I liked the members of LINDA and was genuinely upset with their deaths. I would have liked to see them in a Big Finish audio series with them. The “fellatio” joke at the end of the episode did not bother me. 7.5 out of 10.

Now Fear Her is a generally loathed episode of the series and I could not agree more. The story itself is slow and uninspiring and The Tenth Doctor and Rose interaction permeates the entire story to the point of nausea. The child actress is not as bad as many reviewers comment on, the story lets her down. 5 out of 10.

Army of Ghosts / Doomsday is a story with many memorable scenes and concepts. The first meeting on TV between the Daleks and Cybermen is one of the best scenes in the entire series firmly placing the Daleks as the ultimate villain. The quotes from The Daleks “This is not war, it is pest control” and “we could defeat the Cybermen with just one Dalek” still resonate and send chills down this old school Whovian. I love the concept of parallel worlds and find it a grossly under-utilized aspect of the series. The first appearance of Freema Agyeman and the introduction of the character of Yvonne Hartman are nice additions. Although it goes against my view of The Doctor/ Companion relationship as more of one of a master and pet the end of the episode on Bad Wolf Bay was well played and emotional. 9 out of 10.