7 THE PRE-CREDIT TEASERS
Some old-school fans mourned the loss of the weekly cliffhanger from the old days, but we got something equally as good (possibly better) in its place – the pre-credit teaser. These invariably ended with a cliffhanger anyway, and at best they were perfect mood setters. The kung fu Monks of “Tooth And Claw" remain the SFX favourite.
8 SECOND PARTS THAT DO THEIR OWN THING
In most cases, the two-parters have followed a canny formula where the second part throws in some whole new elements rather than just being continuations of more of the same. This has justified them having individual titles rather than just being “The Thing Of Whatsit Part Two’. “Forest Of The Dead” introduced the whole VR world scenario, “World War Thee” had the Doctor and co trapped in the Cabinet room at Number 10 and “The Satan Pit” concentrated on the Doctor’s descent into the unknown. But the best example has to be “The Last Of The Time Lords” which leaps a whole year forward in time; whereas “The Sound Of Drums" had been a Spooks-style urban thriller, its follow-up was post-apocalyptic.
9 DOCTOR-LITE EPISODES
It’s a brave show that sidelines its star for a whole episode each year, but the Doctor-lite episodes have generally turned out to be little gems which still, somehow, seemed to be imbued with the spirit of the Doctor. “Love & Monsters” may have been divisive, but it still has some outstanding storytelling while “Blink” and “Turn Left” have both been hailed as classics. We kinda understand people’s objections to “Love & Monsters” (the Peter Kay monster did look terrible and the living paving slab was a silly idea, though on SFX we did love the lunacy of the much-derided Scooby-Doo chase) but concentrating on the story’s faults while ignoring its clever structure, wonderful characterisation and deliciously black humour and inventive playing around with the tropes of the show, seems a bit like moaning about going to see the Grand Canyon because there are too many insects.
10 SILLY LONG NAMES
Raxacoricofallapatorius, The Mighty Jagrafess of the Holy Hadrojassic Maxarodenfoe, The Adherents of the Repeated Meme, Blon Fel Fotch Pasameerday Slitheen – it’s calmed down a bit since season one (which is probably a good thing, as it was a gimmick in danger of overuse), but be honest – didn’t you have a sense of sneaking pride when you'd figured out how to pronounce the Slitheen home world properly?
11 POP MUSIC
If Who was a US show, we'd be getting soppy indie ballads every five minutes. Instead the show has taken a wittier approach to using pop songs, often setting them in wonderfully incongruous surrounding, from Cassandra’s choice of Britney Spears to celebrate “The End Of The World” to the Master taking over the world to the accompaniment of “Here come the drums, here come the drums”. It‘s a shame, though, that a fan campaign to get one of Murray Gold’s songs – the Wall Of Sound-ish “Song For Ten" – into the charts came to nothing.
12 HARRIET JONES
We know who you are.
13 WILFRED MOTT
Apparently everyone on the crew loved working with Bernard Cribbins so much on “Voyage Of The Damned" he was quickly added to the season four as Donna’s granddad. Good thing too, as we loved watching Cribbins as much as the cast and crew liked working with him. We look forward to more Wilf in the final Tennant two-parter, and all credit to Cribbins for coming up with the paintballing gag in “The Stolen Earth”.
Go to SFX’s fave things about New Who 14 to 20