Today’s story is brought to you by the letter “B” for “barf”.

(The second in a, presumably, 26-part series that began with this post.)

As many of you know, I have been working from home for a little over a year. I no longer have an office with a nameplate over the door or a big desk upon which to scatter my dozens of toys. However, I also don’t have a twice-daily, long-ass drive filled with psychopathic maniacs who were given a license merely because they had $48 and the stamp of approval from a bored DMV worker.

I have my little desk along a wall in my bedroom. It’s got just enough room for my monitors and keyboard and some other little things like a cup of coffee, my Nook, a notepad and pen, and my sonic screwdriver and Harry Potter wand.

During the day, our four cats take turns hopping up on the bed and sleeping in the sunny spot under the window. It’s a rare day that I don’t sit back and contentedly take a sip of coffee whilst scratching the ears of a kitty to hear him or her purr. Others may have their problems with working from home, but I love it.

There are days like today, however, that would never happen in a “real” office.

As I said, my little desk doesn’t have room for much, and since my business phone service works just as well through software, I use a headset to communicate with the outside world. No handset required. I tried setting up a bluetooth headset, but it didn’t work. So, my headphones are wired to the PC. Most of the time, this is fine. I don’t have to move around during phone calls, so the tethered approach isn’t a bother.

Today, as I participated in a conference call with one of our software partners and a mutual client, I heard the slow building “urp urp” of a cat preparing to spew a steamy mass of hair and spittle. (Let me stop you here in case you don’t have experience with cats. Google “hairball” and skip the reference to the 80′s metal cover band.)

To my horror, there was Smudge, the slimy, brown spit already drizzling from her “omg I’m a gaggin” kitty face. Just having stripped the bed and washed the comforter and sheets and replaced them, I was in no mood for a repeat performance. Somehow, I managed to leap from my chair, grab her by a leg and drag her off the bed…but I fear at the expense of my headset and the listeners on the other end of the phone. I’m pretty sure what they heard was: “urp urp gack NOOO! Get off! crash!! rowr!”

To make matters worse, the door was closed. So, as I settled back in my chair and replaced the headset, I realized that this was only barfus interruptus. There was still a hairball that needed its freedom from my cat’s inner workings. So, yet another round of “urp urp gack AW CRAP! crash! open door, slam door” greeted my conversation mates.

I didn’t hear anything from either one of them. So, it might not have been as painfully embarrassing as I thought. Still…sorry about that guys!

Posted in Life, the Universe and Everything, Rants 'n' Whines | 2 Comments

Today’s story is brought to you by the letter “A” for “ass”.

I went out to the mailbox this afternoon, humming a tune and eating a piece of cheddar cheese (as one does on a lovely day). After retrieving the handful of junk mail…and I only call it “junk” because each piece was a waste of time for so many people–the sender, the printer, the mail carrier, the garbage collector, me–not because each piece wasn’t perfectly designed and created from God’s own trees…I noticed that the garbage can from our bi-weekly donation to the landfill was standing, empty, waiting to be carried back to its little home to await another sack of crap.

As I approached, randomly flicking through the aforementioned marketing materials in the vain hope that just one of them might magically transform into something of use to humanity, I noticed a small bee or yellowjacket (dammit, Jim, I’m a doctor not an entomologist!) inspecting our empty trash receptacle, looking (I presume) for its now-missing contents.

Normally, I would have given the insect a wide berth, assuming that it would realize its tardiness and zip off to join its compatriots to catch up with the garbage truck, whereupon I could safely retrieve the can without provoking an incident. However, I was emboldened by the previously noted loveliness of the day and by my cheese. For it is a fact that no one comes to harm when eating cheddar (or so I had been told).

I approached the rubbermaid can carefully, shifting my burden of mail to my cheese hand and slowly picking up the lid from the ground. With a grunt and a ferocious kick, I tipped over the garbage can, thinking that my nemesis would flee from my shock and awe tactics. But no. The little black and yellow bastard simply descended deeper into the gaping maw of the bin.

Just as I had given up hope of dislodging him, the bee (yellowjacket, hornet, wasp, whatever) flew to the entrance of the capsized can, and I saw my chance. With all my might, I closed my eyes and swung the garbage can lid toward my enemy, creating a mighty wind with which to drive him off.

To my horror, when I opened my eyes, I saw the bee (let’s just fricking call him a bee, ok?) RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY FACE, saying “You want a piece of me? I’ll cut you, old man!!!” And I did what anyone would have in that scenario…I fell right flat on my ass, mail and cheese and garbage can lid flying in every direction like a big, fat grenade of random crap had gone off on the sidewalk in front of my house.

And that, dear readers, is why I will never go outside again. I hate nature.

Posted in Life, the Universe and Everything, Rants 'n' Whines | 1 Comment

And now for a Doctor that’s completely different…

In this Doctor Who-obsessed year, where it seems that every nerd* is making lists of their favorite Doctors, episodes, companions, monsters, and hair products, we think we need to give it up for a Doctor of a different sort–Doctor Demento! Yes, it’s time for another Doctor Demento Funny 25 with the year’s best in wacky comedy hits.

It being the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, a couple of entries in the list are Who-related (“Know Your Doctors” by Amanda Cohen and “Companion Application” by Devo Spice). “Companion Application” actually has a cameo by the 5th Doctor, Peter Davison.

Devo Spice seemed to be the hit of the countdown this year, appearing at #5 with his Doctor Who entry and at #13 with an updated version of “Ozzman” with the great Luke Ski (which first appeared in 2003 by Sudden Death with the great Luke Ski). He also appeared on Insane Ian’s “Run This Game” at #9 and teamed up with Worm Quartet on the #6 song, “Autocomplete.”

As with last year, Ookla the Mok–”Fandom’s Own Rock Band”–had the #1 song (“Mwahaha”), a tribute to all those mustache-twirling bad guys out there. This puts another entry in at the big tie at the bottom of the Top 100.

The #1 hit of all-time, “Fish Heads,” picked up 2 more points to extend their lead over “Dead Puppies.” And the #3 song, “They’re Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!,” got 4 points.

Jef Jaisun’s 1970′s hit, “Friendly Neighborhood Narco Agent” made it’s first appearance since 1978, earning it a point while remaining at #26 in the 100.

For the first time in a long time, there were quite a number of new entries into the 100.

“Weird Al” Yankovic’s parody of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”–”Eat It”–made it’s first appearance since 1984 and now has a combined point total moving it up to #51. His other entry into this year’s list, “Craigslist” which first appeared in 2009, entered the Top 100 at #82.

“When You Wish Upon A Death Star” by the great Luke Ski made its second appearance in a row, earning it enough points to come into the Top 100 at #79.

Finally, “We Were Never Ever Actually Together” by Eric Schwartz added points from this year’s #11 showing to last year’s 16th place entry to give it enough to enter the tie at the bottom of the Top 100.

Without further ado, here is this year’s list of the Funny 25 with song and artist links.

This show is available for online listening at drdemento.com.
playlist courtesy of DMDB.org

The Dr. Demento Show #13-52 – December 28, 2013

#25 Friendly Neighborhood Narco AgentJef Jaisun

#24 Fish HeadsBarnes & Barnes
#23 Get Clucky (Daft Punk chicken parody) – Jakazid
#22 They’re Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!Napoleon XIV
#21 You Don’t Know JackTony Goldmark
#20 Dead Giveaway – Charles Ramsey, songified by Gregory Brothers
#19 Obamacare - Joe J. Thomas

#18 You Might BeInsane Ian
#17 Zombie GirlDino-Mike
#16 Baby Got BackJonathan Coulton
#15 Craigslist“Weird Al” Yankovic

#14 Know Your Doctors – Amanda Cohen
#13 Ozzman (2013)Devo Spice f/ the great Luke Ski
#12 The FoxYlvis
#11 We Were Never Ever Actually TogetherEric Schwartz
#10 It’s Time For Winter To End – Rob Magnuson
#9 Run This GameInsane Ian f/ The Stacey & Devo Spice

#8 Eat It (Studio 360)“Weird Al” Yankovic
#7 I’ll Lose WeightMax DeGroot
#6 AutocompleteDevo Spice f/ Worm Quartet
#5 Companion ApplicationDevo Spice
#4 YOLOThe Lonely Island f/ Adam Levine & Kendrick Lamar
#3 When You Wish Upon A Death Starthe great Luke Ski
#2 After Ever AfterJon Cozart

#1 MwahahaOokla the Mok

*i.e., “me”

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Doctor Who Series Highlights

For years, one of my many geeky pursuits has been the acquisition of all of the available episodes of Doctor Who on DVD. Buying one or two per month, I knew it would take a while. So, to make sure that if I ever needed to quit, I’d at least have the best stories I could have gotten to that point, I decided to do what all geeks do–make a spreadsheet!

I wanted to rank every episode from best to worst using the accumulated votes of as many fans as possible. So, I went looking and found four sites that fit the bill:

  • The Global Episode Opinion Survey (GEOS), which is a survey of over 90 current and classic genre TV shows, including everything from Alias to Xena: Warrior Princess.
  • Doctor Who Dynamic Rankings, a site that has been surveying every Doctor Who episode, including spinoffs like Torchwood and the Sarah Jane Adventures since 1995.
  • TV.com, an online community of TV watchers that includes pretty much every television show past or present.
  • The Internet Movie Database (IMDb), a site that, since 1990, has invited internet users to rate and rank every movie and television program ever made.

I averaged together the ratings users gave to each story on these sites and then assigned each one a letter grade, A thru F, based on how close its score came to the top rated story (which has been “Blink” from David Tennant’s 2nd series for a long, long time).

Once I had my spreadsheet, I wasn’t content with a simple list of episodes to use in my DVD buying. I also came up with a document that lists, chronologically, all the episodes where something significant occurs (Doctor regenerates, companion enters or leaves, etc.) and all the grade “A” and “B” episodes.

I used the season titles and episode descriptions from Shannon Patrick Sullivan’s brilliant A Brief History of Time (Travel).

With the end of the Matt Smith era and yet another eight months to go before we see anymore new Who, I thought it was a good time to make this opus available to my fellow Whovians. If you want a copy, I have place a PDF on my site for download: Doctor Who Series Highlights

If you’re especially over-the-top geeky, I might even share the spreadsheet with you.

Posted in The Big Screen | 4 Comments

Top Eleven – William Hartnell

Counting down the 11 1 day to the 50th anniversary, here are my top 11 stories for each Doctor, continuing with 1 (William Hartnell).

This is the original. He’s grumpy and mysterious and not exactly nice, especially in the beginning. He’s cut off from his people and on the run with his granddaughter, Susan. When a pair of Susan’s teachers follow her home one night, the Doctor kidnaps them rather than have them alert the authorities. Thus, the adventures in space and time begin, and the teachers, Ian and Barbara, begin to turn the old alien into the hero we love today. (Again quite a few episodes are missing, so these are from the ones that remain.)

1. The Time MeddlerThe Time Meddler 2
That is the dematerializing control, and that, over yonder, is the horizontal hold. Up there is the scanner; those are the doors; that is a chair with a panda on it. Sheer poetry, dear boy! Now please stop bothering me.

The Doctor, Vicki, and new companion Steven arrive on the coast of England on the eve of the Viking and Norman invasions in 1066. They find a mysterious monk who turns out to be another Time Lord, meddling in the affairs of the local people and hoping to change the course of history.

2. The Dalek Invasion of Earthdwexp-daleks-westminster-gall5
During all the years I’ve been taking care of you, you in return have been taking care of me. You are still my grandchild and always will be. But now, you’re a woman too. I want you to belong somewhere, to have roots of your own. With David you will be able to find those roots and live normally like any woman should do. Believe me, my dear, your future lies with David and not with a silly old buffer like me. One day, I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine. Goodbye, Susan. Goodbye, my dear.

The TARDIS makes it back to London, but it is the 22nd century. Dead bodies are floating in the river, and humans are scattered and live like rats in sewer tunnels. The Daleks have invaded and enslaved humans as robo-men. The Doctor, Susan, Ian and Barbara must fight the invasion and save the Earth.

3. The Aztecsaztecs_1345
I made some cocoa and got engaged.

The TARDIS lands in Mexico during the time of the Aztecs, and Barbara is mistaken for a god. But can a god change history? Barbara, the history teacher, knows the savage brutality of Aztec human sacrifice and is determined to change it, just as the Doctor is determined that history must be preserved.

4. An Unearthly ChildAn Unearthly Child 2
Have you ever thought what it’s like to be wanderers in the Fourth Dimension? Have you? To be exiles? Susan and I are cut off from our own planet – without friends or protection. But one day we shall get back. Yes, one day…

The first episode of the first serial of Doctor Who is amazing. It sets up the entire story for the next 50 years. Everything is there right from the start: the bigger-on-the-inside TARDIS disguised as a police box, the fact that the TARDIS is alive, and the mysterious figure of the Doctor–the alien on the run from his people.

While on Earth in 1963, the Doctor and his granddaughter are hiding in I.M. Foreman’s junkyard at 76 Totter’s Lane. Susan has decided to attend the Coal Hill School, taking the name Susan Foreman. At school, two of her teachers–Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright–become suspicious of the girl who seems to be so far advanced in some areas and yet so ignorant in others. They follow her home to the junkyard and are swept up by the Doctor in the TARDIS before they can report what they’ve seen to the authorities.

In the 2nd episode, the TARDIS gets stuck as a police box (to the dismay of the Doctor), as they land in the year 10,000 BC. Unfortunately, the rest of the serial is pretty boring (thus, it’s not #1).

5. The Gunfightersdrwho_gunfighters1
He gave me a gun, he extracted my tooth. What more do you want?

The Doctor has a toothache. Fortunately, there’s a dentist in the town of Tombstone. His name is Doc Holliday. Too bad there’s a gang out to kill the doctor. If only they knew what he looked like. Maybe it’s this old man who calls himself “the Doctor”?

6. The Romansthe-romans-cover-photo
Alright? Of course I’m alright, my child. You know, I am so constantly outwitting the opposition, I tend to forget the delights and satisfaction of the gentle art of fisticuffs.

As the time travelers relax in an empty villa outside Rome, the Doctor gets bored and sets off with Vicki. On the road, he is mistaken for a great lyre player and commanded to perform before Emperor Nero. When Ian and Barbara go out looking for the pair, they are captured. Ian becomes a galley slave, and Barbara is sold to Nero’s slave buyer. Ian escapes, but winds up in the gladiator ring. When the Doctor accidentally sets fire to Nero’s plans for the rebuilding of Rome, he gives the mad emperor an idea.

7. The Daleksdaleks1
My dear child! Haven’t you realized what I’ve done? A few simple tools, a superior brain…

This is where the Doctor’s greatest enemies first appear. The TARDIS lands on Skaro, a planet devastated by war between the Kaleds and the Thals. The Kaleds have transformed themselves into killing machines called Daleks. Pretending that there is something wrong with the TARDIS so he can investigate, the Doctor leads his companions into the middle of the Dalek city.

8. The War MachinesWar_Machine
Are you seriously telling me, sir, that you have invented a machine that can think? Hmm, I wonder.

The Doctor and Dodo arrive in London in 1966 where Professor Brett has created a self-aware computer, WOTAN, which has been linked to other computers around the world. WOTAN determines that humans are inferior and must be eliminated. It forces the creation of War Machines, heavily-armed mobile computers to take over the world. Professor Brett’s secretary, Polly, and her friend Ben join the Doctor to help defeat the menace.

9. The Reign of Terrordoctor-who-the-reign-of-terror-dvd-review
Our lives are important — at least to us — and as we see, so we learn… Our destiny is in the stars, so let’s go and search for it.

The TARDIS lands outside Paris in 1794, a bloody year in the period after the French Revolution. They soon become tangled in the plans for prisoners to escape the guillotine and with an English spy.

10. The Keys of MarinusThe Keys of Marinus 2
I don’t believe that man was made to be controlled by machines. Machines can make laws, but they can not preserve justice. Only human beings can do that.

The TARDIS arrives on the planet Marinus on an island of glass surrounded by a sea of acid. The travellers are forced by the elderly Arbitan to retrieve four of the five operating keys to a machine called the Conscience of Marinus, of which he is the keeper. These have been hidden in different locations around the planet to prevent them falling into the hands of the evil Yartek and his Voord warriors, who plan to seize the machine and use its originally benevolent mind-influencing power for their own sinister purposes.

11. The Tenth Planetvlcsnap2013100810h05m25s119
This old body of mine is wearing a bit thin.

This is the final episode for William Hartnell and the one that introduces the concept of regeneration. It is discovered that the Earth once had a twin planet, Mondas, that drifted away to the edge of space. Its inhabitants grew weak, so their scientists created spare parts for their bodies. Limbs and organs were slowly replaced by metal and plastic. Emotions were removed. The Cybermen were born. The TARDIS lands at the Snowcap space tracking station in Antarctica. A routine space mission starts going wrong. When the base personnel’s suspicions are roused, the Doctor informs them that the space capsule is being affected by the gravitational pull of another planet–a tenth planet in the Solar system. Thus, Cybermen arrive, and they are intent on the destruction of the Earth and the conversion of all humans into Cybermen. The Doctor, Ben, and Polly fight to save the world, but when it is done, the Doctor collapses, and the TARDIS wheezes into life.

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Top Eleven – Patrick Troughton

Counting down the 11 2 days to the 50th anniversary, here are my top 11 stories for each Doctor, continuing with 2 (Patrick Troughton).

As experiments go, the idea of regeneration worked out pretty well thanks to Patrick Troughton. Not only did he take over a much-beloved character from the only name anyone would have associated with it, but he made the character completely his own. Troughton has been cited by almost every other actor to take on the role as their model for the Doctor. Unfortunately, a good chunk of his episodes are lost due to the policy of re-using tapes or simply destroying film after broadcast (no such thing as re-runs then). So, I’m only able to see and rank the eleven remaining stories.

1. The War Gamesdoctor_who_the_war_games_philip_madoc
The Time Lords are an immensely civilised race. We can control our own environment – we can live forever, barring accidents and we have the secret of space/time travel.

The Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe land in the middle of a World War I battlefield and taken for German spies. Soon, however, they find that by passing through a strange fog, they are transported to the time of the Romans and also the American Civil War. A renegade Time Lord, the War Chief, is kidnapping soldiers and placing them, like chess pieces, in various zones to fight and die over and over. This prompts the Doctor to call upon his brother Time Lords for the first time since he ran away. This is the end of the 2nd Doctor’s run, where we say goodbye not only to Patrick Troughton and Jamie and Zoe but also to black-and-white, as Jon Pertwee’s series will begin in full color.

2. The Tomb of the Cybermentve9388-19670916-98
The Doctor: You look very nice in that dress, Victoria.
Victoria: Thank you. Don’t you think it’s a bit…
The Doctor: A bit short? Oh, I shouldn’t worry about that. Look at Jamie’s.

The Doctor, Jamie, and Victoria arrive on the planet Telos to discover an archaeological team trying to blast open the doors to the lost tomb of the Cybermen. Need I say more?

3. The Invasion_41631822_invasion1_416bbc_5135
I hate computers and refuse to be bullied by them!

The Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe investigate the disappearance of a scientist, and the trail leads to London and the headquarters of International Electromatics, run by Tobias Vaughn. It turns out that Vaughn plans to aid the invasion of the Cybermen in exchange for promised power. With the help of the newly formed United Nations Intelligence Task Force (UNIT) and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, the Doctor and friends must defeat an army of Cybermen and their incoming battle fleet.

4. The Web of Fearqq_02.jpg
[the TARDIS has landed, rather bumpily, in a London Underground railway tunnel]
Dr. Who: For the moment, we have eluded our captor. Look at the scanner, both of you.
Victoria: Well, where are we?
Dr. Who: I really don’t know, Victoria. Shall we go out and have a look.
Victoria: Now? Is it safe?
Dr. Who: [mischievously and airily] Oh, I shouldn’t think so for a moment! Jamie… I think we’re going to need torches.

The Great Intelligence returns, as Professor Travers (whom the Doctor met 30 years earlier in the Himalayas) has re-activated one of the Yeti robots, and now they are attacking through the London subway system. The Doctor and his companions join with the army and Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart to repel the invasion.

5. The Mind Robberdoctor_who_frazer_hines_and_wendy_padbury_in_publicity_shot_for_the_mind_robber
We’re nowhere. It’s as simple as that.

As the TARDIS is buried in lava, the Doctor attempts a desperate maneuver that takes them completely out of time and space. In an empty, white void, Jamie and Zoe are menaced by robots. As they try to flee back to the safety of the ship, it explodes, leaving Zoe clinging to the TARDIS console. When they revive, they find themselves in the Land of Fiction, presided over one who calls himself the Master (not that Master) who turns out to be a writer from 1926 and whose brain is being controlled by the Master Brain computer. The Master desperately wants to force the Doctor to take his place, and the crew encounter various fictional characters, including Rapunzel, Gulliver, and a uniorn.

6. The Ice WarriorsIce_Warriors
(The Doctor listens at a door.)
The Doctor: It sounds like electronic machinery. Like a computer. But there’s something wrong with its pitch.
Victoria: Oh, no. Now look, it might be dangerous. Now let’s leave it.
The Doctor: No.
Victoria: Doctor.
The Doctor: [Smiles mischievously] Let’s go in!

The TARDIS lands on Earth in the future as glaciers caused by mankind’s destruction of all plant life threaten to engulf the planet. Scientists excavating a nearby ice formation discover a creature in the ice, which turns out to be a Martian warrior. When he is thawed, they discover that he is part of a crashed ship, and he kidnaps Victoria in order to force the Doctor and the scientists to help him free his crew. Once that is done, the Ice Warriors determine to take over the planet for themselves.

7. The Seeds of Deathdoctor-7-final
Your leader will be angry if you kill me… I’m a genius!

The TARDIS lands in late 21st century museum filled with remnants of spaceflight. Since the invention of the T-mat, which offers instant travel between points on Earth and the Moon, people have lost interest in space travel. After the Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe travel to the Moonbase, they discover that a squad of Ice Warriors has taken over and plan on using the T-mat network to launch an invasion of Earth by transporting deadly spores all around the planet, which will kill humans and block out the sun, producing a new ice age.

8. The Enemy of the Worlddw50revenemyoftheworld
People spend all their time making nice things and then other people come along and break them!

In 2018, a powerful man, known as Salamander, is being hailed as the “shopkeeper of the world” for his ability to relieve famine and predict natural disasters. It turns out that Salamander’s enemies keep disappearing, and there is a rebellion forming against him. When the TARDIS lands, the Doctor is captured by the rebels because he looks exactly like Salamander. They ask for his help to take down the would-be dictator.

9. The Moonbasedw50revthemoonbase4
There are some corners of the universe which have bred the most terrible things. Things which act against everything we believe in. They must be fought.

The TARDIS arrives on the Moon in the year 2070 where a small weather station is fighting off a plague. Jamie falls sick and is rendered unconscious, leaving the Doctor, Ben, and Polly to fight off what really is a toxin delivered by the Cybermen.

10. The Krotonsvlcsnap-2012-04-09-09h03m19s178
Great jumping gobstoppers!

The TARDIS lands on the planet of the Gonds, where centuries before a Kroton ship crash landed. The Krotons lay dormant in a crystalline slurry, but use their mental powers to dominate the Gonds. When needed, they take the two brightest Gond students as “companions” (unwittingly being drained of their mental energy to feed the Krotons). When the Doctor and Zoe take the student test, their mental powers are strong enough to re-animate the Krotons.

11. The DominatorsDoctor_Who_The_Dominators_Rago_and_Doctor
An unintelligent enemy is far less dangerous than an intelligent one, Jamie. Just act stupid. Do you think you can manage that?

When two rogue Dominators and their robotic servant Quarks land on the peaceful planet Dulkis, planning to drop a radioactive seed into the planet’s core to refuel their spaceship, the Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe must attempt to inspire the pacifist Dulcians to resist.

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Top Eleven – Jon Pertwee

Counting down the 11 3 days to the 50th anniversary, here are my top 11 stories for each Doctor, continuing with 3 (Jon Pertwee).

The serious Doctor with the fine hair and the Venusian akido ju-jitsu karate whatever. He liked gadgets and cars and was the James Bondiest of the Doctors.

1. Spearhead from SpaceFile created with CoreGraphics
Liz Shaw: What are you a doctor *of*, by the way?
Doctor Who: Practically everything, my dear.

The newly regenerated Doctor arrives on Earth to begin his exile. The TARDIS will not function, and he soon is involved with UNIT and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and his new assistant, Liz Shaw, in stopping an invasion by the Nestene and their army of plastic Autons.

2. The Green Deathprotectedimage (1)
Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart: I never thought I’d have to fire in anger at a dratted caterpillar.

Mysterious deaths at a Welsh mining village bring in the Doctor and Jo Grant along with UNIT to investigate. A group of environmentalists, led by Professor Clifford Jones, is determined to stop the Global Chemicals petroleum factory from putting the miners out of business when giant slugs begin crawling to the surface.

3. Carnival of Monstersdoctor-who-carnival-of-monsters-carnival-workers
Would you kindly stop referring to me as “the creature”, sir. Or I may well become exceedingly hostile!

The Doctor and Jo arrive on a cargo ship crossing the Indian Ocean. Soon a monster appears and things start repeating themselves. When a giant hand steals the TARDIS, it becomes apparent that they are stuck in a miniscope–an alien peepshow with different miniaturized environments which showman Vorg and his assistant Virna have brought to entertain the residents of Inter Minor.

4. The Silurianssilurians-41
My dear Miss Shaw, I never report myself anywhere, particularly not forthwith.

A nuclear research facilities tests have awoken the original inhabitants of Earth–the Silurians. The Doctor and Liz try to prevent a war between the humans and the Silurians, but the military on both sides have different plans.

5. Terror of the AutonsAutons_attack
You know Jo, I sometimes think that military intelligence is a contradiction in terms.

The Master arrives and signals the Nestene, awakening the plastic Autons, and begins to use them to take over the world. The Doctor and his new assistant, Jo Grant, must stop him.

6. InfernoThe_Brig_Inferno
The Doctor: But I don’t exist in your world!
Brigade Leader: Then you won’t feel the bullets when we shoot you.

An experimental drilling project is designed to penetrate the Earth’s crust and release a previously untapped source of energy. However, the drill head starts to leak an oily, green liquid that transforms those who touch it into vicious primeval creatures with a craving for heat. The Doctor is accidentally transported by the partially repaired TARDIS control console into a parallel universe where the drilling project is at a more advanced stage. There, he meets the evil twins of the Brigadier and Liz who attempt to stop him as he works to save both universes.

7. The Time Warriordoctor_sontoran_sarah_timewarrior_400_400x300
A straight line may be the shortest distance between two points, but it is by no means the most interesting.

In the Middle Ages, a crashed Sontaran is trying to repair his spaceship by kidnaping scientists from the future and forcing them to help. The Doctor and UNIT investigate and journalist Sarah Jane Smith tags along.

8. The Sea DevilsChief_Sea_Devil
I reversed the polarity of the neutron flow.

The Doctor and Jo visit the Master in a high security prison on an island off the coast of England. While there, they learn of mysterious ship disappearances, and the Doctor cannot resist investigating.

9. The Three Doctors3Doctors
First Doctor: [As he appears on the TARDIS's television screen] Ah, there you are! I seem to be stuck up here. [He examines the Second and Third Doctors.] So you’re my replacements. [They smile at him.] Humph. A dandy and a clown. [They appear insulted.] Have you done anything?
Second Doctor: Uh, well we’ve assessed the situation-
First Doctor: Just as I thought! [Chuckles] Nothing.

The first multi-Doctor story came during the 10th season of the show, and it featured the return of both Patrick Troughton and William Hartnell. Hartnell was very sick and near the end of his life, but he was determined to participate. He was inserted into the story via TV monitor, as his Doctor was trapped. The story involves Omega, one of the greatest Time Lords and the engineer of their ability to travel in time. While using the Hand of Omega, a stellar manipulator that could make stars go supernova, he vanished into a resulting black hole and into an anti-matter universe. The pocket of normal matter in which he resides only exists via the force of his will, and he wants to force the Doctor to take his place.

10. The Mind of Evilscreen_shot_2013-06-21_at_10.04.39_am_large
People who talk about infallibility are usually on very shaky grounds.

The Doctor and Jo investigate a new machine that has been invented for humanely dealing with prisoners. Instead of execution, they have their evil tendencies sucked out and stored in the machine. The resulting man is quiet, compliant, and knows no evil. The Master decides to use the machine for his nefarious purposes, but the machine has a will of its own.

11. The Daemons297407
Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart: Jenkins…chap with wings there, five rounds, rapid!

The Master, disguised as a rural vicar, summons a winged demon to terrorize the village.

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Doctor Who – The Companions

I’ve been recapping the top 11 stories from each Doctor in anticipation of the 50th anniversary, but in the recaps there have been names tossed around that a casual viewer or fan of the new series may not recognize. So, here are the Doctor’s travelling partners through space and time (so far).

(There are a number of companions from the Big Finish audio productions that may or may not be included. Most of these were travelers with the 8th Doctor. However, I am only covering the TV series here.)

First Doctor
An Unearthly Child 2 (1)Susan Foreman, the Doctor’s granddaughter and fellow Time Lord. She first appeared in the first episode, An Unearthly Child, posing as a student at the Coal Hill school while the Doctor and she were stopped in 1963 London. She took the name “Foreman” from the junkyard where the TARDIS was parked. She stayed behind in 22nd Century London to be with a resistance fighter at the end of The Dalek Invasion of Earth.

Ian2Ian Chesterton, a science teacher from 1963 London. Ian and fellow teacher Barbara were curious about Susan’s odd behavior and followed her home from school one night, only to be taken away by the Doctor in the TARDIS. He first appeared in An Unearthly Child. He and Barbara were returned to London in 1965 in the story The Chase.

02 Barbara_WrightBarbara Wright, a history teacher from 1963 London. Barbara, more than any other companion, helped to humanize the Doctor, standing up to him when he misbehaved in his early incarnation. She and Ian were a pair, and it is rumored that they were married after their return to their own time and place.

VickiSoloShotTM1Vicki Pallister, a girl from 25th Century Earth. The Doctor found her on the planet Dido where her ship had crashed (The Rescue), and he immediately took to her as a substitute for his departed granddaughter, Susan. She left when they arrived on Earth during the Trojan War (The Myth Makers). She fell in love with a Trojan named Troilus and was called Cressida by King Priam. She stayed with them, giving rise to a poem by Chaucer and a play by Shakespeare.

d1258ca9987011e0905512313b10052d_smallSteven Taylor, a spaceship pilot from somewhere between the 23rd and 38th Century Earth. He stumbled into the TARDIS on the planet Mechanus (The Chase) after escaping imprisonment and surviving the destruction of the Mechanoid city. He left to help rebuild a pair of reunited societies–the Elders and the Savages (The Savages).

companion-6-Katarina-doctor-who-36047055-472-628Katarina, a Trojan girl. She joined the Doctor and Steven when Vicki stayed behind in Troy at the end of The Myth Makers. On her very next adventure (The Dalek’s Master Plan) she was kidnapped and held in an airlock. She became the first companion to die when she forced the doors of the airlock open to space, taking her captor with her.

SarakingdomSara Kingdom, a Space Security Service agent from the year 4000. Sara began by doing her assigned duty and tracking down the Doctor and Steven (The Dalek’s Master Plan). Soon, she discovered that the people she worked for were evil, and she helped the Doctor fight them, resulting in her own death.

tumblr_lgzxenpIx51qgn3ano1_r1_500Dorothea “Dodo” Chaplet, a girl from 1960′s London. Dodo stumbled into the TARDIS while trying to use it as an actual police box to call for help for an injured boy (The Massacre). Rather than let two approaching policemen into the TARDIS, the Doctor took off with Dodo inside. She left when the Doctor returned to 1966 London in The War Machines.

07_PollyMoonbasePolly Wright, a personal assistant from 1960′s London. By chance, the Doctor met Polly in a nightclub while looking for Dodo. At closing time, the Doctor, Polly, and a sailor they met named Ben headed out and were soon embroiled in the fight against the super computer WOTAN (The War Machines). She left when the TARDIS returned to London in 1966, just prior to her taking off with the Doctor (The Faceless Ones).

Ben_JacksonBen Jackson, a sailor from 1960′s London. Ben met Polly in the Inferno night club the evening she first encountered the Doctor. From that moment, it was always Ben and Polly. They exited together when the TARDIS returned to 1966 London on the same day they left.

Second Doctor
Ben and Polly witnessed the regeneration of the Doctor into his 2nd incarnation before they left the TARDIS later on.

JamieCUAbominableJamie McCrimmon, a Scottish Highlander from the 18th Century. Jamie was part of a Scottish force defeated at the Battle of Culloden. After escaping the noose, he followed the Doctor, Ben, and Polly into the TARDIS (The Highlanders). He was forced to leave, and his memory wiped, when the Time Lords exiled the Doctor to Earth at the end of The War Games.

tve18014-19670902-98Victoria Waterfield, an orphan girl from 1866 England. Victoria’s father, Professor Edward Waterfield, was experimenting with time travel when he opened a portal to the Dalek city on Skaro. He was killed while saving the Doctor from the Daleks (The Evil of the Daleks), and Victoria joined the Doctor and Jamie. She left when Maggie and Frank Harris offered to be her foster parents in 1968 England (Fury from the Deep).

ZoeQuestioningWISZoe Heriot, an astrometricist first class and astrophysicist with a photographic memory from the 21st Century. She met the Doctor and Jamie on board Space Station W3 (The Wheel in Space). She was forced to leave, and her memory wiped, by the Time Lords at the end of The War Games.

brigadier-COURTNEYBrigadier Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, one of the founders of the United Nations Intelligence Task Force (UNIT) and its UK commander on Earth in the 1960′s and 1970′s. As a Colonel, he took over in charge of the Army’s forces in the attack by the Great Intelligence’s robot Yeti (The Web of Fear). He next met the Doctor during the invasion of the Cybermen (The Invasion), shortly after UNIT was formed. When the Doctor appeared on Earth in his third incarnation, he became a scientific advisor to UNIT, and worked closely with the Brigadier and his soldiers. Later on, the Brig kept popping up at various times through the Doctor’s adventures in the 70′s and 80′s. Lethbridge-Stewart last battled the forces of evil alongside the Doctor in 1997 (Battlefield). His daughter, Kate, told the Doctor that he died in a nursing home sometime before the year 2020 (The Power of Three), a fact which the Doctor had been made aware during the episode The Wedding of River Song.

Third Doctor
Liz_ShawDr. Elizabeth “Liz” Shaw, a civilian scientist assigned to UNIT in the 1970′s. Upon the Doctor’s arrival at UNIT, Liz was attached to the Doctor by the Brigadier (Spearhead from Space). Ultimately feeling that “the only thing the Doctor needed was someone to pass him his test tubes and tell him how brilliant he was,” she asked to be released to return to her own research at Cambridge (Terror of the Autons).

benton-unit-doctor-who-John-Levene-300x209John Benton, a member of UNIT. Benton started out as a corporal, first meeting the 2nd Doctor in The Invasion when the Cybermen attacked Earth. He was a sergeant throughout the Doctor’s exile on Earth, becoming a Warrant Officer by the time the 4th Doctor appeared. He last appeared in Mawdryn Undead as a used car salesman in 1983.

jo-grant-katy-manning-5Josephine “Jo” Grant, a civilian lab assistant with UNIT. Jo was assigned to the Doctor after Liz departed (Terror of the Autons). She left to marry Professor Clifford Jones in 1973 at the end of The Green Death.

mike_yatesMike Yates, a Captain assigned to UNIT. Yates was with UNIT through most of the Doctor’s adventures in his third incarnation. He was hypnotized by the BOSS computer in The Green Death, and the Doctor snapped him out of it with the help of a crystal from Meteblis III, but he became depressed and eventually joined a secret organization with designs on reverting the world to prehistoric times and left UNIT (Invasion of the Dinosaurs). His final appearance was in the 3rd Doctor’s final story, Planet of the Spiders.

elisabeth-sladen-sarah-jane-smith-7-3404-pSarah Jane Smith, an investigative journalist from 1970′s Earth. Sarah Jane posed as her aunt in order to get into a UNIT-controlled facility where scientists had gone missing. She snuck into the TARDIS and was transported back to the middle ages where a Sontaran was doing the kidnapping (The Time Warrior). After that, she joined the Doctor on his adventures. She witnessed his regeneration into the 4th Doctor and only left when he sent her back home due to his receiving an emergency summons to Gallifrey (The Hand of Fear). She met him again in 2007 in his 10th incarnation while investigation strange happenings at a school (School Reunion). She was there during Davros’ plot to steal several planets, including Earth, to setup a reality-killing wave (The Stolen Earth / Journey’s End), and caught a glimpse of him during his “farewell tour” as the 10th Doctor (The End of Time). Her final meeting with the Doctor was with the 11th in Death of the Doctor.

Fourth Doctor
HarryFlummoxedROTCHarry Sullivan, a Royal Navy surgeon working for UNIT. After the Doctor defeated the robot K1 (Robot), Harry found himself in the TARDIS with Sarah Jane. He wound up following along on several adventures until he stayed behind in 1970′s England (Terror of the Zygons). He helped the Doctor one other time, during The Android Invasion when the Kraals made an android duplicate of him.

louisejameson03Leela, a warrior of the savage Sevateem, a tribe of regressed humans on an unknown planet in the far future. Leela believes that the Doctor is one of their gods, since his face appears carved into the side of a mountain (The Face of Evil). She forced her way into the TARDIS and traveled with the Doctor until they arrived on Gallifrey, and she fell in love with the Chancellory Guard, Andred, and stayed behind (The Invasion of Time).

k9-doctor-who-257404_1024_768K9, a robot dog from the year 5000. Professor Marius invented the first K9 to keep him company and because they wouldn’t allow him a real dog in space (The Invisible Enemy). The Professor offered the dog to the Doctor, and after some adventures, K9 Mark I decided to stay with Leela on Gallifrey (The Invasion of Time). The Doctor built K9 Mark II as a backup and unpacked him immediately after leaving Gallifrey (The Ribos Operation). K9 Mark II traveled with the Doctor and Romana to E-Space, and he decided to stay with Romana when she left the TARDIS (The Warrior’s Gate). K9 Mark III was a model shipped to Sarah Jane in 1978 and stayed with her until he began to break down. He was reunited with the Doctor in his 10th incarnation before sacrificing himself to save others (School Reunion). The Doctor created K9 Mark IV and left him as a present for Sarah Jane at the end of that adventure. He subsequently appeared with the Doctor during The Stolen Earth / Journey’s End.

Romana_(Doctor_Who)romanameglosRomanadvoratrelundar (“Romana”), a Time Lord, freshly graduated from the Academy on Gallifrey. Romana was assigned to the Doctor to assist him in finding the pieces to the Key to Time (The Ribos Operation). Once their task was complete, Romana, who seemed to possess the unusual ability to choose the form of her regeneration, took the form of a princess whom they had met (Destiny of the Daleks). She left the Doctor when they were in E-Space (another universe) in order to help the enslaved Thrarils regain their freedom (Warriors’ Gate).

140809sad_DoctorWho_Earthshock1Adric, a boy from the planet Alzarius in E-Space in the 32nd Century. Adric was an elite mathematical student who stowed away on the TARDIS (Full Circle). He traveled with the 4th and 5th Doctors until he died trying to save the Earth from a plan by the Cybermen to crash a freighter powered by anti-matter into it (Earthshock).

NyssaInAmsterdamNyssa, the daughter of Consul Tremas of the planet Traken in 1981. Nyssa lived a life of privilege as the Consul’s daughter, but she was a brilliant intellect, specializing in bioelectronics. The Master killed her step-mother and father, then took over the body of Tremas. Nyssa was taken by the Watcher, a mysterious white figure, into the TARDIS and on to Logopolis, where the Master accidentally unleashed a wave of entropy over the universe. Traken was destroyed. Nyssa and Adric, with the help of the Watcher, took the TARDIS to Earth. By the time they landed, the Doctor and the Master had arrived using the Master’s TARDIS, but the Doctor was mortally wounded, and she witnessed his regeneration into his 5th incarnation with the help of the Watcher. She stayed with the 5th Doctor until leaving to help find a cure for the Lazar’s Disease she had contracted (Terminus).

tegan-jovanka-janet-fielding-8Tegan Jovanka, an Australian flight attendant from 1981. When her car broke down, she mistook the TARDIS for a police call box and stepped inside. Not knowing she was on board, the Doctor and Adric took off for Logopolis. She traveled back to Earth in the Master’s TARDIS and witnessed his regeneration. Tegan traveled with the 5th Doctor until she finally had enough of the violence and left him in 1984 London (Resurrection of the Daleks).

Fifth Doctor
mark-stricklandVislor Turlough, a political refugee from the planet Trion. Turlough was a member of a wealthy and powerful family who was exiled to Earth after a civil war. He posed as a schoolboy at Brendon Public School where Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart was teaching. He convinced his classmates to steal the Brig’s antique car and crashed it. While unconscious, he had a vision from the Black Guardian who offered him freedom from exile in exchange for the life of the Doctor (Mawdryn Undead). Turlough tried to kill the Doctor several times, but he eventually came to the light. He traveled with the Doctor until he decided to return to Trion after learning that his brother still lived (Planet of Fire).

Kamelion_in_TARDISKamelion, a shape-changing android. The Master discovered and used Kamelion to impersonate King John (The King’s Demons). After the Doctor freed him from the Master’s control, Kamelion chose to stay in the TARDIS for fear of being controlled by another. He was finally destroyed at his own insistence after becoming under control of the Master once again (Planet of Fire).

Peri-BrownPerpugilliam “Peri” Brown, an American college student from 1984. While on vacation in Lanzarote, she was saved from drowning by Turlough. Kamelion, under control of the Master, shape-shifted to look like her step-father and lured her into the TARDIS, where he took her to see the Master. After the events of Planet of Fire, she stayed on with the Doctor and witnessed his regeneration into his sixth incarnation. At some point, she was separated from the Doctor by rival Time Lord factions. In one fate, she was shown to be killed by King Yrcanos (Mindwarp). In another, she married Yrcanos and became his queen (The Ultimate Foe).

Sixth Doctor
bonnie4Melanie “Mel” Bush, a computer programmer from 1989. Mel met the Doctor in 1989 in Brighton, but she was pulled out of her time stream to testify on the Doctor’s behalf in his trial (Terror of the Vervoids / The Ultimate Foe). She was unconscious when the Doctor regenerated into his seventh incarnation. Mel traveled with the 7th Doctor until she departed to begin traveling with Sabalom Glitz (Dragonfire).

Seventh Doctor
Sophie-Aldred-aceDorothy Gale “Ace” McShane, a teenager from 1980′s Earth. She was a rough street kid who, despite failing her chemistry exams, liked to make bombs. Somehow transported to the far future and to a trading colony called Iceworld, she got a job as a waitress and met the Doctor and Mel (Dragonfire). She traveled with the Doctor through the last televised episode before cancellation in 1989 (Survival).

Eighth Doctor
GraceDr. Grace Holloway, a San Francisco cardiologist from 1999. She operated on the 8th Doctor after he was shot by a street gang, but not knowing about his alien physiology, she apparently killed him. He regenerated into his eighth incarnation, and Grace ultimately helped him defeat the Master (Doctor Who: The Movie).

 

Ninth Doctor
Rose-Tyler-rose-tyler-32316553-700-400Rose Tyler, a shop clerk from 2005 London. Rose met the Doctor when she was being threatened by plastic Autons, and he was planting a bomb to blow up her department store. She was bored with her humdrum life and joined the Doctor on his journeys (Rose). She witnessed the Doctor’s regeneration into his tenth incarnation and fell in love with him. They were separated when the Doctor sent armies of Cybermen and Daleks into the void between the worlds. Her father, who had died in this universe but was alive in an alternate reality, rescued her before she fell into the void, trapping her in the parallel world (Doomsday). She found her way back when the universes were shrinking thanks to Dalek manipulation (The Stolen Earth / Journey’s End), but the Doctor took her back to her universe along with a part-human version of himself.

adamAdam Mitchell, a young English researcher working for billionaire Henry Van Statten in Utah in 2012. Adam joined the Doctor and Rose as Van Statten’s underground facility was being demolished (Dalek). Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for Adam to get greedy and try to use knowledge of future technology to his advantage, becoming implanted with a brain infospike that could access thousands of computers directly. The Doctor stranded him on present day Earth after hypnotizing him such that any snap of fingers would open the infospike, revealing him to be a freak (The Long Game).

JAck-harkness-captain-jack-harkness-6779000-1024-576Capt. Jack Harkness, the alias of a Time Agent and con man from the 51st Century. While running a scam during the London blitz in 1941 (The Empty Child), he rescues Rose from being stranded on the rope of a barrage balloon and sweeps her off her feet in his stolen ship. The con turns out to have triggered a deadly plague of nanobots that are re-writing any human with whom they come into contact. Jack helps save the world by taking a bomb into space, and the Doctor rescues Jack in his TARDIS (The Doctor Dances). Jack travels with the Doctor until he is disintegrated by a Dalek on the Game Station satellite and resurrected by Rose using the energy of the time vortex from the heart of the TARDIS. Not realizing this, the Doctor and Rose left Jack stranded on the station. He eventually found his way to Earth in 1869, where he discovered that his resurrection was permanent. He can never die. He was recruited by and eventually ran the Cardiff branch of Torchwood. When the Doctor was leaving after he stopping to refuel on the space-time rift in Cardiff, Jack leapt at the disappearing TARDIS and rode on the outside through the time vortex to the end of human history (Utopia). Reunited with the Doctor in his tenth incarnation, he went on to help him defeat the Master before returning to Torchwood (The Sound of Drums / Last of the Time Lords).

Tenth Doctor
s2_05_wal_36Mickey Smith, an auto mechanic and boyfriend of Rose Tyler from 2005. Mickey wasn’t brave or heroic when he first met the Doctor (Rose). He spent the next couple of years helping out the Doctor and Rose when they would come into contact, but it wasn’t until after the events of School Reunion that he accepted the Doctor’s invitation to join the TARDIS crew (mainly to prove that he was more than just their version of the “tin dog”). Mickey stayed behind in an alternate universe where his alter-ego, Ricky, was killed and his grandmother was still alive. He took on the mantle of Ricky with the freedom fighters against the Cybermen (Rise of the Cybermen / The Age of Steel). He would reunite with the Doctor and Rose in the attack by the Cybermen that ultimately trapped Rose in the alternate dimension (Doomsday).

Donna-Noble-doctor-who-for-whovians-28289816-360-270Donna Noble, a temp worker from London in 2007. At her wedding, she was transported aboard the TARDIS (The Runaway Bride). She helped the Doctor defeat an alien invasion, but then declined his offer to join him in his travels. In 2009, she encountered him again, and this time she was ready to join him (Partners in Crime). She stayed with the Doctor until the events of Journey’s End forced him to wipe her memory of him lest she burn up. He returned her to her mother and grandfather with strict instructions that she was not to be reminded of any of her adventures.

tumblr_m1vi4eHk511r8aaivDr. Martha Jones, a British physician from the early 21st century. Martha was trapped inside Royal Hope Hospital in London when it was transported to the moon by aliens. While others panicked, she kept her wits, and the Doctor asked him to join his adventures (Smith and Jones). Her unrequited love for the Doctor made her decide to stay on Earth after The Last of the Time Lords. She later joined UNIT and Torchwood and helped the Doctor during a Sontaran invasion (The Sontaran Stratagem / The Poison Sky).

tve12102-20071225-1628Astrid Peth, a native of the planet Sto who worked as a waitress aboard the starship Titanic. She helped the Doctor as the starship hurtled toward Earth thanks to its mad creator. She died saving the Doctor (Voyage of the Damned).

jenny_doctor_whoJenny, the Doctor’s cloned “daughter” from the planet Messaline. When a tissue sample from the Doctor was forcibly taken, a fully-grown, battle-ready clone was produced. She instantly called him “dad” and is referred to as The Doctor’s Daughter. After she was shot, the Doctor left her for dead, but she regenerated in the same form after the TARDIS left, and she decided to head out into the stars on adventures.

356216-s4_08_river_songProfessor River Song, the alias of Melody Pond, a professor of archaeology and the Doctor’s wife. The Doctor met River in tangled, mostly reverse, order. His first encounter with her was one in which he saw her die (Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead). Earlier and earlier incarnations of her met with later incarnations of the Doctor until he met her as a baby (A Good Man Goes to War / Let’s Kill Hitler).

nextdoctor3Jackson Lake, a math teacher from 1851 London. Traumatized by the death of his wife at the hands of the Cybermen, he took on the persona of the Doctor based on electronic recordings that the Cybermen possess. He helped the Doctor fight off a Cyberman invasion, and the Doctor helped him realize who he really was and rescued his son (The Next Doctor).

s0_06_wal_22Lady Christina de Souza, a thrill-seeking burglar from London in 2009. Escaping from the police, Christina wound up on the same bus as the Doctor, as it was taken through a wormhole to another planet filled with deadly aliens. When they returned, she begged the Doctor to take him with her, but he refused (Planet of the Dead).

AdelaideCaptain Adelaide Brooke, Ph.D, commander of the first base on Mars in 2050. The Doctor arrived on Mars as an alien life form began taking over the crew of Bowie Base. Unlike most times, he could not interfere, as the well-known deaths of the crew of the base spurred on other astronauts, including Adelaide’s granddaughter who would pilot the first lightspeed ship. If he saved them, it would destroy a fixed point in history. Dismayed at the sight and sound of the dying crew, the Doctor chose to interfere, with grave consequences (The Waters of Mars).

wilfredWilfred Mott, Donna Noble’s grandfather. Wilf met the Doctor on Christmas Eve 2008, when he appeared from the crashing spaceship Titanic (Voyage of the Damned). He saw the Doctor again when Donna waved at him as the TARDIS passed through the field of his telescope (Partners in Crime). Wilfred was the last person to travel with the 10th Doctor, as he helped him fight the invasion of the Time Lords (The End of Time).

Eleventh Doctor
karen-gillan-681294206-1792267Amelia “Amy” Pond, a girl from Leadworth. Amy’s meetings with the Doctor were convoluted. When the Doctor crash landed in her aunt’s garden in 1996, she was only 7. She invited him in and fed him and showed him the odd crack in her wall (The Eleventh Hour. He then got back in the TARDIS to do some repairs and promised to be right back. Instead, he showed up in 2008 when Amy was 19 and working as a kiss-o-gram. After they defeated an alien menace, he took his repaired TARDIS on a “quick flight to break her in” and didn’t come back until 2010. Finally, Amy took off with the Doctor…on the night before her wedding. She stayed with him (along the way becoming the wife of Rory Williams and the mother to Melody Pond) until she voluntarily had a weeping angel send her back in time to be with Rory (The Angels Take Manhattan).

cult_doctor_who_s06_roryRory Williams, a nurse in Leadworth. Rory met the Doctor when he was trying to save the planet from an alien invasion just after regenerating into his eleventh incarnation (The Eleventh Hour). Rory was Amy’s childhood sweetheart, and they were set to be married when she ran off with the Doctor. He joined the TARDIS crew at the Doctor’s insistence (The Vampires of Venice), but he was sucked into the crack in time and erased from history after the events of Cold Blood. He returned as an Auton duplicate (The Pandorica Opens / The Big Bang and finally was forced to leave when he was sent back in time by a Weeping Angel (The Angels Take Manhattan).

Craig_owensCraig Owens, an office worker from 2010 London. When his roommate mysteriously won the lottery, Craig put out an ad for a new one. Investigating some time-space disturbances and cut off from the TARDIS, the Doctor posed as a regular “Joe” and answered the ad (The Lodger. Later the Doctor returned to see Craig in his new home and met Craig’s baby, Alfie (who, according to the Doctor, preferred to be called Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All). They helped the Doctor defeat a Cyberman attack (Closing Time).

kazran-sardickKazran Sardick, a rich and powerful man who controlled the skies over Sardicktown in the 44th Century. As a starliner filled with passengers, including a honeymooning Amy and Rory, was crashing toward the surface of the planet, Kazran Sardick refused to accommodate any landing. The Doctor used Sardick’s past self, the love of one of the peasants he had imprisoned, and a flying shark to melt the old man’s heart (A Christmas Carol).

abigail-pettigrew-katherine-jenkins-62Abigail Pettigrew, a peasant girl from the 44th century. She was cryogenically frozen as collateral on a family debt. A young Kazran Sardick and the Doctor let her out every Christmas Eve until Sardick fell in love with her (A Christmas Carol).

Canton-Everett-DelawareCanton Everett Delaware III, an FBI agent from 1969. He was a part of a security team in President Nixon’s office when the Doctor arrived in President Nixon’s office an invisible TARDIS. Delaware assisted the Doctor in his battle against the Silence, later witnessing the apparent death of the Doctor in 2011 (The Impossible Astronaut / Day of the Moon).

Madame_VastraMadame Vastra, a Silurian warrior from Victorian London. The Doctor found Vastra after she had been awoken from suspended animation by the construction of the London Underground. He convinced her not to kill the innocent passegners and workers. Later, she set up shop as a detective, solving mysteries in the shadowy streets of the city. She answered the call when the Doctor summoned his friends to fight (A Good Man Goes to War) and continues to have adventures with him when needed.

253_jenny_flintJenny Flint, a girl from Victorian London. Jenny is Vastra’s lover who poses as her maid, but helps her in her crime fighting. Jenny knows her way around a sword and is an acrobatic fighter. She joined Vastra when the Doctor called in A Good Man Goes to War.

Damn_Moon..Commander Strax, a Sontaran warrior. He was forced by the Doctor to become a nurse to restore the honor of his clone batch. He was serving at the Battle of Zarathustra in 4037 when the Doctor called him (A Good Man Goes to War). After the battle, he joined Vastra and Jenny in Victorian England as a member of their detective gang.

The-Doctor-The-Widow-and-The-Wardrobe-7Madge Arwell, a wife and mother in World War II Britain. Along with her children, Lily and Cyril, they were transported to another planet through a portal to a snowy forest world where the trees are fighting back against their harvest (The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe).

Queen_NefertitiQueen Nefertiti, queen of Egypt from 1334 BC. She traveled with the Doctor for a time after he rescued her people from a swarm of giant alien locusts. She was present when the Doctor encountered a Silurian ark that had been hijacked by the trader, Solomon (Dinosaurs on a Spaceship. After the adventure, she stayed in Africa in the 20th century with the big game hunter, Riddell.

Riddell_looks_leftJohn Riddell, an English big game hunter from the early 20th century. Riddell was an unlikely friend of the Doctor’s, but he joined him on the Silurian ark when he thought he might have a chance to hunt dinosaurs (Dinosaurs on a Spaceship).

oswin-doctor-who-series-7-3Clara “Oswin” Oswald, a girl from the 21st century. Clara seemed to be just an ordinary girl, but she kept popping up in the Doctor’s history. He first met her when she was trapped in the Dalek asylum on Skaro (Asylum of the Daleks), then in Victorian England as a nanny (The Snowmen, and again in 2013 (The Bells of St. John). As it turned out, she was everywhere at once in the Doctor’s timestream (The Name of the Doctor).

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Top Eleven – Tom Baker

Counting down the 11 4 days to the 50th anniversary, here are my top 11 stories for each Doctor, continuing with 4 (Tom Baker).

The scarf, the wild hair, the googly eyes, and the wicked grin. This is the classic Doctor the most people think of when someone said “Doctor Who” before 2005.

1. The Talons of Weng-ChiangThe Talons of Weng-Chiang (1)
This pig thing is still alive. Needs an operator, of course. But the mental feedback is so intense that somehow the swinish instinct has become dominant. It hates humanity, and it revels in carnage.

Doctor Who does Sherlock Holmes. The Doctor brings Leela to Victorian London where women are disappearing off the streets. The trail leads to a theater where a Chinese magician, Li H’sen Chang, and his strange ventriloquist dummy, Mr. Sin, are performing. The proprietor, Jago, teams up with the local mortician, Professor Lightfoot, to help the Doctor and Leela solve the kidnappings. Meanwhile, strange things are going on in the basement of the theater.

2. Genesis of the DaleksGenesis-of-the-Daleks
Do I have the right? Simply touch one wire against the other and that’s it. The Daleks cease to exist. Hundreds of millions of people, thousands of generations can live without fear, in peace, and never even know the word Dalek.

The Time Lords send the Doctor back to the creation of the Daleks on the planet Skaro to try and prevent it from happening. There, he and Sarah Jane and Harry are caught in the war between the Kaleds and the Thals and the cast-off mutants of the no-man’s land. The scientist Davros, more machine than man, has created the ultimate weapon to help the Kaleds win the war–the emotionless killer mutants housed in their Mark III travel machines that he calls Daleks.

3. City of Death20120601192527-36c9da20
What a wonderful butler. He’s so violent!

The Doctor and Romana are on holiday in Paris. There, they run afoul of a detective who is tracking art thieves and the thieves themselves. Millions of years earlier, an alien spacecraft exploded on take-off from Earth. The explosion not only sparked the origins of life on the planet, but also split the alien pilot across time into several splinters of himself. They have a plan to sell multiple copies of great works of art across the centuries in order to fund a device that will merge themselves back together before the explosion, thus surviving and wiping the human race from ever being born.

4. Pyramids of Marsdwpom2
I’m a Time Lord… I walk in Eternity.

In a Victorian Gothic mansion, the master of the house, away in Egypt, has been replaced by a sinister Egyptian. Cloth-wrapped Mummies roam the grounds killing people. Beneath a pyramid, the last of the Osirians–Sutekh the Destroyer–waits to be freed to at long last bring his gift of death to all who live. The Doctor and Sarah Jane must stop him.

5. The Seeds of Doomsarah_doctor_400_400x300
That chap you called in from Unit: is he quite sane?

A pair of alien pods is found in the Antarctic. Before the Doctor can prevent them from hatching, an insane plant lover, Harrison Chase, takes them to his green house and releases them, setting loose giant, man-eating plants.

6. The Robots of DeathThe Robots of Death
I never carry weapons. If people see you mean them no harm, they never hurt you – 9 times out of 10.

The TARDIS materializes inside a giant sand-miner where the crew is apparently being murdered, either by one of their own or one of the robots on board. When the Doctor and Leela arrive, suspicion falls upon them instead.

7. The Androids of TaraTara_part3
Would you mind not standing on my chest, my hat’s on fire.

The Doctor and Romana arrive at Tara for a rest during their search for a segment of the Key to Time. They find that there is unrest in the politics of the area, as android doubles and a princess who looks exactly like Romana are making things difficult for the coronation of Prince Reynart.

8. The Ribos Operationprotectedimage
The Doctor: …One more thing. Your name.
Romana: What about my name?
The Doctor: It’s too long. By the time I’ve called out, “Look out…” What’s your name?
Romana: [slowly] Romanadvoratrelundar.
The Doctor: By the time I’ve called that out, you could be dead. I’ll call you “Romana”.
Romana: I don’t like “Romana”.
The Doctor: It’s either “Romana” or “Fred”.
Romana: All right, call me “Fred”.
The Doctor: Good. Come on, Romana.

Saddled with a new companion, a recent graduate from the Time Lord Academy, the Doctor is tasked by the White Guardian to find the segments of the Key to Time. His first stop is Ribos, where he and Romana and K9 become entwined in a plot by a con man to sell a planet to an unstable war lord.

9. The Horror of Fang RockDoctorWhoHorror_of_Fang_Rock
Gentlemen, I’ve got news for you: This lighthouse is under attack and by tomorrow morning we might all be dead. Anyone interested?

The cursed island of Fang Rock, off the south coast of England, is a place of tales of beasts from the sea. Three lighthouse men at the turn of the century face their fears when something comes from the sea to bring death to all it touches. The Doctor and Leela arrive to investigate.

10. The Deadly Assassinda2
We have him now, but beware. The Doctor is never more dangerous than when the odds are against him.

The Doctor is summoned back to Gallifrey for an emergency session of the Council of Time Lords. They are electing a new President, but in the shadows lurks his old enemy, the Master, and soon the Doctor is accused of assassinating the President-elect.

11. The Brain of Morbiusdoctor-who-the-brain-of-morbius-1-480x316
You really can’t go on calling yourself Morbius. There’s very little of Morbius left. Why don’t you think of another name? Potpourri would be appropriate.

Doctor Who does Frankenstein. The Doctor and Sara Jane arrive on Karn at an ancient castle where the mad scientist Solon is trying to rebuild the evil Time Lord Morbius from spare body parts. He figures the head of the Doctor would do just nicely. Meanwhile, the Sisterhood of Karn, guardians of the Sacred Flame and the Elixir of Life, use their psychic powers to crash the ships from which Solon obtains his body parts. The Sisters, who once shared the Elixir with the Time Lords, think that the Doctor is there to steal it and sentence him to die.

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Top Eleven – Peter Davison

Counting down the 11 5 days to the 50th anniversary, here are my top 11 stories for each Doctor, continuing with 5 (Peter Davison).

After the huge success and lengthy run of Tom Baker, the producers of Doctor Who turned to an established star, Peter Davison. Davison was known for All Creatures Great and Small when he signed a 3-year deal to take over as the Doctor. His portrayal was almost a complete turnaround from Baker’s crazy alien quirks, and though he was the youngest to yet play the part, he portrayed the old man’s soul with great skill.

1. The Caves of Androzanithe-caves-of-androzani
Is this death? Feels different this time…

The last story for the 5th Doctor is arguably his best. The Doctor and Peri land on the cave-filled planet, Androzani Minor, that serves as a base for the production of spectrox, a drug made from the bats that inhabit the caves. Spectrox is highly valued on Androzani Major, as it can extend life. But the flow of spectrox is threatened by a masked madman, Sharaz Jek, and his androids. An army sent by the ruthless head of the Sirius Conglomerate, Trau Morgus, who controls the flow of spectrox and other minerals mined on the surrounding planets, is fighting Jek’s androids, unaware that Morgus also supplies guns to Jek for profit. The Doctor and Peri are caught in the middle and eventually contract fatal poisoning from exposure to unrefined spectrox. The only cure lies deep in the caves of Androzani Minor.

2. Earthshock140809sad_DoctorWho_Earthshock1
Adric: Now I’ll never know if I was right.

Adric, a young mathematical genius who has been complaining to the Doctor that he isn’t appreciated, proclaims his desire to go home to Terradon, a planet in E-Space (another universe), from which he joined the TARDIS crew in the 4th Doctor story, Full Circle. The Doctor dismisses him out-of-hand, and spends quite a bit of time being annoyed with the boy. Meanwhile, a conference of Galactic powers is planned on Earth to design battle strategies against the Cybermen. The Cybermen plan to explode an anti-matter bomb that will destroy the conference, then attack any survivors with an army hidden on an intergalactic freighter. The Doctor, Adric, Tegan and Nyssa arrive to help thwart the Cybermen, but it is Adric who makes the ultimate sacrifice.

3. Resurrection of the DaleksDoctor_Who__Resurrection_of_the_Daleks
Davros: I have waited a long time for this. Once the Doctor is exterminated, I shall build a new race of Daleks. They will be even more deadly and I, Davros, shall be their leader! This time we shall triumph. My Daleks shall once more become the supreme beings!

The Doctor, Tegan and Turlough are being dragged down a time corridor and forced to land on 20th century Earth. The corridor runs between an abandoned warehouse in London and a prison ship that holds the shunned Dalek creator, Davros, in suspended animation. The Daleks are trying to break Davros out so that he can find a cure for a virus developed by their enemies, the Movellans. Instead, Davros has a plan to kill off the Daleks that spurned him and create a new race of Daleks under his control (and a side plan to clone the Doctor and have the clone infiltrate and assassinate the High Council of Time Lords).

4. The Five Doctorsdoctor-who-the-five-doctors-25th-anniversary-edition-20081009005104195-000
A man is the sum of his memories. A Time Lord even more so.

The 20th anniversary of the show brought together three of the original five actors, plus a stand-in for the late William Hartnell. Tom Baker, who had just left the role, decided not to participate, so previously unused footage of him and Romana was used to explain their absence. Meanwhile, the rest of the Doctors and several companions, including Tegan, Turlough, Sarah Jane, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, and Susan, are swooped up by a mysterious cone of energy and placed at different points in the Death Zone on Gallifrey and pitted against various enemies, including a Dalek, Cybermen, Yeti, and a Raston Warrior Robot. The Master is summoned by the Council of Time Lords to enter the Death Zone and help the Doctor, as whoever is behind this is also draining the Eye of Harmony, threatening all of Gallifrey. With the help of the Master, the Doctors reach the Dark Tower at the center of the Death Zone and find the Tomb of Rassilon, wherein supposedly lies the secret of eternal life.

5. CastrovalvaCastrovalva 1
That’s the trouble with regeneration: you never quite know what you’re going to get.

Carrying on from the previous story in which a fall from the top of the radio antenna of the Pharos Project critically injured the Doctor to the point of regeneration, arriving authorities put the unconscious Doctor in an ambulance and intend on taking him and his companions into custody. Adric distracts them with a story about being aliens arrived to answer the project’s call, and Nyssa and Tegan steal the ambulance and take the Doctor back to the TARDIS. Once inside, the Doctor heads straight into the corridors looking for the Zero Room–a space completely cut off from the rest of the universe that will give him a chance to stabilize his erratic regeneration. The Master appears and stuns all the guards and Adric. Nyssa and Tegan rush to help Adric, who comes to life long enough to set some coordinates on the TARDIS console and also head for the Zero Room. As it turns out, this Adric is a computational simulation and the real one is held hostage by the Master. The TARDIS has been set on a course toward the Big Bang, and only a last minute attempt by Tegan seems to change their course to the idyllic planet, Castrovalva.

6. Enlightenmentdr-who-enlightenment
These creatures have vast powers, that’s why none of them must win. To achieve further power would be a disaster.

Sailing ships from different eras in Earth’s history are found racing around the solar system. The TARDIS materializes in the hold of an Edwardian naval vessel whose crew has no idea how they arrived. Meanwhile, the Doctor’s companion, Turlough, has been secretly working for the Black Guardian in exchange for his freedom as a political exile from his home planet, Trion. The Guardians of Time (which included the Black and White Guardians) set up the race for a group of Eternals, powerful beings that exist outside of Time, with the prize being Enlightenment–which would grant them their hearts desire. The Eternals created the ships and kidnapped the crews to run them.

7. Mawdryn UndeadDoctor_Who__Mawdryn_Undead
Black Guardian: We haven’t much longer. I need to know that I have your assent to our arrangement. You will find me the most accommodating of partners.
Vislor Turlough: But, Murder. I’m not sure I could go that far.
Black Guardian: You will be destroying one of the most evil creatures in the universe. He calls himself “The Doctor.”

In 1983, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart is retired from UNIT and teaches mathematics at Brendon Public School. A mischievous student, Turlough, convinces his classmate to steal the Brigadier’s antique car for a joyride, and they veer off the road and crash. While unconscious, Turlough is contacted by the Black Guardian. The Black Guardian knows Turlough is actually a political prisoner from another planet. He offers Turlough transportation off Earth if he will kill the Doctor. Meanwhile, the Doctor, Tegan and Nyssa are caught in a warp ellipse on a starliner. Turlough uses a transmat from the Black Guardian to appear on the starliner, and he escapes with the Doctor. Tegan and Nyssa are sent to 1977 where they meet an earlier version of the Brigadier, and an alien scientist called Mawdryn who pretends to be a failed regeneration of the Doctor. In reality, he has been conducting experiments to try and discover the secret of Time Lord regeneration, creating mutated monsters instead.

8. Kindadoctor-who-kinda-20110426111055515-000
An apple a day keeps the… Ah, never mind.

The TARDIS visits the jungle planet Deva Loka. While Nyssa remains behind in the ship to recover from a mild mental disorientation, the Doctor, Tegan and Adric explore. Tegan falls asleep under some wind chimes and becomes possessed by an evil force, a Mara, a being that dwells in the dark places of dreams. It manifests itself here as a huge snake.

9. Frontios2011-11-13-doctorwho-davison
I’m not helping you, officially. And if anyone happens to ask whether I made any material difference to the welfare of this planet, you can tell them I came and went like a summer cloud.

Frontios is one of the last human outposts in the far future. But since it is a colony that is just starting out, it is forbidden for a Time Lord to meddle in its affairs. But a violent meteor storm appears to destroy the TARDIS, and when it is discovered that a tachnologically advanced race of insectoid aliens is living beneath the surface, the Doctor attempts the get them to repair his lost ship.

10. The Visitationdvd-doctorwho-visitation-500
I’ve never been able to reconcile the Terileptil’s love of art and beauty with their love of war.

The Doctor tries to take Tegan back to Heathrow Airport, but they arrive 300 years early. They find that three alien Terileptil fugitives have crash landed and are planning on wiping out all life on earth with a modified version of the Black Plague.

11. Black Orchidvlcsnap-2011-04-26-14h14m02s135
Why do I always let my curiosity get the better of me?

The TARDIS lands in rural England in 1925 where the Doctor is mistaken for an aristocrat and thrown into a game of cricket. Later, he and his companions are invited to a fancy dress ball at the Cranleigh Estate where stranger murders begin to occur.

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