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.