First, a bit of housekeeping. Yeah, my brain fell out of my head there for about 10 days. It’s back now, so I’m catching up here.
Part of my absence was due to several days’ worth of recursion, having a TARDIS within my TARDIS (which, strangely enough, did not cause a space loop) as I helped Mad Girl stage photoshoots for the “Where is the TARDIS” contest. Her entry is now eligible for voting, so make like the grand Chicago tradition and vote early and often.
It took a bit of thought to decide on my favorite season. Most of the New Series was straight out, since seasons 2-4 (and the specials) were pretty much ruined for me by the canonization of Rose. Season 1, brilliant, except I can’t quite forgive “The Long Game,” and Season 5 is still much too new and shiny to be considered my favorite season ever. Thus, I had to limit myself to the first 26 seasons.
Many seasons were eliminated straight away on the basis of which Doctor it was. Doctors 1, 3, and 7 were straight out for reasons I won’t bore you with in this essay. As much as I love the combo of Six/Peri, I don’t particularly like their stories. (And, of course, Mel is STRAIGHT OUT). Second Doctor is mostly missing, and I don’t have the patience for the reconstructions, so sadly he had to be taken out of consideration, too. That left Tommy and Peter.
The trouble with Peter’s seasons is that there’s always one story I don’t like. Season 19: “Earthshock”; season 20, “King’s Demons,” season 21, “Caves of Androzani.” The same thing works for Tommy’s era… with the exception of one glittering season. And that season is….
The Key To Time! (Season 16)
I love this season to pieces! I adore the interaction between the Fourth Doctor and the First Romana! (And I admire all her costumes, even if I’ve only made two of them.) The inter-connectivity between stories is fun. And the stories themselves entertain so much.
The Ribos Operation introduces the conceits of the season– the Key to Time, the White (and Black Guardians), Romana– while also providing a nice little pseudo-feudal tale and memorable characters and dialog such as only Robert Holmes could write.
Ending scene from \"Ribos Operation\"
The Pirate Planet is such a space opera– but a Douglas Adams space opera, so it’s both clever and funny. Plus, K-9 saves the day!
K9 shoots the Polyphase Avatron
The Stones of Blood appeals to me because of how it works hyperspace, the awesomeness of Amelia Rumsford, and how Romana has shoe fail. (And I couldn’t help but think of the stone circle and what it hid in this story while watching “The Pandorica Opens.”)
the beginning of \"Stones of Blood\"
Okay, I’m a sucker for Androids of Tara because of how most of the story doesn’t involve finding the Key to Time (’cause Romana is clever and found it straight off), and how there’s a double involved. I’m so about the identical twins/cousins/strangers thing as a story plot it isn’t funny! I am also a sucker for palace intrigue, which abounds in this tale. Plus, Romana’s costumes in the story is AWESOME.
Crowning of Prince Reynart (ep. 3 break)
I admit it, The Power of Kroll is extremely silly. But, hey, at least John Leeson gets to be on screen in this story! I also have fond memories of Kroll chant variants with friends. We did a “Kroll” conga line many times (da-da da da DA KROLL!). We also stood at the top of the Norris Center hill after Galaxy Rangers meetings and shouted toward the library “Great Kroll! Mighty Kroll! Bad-ass Mother-#$(er Kroll!” (We also shouted “Mighty…. Mighty…. MIGHTYMAN” because it echoed so well!)
The Armageddon Factor wrapped things up with more palace (or pseudo-palace) intrigue (I seem to really like that, didn’t realize it until just now. And even though Lalla “Triple Threat” Ward is in the story, at least she spends a chunk of time as an inanimate object (officially), so it’s all good. The end is sad, because it implies that the First Romana had many more adventures with the Doctor before she made the bad decision to voluntarily regenerate– and that never happened. (Well, actually, until now, since Big Finish will sort that gap out for us finally!)
And there you have it! I am so looking forward to the Four/Romana Big Finish stories it isn’t funny!