Remembrance of the Daleks (1988)

For a long time I thought that my love affair with this serial had been prejudiced by the powerful memories that I associate with it - the first episode of Remembrance of the Daleks is the first episode of Doctor Who that I clearly remember seeing – but, on reflection, this is clearly not the case. Here Ben Aaronovitch has crafted one of the most complex plots that I've ever seen in the series, some of the most outstanding characters, and certainly two of the best cliffhangers. Still my number one.

Dalek (2005)

At the time of writing I must have watched what SFX once dubbed “the best episode of Doctor Who ever” about six or seven times and, as I predicted back in 2005, it has gone on to become one of my favourite episodes, Daleks or otherwise. On the first viewing, Rob Shearman’s action-packed psychological masterpiece actually made me cry three times (not girly bawling; imagine three lone, manly tears silently trickling down my cheek). Powerful stuff.

Genesis of the Daleks (1975)

It's hard to imagine a ‘Top Five Dalek Stories’ list without this one in it. Ever since I heard Sylvester McCoy’s quick précis of the creation of the Daleks in Remembrance of the Daleks, I was fascinated by the notion that Daleks were the mutated remains of another species. And, true to its billing, this seminal six-parter documents the fall of the Kaleds and the rise of their issue. Terrifying, mesmerising and utterly perfect, this story’s DVD release’s proud boast that it is Doctor Who’s “No. 1 Story EVER” is a statement that I wouldn’t really care to argue with.

The Stolen Earth / Journey's End (2008)

Perhaps the most ambitious story of Doctor Who’s forty-five year existence, the word ‘epic’ is just not superlative enough. Marred only by the most unpalatable of endings, this absolute slobberknocker of a story sees the Daleks and their monstrous creator at their zenith - this is how I always imagined the Dalek Invasion of Earth should have looked! If ever there was to have been a canonical Doctor Who movie, then this should have been the script (subject to a few redactions).

The Power of the Daleks (1966)

I ummed and arred a lot about whether to include The Power of the Daleks or The Evil of the Daleks here as in my mind they are two heads of the same beast. I discovered both these lost classics at the same time thanks to John Peel’s wonderful novelisations, and from there my deference for both only grew as I discovered audio soundtracks and telesnap reconstructions. In the end though, Power (just!) tops Evil for me as, Daleks aside, it deals with the Doctor’s first regeneration so very beautifully.




  Genesis of the Daleks (1975) 

The Daleks are hardly in it, but Michael Wisher's never bettered turn as Davros makes it, along with Tom Baker being perfect as the Doctor ("Excuse me, could you help me? I'm a spy!") and Harry being hard as nails.


It's a gritty thriller, and neither gaping plot holes nor the Clam of Doom can spoil it.

Dalek (2005)

The story that made the Daleks the stuff of legends again. After this, my friends, who used to scoff at the series, were fans and some were actually scared of the Daleks... although the Doctor's almost as chilling here.

The Dalek Factor (2004)

Again, a story in which we see little of the Daleks, but their insidious presence is felt throughout. An effective chiller.

Terror Firma (2005)

The fact that the new series more or less overwrites this is irrelevant - this one just works. The opening sequence, in which we hear Davros' screaming cackle, and realise that he is now truly insane, is terrifying.

Remembrance of the Daleks (1988)


The McCoy era wipes the memory of its kiddified first season away with some fast-paced Dalek gold. It's got creepy possessed kids, Quatermass references and Daleks that climb stairs. What more do you want?




Terror Firma (2005)

The thought of a post-Remembrance of the Daleks battle with Davros and the eighth Doctor was too good to miss, and I’m glad I didn’t. The very close atmosphere of an insanity-ridden Davros and the Divergent Universe-weary Doctor was so well handled, I feel so sad the event wasn’t filmed. Plus, in my mind’s eye, this is where the original style Daleks became ‘new series’ in appearance, as a new Dalek race rose to the stars…

Genesis of the Daleks (1975)

What can I say? This is where it all begins, and Davros’ introduction is sheer genius. Without the Master in this era, the Doctor needed a new good villain and who else but the creator of the Daleks could fill the gap? The bleak, fate-driven story is even now, 35 years later, a masterpiece.

Daleks In Manhattan / Evolution of the Daleks (2007)

This story has an undeserved reputation, perhaps for the US setting and the humanised Dalek Sec. Nevertheless, I love it. I see Dalek Sec as the anti-Davros, a creator figure who had the imagination to reach beyond conquest and see the Daleks as a potential force for change, even good. His repudiation of Davros’ dream for his creations is a sobering and genuinely hopeful moment in the history of the Daleks. Small wonder, with Sec’s death, that the very next appearance of the Daleks would bring Davros back.

The Evil of the Daleks (1967)

Perhaps the best of the original series’ Dalek stories, this adventure pits the Doctor against the Emperor Dalek for the first time, and introduces such concepts as the Dalek and Human Factor, as well as a great time-travelling premise which features, at the time, what was the final end to the Daleks. It’s a tragedy that I and many other  fans may never see this story in its original and complete glory.

The Juggernauts (2005)

The final audio adventure in this list pits the sixth Doctor and Davros against each other for the third chronological time. Hearing Davros disguised as a human scientist in a friendship with Mel is unbelievably shocking, as is hearing the chilling humanised Mechanoids, or the titular Juggernauts in a second battle with the Daleks. And of course, there is the ending detonation of Davros, which begs just how he managed to survive that one, since we know, long before 2008’s The Stolen Earth / Journey’s End, that he did…





Resurrection of the Daleks (1984)    Terror Firma (2005)    Bernice Summerfield: Death and the Daleks (2004)


   Jubilee (2003)    The Genocide Machine (2000)












Legacy of the Daleks (1998)    Fear of the Daleks (2007)    The Chase (1965)


  Death to the Daleks (1974)     The Genocide Machine (2000)


Destiny of the Daleks (1979)    The Chase (1965)    War of the Daleks (1997)


   Renaissance of the Daleks (2007)    The Stolen Earth / Journey's End (2008)









Dead Man Walking (2008)



What is the point of killing off a main character to make the viewer think that ‘no-one is safe’, only to bring him back the very next week? Well, I'm sure that Matt Jones would argue that the point is to tell an absolutely thrilling and shit-your-pants scary story. An incredibly well-written, well-performed and well-produced piece of work, Dead Man Walking is in my view the best episode of Torchwood to date.

Combat (2006)

COMBAT by Noel Clarke


Far from being the cheap filler episode that many had expected it to be, Noel Clarkes magnificently well-written homage to Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club is an absolute cracker. In Mark Lynch, Clarke has created a sort of ‘upmarket’ Tyler Durden; a man who has it all, yet still finds his life lacking something. And, emotionally crippled having lost Diane, Owen buys into all of Lynch’s bullshit. Burn Gorman’s finest hour.

A Day In The Death (2008)

A DAY IN THE DEATH by Joseph Lidster


What better brief could a writer hope for than having to deal with Owen’s adjustment to life after death? Relieved of his duties by Jack and relegated to making the coffee, Owen has not only been pushed off the mortal coil but also pushed out of the Torchwood team. Joseph Lidsters astonishing script is sizzling with terminal angst (how long until they get this guy writing for Doctor Who on television?) and Burn Gorman is every bits its equal.

Random Shoes (2006)

RANDOM SHOES by Jacquetta May


Sated with Welsh charm and a bucketload of pathos, Jacquetta May’s beautifully titled episode Random Shoes is Torchwood’s answer to the Doctor Who episode Love & Monsters; only much, much better. An outright tear-jerker, this two-hander between Eve Myles and Paul Chequer is incredibly poignant, not to mention incredible fun. If Greeks Bearing Gifts was one for the Dads, then this is certainly one for the ladies...

Something Borrowed (2008)



After a grim and cheerless trilogy of episodes, this episode came as a welcome change of tone. Phil Ford’s script is light and funny, and Andy Goddard's direction is… Well… Bright. The sun is shining, the shape-shifters are shape-shifting, and Torchwood’s own Gwen Cooper is finally getting married. Fair dues, there is blood and gore and chainsaws and the like, but what else would you expect from a Torchwood wedding? A real gem.




Small Worlds (2006)



PJ Hammond's beautifully creepy tale evokes horror and fascination in equal measure, and delivers a genuinely adult take on familiar Doctor Who ground. Remember, faeries are not nice little Tinkerbells...

Captain Jack Harkness (2007)

CAPTAIN JACK HARKNESS by Catherine Tregenna


What could have been a simple look back at Jack's background exploits is instead presented as a poignant tale of love against sexuality, with the ever present threat of inevitable death that must have haunted thousands of men in the World Wars. At the same time, it introduces the wonderfully creepy villain Bilis Manger, a sort of  first Doctor gone horribly askew!

Random Shoes (2006)

RANDOM SHOES by Jacquetta May


This looked like it was to be a simple retread of the recent Love & Monsters episode of Doctor Who, but avoided that by simply doing it better.

Fragments (2008)

FRAGMENTS by Chris Chibnall


Had this arrived in the first series, it would have lacked impact. After nearly two years though, we're chomping at the bit to learn some more about the team.

To The Last Man (2008)

TO THE LAST MAN by Helen Raynor


The tragic tale of man out of time Tommy is made all the more affecting by Anthony Lewis's wonderful performance.








The Power of the Daleks (1966)

Of all the ‘lost’ Doctor Who serials, The Power of the Daleks is the one that I'm most familiar with. After reading John Peel’s thrilling novelisation, I went straight out and bought the BBC Radio Collection soundtrack (narrated by Anneke Wills), and then was fleeced for a third time in 2005 thanks to the money-spinning telesnap reconstruction MP3-CD. But at the end of the day, Patrick Troughton’s first serial is one of – if not the very best of – his reign and worth every penny. What I would give for an animated DVD...

The Evil of the Daleks (1967)

Of all the missing stories, The Evil of the Daleks is perhaps runner-up to The Daleks’ Master Plan in terms of notoriety, but in terms of sheer brilliance it leaves its epic rival trailing. The score is brilliant, the effects are ahead of their time, the locations, the atmosphere… this is a serial that has it all. So good they played it twice, The Evil of the Daleks encapsulates the very best of 1960s Doctor Who. A majestic end to one of the series’ best seasons – easily worthy of all the hype!

The Web of Fear (1968)

The Web of Fear is a phenomenal story – without a doubt the best story of Season 5 – and it is all based on one simple, powerful image: Yeti loose in the London Underground. This is one of those iconic stories that is forever etched into the minds of so many viewers, be they fans or not. Those who originally tuned into the serial back in 1968 are now among a very privileged few, however, as this classic was yet another victim of the 1970s fires. So far as candidates for re-animation go, this one would certainly prove a popular choice...

The Faceless Ones (1967)

The Faceless Ones is certainly one of the strongest stories of the Patrick Troughton era. Sadly though, with four of the six episodes missing, this serial is one that was for a long time overlooked by fandom. However, in the last few years the commercial release of the existing episodes and also the complete soundtrack has helped the story to become much more widely known and appreciated. Even so, The Faceless Ones still lacks the lofty profile of the missing Dalek and Yeti stories, despite being just as good.

The Enemy of the World (1967/68)

The Enemy of the World is a thoroughly entertaining yarn, most famous for being the one story in the

1967/68 ‘monster’ season not to feature any sort of alien menace. David Whitaker’s script is a sort of ‘future historical’; a six-parter which largely adheres to the old ‘historical’ format, yet is quite firmly set in the future. This espionage thriller is also reminiscent of many of the early James Bond films – Salamander would have made one hell of a Bond villain! A fine example of some of David Whitaker’s best writing.




The War Games (1969)

Even at ten episodes long, this doesn't outstay its welcome. Constantly keeping you guessing by jumping from Great War trenches to groove-tastic alien bases, via the American Civil War and with a bunch of rowdy Mexicans thrown in. And if that weren't enough, the Time Lords turn up, kill Patrick Troughton and end an era!

The Evil of the Daleks (1967)

Another time-jumping story, juxtaposing the swinging sixties, the prim classicism of Victoriana and the futuristic desolation of Skaro, and giving us both our first glimpse of the mighty Dalek Emperor and the second Doctor showing just how ruthless he can be when the stakes are high....

The Invasion (1968)

Absolutely the best classic series Cybermen story, despite the fact that they're hardly in it. Indeed, it's the sparing use of the creatures that makes them so effective. The great Kevin Stoney's fruity turn as Bond-villain Tobias Vaughn is enough to hold the show.

The Power of the Daleks (1966)

 One of the best post-regeneration stories, and undoubtedly the most important.


 It's a true crime that this historic serial has been wiped.

The Three Doctors (1973)

Not strictly a second Doctor story I suppose...

                                                                    ...but it simply has to be included since nothing puts Patrick Troughton's sparkling performance into sharp relief like the pompous Jon Pertwee's!


The War Games (1969)

The final second Doctor serial saves the best storytelling for last: ten epic episodes spread across battlefields, bases, hiding places, and other worlds. There is a mystery: is this Earth, World War I, or somewhere, somewhen, else? Why are there Redcoats, Romans, and American Civil War soldiers roaming the lands? And why are some commanding officers speaking into future technology interfaces demanding more specimens and hypnotising soldiers with eerie glasses? Who is the sinister bearded War Chief, who seems to know the Doctor of old? And will the Doctor be able to save the day this time, or must he call for help? The War Lords are a compelling race, and the first appearance of the Time Lords is a key moment in the series’ history, particularly with rumours building even today for the series' future. And of course, for the fan in me, this is the first appearance of the Master, as played by Edward Brayshaw. This may be at the moment be only a general fan-held theory that the War Chief is the Master, but as 40 years of fan theorising and hopefully several of my short stories have shown, it is not so outlandish a concept if believed and taken seriously. Plus, his performance, relationship to the Doctor and "we are two of a kind" statement just scream Master! Plus, he has the beard of evil, who else has it…? 

The Invasion (1968)

Some call this the last great Troughton adventure. I may not quite agree there, but this story is massively wonderful not to mention essential to the future structure of the series. With Nicholas Courtney returning to the role of Lethbridge-Stewart (for the first time with the rank of ‘the Brigadier’!) and carrying UNIT in his stride against the threat of the Cybermen (in their square-head debut no less), this story is truly a classic! The spokesman villains of Tobias Vaughn and the Cyberplanner are equally compelling, with Vaughn being largely seen as an early successful template for the mad scientist / corporate magnate villain for Doctor Who. Kevin Stoney is truly a genius and will be forever remembered for his contribution to the series here and as Mavic Chen. Oh, and who can overlook the first appearance of Corporal Benton, a fan favourite even now in 2009, and the only character of the series my Dad, a non-fan, likes? What other minor character could warrant such love as to be remembered with fondness 41 years on, even to be included as a main character in my own novel, Time's Champion? Well done, John Levene, well done… 

The Web of Fear (1968)

For the Brigadier alone (or should that be ‘the Colonel?’) must I include this story in my top five.  Here a lives-long friendship between the Doctor and Lethbridge-Stewart begins, and Nicholas Courtney shines in the military role. I still hold out hope that he and the tenth and later Doctors will meet. Plus, on its own merits, this adventure is wonderful! Yeti, the Underground, Professor and Anne Travers, the Great Intelligence, a deserted London, and a fantastic (and sadly the only existing) first episode shine with horror, suspense, and action. This story is an early must for Doctor Who fans. May it be animated for future posterity! 

The Tomb of the Cybermen (1967)

My first second Doctor story, and what a gem it was and still is. Perhaps the only thing not giving this my number one spot are the lacking continuity elements of UNIT, the Brigadier, Benton, and the Master. Nevertheless, the lover of stories in me must acknowledge that this story is brilliant: Telos; old-style Cybermen; the first sighting of the CyberController, still appearing in some form in the new series and my own Cold Storage / Cold War brace of stories; the Tombs; and the wonderful villains of Eric Kleig and Miss Kaftan - why have we never seem the Brotherhood of Logicians again? And, of course, who can forget the Doctor's "our lives are different" moment with Victoria, still hurting from her father's death on Skaro? But I will always remember Toberman, the strong, silent man victimised by the Cybermen, who rose up to challenge their evil, and who sealed them away forever in their tombs at the cost of his life: "They shall never pass Toberman. The door is closed!" Emotional stuff.

The Macra Terror (1967)

Something about this story, very early on and sadly almost completely lost, intrigues me. Perhaps it is the image of fearful evil just beneath a veneer of happy complacency; perhaps it is the shadowy, unseen figures of the Macra clawing at Ben and Polly; perhaps it is the hypnotic conditioning of Ben and the colonists under Macra command. Or perhaps this is arguably the story where both Jamie and the second Doctor came into their own as characters and working friends, cementing them as one of the best Doctor / companion teams in the entire series, with the duo appearing together on-screen as late as 1985's The Two Doctors. 





The Three Doctors (1973)

This was the very first multi-Doctor story (and classic Doctor Who serial) that I ever watched and it was brilliant. It was great to see both Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee together, whether in the TARDIS or battling Omega, and I also enjoyed seeing the Brigadier get pissed off with our beloved "cosmic hobo". It’s a shame William Hartnell wasn’t well enough to appear with his successors, but we'll always have the behind the scenes pictures to know that all three of them had a great time meeting one another.

The Mind Robber (1968)

Best. Cybermen. Story. EVER! Tobias Vaughn (played by the late Kevin Stoney) and the Cyberplanner were both fantastic, as was the first appearance of UNIT (before its mischaracterisation post-Torchwood) and the return of Alistair Gordon Lethbrigde-Stewart now - and forever - known as the Brigadier. The showdown between the Cybermen and UNIT troops is absolutely marvellous. In UNIT (and the Doctor) we trust!

The Invasion (1968)

Without doubt one of the best stories of Troughton’s three year run. My favourite moments include the Doctor changing Jamie’s face by mistake, his running into Bernard Horsfall’s Gulliver, and his beating the Master (no, not that Master!) at his own game. Oh, and – of course – Zoe’s butt shot! Those naughty camera men…


The War Games (1969)

The end of two eras: Patrick Troughton’s tenure, and the monochrome age. Multiple wars, battlefields and soldiers. This is really ten episodes of non-stop excitement, and we even get to meet the Doctor's people at long last. On top of that, we have Edward Brayshaw as the amazing War Chief (aka Magnus) and Philip Madoc’s superb War Lord too. There are sadder moments too, with the Doctor forced to say goodbye to Jamie and Zoe as they’re both sent back to their old lives, memories erased. It's ironic that the Doctor would later do the same to Donna…

The Evil of the Daleks (1967)

“DOC-TOR!” The greatest Dalek story of 1967. We got to see the Doctor’s dark, manipulative side the first time, as well as Deborah Watling’s Victoria Waterfield. The poor girl didn’t catch a break here though - her dad, Edward, starts off working for the Daleks and later dies, and her fiancé suffers the same fate. The BBC should be ashamed of themselves for erasing 6 of these 7 episodes.


     |    |    |    |    |    | 



Copyright © E.G. Wolverson, Daniel Tessier, Chris McKeon & Kory Stephens 2009.

 The authors have asserted their rights under sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 to be identified as the authors of this work.