Avenging July

Where June saw a decline in quality, July’s episodes have very gradually started to improve. With Epic and Who’s Who??? taking the show as far as it could go in one direction, there’s some sign that the production was being reigned in and brought back (a little closer) to reality. Though all the episodes are from series 5, this was produced – and broadcast – in two distinct blocks (with the production now being aimed at the US, things like episode ordering and series/season numbering starts to get complicated). The last two episodes I watched in July are from the second block, and the shift away from the comedic formula are evident in the removal of the jokey subtitles and the increasingly tedious “we’re needed” sequence at the start of each episode. At the same time, the light-hearted tag scenes get better and better, in some cases proving to be the high point of the episode.

This batch of episodes also includes three of the four stories in series 5 to be remade from earlier scripts. These start poorly, but with The Joker an already excellent episode is improved upon, showing just how good the show could still be. (These, and the use of the cybernauts clip in Never, Never Say Die followed by a cybernaut sequel, do raise questions about how important continuity for the UK audience was considered to be…)

From series 5 I watched:

I’ve listened to 4 brand new audio productions of lost episodes from series 1:

Pick of July: The Joker.

Episodes remaining: 39 (7.8 per month)

About Simon Wood

Lecturer in medical education, lapsed mathematician, Doctor Who fan and garden railway builder. See simonwood.info for more...

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