Doctor Who: The Overrated

As this is posted, it is my 51st birthday. By way of commemorating this, I am compiling a list of my 51 most loved episodes of Doctor Who–particularly from the revival series.

(Daily Doctor Who #195)

However, because I try to write at least one day in advance, that post won’t be ready for my actual birthday, so in the meantime we are doing this one.

This is about some of the episodes of Doctor Who (again from the revival series starting in 2005) that I consider to be overrated. They may not be bad, per se (many would probably make it onto a list of 75 most-loved episodes), but I feel like they often get a lot more love from others than I am prepared to give them. Thus, none of them are on my list of most loved episodes, obviously.

So, a quick list, in no particular order…

Vincent and the Doctor

Season Five

A lot of people love it for its emotional story and while I think that is good, the plot itself isn’t interesting enough for me to really like it. This is probably the one that I consider the “most overrated”, not because I think it’s bad, but it’s just so beloved by so many people.

Dalek and Bad Wolf / The Parting of the Ways

Season One

I group these because my problems with them are similar. I’m not the biggest Dalek fan.  And so much of these stories is about showing how powerful and deadly the Daleks are, with either one Dalek or a whole bunch of Daleks advancing upon or through some hapless humans, level by level, showing each step of the way how brutal and unstoppable and deadly they are, and then murdering everyone.  I just find it kind of tedious.

School Reunion

Season Two

I was excited to see Sarah Jane Smith (even though she was never my favorite) but I found both her anger at the Doctor and the way she had been “ruined” by him to not really make sense or to be consistent with anything from the classic series.

Spyfall parts 1 & 2

Season Twelve

I was kind of into this story until the scene where the Doctor infiltrates the casino, and then proceeds to confront the villain in the most “un-spy-like manner” possible.  It was like it had been written by someone who had seen spy film trailers but not any actual spy movies.  And the revelation of the Master is a big surprise because there is no set up for it at all, and nothing he was doing before being revealed makes any sense.

The Rings of Akhatan

Season Seven

Someone people really like Matt Smith’s speech in this one but I think it’s lame and silly

The Runaway Bride

Christmas 2006

I love Donna Noble in every story but this one, where I found her unbearably annoying.  And I didn’t like the monster either, finding her similarly annoying.

The End of Time parts 1 & 2

Christmas 2009, New Years 2010

It’d obviously be bad if everyone turned into the Master in real life, but on TV, it’s pretty lame.  The only part of this I really liked was the emotional tour at the end through the Russell T. Davis era of the show

The Unicorn and the Wasp

Season Four

I used to think I liked this one and then I rewatched it and found it be more of an annoying and by the numbers take on an Agatha Christie mystery than anything else.

The Zygon Invasion / The Zygon Inversion

Season Nine

This is actually quite a good adventure in many parts with a heartfelt ending, but there are a number of points where the storytelling just gets a bit sloppy. It’s one of those nit-pick episodes where if just a few points were cleared up, it’d probably be on my list of favorites. I was going to outline some of these things here but actually, I already did after I first watched it. You can have a look if you are curious.

Be back tomorrow with thoughts on my favorites!

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