10 great Doctor Who series openers

Feature Cameron K McEwan 5 Apr 2013 - 07:00

Cameron selects ten tremendous Doctor Who series openers, from Rose to Ribos, and Tomb to Terror...

Over the years, Doctor Who has suffered from what is commonly known as "SOS" or "Season Opener Syndrome". There's been some stinkers like Destiny of the Daleks, Attack of the Cybermen and Arc of Infinity and some mundane instalments such as New Earth, Robot and The Dominators. But there are some genuinely good ones out there too - some damn good ones. So here's ten of the best season openers over the last forty-nine and a bit years of Doctor Who

10. Partners In Crime (2008) 

Despite the levity of the episode, and we're talking about the Adipose here, this Russell T. Davies beauty managed a couple of mean feats. Firstly, he re-introduced us all to the mighty Donna Noble again (The Doctor and Donna's meeting through the windows mime is one of my favourites in the show's history). And secondly, the former showrunner managed to sneak in, without any warning or hints, the return of Rose Tyler. There was an almighty thud as the nation's collective jaw hit the ground when the onetime shop assistant appeared during the closing minutes -setting up the series in the most spine-tingly of fashions. 

9. The Ribos Operation (1978) 

The Key To Time was a funny old beast. A season-spanning story arc (imagine that, eh?) which featured The Fourth Doctor, played by Tom Baker, with his Time Lord companion Romana, the beautiful and wonderful Mary Tamm. This opener set the premise up succinctly with the appearance of The White Guardian, who commandeers the TARDIS briefly and fills the Time Lord in on the Key to Time, which he had believed to be a myth. In short, The Doctor has been tasked to retrace the six segments of the Key, scattered throughout space and time. The story itself finds the Gallifreyan and his much smarter companion on Ribos - a cold, late-medieval kind of place - with much shenanigans from confidence tricksters, Garron and Unstoffe. The late great Iain Cuthbertson played the former with all his usual guile and panache, creating a most memorable addition to Who's one-off characters. But The Ribos Operation is really stolen by a scene featuring Binro, an outcast branded a heretic as he believed in life on other planets. The aforementioned Unstoffe excitedly reveals that all his thoughts and discoveries are, in fact, true. A tremendously moving piece of writing from Doctor Who legend, Robert Holmes. 

8. The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon (2011) 

Steven Moffat certainly knows how to kick off a series (even if he doesn't always fare so well when closing it). This doozy from just two years ago managed to kill off The Doctor in its first ten minutes, only for the Time Lord to reappear in a diner sucking on a straw. This cinematic two-parter was helped by some delicious filming in the US but also from the inclusion of new monster, The Silence. Their presence, somewhat ironically, was hugely felt across the story and became an instant hit with the audience. And, like Partners In Crime, it had the most shocking of endings to set up the rest of the series as a young girl regenerated in New York City... 

7. Tomb of the Cybermen (1967) 

I wouldn't say I was a huge fan of the Troughton era (and by that please don't misinterpret it to mean that I dislike it per se, it just doesn't grab me) but Tomb is a neat four-parter featuring the return of the Cybermen. Perhaps, the guest cast are a little stagey but the design and direction make for an impressive tale and fantastic season debut. The tension of the discovery of the tomb remains throughout with a superb claustrophobic feel but it's Patrick "The Trout" Troughton who thoroughly impresses with his sparkly yet undeniably dramatic performance.  

6. Horror of Fang Rock (1977) 

Perhaps one of the, if not the last great "horror" stories from that era, Terrance Dicks' base-under-seige story is a taut classic with minimal cast and maximum scares. Doctor Who in a lighthouse at the turn of the twentieth century may not sound like it's packing much, but the paranoia and fear embedded in this four-parter make for a scintillating watch. It's typical in some ways; The Doctor and his companion (in this case the feisty and leather-clad Leela, played by the effervescent Louise Jameson) appear and are immediately in the frame for someone's death - not an unusual position for Gallifrey's finest. But it's how the story plays out that's such a joy, in particular some of the class issues that are addressed. And we get to meet a Rutan - sworn enemy of the Sontarans! 

5. Spearhead from Space (1970) 

Opening stories for new Doctors can be a toughie (let's not discuss The Twin Dilemma or Time and the Rani) but Jon Pertwee's debut was fresh and tight. Given that the previous stories consisted of two six-parters and a ten-parter, Spearhead breezed by with a new Earth-bound feel, a new companion and a cracking new alien threat - the Autons and the Nestene Consciousness. The story contains so many memorable moments, such as the shop dummy rampage, and looks like Doctor Who never had before - in colour and on film. It's on Blu-ray later this year, one to savour in all its technicolour glory. 

4. Terror of the Zygons (1975) 

More from the Baker era, and what a story. As discussed in the recent classic monsters list here, the Zygons are a firm fan favourite - down to their design but also to this tremendous tale. Initially, it was down to be the previous season closer but got bumped due to a change in the broadcast schedule (just imagine that happening now). In many ways, it was a solid goodbye to the old days with the last appearance from The Brigadier until the eighties and Harry saying farewell too (though he would pop in The Android Invasion). The direction from Douglas Camfield is terrific, adding real menace to the titular invaders (though he couldn't work the same magic with the Skarasen) with superb lighting and damn fine location work. Also well worth a mention is the amazing score from Geoffrey Burgon, whose sounds and atonal melodies haunt and accentuate the story at every turn. 

3. The Eleventh Hour (2010) 

Steven Moffat and Matt Smith faced the Herculean task of starting all over again, and boy did they start again. The Eleventh Doctor's first outing was a fresh beginning for the show, also treating us with new companion Amy Pond and a new TARDIS (both exterior and interior). The story may have had shades of a previous Moffat story, The Girl in the Fireplace, but the vibrancy of Smith's performance, the bouncy dialogue and slick direction made for an impressive debut from the incoming team. It's still one of Moffat's best stories to date. 

2. Rose (2005) 

Eight years ago. Can you believe it? Eight years Who has been back. Blimey. Anyway, too-soon nostalgia aside, Russell T. Davies and his team brought back Doctor Who in such a way that it seemed impossible and inconceivable that it had ever been off our screens. Hitting the right tone from the off, Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper made for telly's finest couple and lit up the screen like no other. The story saw a return for the Autons but it was the relationships that made Rose such an engaging and enthralling watch; packing the tale with humour and warmth - ensuring the series would continue for some time to come. 

1. An Unearthly Child (1963) 

When they started Doctor Who originally, they got it right. So very right. This is where it all began in Totter's Lane with a rather crotchety old man (who wasn't too hot on his lines), his hip granddaughter and two caring but perhaps overly curious school teachers. An Unearthly Child is an accomplished piece of television with a wonderful, yet terribly ordinary, mystery at its heart. (I will say that the other three episodes of the story are not nearly as good, so let's just stick with the opening instalment.) 

Hartnell as a leading man, as it were, is still to this day a formidable character. Almost unlikable and maybe even a "villain" of sorts, he's not so much as a cool uncle, but an unsettling grandfather. His performance as Doctor Who, or "Dr. Who" as the credits inform us, remains bewilderingly and utterly fascinating. Playing the "heroes", William Russell and Jacqueline Hill, teachers Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright respectively, also hit the perfect note from the first minute - a Mulder and Scully for the Sixties. They're never scared to question or confront their designated driver, emboldening their characters tenfold. 

It's a testament to the likes of Verity Lambert, Sydney Newman et al that their vision was strong enough to last so long on the back of this extraordinary opener.

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As a child I enjoyed the Twin Dilemma and could never understand the criticism until I watched it as an adult. Poor Colin got lumbered with that daft costume and also some pretty ropey scripts but trial of a timelord had a lot going for it, fudged ending apart. I still hope to see the Valyard again!

Time and the Rani was where I parted ways with Dr Who for a while. Sylvestor McCoy's opening story was so silly and it seemed far more like a younger kids show and as all older teenagers do, they dump the new Dr.

Davison and Colin Baker are my Drs. Still love the show.

Yeah, most of the ones I would have picked. Wasn't that keen on The Ribos Operation, although as a whole, I did like The Key to time season. Also, I must be the only person who wasn't that impressed with The 11th Hour, it was ok .. but that's it for me, a bit Harry Potter, and a bit boring towards the end. Re-watched Spearhead From Space yesterday, that has got to be the best post regeneration story yet, a cracker that still looks great.

Good list, although I'd have to include Remembrance of the Daleks and Masque of Mandragora. Two of my personal faves.

I love Robot. Sure the story is a bit like an Pertwee one, and no one can deny when the robot gets big things all get a bit clunky visually, but Tom Baker hits his stride so confidently that everyone else can't help but be taken along for the ride, the cast and the audience.

Leave Robot alone. It's a classic start to a (the?) classic season.

Remembrance Of The Daleks, my all-time favourite story of the classic series.

Partners in Crime was drivel. Rose HIGHER than The Eleventh Hour? Laughable.

Excellent selection apart from Partners In Crime, not one of RTD's finest moments..

No Smith and Jones? I love that series opener. I still think it tops Eleventh Hour, only because of its visual simplicity.

Haven't seen new who, but In order of New Who from favourite to least favourite stories would probably be - The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon, The Eleventh Hour, Asylum of the Daleks, Rose, Smith and Jones, Partners in Crime, New Earth.

It's pretty shocking how bad for the most part season openers throughout classic and new Who have been compared to the number of classics and well-regarded stories. I would definitely include Rememberance of the Daleks in this - although not a personal favourite, it put the series back on a more serious note after two seasons of awful self-parody and Douglas Adams-esque wit and also properly started the evolution of Sylvester McCoy's Doctor into a darker figure. It also looks like it has had a bit of money spent on it (although I'm sure it didn't) from the tight direction, well-paced action and effects. I actually really like Attack of the Cybermen - the continuity in it is overwhelming but it takes the series to a more darker and adult place. Let's just ignore the tubby Cybercontroller! The Leisure Hive also deserves a mention for its complete change in style to usher the series into the 1980s which I'm sure was startling for many viewers. Some of the worst would have been Masque of Mandragora (well made but interminably dull) and New Earth (after the huge relaunch season what an underwhelming storyline to launch Tennant's first proper series as the Doctor with those bloody cat nurses!)

Yes all great. Lots of Tom Baker of course, because he was superb. But partners in crime was utter crap. It was nothing more than a vehicle to get Catherine Tate back again. The adipose were rubbish and so was the story. Rose is no where near as good as everyone makes it out to be.

Its just because it was Doctor Who coming back for the first time in years. The story is lightweight and the Autons are sorted out in 5 minutes at the end with "anti plastic" er ok.

Terror of the Zygons is superb, Horror of Fang Rock is Superb, but so was Masque of Mandragora and Robot was way better than Partners in Crap...er Crime....
but that's just me and my favourite Doctor....

My list would be pretty different:
1 An Unearthly Child
2 Remembrance of the Daleks
3 The Eleventh Hour
4 Asylum of the Daleks
5 Impossible Astronaut\ Day of The Moon
6 Castrovalva
7 The Time Warrior
8 The Three Doctors
9 Partners in Crime
10 Horror of Fang Rock

(11) Battlefield

An Unearthly Child is indeed a masterpiece and the last 4 season openers are strong (why no Asylum DoG?) but otherwise I feel you've missed some classics. Remembrance is one of the best ever stories and a great start to the silver anniversary year. Castrovava is a clever story introducing the new Doctor. Time Warrior not only introduced the Sontarans and SJS but properly introduced the modern companion introduction style. The Three Doctors has the first 3 doctors plus Omega and is memorable in spite of the flaws.

Pretty good list. Personally, I would've had more classic series openers on there. I agree with a lot of them, but I have to take issue with Partners In Crime??? Are you serious?? I had to do a double take there!! With the exception of the wonderful interplay between the Doctor and Donna, it was an absolutely ridiculous, terrible story, and the Adipose were just rotten. Partners was one of RTD's worst scipts, in my opinion. I might even go so far as to say it was one of the worst season openers in the shows entire history. Fail on that one. Smith and Jones was a much much better season opener than Partners in Crime, so was Asylum of the Daleks... not sure how that got missed, but oh well.
I think Terror of the Autons should've been added...after all it introduced the Master.......not to mention Jo Grant. It was a good story too, with some pretty horrific imagery for the time. That story scared a lot of kids. Surely it deserves a nod too....it set the format of what was to come for the next 3 seasons.
I also think Remembrance of the Daleks should be on there. An excellent story with some excellent direction.

I couldn't agree with you more Davros. Masque and Robot were both superb!! Partners was really really not....In fact, the only season opener I can think of that was worse than Partners was maybe Time and the Rani.

I love Colin Baker too. One of my favourites. I just thought I'd let you know that Twin Dilemma was actually the Season finale for Season 21. Season 22's opener was Attack of the Cybermen (a great story IMO).

I know they're both cliches, and that there may be bias due to them both being fan favourites for 'best Doctor Who serial', but surely there are two obvious ones missing:
- 'Genesis of the Daleks' with Baker's doctor and companions being plucked from the Tardis by the Time Lord's 'special operations unit', ordered to either prevent the daleks from being created or ensure that they evolve into something less evil, only to find themselves in a battlefield that has been going on for so long that all the visual signs indicate 2 civilisations that started as high-tech but have bombed and starved each other back to WW1 technology. Terrific both visually, as a story intro and thematically - also the first time in the Dr Who chronology that the Time Lords have predicted a future where the Daleks match them and cause a 'Time War'...leading to the starting point of the new series. Unfortunately, the awesomeness of WW1-technology Davros going from not believing space OR time travel exists, to working out that the Doctor travels through both, and utterly outwitting the more 'advanced' hero until the Doctor is lucky to escape having failed completely didn't really get going until the later episodes in the serial. Still a brilliant opener though.

- Caves of Androzani - the 5th doctor, the most pacifist and gentle of them all, who (arguable due to his gentle nature) has caused the highest death count of innocents out of any of the doctors, including several companions (most notably Adric - ending Earthshock by killing off the 12 yr old 'child prodigy' character was rather shocking to audiences at the time, and I dare say killing off a child companion would still be shocking today), and the story STARTS with both the doctor and his new companion being poisoned - they quickly learn that there's an antidote available, but the planet is in the middle of a 3-way battle, setting up brilliantly one of the best moral dilemmas and character finales of the original series - to save his companion or to defend 'the good guys' from the villains, when he's failed on both counts enough times that it's become the 5th doctor's defining trait - i.e. which failing does he try to rectify before dying?

Ahh we're talking series openers. I thought we were including the opening episodes of serials as well. That explains it.

Though in that case, I'd add terror of the Autons (the first appearance of the Master was quite a shock for viewers when they realised it was another Tardis they were viewing - though not nearly to the same degree as when the 2nd Doctor's run, in which most of the series' core lore was established, ended with the 10-part epic 'War Games', where 3/4 of the way through the doctor and viewer realise that the villain is another Time Lord and the usually unflappable 2nd doctor turns white and screams at Jamie to run - but Roger Delgado's 1st performance was a masterpiece (sorry for the pun).

In particular the early scene where he hypnotises the Doc's companion into carrying a disguised bomb to the doctor and setting it off - the Master's minion asks 'So, you mean to kill this doctor?'. Followed by the Master's priceless look of disgust: 'Don't be absurd. I'm merely announcing my arrival. A declaration of intentions, if you will.'

I was rather glad that the new series ignored the non-Delgado Master stories and kept the same 'frenemy' relation that the two rogue time lords had in the Master's early appearance.

Oh boy... rare that I disagree with DoG but a couple of big ones here. First, Partners in Crime. I actually quite like this but agree with others here that the story is utter bobbins. What saves it are some great performances including the (re)introduction of the Mighty Cribbins. But that alone doesn't put it in the top ten, sorry. Oh, and the Rose moment was met with a fair few anguished wails too as any hope of a season without the Doctor's One and Only Schmoopy vanished into the ether.

And on the subject, Rose... Rewatched this recently and it really has not aged well at all. Oh it's a decent introduction to Who but, frankly, 11th Hour handles the mechanics of the show better and puts a much better story around them too. The Doctor is thwarted by two Auton's grabbing him, the threat itself is dealt with in ten seconds flat, and Rose is shown very clearly as a horrible horrible human being. Wait, before throwing the sharp pointy things hear me out! She abandons her clearly traumatised boyfriend in a back alley to run off laughing with the Doctor. She doesn't notice that said boyfriend is turned into a very obvious plastic version for a good few hours sat right next to him. She doesn't actually bother to let her mum know she's alright AFTER CALLING HER FOR THAT EXACT PURPOSE! The list is long but you get my drift. Oh and looking back Billie Piper is pretty poor here IMO. Don't get me wrong, she does well for her first proper acting gig but it's not a patch on pretty much every companion that comes after (or, indeed, some of her own later performances). Suspect the really positive reaction was more down to no-one expecting her to be okay rather than a properly good performance.

For me, I'd drop those two off the list and put Remembrance of the Daleks (superb story & my first port of call to introduce someone to classic Who) and Asylum of the Daleks (great looking episode with a strong story, the introduction of Clara and some superb performances) in their place.

Just a personal preference of course, but I'm more of a fan of Smith and Jones than Rose or Partners in Crime. My favourite RTD Series opener.

Anything from Steven Moffat in there...are YOU serious?

"I wouldn't say I was a huge fan of the Troughton era (and by that please don't misinterpret it to mean that I dislike it per se, it just doesn't grab me)"

How can you say this objectively when most of his era is missing presumed wipe. Based on the surviving stories alone Troughton is up there with the very best of Doctors and some of the missing stories are held up as the best by those lucky and old enough to have seen them. As for the list can Partners in Crime really be better than Power of the Daleks? Even though it's lost I guess not

Of course! How had I forgotten that. One of the funny things is that I always thought Colin looked grand in the 5th Drs get up. Still the costume he wore was soo 80s. It kind of works.

Absolutely agree with you about Rose!!! I'm actually proud to say I'm NOT a fan. Right off the bat she turned me off and made me realize she's the worst companion of all of them. Especially when she was with Ten she was terrible, she was incredibly selfish! She was so possessive of him that I wanted to PUNCH her in School Reunion. Compare her first encounter with Sarah Jane and Donna's with Martha. What a brat! And don't even get me started on Doomsday. Wow, ready to drop everything just to be with the Doctor? Bella Swan much?? Haters gonna hate, but nothing anyone says will ever make me think highly of Rose EVER.

My list would be:
1st - The Eleventh Hour
2nd - An Unearthly Child (that single episode)
3rd - Spearhead from Space
4th - Terror of the Autons
5th - Tomb of the Cybermen
6th - The Three Doctors
7th - Terror of the Zygons
8th - Remembrance of the Daleks
9th - The Ribos Operation
10th- Doctor Who - OK not a season opener but McGann's best episode lol!

Predictable top 3 there... and then you say "let's ignore episodes 2-4 of AUC" making it hardly fair. Judge it as a whole, not just with on its first episode.

They both had their highlights, but remember, Rose was the first episode of the newer series

Im so glad Asylum of the Daleks isnt here. There were SOOOOO many Dalek continuity errors! And a stupid decision made right at the end!

Pssst - Power wasn't a series opener. Otherwise I agree with you!

Um, Day of the Daleks?

No Snakedance? Are youse guys frickin' serious?

An Unearthly Child might actually be one of the few stories you could get away with that, tbh. The first episode and the rest of the story have almost nothing to do with one another, cliffhanger notwithstanding (for a long time, all stories led into one another in a similar fashion) - different setting, different guest cast, seperate plots. You could almost call it two seperate stories: "An Unearthly Child" (episode 1) and "100,000 BC" (eps 2-4).

There was a bit of controversy when "Planet of the Dead" was labeled the 200th story of DW. Many believed that count was off. The blame was put on "Trial of a Time Lord". Many say "TOATL" is one story, many say it's four stories. I myself think that the story count goes wrong right at the very beginning. I think "An Unearthly Child" is a one-episode story followed by the three-episode story, "100,000 BC". (Just like Tivena wrote above.) "Unearthly" episode 1 is, simply put, absolutely fantastic, brilliant television. One of the best examples of not just Doctor Who, but of ALL television ever aired. Every moment of that episode is incredible. Episodes 2-4 tell a good story, but can't hold a flaming skull to that Premiere episode.

Interesting list. Here's my top 10 series openers:

10. The Time Warrior

9. Tomb of the Cybermen

8. Terror of the Zygons

7. The Three Doctors

6. Day of the Daleks

5. Asylum of the Daleks

4. Terror of the Autons

3. Remembrance of the Daleks

2. Horror of Fang Rock

1. Spearhead From Space

- - - - -
Bottom 5 series openers:

5. Arc of Infinity

4. The Dominators

3. Time and the Rani

2. The Leisure Hive

1. Warriors of the Deep

Snakedance was the second story of S20, the first was Arc of Infinity.

100,000BC, the first episode at least, is a work of genius, there are very very few first episodes of new series that come anywhere close to being as good as An Unearthly Child, the only ones that come close for me is Survivors (the original 70s one) and possibly The Prisoner.

Er, no Bells Of St Johns?

LOL

I really enjoyed Rose, but I do agree with you that Billie Piper is not a great actress. I feel sorry for Freema Agyeman that her character seemed to be living in the shadow of Rose and never got a chance to be a fully formed character her self. She was much more interesting when she wasn't trying to become the Doctor's lover.

Just watched The seventh doctor episode.. The Curse of Fenric The a special edition with a new score, it's an amazing story , the seventh is my fave doctor and also pert wee, I suppose because I started on the New Who first in 2005 I love any doctor story on earth and the doctors who mainly set in earth I love the most like pertwee and McCoy. Although tonight ep was great with the rings of atekan.

OMG, plot makes one think! Eeeevil, can't have that!

Anyone can do soppy sappy soap opera that shoehorns logic to the corner just so another tear can be shed... (granted, the Moff isn't perfect either but at least he's being truer to the show or as much as possible...)

The first 15 minutes of "11th Hour" almost turned me off, but then the camp comedy was reduced and it got better.

Ditto for "The Doctor's Wife" - the forced comedy almost kills what's a damn good classic after the writing grows up and allows to be more than just a bog standard sitcom.

I totally get that, but it isn't the point. It's a cheat for this list.

Rose was, and remains, absolute pants. badly written, badly acted by the gurning pomposity that was Eccleston, and appallingly directed, it is a miracle that the programme survived!

Also- Robot. Completely removed my fears that Jon Pertwee leaving meant the end

thank god. Martha was a terrible companion. I was even mad that she came back in the big finale.

Pretty funny calling Attack a stinker and then including Partners in Crime! ROFL!
No Remembrance is pretty pathetic too.

Heh, sorry, but I don't fully agree with either of you ;-) Both RTD & Moffat can write both plot and characters. If they couldn't they wouldn't be in the jobs they're in. Both of them occasionally struggle with the limitations of the format and both have stories that demonstrate, uh, issues (though of course we have no idea of the money, time and other pressures that could cause that).

For me the difference is in the type of stories they write. RTD does indeed tend to focus more on relationships and I think the soap opera comment is accurate in at least one aspect - RTD's Who tends to tell you what characters are thinking & feeling, Moffat's tends to be a bit more subtle and have a bit more depth to them. The only problem, for me, that RTD really ran into (and this is a man who, let us not forget, is responsible for some truly wonderful episodes & bringing the show back in the first place) is the need to really push the boat out for the end of each season.

Now that sounds odd I know but the problem is Who doesn't finish, it has a new story to tell the year after and the year after that and... well, you get the idea. Coupled with the need to do so many big stories on earth to accommodate the family of the companion(s) and you ended up with occasionally silly moments that took you out of the story. Giant CyberKing stomping across London with nary a mention in the history books for instance. As a result by the time Moffat took over the show was beginning to creak under its own mythology and some repair work was needed.

But you know what, they're both really damn good. Different, yes, but that's what we should want in show runners! They will write good stories, they will write less good stories. They will have good days and they will have bad days. But, and for those of you that haven't get a copy of the Writer's Tale for evidence of this, both work ridiculously hard in a job with a stupid amount of pressure attached to it and both turn out a show of high enough quality to capture a huge audience on a regular basis. For that every single Who fan should be grateful!

The only one I disagree with? Partners in Crime. Why have an episode that seems like it introduces new characters when
A) The Doctor hasn't regenerated in ages
B) We've already met Donna!
The Bells of St John took the corporate bad guys idea an pulled it of quite well. Partners in Crime was massive dissapointment. The fact Donna was the most insufferable companion only solidifies this.

As for Rose, it may be a flimsy episode, but it was a fantastic reintroduction into the new series, which gives it kudos for being a serires opener.

The opening of "Tomb of the Cybermen" is mainly interesting for introducing us to the Doctor as suicidal maniac who despite clear "KEEP OUT - CYBERMEN" signs insists on barging his way into the legendary tombs, when anyone with half a brain would run away. And he hasn't even sabotaged a fluid link to do it.

...or have I been reading too much "Wife in Space" ?

Yes indeed, what about it? A story where the Daleks have a parliament and an asylum, neither of them remotely in character, with people being turned into Daleks, so that's got them mixed up with the cybermen rather than standing out as something different, throw in some ridiculousness where Rory plays dodgems with Daleks and you have something which is almost as bad as the treatment they got in "Evolution" and "Victory".

Maybe you were thinking of "Dalek" ?

My favourite RTD story full stop.

Not that that's saying much...

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