50 years of Doctor Who in 50 screengrabs

Review Andrew Blair 23 Dec 2013 - 07:00

As its fiftieth anniversary year draws to a close, Andrew serves up a visual guide to Doctor Who, told in 50 screengrabs...

Here we are: a largely visual guide to Doctor Who, all achieved via the medium of MS Paint and the 'Alt + PrtSc' buttons.

1. The Sound of Drums

Where it all began.


2. An Unearthly Child

The first cliffhanger. Not only has the TARDIS transported us from present day into the unknown, but there's something else. There will always be something else.


3. The Daleks

Look, the definitive “Something else”.


4. The Sensorites

After the initial distrust, the TARDIS crew have put aside their differences, and the show is nearing its essence: the Doctor, his friends, "A great spirit of adventure."


5. The Dalek Invasion of Earth

The first companion departure, and it's the Doctor's grand-daughter Susan. Hartnell plays the scene beautifully, informed by his real life emotions at Carole Ann Ford's departure.


6. The Romans

Another string on Hartnell's lute: The Romans plays to his comic strengths, the Doctor merrily plays his way through Emperor Nero's court.


7. The Underwater Menace

The Second Doctor cavorts his way through the early episodes of Season Four.


8. The Tomb of the Cybermen

The Doctor and Jamie holding hands. Shippers, to your keyboards!


9. The Web of Fear

Jamie and the Brigadier. Yes, your mancrush is acceptable.


10. The Invasion

The iconic image of the show's second most popular monsters.


11. The Mind Robber

The TARDIS explodes. The Doctor spins away into nowhere. Jamie and Zoe cling to the console. Jamie is somewhat less expressive regarding his feelings on the subject.


12. Spearhead from Space

He's from another era of the show, but Andrew Cartmel's comments are pertinent here: “We went to see John and said, What about tentacles? They could come out through the ventilation grilles. And he said 'Tentacles are difficult', spoken with the knowing manner of a man who's tried tentacles before.”


13. Inferno

The sight of the planet screaming out its rage.


14. The Daemons

If you show this image to anyone who hasn't seen The Daemons and they don't immediately want to watch it, then there's something wrong.


15. The Sea Devils

The Doctor and the Master have a fight in a high security prison that somehow has conveniently located swords at the ready.


16. Carnival of Monsters

A monster.


17. The Green Death

The Doctor drives off into the sunset. The end of the Pertwee era is nigh.


18. Genesis of the Daleks

"Back on Skaro, where it all began."


19. The Seeds of Doom

A slightly bigger monster.


20. The Deadly Assassin

If you to show this image to anyone who you've just shown The Daemons to and they don't immediately want to watch The Deadly Assassin, there's something wrong.


21. The Talons of Weng Chieng

Henry Gordon Jago, Professor Litefoot and the TARDIS.


22. City of Death

The most important punch in history.


23. Creature from the Pit

If you think this one looks odd, you should know we've gone for the PG-rated version.


24. The Horns of Nimon

It is he, Soldeed.


25. Shada

The Fourth Doctor, lying on a patch of concrete, enjoying himself enormously.

This article is continued on the next page. We don't like splitting our lists like this, but with the longer, picture-heavy ones, it does seem to make sense...

Disqus - noscript

There wasn't much more we realistically could have asked for in the 50th, could we? Between Night of the Doctor, Adventures in Space and Time, The Day of the Doctor and The Five(ish) Doctors, they more or less covered just about everything possible in practice.

11. The shot from The Mind Robber is just a few frames too soon.

OK, I know the descriptions for each screengrab are above them... But this did make me laugh!

McCoy's Doctor was bad-ass.
(Except in the first half of Time and the Rani, but he'd just regenerated so we'll let him off for that)

I agree. My second favourite Doctor after Hartnell. :-)

Nothing on Doomsday? I'll be over in this safe corner huddled and not thinking about it.

I agree with every one of these! OK, maybe not the Creature From the Pit one!
The crying Cribbins gets me every time!

'Pure radge'! Belter!

Oh absolutely! Remember that longish period of time when Amy had given birth and was being held at Demon's Run while the attendant army were waiting for the Doctor to turn up? Always pictured a conversation between two suitably genre-aware troops along the lines of:

Red Shirt 1: "So we're waiting for a near-mythical being with a serious reputation for genocide and who's owed favours by half the universe to turn up and save his best friend who we've not only kidnapped but also, just for good measure, stolen her child?"
Red Shirt 2: "Could be worse"
Red Shirt 1: "How? How could this possibly be any worse?"
Red Shirt 2: "We could have done this to Ace..."

Always REALLY annoyed me that he gets killed in the TV movie because he fails to look outside the TARDIS before stepping into what is, effectively, a shooting gallery. So out of character for 7 and he deserved a much, much better death.

If you're after truly iconic images I'd add one more, the TARDIS in the Oval Office. Not just for its story implications but for the meta link to Who *finally* breaking the US in a big way. Plus the old girl's never looked better IMO!

It's actually a few frames after the bit you're thinking of. I thought those needs had already been catered for elsewhere.

"They're looking at each other, they're never going to move again"....until someone comes into the basement and moves them one by one into a truck! Still...such a great episide.

Paul Mcgann as the rani? To the fanfic station!

Nothing on The Doctor's Wife? No, not River, the first one that's bitey and called sexy.

She's the TARDIS and she's Suranne Jones.

Who cares? They both suck.

Oh look the troll has come out for Christmas.

I haven't been disparaging about anyone else's comments but you seem to think its ok to be.

So glad to finally see an overview that gives due credit to the 7th doc's badassery - at least after Saward left and Cartmel took over head writing, as a much better match for the continuity-focussed JNT.

Oh what I'd have given to see Cartmel's through-plot (made as an idea for an endgame for the show, if they could put off its cancellation for 2 more seasons) - I know it inspired Lungbarrow, but it hardly counts.

Love the idea of making the Doctor 'special' again instead of just another timelord (and
explaining the importance that the few oldest and most powerful timelords seem to place on him). The idea was to make a lot of his pacifism and humour a half-act - it's still his character, but also one that he's developed because he's being 'hiding' within it it for so long. Remembrance of the Daleks was the 1st step of the Cartmel story, hence the idea of a doc who spends 2/3 of the serial seemingly losing to a more strategic-than-usual Dalek force (with Davros in command), before just dropping the nice-guy act and very easily dispatching of them....blowing up the Dalek planet no less, while commenting casually as he watches Skaro explode 'so long Davros...it hasn't been a pleasure'.

The Daleks were apparently going to be back and improved later, but the idea for then was that this was the Doctor with the disguise off, showing the most powerful of the show's 'standard' races is nothing compared to him when he's playing for keeps. Then follows it up with 2 stories emphasising his tendency to play macheviallian games over very long periods (deliberately stranding his companion Ace in a foreign planet to fend for herself, traumatising her and almost trashing her life, to transform her into a weapon against one of his ancient foes - with no takebacks either).

The idea was to be that the doctor was one of the original trio (with Rassilon and Omega) who started the Timelords, and kept putting himself into exile to hide just how old he was, before returning to guide Gallifeyan politics for a while and then getting himself exiled again. Of course, he has neither the godlike power of Omega, nor the technical genius (and ruler of the timelords in slumber) of Rassilon. Hence it was going to all build up to an endgame with Rassilon and Omega as dual but opposing villains (which again takes us back to why they had him genocide the daleks with ease - 7th's endgame was intended to be him v the two most powerful beings in the canon; not that Rassilon is individually as powerful as Omega or the Guardians, but as an uber timelord with a nation of timelords behind him,. he pretty much qualifies).

My 2nd favourite 7th doc line (after the smirking 'so long Davros, it won't be a pleasure' while watching Skaro blow up):
Doc: 'Say Ace, you do remember I told you not to bring any nitro9 with you under any circumstances?'
Ace: 'Yes of course'
Doc: 'And you being you, you just can't help but do the opposite of what I order you, right?'
Ace: 'Perhaps...'
Doc: 'That's a good girl. Mind blowing the exit with that nitro9, will you?'

The Batman Gambit has nothing on the 7th doc.

Love River's line:

Doc: 'oh. like you're going to all just shoot me...'
River [bursts out of the TARDIS in a panic]: 'THEY'RE AMERICANS!!!'

#32 always bugged me....love the shot, but Delta and The Bannermen took place in the 50' (1959 I believe) and the Squier Strat come into being until 1982. Oh, well...just being picky.

I'm hardly a troll, just a chap with a differing opinion from yours, btw, I take back what I said, Moffat, is in fact, the worst thing to ever happen to the show.

I love the idea that the Doctor is a reincarnation of The Other. Omega = Power/Strength, Rassilon = brain/intelligence, The Other = heart/emotion

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