And so our countdown, from seven to one, begins. So…
In Seventh Place: Army Of Ghosts/Doomsday
Truthfully, there were a few problems with the reintroduction of the Cybermen into Doctor Who, which perhaps we were kind to in retrospect due to the giddy excitement of, well, just seeing them again.
But as much as it was great to see them back, and their sinister stomping had much going for it, their introductory episodes weren’t too great. It didn’t help that their leader and creator was Trigger from Only Fools & Horses, who then turned into the CyberTrigger and was expected to be taken seriously.
But their appearance in the double header that finished off season two is what earns them their place in this listing.
There was lots to admire, even though the show went at the kind of pace it didn’t need to do over a double episode. Surely the point of those is to spend some time setting up your story a bit more? Instead, it seemed to be setting up the guts of the Torchwood spin-off during the down periods, and again, the casting of Dirty Den’s wife did nothing to help UK audiences take it seriously.
But heck, it’s still a thumping two-parter. From the solemn introduction by the soon-to-depart Rose, through the reasonably clever introduction of the Cybermen, it was hard not to enjoy it. Bonus points too for the surprise introduction of the Daleks at the end of the first episode, even if they did then go and show the Cybermen to be weak-ass pussies, as four Daleks saw off every Cyberman heading in their direction.
In fact, the Dalek vs Cyberman face off, unseen ever before in Who, was so one-sided it made you wonder if the Cybermen should take up crochet.
The concluding episode had much of what you’d want from a season wrap-up: the effective offing of a main character, a massive special effects battle – this time in, er, Canary Wharf, and lots of emotionally strained faces. But it’s really good fun, and in spite of some strange plotting issues, it’s a worthy way to kick off this list.
Number six in the countdown? A bit later on today, if all goes to plan…