When I first heard that the mid-seasoning opener for Doctor Who was ‘Let’s Kill Hitler‘ I was unreasonably excited. Finally, I thought, they are going to a location that would be on any time traveller’s list. As it turns out Hitler was only in the episode for five minutes before he was locked into a cupboard. Obviously they couldn’t actually kill Hitler without driving the show into Inglourious Basterds (2009) territory; however it would have been nice to have him actually interact with the trio for more time. Whilst it was enjoyable enough it could have been so much more. It did however set off me off thinking about what I would visit if I had a time-travel machine. Alas I can only muse on what adventures the Doctor should have.
Dr. Who has tried to explain the legend of Atlantis more than once, but those were all in the older series. But this is a reboot and I think Dr. Who is ready to try and explain this again but I have put Atlantis high up on the list because I think it would be very difficult to actually pull it off. To try and explain how a whole city has gone missing will be a screenwriting headache, even in the universe of the Doctor. Though to be fair they did manage fairly successfully to destroy the Doctors home planet. This would be a fairly far-fetched episode especially as this new Doctor has been seemingly moving away from large scaled threats that this would require.
9. Let’s visit Jesus
Ok, so I admit that this will never-ever happen, this is why it is so high on the list. But who wouldn’t be curious? I think this is one of the first periods in history that people would visit with available access to a time machine. This is up there with visiting Hitler. However to even tackle the issue in a show like Doctor Who may be a bit too disrespectful to some, especially on a channel funded by public money.
However this is a wish-list so makes the cut still. I think this could still work within the parameters of the show. When picturing this scenario I see Jesus as a superman type alien. When a mother and a father that cannot give birth happen to find in a stable (seee where I’m going with this?), the star that the three kings see could be his ‘spaceship’ or whatever in the sky, which proceeds to crash into said stable.
Come on this episode writes itself! The story could then pick up when Jesus is a teenager and in comes the Doctor; they team up to fight some evil force… Granted it would be a tad ludicrous/blasphemous. It could never work, but would be entertaining nonetheless.
8. The Loop
The Doctor Who trio are travelling to some sort of famous event when *gasp* the TARDIS starts behaving erratically. When things calm down they step outside to… wherever. But something’s not quite right. Five minutes later they wake up back on the floor of the TARDIS. *dwoww* – Cue opening titles. This would be the general opening for this episode. Taking some inspiration from Groundhog Day (1993) with some threat repeating itself over and over. The Dr. and the gang must race to solve the mystery in order to get the TARDIS working once more.
This would be a good monster-of the week episode, even if the general idea has been overused ever since Groundhog Day was released, most recently in Source Code. Whilst it would be unlikely that the episode would bring anything new to the formula it could result in a fun enough filler.
7. Cowboys & Time-Lords
This could be a really fun episode if handled correctly. Dr. Who has not been in America too much, and to visit a time-period such as this could provide a classic episode. You could have them visiting a small American town that is being terrorised by an alien gang that have a cowboy style look to them. The Dr must then fight to defend the town from the alien menace, likely escalating to the climax of a duel with his sonic screwdriver as his weapon.
There would also be lots of comedic opportunities for the trio to explore; something which I feel has not been up to par this season. This episode could play out as a nice blend of Back to the Future Part III (1990) and Cowboys & Aliens (2011), but with the Doctors distinct humour in play. I actually find it odd that the Dr. has never visited this era, as it seems like it could fit perfectly with the show.
Small locations and a single threat are common elements which this scenario could easily provide.
Hear me out. When I say zombie here I more mean the slow mindless ones that don’t bite people. This could be the result of some mysterious alien virus that has turned Amy and Rory’s home town or London into a mindless mess. As this is a family program the virus would be spread via the water or some other means in order to avoid blood and whatnot. This would provide two obstacles to overcome. To first find the cure for the virus and secondly to stop whatever beast is spreading it.
This would be another “Monster of the week” but I think it is one that could be fun. It may seem a bit of a basic monster in some viewer’s minds but this just means that it could be enriched in some other way. The emotional connection from Amy and Rory could also provide a nice plot point if set in their home town.
5. Civil War Space Station
I will graciously admit that I was thinking of another film when this idea popped into my head. But really I do think this could make a great adventure for Dr. Who. The TARDIS lands on a military space station and upon exit are immediately taken to the commander or whoever. Soon after an alarm buzzes around the whole space-station. They are being attacked by fighter ships buzzing everywhere outside. It’s up to the Dr. to rescue the innocent civilians working on the space station who have no real sides in the civil war that is evidently underway.
I think for this episode to work well neither the space station commanders nor the other side of the war are painted as the ‘good-guys’. This allows the Dr. to act as the only voice of reason in the whole affair. This would also allow us to see an alternative viewpoint to a certain similar film… As long as they don’t get sued for copyright infringement. Similarities aside it could provide a nice threat that could easily fill a whole episode or even a double-parter.
Another opportunity in American History here. I can kind of see this working as an opposite to all those ‘save the famous figure’ episodes. Instead something is working to stop John Wilkes Booth from assassinating Honest Abe but of course he must be murdered otherwise history will be re-written too much, as also discussed in series one’s ‘Father’s Day’. Therefore the Dr. must work to stop the murder of John Wilkes Booth in order to restore the time-line.
This episode would allow for some tender moments and the realisation for the companions how dangerous yet necessary time-travel really is. Alternatively if this is too morbid it could be set during Lincoln’s younger years, and be one of those aforementioned ‘save the famous figure’ episodes but I don’t believe this would carry the same weight as the previous scenario and would result in a simple “Monster of the week” episode.
3. Robots – A.I.
I know Doctor Who already has so many robots that they are kind of hard to keep track of what with Daleks seemingly invading every other season, and when they are not the Cybermen are. However these were both originally designed in the 60′s, with that era in mind. Whilst both are undeniably awesome and always welcome back, they feel rather dated and have done for some time now. The kind of robots I mean for this list are one’s that appear human, and have a larger motive than searching to exterminate the Doctor for an hour.
The episode could play out similarly to a season of Battlestar Galactica with no-one knowing who is human. This would bring the episode close in theme to this seasons two-parter ‘The Rebel Flesh’ and ‘The Almost People’. Alternatively the robots could look less like human but decide to rebel by themselves, and are not just programmed to destroy. This would bring an unorganised disaster to wherever this happens to be located. This would allow the Doctor to face an intelligent enemy and bring the shows robots into more modern times. But the basic point is that I just want robots that aren’t so… robotic.
2. King Arthur
This probably wouldn’t be the most historically accurate episode even by Dr. Who standards, but that’s what would make this such a good episode. The Dr. hasn’t really been this far back in England and would provide a different era for the show to explore. Imagine the Dr. and guys arriving in an ancient castle only to then find out they are in Camelot and they intrude on the Knights of the Round Table. I think this could really work within the structure of the show with the legends supernatural elements being explained by some alien technology or some other power involving Merlin. I think this episode should end with Camelot’s complete distraction as it would offer a nice explanation as to why there is no record or evidence for it. Plus it would allow an awesome opportunity to use a dragon as a key threat…
Speaking of large reptiles:
How has this not been done!? To answer my own question, it’s probably money. The only Dr. Who story featuring dinosaurs was 1974′s ‘Invasion of the Dinosaurs‘ and this involved dinosaurs being released into London with a time machine. The Dr. has never been to any period of time with dinosaurs, which I believe could provide a really good story. If a suitable and engaging enough threat were thought of to keep it interesting this could provide some good action pieces. It is such a shame that this will likely never happen as I imagine it would be a bit out of the budget range. But if it was possible I think this would bring Dr. Who to whole new level of awesomeness.
This article was first posted on September 10, 2011