Doctor Who: 5 Unfairly Forgotten NuWho Stories

And then you remembered.

Doctor Who 42 Eyes
BBC

When you've been in the listicle writing business for some time, you begin to notice some patterns - particularly when it comes to Doctor Who. There's a legion of episodes that make frequent appearances in these articles either for being the best, worst, weirdest or most remarkably insert-adjective-here story ever. But there's just as many, if not more, episodes you never hear about, the ones that inoffensively entertained for 45 minutes but didn't blow you away with some singularly scary monster or face-palming stupidity.

Since quality of Doctor Who over the years has always had extreme peaks and valleys, these good-not-great episodes fade into obscurity very quickly. Though you might recall a reference or contribution to the season story arc, the plot of the episode itself eludes you. But it's really not fair to overlook these episodes for doing their job correctly, if unremarkably. For every 'Blink' there's a 'Boom Town' and for every 'Fear Her' there's a 'Fires of Pompeii'.

So today let's celebrate the average, the ordinary, and the competent. The 5 episodes that you watched when they were first broadcast, might occasionally catch a repeat of on BBC Three now and again, but have otherwise completely forgotten about, as well as wild speculation on why they failed to capture the Whovian imagination as much as others.

5. The Rebel Flesh/The Almost People

Doctor Who 42 Eyes
BBC

When Doctor Who does a clone story, accept no imitations. This Series 6 two-parter was your run-of-the-mill evil clone story but with an imaginative twist on the origin of the clones. It takes the bottom place on this list because, whereas the other stories failed to gain notoriety in spite of their quality, this one is forgotten despite its major flaws. In particular, the CG used to bring the more flexible feats of the Gangers to the screen wouldn't cut mustard for a 90's B movie, which is all the more noticeable next to the excellent make up design used throughout the rest of the time.

This story drags horrendously. Whereas most episodes suffer from 45-minute syndrome, having too much stuff to cram into the length of an average Doctor Who episode, this one felt like it was designed as a one-part story that Matthew Graham had to stretch over two episodes. The result is a plodding mid-section, confused logic and a mound of totally new plot elements to artificially pad out in the second episode. Matthew Graham has written some truly excellent television, but his track record for Doctor Who leaves a lot to be desired. He also penned 'Fear Her', a story that definitely does not qualify for this list, but for some reason this two-parter seldom registers on the Whovian facepalm scale.

Why it's forgotten: It's all about the cliffhanger. This story ended on a major reveal that set the ball rolling for the mid-series finale in the next episode so, by the time the credits rolled, that was all that anyone was talking about. Plus the crummy CG and major continuity problems (there's only one Ganger Jennifer, so how does she manage to be in four places at once?) are easily overlooked when the audience is so bored they're barely paying attention.

Contributor
Contributor

I'm a freelance technology journalist with an unhealthy obsession for Doctor Who.