As Doctor Who reaches its exceptionally impressive 60th anniversary this week, it's an ideal moment for newcomers to step into the TARDIS and explore the series' classic era, which have recently all become available on BBC iPlayer.
From the inaugural episodes in 1963 to the advent of the Seventh Doctor, this era laid the groundwork for the beloved science fiction show prior to its extended hiatus in 1989. While many fans will have stepped onboard from the 2005-era revival, now's the perfect time to try out some classics - here's our picks:
1. "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" (1964):
Delve into the early years of Doctor Who with "The Dalek Invasion of Earth," a classic serial featuring the First Doctor and the second tale to feature their most formidable foe. This story not only showcases the enduring menace of the Daleks but also explores the Doctor's role in safeguarding Earth from extra-terrestrial threats. It's a quintessential episode that captures the essence of the Doctor's dedication to protecting the universe.
2. "Tomb of the Cybermen" (1967):
Join the Second Doctor, portrayed by Patrick Troughton, in "Tomb of the Cybermen," a tale that delves more into one of Doctor Who's most iconic villains, the Cybermen. This serial, set on the planet Telos, highlights the suspenseful atmosphere that defines classic Doctor Who.
3. "Genesis of the Daleks" (1975):
Tom Baker's Fourth Doctor takes the stage in "Genesis of the Daleks," a pivotal serial that explores the origins of the Daleks. Witness the Doctor grapple with moral dilemmas and make decisions that will shape the destiny of the universe. This classic episode not only adds depth to the Doctor's character but also provides a compelling introduction to one of the series' most enduring and fearsome foes in Davros.
4. "Inferno" (1970):
Join the Third Doctor, played by Jon Pertwee, in "Inferno," a gripping tale that involves parallel universes and impending catastrophe. As the Doctor attempts to avert a global disaster, viewers are treated to intense action and a glimpse into alternate realities as the Doctor races against time to save his own version of Earth. This story highlights the Third Doctor's resourcefulness and determination in the face of overwhelming odds.
5. "The Pyramids of Mars" (1975):
Such was the strength of Tom Baker's early years that we have to mention a second story on this list. "The Pyramids of Mars" is a classic story that combines science fiction with elements of Egyptian mythology. As the Doctor faces off against the malevolent Sutekh, viewers are treated to a blend of horror and adventure. This serial is a standout example of Doctor Who's ability to weave diverse influences into a compelling narrative.
6. "The Curse of Fenric" (1989):
Experience the complexity of the Seventh Doctor's character in "The Curse of Fenric," a story that delves into the darker aspects of the Doctor's past. Set during World War II, this serial explores themes of morality and the consequences of the Doctor's actions. It's a thought-provoking tale that showcases the depth and complexity of the Seventh Doctor's character.