Best Season-long Story arc

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by Emperor-Tiberius, Apr 26, 2014.

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Favourite Season-long Story arc?

  1. The Master (Series 8 - OldWho)

    11.8%
  2. Space Station Nerva (Series 12 - OldWho)

    11.8%
  3. The Key to Time (Series 16 - OldWho)

    47.1%
  4. Entropy (Series 18 - OldWho)

    17.6%
  5. The Trial of a Time Lord (Series 23 - OldWho)

    20.6%
  6. Bad Wolf (Series 1 - NuWho)

    29.4%
  7. Torchwood (Series 2 - NuWho)

    2.9%
  8. Mr. Saxon (Series 3 - NuWho)

    17.6%
  9. Medusa Cascade (Series 4 - NuWho)

    8.8%
  10. "He will knock four times." (Series 4B - NuWho)

    8.8%
  11. Cracks in the Universe (Series 5 - NuWho)

    50.0%
  12. Death of the Doctor (Series 6 - NuWho)

    11.8%
  13. The Impossible Girl (Series 7 - NuWho)

    20.6%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    OK, so we all know that the NuWho, 2005-onwards phase of Doctor Who is arc-heavy, with each season comprising of an arc of its own, and arguably there's a unifying factor for the era in which each Doctor operated (the Bad Wolf for the Ninth, Silence for the Eleventh)... but even OldWho had its season-long story arcs (not to mention its own overlapping arcs, like the Doctor's Earth Exile, and smaller arcs like the Black Guardian's revenge in Davison's era), most notably the Trial of a Time Lord one in the mid-80's.

    But which of all of these is the best? Or, rather, your favourite? Do you like two of them almost equally? Please share your thoughts with us all.

    And, enjoy the debates!

    NOTE: The "Space Station Nerva" and "Entropy" arcs might be lesser known, but they're Tom Baker and first and last seasons, respectively. The arc in either is loose, but very present and apparent - especially in Entropy's case, where the reason the Doctor and Romana were lost in E-Space was because of problems in Logopolis, as said in the eponymous story.

    Also, I listed only the TV arcs. I'm sure that there are others in Big Finish's huge line-up of stories, but I concentrated on season-long arcs mostly, and with audio I'm not quite up-to-date personally, so I apologize to those who wish some or all of them were included here (though I did almost include the Charley Pollard arc of Eighth's first two seasons).
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2014
  2. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    I voted Trial of a Time Lord, Bad Wolf, and Mr. Saxon.
     
  3. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I voted for He Will Knock Four Times, Cracks in the Universe, and The Impossible Girl.
     
  4. Mr Light

    Mr Light Admiral Admiral

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    I'll vote by era;

    Key to Time (the high point of Classic Who for me)
    Saxon
    Impossible Girl
     
  5. sidious618

    sidious618 Admiral Admiral

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    I voted for Death of the Doctor, an arc that seems to not be all that liked, but I loved it and season six is probably my favorite season of nuWho (although five and one are close behind it).
     
  6. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    The funny thing about both "He will knock four times" and the Death of the Doctor arc is that, in retrospect, they make better sense now than they did when they were broadcast. Tenth's reaction is kinda logical, since this will be his final regeneration, and he may not even survive that long, either. And Eleventh's similar fear in that season now is more suspenceful, because he actually WILL die and there's nothing he can do about it...

    Of course, that only works in retrospect, because the War Doctor is not even hinted at during those seasons, so... But, at least it fits nicely, oddly enough.
     
  7. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

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    The "Entopy" arc is really called The Master trilogy, since it contains the three stories that saw the return of the Master. The Keeper Of Traken, Logopolis and Castrovalva. The 18th season also had the E-space trilogy consisting of Full Circle, The State Of Decay and Warrior's Gate.
     
  8. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Not really. The Entropy arc consists of only the 18th season. The entropy caused by the Logopolitans' inability to contain the destruction of the universe created the E-Space entry for the Doctor and Romana to get in. And thats all after the Doctor started using the Randomizer again. The story concludes in Logopolis.

    Its a subtle arc, I admit, but the intent is there.

    The Master's Return arc is only three stories long, and consists of the last two stories of the 18th season, with a forced tag-along of Castrovalva in the next season - Bidmead didn't think the story would be followed-up upon so directly before they called him to write the Fifth Doctor's opening story.

    Finally, I made the thread about the season-long arcs, ones that run more than a couple of stories in a given season. Thus why I also ignored other arcs, like the Black Guardian trilogy in series 20 of OldWho.
     
  9. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

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    Entropy was only a factor in Logopolis not some season long story arc, season eight isn't a story arc either other than the MAster there's nothign tying the stories together. And really David Tennant's final stories aren't even part of a season just a series of specials. The Key To Time was the series first ever season long story arc and The Trial Of A Time Lord was the next, but they were new concepts even back in those days.
     
  10. auntiehill

    auntiehill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Key to Time (some of the best of the Tom Baker era)
    Bad Wolf (a great way to kick off nuWho)
    Cracks in the Universe
     
  11. diankra

    diankra Commodore Commodore

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    Full Circle introduces the CVEs and E-Space, key to Logopolis, and Warriors Gate depicts entropic collapse on a smaller scale.
     
  12. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

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    I suppose that argument could be made, but truthfully that wasn't the intent. Really since it was Tom Baker's final season and he was ill though some of it, his Doctor seem to be the greatest victim of the entropy.
     
  13. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    In any case, the case can be made for it, and indeed that series did feel unified in ways previous DW series hadn't been. In many ways, series 18 was the prototypical RTD season - self-contained stories, tied together very loosely until the climactic story reveals the connections.

    Difference is, that whole series lacked decent characterization. Its like Bidmead was unable to convey the simplest character interaction without the usage of mathematics in the mix. Its very difficult to be engaged in an otherwise wonderfully original plot when there's no depth in the interactions - though, to be fair, there were a couple of decent stories, namely The Keeper of the Traken.
     
  14. diankra

    diankra Commodore Commodore

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    It ended up being unified as the script pencilled in for the season finale ran into problems, so the script editor had to write a replacement, and he built on stuff from earlier in the season. So no, it wssn't intended till late on, but the Bad Wolf arc developed by accident as well.
     
  15. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    I speak after the fact, of course. I don't doubt the intention wasn't there going in, but at the end, it did end up being such. And as it is is, I really think it serves like a reminder of the RTD arcs - certainly seem like an early inspiration for him, personally.
     
  16. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

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    The E-Space trilogy was just slapped together though, State Of Decay was even produced before Full Circle and it wasn't until Full Circle that Tom Baker decided to leave the series. And really unlike RTD's seasons JNT's seasons were a bit of a mess most of the time, JNT wasn't a writer so his seveal script editors had to take up the slack.

    Still I thought the Tennant years got progressively better in every regard, personally I can't say the same for Matt Smith's seasons.
     
  17. Mark_Nguyen

    Mark_Nguyen Commodore Commodore

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    You forgot the "Black Guardian" trilogy of "Mawdyrn Undead", "Terminus" and "Enlightenment", which I though worked fairly well as OldWho story arcs went. There was also the entire 26th season, which was written to have common threads running through it that focused heavily on Ace's character.

    Mark
     
  18. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    I didn't. I specifically mentioned season-long arcs. Otherwise I'd mention other arcs.

    And I haven't considered that, re:Ace in series 26... could you elaborate please?
     
  19. Mark_Nguyen

    Mark_Nguyen Commodore Commodore

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    Fair enough - though the "Entropy" arc technically does not include "The Leisure Hive" which started off that season; and you could argue that the E-Space Trilogy instead leads to the "New Master" trilogy of "The Keeper of Traken", "Logopolis" and "Castrovalva", though it's probably better to say that it's more just more serial-focused than before. Similarly, there is the "Let's get Tegan home" series of adventures that starts with "Castrovalva" and takes the whole season to accomplish. Not really an arc, but it was part of the narrative that was driving the show back to London 1980-1.

    The season 26 stories were consciously focused on Ace's development, and formed the climax of the so-called "Fenric arc" that actually spans from "Dragonfire" (Ace's introduction), through "The Curse of Fenric" and arguably including "Survival". If anything, it's comparable to Clara's arc, though seen through 1980s storytelling.

    Mark
     
  20. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Hm, funny point about the lets-take-Tegan-home thing... though yeah, I wouldn't call it a narrative either - more like a purpose for the character, like for Ian and Barbara in the first two seasons.

    And Leisure Hive effectively ends the random travels that the Doctor went through because of the Black Guardian and the Randomizer, and as such its the beginning of a a new chapter for the Doc - one that eventually made up for the subtlest, most RTD-esque arc in OldWho. And thats one thing I really like about that series. Though technically you're right, series-wise it started that arc, like Rose started the Bad Wolf arc even though there's not a single mention of it there (it actually starts appearing in the next story).

    As for the Ace thing... thats not really a season-long arc, is it? Its an arc that spans through Ace's time with the Doctor, in a similar way as how series 1-7 form a Post-Time War arc for the Doctor, ending with the 50th anniversary special that revises that story for him again. Still, its not without merit, all things said and done... I always thought Ace was the proto-NuWho companion, in both attitude and the way she handled herself in action.