I apologize in advance for taking so long to get this entry up, but in three seasons of DOCTOR WHO to date, I have encountered a first – a story so convoluted and so poorly conceived that I could not get through it.

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  • Four episodes (10 Sept 1966 to 1 Oct 1966)
  • Written by Brian Hayles
  • Directed by Julia Smith
  • This story on The Doctor Who Reference Guide and A Brief History of Time (Travel)

Avast, me hearties, shiver me timbers, yo ho ho, poop deck, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

Just in time for the new series’ big pirate romp, we look back at the show’s first dalliance with scurvy dogs on the seven seas, otherwise known as (arguably) the least-known story in Doctor Who history.

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  • Four episodes (25 June 1966 to 16 July 1966)
  • Written by Ian Stuart Black, based on an idea by Kit Pedler
  • Directed by Michael Ferguson
  • This story on The Doctor Who Reference Guide and A Brief History of Time (Travel)

Doctor Who reveals the truth: Skynet was, in fact, born in London’s General Post Office Tower in the swingin’ Sixties. It then proceeds to try to invent the Dalek and take over the world.

Yeah. Terminator this ain’t.

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Just when you thought “The Savages” was a window to future Doctor Who, “The War Machines” decides to trump the prescience even more, leading one to the question, “Are Innes Lloyd and Ian Stuart Black the parents of modern Doctor Who?”

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“The Savages” may very well be the most appropriate title for a Doctor Who episode to date.

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  • Four episodes (28 May 1966 to 18 June 1966)
  • Written by Ian Stuart Black
  • Directed by Christopher Barry
  • This story on The Doctor Who Reference Guide and A Brief History of Time (Travel)

Another companion makes a less-than-graceful exit, but at least it’s at the end of an enjoyably “classic”-feeling Doctor Who story.

Oh, and the Doctor’s got a Reacting Vibrator. Seriously. Snicker snicker.

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Before I get into my review of THE GUNFIGHTERS, let me tell you a story about a man named Shane Rimmer.

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  • Four episodes: “A Holiday for the Doctor” (30 Apr 1966), “Don’t Shoot the Pianist” (7 May 1966), “Johnny Ringo” (14 May 1966), “The O.K. Corral” (21 May 1966)
  • Written by Donald Cotton
  • Directed by Rex Tucker
  • This story on The Doctor Who Reference Guide and A Brief History of Time (Travel)

“They” (you know, the ubiquitous “they”) always said this story was awful, the worst Doctor Who story ever. And c’mon, the crotchety First Doctor mixing it up with the Clantons and the Earps at the O.K. Corral? How could it not stink to high heaven?

Well, lemme tell ya, pardners: yep, it’s got problems (oh, for the love of all that’s holy, those accents!) but it’s not the worst Doctor Who ever made. It’s not even bad, really. Yeah, I know, color me gobsmacked.

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On the surface, this episode had all the makings of a stellar story. A wonderful guest cast, a god-like, malicious being and a teaser with promise. Instead, what we got was a half-baked idea which ate itself from the inside.

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  • Four episodes: “The Celestial Toyroom” (2 Apr 1966), “The Hall of Dolls” (9 Apr 1966), “The Dancing Floor” (16 Apr 1966), “The Final Test” (23 Apr 1966)
  • Written by Brian Hayles
  • Directed by Bill Sellars
  • This story on The Doctor Who Reference Guide and A Brief History of Time (Travel)

A new producer takes over and immediately we’re plunged into the Swingin’ Sixties: Dodo gets a mod makeover, the Doctor disappears altogether, and we the viewers are left to wade through four episodes of clowns, dolls, and parlor games.

So why wasn’t it any fun?

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