Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Dr Who, comparing old and new

I’m not old enough to remember much of the original series when it was still going. The theme tune was etched in my mind at an early age, as was a liking of cybermen and Ace (still my favourite companion).

The BBC used to run repeats, particularly of the Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker era, on BBC2 which I used to watch regularly. I also had quite a few Dr Who books, though in a fit of philanthropic delight (and not at all because I needed the shelf space) I donated them all to a local hospice.

I like Old Who, but then, I like New Who. But which is better? There’s only one way to find out! A point-by-point comparison, with a brief summary of why I prefer one of the other in a given category.

Theme tune/intro:

This is the easiest one. The New Who intros and theme are rubbish compared to the otherworldly synthesised original theme(s).


Hmmm. Tricky, especially as most Old Who I saw was repeated, which would mean only the best got shown. New Who has had some howlers (the Master, the Abzorbaloff [sp] etc), but also some great episodes (Blink, The Impossible Planet). I’d give it to Old Who, based on the unrivalled excellence of Genesis of the Daleks.

Special effects:

New Who, without a doubt. Old Who gets a comedy bonus point for the extreme ropeyness of some of its effects.


Old Who. The Weeping Angels are fantastic, but also the only New Who aliens that are, and have been featured repeatedly. I dislike the Slitheen, and whilst the Beast and the clockwork robots were both excellent I’m not sure if they’ll be seen again. The Master and Davros are Old Who creations that have been worsened in the new series, and other New Who creatures do not stand out so much.

Well-known spoiler about the episodes of the forthcoming series 6 below:

I do think the series has been better under Moffat than RTD. The decision to have a split series with a calamitous event in the middle, and the latter half following three months later, could prove quite clever. With luck, we’ll get more menacing new villains, a Master with an evil beard, and a rather more impressive Davros.

The new series starts on 23rd April.



  1. I tend to agree, although without "old" Who there could be no new. Genesis of the Daleks is one of the best pieces of Sci-fi anywhere ever. Fact. Nyder is the most chilling character, in many ways more so than Davros because he is so visibly humanoid (I know he is a Kaled but you get the point).

    Of course I will never forgive old who for "The Happiness Patrol" and the Bertie Bassett villain, but that was when it was run by someone even more prone to the ridiculous than RTD.

    I am looking forward to the new series with anticipation!

  2. I never saw that episode/serial, but I think I've seen a still of the 'villain'.

    Nyder was excellent. He reminded me of a teacher from my school.