You’ll laugh, really, but it appears that with 2007 being such an enormously busy year what with the blog starting, the blog’s teething problems, commitments to other zines, broken arms and trips hither and yon, Battle of the Seasons, the possibly-awaited follow up to 2006′s controversial Companion vs Companion series (it was in the pubzine. Leela won), was never completed. Colour us stupid!
For the sake of anyone who was following at home, and in order to prevent any future discoveries of the thing in a Mormon Church basement in Hong Kong or something, here’s how it was going to turn out:
Season 5 VS Season 13
So it comes to this – monsters. How clairvoyant! But which season has the best? Which offers the most originality between a year of stories that feature two returning monsters from the stable, and a new monster with built-in sequel to boot; and one based around the idea of pastiching other people’s classics? They’re both the Devil’s sweetmeats! And it’s the Devil’s job deciding between the two.
It seems false to elect the season of which very little survives because the implication therein is that one is basing their choice on the reputation of fan mythology. On the other hand, choosing Season Thirteen surely smacks of populism and a lack of originality! Perhaps the choice is Solomon’s: if we were to lose both seasons right this moment, which would we miss the most – that which we’d enjoyed or knew the less about? Which would we want back?
Feeling all a little Meryl Streep at this moment, if we HAD to choose, Season 13 could be surrended, letting go of one year of Tom Baker whilst knowing there are two, maybe three other years which are about as good. With Pat Troughton, S5 is the one to watch out for. Fans can be wrong about the things they revere – they’ve been wrong before and there are still some out there who think we were wrong to be so rose-tinted about ‘Tomb of the Cybermen’ once it was discovered.
But you know what? The reputation it once enjoyed was great not because it was misplaced, but because for those fans in the 80s who carried a flame for it, it had been to some a formitive experience – Season Five was the monster season built for kids to enjoy with a friendly Doctor, young companions and plenty of harmless scares, compared to which the sophisticated horrors of the Holmes-Hinchcliffe era Season Thirteen come across as something a little harder, a little less childlike, a little more bloody, a little more frightening, without the reassurance of an uncle-like Time Lord to steer the young viewer through. It’s that formula of childlike wonder and frights that makes the new series the success it is today – not the more mature ‘serious’ adult horror of later years that older and slightly more complacent fans would embrace in its wilderness years.
So in the end, with our three intrepid voters unanimous in agreement, the Best. Season. Ever. crown goes to:
JP, PA & JE