Arnold Blumberg – Best of ‘Doctor Who’ 50th Anniversary Ballot

Arnold Blumberg
Dr. Arnold T. Blumberg is a publisher, author, editor, book designer, and educator. He’s been a Doctor Who fan since 1987, he’s the co-author of the Howe’s Transcendental Toybox series of Doctor Who merchandise guides from Telos Publishing, the designer of other Telos books including The Target Book, the author of “Stolen Days” in Short Trips: How the Doctor Changed My Life and “Mardi Gras Massacre” in Short Trips: Indefinable Magic, and served for years as the Doctor Who DVD reviewer for IGN.com. He contributed to Time, Unincorporated 3 for Mad Norwegian, and his own publishing company – ATBPublishing.com – released Outside In, an anthology featuring 160 writers reviewing all 160 Classic Doctor Who stories, in November 2012 (the sequel covering the New Series will arrive in 2014); another forthcoming title is Red White and Who: The Story of Doctor Who in America. He has been a regular guest of the Gallifrey One and Chicago TARDIS conventions for ten years and writes about Doctor Who and many other genre topics for a host of online and print publications, including GEEK Magazine.

Favorite monster, villain or creature
1. The Daleks
While it’s frustratingly predictable to pick the No. 1 Doctor Who monster, it’s with the Russell T. Davies era that I really feel we saw the Daleks reach their full potential. Finally appearing as the riveted metallic battle tanks we always knew they really were, the series reintroduced them in 2005 and gave them more power and pathos than ever before. They are truly the finest enemy any Time Lord could hope to face.
2. Sea Devils
3. The Cybermen
4. The Oood
5. The Draconians.

Favorite episodes
1. (tie) Classic Series: Castrovalva.
New Series: Utopia/The Sound of Drums/Last of the Time Lords.
I never realized how much the Master meant to me as a character, but his reintroduction in that three-part (I know some people dispute that, to me it’s a three-parter) story was not only brilliantly handled, but despite some flaws it remains the high point of the New Series to date for me. There’s just nothing that says “gleeful evil” like a triumphant Master (John Simm), ruler of the Earth, dancing around with the Doctor in a wheelchair to the tune of the Scissor Sisters’ “I Can’t Decide.”

As for “Castrovalva,” it was the first time I witnessed a regeneration, and I love the whole bucolic atmosphere of the early part of the story. He wasn’t my first, but Peter Davison will always be “my” Doctor.
2. “The Daemons.”
The Pertwee era in a nutshell…or a shrunken spaceship.
3. “The Claws of Axos.”
You can sense a pattern? Pertwee/UNIT era, the Master, Bill Filer. Magic.
4. “Remembrance of the Daleks.”
Let’s give this era and this story’s superb use of the show’s history a shout out, especially in this anniversary year.
5. “The Eleventh Hour.”
One of the best first stories for a Doctor in the show’s history.

Favorite companions
1. Sarah Jane Smith
No one can or ever will compare. She came along so many years after the show debuted and yet she is the template, the perfect example of how to write and perform a best friend and traveling companion for our Time Lord hero.
2. Martha
The best companion the New Series has presented to date.
3. Rose
The one that led us back into the Doctor’s world.
4. Ace
A precursor to many companions to come, this girl could hold her own against a Dalek.
5. Romana II
The Doctor said it best, she was the “noblest Romana of them all.”

Favorite Doctors
1. Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison)
It’s hard to explain, but his combination of that older irascible quality with the youthful breathy enthusiasm for exploration and new adventures combined to create my favorite version of the Doctor. His return in “Time Crash,” where even the Tenth Doctor admits that he’s a fan, just cemented for me how wonderful and exciting his era could be, and he was a welcome burst of energy that kept the series going when it very well may have faltered after seven years of the most popular Doctor in history (Tom Baker’s Fourth).
2. Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee)
3. Tenth Doctor (David Tennant).
4. Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton).
5. Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker).

Favorite TARDIS set
The Eighth Doctor’s TV-movie console room.

Saddest moment in Doctor Who history
A tough one, but the erasure of Donna Noble’s memories is at least near the top of the list.

Greatest Doctor Who opening sequence ever
The arrival of the TARDIS at the Time Lord space station in the opening moments of “The Trial of a Time Lord” is still an unforgettable, funereal event.

Greatest Doctor Who writer ever
Robert Holmes

Why Doctor Who endures
Russell T. Davies once said “it’s the best idea ever invented in the history of the world,” and I can’t do better than that. It’s not only a show that embraces intellect and compassion, it celebrates exploration and adventure. It has an endlessly flexible format; it can transform into any show it needs to be at any time. To borrow a more recent concept, it has at its heart one irresistible hero – a madman with a box that’s bigger on the inside than the outside. It’s magic and science blended seamlessly, and the results are pure joy.

Greatest Doctor’s costume
I’m actually pretty won over by Matt Smith’s most recent purple waistcoated ensemble.

Greatest fan-made Doctor Who video
No contest: Bill Filer, U.N.I.T. Operative