Greg Bakun – Best of ‘Doctor Who’ 50th Anniversary Ballot

Greg Bakun
I have been watching the series since 1984, first seeing it on PBS. My first story was The Visitation and I have been hooked since! I run a British television web site called From the Archive:A British Television Blog. Although it is a UK url it is an American site. It covers all British television especially Doctor Who. I also review BBC Blu Ray and DVD titles there. Some of my articles also appear on Hasslein Books Blog. I am on a couple of podcasts: The Others which is a very informal and fun podcast which is about to go full-time and The Omega Podcast which has been going strong for a few years. I run a group called The Minnesota Doctor Who Viewing Society where people enjoy all things Doctor Who and British television but it all started out for me working in a club and eventually taking leadership of The Whoniversity in the late 1980s. I have worked on and ran Doctor Who conventions over the past 30 (eek!) years and I am currently working on a great one in the Twin Cities called Console Room. Check it out: www.console-room.com. You don’t have to be in the Twin Cities to go!

Favorite monster, villain or creature
1. The Cybermen
The Cybermen are unique for the 1960s. They are not robots. The creators of the Cybermen wondered what it would be like if we continued the trend of artificial limb replacements to cover our whole body. What if scientists were allowed to remove emotion? It is an interesting concept.
Plus the Cybermen have been redesigned more than any other Doctor Who regular monster but if you look at them, they are instantly recognizable as Cybermen. I love the original look and design of the Cybermen from The Tenth Planet. It is a bold and unique way of presenting an alien race. It’s just a wonderful design.
2. The Daleks
3. The Silurians
4. The Autons
5. The Weeping Angels

Favorite episodes
1. Doctor Who and the Silurians
It’s tough to pick a top story but I love the cool 1970s feel of this story and all of Season 7. Doctor Who and the Silurians is an intelligent story that shows us just because they are not like us, it doesn’t mean they are bad. They deserve the chance to co-exist with humanity. The Doctor is at odds with just about every human over this. The story is so much more than monsters vs. humans. There is a more complex layer to the story which makes it stand out.
2. Revenge of the Cybermen
3. Talons of Weng-Chiang
4. The Tenth Planet
5. The Ark in Space

Favorite companions
1. Sarah Jane Smith
She transferred seamlessly from classic series to new series. Sarah Jane Adventures allowed a woman of age to be a powerful, funny and wonderful role model for kids. Age didn’t matter which is how it should be.
2. Donna Noble
3. Harry Sullivan
4. Jamie McCrimmon
5. Barbara Wright

Favorite Doctors
1. Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton)
It’s like asking who is your favorite child! I love them all! I chose Patrick Troughton because he created a character for the Doctor that many of the actors who followed after him adopted for themselves. Even Matt Smith based his performance on Troughton. So much of Troughton’s performance is visual. Listening to audios of missing stories, it is easy to take all of the words at face value. As we have seen, getting stories back like The Tomb of the Cybermen, The Enemy of the World or The Web of Fear it is what he actually visually does in those scenes that are most interesting.
2. First Doctor (William Hartnell)
3. Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker)
4. Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee)
5. Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith)

Favorite TARDIS set
The set introduced in The Five Doctors. Yes, it has aged but I love the translucent Time Rotor!

Saddest moment in Doctor Who history
For me, the saddest moment is after the Doctor leaves in School Reunion. Sarah Jane sadly walks away thinking her “tin dog” perished. The look of sadness on her face as she walks away always gets to me. Maybe because I was sad that perhaps the “tin dog” perished too?

Greatest Doctor Who opening sequence ever
To me the most iconic was Tom Baker Season 12-17. It is the most consistent from start to end. It’s gorgeous.

Greatest Doctor Who writer ever
Robert Holmes

Why Doctor Who endures
Doctor Who can tell any story it wants and would never be out of place. I may not like some of the experimental story telling but it is perfectly fine for them to do it. Traveling in time and space simply means they can go where ever they want. The absurdity of that concept makes it unstoppable.

What I like about Doctor Who is that it is the history of television production. At least from 1963 onwards. From watching the 50 years of Doctor Who we can learn about popular trends of the times when it was made whether it was fashion, story telling, production, script writing, special effects, relationships, cultural norms. It’s all there. Doctor Who is really such a special and unique product and it is so much more than just the stories we see on screen.

Greatest Doctor’s costume
Jon Pertwee’s costume Season 7