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Who @ 50

"go forward in all your beliefs and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine"

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14 Weeks To 50: The Deadly Assassin
tom baker, old
hammard wrote in who_at_50
We're now into the top 20 of my 50th Anniversary countdown of aggregated poll results for Doctor Who Books, TV Serials & Audio Dramas, with number 14:

14. The Deadly Assassin

Doctor: 4th (Tom Baker)
Companions: None (the closest is probably Borusa)
Villains: The Master
Responding to a summons to Gallifrey, the Doctor receives a vision of the President being assassinated. He soon finds himself caught up in a web of conspiracy that goes all the way to the foundations of Gallifrey.
Why is it so well loved?
1. The Doctor is without allies and constantly on the backfoot as he is caught up in this conspiracy.
2. Although extremely controversial among Doctor Who fans at the time it establishes most of our understanding of Time Lord society.
3. The scenes in the Matrix are a disturbing and nightmarish vision of a virtual reality. (Plus they predate Gibson’s Neuromance by almost a decade)
Statistical Snippet
Gallifrey is the most popular planet (after Earth) for stories settings, with 4 appearances in the top 50. The next most popular is Skaro.

X-Posted from Doctor Who

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This is one of my favs! I've loved it dearly since I was wee...a good mystery and a tale with dark machinations has always grabbed my attention!


A genuine classic, I think, as much for the Matrix stuff (which is still genuinely unsettling even today) as for all of the Gallifrey lore it establishes, although that too is of course of immense importance to where the series went during the rest of its original run. I think the thing is, Holmes made it all a bit silly on purpose, because he was never very far from satire and/or knowing pastiche in most of his Who stories, whereas some of the later Gallifrey-set stories took it a bit too seriously. The crucial difference between being intentionally and unintentionally silly, a tightrope Doctor Who has very often risked walking. ;)


Er, I mean, great story. :D

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