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In the Doctor Who Christmas special, "The Christmas Invasion", the Doctor started a health scare which may have led to a leadership challenge and a vote of no confidence for PM Jones. The reason was that she ordered an alien ship full of slavers to be destroyed. The Doctor has his morals (even when they don't make sense), and it does end up being in character for Ten, but it still didn't come off right. Hell, his previous incarnation mentioned that Harriet Jones was supposed to be the guiding light for Britain in the future. She's certainly not going to be any kind of guiding light now that she's become Dalek fodder. Harold Saxon (A.K.A. The Master, the Big Bad of Series 3) replacing Harriet Jones makes this even more of a stupid move.
The worst thing about the Doctor's complaining about the destruction of the alien ship was his noting that it was leaving. The aliens had just proven that their word was worthless when their leader attacked the Doctor despite 'surrendering'. If the one had sworn on the blood of his species that they would leave and then immediately tried to kill the man who forced him to swear, who's to say the others would have stood by his word? Earth couldn't take the chance and let them go because they might come back and plan a less direct attack next time, one which would prevent any defense.
Even in the unlikely event the Doctor was right and Jones was wrong, and the Sycorax never came back to Earth, the universe is a big place and, in this show, is filled with many forms of sentient life. The Sycorax aren't suddenly going to become peaceful and leave other planets alone after this one (not very costly) defeat. Why make such a big deal about saving Earth only to let the Sycorax make a future attack to another helpless planet without the benefit of The Doctor or Torchwood to step in and save them? Letting such an enemy go without even significantly weakening them kind of comes off as The Doctor just wanting to deflect them onto a different planet he cares less about.
The original script for Last of the Time Lords included a scene where the Master taunts the Doctor with the knowledge that his actions enabled "Harold Saxon" to become Prime Minister. The dialogue was removed with the idea that being turned into a House Elf and finding out the true identity of the Toclafane was plenty for the Doctor to feel bad about. Russell T Daviessays that he still considers this Canon; it's a pity it's not unmistakably canon.
The consequences of the Doctor bringing down Harriet Jones go far beyond allowing the Master to become Prime Minister: the death of Harold Saxon (and everyone in his cabinet) paved the way for the weak, corrupt, hastily-installed government we later see in Torchwood: Children of Earth. You know, the one that negotiated the surrender of millions of human children? And the Doctor wasn't there for Earth that time.
... Which is exactly what Harriet Jones predicted would eventually happen if they just continued relying on the Doctor to show up and solve everything.
And it also suggests that the Doctor is fully willing to directly interfere in national politics if he's angry at a politician. Suddenly Torchwood's snide remarks about him seem a bit more accurate.
Furthermore, the Doctor's plan to end Harriet Jones' term is to whisper a rumor to an aide who has every reason to preserve his boss's career and has just seen the Doctor explain what he's about to do. That this aide would be so stupid as to spread the rumor after all that is unbelievable.
As if that's not ridiculous enough, Jones is ousted from power on Christmas Day. That's right, the government decided to call an emergency meeting on Christmas Day to remove the Prime Minister from office based on a rumor overheard by a personal aide not twenty-four hours earlier.
It gets better. In a later episode, the Doctor is informed by an alternate universe version of Pete Tyler that Harriet Jones is "President of Great Britain" on his world; the Doctor immediately instructs Pete to "keep a close eye on her". So on top of the already massive wallbanger of how the Doctor treated Jones in our reality, he's prepared to pass judgement on her counterpart in a completely different world, despite having never met her (or even heard of her until that very moment).
Although in Journey's End, when informed of Harriet's Heroic Sacrifice, the look on the Doctor's face clearly shows that he realizes he was wrong. Exactly how wrong he thinks he was is never shown, but he definitely understands that she was a good, brave woman, and he misjudged her. Really, it's up to interpretation just how much we were supposed to agree with the Doctor during The Christmas Invasion.
Davros and his "The Reason You Suck" Speech. He tells the Doctor, "This is my final victory, I have shown you yourself!" Wait, what!? You are the leader/creator of an entire genocidal species, and you're making this speech from a ship that doubles as a superweapon, with which you intend to destroy everything in the multiverse that isn't you or your pet species, and you consider your "ultimate victory" getting your archenemy to feel bad about all his collateral damage?
Made stranger by the fact that the actions of the Doctor's companions might not be so bad. Is it really a horrible thing to inspire other people to stand up to a genocidal species devoted to the annihilation of all other life? Admittedly their efforts involved either threatening to blow up the Earth or the main ship but considering that these are the Daleks we're talking about that seems like a rather reasonable reaction.
Even more ridiculous, one of the companions shown in flashback to have "died in [the Doctor's] name" is the Face of Boe. You know, a creature billions of years old who was already dying of old age when the Doctor met him?
Davros, even in the Classic series, always treated the Doctor like an equal (albeit one crippled by morals), so its perfectly in character for him to attempt to break the Doctor's spirit by launching a broadside at his conscience, especially at a moment when he (Davros) feels he's practically won, and as much as Davros would probably hate to admit it, he gets off on turning the Doctor into a mewling pile of emotional distress as much as he gets a hard on over a chance to fuck up the universe.
The Daleks In Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks two-parter has a plot device involving Dalek DNA being transmitted to human corpses through the use of lightning strikes conducted through the Empire State Building — which, even in a series not known for its fidelity to hard science, is more than a little unbelievable. Worse, they claimed that this energy came from gamma radiation. Right, so gamma radiation = lightning, and lightning moves DNA and does a job that would take a dedicated team of geneticists decades to do. And the gamma radiation is supposed to be coming from a solar flare. This sequence takes place at night.
So do the Aurora, but they are caused by solar radiation. A screwdriver that doesn't work on wood is fine but solar radiation having any effect on the night side of the planet is where the line is on willing suspension of disbelief?
In a more mundane but still annoying moment, a very young(-looking) man and two women, one of them black, get into the unfinished Empire State Building by posing as "two engineers and an architect." Psychic paper or no, someone in New York in 1930 should have questioned that.
The real Wall Banger in this episode was just how terrible the makeup and acting of the lead bad guy was. A lot can be forgiven if it's cool and atmospheric, but this wasn't.
Then there was the Doctor's plan to hold onto the lightning rod to give the corpses Time Lord DNA mixed with the Dalek DNA for "that little taste of freedom." Putting aside the idiot science here, aren't the Time Lords the most static and hidebound species in the universe — which is the reason the Doctor left Gallifrey in the first place?
I always figured that since it was the Doctor's DNA getting spliced in it was HIS bias towards being an adrenalin junkie that he was aiming to share.
And also there's the cognitive dissonance of writing a story about racism being evil, but at the same time making morality entirely hereditary.
Not only does Doctor not raise any kind of protest or outrage over the fact the Daleks having abducted and killed thousands of homeless people in the name of preserving their race, but he actually shrugs at it and basically decides to aid and abet their scheme. There are very few times the Doctor has been this much out of character, and this might be one of the worst cases.
Journey's End. What happened to Donna. The Reset Button has never been used so cruelly.
Thematically, it's even worse. Wasn't Donna's whole character arc about how she learned that she was more than "just a temp," that she had worth and value after years of being degraded by her shrewish mother? What's the phrase Clone!Doctor used? "Shouting at the universe, because she thinks no one is listening." RTD, why didn't you have the guts to kill her instead of undermining her character?
On the other hand, Donna's mother does soften towards her, after the Doctor gives her (the mother) a justified 'What the hell?' about her treatment of her daughter, and they are shown to have a closer relationship in The End of Time.
Going back (forward?) to the new series: the ending of "Love and Monsters." Ursula dies bravely; but instead of letting her sacrifice stand, the Doctor brings her back—but only partially, so that she's essentially a face on a slab of concrete.Possibly forever. The biggest problem? This is supposed to be a good thing. Head, meet desk. Almost as bad? The episode hints that Ursula and Elton still have a "love life" of some kind... Squick.
It's even worse when you remember "The Five Doctors," in which Borusa's terrible punishment for seeking immortality was getting it - by becoming a face on a slab of concrete...
It's also a bit disturbing to realize that the Doctor could have saved Ursula, and maybe a few of the others, had he not chosen to sit and listen to Elton cry over Ursula and then explain what happened to Elton's mother. If he had decided to try to separate "the last victim" just a little earlier, then Elton wouldn't be having sex with a paving stone.
Doubly disturbing is the way Elton was rescued — the Doctor and Rose only tracked him down to let him know how annoyed they were. Nice, Rose, real nice: four people just died, there's a psychotic alien monster less than a meter away from you, a man's about to die, and you're giving him hell because he upset the mother whom you were happy to leave behind while you went joyriding through space and time with your boyfriend — THE SAME TIME-DERAILING BOYFRIEND WHO'S HAPPY TO ACCOMMODATE YOUR PETTINESS!!! Yeah, these two make life so much better for everyone they encounter...
Elton: "Great big absorbing monster from outer space, and you're having a go at me?"
"Fear Her" featured, among other things, an alien spaceship that is powered by love. That is refueled by all the love surrounding the Olympics. The Olympics. While Rose exclaims, "Feel the love! Feel the love!!"
The Doctor deactivating Harkness's teleport device/time machine. What's the point of that, besides making it a bit more convenient for Torchwood (the series - the organization would be severely annoyed) by making sure he can't time-travel easily? It's just an act of dickery on the part of the Doctor. Ten has a lot of these.
On that note, the Doctor abandoning Jack on a station full of corpses, simply because Jack was "wrong". And while the Doctor does eventually explain it, he never apologizes for it, not even after the Year That Never Was.
Ah, the Delta Wave from "Parting of the Ways". Rather than being "a high amplitude brain wave... usually associated with slow-wave sleep" (thank you, Other Wiki), it's instead "a wave of Van Cassadyne energy. Fries your brain. Stand in a Delta Wave and your head gets barbecued" (thank you, Jack). So, not the kind of delta wave your brain produces when you sleep, then. Since it's a Russell T Davies script, it's most likely poor research, though Artistic License is possible.
The Doctor gets the superweapon ready, but he doesn't wipe out everyone's favorite race of omnicidal maniacs because that would mean killing the people on Earth. The problem is, when the Doctor proudly proclaims himself a coward and not a killer, the Daleks cruise into orbit and GLASS THE WHOLE PLANET. Good thing there was a literal Dea Ex Machina to stop the Doctor's idiocy from dooming the cosmos.
The Daleks glassed the whole planet before then; whole continents were being bombed, no doubt killing millions upon millions and leaving the survivors ripe for harvesting. That makes this even more ridiculous.
The RTD-flavour Doctor seems to have a penchant for letting omnicidal races go about their business on the off chance that they'll take a time out from trying to eradicate every living thing in the cosmos to try to be better people.
"The End of Time". Three words: The Master Race. *thud thud thud thud*
The Tenth Doctor's speech about how he doesn't feel any emotional connection to his next regeneration and how some random guy with his memories will walk away and he'll be dead. Utterly, utterly out of character for any Time Lord, and a lovely message of support for their successors from Davies and Tennant.
Actually it's entirely in character for the Doctor and has been since the seventies. Go re-watch the episodes Three Doctors, Five Doctors and Two Doctors again: They are constantly arguing and never show any kind of respect toward one another; the First even mocks the appearance of the Second and Third Doctors and blatantly considers them completely unworthy of succeeding him until the defeat of Omega. The only indication we ever have of inter-regeneration respect is Ten complimenting Five during the Children in Need special.
There was always bickering amongst the incarnations of the Doctors, but there was also always respect. In the anniversary special, Ten, Eleven and the War Doctor insulted each other constantly. That being said, they're still technically the same person. They still complimented each other on things they liked (how clever they are, the brainy specs, the round things).
The Doctor rails at Wilfred because he is the one to "cause" his death before sacrificing himself to save Wilf's life. This is a Love It or Hate It moment: it's either the climax of the Doctor's facing death and fighting it before eventually doing the noble thing and sacrificing himself for someone else, or yet more evidence that the Tenth Doctor was an arrogant, self-pityingJerkass who kept claiming the moral high ground when he didn't have it.
Five words: "I don't want to go". Really? What about the nine incarnations who came before you? Excellent job at ruining a Tear Jerker. Nobody asked him to go.
That little bit of Reality Subtext was awful in every way - ignoring the fact it flew in the face of canon (sure, the Dr has never shown a desire to regenerate, but he's never considered it an end before. Heck, even Parting of the Ways, written by RTD, acknowledges this), a) both DT and RTD were leaving willingly, not being dragged away, after an immensely successful and lauded run and b) it's not exactly making life easier on the replacements by making the last words of the previous, massively popular actor "I don't want to go". Also, it was whiny.
Part of this can be chalked up to the Doctor's apparent belief this was his final death. There was a lot of suggestions his "song was ending" and that's why he was afraid. Note that he seems a bit more willing to go on when Ood Sigma says that his song was ending, but his story would go on. It doesn't explain his apparent disdain for regeneration (unless he was convinced his memories and personality were going to be erased, effectively killing him forever) but it explains the fear.
Doctor Who S31 E03 "Victory of the Daleks" features many wallbangers, the new design of the Daleks being the least of the episode's sins. The Daleks ally themselves with England during World War II just on the off-chance that the Doctor will travel back there and say that they are Daleks so they open a sentient capsule that doesn't believe that they are true Daleks. Why not instead help England (or even better, Nazi Germany) win the war, and use the victory to maneuver themselves into ruling the planet and use its resources to rebuild their empire? Another is that you can apparently retool a Spitfire to fly in space in a matter of hours? But the biggest one is an android who was programmed to be human so well that his love is enough to overcome a self-destruct sequence! Next time you encounter a bomb, just wish really, really hard for it to not blow up.
When did the Doctor develop the ability to jump out of a spaceship, smash through a glass dome, and get up and walk away? The broken glass alone should've killed him, since he landed on it, and that floor he also landed on was hard. If Ten could survive that even for just a few minutes, then why did Four have to die?
The Doctor has to save Wilfred's life because he gets trapped in an isolation chamber that can only be opened one side at a time, and even then only if one person is in the other chamber. Someone has crossed an isolation chamber with a roach motel.
Hell, they could have handled with a long stick or some string.
The moment River Song announced that the trademark sound of the TARDIS that we've all come to love over the last 40 years is the bloody parking brake. Are they seriously suggesting that the Victor Meldrew of space that was the First Doctor had enough humor and patience in his body to intentionally keep the brakes on after every trip for no reason? Are they also suggesting that the stoic Third Doctor, The Master, The Rani, and the Meddling Monk all left their parking brakes on? How about every time he's in a hurry to save someone's life? With one line, Moffat has made the Doctor out to be an obsessive compulsive idiot.
Notice the Doctor continues to leave it in place after that episode.
Given how in the classic series other TARDISes made a similar noise, the whole parking brake business becomes a little suspect. Unless you really want to assume that the entire Time Lord race has no idea how to correctly operate their own technology.
She was lying. Both to poke fun at the fact that The Doctor doesn't know nearly as much about the workings of his TARDIS as he leads others to believe, and that she, as revealed in "A Good Man Goes To War", can't always stand the sound.
The Octopus Cyberman Head. Since when has this ability even been alluded to in either of their incarnations? What is the point of cyber-conversion if the suit has an independent AI that automatically tracks down the nearest brain?
The Doctor "Keeping Score" in museums. The Doctor is a Sufficiently Advanced Alien with a time machine and an intuitive sense of history, and he picks on people who have to work at it for not being as good as he is. That's like a programmer from Valve turning on Team Fortress 2's God Mode and then teabagging everybody's corpse.
When the Tenth Doctor first met River Song, he was amused by the concept of an Archaeologist. Hey Doc, you've been one step away from becoming one yourself every single time you've lost the Tardis. Remember that? (And the First Doctor would have loved the idea...)
He wasn't just merely amused, he straight up insulted the entire profession. Not out-of-character for the Tenth Doctor who made it a sport to make everyone around him feel inferior by constantly pointing out how awesome he and his race are.
River Song intimidates a Dalek. River Song successfully makes an emotionless, pitiless, malevolent space Nazi beg for mercy. And she does it during the season that took pains to reestablish the Daleks as a real threat after four seasons of Villain Decay under RTD. This establishes River Song as Moffat's pet character.
How does the Doctor escape from a prison that is specifically designed to hold him for all time? Simple. After he escapes, he goes back in time and lets himself out. As the episode progresses, it becomes painfully obvious that they have no intention of explaining how he got out of the Pandorica the first time.
Now add that this 'perfect prison' is easy to open from the outside, especially if you happen to be one of the inmate's accomplices.
Because it was never meant to be a prison in the first place. It's the catalyst the Silence used to try to trick the Doctor into rebooting the universe with himself out of existence, not counting on Amy's Ripple Proof Memory to bring him back. Their plan requires the Doctor to first escape the Pandorica so they possibly broke him out themselves initially and then left a post hypnotic suggestion to use Rory via Vortex Manipulator (and maybe other stuff, too.) Doctor goes up top, finds Rory, has an adventure, goes back to tell Rory to break him out and then rewrites the scenario into a Stable Time Loop and erasing the Silence's actions from existence.
Why they were using tanks to shoot the Racnoss Webstar down? They clearly missed more than a few shots, which would presumable have to land somewhere within the city.
From the original series: Peri's "death" in the "Mindwarp" segment of "Trial of a Time Lord". After two seasons of getting generally abused and being denied the real character development that would've softened that abuse, Peri gets the daylights knocked out of her for the whole story, then is murdered in a cruel and utterly disrespectful way. Then they proceed to resurrect her... via a shot from still store and a couple of lines of dialogue. The departure manages to be both quite vicious and thoroughly lame.
In The Five Doctors the Second Doctor realizes that Zoe and Jamie are illusions because the Time Lords wiped their memories shortly before forcibly regenerating him into the Third Doctor. Now that would be a perfectly valid and reasonable piece of logic if... there was no way he could possibly know this. Their memories were wiped about five minutes before the Doctor was exiled, meaning the only way he could have that knowledge is if Borusa Time Scooped the Doctor straight from that chamber on Gallifrey - which we know didn't happen because we saw the Doctor get kidnapped from the Brigadier's retirement party.
This gets us into the tricky, unsteady ground of the "Season 6B" theory. Basically, stuff like this (The Two Doctors as well) implies the Time Lords might've used the Second Doctor as some sort of time agent between the trial in "The War Games" and "Spearhead from Space". Don't really know if the BBC considers it canon or canon-ish or whatever.
The villain in "The Underwater Menace". What's he going to do? Destroy the Earth. Why? 'cause. What's really horrible is that they had an opportunity to actually make this work (have him start to raise Atlantis by lowering the water level, but he doesn't realize that rapidly lowering the water level will give everything in Atlantis nitrogen narcosis, which will mean that the entire CITY will be as nutty as he was, leaving the Doctor to be the Only Sane Man.)
The Reveal that professor Yana is a Time Lord. It's like RTD suddenly decided that his foreshadowing was not foreshadowy enough. Showing that face of Boe was right and there is another Time Lord is shocking and a legitimately foreshadowed twist. Putting his last words into an acronym and making the professor's name seem like it's a big deal is stupid, redundant and meaningless.
The idea of a Time Lord using a Chameleon Arch was kinda crappy when it was used the first time and has been overused by fanfic writers for their Time Lord OCs and/or popular characters from other fandoms. I mean, I've come up with a better excuse for why my Time Lord OC isn't dead and I suck at explanations. RTD's writing has got to be bad if someone who has only been writing fanfics for six months can pwn them.
Speaking of the Face Of Boe, The Reveal — if you can call it that — that Jack will become the Face Of Boe at some point. What did it add to The Last Of The Timelords? Why didn't Jack react when Martha mentioned the Face Of Boe in Utopia? Okay, the answer to that question is "because John Barrowman hadn't found out about it yet" but there's no in-universe explanation. It felt so tacked-on. I might not mind so much if RTD hadn't later referred to it as "ambiguous". Yeah, RTD, because I know at least six friends who are nicknamed "the Face Of Boe", so there's really nothing to say that Jack is the one who it turns out to be...
In The Wedding of River Song, River proving her love for the Doctor — by destroying the entire Universe. It's clearly meant to be raw and tragic but all it does is turn River into a selfish harpy on par with the Master, the Daleks and Davros — you know, the sort of people the Doctor fights all the time because they want to destroy the Universe! It completely ruins River's characterbecause she doesn't learn anything from it or redeem herself for it. She finally does what the Doctor says, not because she realizes her wants are not more important than the whole of existence but because she realizes it's not the Doctor at all but a Tesselector. She gets out of this moral dilemma without having to learn anything or face the consequences of her actions (apart from being thrown into the most escapable prison in the universe). Even worse is that it makes the Doctor take an out-of-character turn so jarring it would give you whiplash. Rather than be appalled by this as he would be under any other writer, he actually marries her and continues with the relationship as if nothing has happened. And Amy and Rory forgive her because in the Steven Moffat universe, people should be forgiven for anything they do if they happen to be family. It's one thing to ruin an episode, or an entire season arc, but to screw up a character that's central to the show takes a special kind of stupidity.
And the Moffat stupidity doesn't stop there. Asylum of the Daleks was chock full of them, but the worst was the reason for Amy and Rory's divorce. They're divorcing because she can't have kids. But think about it. When has Rory wanting a kid ever come up? Maybe Amy's Choice if you're feeling generous, but honestly, does anyone really buy this? Way to derail Rory's character, Moffat. And that's just the first part. Why haven't you talked to him about it earlier? It takes months to get to signing divorce papers, and in all that time, never once did she actually talk about it? Really? And what's wrong with adoption? Plenty of kids need good homes, why not take in one of them instead? And finally, the Doctor keeps the cure for blood clots in the main console room; I'm pretty sure he could either cure Amy's condition, or take her somewhere where she could be cured. But no, Moffat has to make us go through this stupid subplot because... it adds drama?! That's it? It doesn't even come up again; after the revelation, their relationship hits the Reset Button. So not only was this subplot stupid, it also was pointless. I need an ice pack from so much head banging.
Disagree about Rory's character being derailed; Amy's Choice was Rory's dream world, and Amy was pregnant in it; you don't need to be feeling generous to gather he wants kids, and Amy in that episode also seemed happy enough about having a baby; it's believable she was feeling depressed and convinced herself Rory would be happier without her. However, it's also a cop out. Amy and Rory were on the brink of divorce, but it couldn't just be because they're normal people with flaws. There was even a perfectly good opportunity in the episode to get them back together; Amy almost got turned into a Dalek Puppet, that's surely enough to remind them how much they love each other. But no, Amy and Rory can't just be a normal couple, having fall-outs because neither of them are perfect and even the strongest couples have big arguments sometimes. No, it had to just be one big gesture of love and selflessness on Amy's part. It just felt kind of pushy on Moffat's part; "Look! Look at what a perfect couple they are! Even their near divorce was inspired by love!". We already know how much they love each other, we don't need it shoved in our faces.
And hadn't we already said goodbye to Amy and Rory? I would have been much more satisfied with the Amy and Rory finishing as full time companions after Wedding of River Song. Why say goodbye to them, then bring them back for a half dozen episodes before ditching them again?
There's also the fact that the very concept of the titular Asylum completely contradicts the series-long idea that the Daleks are Absolute Xenophobes who casually murder their own for failure or otherwise not being "Dalek" enough.
The biggest insult to the Daleks though is that they were hacked so easily. Daleks are meant to be one of the most paranoid races in the universe, but apparently have no form of anti-virus software whatsoever. Oswin is even able to make them forget the Doctor (you know, their greatest enemy and all that) without any difficulty. She could probably have turned them from warmongers into pacifists if she wanted. And to think Moffat thought this episode would make the Daleks scary again.
In The Girl Who Waited, does anyone actually believe that Amy (at any age) could construct her own sonic screwdriver?!
From the original series, "Warriors of the Deep"; you know, Doctor, going around telling everyone how noble the Silurians and the Sea Devils are and how the humans should stop trying to wipe them out and negotiate with them would carry a lot more weight if the Silurians and the Sea Devils weren't the ones going around killing everyone and attempting genocide.
Anytime The Doctor and his companions show up uninvited onto someone else's turf and then start acting like they're in charge. What's worse is that most of the time the people around them will let them get away with it, no questions asked. Especially bad during the Tenth Doctor/Rose series. "The Impossible Planet" is just one example.
"The Name of the Doctor": In a genuinely chilling death scene, Jenny is killed whilst in a dreamscape seance. Barely ten minutes later she is resurrected by Applied Phlebotinum that gets one line to explain it, effectively killing any sense of tension whatsoever.
The many deaths of Rory. At The Curse of the Black Spot there were comparisons to Kenny. He is lampshading he will come back when he dies in The Angels Take Manhattan. It becomes questionable how courageous Rory really is if he knows he will just come back anyway.
The Bubble-wrap monster from "The Ark in Space" (1974) - apparently an alien insect larva, this is clearly a man wrapped in green-painted bubble-wrap shuffling along the floor. That said, it's considered a good story.
This serial also features a space station built out of a hypodermic syringe and a doughnut.
The giant rats from "The Talons of Weng-Chiang" (1977) - the only letdown in an otherwise cracking serial, these floppy cloth rodents are just as phony-looking as they sound. Tom Baker even admitted they weren't the high point of the BBC's production values.
The Myrka from "Warriors of the Deep" (1984) - intended to be a terrifying marine sea-monster, the effect was more "slowly shuffling marine pantomime horse".
Galaxy 4 (1965) - A low point for the First Doctor, and for television in general. It's not the boring, forgettable dialogue. It's not the bad guest acting. It's not the annoying robots. It's not even the Idiot Plot (ie, the Drahvins attempting to steal the Rils' spaceship to leave the planet despite the Rils' offer to take them). It's the moral of the story, "Don't judge a book by its cover," which is spectacularly bungled by the fact that the Drahvins never give themselves a cover. Their leader Maaga presents herself as a cold-hearted tyrant from minute one, making a minimal and unsuccessful attempt at turning the Doctor and companions against the Rills, while repeatedly revealing unsavory details about their own culture (such as killing most of their male offspring at birth, keeping some alive for reproduction). Was William Emms even trying to make a plot twist out of this?
"Terror of the Vervoids" came just one season later and had evil mutated plants revolting because they instinctively fear people will eat them. Take That, vegetarians! That'll teach ya to eat grass!
"Terror of the Vervoids" was interesting until the monsters were revealed. It's like their heads are penises!
The Twin Dilemma (1984) - Colin Baker was to have a rough time as Doctor, and his introductory story did not bode well. Although based on an interesting idea — have the Doctor be emotionally unstable post-regeneration and turn violent and unpredictable, with a resulting spiky edge that would color his character later — but thanks to some poor writing, he instead just comes off as an unlikeable Jerkass, in many ways antithetical with what most believe the Doctor should stand for. This culminates in a wildly out-of-character scene in which the Doctor attempts to throttle his companion Peri; while this is intended to demonstrate the Doctor's irrationality, it still left a poor taste in the mouth for many and the fact that this portrayal ended up coloring Baker's entire tenure (to the extent that to this day people judge his entire character on this scene) just makes things worse. Even by the standards of Doctor Who monsters the Gastropods, the slug-like bad guys, look painfully silly, and the titular twins who form two of the story's central characters are usually ranked among the worst-acted and least likeable characters ever to appear in the series. And they decided to clothe the Doctor in the notorious multicolored coat, which many fans argue increased the increasing perception of the time that the show simply couldn't be taken seriously.
Time and the Rani (1987) - Likewise, Sylvester McCoy would not have an easy time of it, as again reflected in his debut; things were chaotic behind the scenes in preparing for this story, which is reflected in the frantic, jumbled and nonsensical plot which involves the Rani kidnapping geniuses from all around the universe for reasons which are never made entirely clear, coupled with a lot of running about and shouting. McCoy's Doctor fails to make a good first impression, lumbered with a sense of humor which, consisting as it does mainly of a tendency towards annoying malapropisms and pratfalls, can't help but fall flat. The Lakertyans, the race the Rani has enslaved, are also widely criticized as being a dull, uninteresting and unconvincing lot, and the Tetraps, her slaves, continue the ignoble tradition of poorly realized Doctor Who monsters. The music (also widely regarded as being a nadir for the series on this front) also dates the story firmly in the 1980s, much to it's detriment.
Love and Monsters (2006) - Setting up a bunch of characters to be slaughtered by the monster one at a time is a Doctor Who tradition, but usually there's some kind of suspense to it (and invariably a twisted kind of justice in at least a few of the cases). Here we have a bunch of vaguely likeable characters introduced, killed with little ceremony and less drama, and forgotten. The monster is awful, the Doctor and Rose are awful and the ending is pure Squick.
Fear Her (2006) - Seriously, ask anyone in the Who fandom; they will tell you that Fear Her is simply awful. The general consensus seems to be that the writer wanted to tell a story that simply wouldn't fit inside the 45 minute time limit, leaving behind the shreds of... something. It contains, in no particular order, a girl making things disappear by drawing them, a picture of that girl's father in her closet, aliens who live on warmth and love, the Doctor running down the street with the Olympic Torch (in what is clearly late winter, no less) screaming "Feel the love!" and some really, really awful line delivery. And then it ends with the Doctor going all serious for a second, completely at odds with the rest of the story I might add, leading into the finale.
The story also shares an astonishing number of plot elements with The Idiot's Lantern, a much better story which aired less than a month earlier. Both taking place in a suburban London street where people are disappearing right before a major national event, both featuring a subplot involving an abusive father, both ending with a celebratory block party, and both featuring an alien who traps people in a two dimensional space. While repetition of plot elements is inevitable in a series as long-lived as Doctor Who, you should still try to avoid them as much as possible (and you should probably avoid doing an outright rehash of an episode from the very same season.)
Journeys End (2008) - A story that really shows the Seasonal Rot of RTD. Characters pushed in for the sake of it, silly sequences of people working together, an Ass Pull about regeneration energy so the Mary Sue could be satisfied and another Deus ex Machina could be pulled with Donna. Why does regeneration energy suddenly work like this? And the Earth being towed back is just nonsensical. It's like something from a poorly written children's sci-fantasy. If the Earth was really shaking that much wouldn't it be a wreck by the time they got back? Thank Dionysus the grow your own TARDIS was cut, that would have been a Wall Smasher.
Adric: (Matthew Waterhouse, 1980-1982): The idea behind Adric — a maths genius big on intellectual knowledge but low on practical skills — is an interesting one, but most fans tend to consider him a failure at best, and a hated Load at worst. The way he's written tends to make him come across as unlikable, arrogant, petulant and snotty; later episodes which stress his gullibility and incompetence tend to make his supposed genius something of an Informed Attribute, and — perhaps most damaging — the actor who played him was a Promoted Fanboy with very little acting experience who, to put it mildly, failed to distinguish himself in the role. His Heroic Sacrifice at the end of the story "Earthshock" does tend to be raised as a Rescued from the Scrappy Heap moment for him, but it's arguably a case of too little, too late for many.
Melanie Bush: (Bonnie Langford, 1986-1987): Again, Melanie is a companion with a lot of potential; not only is she a computer programmer, suggesting that she could be very useful, but she also arrived at a point where the Doctor's relationships with his previous companions (and vice versa) had for a good while been at best rather sour and interspersed with lots of petty bickering — Melanie and the Doctor were obviously good friends, which at that point was quite refreshing. Unfortunately, Melanie is something of a throwback to earlier companions in that she doesn't seem to do very much except scream at monsters; this, in an age where science fiction audiences had already been introduced to strong female characters like Ellen Ripley and Sarah Connor, was not a particularly impressive move regarding gender roles. Furthermore, this is also a case of the role arguably being miscast; Bonnie Langford was primarily known for pantomime and musical theatre, and approached the role in a similar fashion, which many audiences viewed as inappropriate. The fact that she was also the companion for what are widely considered two of the worst seasons in the show's history (which, it should be stressed, is also for reasons beyond her performances) also doesn't help her case much either.
After the series tried hard to shake its reputation for being filled with Screaming Girlie stereotypes, we have an annoying, useless character whose personality can be described as "she has a whiny voice and she screams really loud and really often". She's blamed for the waning of Doctor Who in the 1980s more than Colin Baker is.