View Poll Results: Which is better in Season 1

Voters
26. You may not vote on this poll
  • Opening: An Unearthly Child

    18 69.23%
  • Closing: Reign of Terror

    8 30.77%
Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
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    Default First vs Last: Season 1

    A recent issue of DWM posed a question in its editorial... which is generally better, the opening story of a season, or its closing one?

    Well on PS we're going to find out over the coming weeks and months, as we ask you to decide in a series of polls.

    So without further ado, lets go back to the very beginning...

    An Unearthly Child vs Reign of Terror.

    We've got a great first episode, that helps set the tone and feel of the show and introduce the regulars followed by three episodes in the Stone Age and the search for fire against a trip to revolutionary France, the guillotine, Robespierre and Napoleon...

    Which do you think is better and why? Only one to decide!

  2. #2
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    A tough one, for Reign, as An Unearthly Child is just so unique, and defining. First in this case, but a close call.

    S17 should be interesting!
    “If my sons did not want wars, there would be none.” - Gutle Schnaper Rothschild

  3. #3
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    I would like to say An Unearthly Child (or whatever we're supposed to be calling it this week!) on the grounds of the first episode.

    ..except that the rest of the story is a bit of an anti-climax by comparison (IMO). For me, there's more tension building up in Reign Of Terror than the majority of the earlier story. I'd be interested to see what other people think though.

    Good idea for an ongoing series of polls btw.

  4. #4
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    I find the Reign of Terror terribly dull and uninspiring. I've seen it a number of times but it never really seems to stick in my head despite some good moments, like the Doctor stuck in the house on fire and stuff.

    An Unearthly Child on the other hand is fabulous- all of it! Even the caveman stuff. I love the way the crew starts to come together through adversity and fear, and the stakes seem really high. So that's the one for me.

  5. #5
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    Unfortunately, Reign of Terror is only partially complete. It doesn't have the mythic status of Marco Polo, neither is it all there for us to see like The Aztecs. As a result, it seems like a confused jumble of events rather than an unfolding epic.

    Secretly however, it is a fantastic story. So I'm putting it up above An Unearthly Child, which I also really like. Especially the caveman bits.

  6. #6
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    Reign of Terror frankly can't hold a torch to An Unearthly Child. It has its moments, of course. Ian cajoling the Doctor into coming out of the Ship with them at the start, the Doctor running rings around the jailer to the point where Barbara can literally just walk out of the prison, and so on. But it's a bit meandering, Susan is at her worst (she's in jail, waiting to be guillotined, in fear of her ife, but no, she can't possibly make an escape attempt when there are rats in the cell....), and the whole lot doesn't really go anywhere.

    On the other hand, the first story is brilliant, and not just the superb first episode either. The scene with Kal and Za arguing over who is leader in the second episode is way too long, but look at what else is going on. There's Ian and Barbara getting annoyed at the Doctor for treating them like children, then finding themselves in trouble with a group of people who are as primitive to them as they are to the Doctor. There's the strained relations between them all. There's the Doctor, despite 'fan wisdom' saying he's a total git at the start, immediately protecting Ian's life ('If he dies, there will be no fire!') and trying to help Barbara stay calm in the cave, and later tricking Kal into admitting he murdered the old woman. There's even a rather interesting dynamic in the tribe where, for all their talk of women being property and weak and so on, all the practical suggestions and logical arguments come from Hur. She interrupts Kal and Za's posturing by asking the simple question: prove that this old man can make fire now; she persuades Horg to give her to Za by telling him that Za will remember and favour Horg for the decision by giving him meat; she sees the Old Woman go into the cave and not only works out (albeit incorrectly) what she is planning but rather than stopping her herself, wakes Za in order that he can be seen to be the strong leader who intervened; when everyone thinks Za has freed the TARDIS crew in the final episode it is she who points out that both exits from the cave are guarded and they could not have left without being seen, and so on.

    It's a brilliant piece of television all round, and well deserves to win this poll.

  7. #7
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    How extremely difficult ... my favourite two stories of the opening series, and two of my favourite first Doctor stories full stop. In the end, I've gone for The Reign of Terror, if only because I think the humour makes it a more rounded viewing experience.

  8. #8
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    @ Jason's superb summing up of just why the first story is so damn good. If I had been dithering over which story to vote for (although I wasn't) then that post would have made my mind up for me.

  9. #9
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    Unearthly Child just shades it over Reign of Terror. Most of the early historicals were pretty good, but Reign is a bit of a lame duck amongst the swans

  10. #10
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    First and Last is extremely appropriate here for me personally - Child was the first ever b&w Who I saw 30 years ago this November, whle Reign was the last ever story from the original run that I saw, not seeing it until the VHS came out. I've still only ever seen it a couple of times, and the missing episodes are the only two I've never heard, not having bothered buying the audio CD. As a result, it's never made much of an impression on me (hopefully the DVD may help to rectify that) so Child easily gets my vote.

    You know, this is the sort of thing you could debate over a pint in the pub!

  11. #11
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    Yes, you've always been a bit of a mass drinker!

  12. #12
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    It's An Unearthly Child for me. Reign is OK but can't beat the wonderful opening epsiode that set the tone for years to come.
    I’m being extremely clever up here and there’s no one to stand around looking impressed! What’s the point in having you all?

  13. #13

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    An Unearthly Child has it all in terms of a sense of the unknown even with the awsome opening episode,I prefer Reign of Terror,there's a sense of fun as well as danger in the mix

  14. #14
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    I've got a lot of affection for 'Reign', mostly because of the excellent novelisation (and no, it's got nothing to do with whether or not you-know-who was in it!!), but 'An Unearthly Child' is one of the greatest pieces of drama in the history of British television, and 'Doctor Who' couldn't have askede for a better beginning. So it's a first vote for 'First' from me!

  15. #15
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    I don't really think there's any contest An Unearthly Child, the first episode and a half are for me without doubt some of the finest individual episodes in both classic and new series. Ok by today's standards episodes 3 and 4 may seem slow going but they are still packed with tension, suspense and mystery some thing that you don't have with Reign. Reign, is a decent enough but for me it's just a bog standard 6 part story that suffers all the usual problems of the 6 parters being slow and padded in the middle episodes.

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