Favourite Season 1 Story

What’s everyone’s favorite Season 1 story or stories? Remember, you can vote for more than one.

  • An Unearthly Child
  • The Daleks
  • The Edge of Destruction
  • Marco Polo
  • The Keys of Marinus
  • The Aztecs
  • The Sensorites
  • The Reign of Terror
0 voters

@RassilonianLegate comes in with the hot take of being a Sensorites fan!

Very pleased to see The Keys of Marinus getting some love too.


While I did not vote for it, I will stand by @RassilonianLegate in a spirited defense of the Sensorites :sunglasses:


Worth noting that I like some of the ones I didn’t vote for, too. I just didn’t quite feel they were favorites.

I’m not really big on historicals, generally, and haven’t seen Marco Polo and the Reign of Terror. The Aztecs definitely has its points, with Barbara succumbing to the temptation to meddle in the past, and the Doctor accidentally proposing marriage.

The first episode of Unearthly Child would be a favorite, but the rest of the story, while not something I dislike, isn’t as good.

Keys of Marinus actually was pretty good, just didn’t quite make it to favorites for me.

Sensorites… well, I remember really liking the first half, (other than the Doctor ordering Susan around) then the second half giving me more trouble. I think I was having trouble with the fact that the Sensorites couldn’t easily tell each other apart. It did have some good Susan + psychic powers stuff.

Daleks is classic. The origin of the idea of the Daleks, and I think they were smarter here then they often were later. (Though, yes, it could’ve been cut by an episode or so.)

And, okay, yeah, I do really like The Edge of Destruction, though I haven’t watched it in a good bit. Kind of a precursor to things like Midnight, Susan with the scissors is creepy, and I love the idea of a broken switch being the root of all the trouble…


What can I say, I have a soft spot for a few weird ones


The Aztecs. One of my favourite stories in all of Who. Also love An Unearthly Child, a shame the weirder aspects of Susan’s character were toned down. & Edge of Destruction which is quite experimental at such an early stage in the show.


And there’s no judgement here. My last rewatch of it was joined by my two kids when they were about 10 and 13 and they both rather liked it. It made me see it through fresh eyes. Like any Doctor Who story, there is often much to enjoy even if the whole doesn’t always win plaudits from the wider fandom.


The first cliffhanger in The Sensorites is so good!




And I love that it’s so obviously a completely different Sensorite in the reprise next episode - which plays rather nicely into ‘no one can tell us apart, not even ourselves’ part of the plot!


I voted for my top three stories, even though Marco Polo is my #1 fave from season 1. I was kind of surprised to see how few votes it got, given its reputation as a lost classic, but I guess the “lost” part is really key there – I guess a lot of people have never experienced it, in any form! I watched a recon of it a couple of months ago, and even in that format found it a great story – it keeps moving the whole time so the seven episodes never drag, the never-ending schemes of Tegana are fun, etc. I’d love to see them recover it one day.

My runner-ups are “The Aztecs”, which is just a great historical and I love the core drama around Barbara wanting to change history and failing, and “The Sensorites”, which I will also defend as a great story (although I’ll admit the final eps weren’t as strong as the beginning).

My honourable mentions would be “The Reign of Terror” (I love the Doctor’s audacity in this one) and “The Daleks” (very strong beginning, and I love how grounded the Daleks are compared to New Who – like when Barbara blinds one by smushing mud into its eyestalk; I couldn’t help but think a New Who Dalek would have a magic mud disintegration field – but episodes 5–6 blow it off course). The only story I really dislike in season 1, though, is the caveman episodes of “An Unearthly Child” (which truly I think of as a different story from episode 1, which is brilliant).


For me, those cavemen episodes are sorely underrated.

Marco Polo seems to divide fandom a little. I’ve seen plenty of praise for it but also those, like me, who find it less appealing. For me, it drags and the machinations of Tegana become tiresome. I’ve done the recon a couple of times and the audio narrated soundtrack a few, and it really isn’t for me (but I’ll revisit it some time - all Doctor Who is worth revisiting in my opinion and I know I might feel differently about it next time).

The Aztecs is the pinnacle for me with The Keys of Marinus next which, shoddy though some of its production is, just fills me with joy.


These are designed so you can vote for as many as you want. There are also some “Favorite companions” polls too.

So, my current watch-through of the show is the first time I’ve seen these episodes since I was 11, and I was really determined to try to see the good in the caveman episodes this time… and I did really like the parts that involved the TARDIS crew (the Doctor as an abductor is an interesting dynamic!), but I just couldn’t get into the caveman drama. But it’s okay; it’s cool how everyone sees the merits of different stories.

“The Keys of Marinus” is one that I absolutely loved as an 11-year-old. It was definitely one of my faves then. This time around, I found it uneven, but when it’s firing it’s firing. Episode 2 is an all-time classic. And overall, I think it’s good. It certainly never drags, which is a good thing for a six-parter.


The Sensorites is the second Hartnell story I ever watched after An Unearthly Child, and I love it so much! I also really enjoy The Reign of Terror, it’s one of my favorite historicals. And The Daleks is also super creative and well-done. Those are the ones I voted for but I enjoy the rest of the season as well, especially Marinus, The Aztecs, and the first episode of An Unearthly Child