Home : Archive : TSV 1-10 : TSV 3 : Feature

Season 14 Survey Results

Compiled by Paul Scoones

Here they are! The results of the Season 14 Poll. 11 voting forms were returned, that's just over half the copies of TSV 2 sent out within the voting period. One of our replies, you may be interested to learn, came from Britain! Anyway, on with the results, and first up, it's...

1. FAVOURITE STORY

  1. The Talons of Weng-Chiang (by Robert Holmes) 62 points (most commonly voted 1st)
  2. The Robots of Death (by Chris Boucher) 47 points (most commonly voted 3rd)
  3. The Deadly Assassin (by Robert Holmes) 45 points (most commonly voted 2nd)
  4. The Masque of Mandragora (by Louis Marks) 29 points (most commonly voted 4th)
  5. The Face of Evil (by Chris Boucher) 27 points (most commonly voted 4th)
  6. The Hand of Fear (by Bob Baker/Dave Martin) 21 points (most commonly voted 5th)

Robert Holmes' tribute to the stories of Conan-Doyle was a sure winner from the word go. At 15 points ahead of the nearest competition, The Talons of Weng-Chiang was without a doubt the most loved story of this season. The 2nd and 3rd place-getters were also much liked, and the order changed almost with every vote that came in. The eventual leader was The Robots of Death, but The Deadly Assassin got more 2nd place votes. A large gap separated these three favourites from the rest; of these, The Masque of Mandragora was the next most liked, closely followed by The Face of Evil, with The Hand of Fear coming in last.

Those who added comments seemed to like the Holmes stories best for individual scenes as well - one reader liked the Doctor's interview at the police station, another liked the scene where the Doctor meets Jago at the theatre. Another's favourite scene was "...when Mr Sin went mad and started killing his own people (Greel's peasants), and the Doctor, Leela and Jago, etc, were hiding under the table while Mr Sin was trying to kill them. Jago says 'I say, I say, I say', to distract Mr Sin. The Talons of Weng-Chiang was absolutely brilliant (especially the humour) and The Robots of Death was very good as well, although it didn't have such outstanding characters and actors. The Hand of Fear and The Deadly Assassin were quite boring in parts."

This reader wasn't the only one who didn't like The Deadly Assassin - "A lot of the time the Doctor looked like a real action man tough guy, especially in part 3, but I liked the end of part 2 when he was stuck on the railway line. Also, I found the Master and Goth totally boring."

Another loved the whole Matrix fight in The Deadly Assassin, but one reader preferred The Face of Evil - "My favourite scene was the Horda pit sequence. Some thug shoves Leela, and the Doctor casually flips a Horda onto his back. A trifle out of character, perhaps, but I was rolling on the floor with laughter..." Most simply commented that it was a brilliant season.

2. FAVOURITE VILLIAN

1. Li H'sen Chang
Magnus Greel
The Master (13 points)
4. Hieronymous (6 points)
5. Goth (4 points)
6. Robots
Eldrad
Xoanon (3 points)
9. Mr Sin (2 points)

Reflecting the legendary popularity of Robert Holmes' characters, the top three villians of this season were his. By sheer coincidence, all three drew equal when the last vote was counted, although Li H'sen Chang was most commonly voted first. I wonder, though, if readers voted for the Master simply because he was the Master, and not on the merits of Peter Pratt's performance in the shadow of the great Delgado...?

3. FAVOURITE SUPPORTING CHARACTER

1. Henry Gordon Jago (21 points)
2. Professor Litefoot (19 points)
3. Giuliano (6 points)
4. Spandrell (4 points)
5. Borusa
Uvanov
Watson (3 points)
8. Engin (2 points)
9. Eldrad
D84
Toos (1 point)

Robert Holmes' characters dominated here, too, with the inspired creations Jago and Litefoot way ahead of the next placing, The Masque of Mandragora's young Duke Giuliano. Jago and Litefoot probably contributed a lot to the overall success of The Talons of Weng-Chiang, and it is interesting to note that the idea of a spin-off special or series featuring the two as amateur detectives was mooted by the BBC!

4. FAVOURITE SINGLE EPISODE

1. The Deadly Assassin 3 (17 points)
2. The Talons of Weng-Chiang 4 (11 points)
3. The Talons of Weng-Chiang 6 (9 points)
4. The Talons of Weng-Chiang 1
The Deadly Assassin 4 (5 points)
6. The Hand of Fear 2
The Face of Evil 1
The Face of Evil 2 (3 points)
9. The Talons of Weng-Chiang 3
The Robots of Death 1
The Robots of Death 2
The Robots of Death 4 (2 points)
13. The Deadly Assassin 1
The Masque of Mandragora 1
The Masque of Mandragora 4 (1 point)

15 of a possible total of 26 episodes were nominated here, at least one from every serial of the season. I fear however that perhaps I influenced the eventual winner, The Deadly Assassin 3 with my comment on page 7 of last issue. Predictably, the top five episodes were all written by Robert Holmes and directed by David Maloney, but it is perhaps significant to note that some readers' votes in this category didn't completely reflect their choices for best stories, as you might expect them to. Whereas they may have liked one story best overall, their favourite episode of the season often came from a different story, thus perhaps justifying this category?

5. BEST DIRECTION

1. David Maloney - The Talons of Weng-Chiang and The Deadly Assassin (8 points)
2. Michael Briant - The Robots of Death (2 points)
3. Lennie Mayne - The Hand of Fear (1 point)

A Robert Holmes story has won every category, but the success cannot be due to just Holmes; both The Talons of Weng-Chiang and The Deadly Assassin were directed by David Maloney, and fittingly, he walks away with the award for best direction here. His serials rated 1st and 3rd, and cooped a round total of 50 points in the favourite single episode category for all the episodes that he directed this season. The Talons of Weng-Chiang was Maloney's last directing job on Doctor Who, but his time on the series stretches right back to The Mind Robber. His other stories were The Krotons, The War Games, Planet of the Daleks, Genesis of the Daleks and Planet of Evil - many a fondly remembered story in that lot, and one or two classics, I daresay! In light of the favourite story results, Briant was the obvious choice for 2nd place, although Mayne's appearance is interesting, considering his story came last in the story votes.

So that was Season 14, a bit of a classic, and fondly remembered by all accounts.