The Five/Fear viewing list

As revealed at the recording of our last live episode, Four/Comedy, here is your homework viewing for episode Five/Fear, which will be recorded on May 19th at The Public Bar in Melbourne (full show details can be found here).

If you’ve never experienced the Fifth Doctor, we think the following three stories will show him – and the style of his era – at their best:

  • Earthshock
  • Enlightenment
  • The Caves of Androzani

For “Fear”, we’ve decided that these stories and episodes cover the theme best:

  • Planet of the Spiders (Jon Pertwee, 1974; six episodes)
  • The Ark in Space (Tom Baker, 1975; four episodes)
  • Snakedance (Peter Davison, 1983; four episodes)
  • Ghost Light (Sylvester McCoy, 1989; three episodes)
  • Blink (David Tennant, 2007; one episode)

Some of these stories are terrifying, some are about facing or overcoming fear, and one probably isn’t all that frightening but keeps getting mentioned by our guests as the scary one they remember. With a history of being frightening, however, there are many other Doctor Who stories that fit this theme; if you’re keen, here’s Doctor Who TV’sTop 5 Scariest Doctor Who moments” from the classic series, and – as part of the promotion for the recent episode Hidethe nominations for “Spookiest Ever Doctor Who Story” over at the official BBC Doctor Who blog.

Have any other stories made you cower behind the sofa? Share your suggestions in the comments below!


  1. Ian Nicholls says:

    Watching ‘Enlightenment’, I’m very struck by the similarity of The Black Guardian’s voice to that of The Goon Show’s “Count Jim Moriarty”, especially the evil laugh.

    It turns out the two actors (Valentine Dyall, Spike Milligan) were in a play together. Milligan got the voice perfectly.

  2. Andrew Mitchell says:

    I was 8 when I watched The Planet of the Spiders from under the couch and got scared out of my wits. My older sister still tells me about when she made me jump so high by putting their hand on my shoulder during one of those episodes.

  3. Andrew Mitchell says:

    I loved this episode, especially the discussions about Blink, Adric and the concept of making the ordinary terrifying. In one way I’m a disappointed chap – “The Planet of the Spiders” was not mentioned once! And THIS is to me the quintessential children’s terror episode.

    • John Richards says:

      Fair point, Andrew. It was on our reading list, it just somehow didn’t come up in conversation!

      • Andrew Mitchell says:

        It’s OK John. I love the podcast. Maybe my spiders will fit in a future episode.


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