The Eruditorum Press Doctor Who Poll Wrapup

(52 comments)

All right. Let's go through those extra questions, then we'll get on to some overall thoughts on this ridiculous endeavor.

Favorite Doctor

First the options that got one vote, namely Arabella Weir, River Song, The Curator, The Other, and "The one in the early Target books, written by Dicks, Hulke, and Letts." But of those getting multiple votes...

Jon Pertwee: 3

Clara Oswald: 4

Splendind Chap, All of Them and Variations: 5

Colin Baker: 8

Peter Davison: 9

William Hartnell: 11

Paul McGann: 11

David Tennant: 17

Christopher Eccleston: 24

Matt Smith: 47

Tom Baker: 50

Patrick Troughton: 52

Sylvester McCoy: 62

Peter Capaldi: 63

Best Companion

Single votes were cast for the Brigadier, Cass, Elisabeth Klein, Ian Chesterton, Izzy S, Kamelion, Katarina, Lucie Miller, Mickey Smith, Molly O'Sullivan, Nyssa, Peri, Rigsy, Sara Kingdom, Shayde, Tegan Jovanka, and Zoe Heriot

Fitz Kreiner: 2

Frobisher: 2

Steven Taylor: 2

The TARDIS: 2

Wilf: 2

Liz Shaw: 3

Captain Jack Harkness: 3

Charley Pollard: 3

Vicki: 3

K-9: 4

Jamie McCrimmon: 5

River Song: 5

Evelyn Smythe: 6

Rose Tyler: 6

Martha Jones: 6

Jo Grant: 7

Bernice Summerfield: 9

Rory Pond: 11

Leela: 15

Romana: 16 (One specifying Mary Tamm, Nine specifying Lalla Ward, Five not specifying, and one specifying both. I count them separately, personally, but there you go.)

Amy Pond: 16 (Votes for Amy/Rory as a combo were split equitably, though one voter was adamant that was what they meant.)

Barbara Wright: 17

Sarah Jane Smith: 39

Donna Noble: 44

Ace: 46

Clara Oswald: 76

 

Classic vs New Series

Classic Series: 112

New Series: 165

Other Answers: 80

 

The "Other Answers" also contained the following broad categories:

Both: 37

Object to the question: 25

New Adventures: 7

Wilderness Years: 6

Big Finish: 3

Faction Paradox: 2

Best Writer

Chris Chibnall: 1

Malcolm Hulke: 1

Mark Gatiss: 1

Terry Nation: 1

David Agnew (i.e. "No Giving Douglas Adams bonus points for Hitchhiker's"): 2

Terrance Dicks: 2

Christopher H. Bidmead: 3

Peter Harness: 4

Kate Orman: 9

Lawrence Miles: 13

Paul Cornell: 20

David Whitaker: 23

Andrew Cartmel (and company): 24

Russell T Davies: 32

Robert Holmes: 92

Steven Moffat: 142

Best Producer

Innes Lloyd: 1

John Wiles: 1

Peter Bryant/Derrick Sherwin: 4

John Nathan-Turner: 5

Barry Letts: 8

Graham Williams: 11

Philip Hinchcliffe: 64

Steven Moffat: 78

Verity Lambert: 96

Russell T Davies: 98

 

So, thoughts. First of all, gratitude to everybody who participated and who forms the Eruditorum Press community. This was a lot of fun, and I'm pleased with how it worked out even if I think you're all terribly boring for liking Heaven Sent so damn much and not appreciating the sublime genius of moon eggs. Which you self-evidently are. More seriously, I've always been curious how a poll done within this community would turn out, and while it would probably turn out very differently with only slight tweaks to the rules, I think it turned out very well. There's a definite strand of Traditionalist Fandom visible in the results, but there are other strands as well including appreciation for the new series' most radical elements and for some real oddball favorites. And it was fun to see Earthshock get a kicking. Fuck Earthshock. Beryl Reid's the only watchable thing in it.

There are some clear era preferences that exist, a fact emphasized by the polls above. Obviously there's a huge chunk of the readership that is very much into the new series. In a community where the Twelfth Doctor and Clara both top their respective polls it's not a huge surprise when Heaven Sent also does well. Or when a Capaldi-era turkey like Sleep No More does poorly in comparison with Timelash, an aesthetic judgment that is literally unjustifiable. Especially when Colin Baker also nearly edges out Peter Davison. 

The biggest thing to emerge is a strong McCoy era fandom which OK, apparently I should put a book out or something. Still, the McCoy era did massively well, and not just with oft-maligned stuff like Battlefield and Paradise Towers punching above their weights. Ghost Light in the top ten really does stand out as a huge statement. I really can't stress how happy that one makes me. It's not like the McCoy era is unpopular as such, although it has its detractors. But McCoy supremacism, when it comes to the classic series, remains a delightful position. It really is a phenomenal era. In fact, I think I'll wrap this up and go throw Ghost Light on. I've not watched it in ages.

So, couple other results that make me smile: Davies trailing significantly in writer but winning in Producer, Verity Lambert's votes in Producer, and Robert Holmes's in Writer. (36 people voted for the combo, btw.) All strike me as pleasantly nuanced critical distinctions. Oh, and Barbara Wright being out ahead of that long tail on Companions. That's a delight to rival Talons of Weng-Chiang coming in exactly where it did. 

So anyway. Thanks for a fun time. Back tomorrow with some Mr. Robot

Comments

Wack'd 7 months, 3 weeks ago

I'd like to clarify that my putting down Clara Oswald for Best Doctor was not a typo.

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Caitlin Smith 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Three other people agree with you, including me

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Wack'd 7 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm an idiot, see below for details

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Wack'd 7 months, 3 weeks ago

oh hey that got four votes, how narcissistic am I that I skimmed the 1-point club and went "whelp guess there was an error"

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Jack Graham 7 months, 3 weeks ago

It's absurd and awful that Moffat won best writer. That's ridiculous. Clara as best companion is also nonsense. Honestly, what's wrong with you people? Harrumph.

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Sean Dillon 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Yes, clearly you should have been given best writer and best companion should have been either Felix or Ace.

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Jack Graham 7 months, 3 weeks ago

What do you mean "or Ace"?

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Aylwin 7 months, 3 weeks ago

One specifying Mary Tamm, Nine specifying Lalla Ward, Five not specifying

Wait a minute, the Doctors voted in this poll?!

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Sombra 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Am I the only one who's really disappointed that Turlough got no love?

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Jack Graham 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Turlough got plenty of love from Five off-camera. That'll have to do him. The Doctor certainly did.

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Peeeeeeet 7 months, 3 weeks ago

I find myself more sad that Cwej has been forgotten. Should have thrown the big lunk a vote. Oh well.

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Wood 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Fuck Earthshock indeed. I think it was my last place vote and it was heartening to see how many people shred my opinion on it.

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Andrew 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Earthshock is Eric Saward's attempt at doing the first 5 minutes or so of Star Wars Episode 4. With David Banks as Darth Vader, and Beryl Reid as Hans Solo. Which is a fantastic idea, don't try and deny it.

And Malcolm Clarke's music is way, way better than John Williams's. I admit it would probably work better without the Doctor and his companions in it, but I really liked it when I was 8.

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Jack Graham 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Earthshock is a guilty pleasure if you're in the mood. The mood, for me, specifically being 'nostalgic'. It's not 'good' in any meaningful sense, however.

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Sean Dillon 7 months, 3 weeks ago

A shame there were four uninteresting episodes surrounding that idea.

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JJ Gauthier 7 months, 3 weeks ago

I still like it, but it's one of those things like "Goldfinger" where it's problematic but brilliant fun the first time, and then gets worse each time you rewatch it. Its pleasures are all very surface-level, and its flaws egregious enough that rather than ignoring or accepting them as part of the charm, they just seem more and more devastating.

So part of the reason I still like it is that I've only watched it 3 times total, and it'll be some years before I try again.

As opposed to Kinda, which just gets better each time you watch it and find another fantastic layer there. On a first viewing, I absolutely would have put Earthshock above it; only Tegan's trippy nightmare stuff towards the start fully engaged me the first time. But each successive viewing makes me appreciate it more, even if I suspect I'll never love it as much as Snakedance, which is less dreamlike but builds to a much more satisfying conclusion.

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Andrew 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Given that Earthshock was designed only to be watched once (as was Kinda), it's not surprising it was popular at the time.

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Jack Graham 7 months, 3 weeks ago

I hope this isn't an omen. Y'know, a poll won by a man despite his recorded history of sexist comments...

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John G. Wood 7 months, 3 weeks ago

I think I'm about 50% trad fan, 30% naturally weird, and 20% influenced by this site. Certainly coming back to DW after a long break I was surprised how much I enjoyed discovering the Hartnell and McCoy eras, and then coming here has helped me understand why (and also boosted my enjoyment of almost all eras).

This was a fun poll, and certainly closer to my thinking than most (though Greatest Show and The Time Meddler being outside the top 50 is still just wrong ;-). The format also means I've learned about things I'd never heard of before, which is a bonus.

Thanks again! Now, get back to work on that McCoy book...

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Tom Marshall 7 months, 3 weeks ago

"Greatest Show and The Time Meddler being outside the top 50 is still just wrong"

Hear hear!

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Anthony D Herrera 7 months, 3 weeks ago

I would like to add two more hears to this.

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David Anderson 7 months, 3 weeks ago

I'd add to the hear, hear, except that though they're both in my top fifty, maybe even thirty, they're not in my top twenty so I didn't vote for them.

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Aylwin 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Biggest surprise for me is quite how badly Pertwee did, even considering how much of a kicking his era got from Phil - surely the single most conspicuous rejection of "traditional fandom" inclinations in the whole poll. The relatively weak support for Tennant (who in Britain at least would very likely top any poll of the general audience with room to spare, with only Tom Baker maybe coming close) is also striking, though maybe less surprising.

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Nathan Mahney 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Pertwee is greatness, but I'm a really trad fan (my fave Doctors are 1 through 4 in variable order depending on my mood). There's no reality where he should be topped by Colin Baker, Paul McGann or David Tennant. Or even Peter Davison, unless we're narrowing it down to "Peter Davison from Caves of Androzani".

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Phil Sandifer 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Pertwee historically doesn't do that phenomenally with trad fandom. Much like The Stolen Earth/Journey's End, he was much more popular with the general public than fandom.

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Aylwin 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Fair enough - this is probably one of those moments where it becomes apparent that I'm basically an imposter as a Doctor Who fan.

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Jack Graham 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Tell me about it.

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Wood 7 months, 3 weeks ago

My usual reply to the question "so, your a Doctor Who fan?" is "No, I like it too much."

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Daibhid Ceannaideach 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Really? I always think of "trad" fandom as being the side of the Great Pertwee/McCoy Wars that hated the NAs. I suppose radw in the late nineties isn't representative of fandom, and thank goodness for that.

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David Anderson 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Pertwee might do better in a poll in which you rank doctors. A poll in which you only pick your favourite Doctor disfavours him since a lot of what he brings to the part is also brought by others (in particular the two Bakers).

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Roddy 7 months, 3 weeks ago

It's interesting that RTD did better than Moffat as a producer, given that his era's season finales were so comparitively low-ranked.

I know that's nowhere near the only indicator - but you'd expect one big factor in voting would be how well tied-together the seasons are, especially given that single episodes from both eras seemed to do about as well.

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Roddy 7 months, 3 weeks ago

The Moffat-era doctors & companions tended to score better as well. I wonder what factors swung it for RTD.

(Not that he wasn't an excellent producer, naturally)

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Nathan Mahney 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Dependability? Moffat had a tendency for split seasons, and long breaks between seasons. You knew what you were getting, when and how much with RTD.

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Aylwin 7 months, 3 weeks ago

And that despite the fact that you were getting an exceptional range of different things from him, in terms of the spin-off series etc which Davies instigated and oversaw, even without running them day to day. And that on top of the fact that the new series showrunner effectively has the combined responsibilities of the classic series producer and script editor, plus turning out several scripts of their own each season, and that Davies had had to put a new operation together rather than inheriting something already up and running. Moffat's difficulties with managing his workload really throw into relief the extent of Davies's capacities as a plate-spinner, even allowing for the advantage of having Julie Gardner backing him up. The fact that he was seemingly doing a significantly bigger job than any of his predecessors or his successor, and yet making it all run so apparently smoothly, was primarily why I voted for him in that category.

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Roddy 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Yeah that all seems fair

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Jane 7 months, 3 weeks ago

I think RTD's era is viewed as less problematic than Moffat's. And, you know, reviving the show in the first place, he gets big kudos for that.

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Caitlin Smith 7 months, 3 weeks ago

I expect the fact that he brought back the series has a lot to do with it.

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Lambda 7 months, 3 weeks ago

By far the most important series he made was the one in 2005, and that came together beautifully.

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Nat 7 months, 2 weeks ago

Maybe, maybe not. I go back and forth on this. If 12.5 of 13 parts of a series are great on their own and hang together well as a whole, how much does it devalue the whole series that that last half an episode is rubbish? I don't think there's one definitive answer.

In the case of Trial of a Time Lord, i think we all agree that had the ending actually worked and tied things up and had threads throughout the season, it would've made a huge difference.

But as disappointed as I've been in pretty much every series finale since The Parting of the Ways, they haven't lessened my enjoyment for the rest of the series.

On the other hand, drawing on a couple other works, the show finales of Battlestar Galactica and How I Met Your Mother left a sour taste that I have yet to overcome. And that's despite loving both of them right up until the penultimate episode (or, in the case of HIMYM, through the first half of the final ep). I used to routinely rewatch episodes or whole seasons of HIMYM. Haven't looked at it since the finale.

So I'm not saying that a bad finale *can't* color what came before. But it doesn't have to, apparently, so I'm not surprised that collectively we can dislike the finales and like the seasons.

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Kiki Basco 7 months, 3 weeks ago

So to what extent is Capaldi/Clara taking the first spots in their respective categories recency bias?

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Phil Sandifer 7 months, 3 weeks ago

One Capaldi vote quoted my usual line on the matter, which is that Capaldi is my favorite Doctor because he shows up in new episodes periodically.

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Jack Graham 7 months, 3 weeks ago

That's probably the single best reason for voting for him.

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Sean Case 7 months, 3 weeks ago

So does Troughton, at this point.

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Ashely 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Not one vote for Hurt in Best Doctor? Very good.

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Tom Marshall 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Why is that good, though? I mean, presumably it reinforces your own personal view, but ... even with the stuff I dislike, I'm always rather charmed to find that *someone*, somewhere, loves it. I may not like X but l like the fact that someone likes X.

This usually only applies to fictional stories and not real-life atrocities and/or presidential candidates.

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Przemek 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Maybe the lack of votes for Hurt as Best Doctor is a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the fact that he rejected the name "Doctor"?

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Luke Hobbs 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Thanks so much for doing the poll, Phil. It's been a lot of fun.

Is there an ETA for the McCoy book? Not that I'm ready for it yet...about to watch Trial of a Time Lord and get the Davison/Baker book, and then of course after televised McCoy there are a ton of novels to read, so it'll be a while before I'm ready for it. But I'm still curious, all the same. Partly just can't wait for the next amazing cover art.

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hitmonkey 7 months, 2 weeks ago

He was asked on a tumblr a little while ago and said it'll be after Neoreaction and Last War in Albion come out. So not for a while.

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Comment deleted 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Nathan Mahney 7 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm very happy to see Barbara Wright do well, but Ian was robbed, I tell ya. Robbed.

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Daibhid Ceannaideach 7 months, 2 weeks ago

"not appreciating the sublime genius of moon eggs"

I can't remember if I've said this here, but I've certainly said it somewhere; while I have certainly a problem with the idea that the moon is an egg, my dislike of "Kill the Moon" is just as much fuelled by resentment that it's put me in the position of being the kind of person who objects to Doctor Who plots on the grounds of silliness.

I'm quite convinced there could have been a moon egg story that worked for me, but "Kill the Moon" wasn't it.

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Christy Nicholas 7 months, 2 weeks ago

I am sad I wasn't in time to help vote :) I'm also sad that Pertwee got the lowest votes! He is my third favorite. (After Tennant and Baker, T).

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