43. The Doctor Versus Reality TV
From: "Vengeance on Varos"
Premiere: January 19, 1985
Colin Baker drew the short straw as the Sixth Doctor, introduced at the nadir of network support for Doctor Who. Gambits meant to be edgy – a gaudy outfit, an unpredictable temperament, an astounding ego – fell flat, thanks to dodgy writing and direction. But this bloody serial, in which an apathetic public spoon-fed conflict via reality TV uncannily predicted our modern milieu, introduced a memorably slimy antagonist in Mentor mercenary Sil (Nabil Shaban). Dispatched hastily on television, the Sixth Doctor eventually found definitive form via nuanced audio dramas from British production house Big Finish.