The Space Museum, the seventh story in the second season of Doctor Who, is considered by many to be one of the worst stories ever.
Having watched it I can certainly say its boring and unoriginal but I wouldn’t say its as harmful or frustrating as stories like Warriors Of The Deep and Fear Her.
The first Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Vicki land on the planet Xeros, where they discover huge museum displaying creatures and spaceships from all over the galaxy. They suddenly find their future selves standing in glass cases as exhibits in the museum.
The thing that makes The Space Museum stand out from other stories in the Hartnell era is the way it incorporates time travel into the drama.
The crew is shocked when they see themselves on display. Throughout the episode they try to prevent their future from happening, getting more and more anxious as they struggle.
Its impressive seeing how desperate and worried the characters get and its not because of a monster or an army of aliens but time.
Unfortunately this plays out as a minor subplot beside a really boring main plot. Its basically the old ‘rebels rise up against oppressors’ narrative, a story that had been done dozens of times before, most famously in The Daleks.
The museum is run by an imperial race known as the Moroks, they invaded the planet and built the museum as a monument of their empire’s achievements (I won’t lie, that back story is quite interesting).
Meanwhile the Xerons, the natives of the planet, hide in the building and try to get some weapons to start a revolution.
As you’d guess the plot is predictable and the poor production value doesn’t help.
The sets look pretty good at first but get boring as you see them again and again, the Moroks are just middle-aged men in white suits and the Xerons look like the Beatles with caterpillars stuck on their eyebrows.
However the use of time travel as a force of antagonism would be used in countless stories following The Space Museum. Despite its flaws the story was unique enough to have an everlasting influence, it deserves a lot of credit for that.
For a top ten list of worst Doctor Who episodes I’d put The Space Museum at number seven. Its bad but it has value.
The Space Museum earns a mediocre 3 out of 10.