The Best of Doctor Who
In the year 2005 a new generation of fans were able to discover the most amazing science fiction show on television. Despite having been missing from the air for over a decade this new Doctor Who series was; fresh, funny, and exciting. Now that we are three Doctors in for this incredible and much beloved series it is time to look back at our favorite stories for each one.
The Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccelston)
The End of the World: Where should the Doctor take his first companion for his first trip in sixteen years? Well under the pen of head writer Russell T Davies, he takes the young Rose Tyler to the day the world explodes. Introducing new viewers to this world, Davies held nothing back throwing in; aliens, space stations, and a crazy villain all in a single episode. In true Who fashion, even something as the end of the earth is not as simple as was intended leaving the Doctor to do what he does best. This is the perfect episode for newcomers to the show.
Dalek: Throughout his close to fifty years in existence the Doctor has matched wits with many different aliens and monsters, but none as iconic as The Daleks. These mechanical voiced mutants in battle suits have a singular mission of wiping out all life in creation putting them at exact odds with the Time Lords’ philosophy. In this episode people who have never seen Who before learn why they should be terrified of these creatures when just a single one can destroy an entire pseudo-military base.
The Empty Child & The Doctor Dances: The first episode from current head writer, Stephen Moffat takes place during the darkest days of World War II while a small boy in a gas mask searches for his mother. Despite having a thrilling and upbeat conclusion this is hands down the scariest story from Eccelston’s time in the TARDIS. This story also has significance due to it being the first appearance of the time travelling Cassanova, Captain Jack Harkness.
Bad Wolf& The Parting of Ways: If a single Dalek caused so much damage, imagine what an entire armada of them could do. Many centuries in the future, the Doctor learns that his arch nemesis have been building up an invasion fleet all along, just waiting for the right moment. In order to stop this threat the Doctor must make a choice which may cost him everything. The episode stands out as the end to the Ninth Doctor’s emotional arc; he started out as a cold and distant character and we finally see him as the caring individual who finally has something to live for.
The Tenth Doctor (David Tennant)
The Christmas Invasion: What better way to introduce the newest Doctor than to have him pass out cold on Christmas trying to recover from his ordeal? As an alien force approaches the earth, the world scrambles to find a hero leaving Rose Tyler to attempt the Doctor’s job.
School Reunion: The Doctor Who story that writers have skirted around for years finally gets told; the current companion meets a former companion in the form of the beloved Sarah Jane Smith. A strange extraterrestrial race has infiltrated the school looking to use the children inside as the means to conquer the universe; this episode is also memorable for finally giving Rose’s doofus boyfriend Micky a chance to shine.
The Girl in the Fireplace: The Doctor along with Rose and Micky land on a clockwork space station which is literally tearing through space and time in order to track down French noble woman, Madame de Pompadour. As the Doctor must protect her from an army of creepy robots the relationship between the two begins to blossom until it hits it’s heartbreaking conclusion.
Rise of the Cybermen & The Age of Steel: Another villain the Doctor has had more than a few scrape with returns, The Cybermen. Rather than dealing with decades of convoluted continuity regarding the mechanical menaces; Russell T Davies and writer Matt Jones recreate the concept of the Cybermen coming from a parallel earth as well as giving them a fun catch-phrase.
Army of Ghosts & Doomsday: The Doctor and Rose return home from their intergalactic travels to find the planet infested by ghosts and the answer to what is going on lies within the secretive organization, Torchwood. This story is most memorable for the fact that we as the fans finally get to see The Daleks and The Cybermen in all out war with each other. Despite the battles and excitement the end of this episode perfectly captures the true cost of the Doctor’s way of life.
Human Nature& The Family of Blood: A tear jerker of a story written by beloved scribe, Paul Cornell puts the Time Lord in a position he has never been in before as he transforms into a human in order to hide from a race of intergalactic hunters. Taking on the name, John Smith the Doctor begins a teaching job on the precipice of a World War when his enemies arrive on earth; which would normally not be a problem except the would-be hero has fallen in love and is hesitant to return to his role to save the day despite the protests of his relatively new companion, Martha Jones. With a climax that is impossible to forget this story challenges our protagonist in a way he has never been before.
Blink: Regarded as one of the best stories from Doctor Who during its fifty year run, despite the fact the Doctor is barely in it. Another thriller from, Stephen Moffat,this episode is arguably the scariest ever thanks to the first appearance of the Weeping Angels a cold race who have the best natural defenses and the worst way to kill their victims.
Utopia & The Sound of Drums & Last of the Time Lords: Throughout the past couple of years the Doctor has thought himself to be the last of his race; but a trip to the far future with Captain Jack and Martha changes everything we he discovers another Time Lord, his long time enemy, The Master. The Doctor has matched wits with The Master many times before, but this marks the first time his rival has defeated him and successfully conquered the earth. In order to save everything The Doctor must make a fateful decision concerning his future.
Silence in the Library & Forest of the Dead: Yet another chiller from Stephen Moffat, establishing a trend of bringing out your greatest fears, he establishes a new villain which is the darkness itself, the Vashta Narada. The Doctor is faced with an even greater challenge when he meets the mysterious River Song, who knows him better than anyone else has before.
Midnight: Russell T Davies must have grown tired of letting Moffat write all the scary stories and pens his own. It starts off rather carefree as The Doctor takes a tour of an amazing planet, where something mysterious lurks around. But what is truly frightening is what this creature does, for the first time we find a villain who challenges The Doctor’s usual calm leadership.
The Stolen Earth & Journey’s End: This episode highlights one of Davies’ greatest strengths as a writer, the cliffhanger. Daleks invade earth on a grand scale, literally ripping it out of order along with numerous other planets from throughout space and time. Their new planetarium serves a far more sinister purpose, powering a weapon to destroy all of reality. As if that were not bad enough, we see the return of The Doctor’s most dangerous foe, the scientist who created The Daleks in the beginning, Davros. In order to save all of creation The Doctor must unite all of his previous companions to save the day.
The Waters of Mars: The Tenth Doctor knows his end is approaching and as he tries to flee from his destiny he ends up on humanity’s first martian colony on the day it is mysteriously destroyed. A virus runs rampant in the water infecting the entire crew; forcing the last Time Lord to reveal a dark side of himself never seen before. As predicted he saves the day, but he is an entirely different person at the end of it all.
The End of Time: During his four years on the show, David Tennant made the show a phenomena, becoming arguably the most popular Doctor ever, so when the time came to end his tenure, Russell T Davies pulled out all the stops. The Master returns from the dead and uses advanced technology to bring back the greatest force of evil in the history of the universe, the Time Lords. In order to face such a threat The Doctor risks everything and in a heart breaking twist he seals his fate. In what is sure to bring any Whovian to tears, the Tenth Doctor spends his final moments bidding farewell to his companions before regenerating.
The Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith)
The Eleventh Hour: With a new Doctor, a new companion, a new TARDIS, a new head writer, and a new producer team; this episode sets up a lot of challenges for Stephen Moffat and to make matter worse he sets the telling of his story up against the ticking clock of the genocide of the human race. Moffat pens the perfect script for this story, but the true star of the show is new Doctor, Matt Smith who puts all fears to rest as he owns the story.
The Beast Below: The Eleventh Doctor takes his new companion, Amy Pond to the post-earth future where the UK exists on a space ship where a dark secret looms that nobody wants to talk about. Loaded with social commentary, suspense, and an amazing performance from the two new leads; Moffat knocks another story out of the park.
The Time of Angels & Flesh and Stone: The Doctor must face the return of two things he thought he would never see again; River Song and The Weeping Angels. Trapped in an alien catacomb, The Doctor must lead his allies through a maze of death and terror. As if that were not bad enough a persistent mystery finally catches up with the Time Lord.
Vincent and The Doctor: From the mind of acclaimed screenwriter, Richard Curtis comes the story of The Doctor and Amy aiding one of the most beloved artists of all time, Vincent Van Gogh. Despite the traditional Who fun there is a very serious and tragic story line about and artist who must confront the greatest monsters in his own life. All this with an ending that will bring fans to tears.
The Lodger: Proving the adaptability to genres that only Doctor Who has; it follows the deeply emotional Vincent and The Doctor with a laugh out loud romantic comedy. The Doctor is stranded and forced to find a roommate in the everyday human, Craig. While trying to save his TARDIS, The Doctor must also help Craig find love with his best friend Sophie.
The Pandorica Opens & The Big Bang: The universe is tearing itself apart at the seams, all of The Doctor’s foes have formed an alliance to stop him, and it is all tied to the opening ot the mysterious Pandorica. Moffat plays with time travel in this story in way that will surely make you head spin and many have criticized this story for that, but far too often in TV does not challenge us or make us think, but for better or worse that’s exactly what this story does.
The Impossible Astronaut & Day of the Moon: The episode starts off with a bang as one of the main characters is killed, but we have no time to mourn the loss as The Doctor and his crew discover a terrifying alien race known as The Silence who have secretly controlled the human race for centuries. Things set up for a brand new mystery as this story ends with the biggest cliffhanger ever.
The Doctor’s Wife: Written by fantasy icon, Neil Gaiman the story finds The Doctor, Amy, and Rory on an asteroid outside of the universe. As comapnions usually do, Amy and Rory are captured and The Doctor and the love of his life join together in order to stop his newest enemy.
A Good Man Goes to War: An entire army has formed for the sole purpose of finding a way top destroy The Doctor, except they have made things personal by kidnapping Amy Pond. The Doctor is forced to call in several favors an create his own army for the fateful day when he will have his greatest triumph and his biggest fall.
Let’s Kill Hitler: Immediately you can not help but be hit by this catchy title; it promises that this episode will be fun and fast paced and boy does it deliver. We finally learn the secret of River Song against the backdrop of a cool espionage story in the heart of the Third Reich.
The Girl Who Waited: An episode that puts the focus of the story squarely on the companions. We see a deep exploration of the complex relationship between Amy and Rory and just how much they love each other.
The God Complex: An incredibly eerie episode that clearly draws inspiration from. The Shining. The TARDIS crew finds themselves trapped in a hotel that seems to be preying on their fears. Trending into far darker and more serious territory than the show usually ventures the episode offers commentary on fear and religion in a way few other shows can.