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Top 10 'Doctor Who' Episodes (Revived Series Only)

by Dylan Stringer 4 years ago in scifi tv
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Ranking the Top 10 Episodes of Series 1-10 of 'Doctor Who'

Honorable Mention: 'The Impossible Planet'/'The Satan Pit' — Series 2 Episodes 8 & 9

Where Angels Fear to Tread

A truly unique episode which traps The Doctor and Rose in the orbit of a black hole, something which is is theoretically impossible, according to The Doctor. That impossibility along with the language so old that even the TARDIS can't translate it immediately evokes intrigue and curiosity from the get go. The classic two-part episode is full of twists and turns along the way as The Doctor comes face to face with something he previously refused to acknowledge the existence of; Satan himself.

To see The Doctor, someone who has traveled to all corners of time and space, knowing definitively what's real and what's myth stand before the very manifestation of evil, which shouldn't even exist, is actually terrifying. David Tennant perfectly displays exactly what The Doctor feels here: genuine fear and disbelief.

10. 'The Doctor's Wife' — Series 6 Episode 4

My Doctor

The first of two episodes written by famous author Neil Gaiman (the latter episode is best left unmentioned), "The Doctor's Wife" presents a scenario in which the TARDIS itself manages to come to life in the form of a woman, played wonderfully by Suranne Jones.

The episode features incredible writing from Gaiman who provides a lovely spin on the concept of The Doctor stealing the TARDIS as well as some genuinely funny and heartfelt moments.

9. 'Vincent and The Doctor' — Series 5 Episode 10

Not a dry eye in the house.

The story of Vincent Van Gogh is a tragic one. A man who died believing his work would amount to nothing and that he would be remembered as nothing more than a forgettable, troubled painter. Instead, Vincent went on to inspire thousands of artists and became one of the most well-known artists to ever exist. The beauty of this episode is that it indicates it will end happily for Vincent, that time will be rewritten and he will return home to live comfortably after learning about the effect his art will have on the world following his eventual death. But of course, that isn't the case.

The rest of this episode, however, with the forgettable monster and the slow pacing, prevent this episode from being higher on this list. The final, bittersweet ten minutes of the episode, as well as the chemistry displayed between Vincent, The Doctor, and Amy make this episode more than deserving of its spot on this list.

8. 'The Empty Child'/'The Doctor Dances' — Series 1 Episodes 9 & 10

Are you my mummy?

Doctor Who manages to incorporate all genres into its show and it perhaps does no genre better than Horror.

A frightened child stalking and infecting people as he searches for his mother during the London Blitz, this two part episode is the first genuinely terrifying episode of the revived series. Steven Moffat takes the worn thin creepy child horror trope and puts his own unique spin on it, resulting in a more than stellar story.

This episode also proves that it's a damn shame Christopher Eccleston only stayed on as The Doctor for one season as this story proved how hilarious and wonderful his take on the Time Lord was. "Just this once, everybody lives!"

These episodes are also famous for introducing fan favourite Captain Jack Harkness, a time traveler from the 51st Century willing to flirt with anyone and anything. I'm surprised we haven't seen him chatting up a fucking blueberry muffin, to be honest.

7. 'Blink' — Series 3 Episode 10

Don't Blink

Often considered the greatest episode of the new series, "Blink," much like "The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances" is a brilliantly scary episode. The Doctor barely features in this episode as the spotlight is shifted over to Sally Sparrow, a young woman who ventures into an old house filled with angel statues. What ensues is some of the best content Doctor Who has ever produced as Sally tries to solve the mystery of the house and the DVD Easter Eggs.

This is the episode which introduced the most terrifying monsters Doctor Who has ever produced—the Weeping Angels—creatures that can only move when someone isn't looking at them. Feeding off time energy, the Angels send people back in time, making them live to death.

6. 'Heaven Sent' — Series 9 Episode 11

Capaldi's Finest Hour

Series 8 & 10 were disappointing to say the least. Capaldi's Doctor was fantastic through and through, but the overall story arcs for both seasons weren't great. Series 9, on the other hand, was fantastic with a less than stellar final episode. What came before it, however, was "Heaven Sent." The whole episode featured no other characters than The Doctor and a creepy figure known as the Veil.

This was Peter Capaldi's showcase as his Doctor and he put in the performance of a lifetime, proving that his era as the Doctor could have been so much greater if the writing was consistent with the quality of this ingenious episode.

5. 'The Day of The Doctor' — 50th Anniversary Special

Gallifrey Falls No More

The only downside to this episode is that Christopher Eccleston decided not to be a part of it, making it feel like there was a pretty big hole going into this episode. However, when all three Doctors in this episode all met up, it was incredible. They all played off each other so well with John Hurt giving a fantastic performance as the incarnation of the Time Lord every Doctor since him refused to acknowledge.

The result of this ambitious episode essentially redefined everything we hadtold about the Time War and the Doctor's genocidal decision up to this point, giving The Doctor's darkest day a much needed heroic outcome.

4. 'The Waters of Mars' — 2009 Special

Time Lord Victorious

What's incredible about this episode is that the genuinely frightening water-zombies aren't even the scariest thing about this episode...it's The Doctor himself.

The Doctor did what he always does: save lives. However, the motivation behind doing what he did is absolutely terrifying. Upon realizing that the rules of time put into place by the Time Lords no longer applied to him as they were all dead, it gives The Doctor the idea that he is now essentially a God among men who believes that he "won" the Time War. For a moment, he believes he was above all laws and all rules until he is finally brought back down to earth. David Tennant was absolutely incredible in this episode, perfectly displaying the darkest characteristics that lay deep within The Doctor, which rarely ever emerge.

3. 'Midnight' — Series 4 Episode 10

Sheer Terror

Throughout his long, long life, The Doctor has saved the human race from everything that had ever threatened to harm it. Protected them and fought for them because the Doctor, simply put, loves humans. This is what makes this episode all the more frustrating (in a good way).

Humans fear what they don't understand. This fear applies to the voice stealing creature as well as The Doctor as every small and seemingly unimportant thing he says and does ends up biting him in the ass later on. It's incredibly tense and insanely frightening. Tennant has been able to convey fear before and he has done excellently but here he dials it up to eleven as there's nothing he can do to escape except rely on the humans who have seemingly condemned him to death.

2. 'A Good Man Goes to War' — Series 6 Episode 7

Rory Motherfuckin' Williams!

Perhaps the greatest cold open in the history of anything ever? Hell yes. This was Rory's crowning moment of awesome as he fearlessly stood before an army of Cybermen before an entire armada of ships explode behind him. Incredible.

This episode was full of twists and turns as The Doctor rallied all of the allies he had accrued throughout his eleventh incarnation to get his friend back.

While Matt Smith is often considered the goofier, more childish Doctor, here he displays the fury the Time Lord possess in his Col. Runaway speech. Matt Smith would have surely silenced any doubters here with this incredible performance that solidified his Doctor as one of the greatest incarnations of The Doctor.

This story also answered the question as to who River was, the time displaced daughter of Amy and Rory. This was a mystery which had been plaguing fans ever since she first appeared way back in "Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead" and in every appearance since, there had been multiple clues as to exactly who she was which all fit together as soon as the reveal came at the end of this phenomenal episode.

1. 'The Girl in the Fireplace' — Series 2 Episode 4

Lonely Children

Beautiful is the word best wat to describe this extremely moving and heart-wrenching episode. The Doctor, Rose, and Mickey find themselves on a spaceship in the 39th Century, which contains a direct link to 18th Century Versailles via a fireplace. There, The Doctor meets a young girl called Reinette whom he saves from a clockwork droid. After going back to the 39th Century and then returning back to Versailles, he discovers that the young girl is all grown up, now Madame de Pompadour, official chief mistress to King Louis XV of France.

From their first meeting, The Doctor and Reinette form a very special connection, one that blossoms into something extraordinary as she grows older. Their chemistry is the heart of this story and what drives this episode to its ultimate gut-wrenching finale.

Everything about this episode works so well, from the humour to the hugely creepy clockwork droids, to the emotion it evokes from everyone involved, including the audience.

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Dylan Stringer

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