Don’t call him Doctor Who

I watched an episode of Doctor Who last night, with no real reasoning, except it was on the iPlayer and I needed a Doctor fix. I don’t know about anyone else, but I feel cheated of a proper series this year, and even if these specials are the best thing ever, can they really replace a 13 episode run?

Either way, I am one of those annoying people who has only become a fan since the rebirth of the series, and I have yet to get through an entire episode of the early Doctors. Mr Tennant is my favourite, and although I posted previously about being reluctant to let him go for Matt Smith, I’m actually looking forward to seeing how the new dynamic will work. Plus, I hate goodbyes, and I wish it was next year already.

Anyway, here are five of my favourite epsiodes, in no particular order (actually, in transmission order, I think) and for no particular reason:

  1. Father’s Day. I do love the time travel element of the show, and the issues surrounding Rose and her father, his death, and how she learnt that changing things is not always the way to go make for fascinating viewing. I’m not entirely sure about the alien things in this episode, but it doesn’t really matter as they are overshadowed by the awesome 70s hairstyles.
  2. The Girl in the Fireplace. The woman in this really fascinates me. She is so smart and she spent her whole life waiting for the Doctor to show up again. The way she talks is so eloquent. The only issue I have is the crazy dresses she has to wear.
  3. The Shakespeare Code. The idea of the Doctor feeding Shakespeare his best lines is a great one, and its very cleverly done. I like the image of witches in the audience at the Globe, and the idea that they are beyond words is a good one.
  4. Partners in Crime. The miming scene alone is one of the best of the entire series, but the rest of this episode makes for a good start to the new series, and reintroduces Donna perfectly. She is still a bit shouty in this one, but her rapport with the Doctor is one of the best partnerships.
  5. Turn Left. Again, this is part of my obsession with time-travel, and the process of watching what would happen if the Doctor wasn’t around peaks my interest. The beetle thing is clearly not a great idea, but how brave Donna was to try and resolve the situation meant she really became a decent companion.

Narrowly missing out: The Doctor’s Daughter. I was so ready to hate this episode – the doctor can’t have a daughter no matter how they engineer that to happen. Then she was infinitely likeable, and then of course, [minor spoiler alert – although you really should have seen it by now] it all ends in tragedy. Except it doesn’t, and that’s why it bugs me. It takes a lot to get me emotionally invested and you are not allowed to play around with that.

Also narrowly missing out: Journey’s End. [second spoiler alert] Just because I am gutted that Donna will never remember.

I hadn’t realised until I compiled this list that most of my favourites do not include Daleks or Cybermen, which is no reflection on them, except they are criminally overused. I also realised that I am not a massive fan of the Blink episode that everyone raves about. Still, it is not unusual for me to disagree with mainstream media outlets.

So, what do you reckon? Are my choices decent enough or do you have other favourites? What would your top five be?

15 thoughts on “Don’t call him Doctor Who

  1. The airing of the Whos is so unpredictable over here in Canada, and we’re fully a season behind. We rarely get the Christmas specials, and our sci-fi channel Space has aired the second season of Torchwood three times in the last year. I mean, really!

    That said, I’ll go with you on “The Girl in the Fireplace.” That one gave me shivers. I just saw “Partners in Crime” two nights ago, and the little fat babies are adorable. Have to agree on the miming sequence.

    I loved the episodes about the library–couldn’t tell you what they’re called (hey! maybe one is “The Library”!) and I really did like “Blink.” Apparently I enjoy the episodes with the totally nightmarish baddies. Or with time travel loops.

    David Tennant is my favourite doc and Rose/Billie Piper is my favourite companion. Journey’s end also good because Rose gets the guy in the end … sort of. Too bad about Donna because she really does suck without the Doctor in her life.

    But frankly, I’ll settle for regularly aired episodes in order on a schedule I understand. I can’t even go to the damn Dr. Who website from here. Sigh.

  2. Hehehe, I know it’s Silence in the Library, and Wikipedia tells me the other one is Forest of the Dead. It was the second one that I watched yesterday, so I really should have remembered that name!

    I still haven’t seen any of Torchwood but am tempted to buy it on iTunes to give it a go.

    Have just remembered that I quite enjoyed Love & Monsters with Peter Kay, but naturally there is not enough Doctor in that one.

  3. Torchwood is great! You should give it a try. We started watching it before Doctor Who and so we were a little lost on things, and that lead us to Doctor Who.

  4. I’m a ridiculous fan of modern Doctor Who as you probably know Christine, so I’m loving this. I’m gonna have a think about this and get back to you I think! I know Blink will absolutely be in mine without a doubt, because I’ve watched that episode a stupid amount of times and it still gives me a childish grin at how it all plays out with the Doctor and the statues.

    I do love your choices though, and it’s great to see another fan of Donna! For me she was his best companion so far in the modern series, despite the initial concern at Catherine Tate doing such a role but my goodness, did she surprise me. Missing the series so much at the moment and that trip Cardiff did NOT help!

  5. I feel like the only person I know who hasn’t seen an episode of this show and has no desire too. I blame childhood trauma because as a really little kid the theme tune scared me.

  6. I’m a ridiculous fan of modern Doctor Who as you probably know Christine, so I’m loving this.

    Absolutely, you are directly responsible for the post. The cashpoint conversation led to me watching the ep yesterday and that led to the post. 🙂

    I’m gonna have a think about this and get back to you I think!

    Not ashamed to say I was clicking through a lot of the episode guides in Wikipedia while I assembled my list.

  7. Ok, I have got my 5 for you!

    Blink – As I say, this is easily my favourite episode. Brilliant drama, Sally Sparrow was and is just a fantastic character and the suspense in the episode and how well written everything was by Steven Moffat, with the Doctor on the DVD and how it all played together I just love love love. Everything about it I love. 🙂 It’s also very childish perhaps of me that I never trusted statues for weeks afterwards….

    Turn left – I;m similar to you for this Christine. I found it fascinating how much the world can change on a single decisison and the idea behind this episode was incredible. It wasn’t executed as well because I didn’t like the Beetle stuff but to be fair, it was an arc running through the series and the beetle was a little underwhelming, but the actual episode was still incredible. Again, props to Catherine tate who really propelled her status in this I thought even if it was towards the end of the series.

    Girl in the Fireplace – Again, another Stephen Moffat written episode and another brilliant one for me because it was a bit of a strange one considering the context of seeing a 19th century house opposite the glass in a space station. Sounds ridiculous but the love story for the Doctor just seemed to work so well as a story, and I loved the clockwork heads of the baddies. They were awesome!

    Doomsday – I’ll be honest, I was almost in tears myself with the Doctor and Rose on the beach with the actual track named Doomsday by Murray Gold playing in the background. The entire episode though I thought was brilliant – the alternate universes and with Rose’s father as well, plus the Cyberman/Dalek face off was just awesome! As ever, Tennant blew me away in the episode too, he was pure brilliance and showed why I still reckon with Smith it will take a lot to overcome what Tennant created in his Doctor.

    Journey’s End – The main reason why I loved this is quite sinister… Donna has to forget the Doctor. It’s amazing how tragedy can be such an aspect that makes me love episodes, see Doomsday, but Donna was awesome. Easily the best modern companion and just awesome. And seeing her get everything erased, and the Doctor’s attitude around her afterwards knowing, plus of course, UNCLE WILF! Plus we had the daleks, we had an exceptional modern working of Davros, we had every single flippin’ character you could think of in Russel T Davies’ Doctor Who, and it was an epic, epic ending that was so well built up in the series. I adored the Master’s ending in Series 3 but this took the cookie for an ending. Utter brilliance, but tragic as hell when Donna had to live her life without the knowledge of her experiences when her uncle knows all along just how amazing the Doctor is. *wipes tear*

    Other standouts – The 2 Library episodes (I want to know more about the history of River Song!), Empty Child (Again by moffat and very creepy) and Love and Monsters (Story was a bit cheesy but it’s Dr Who, and it was a silly episode! Moffat again…). You may have inspired me now to do some Dr Who related blogging myself…

  8. You may have inspired me now to do some Dr Who related blogging myself…

    Oooh, yes please.

    Great list, Lukeh. I think I need to watch Blink again, because I have only seen it maybe once, and I am obviously missing the genius 🙂

  9. Blink is, for me, the best show of the modern Who era. Apart from all the excellent points made by Lukeh, it also works because it doesn’t rely on CGI.

  10. I think my best bits are individual moments rather than whole episodes:

    The conversation between Jack & the Doctor in Utopia when the Doctor tells him he’s “Wrong”, Micky laughing at the Doctor in School Reunion because of “the Mrs & the Ex” getting together & Donna telling the Doctor he’s got “Dad shock” in The Doctor’s daughter. I also love the bit in The Girl in the Fireplace when the Doctor is reading Madame de Pompadour’s mind and she starts reading his.

    I too am suffering from not being able to watch a complete series this year. I find a couple of really good podcasts help – Dr Who Podshock and Radio Free Skaro – but I can’t wait for The Waters of Mars to come along.

  11. As a young kid, who, is also an annoying fan of the new series. I found that I have enjoyed the Eccleston era better. I loved ‘The Empty Child’ and ‘The Doctor Dances’, ‘Fathers Day’ and so far the only one who actually loves the episode ‘The Unquiet Dead’, maybe its due to the fact it was the first Doctor Who episode I watched.

    I’ll share something different though, my bottom 5, in reverse order.

    #5 – The Runaway Bride
    #4 – The End of the World
    #3 – New Earth
    #2 – Gridlock (See a theme?)
    #1 – Boom Town – This seemed almost aimless, just an episode to make up the numbers and continue with the ‘Bad Wolf’ theme.

  12. The Empty Child and Blink are right up there for me…

    Mummy… Mummy… Are you my Mummy? That still makes me a bit scared. And it was the first of the new series to properly do that.

    The library ones were good too but not as good.

    Doomsday and Journey’s end were really good because of the emotional aspects. But I’m not sure about an order for these…

    Maybe I need to watch them all again 🙂

  13. I’ll share something different though, my bottom 5, in reverse order.

    That is a great idea, I may have a follow-up blog post coming soon 🙂

    Maybe I need to watch them all again

    I did wonder if I could fashion a Film Watch spin-off but Doctor Who Watch doesn’t sound quite right!

  14. I too am suffering from not being able to watch a complete series this year. I find a couple of really good podcasts help

    I will check those out, thank you. The only podcast I have listened to has been the BBC commentaries which is just like what you would find on DVD extras.

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