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Favourite Doctor Who Episodes

Dr Who CastAt the moment, I’m watching Doctor Who reruns for the nth time and that puts me in mind of my favourite episodes. We are talking the modern doctor, so here goes:

John BarrowmanThe Empty Child- was a memorable episode because it introduced Captain Jack Harkness into the series, one of the most enjoyable characters of all time. The three way tussle of the travellers was entertaining.

Tooth and Claw- was one of the scariest episodes and to this day, I hold my breath, expecting that werewolf to catch Rose or the Doctor. I loved stepping back in time as the Doctor meets Queen Victoria and we discover the origins of the Torchwood Institute.

Girl_in_the_FireplaceThe Girl in the Fireplace- has to be one of the most romantic episodes ever, starring David Tennant and his brief romance with Marie Antoinette- a poignant story of the great lady and her brush with the Doctor.

Blink- was pretty special and introduced possibly the most terrifying monsters in the Doctor Who series. Forget the Daleks and the Cybermen, the weeping angels are truly scary and even more deadly. We don’t see much of the Doctor and his companion Martha but this episode features Sally Sparrow and a truly amazing plot.

Series 4- with Donna Noble is my favourite series- for all that there is no romance between these two, they are great friends and Donna is able to make something of her life where before it was so mundane. My favourite episodes are Fires of Pompeii and The Unicorn and the Wasp.

Dr Who VincentVincent and the Doctor-I loved meeting Vincent Van Gogh and seeing the tragedy unfold all over again. His works of art were truly stunning. Almost a happy ending.

The Day of the Doctor- I could watch this over and over again because not only did I get to see David Tennant as Doctor again (my all-time favourite Doctor)but multiple Doctors in one episode made for some very funny moments.

Did you notice I have a theme of favourite episodes? Except for Blink, they all go a back in time, examining great historical events and people. And in Blink, the Angels kill people by sending them back in time so I’m still sticking with my favourites theme.

David Tennant imageWhat are your favourite Doctor Who episodes and why?

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A New Doctor Who

When my blog was very new, I wrote a post called ‘The Most Romantic Doctor Who’ which was, in essence, a tribute to my favourite Doctor, David Tennant. This post is one of my most popular and is still viewed by people every week. The Doctor resonates with so many people around the world, what ‘Who’ lover wouldn’t want to tap into that wealth of material? But the subject is so massive that it’s difficult to pin down a topic to write on.

I came across a blog by my friend and colleague Leisl Leighton called Saying Goodbye to the Doctor in which she eloquently describes her journey through the evolution of the different doctors both old and modern day. It’s really worth a read as is the rest of Leisl’s blog. I could relate to much of what Leisl had written. I never watched Doctor Who’s old series though I’ve seen some episodes and footage from this era.

Christopher EccelstonMy experience of Doctor Who came with the advent of the new Doctor Who, Christopher Eccleston. He bounced onto our screens as the ninth Doctor and I thought he was fabulous, as was Billy Piper who played Rose Tyler. I was still trying to get my head around Doctor Who and all its laws and possibilities, not to mention the assorted baddies, when Doctor ten, David Tennant, came along.

David Tennant imageIt didn’t take long for me to fall completely in love with David and he is still my favourite to this day and always will be. It didn’t seem to matter whether he was with Rose or Martha Jones or Donna Noble, each brought out a different aspect of his character, to give us a more rounded picture of his strengths and flaws. So far, he appears to be the only Doctor who has fallen in love. Perhaps this is why so many of us were mesmerised by him.

Girl_in_the_FireplaceThe main writer of the Eccleston and Tennant series was Russell T Davies, and I give a lot of the credit for my enjoyment of these Who eras to the wonderful writing. However my favourite episode, The Girl in the Fireplace was written by Steven Moffat and directed by the brilliant Euros Lyn.

As I said goodbye to Doctor David, there could not have been a more distraught devotee than myself. For one who had come to identify Doctor Who with Tennant, I just couldn’t conceive of another playing The Doctor. Along came Matt Smith and I prepared to love him as much as David. After all, I had successfully transitioned from Eccleston to Tennant, why not to Smith? Along with a new doctor, a new premier writer took over the series. Steven Moffat began weaving his convoluted yarns and I was very lost at times.

The_Eleventh_Doctor_and_Amy_PondMatt Smith was too young, too bumbling and I just couldn’t warm to Amy (Karen Gillan) either. On top of all this, the show had a new executive producer. It could be said that the entire landscape of Who was changed dramatically. I faithfully viewed the first few episodes, trying to get my head around the stories and the new Who and I admit, I gave up. I was devastated that my favourite show had been changed beyond my enjoyment. Occasionally I would catch part of an episode and find that, even in light of the odd laws of Doctor Who and ‘timey wimey’ stuff, I just couldn’t follow the stories.

Dr Who VincentI don’t know what happened to bring me back. It took me two series to accept Matt Smith and I’d be interested to hear if other fans had the same experience. I’ve now watched all the Matt Smith episodes several times over and love them, especially Vincent and the Doctor in which The Doctor and Amy take Vincent Van Gogh forward in time to show him how famous he became in the hope that it might save him. Each time I view these episodes I understand them better and feel that they are so complex that you can’t fully appreciate them without multiple viewings.

I will miss Matt Smith. I came to love his three way rivalry with Amelia Pond and Rory Williams. River Song added a feisty other dimension and Clara Oswald will continue into the next series with the new Doctor. TwelthdoctorWhich brings me to Doctor Peter Capaldi. You won’t be surprised to hear that I’m unconvinced about Peter as the new Doctor. He’s not young and sexy and I think that the three recent Doctors have really added dimension to the role in this area. Capaldi is much more in the mould of doctors in the old series, though we did have several younger men playing the character. We shall see.

Last, I can’t end this without mentioning The Day of the Doctor.  The episode introduced Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor and featured David Tennant and Matt Smith along with Tom Baker and Billie Piper. We even got to spend time with the War Doctor. It was magnificent television, creating a world viewing record for simulcast of a television drama. The show has us hooked and I don‘t mind admitting it. Long live Doctor Who in all his incarnations.