In honour of a new Doctor, finally a woman, I’ve decided to list my favourite episodes of Doctor Who since the 9th Doctor. I’ve come up with fourteen episodes since there have been fourteen Doctors (including John Hurt’s War Doctor). If the episode is in two-parts I have merged them into one point, they’re normally as equally great.
1. The Empty Child + The Doctor Dances
There is no doubt that Christopher Eccleston was an absolutely fantastic Doctor. He was the first long-time actor to portray the Time Traveller since Sylvester McCoy in 1989.
The very first Episode of Doctor Who I ever saw was ‘The Unquiet Dead’ featuring the ‘Gelth’. The only reason that episode is not on this list is that I tried to narrow it down to a certain amount. I do love that episode though.
Anyway, this two-part episode was so scary when I was younger. It aired when I was seven-years-old. I was hooked, but also seriously unnerved by it. I don’t think I know anyone who wasn’t even just a little creeped out by it. The Doctor and Rose travel back to London during the Blitz. There they find a plague of gas-masked people, mainly a young child looking for his Mummy. I don’t know about you, but the words ‘are you my Mummy?’ haunted me.
2. The Girl In The Fireplace
This whole episode is so aesthetically pleasing. 18th Century France? On a Spaceship? In the 51st Century? Tormented by clockwork people? Madame De Pompadour? Yep, sounds great.
David Tennant is arguably the best Doctor. Ever. When he left I found it so sad. This episode of the series was so spectacular, and I don’t think it would’ve had ass much of an impact if it wasn’t filmed with David Tennant.
The costumes in this episode were so beautiful. With a 9.3 out of 10 stars on IMDB you just know it’s one to watch!
This episode of Doctor Who is the highest rated episode on IMDB, with 9.8 out of 10 stars. That says something, right? Whenever I ask someone what their favourite episode of Doctor Who is, this one is always mentioned.
The first time we are introduced to the Weeping Angels. Statues that can’t move if they’re being looked at, but they move fast when they have the opportunity. In this episode they don’t kill straight-up kill you, they zap you back in time where you can just live your life. Not the worst Who villain, but still pretty scary. The Doctor and Martha are barely in this episode, it focuses’ around Sally Sparrow played by Carey Mulligan (Daisy in The Great Gatsby). This episode definitely makes your heart race!
4. Utopia, The Sound of Drums + Last of The Time Lords
How could I write about my favourite Doctor Who episodes without mentioning the three-parter featuring The Master, played by John Simm.
The Doctor, Martha and Captain Jack Harkness end up at the end of the world. There they find refugees waiting to be taken to Utopia by Professor Yana. This doesn’t go to plan though. Professor Yana turns out to be another Time Lord, The Master.
The Master has been portrayed before. This was before Doctor Who took a break during the 90’s. This was John Simms first portrayal of this character. I remember being hooked and having it go on for three weeks. This was a great series ending.
5. Silence in the Library + Forest of the Dead
I have to tell you that these two episodes creeped me out. Walking skeletons in space suits? A scary combination. I feel like there are some Doctor Who monsters I stand a good chance against – the Vashta Narada are not one of them. Aggressively carnivorous creatures that live in the shadows, even create shadows.
Not only were these exciting and scary episodes, but it’s also the first time we meet Professor River Song. We don’t know who she is, to begin with, but it’s pretty obvious she plays a pretty important part in The Doctors life. Little did we know. Actually, I think we all knew, but we weren’t prepared for the emotional rollercoaster that followed. A great two episodes with some great characters and an amazing storyline.
6. The Time of the Angels + Flesh and Stone
This is the first Matt Smith episode on this list. When Matt Smith became the Doctor back in 2010 I actually lacked on my Doctor Who watching. I think I was bitter that David Tennant was no longer The Doctor. But recently, my Mum and I have been rewatching all the episodes to catch up before the new series. Through this, I discovered that Matt Smith was actually a pretty good Doctor. Well, the rest of the episode in this list are ones where he was The Doctor.
Amy and The Doctor are led to River Song where they then follow a crashing spaceship carrying some special cargo. None other than a Weeping Angel. On the quest to find it they discover more Weeping Angels than they bargained for.
River Song, Weeping Angels and Karen Gillan are the perfect mixes for a great Doctor Who episode. If you too decided to stop watching when Matt Smith became The Doctor then I highly suggest you watch his series’ again, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
7. Amy’s Choice
The Doctor, Amy and Rory have to make a decision. Is the life of Amy and Rory five years after leaving the TARDIS real, or is the TARDIS crashing into a cold star? Only one is real, and the other a dream. All of this is orchestrated by the Dream Lord.
This episode was slightly different to other episodes of Doctor Who; it was more fantasy than alien. I really liked it though. I actually did watch this episode when it aired and remember enjoying it then, so I don’t know why I didn’t continue watching the series, oh well.
8. Vincent and The Doctor
I cannot even describe this episode to you. It was something quite special. I’m not an artist, but my mum is and I’ve always had this admiration for art, so this episode was special.
After visiting a Vincent Van Gogh exhibition The Doctor and Amy discover something odd in one of his paintings, so decide to go back in time to find out what it was. If you know anything about Vincent Van Gogh it’ll be that he wasn’t famous, or liked really when he was alive, he also had pretty severe depression and ended up taking his own life. There is a wonderful scene towards the end of the episode where The Doctor and Amy decide to take Vincent to the future, to his exhibition, just to give him some joy and hope about his work. It was so sad, you can really empathise for him, it just radiates emotion. This episode is definitely in my top 3 best episodes ever. I loved it. It helps that Vincent Van Gogh is one of my favourite artists of all time, too.
9. The Doctors Wife
The Doctor is drawn to a planet after receiving what he believes to be distress calls from other Time Lords. Technically, this is true, but the Time Lords are no longer alive and the planet wants The Doctor and his TARDIS too. The Doctor finds a woman on this planet that has had the energy of the TARDIS put into her, so she is basically the personification of the TARDIS.
I thought this was a really well-written piece of work. The idea was genius, and then it was pulled off perfectly. It was weirdly emotional. We all know how much The Doctor loves the TARDIS, so him seeing her in a human form and being able to finally talk to her was oddly sad – especially because The Doctor wouldn’t be able to again after he gives the energy back to the box.
10. A Good Man Goes To War
Amy has been kidnapped whilst pregnant with a baby conceived on the TARDIS. This would cause that child to contain a part of the TARDIS, she would also have aspects of a Time Lord. The people that took Amy intended to train, then use this child to kill The Doctor. This causes The Doctor rounds up a group of people and aliens that owe him or are already allies to help rescue Amy safely.
This was a surprisingly great episode. So much happened and so much was also revealed to us, the audience. Things started to make sense, specifically things regarding River Song. We finally find out who she actually is which was exciting. I think that the storyline of River Song is one of the best storylines written on TV, from what I’ve seen anyway. It’s clear that the writers have had this plan for her since we first met her in ‘Silence in the Library’ two seasons before. It’s executed perfectly and I can’t think of any plot holes in her timeline. I hope they bring her back in the future, it’s not like she can’t ever come back.
11. Let’s Kill Hitler
Contrary to the title, The Doctor and his companions don’t actually kill Hitler, technically the opposite, but it’s irrelevant. It’s almost an origin story of River Song. We find out that she grew up with Amy and Rory as their best friend, Melody.
Melody has been obsessed with The Doctor ever since Amy mentioned him as a child. One day they meet but things don’t go too well. They end up in Hitler’s office. Here Melody is shot and we discover that she is River Song after she regenerates. It was a good plot twist to the series and ongoing story of The Doctor and River Song, even Rory and Amy.
12. The Wedding of River Song
I know, I know. I’ve basically included every episode featuring River Song. It just happens that the episodes including her are just some of the best. This Matt Smith series really seemed to open up all of the secrets about River, so I think we were all grateful when we finally got the episode we’d all been waiting for. The wedding of The Doctor and River Song. So exciting. I don’t really have much more to say about this episode because it was a pretty complex one, and if you haven’t seen it then I don’t want to give too much away.
13. The Angels Take Manhattan
The Weeping Angels are back! Bigger than ever too. Guess who else is in this episode too… I’ll give you three guesses but you’ll only need one. That’s right! Professor River Song. I love her, can’t you tell?
This is one of the saddest episodes of Doctor Who, in my opinion. I want to say so much, but then again I don’t want to say too much and spoil it for people who haven’t seen it. It’s an independent one you can watch without having to have seen any of the others, so please go and watch it. Although, if you haven’t seen the others then I doubt you’ll find it as sad as I did.
14. The Name of The Doctor
This is the last episode on my list, and also the last episode with Matt Smith as The Doctor. I underestimated how much I would grow to like him as The Doctor, so I wasn’t expecting this episode to make me feel so sad.
The Doctor’s friends are being kidnapped, which leads him to the fields of Trenzalore, where his greatest secret will be revealed and Clara’s mystery will be solved. The Doctor has been to Trenzalore before, but future Trenzalore when it is a battle graveyard and where The Doctor is ultimately buried. It’s not the same place this time though. It’s a town with people living happily. The Doctor gets trapped here for hundreds of years protecting and looking after the people who live there.
I thought this a clever ending. It had all the elements for a great ending to the series and the Matt Smith era.
As you can see I haven’t included any Peter Capaldi episodes. This is because I haven’t seen all of them so I literally wouldn’t be able to place them in this list. The ones I have seen also haven’t been as good as any of the episodes I have listed. That’s not to say Peter Capaldi was a bad Doctor or his episodes weren’t any good, I just haven’t seen enough of them.
I’m so happy we FINALLY have a woman Doctor. It’s about time. I’m certain that Jodie Whittaker will be brilliant. She is an amazing actress so I have no doubt she’ll be a fantastic Doctor. But, only time will tell. Doctor Who is back on Sunday 7th on BBC 1 at 6:45. Will you be watching?
Also, the framed picture in my cover photo for this post was done by a local artist – my Mum! They’re individually hand-painted on to wooden spoons from a local cafe. I love them, and she hasn’t just done The Doctors. Something cool happened, though. Here is a picture of Tom Baker – the fourth Doctor – holding a spoon of him, as The Doctor! I think that’s pretty cool, I know my Mum did. He is her favourite Doctor.
Thanks for reading!