Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Whovember: Top 5... Favorite Episodes

Every Tuesday, I'm going to be making a Top 5 list of something Doctor Who related for the event Whovember: A Companion's Guide. Check out my topic and list of 5 and make sure to join in with your own thoughts and opinions!
Top 5 Favorite Episodes
To start this feature off, I'm choosing my top 5 favorite episodes of Doctor Who. These are the ones that made me cry, made me gasp and jump for joy. They are the whole package!

5) Doctor Who "The Doctor's Daughter" from season 4- Starting out my list of favorite episodes is the one where we finally get to meet some of the Doctor's family. I also love this episode because it brings together two companions!

So the Tardis comes to life before Martha can get out and sends the Doctor, Donna and Martha into the future. There, the Doctor gets forced to give his DNA (by putting his hand in a machine that pokes him) and is greeted with a fully grown daughter which Donna names Jenny.

I loved Jenny and the idea that the Doctor might get to travel with his Time Lord daughter totally intrigued me. Jenny was a chick of action, toting around a gun and using her looks to get out of situations. I thought her relationship with the Doctor was interesting because she was so simple minded and he was so grouchy in that episode. Watching them bond and seeing the hope form in the Doctor for his future was beautiful and seeing it all ripped away broke my heart. Like most Doctor Who episodes, this one was bittersweet which made it have an impact. I was emotionally involved in the Doctor's growth and this awesome new character Jenny was shaping up to be so I was devastated when she died.

The other thing that makes this episode so special was it brings Donna and Martha together. We get to see that Martha found her happiness when she walked away from the Tardis and this is the first episode I was able to appreciate all the wonderful things Martha brought to the show as a companion because I wasn't so heart broken over Rose and she didn't seem like a threat to the Doctor. Watching Martha care for the Hath and making a devoted friend was beautiful and I felt just as emotionally involved in her story as I did with the Doctor and Donna.

Fun fact about this episode: The actress that plays the Doctor's daughter Jenny is named Georgia Moffett. In real life she is the fifth Doctor's real daughter and is married to David Tennant who plays the 10th Doctor in this episode.

Another fun fact: The comic book Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 pays homage to the Doctor's Daughter by having Buffy dress like her in a volume!

4) Doctor Who "The Eleventh Hour" from season 5- After the heartbreaking ending of the 10th Doctor, I felt that the show and Matt Smith ( actor that portrays the the 11th Doctor) had better do something damn near amazing to make me love it because I was not about to love a show without Tennant. How could I? He was incredible as the Doctor-rude, not ginger, slim and a little foxy and the maintenance man of the universe. So I was waiting for the producers, director, writers and actors to mess it up. What they gave me instead was something completely new and intriguing and brilliant.

We are introduced to this entirely new character for the Doctor. What I noticed right off the bat is that Matt Smith's Doctor sort of seemed a little hipster in the way he dressed and acted which I thought was a nice route for the show to go. I also felt that even though Smith was so young, he felt like an old soul which made me like him better.

In "The Eleventh Hour" we meet a young Amelia Pond when the Tardis crash lands in her backyard. She invites the Doctor in and attempts to feed him but he rejects everything he says he likes. He finally settles on fish fingers and custard. This scene was so silly and cute that it made me smile which is exactly what I needed after "The End of the Time: Part 2".

But what I ended up loving the most about this episode was the relationship established between the Doctor and Amy. We saw this a little when the 10th Doctor visits Madame de Pompadour throughout her life but they cling onto the concept and attempt to completely destroy. The Doctor keeps saying he'll be right back and disappearing for years. What Amy is left with are a few random visits and a headfull of adventures she might of had with him. Everyone thinks of the "Raggedy Man" (as she refers to him since he is still in the 10th Doctor's shredded clothing) as her imaginary friend. I love that they play around with the whole imaginary friend turned real. It felt like this brilliant idea that had never been touched upon and their relationship completely intrigued me.

This episode let me get used to the new Doctor's way of doing things. I saw his clothing sytle for the first time and we got a glimpse at how his mind works. It made me appreciate him and his new companion in a way I didn't think I was going to be able to after 10. It was a hard task but Smith and the writers changed my mind and made me think that there could be life after Tennant.

3) Doctor Who "Vincent and the Doctor" from season 5- There are few episodes of Doctor Who that you can just show a random person and let them appreciate it. "Vincent and the Doctor" is a perfect piece in time that doesn't really require the viewer to have too much backstory. All they need to know is that the Doctor is a time traveler, the blue box is his time machine and sometimes he brings people along for the ride with him.

"Vincent and the Doctor" focuses on Vincent Van Gogh. The Doctor and Amy go back in time to see him and meet this stark raving crazy artist who doesn't think his work is worth a lick. In fact, no one in his time will pay anything for his artwork and most people make fun of him for being a drunk and seeing things. But the docotr is intrigued and soon figures out it is an alien life form that Vincent can see. They help Vincent slay the beast but Vincent still believes he is a failure. In a near perfect scene, the Doctor and Amy take Vincent to a modern day museum that has a huge feature on him. We get to see Van Gogh wander through a museum filled with his work and see the tears in his eyes as he realizes he will become a beloved artist. When they drop him off, Amy is jazzed to see all the new paintings he creates because he doesn't end his life only to find out that he kills himself anyway. The only difference is a small note that says "for Amy" in his sunflower painting.

Besides this episode not needing much background, I think it is a perfect example of how uplifting and likewise how bittersweet Doctor Who episodes can be. They make you emotionally involved with this wonderful character and make the two main characters work so hard to make Van Gogh's life better only to see that he kills himself despite all the things the did. But they give this artist one beautiful moment where he sees the impact he's going to have on people and realizes that he will live on through his art. I think this is something that all artists (painters, writers, musicians) strive for and it was so cool to be there to witness it.

"Vincent and the Doctor" leaves its audience with such a bittersweet feeling. Vincent's suicide despite the Doctor and Amy will bring tears but seeing that one moment where you remember how magical the Tardis and the Doctor really are will make you smile through them.

2) Doctor Who "New Earth" from season 2- If I'm being honest, my list could have been filled with Rose episodes because she is my favorite companion. But the problem with that is it might not have been very surprising so I decided to pick my favorite Rose episode (this was really difficult too) to add to this list.

"New Earth" might not be the most dramatic of episodes but in my opinion, it's the most fun I've ever seen the Doctor and Rose have. They are fresh off the "Christmas Invasion" and learning how to deal with each other all over again. Rose finally got her faith restored in this new reincarnation and we realize that the 10th Doctor is going to be a lot of fun. There is this lovely scene where the Doctor and Rose step off the Tardis and lounge around in the grass and they are joking and laughing. It just makes me happy to watch.

I loved this episode because they finally started to breach into Rose's sexuality. They do this by letting Lady Cassandra get ahold of Rose's body and flaunt it for the world with a few buttons open that Rose wouldn't have touched. Rose has always been pretty but they gave her some tighter clothes, a new wild hair cut and went a little heavier on the makeup to really amp it up. Because of this, they play around with the growing attraction between Rose and the Doctor which I loved to see.

I also think that this episode is wonderfully acted by both Billie Piper (Rose) and David Tennat (10th Doctor). Both must act like themselves and like Lady Cassandra acting as themselves which is difficult and each performance feels different. The episode also did a beautiful job of ending Lady Cassandra story and really rounded out the character. I still get a little choked up thinking about it because she was so deliciously evil to begin with.

It is because of the cast's great performance and the heavy amounts of fun in this episode that it comes out as my favorite. It's got some of my most memorable lines ("slim and a little foxy" and "New New New New New New New New New New New New New New New York" or Nx15Y). I love that this is the episode that begins to explore the chemistry between Rose and the Doctor and is equal parts funny and touching.

1) Doctor Who "Blink" from season 3- I don't care what kind of Who fan you are or if you're even a fan at all. I'm pretty sure this episode will end up on all fans list for a million and a half different reasons and all of them will be right. "Blink" is by far one of the best episodes in the history of Who because of it's winding plot, amped up excitement, super creepy villains, actor performance and the gripping the edge of your seat terror. "Blink" has something for everyone.

Part of my love for this episode is that you really don't have to know anything about Doctor Who to appreciate it and it's got everything that makes Doctor Who an awesome show wrapped up into one heart-stopping episode. In a recent documentary on Doctor Who they said that this is the episode to show people who haven't ever seen Doctor Who before because then they'll get it and I completely agree. It follows a random character that we never meet again as she encounters The Weeping Angels with a little bit of help from the Doctor who is stuck in another time.

The mystery of the plot with the Angels, crypotic DVD messages from the Doctor and people disappearing through time is sort of what the entirety of Doctor Who is about but it's all in this episode. The Weeping Angels scare the crap out of me every time I look at them. Even after watching this episode several times I still jump when they start moving or make that creepy face. It really fills the viewer with adrealine.

This episode also has some of the best lines in the series. We've all seen shirts with "the Angels habe the box" or "wibbly wobbly timey whimy" or "don't blink, blink and your dead" on them which are from "Blink". It also doesn't focus on the Doctor completely which allow a 'normal viewer' to get to know the main characters at the same time as a Who fan.

Basically "Blink" will scare you silly, make you cry and keep you glues to the telly the entire time until every bit of this time plot is resolved. Watch it and then I dare you to go into a statue store. For all of the above reasons, "Blink" is my number one favorite episode and is a must see for everyone even considering watching Doctor Who.

Which episodes would make your favorites list? Wither tell me in the comments or if you participated on your blog, leave a link so I can check it out!


  1. Most awesome picks. When we were studying story craft, I showed BLINK to my 8th grade students (none of whom had ever watched Doctor Who, though a couple had parents who watched it). They loved it (there's nothing like watching BLINK through new eyes, screams and all. Awesome dramatic tension!).

    1. That is awesome that you showed it to eighth graders and they loved it. Did any of them start watching Who after?

      Also, I know what you mean about re-living it through the screams. Heck, I still scream every time she turns around and the Angel is right behind her.

  2. I loved The Elventh Hour and Vincent and the Doctor as well I think their both brillant episodes in different ways. I made a list of my top 5 Doctor Who episodes as well http://missliacsreviewslistsandthings.blogspot.com/2012/11/top-5-doctor-who-episodes.html

    1. Yay! I'm so stoked that you joined in. I just checked out your favorite episodes and totally agree. I mention several of them in later posts!

  3. Oh my goodness, Vincent and the Doctor! That episode almost make be cry, and do not cry in reaction to movies or books or TV often. Also, Blink is what I showed all my friends so that they would then watch Dr. Who with me. I am loving Whovember!

  4. Love your list! Blink is definitely an awesome episode! I also loved the Pond's wedding episode, where Amy remembered the Doctor back into existence. Loved the Ponds!

  5. I loved Doctor Who "The Doctor's Daughter" from season 4 episode too for the same reasons as you stated. I loved the idea of the Doctor traveling around with his daughter and her being as awesome as she was.

    Oh, and holy crap I did not know that about the actress that played Jenny! How awesome is it that she is married to David Tennant (who is deliciously yummy btw) and daughter of the 5th doctor. Talk about mind blown! Wow, the things you learn.

    Actually, now that I look back through the ones you listed I pretty much loved them all! Now I want to watch through them again. lol

  6. I'm personally not a Dr. Who fan, but my friend tried to convert me with this episode. It's good - I'll give it that. But after she made me watch other episodes, I realized that Donna was my favorite companion, so I tend to like those episodes better. :)


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