Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Whovember: Top 5...Saddest Moments

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 Saddest Moments in Doctor Who
This was a tough list to craft. At the end of it, I had 15 different events that are all very sad but some outweigh the others. I hope you enjoy my list of saddest Who moments in order

5) 11th Doctor erased from time in "The Big Bang"- With the world about to be torn asunder, the Doctor sacrifices himself to the crack in time and space to close it and what follows in the first of my saddest moments in Who history.

The Doctor has always been Amy Pond's imaginary friend turned real. He's been her Raggedy doll and comic book strip and has captured her imagination since she was a little girl. So it is fitting that he becomes her bedtime story.

We've watched Amy and the Doctor bond in a way that no other Doctor and companion has in the 2005 series. Donna and the 10th Doctor were friends like siblings but Amy and the 11th Doctor are friends in the way that people who have grown up together are. They are best friends. We watch as the Doctor relives some of his moments with Amy, telling her in "Flesh and Stone" to remember what he told her when she was 6 while her eyes are closed. We actually saw this in the episode "Flesh and Stone" but at the time we were lead to believe it was the present Doctor and not one from the future that is being erased.

He skips back to 1996 and finds Amy sleeping in her yard waiting for him. He picks her up and tucks into bed and tells her his story. How he wanted to get away so he "borrowed" that "ancient and new bluest blue" box and went adventuring through time. There's such joy as he relives it and says goodbye to the girl who's been with him since he regenerated. He's resigned because it's the right thing to do but as he sits at her bedside and talks about the "days that never were" and how all that will be left of him is a wonderful story in her head, it's hard not to be upset. It feels like the end of this wonderful brilliant man and like one of the other events I'll mention on this list, it makes me sad knowing that Amy will never know this wonderful life we've watched her experience.

Right before he gets up and goes into the crack, I'm sure he's going to think of something. I just know he's got something pulled up his sleeve because as much as the Doctor puts himself at risk to save the world, he also loves to live.  But then he goes right through and Amy's life goes on as it probably would have if she'd never been in the Tardis. It's one of the saddest moments I've seen and definitely earns it's place on this list.

If you'd like, check out this bittersweet scene with Amy and the Doctor:

4) The death of Professor River Song in "Forest of the Dead"- When everyone has been trapped onto a computer in a library, the only way to get them back is to re-write the program. The only probably is it will fry the mind of the person who does it and only the Doctor is powerful enough to last long enough to do. Until River Song knocks him out and switches places, sacrificing herself in what is my fourth saddest moment.

Professor River Song's death is one of those scenes that becomes sadder after you watch the later episodes. The first time we see her she is funny and charming and sasses the Doctor which makes her great but we don't know her very well. We just met her in the previous episode so while it's sad, it just doesn't have the impact as some of the other characters. I guess there is beauty in the fact that we don't know how well she knows the Doctor so the fact that she'd be willing to give her life for him because she'd "never trade all those moments with him in her past" is amazing and very touching in its own right.

But as you go into seasons 5 and 6 and you get to know River Song, this scene is more and more significant. For me, it's haunting that the first time we, as an audience, and the Doctor meet her is when she dies. That means that every time we see her afterwards in the next seasons, she is techincally dead in our timeline. It saddens me that there is nothing we can do to change her future so we are forced to watch every step she takes and know that she is getting closer to going on the expedition in the library and dying there.

I mention this in my River Song post but I'll say it here too, if I ever have to see the 11th Doctor hand over his sonic screwdriver to River Song it will beat out this moment for saddest. We know that the Doctor gave her his screwdriver so that the previous incarnation of the Doctor could save her. So if we ever see the 11th Doctor hand over his screwdriver then we know that he is knowingly sending Song to die.

Watch River song's death scene, if you dare:

3) Donna loses her memory in "Journey's End"- "If she remembers, just for a second, she'll burn."- The Doctor tells Donna's family after one of the most heartbreaking scenes in the series.

It seems like the Doctor and Donna have just reunited and are finally starting to get along. She keeps him on the straight and narrow and he matches her wit. Everything is turning up sunny for them. Donna is even starting to find her self worth. Then, Donna helps create the human Doctor and some of his DNA gets put into her, opening her mind up to all of time and space.

At first it's wonderful! The human Doctor has a little bit of Donna sass and Donna can understand all of time and space. The Doctor Donna. But because she can understand things the way the Doctor can, she figures out about the same time what the Doctor figures out...she can't stay this way. Time and space will burn up her mind from the inside out. As soon as she realizes this, she also figures out what the Doctor is going to do and turns to him in a panic, telling him she was going to spend the rest of her life with him, living in the Tardis.

"I don't want to go back. Don't send me back there," she begs, backing away from the Doctor.

But he follows because he has to, placing a hand on either side of her head and saying one of his very sad catchphrases "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." What follows as he erases everything is all of Donna's adventures in a quick flashback. We see all of her character growth and self-worth disappear as well as her friendship with the Doctor.

He deposits her on her front door and explains to her family that if she ever remembers her adventures with the Doctor, the Tardis or the Doctor himself that her mind will implode. They are horrified that she'll never remember that she saved the world multiple times.

It is confirmed when Donna wakes up that she is just like she used to be when we first met her in "The Runaway Bride"-narrow minded, gossipy and shallow. The fact of the matter is Donna found substance with the Doctor and her adventures with him allowed her to find her true potential. Without them, she will never really reach them and that in itself is an incredibly sad fact. The Doctor lost his best friend and Donna lost a bright future the day the Doctor was forced to erase himself from her memories.

Check out my 3rd saddest scene if you can:

2) 10th Doctor and Rose Tyler are parted in "Doomsday"- Rose Tyler made her choice. She was told that once the portal closed, she'd never be able to get back to her mother and father on the other side and she decided to stay with the Doctor and the Doctor was prepared to let her. As she ports back against his wishes, they exchange a look and he is so relieved that she came back, it's written all over his face. That is, until Rose can't hold on.

Everything that has been through portals is being sucked into a big hell vortex. The Doctor makes sure the handle Rose is hanging onto is secure but he watches as she risks her life to keep the vortex open and as each of her fingers slip. He looks on in horror as she is sucked towards the vortex which the Doctor himself described as "hell" and is relieved to see that her father ports in at the last second and catches her. But that relief is instantly shattered as the both realize what it means for her to be on the other side of the portal: they can never see each other again. No more adventures in the Tardis for Rose and no more of Rose's laughter for the Doctor. Rose is now living in a world the Doctor can never reach with causing a rupture in all of time and space.

Watching as they both race to the same wall in different worlds is one of the most heartbreaking things I've yet to witness because their love for each other was built so slowly. I was so used to the chemistry that Rose and her doctor had that it killed me to know we wouldn't see that anymore. Seeing her sobbing, beating on that white wall and watching him give this utterly devastated look back still breaks my heart every time I think about it because they were just starting out. They were getting to know each other and they were slowly falling in love. To have it ripped away so violently is awful especially since Rose made the choice to stay.

I'm at least happy that they got a chance to say goodbye on Bad Wolf Bay though this is also so sad it makes me want to cry thinking about it. Rose asks how long they have and the Doctor replies that he's burning up a sun just to be there for a few minutes. So Rose does the bravest thing yet and tells him she loves him. The delivery that Billie Piper and David Tennant give this scene is incredible  My heart breaks just looking at photos. As I'd mentioned in Rose's post, I think the fact that the Doctor doesn't get a chance to say it back, whether it's because he's scared or he just can't say the words, his non-answer fuels Rose's fire to get back to him and finally get her answer.

Man, I hate even putting this scene on here. It breaks my heart. Check out Rose and the 10th Doctor parting:

1) 10th Doctor regenerates in "The End of Time Part 2"- I made the mistake of watching the series out of order and thus, I saw all of the 11th Doctor and then Tennant's last few episodes. As a result, I was left with this last scene before the new season of Doctor Who and it most definitely earns the top spot on my saddest moments.

The Doctor is dying. He knows this. So in his last few moments, he visits all of the companions he's had over the course of his time. We get so many happy moments- Donna getting married and Mickey and Martha fighting aliens together. Then he visits Rose. The year is 2005 and it's snowing. Everywhere he looks, he sees people yelling and laughing. Suddenly, we see Rose walking home in a pink hat and long colorful scarf. The Doctor calls out from the shadows and asks her what year it is. She tells him it's new year 2005. He realizes that this is just before they met and tells her she is going to have an amazing year and she wishes him a happy new year before hurrying off.

As the regeneration overtakes him, the Tenth Doctor is all alone. The light around him grows brighter and he says five little words that smash my heart into pieces: "I don't want to go." It's a known fact that David Tennant has always been a huge fan of Doctor Who. He grew up watching it on the telly and he's said before that if he didn't leave when he did then he'd probably never leave. I think this ending for a 10th Doctor who fought so hard to be human and who came as close to human as a Doctor can get, is prefect. It's emotional and heartbreaking and brilliantly acted which are all things we became accustomed to during Tennant's reign.

Since he died alone and still fighting and wishing, this is definitely my saddest moment in Doctor Who to date.

Check out the moments leading up to the end of Tennant's amazing reign:

Several Honorable Mentions-

1) Rory gets erased from time in "Cold Blood"- This came in very, very close to getting on my Top 5. It was either this one or the Doctor being erased from time but ultimately, I had to go with the Doctor because I felt his absence more. But watching Amy screaming for Rory, crying over his body one second and completely forgetting why she was so sad the next is wrong in a way that not many things are. I never realized how much I liked having Rory around until he disappears in this episode and breaks my heart.

2) Vincent Van Gogh visits the future "Vincent and the Doctor"- Vincent Van Gogh's episode took me completely by surprise. Watching Van Gogh struggle with his depression and how hard Amy and Doctor work to try to make Van Gogh feel better, is really very sad. There is this lovely scene where the Doctor bring Van Gogh into the future to a museum to look at his own art on display and Van Gogh is beyond himself and brought to tears. Amy is excited when they drop Van Gogh back off at his time to see what else he might have created only to find that he still kills himself. This is a sad lesson to learn. Sometimes there really is nothing you can do to stop people from hurting themselves. All you can do is love them in spite of it.

3) The ood in "Planet of the Ood"- The ood are one of the saddest races of Doctor Who. They are bred as a servant race, seeming happy to help humans do whatever it is they need done. We meet the ood in "The Satan Pit" and saw that they went red eyed and tried to kill people. The Doctor always regretted not being able to save them. But when he and Donna show up on the ood's planet, we get to see the full horror of what is happening to them. The ood are born holding their brains in their hands. Their brains allow them to feel emotion and speak with other ood. At this factory, the people are cutting off their brains and replacing them with the balls that allow them to speak to humans, effectively lobotomizing them so they will can be sold as servants. I was horrified at how these gentle creatures were being treated and it still breaks my heart to hear them crying. I love the ood and their plight in Doctor Who is definitely worthy of this list.


  1. Great list. That 10th doctor regeneration was very sad, although I'd find it hard to decide between that and the Rose/Doctor parting. I'd seriously consider placing the ending of this seasons episode 5 up there as well.

    Honorable mention to the 9th doctor's regeneration, which was pretty sad. Especially to someone who had their first Who-experience with the 9th ;)

  2. "I don't want to go." OH my heart. And Doomsday? God, 10 was so emotional. Though I do find that 11 has emotional moments that sneak up on you, like van Gogh.

  3. I havent watched much of 11..I loved 10 so much I am having a hard time. Oh I have them taped so it isnt like I wont get to them, but I am still mourning the death of 10

  4. Tee, 11 really does grow on you after the first few episodes. Although he's not ever going to be as Byronic as 10, he's weird and quirky and quite, quite formidable when the occasion arises :)

  5. (in my opinion) The end of 9 was really sad as well. The parting of ways and vincent and the doctor were the only two episodes in which I actually cried. 9 just having lived, but then sacrificing all of him to save someone, as opposed to running away like 10.

  6. The parting of ways was also just tragic. It and vincent and the doctor were the only episodes that actually made me cry. 9 was going to rid the world of daleks, but then changed and decided to sacrifice himself to save humanity, and then when Rose saved him, he chose to die rather than watch her die. He went to death as an old friend, rather than reluctantly like 10.

  7. I actually just cried a little remembering your top two saddest. WHAT IS MY LIFE?

  8. You forgot school reunion k9 dies


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