With season 7 of Doctor who in full swing, this is the perfect time to pick favorite episodes from the series, ones that I feel define the complexity of a show that is nearly fifty years old. Some may agree or disagree, but this list is definitely my favorite episodes that I feel show the depth that some of the writers have taken in making this sci-fi, timey-wimey show still relevant today.
Since the 2005 reboot of Doctor Who, more and more people have come on board as fans of the show, some even starting with the current season. While some of you are longtime fans, this list will focus on the reboot of the series.
With a show that is such a long running series, even with a hiatus, it is still amazing to me that the writers can still wow us even if some of the episodes are hit and miss.
1. Blink – This is probably on everybody’s list, but this episode not only brought possibly one of the scariest monsters to date into the show’s mythos, but it is an episode that shows how you don’t even need the Doctor and companion to be the primary characters to tell a chilling story about alien creatures who pretty much zap you into a different time in order to feed.
The scary part is that once you look at them, these grey angel statues seem to lock in and that is pretty much it. Why does this episode seem to resonate with so many people? The choice of villain is what I am thinking. They are ordinary, everyday statues who come to life only after you stop looking at them, including blinking. In this sense, the writers include a bit of reality into the show, because after looking at this episode how many of you are creeped out by stoneware?
2. Vincent and the Doctor – This episode is almost my all-time favorite episode of the series, because it is such a touching story about Vincent Van Gogh who people shunned, yet when the Doctor and Amy are around him they are truly happy to be in his presence. This episode also solidified Matt Smith as the Doctor for me. After coming off a David Tennant run I didn’t get Smith, but after this touching episode, I became a fan of number 11. Vincent in this telling was not crazy, but he was a tortured soul, who saw things no one else did and his painting reflected the images he saw. It was the Doctor and Amy who helped Vincent believe in himself, even if it was only for a little while. It was especially touching when they bring him to the future and he sees that his paintings were not shunned, but were beloved by many. His reaction says it all.
3. Human Nature and Family of Blood– In these two episodes, the Doctor isn’t the Doctor but posing as a human to hide from a family of aliens who want his Tardis. But what was interesting about this episode, is how human the Doctor was, more so than any time I’ve ever seen him in this series, and he is a completely different character, one with hopes and dreams, and as a human he has a certain frailty and vulnerability that is never really evident when he is the Doctor. The saddest part is when he has to basically kill his human persona, and the woman who he fell in love with and dreamed a life with her, feels that the Doctor killed her true love. This was another episode that was heavy on the story of what it means to be human in the confines of a science fiction story.
4. The Doctor’s Wife – I absolutely loved this episode. It was quirky, funny, and above all else a beautiful story that told a tale of two entities who have lived and traveled together for years, and yet for this one moment they are able to meet face to face for the first time. The Tardis as a human female makes the Doctor blush, they argue on just how they met, and overall they are both happy to interact with each other. This episode had a lot going on, but at its heart, the Doctor in his eleventh incarnation got the chance to say hello and goodbye to his one true lady love.
5. Midnight – In this episode, the Doctor is on a lovely planet that is a huge tourist spot, and leaving Donna by the pool he embarks on a what was supposed to be a short tour with like-minded people. But what happens is the breakdown of people scared out their minds. There is no other setting than the cabin of the space bus the group is on and as time goes by, the psychological breakdown of pretty normal people is awesome to see. The problem stems from an unknown entity that is able to live in an environment that supposedly nothing can live in and it keeps on trying to get in.
We never see what this entity is, but its presence gets into a one of the passengers which then it transfers itself to the Doctor. By this time, almost every single person is ready to kill the Doctor, but he is saved by one of them sacrificing themselves. This was one of those episodes, where the Doctor extreme intellect goes against him as each human starts to break down emotionally and become a crazed mob. The amazing thing is, the creature is never actually shown, except from the point of view of the female character and then the Doctor. To me this episode worked, with no action, no special effects, just characters showing a range of emotions. This is sci-fi at its finest.
Do you agree with the list? There are of course many episodes to choose from, but these five I think is why people continue to stay as well as bring people to the show. Which five shows would you pick?
Doctor Who airs on BBC America on Saturdays at 9e/p
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