Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Freak's Top 9 (New) Doctor Who Episodes (So Far)

  Howdy, y'all! With all my Sherlockian fangirling/critiquing/rambling/etc.-ing, I realized I've neglected Doctor Who. And I've kinda wanted to do a list of my favorite episodes so far. Besides, this month's the new Christmas Special with the new companion and all, so it's great timing.

  The personal rules for my list are this:
  1. I obviously can't count episodes  I haven't seen yet, so all the "Classic Who" is excluded (though I do plan to someday watch them. But Netflix is keepin' me down, man! They only have a few of the "Classic" series). This will be all "New Who" (Everything from the revival in 2005 to now): from "Rose" to "The Angels Take Manhattan". Thus, the "New" and the "So Far" in the title.
  2. I'm counting all two-parters as one episode. For obvious reasons. So you won't see something like, say, "Aliens in London" on here and "World War Three" not. (Not that I'm even putting that two-parter on here. Heck no! I'm just using an example.)
  Okay, with that out of the way, let's start my current list of the Top 9 Doctor Who Episodes. Why top nine? Because Nine is fantastic... Well, Geronimo!

(Beware: Possible Spoilers, read with caution)

9. Dinosaurs on a Spaceship (Series/Season 7)
So, a thousand-year old time-traveling alien, a 20th century hunter, an Egyptian queen, a Scotswoman, a roman, and his dad all walk into a spaceship...

 This was just a fun episode. I mean, it's The Doctor, The Ponds, Queen Nefertiti, a 20th Century big game hunter, and Rory's dad having an adventure on a spaceship filled with DINOSAURS! How is that not awesome? How? I really enjoyed watching this one. For example, I loved seeing Amy being a sort of pseudo-Doctor when the group gets split up. That alone raised her up a few clicks on my list ranking the companions. (Sorry, Rose, Amy's just better...)

  Plus, for me, it was an Anglophile Nerd Menagerie of Squee! First of all, there's Rupert Graves, AKA Sherlock's Lestrade, playing the hunter, Riddell. Who is a character I like and want to see again. Then, there's Mark Williams, who I know from Harry Potter as Mr. Weasley, playing Rory's Dad, Brian. Again, a very likable character. (Though now I have this whole headcanon about Rory secretly being Charlie Weasley.) Oh, and there's David Bradley, another actor who's been in Harry Potter (he was Mr. Flitch), as the villain, Solomon. Solomon was a jerk and deserved his fate. (*sniff* I will never forget you, Tricy...)

  Anyway, not much left to say but the obvious joke: I AM SICK OF ALL THESE MOTHERJUMPIN' DINOSAURS ON MY MOTHERJUMPIN' SPACESHIP!

 8. New Earth (Series/Season 2)

"Rose, I have a feeling things are going to go wrong..."
  This on was just plain fun and funny. It reminds me of the good old fun days of Ten's (David Tennant's) tenure as The Doctor, before "The Waters of Mars" special made me disappointed in him. Anyway, The Doctor and Rose go on their first official adventure together to the future, and the planet New Earth. Specifically, New (New New New New New New New New New New New New New New) New York. The Doctor was called to the hospital to meet someone. And we run into a blast from the first season's past, Cassandra!

  The big thing I liked were the bodyswap shenanigans. I'm always a sucker for an episode where characters trade bodies, especially since we get to see the actors get to be "other" characters for a day. And this one was no exception. My favorite scene is when Cassandra takes over The Doctor's body, and Tennant is just hamming it up:

 A fun episode for a Doctor I used to admire, "New Earth" is out of this world.

7. Angels Take Manhattan (Series/Season 7)

Seriously, no one was watching The Statue of Liberty in the City That Never Sleeps? YOU HAD ONE JOB, NEW YORK! ONE JOB!
The best way to describe this episode is bittersweet. The final episode with The Ponds, this was the episode every fan I knew was trying to emotionally prepare for. What happens is Rory falls victim to the Weeping Angels while he, Amy, and The Doctor visit New York, and is sent back to the 1930's. Amy and The Doctor go back to save him, natch, and meet up with River. And there's a book detailing the events of the story before they happen in-episode.

 Again, it was bittersweet, this episode. First of all, we learn that River is now a professor (anyone who's seen "Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead" knows why this is sad.), and, of course, The Ponds leave. But I think it's sort of sweet how they left, since at least they were together. And, personally, I think they had the least "terrible" of most of the Official Companion Farewells. Think about it: Rose was left in an alternate universe against her will, Jack got ditched without any explanation from The Doctor until they met again, Martha was driven away by Ten's Rose Angst, Mickey... well, he left voluntarily, but that doesn't count, Adam was kicked out and left a freak of modern science (but he was a jerk, so can't say he didn't deserve it. He's kind of an un-Companion anyway...), and DON'T get me started on how Donna went. The Ponds, however, they at least got to stay together.

  "The Angels Take Manhattan", the episode that made the fans weep like The Angels.

6. The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon (Series/Season 6)

One of these things is not like the others...
 Wow, I have a lot of Eleven episodes here. Anyway, in this episode, Amy, Rory, and River witness the apparent future death of The Doctor. Then The non-future, non-dead Doctor takes them back to 1969 America, around the time of the Moon launch. Its there they meet The mysterious Silence. But they can't remember them once they've seen them.

 I feel this is another good opener episode for the show under Moffat's control. (You'll see another example later). The Silence are a legitimately creepy concept. It's awesome.

 Speaking of awesome, River Song is freaking awesome in this one. Especially the "Day of the Moon" part. I decided here that she was one of the best companions ever. Also, I really dug Canton Everett Delaware III, the temporary companion this episode. This guy was awesome, too. Again, there's another companion I would love to see pop up in another episode soon. After all, he said in the beginning after the Doctor "died" that it was the last time he'd see them (as in The Ponds), not necessarily The Doctor...

 In short, this was awesome.

5. The Doctor's Wife (Series/Season 6)
The Doctor and his oldest and most constant Companion...

   Oh, boy, I liked this one. The Doctor, Rory, and Amy go to another dimension, when suddenly, the TARDIS goes dead. That's when we meet a woman who claims to be The TARDIS...

  This episode had great writing. I absolutely loved The TARDIS, who was so delightfully quirky. And I loved her interactions with The Doctor. But most of all, I loved that this episode was written by none other than Neil Gaiman, one of my favorite writers and creative idols. I'm really excited that he's coming back to write another episode for season 7. I'm hoping he'll become like Moffat was in the Russel T Davies Era: writing really good episodes once a season, and hopefully becoming head writer next? Please? I'd love to see him with his own Doctor...

  Well, nothing else to say but, it's Gaiman, he's never let me down before...

4. Bad Wolf/The Parting of Ways (Series/Season 1)
The Last Stand of The Ninth Doctor

 Finally, my favorite Doctor appears on here! Anyway, this was the finale to the first season, and the final episode with Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor. In it, he, Jack, and Rose end up on a series of deadly game shows on Satellite 5, and need to escape. And a familiar enemy returns.

 Okay, first of all, this episode had Captain Jack Harkness, my favorite companion, of course that makes this episode 20% cooler. I loved him here. And his part where he says good-bye to Rose and The Doctor, thinking he's going to die, was sweet. Man, I wish he'd gotten a few more episodes.

 Plus, he got to kiss The Doctor. Good for him!

 Also, I thought it was a fantastic send off to Nine, and Eccleston's acting was superb. It's sad he didn't stay longer, especially since by that time he'd thoroughly grown on me. *sigh* If only I knew for sure why he left, the Internet's no help. In fact, the second time I watched "The Parting of Ways", probably about the "absolutely fantastic" speech, I almost cried! And I can probably count on one hand the times a movie or show has done that to me as far as I can recall. That is impressive. Well done, Davies and Eccleston. Well done.

 "Bad Wolf/The Parting of Ways": A parting that was sweet sorrow.

3. The Eleventh Hour (Series/Season 5)

Well, you seem like a perfectly fine person to go on an adventure with...

  Here's one I've mentioned before! The newly-regenerated Eleventh Doctor arrives at the home of young Amelia Pond, who's having trouble with a mysterious crack in her wall. After the Doctor helps, he decides to make her his companion, but first he needs to leave and go do something. He arrives a wee bit late... A wee twelve years too late... And that's the least of his problems...

 It was the first episode with Matt Smith as The Doctor, and Moffat as head writer. I thought it was great kickoff. It was funny, it was cool, and it won me over to Eleven. Moffat's writing was great as usual, and it seemed like nothing could go wrong! The series was in great hands!

  Which was also, admittedly a problem for the episode, in retrospect. It was almost too good. Since all the episodes after this one that season seemed to fall flat to me that season.

 Well, almost all of them...

2. The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang (Series/Season 5)

"Come at me, bros! .... Okay, I'm never saying that again, either..."
After what seemed like a fairly so-so season, we get a great season finale. The Doctor and Amy are called back to 102 AD by River Song. There, they find The Pandorica, said to be holding the most fearsome being in the universe. Also, the universe is being destroyed, all of the Doctor's enemies have gathered, and Rory is a Roman now. Romans are cool. Things are about to get real...

It was well-written. And, after seeing the mediocre season and "A Scandal in Belgravia", this episode sort of restored my faith in Moffat as a writer. Plus, even though I knew there were two seasons after this and everyone'd be fine, I still got invested and had to wonder: "How're they going to get out of this?"

 River and Rory were brilliant and awesome this episode. I fell in love with both their characters this episode.

  And my number one episode... Should come as no surprise to some of my readers, but anyway, here it is...

1. The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances (Series/Season 1)

:') I miss you...
  I love this episode so much! The Doctor and Rose go back to WWII-Era London following a mysterious object. There, they meet the charming rogue Captain Jack Harness, and face a "child" who's infecting everyone with a strange affliction.
 There are so many reasons that I love this one. First of all, Captain Jack Harkness. I loved this guy right off the bat. He is still my favorite companion. Second, Moffat's writing. It's a very well-written episode. It's fun, it's dramatic, and it's heartwarming. I remember checking to see how long I had so I could see part two. Something that didn't happen with the first two-parter this season.
  A big was one Eccleston's acting. He was fantastic. The "everybody lives" scene was just so amazing. I loved seeing him so happy at the end. It cemented him as my favorite Doctor.
  Most of all, it was what officially made me a fan of the show. Up until this episode, I thought Doctor Who was alright, but I wasn't in love with it. Then this came along. I saw how awesome the show could be. I realized I liked this episode. It made me a Whovian. So, of course I'd put it as my favorite episode.
  So, those are my favorite episodes as of 2012. I hope you enjoyed, and hey, what are some of your favorites?

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