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My Top 5 Best and Worst Doctor Who Episodes

I know it's been a while since my last post, and as I recover from my Honeymoon and get ready for the next school year, I pass the time by watching Doctor Who
for the nth time. My one, if not the most, favorite series.

While I'm watching some episodes, I thought I'd go ahead and post my 5 Best and 5 Worst episodes of Doctor Who.
Disclaimer: This only relates to New Who (Starting with Christopher Eccleston, the Ninth Doctor) and goes up to the end of Series 8 (Dark Water/Death in Heaven)

So, without further ado, here are my 5 Best Doctor Who Episodes that I'd be willing to watch and watch and watch. I mean, I'd be willing to rewatch the whole series, with the exception of my 5 Worst Doctor Who Episodes that I refuse to rewatch.
Disclaimer #2: If you haven't seen the episodes yet (up to the finale of Series 8), then Spoiler Alert!

Top 5 Best Doctor Who Episodes


Flatline

Honorable Mention: Flatline
Series 8, Ep 9; Twelfth Doctor & Clara Oswald


This has to be my favorite of the Twelfth Doctor's episodes (so far). With the TARDIS' energy drained by the dimensional beings, Clara takes over as the "Doctor" and goes on her own way to act all "Doctor-ly" while the Doctor figures out how to reduce the TARDIS' energy drain, eventually putting it into Seige mode (which is awesome).

The final solution of using the dimensional being's ability to rob a dimension from an object and using that to repower the TARDIS was genius! Although the Doctor doesn't actually do much except "hide in the TARDIS", the delivery and story of this episode was great, but not great enough to make it into my Top 5. (Althogh I fondly enjoyed "Time Heist" as well, but I enjoyed Flatline more)

Pandorica

5. The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang
Series 5, Ep 12/13; Eleventh Doctor, Amy Pond, Rory Williams, River Song


As much as this episode can create a headache if you're trying to understand the "wibbly wobbly timey wimey" effect of things, set that aside. The fact that everything that has happened in Amy Pond's life has lead up to one single moment of the Pandorica (the crack, Rory being a Centuarian, the Pirates, etc) was worth it. Additionally, having River threaten a Dalek and have it beg for mercy was awesome.

The Eleventh Doctor's moment with the Fez and mop was a bit confusing, it made sense, even if in a semi-disappointing factor. Then, having him cross his own timeline from when he was shot to being alive and sending the Pandorica into the exploding TARDIS of the universe was very nice.

Silence in the Library

4. Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead
Series 4, Ep 8/9; Tenth Doctor & Donna Noble (and River Song)


This is the first (well, last) apperance of River Song, which was very confusing at first, but worth the wait to learn about her very complex storyline. Although we never actually see the Vashta Narada, their presence was a force to be reckoned with. Learning about the developing concept of Dr. Moon, the library of CAL, learning about the Vashta Narada living in the pages of the books, River's death, and other items was very well delivered, and it actually made you care about Donna, even though she was uploaded/saved, and then about her relationship with the guy with the stutter was very romantic.

And of course, it left you wanting for more to learn about River, how/why the Doctor gave her a sonic screwdriver, her diary, and how she is going to make an impact later in the series if she's dead.

Utopia

3. Utopia/The Sound of Drums/The Last of the Time Lords
Series 3, Ep 11/12/13; Tenth Doctor & Martha Jones


I don't know what it is, but John Simms does a great job. It's only until this series of episodes that we learn about Harold Saxon, and how he's had a part of this since "The Runaway Bride", ordering the military to shoot the star-ship out of the sky.

Seeing Dr. Yana working with the Doctor to get the ship lifted to Utopia, and seeing Jack 'sacrificing' his life to finish the job was nice, then having Dr. Yana realize his watch, unveiling the affect of the Chameleon Arch and allowing him to re-become the Master, stealing the TARDIS to go back in time and become Harold Saxon, turning the TARDIS into the Paradox machine to bring the 'Toclafane' to their time to conquer the Earth, then having Martha travel the Earth to talk about the Doctor, only to use everyone's 'power of thought' to bring him back to his age.

The complexity, the story development, everything about this set of episodes was wonderful, including bringing back the Master. Once again, John Simm does a hell of a job (although I couldn't watch his series Life on Mars).

Stolen Earth

2. The Stolen Earth/Journey's End
Series 4, Ep 12/13; Tenth Doctor, Martha Jones, Rose Tyler, Donna Noble, Sarah Jane Smith


The buildup to bring back all emotions. Having Rose back was great (with Mickey), bringing Martha back for a brief stint to blow up the Earth, bring Jack back from Torchwood to give some more comedic lift and to wrap things up, and Sarah Jane Smith for K-9 and Mr. Smith to locate the Earth and coordinate a communication bridge was a great way to connect all of the 'old' companions in a single mission, including Donna finally becoming the 'Doctor-Donna' that we heard the Ood say so long ago.

And then bringing Davros for the age-old battle. Classic.

Everything about this series of episodes was great, including the tear-jearking ending of returning the Earth, and Donna having to lose her memories. Great, but sad, but great!

End of Time

1. End of Time
Special #4/5; Tenth Doctor (with brief moments with companions)


To wrap up an era and David Tennant's (and Russel T. Davies')'Doctor Who' career (sans "The Name of the Doctor") was sad to watch, but they did it beautifully. Bringing the Master back (yet again) to finish his duties - to bring the Time Lords out of their temporal stasis, even though he didn't know it. Seeing Timothy Dalton as the Rassilon was great, and could possibly explain how Bond could be a Time Lord(?).

Seeing the Doctor use a gun was nice, as he never does that, and the unfolding battle between the hero and his nemesis while the Time Lords pull the strings was awesome, and to use Wilfred Mott (Benard Cribbins) was nice, as we saw during Donna's run, but didn't see much more of. Being able for Wilfred to pull the Doctor from the streets and to travel with him to the cacti people's - sorry, the Vinvocci's - spaceship was interesting, almost repeating what happened in "Army of Ghosts" (with the Doctor calling out to Rose in the parallel universe).

As much of a fan of David Tennant that I am, I really cried when he said "I don't want to go", which was as tear-jearking as dramatic.

Thinking "Where are the 4 knocks?" during the episode, as we heard "...he will knock four times" back in "Planet of the Dead" was interesting, as we all thought the Master or someone more sinister would knock four times, not Wil, and not on a radiation control box door, exposing him to countless tons of radiation, unable to focus the radiation into something - I don't know, his left shoe? - and forcing him to come to an end. Revisiting other companions (Martha/Mickey; Luke and Sarah Jane; Jack and Alonso; Joan Redfern (via Verity Newman's book signing, asking about her great-grandmother from "Family of Blood"); delivering Donna, her mother, and grandfather the winning lottery ticket for some financial stability; and lastly, Rose, way back before Christopher Eccleston came onto the scene) was a major wrap-up to both David and Russell's "Doctor Who" careers, and was just great to watch.



And that's the good news. Now, onto the bad. I understand that the episodes below had a purpose, whether it be story development, concept casting, or even just to fill a timeslot, but here are my 5 Worst Doctor Who Episodes that I refuse to rewatch.

Top 5 Worst Doctor Who Episodes



Unicorn and the Wasp

Honorable Mention: The Unicorn and the Wasp
Series 4, Ep 7, Tenth Doctor & Donna Noble


My issue: Mainly, Wasps
I'm not a big fan of wasps to begin with, which was not a good start knowing the title of this episode. Learning about Agatha Christie was nice, and the bit of mystery was okay (for an Agatha Christie-type murder mystery), but the episode was very slow to develop, then had a rushed climax to end with (with the drowning of the wasp, the "Mystery of Agatha Christie", her novel being republished in the year 5 billion, etc). I'd watch it again if I absolutely had to, but I won't enjoy it.

I agree with Agatha Christie, though, in the quote "The thrill is in the chase, never in the capture." There was certainly a chase to figure out who the murder was, but at the end, it was just a rush to tie everything together.

Forest of the Night

5. In the Forest of the Night
Series 8, Ep 10, Twelfth Doctor & Clara Oswald


My issue: Nothing happened
I know the Twelfth Doctor still needs to develop his own character (which I hope he does in Series 9), but this episode has absolutely nothing to do. That's it. Nothing. (The only thing worth mentioning is the development in the Clara/Danny relationship.)

I mean, even "Blink" had an almost Doctor-less appearance, but with this episode, everything was going to happen regardless of whether the Doctor and Clara were there to do anything. Okay, the population is freaking about about the numerous trees on the planet, but the planet was doing that for protection. Then, after the solar flare, the sprites go away with the trees and everything returns to normal.

This episode was more than disappointing, did nothing, nothing happened, and there wasn't much to watch. (This episode won over "Kill the Moon", in which the moon is apparently a monster egg, whom which Clara has the choice to kill or not, all of which turns out to hatch, then lay another egg in its place; again, not much happened regardless whether or not the Doctor interviened or not)

Crimson Horror

4. The Crimson Horror
Series 7, Ep 11, Eleventh Doctor & Clara Oswald


My issue: massive plot hole in canon
As much as I wanted to enjoy the mystery of why Matt Smith was red, the episode concept was disturbing; I mean, turning people into candy and putting them on display? It was as if the writers just needed something to fill some time, and they were looking at a Fruit Rollup and a doll house. There have been plenty of episodes/series/shows where people have been eaten (look at Futurama: The Problem with Popplers where Freedom Waterfall, Jr, is eaten by Lrrr), the concept of this episode was just disturbing and not worth a re-watch.

Midnight

3. Midnight
Series 4, Ep 10, Tenth Doctor & Donna Noble


My issue: the screaming mad lady
Planet made of diamond. Waterfalls made of sapphires. Trains riding on radiation. What's not to like?

Oh yeah, the screaming mad lady. That alone made the episode unenjoyable.

I mean, having the Doctor try to figure out why everyone is repeating everything is interesting, and seeing "Young Authur" in the train was interesting, but the mad screaming lady just made me say "Oh, just shut up!" countless times, and taking out the enjoyment of this episode (and Donna only being used at the tail-end was nice, but seemed like just a filler to wrap up).

Fear Her

2. Fear Her
Series 2, Ep 11, Tenth Doctor & Rose Tyler


My issue: Chloe Webber
Back before 2012, I expected to see the Doctor (or just David Tennant) at the 2012 Olympics, since this episode takes place during that time. How cool would that be?

Unfortunately, that didn't happen. Oh well.

Regardless, this episode had some good points: the scribbles, the tiny alien ship that traveled on heat, the Olympic torch carrying. But one thing made it unwatchable: Chloe Webber.

That's it. Let me explain: Chloe Webber is a little girl that is the host of the alien and puts people (including the Doctor and the TARDIS) into a crayon drawing. The concept is interesting, but everytime the alien needs to talk, it does it through her, she does it in a very raspy voice referring to herself in the third person - repeatedly, and repeatedly, and repeatedly. I understand that she had to refer to herself to get the point across of the girl, but everytime I hear "Chloe Webber", I hear it in the girl's raspy voice, which just makes it annoying, and thus, this episode unwatchable.

Love and Monsters

1. Love & Monsters
Series 2, Ep 10, Tenth Doctor & Rose Tyler


My issue: complete side story with unrelated story development and awkward ending
Hopefully, this doesn't need to be said, as it's already been said multiple times. This episode was almost Doctor-less, but had very disturbing theme to it.

Overall: A group of people find clues to the Doctor (just like Clive found in "Rose") and eventually become a study group (thank you Community). They then have a person come and become the leader of the group, forcing everyone to do research to find the Doctor. Finally, the 'narrator' finds the Doctor, and a nasty looking alien, and reports back to the group, only to find members of the group missing - which we found out were absorbed by the 'leader' who is an Abzorbaloff, an alien species who absorbs others, which has been done before (just like "School Reunion"), but this was disturbing, especially seeing the people's faces on the body of the Abzorbaloff. At the end, the Abzorbaloff 'melts' and the narrator's 'girlfriend' melts into a cement plate, which he takes home and loves, which is just creepy.

Still, overall, my worst "Doctor Who" episode.




I do want to go on the record and say that I am a big fan of David Tennant, but there are just a handful of episodes during his era that I just would not like to see again. (I blame the writers.)

That's it. As of today, these are my top 5 (6?) Best and Worst Doctor Who episodes. Do you agree with this list or have your own list of episodes you love/hate/love-hate?

Screencaps courtesy of kissthemgoodbye.net and sonicbiro.co.uk. Of course, all screencaps are © of BBC.


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