By Sherry Lipp
Today is the season premiere of series seven of Doctor Who. In honor of that we have gone back over the past six seasons and picked out our favorite episodes. We have combined the two-parters into one, since they tell a complete story.
It was a lot harder to narrow it down to ten than we thought it would be. Do you agree with our choices?
Here they are in chronological order.
“Rose” (Pilot) – Series 1, Episode 1
This is the one that kicked it all off, and had us hooked right from the start. The episode is aptly titled “Rose,” because it is more about her than The Doctor himself. We are introduced to Rose Tyler (Billie Piper), a shop girl who longs for a more exciting life. She finds it when she encounters the mysterious Doctor (Christopher Eccleston). She then finds herself in the middle of an alien invasion and makes the decision to become the Doctor’s companion.
“Father’s Day” – Series 1 – Episode 8
In probably one of the most emotional episodes of the series, The Doctor and Rose travel back in time so Rose can see her father, who died when she was a baby. Rose makes the rash decision to save her father’s life, throwing the balance of time and space out of whack. Unless The Doctor can put things right, humans will be zapped out of existence. There are some very touching scenes between Rose and her father (Shaun Dingwall), as Rose discovers he was not the man her mom (Camille Coduri) had built him up to be.
“The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances” – Series 1, Episodes 9 & 10
The Doctor and Rose travel back to WWII London, and find themselves in the midst of an enemy attack on the city. Even scarier than that, there is a very strange little boy in a gas mask looking for his “mummy” (British for mom). Everyone the little boy touches turns into a gas mask-wearing zombie calling for their “mummy.” It’s in these episodes where we get to meet Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) for the very first time. The two-part story is exciting and heartfelt. Definitely one of our favorites.
“Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways” – Series 1, Episodes 12 & 13
The Doctor, Rose, and Captain Jack, find themselves back aboard Satellite 5 (previously seen in episode 7). It turns out their previous visit altered the timeline of the satellite. Now no longer focused on news, reality TV shows drive everything. The Doctor finds himself in a deadly version of Big Brother, Rose is a contestant on The Weakest Link, where you must win to survive, and Jack is on a What Not to Wear-type of show that’s into some serious body modification. What’s really going on is a massive Dalek invasion that threatens to wipe out all of humanity. This is great two-parter that is also important to the entire Doctor Who storyline (of the new era, that is). It is the basis for Captain Jack’s immortality, which of course figures into Torchwood. It also introduces Doctor Whonewbies (of which we freely admit to being at the time this aired) to the regeneration of The Doctor, and gives us our first glimpse of David Tennant as the tenth doctor. This is a great two-parter all around, though I was sad to see Eccleston leave the show.
“The Girl in the Fireplace” – Series 2, Episode 4
The Doctor (now David Tennant), Rose, and Rose’s boyfriend Mickey (Noel Clarke) think they are exploring a 51st century spaceship, only to find a portal back to 18th century France. The doctor meets a young girl named Reinette (Jessica Atkins/Sophia Myles), who is the future Madame de Pompadour. The Doctor develops a friendship with the girl, and promises to help her when the very scary things that occupy her bedroom are set to attack – which he tells her is going to happen at some point in the future. The Doctor visits the girl through a portal in her fireplace, always finding her at a different age. Meanwhile, Rose and Mickey explore the very strange spaceship, which is partially cobbled together with human body parts.
“Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel” Series 2, Episodes 5 & 6
We love the concept of the parallel universe. Rose, The Doctor, and Mickey travel to an alternate Earth after a glitch in the TARDIS takes them beyond its usual reach. There Rose encounters alternate versions of her parents, who are rich socialites who never had any children. Zeppelins fill the London skyline, and everything is controlled via a Bluetooth-type device everyone has plugged in to their ears. The trio must ward off an invasion of Cybermen, making their first appearance in the new era of Doctor Who.
“Blink” – Series 3, Episode 10
This episode features reduced screen time for The Doctor and his companion Martha (Freema Agyeman). They are trapped back in 1969 with no way out due to a bad encounter with the very scary Weeping Angels. The Doctor has sent messages to one Sally Sparrow (an excellent performance from Carey Mulligan) via DVD “Easter eggs,” so she can take all the right steps to free The Doctor and Martha from their predicament. The Weeping Angels are a great enemy. The seemingly innocent angel statues are really vicious monsters, out to get you when you’re not looking. Don’t blink, or they will close in on you!
“Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead” – Series 4, Episodes 8 & 9
The Doctor and his companion Donna (Catherine Tate) visit an abandoned 51st century library that pretty much contains all the knowledge of the universe. A group of archaeologists led by River Song (Alex Kingston) are exploring the library. The Doctor is quite perplexed as to why the library has been abandoned, and to why River Song seems to know him quite well, though he doesn’t know her. A lot of scary stuff happens in the library, as the mystery deepens. This episode is one of Tate’s best, as she finally gets a chance to shine in this episode.
“The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang” – Series 5, Episodes 12 & 13
Marking the end of the first season with Matt Smith as The Doctor, this two-parter keeps things exciting. River Song tells the Doctor that the Pandorica, a box containing the most feared creature in the universe, is about to open. The Pandorica is stored underneath Stonehenge. And who is the most feared creature in the universe? The Doctor. Daleks and Cybermen believe The Doctor is responsible for cracks in time, like the one in Amy’s (Karen Gillan) wall, scattered throughout the universe. This episode is exciting and intense. It’s fun seeing how Amy and Rory (Arthur Darvill) factor in to the different timelines.
“The Wedding of River Song” – Series 6, Episode 13
The episode that decides the fate of The Doctor. This season introduced the idea that The Doctor is mortal after all. It seems the doctor has a date with death that can’t be broken. It’s the arc that spanned all of this season, and this episode brings it all together. On the date of The Doctor’s death, time is frozen at 5:02 PM. All points of history have converged on this date, with The Roman Emperor consulting with Winston Churchill over government matters. The Doctor, River Song, his companion Amy and her husband Rory seem to be in an impossible situation, but as with all things Doctor Who, things are not always what they seem. A very fun and imaginative episode.