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The Top 10 ‘Doctor Who’ Episodes

We take a look back at our favorite Time Lord's greatest adventures.

The Top 10 'Doctor Who' Episodes

The fifth season of the BBC's "Doctor Who" recently wrapped up another terrific season with a new Doctor, new companions and a new showrunner in Steven Moffat. And while a new "Doctor Who" special will air in December, it's going to be a long wait until the Time Lord and crew come back for another full season.

In honor of the finale, Crave Online has taken a look back at all of the episodes since the series was revived in 2005, to pick our ten favorite episodes of the new series as we eagerly await some new adventures across time and space. 


10: Rose

Writer: Russell T Davies
Director: Keith Boak
Original Airdate: March 26, 2005

The very first episode of the new "Doctor Who" series kicked things off in grand fashion with a solid hour that introduced us to Christopher Eccleston's Ninth Doctor, Noel Clarke's Mickey Smith, Camille Coduri's Jackie Tyler and Bille Piper's titular character, Rose Tyler; who would go on to become one of the Doctor's most memorable companions.

When we first meet Rose, she's stuck in a dead end sales job until a chance encounter with the Doctor leads to a battle against plastic space aliens called Autons. Afterwards, she eagerly leaves her old life and her boyfriend (Mickey) behind to share adventures through time with the last of the Time Lords. "Rose" is a lighter and more humorous episode than the series has become known for since then. However, as the first televised "Doctor Who" story since 1996, it was the perfect way to begin the new era.

 

 


9: The Runaway Bride

Writer: Russell T Davies
Director: Euros Lyn
Original Airdate: December 25, 2006

An under-appreciated gem and the best of the "Doctor Who" Christmas specials. "The Runaway Bride" began moments after the Doctor (David Tennant) lost Rose and forced him to immediately deal with a new situation: the sudden materialization on the TARDIS of an angry bride named Donna Noble (Catherine Tate). The interplay between Tennant and Tate was some of the funniest of the entire series and Donna was one of the few characters not instantly wowed by the Doctor's presence.

Despite Donna's refusal to join the Doctor at the end of the episode, the producers must have realized that they had found a fitting companion for Tennant. Tate returned to the series in the fourth season to finally give Donna a chance to join the Doctor.

 

 

8. Father's Day

Writer: Paul Cornell
Director: Joe Ahearne
Original Airdate: May 14, 2005

Rose reveals that she had an ulterior motive for accepting the Doctor's offer to travel through time when she begs him to give her a chance to say goodbye to Pete Tyler (Shaun Dingwall), the father she never knew before he died in a hit-and-run accident. Unable to act the first time, on her second opportunity she saves his life; drastically altering history and leading to a major rift between the Doctor and Rose.

When the newly changed history comes under assault by the mysterious Reapers, the duo reconcile and the Doctor attempts to find a way to save everyone (including Rose's dad). But when he and the TARDIS are destroyed, Pete boldly sacrifices himself — restoring the timeline and giving Rose much needed closure. One of the more emotional endings of the series to date, as it showed that things wouldn't always work out perfectly.

 

 

7: Bad Wolf/The Parting of The Ways

Writer: Russell T Davies
Director: Joe Ahearne
Original Airdates: June 11, 2005/June 18, 2005

The end of the first season brought the Doctor, Rose and Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) to a mysterious space station where they were forced to play futuristic British Game shows that were lethal to the losers. They soon found that events were being manipulated by the Doctor's greatest foes: an unstoppable army of Daleks ready to destroy humanity once and for all.

Throughout the season, the words "Bad Wolf" appeared in different contexts, hinting at the threat to come. In the finale, we discovered that Rose herself was the "Bad Wolf," when she became powerful enough to destroy the Daleks and save the Doctor.

Eccleston — as his Doctor might say — was fantastic, especially in his final scene in the series before the Doctor regenerated into David Tennant's tenth Doctor; who makes his debut at the end.

 

 

6: Army of Ghosts/Doomsday

Writer: Russell T Davies
Director: Graeme Harper
Original Airdates: July 01, 2006/July 08, 2006

Drawn back to Earth amidst an apparent worldwide supernatural event, the Doctor and Rose discover that the truth is much worse: the Cybermen are invading, with the Daleks close behind. This was something of a dream episode for "Who" fans, which pit two of the Doctor's greatest adversaries against each other for the first time in an all-out war.

This was also Bille Piper's final regular appearance as Rose and her farewell scene with the Doctor is one of the most moving in the series. Rose may have been the only companion that he truly loved and the single tear on David Tennant's face spoke volumes. The surprise appearance of Catherine Tate's Donna at the end also stands as one of the funniest and most bizarre cliffhangers in "Doctor Who" history.

 

 

5: The Eleventh Hour

Writer: Steven Moffat
Director: Adam Smith
Original Airdate: April 03, 2010

This is quite possibly the best "pilot" episode of "Doctor Who" ever produced. In rapid succession, Steven Moffat gives us Matt Smith's Eleventh Doctor, Arthur Darvill's future companion Rory Williams and the beautiful Karen Gillan as Amy Pond; along with an alien threat that has to be neutralized in under an hour without the Doctor's sonic screwdriver or his TARDIS.

For his first full episode, Smith pulled off an impressive performance as the Doctor; whom he imbued with a manic physicality unmatched even by David Tennant. Special recognition has to go towards Caitlin Blackwood as the younger Amelia Pond who first encountered the Doctor. Their late night kitchen scene is among the funniest in the entire run, as the Doctor eventually decided that he can only eat fish sticks… covered in custard.

 

 

4. The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang

Writer: Steven Moffat
Director: Toby Haynes
Original Airdates: June 19, 2010/June 26, 2010

One of the finest season finales in "Doctor Who" history finds the Doctor trapped in an impossible prison, two of his companions dead and the third transformed into an Auton with the end of the universe happening all around them.

No problem.

While the solution in the second half of the story was fun, the cliffhanger and the buildup in the first part was incredible. Moffat left hints at the story throughout the season (as often happened in the "Who" revival) but he actually managed to fool the audience by showing us scenes before we understood what they meant.

In addition to exemplary performances by the cast, "The Pandorica Opens" also features nearly every "Doctor Who" villain created to date, united against him for the sake of the universe. The new status quo set at the end also promises interesting things to come as the Doctor and his newly married companions search for the being responsible for the fall of silence…

 

 

3: The Stolen Earth/Journey's End

Writer: Russell T Davies
Director: Graeme Harper
Original Airdates: June 28, 2008/July 05, 2006

If there is ever a "Doctor Who" feature film, it would be hard pressed to match the scale of "The Stolen Earth" and "Journey's End;" which features the return of all of the ninth and tenth Doctor's companions, including Rose Tyler (Billie Piper), Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman), Donna Noble (Catherine Tate), Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), Mickey Smith (Noel Clarke) along with classic companions Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) and K-9 (John Leeson) and guest stars from both "Who" spinoffs: "Torchwood" and "The Sarah Jane Adventures." As well as two Doctors.

That's right. TWO doctors.

The finale also brought back one of the best classic "Doctor Who" villains, Davros (Julian Bleach) who nearly destroyed reality with his new Dalek army. The Doctor and his friends were ultimately triumphant, but at the cost of one of their own.

However, the brief moment in which the Doctors and his companions are all together flying the TARDIS is one of the best and warmest scenes in the series.

 

 

2. Blink

Writer: Steven Moffat
Director: Hettie MacDonald
Original Airdate: June 09, 2007

One of the finest hours of "Doctor Who" barely features the Doctor at all. But it does introduce one of his most fearsome foes: The Weeping Angels.

The Angels are unique among the Doctor's rogues gallery in that they don't actually kill their victims: they simply send them back in time and feed on the energy of their unfulfilled lives in the present. Also, they can only move when you aren't looking at them. At any other time, they appear to be statues.

With the Doctor and Martha trapped in the past, Sally Sparrow (Carey Mulligan) — perhaps the most interesting "Doctor Who" character who never became a companion — is forced to step up and save the Doctor while interpreting clues and messages he left for her in the past. His most pressing warning?

"Dont. BLINK."

 

 

1. The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone

Writer: Steven Moffat
Director: Adam Smith
Original Airdates: April 24, 2010/May 01, 2010

Early in the fifth season, Matt Smith's eleventh Doctor faced his greatest challenge as he took on an army of Weeping Angels for the first time. And unlike the relatively kind Angels from "Blink," these Angels had no problem killing their prey. The Angels even displayed new powers when one of them appeared from a video image of an angel and attempted to kill Amy Pond from within her own mind.

Add to the Angels, the return of River Song (Alex Kingston), hints from a future Doctor and an immense threat from the Crack in Time and you have an instant classic and  the best episodes of the new series to date. It also delivered some of the creepiest moments in "Who" history in which we finally saw the Angels move towards a helpless Amy Pond…

And when the ground shook with the laughter of Angels.