The Escapist's Favorite Things About Doctor Who

The Escapist's Favorite Things About Doctor Who

Doctor Who is coming back this weekend, so it seemed like a good time to reminisce about our favorite things about the show.

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Glad to see someone else likes Martha. The romantic elements tinge most of the Doctor's relationships with his female Companions (at least in New Who, and often in the Old), but few of them manage to actually do something with their lives without the Doctor around. Watching the end of 11's run, when you see Rory and Amy sitting around the phone listening to the Doctor's messages, I couldn't help thinking that Martha would have let them play in the background while she went on with living her life rather than waiting for the Doctor to come and make her live his version of it.

Only 10 episodes with Eccleston, really? It always seems like more.
I guess I never really counted.

It's a damn shame because he really has been my favorite of the new Doctors.

I too like Martha. it was Amy and Rory I could not stand. I cannot place anything specific, I simply hated them. The less said about River Song the better but I want her to come back from the dead. So she can die again, in a painful way!

I liked Rory, he was an honest and genuine person. Didn't like River, she had no chemistry with The Doctor, it was difficult watching their scenes together. Hated Amy, she comes off as someone who is supposed to make The Doctor somehow lesser, The Doctor didn't feel like The Doctor, he felt like a downtrodden taxi cab driver.

My favourite Ep would have to be The Family of Blood two-parter. That and the End of Time pt 2.

I like River Song, but her relationship with the Doctor is hard to reconcile. I get why she would be enamoured with him, but it's hard to get why the reverse is true. And then they get married, and I suppose it sort of makes sense (She did rewrite and nearly destroy all of time just for him), but it just felt like, "well, we need to do this so it's going to happen."

This is the biggest problem I have with New Who: that both the head writers have had a tendency to just force something because they've decided it must happen. Classic Who does this sometimes, but it's not as pervasive. However, this isn't about what's wrong with New Who, so let's move on...

Diddy_Mao:
Only 10 episodes with Eccleston, really? It always seems like more.

Farting aliens tend to make things seem like an eternity.

But I agree that Eccleston's run on DW was excellent. I really enjoyed him as the Doctor. And while I wish he had stayed around for at least one more season, I wonder how long Nine would have worked for. I mean, the whole point of him being a "different" Doctor is that he had just gone through the Time War and was still living with it. And the end of the gave him closure, and that was good. I wish Tennant's run had had a similar sort of arc, but it felt like it meandered too much.

008Zulu:
I liked Rory, he was an honest and genuine person.

I will always love anyone who will punch both Hitler AND the Doctor.

Mostly, I felt bad for Rory, though. I think a lot of people identified with his whipping boy status, which was probably the intent.

Thunderous Cacophony:
Glad to see someone else likes Martha. The romantic elements tinge most of the Doctor's relationships with his female Companions (at least in New Who, and often in the Old), but few of them manage to actually do something with their lives without the Doctor around. Watching the end of 11's run, when you see Rory and Amy sitting around the phone listening to the Doctor's messages, I couldn't help thinking that Martha would have let them play in the background while she went on with living her life rather than waiting for the Doctor to come and make her live his version of it.

I also appreciated Martha and her unwillingness to let the doctor be her life. I think it really shows when she pops back up in the show and in Torchwood, how her character developed.

However that aside, I think one of the reasons that Rory and Amy act differently in that respect is that the doctor is truly family to them. He had a huge impact on Amy's formative years and then married her daughter. Also remember that Amy and Rory are not likely to have any more children. I sometimes think of it less as a companion waiting to hear from the doctor and more parents wanting to hear from their son-in-law. The Williams only really seen to have a chance to interact with River when the Doctor is around(I can only think of one time this wasn't the case and it seemed very situational to me). I guess at the end of their run I was watching though the lens of two people wanting as much time with their family as they could get. The Doctor was a part of their lives in a way that he hasn't been for any other new who companion.

+1 the John Simm comment.

He was like Vaas (Far Cry 3) in space, and it was amazing. Too bad that we only had about 4 episodes with him, but the performances were still memorable.

One of my favourite moments is The Waters of Mars. The entire episode shows exactly how broken Tenant has become, and how desperately he's trying to evade his own end. He has stopped caring for the natural order, because he is broken: he's scared and uncertain. This episode made me see him in a new light, and felt like the payoff for the development Tenant's Doctor went through throughout the T. Davies run.

Honorable mentions also go to his last episode, and that tear-jerking end sequence.

Though I'm not much of a fan of the new series, I still respect Matt Smith and Stephen Moffatt: they're doing something different, but the Davies series still holds a special place in my heart.

I first got into Doctor Who with the Third doctor and after its hiatus didn't get back into it until Tenants tenure ( the episode with the french mistress)...and boy did I like it. I especially liked his dealings with The Master, they worked well together. I ended up going back to watch Eccleston and actually liked his portrayal as well. I have to admit, I didn't like Matt Smith at first ( probably because that stupid End of Time made me so sad) but his enthusiasm and almost childish delight as the Doctor won me over. I loved him as the very old Doctor in his farewell episode, and he certainly had some memorable monologues ( Rings of Ankhahet and The Pandorica come to mind). And hey, he certainly had a very recognizable theme song.

I never really got into Rose or Amy ( frankly, I found Amy so very irritating) but I did like Donna and Rory. Haha, just remembering Rory punching the doctor brings a tear to my eye.

I am looking forward to Capaldi's run, seeing as how they have some changes in store for how the Doctor will relate with his companions.

Now if only I could find a TARDIS on ebay.....

I was really hoping they would forget Catherine Tate was ever in the show!

I keep thinking back to David Tennant's farewell in "The End of Time." You get the full range of the 10th Doctor's personality as he celebrates his victory over fate only to see his hopes dashed, how he selflessly saves another man's life but isn't above spewing a nasty little speech above how unfair it is, how he goes back to all the people he met over his tenure as the Doctor and improves their lives a little bit one more time, and ultimately dies alone as a choir sings him to his end. Then Smith comes in, and we get a stab of hope that the Doctor may have changed but he is never gone.

Best moments: 'The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances', 'The Girl in the Fireplace', 'Blink', and 'Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead' -- which, incidentally, are all Moffat-penned episodes. The gods only know why his showrunning of New Who is so... sub-par overall.
The mentioned 'Midnight' is wonderful, too. As is Martha as the best companion [although her episodes might not be consistently good].

Zachary Amaranth:
I wish Tennant's run had had a similar sort of arc, but it felt like it meandered too much.

Yes, yes, it did. I mean, there were four specials [counting The End of Time as one, of course] between Tennant's last regular and Smith's first regular season. If that's not meandering, I don't know what is. They might've been good specials but, boy, did it feel like they didn't wanna let go of Tennant.
The same goes for the two three-part finales of Martha's and Donna's seasons. I quite hate them, because they were so drawn out.

Darth Sea Bass:
I was really hoping they would forget Catherine Tate was ever in the show!

Heresy! As much as I like Rose and Amy & Rory [and River to an extent], Donna is the second best companion of New Who. Donna's development and the development of her relationship with the doctor throughout her season is simply amazing.

I got confused when you said Eccleston was only in 10 episodes, because of course, it was 13 (one whole season)... until I realised you meant STORIES. If you count the 2 parters as one, then, yes, 10 stories... but 13 individual episodes.

I also have to disagree about Midnight. I'm a massive Dr Who fan (can't wait for saturday), but for me, Midnight is my least fave episode so far. I just find it annoying, especially when you got everyone shouting over one another at the same time... Mr and Mrs Kane are too hostile and loud... the Professor is aggravating with his "There IS NO IT, nothing can live out there" all the time, the Stewerdess is frustrating with her "Get back to your seats" over and over... and the whole repeating thing is .... I've already used the word, but... Annoying.

So yeah, I dislike that particular episode, but the rest are gold (or at least silver). I only hope Peter Capaldi can 'carry the torch' so to speak.

wackelpudding:

Yes, yes, it did. I mean, there were four specials [counting The End of Time as one, of course] between Tennant's last regular and Smith's first regular season. If that's not meandering, I don't know what is. They might've been good specials but, boy, did it feel like they didn't wanna let go of Tennant.
The same goes for the two three-part finales of Martha's and Donna's seasons. I quite hate them, because they were so drawn out.

In fairness, the specials were done in lieu of a new season, which would have been likely another 13 episodes. It probably would have meandered even more. The big problem there is that they closed off most of the hanging plots by the end of TheDoctorDonna's arc.

I'm actually sort of mad that they didn't give Smith's Doctor at least the length of TEOT 1+2 to resolve his plot threads. I mean, that would still be a lot, but Tennant got several episodes and Smith got a slightly long one. They just sort of dropped it at the end, like "screw it."

Heresy! As much as I like Rose and Amy & Rory [and River to an extent], Donna is the second best companion of New Who. Donna's development and the development of her relationship with the doctor throughout her season is simply amazing.

Donna really has the best arc. Though yeah, the conclusion was stretched out. I was also kind of annoyed that they did a regeneration fake-out, even though they had publicly promoted that Tennant had signed on for another year. Ah well. It was sort of a cool resolution to the hand that had been kicking around (punching around?) since the first Tennant special. It really sucked to see Donna get reset, though.

I'm also a fan of Martha's arc. I'd like it more if she didn't spend 80% of it fawning over the Doctor, but I'm pretty sure there was some sort of obligation for all characters to fawn over the Doctor in the writers' contracts. Still, she really did go somewhere. Of course, the finale was stretched out there, too, but Gollum Doctor and Flying Doctor were too much for me anyway. A shame, too, because I loved Simm's batshit crazy take on The Master. I know it was a somewhat controversial take, but it's not like Doctor Who had never undergone tonal shifts before.

Diddy_Mao:
Only 10 episodes with Eccleston, really? It always seems like more.
I guess I never really counted.

It's a damn shame because he really has been my favorite of the new Doctors.

He was actually there for 13 episodes and left before the Xmas special. He was a very different Doctor, very shouty at that.

That monologue at the end of Matt Smith's first ever episode sold me on him as the Doctor. The man is fantastic in the role, and a breath of fresh air given how similar Eccelston and Tenant both were. I was sad to see him go, but Capaldi is an amazing actor and I can't wait to see what he does as the Doctor.

I REALLY loved episodes like 'Blink'.
I mean, how often (in the history TV) do you get one of the best episodes of a series...without the main cast in it?

Tanis:
I REALLY loved episodes like 'Blink'.
I mean, how often (in the history TV) do you get one of the best episodes of a series...without the main cast in it?

Blink was helped by Carey Mulligan being a fantastic actress and doing a spectacularly great job with Sally Sparrow.

Also, why omit the "Classic Series"? Surely the great Tom Baker should get a mention somewhere?

Yea pretty much all of these I would agree with.

My favorites have to be The End of Time, because holy hell those were awesome and so incredibly sad.

Next was the episode "Dalek" where Eccleston finds a Dalek on Earth. Eccleston was the first Doctor I saw, and I had heard things about the Daleks before, so seeing one was certainly unnerving. What REALLY sold that episode for me though was seeing The Doctor, who had been an unstoppable badass up to this point, banging on the Dalek's prison door screaming "LET ME OUT" and sounding completely terrified while doing so. It was actually scary, what in the world could scare this guy so bad? Then the rest of the episode happened and I saws the amount of carnage ONE Dalek could cause and I began to understand why these things were so iconic.

Another great Eccleston episode... can't remember the name but "are you my mummy?" Yea that one. Scary as hell and Eccleston's moment at the end "Just this once, EVERYBODY LIVES!" really spoke volumes about how many terrible things he had seen in the last 900 years.

Then Blink. Oh. My. God. That was genuinely terrifying, and the fact they managed to make such a great episode with the main characters barely in it is impressive. Also this gave us the famous "big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey... stuff" moment. And "this is my timey-wimey detector. It goes 'ding' when there's stuff!"

Finally, The Day of the Doctor 50th anniversary thing. I saw this in theaters, and if I have to explain why seeing Tennant return and team up with Smith is awesome then the internet has failed. It was also just a really cool story, and seeing three versions of The Doctor running around was awesome and many of their interactions together was hilarious. Also seeing the legendary Tom Baker make an appearance was AWESOME! I've only seen a few of his episodes, but damn was he fantastic!

I have a lot more, but I've been ninja'd on a few and if I kept going I'd never stop...

Haven't seen a lot of Old Who, but with New Who:

Christopher Eccleston was great - it's a real pity he didn't get more. I liked him so much that at first I didn't like:

David Tennant, but a few episodes in I was sold. He's great as well and an absolutely brilliant actor to boot.

Matt Smith is a complete tool in my eyes. His whole affect as the Doctor just annoys me and I don't think his range is anywhere near as good as David Tennant's.

The speech in Pandorica that everyone says is iconic - I spent the entire time almost vomiting (figuratively) at the way he was dancing and twisting - can this man's knees not hold his weight? Seriously I'd have fired if it was me because I could not have taken him seriously.
It could have been 100% times better if it had been delivered differently - try David Tennant in the library against the blackness stuff (Vash na daru or something?) "You're in a library with a million books, I'm the Doctor, look me up" and the thing backs down. Delivered with strength (and a little desperation) it was a threat without the threat and something that could be taken seriously.
(P.S. I am a season and half through Matt Smith and my opinion hasn't changed)

Thinking about stomaching the rest of Matt Smith just so I'm caught up on the story so I can watch Peter Capaldi, from the sounds of things it will be worth it.

Valkrex:

Next was the episode "Dalek" where Eccleston finds a Dalek on Earth. Eccleston was the first Doctor I saw, and I had heard things about the Daleks before, so seeing one was certainly unnerving. What REALLY sold that episode for me though was seeing The Doctor, who had been an unstoppable badass up to this point, banging on the Dalek's prison door screaming "LET ME OUT" and sounding completely terrified while doing so. It was actually scary, what in the world could scare this guy so bad? Then the rest of the episode happened and I saws the amount of carnage ONE Dalek could cause and I began to understand why these things were so iconic.

I loved Eccleston's foaming tirade in that episode. The one where the Dalek says he would make an excellent Dalek. It was one of the most passionate bits on the revived series and I think it helped show just how deep things ran between the Doctor and the Daleks. Eccleston's Doctor had already shown off survivor's guilt, but a single surviving Dalek could kick him into a frothing rage.

It also made the end of "The Doctor Dances" (the second part of the two-parter with the kid in the gas mask you mentioned) all the better, I think, because of the varying range only a couple of episodes apart. But that might just be me.

Tanis:
I REALLY loved episodes like 'Blink'.
I mean, how often (in the history TV) do you get one of the best episodes of a series...without the main cast in it?

How often does a TV show genuinely scare you too.

They changed the rules a lot about what an Angel is and does over the years but they were still great.

I am ticked that they are talking about a cap on the number of regenerations the doctor may do. But you can't over analyze these shows. They aren't meant for that. Just enjoy them.

I'm more familiar with New Who than Classic Who... though I'm willing to rectify that if need be.

Anyway, I've enjoyed the adventures of the last few doctors and their companions. (My favorite companion is Rory, for how damn loyal and outright awesome he can be).

I'm willing to give this new Doctor a shot, thought it'll take some getting used to.

 

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