Top 10 ‘Doctor Who’ Episodes (Featuring David Tennant)
My original title? “Top 10 10th Doctor ‘Doctor Who’ Episodes.” But that was just silly.
I haven’t been watching “Doctor Who” for very long, and when I did start watching, I began with the second season of the new series. I’d seen David Tennant in this sketch with Catherine Tate, and I thought he was pretty funny. So when I finished watching the newest season of “Arrested Development,” I looked at Netflix, saw “Doctor Who” and thought, “Why not? Everybody seems to like this show. I’ll start with David Tennant.”
I’m glad I did. I know I’ll go back and watch Eccleston’s season once I finish with Smith’s, but David Tennant will probably always be my favorite Doctor. (Turns out he’s your favorite too.) And since I’m the kind of person who enjoys taking something he loves and analyzing the heck out of it, (preferably in list format), I thought I’d share with you all my Top 10 “Doctor Who” episodes featuring David Tennant. Enjoy!
Many of the episodes on this list are part (usually the second) of two-parters, and “Evolution of the Daleks” is no exception. It comes after “Daleks in Manhattan,” and I’d say the biggest reason I liked it was because it offered the possibility of redemption to the Daleks while characterizing the Doctor’s willingness to help even the worst beings in the universe. Dalek Sek, leader of the Cult of Skaro, wants to merge Dalek DNA with human DNA, a notion his followers eventually find they cannot abide. But for a brief moment, it looks like the Daleks might be left to go their way in peace. The humans whose bodies they’d use are already brain-dead, and the Doctor finds himself on the Dalek’s side for once.
Of course, the other three cultists overthrow their one-time leader for deliberately messing with the glory of Dalek “purity,” but still, I had hope there for a minute. I wasn’t super interested in the rest of the two-parter’s plot: the pig man’s relationship with the show girl and the residents of Hoovertown, but the notion of the Daleks becoming a peaceful race really piqued my interest.
This episode, plus the very end of “Army of Ghosts” where the Void Ship opens up, was the first time I’d ever seen Daleks, and having heard about them as iconic “Doctor Who” villains, I was excited to see them for the first time. Mix in a confrontation between the angry pepper shakers and the Cybermen, another of Doctor’s most famous nemeses, and I knew I was in for a treat, especially with this exchange:
Dalek Sec: This is not war. This is pest control!
Cyber Leader: We have five million Cybermen. How many are you?
Dalek Sec: Four.
Cyber Leader: You would destroy the Cybermen with four Daleks?
Dalek Sec: We would destroy the Cybermen with one Dalek! You are superior in only one respect.
Cyber Leader: What is that?
Dalek Sec: You are better at dying.
The sheer arrogance of the Daleks was magnificent in its starkness. Sure, they look pretty silly, but what human weapons are to the Cybermen, Cybermen weapons are to the Daleks. I could see four of them taking on the whole world without breaking a sweat. (Do Daleks sweat? I’m not sure…)
This episode also featured the return of Mickey, which was nice. I thought we wouldn’t be seeing him after he decided to stay behind in the mirror world at the end of “The Age of Steel,” but he crossed over to help out, which was nice. Unfortunately, he and Rose both are capable of opening the Genesis Ark since they’ve traveled through time, and since the Genesis Ark is packed full to the brim with Daleks, that’s not great.
“Doomsday” makes it on my Top 10 list for a whole host of reasons, not just the Dalek-Cyberman showdown and the Mickey-Rose reunion. It also features the arrogance of Torchwood (“I did my duty for Queen and Country!“), the reunion of Rose’s parents, and the closing of the time rift, separating Rose and the Doctor. I knew that as a Whovian that would happen at some point, just like I knew that I’d eventually lose my Doctor. I’d get a new one, sure, and I’d get a new Companion, but there’s nothing like your first one, right?
So the final scene between the Doctor and Rose where he’s speaking to her with the power of a supernova, and he almost says (what has to be) “I love you,” and he gets cut off, just broke my heart… And then Catherine Tate shows up in a wedding dress and is VERY UNHAPPY, and I was smiling again.