Board 8 > Inviso Ranks The Doctor Who Reboot

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Inviso
05/14/22 12:46:08 PM
#51:


RyoCaliente posted...
Martha is one of those characters that just got the short end of the stick. The Doctor had to be showcased mourning the loss of Rose, considering her importance to the series up to this point, but this just mean Martha never really got to do anything.

Also I think the middle of this season was so rough because Davies fell ill for a while, which meant he had little to no impact on the production or the writing (because he rewrote pretty much every script during his tenure).

I think several characters got the short end of the stick in this fashion. You have several companions who came in to replace long-running, fan-favorite companions, and they just didn't have the chance to make their mark the way they needed to. Martha had to pull far too much weight in the wake of Rose, season 7 Clara was a completely nothing character after losing the Ponds, and even Dan...you saw my Flux write-up. I didn't mention his name even once outside of listing that he was a companion in that season. It's a tough road to follow.

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Inviso
05/14/22 12:58:34 PM
#52:


7. Series 11 (The Doctor: Jodie Whittaker, Companion/s: Ryan Sinclair, Graham O'Brien & Yasmin Khan)

*SPOILERS BELOW FOR SERIES ELEVEN OF DOCTOR WHO*

Best Episode: Demons of the Punjab
Worst Episode: The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos

There have been a lot of calls for this season's elimination, and a bizarre number of comments calling it worse than Jodie's other two outings. And while it's not GREAT by any means, to me, series eleven is simply the least offensive of Jodie's season as the Doctor. It's the season where she felt best-realized as a character, without having her entire personality tied to some sort of mysterious backstory. I remember sitting through the season when it aired, really enjoying her performance, because she felt wholly unique for reasons beyond her gender.

After seasons of the anti-war "old man trying to act young", goofball pixie dream boy, PTSD doctors, Jodie just demonstrated (to me, at least) a solid understanding of herself as the Doctor. She was the inquisitive scientist, planning and investigating in a way that felt specific to her, whereas similar traits in previous Doctors largely seemed superfluous to a more fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants mentality. Plus, this is the only Jodie season where she feels like a normal person, rather than some kind of universe-shaping God in mortal form. This didn't always translate to quality episodes, because unfortunately, Chris Chibnall is a bad showrunner. But at the same time, I think I can at least enjoy or tolerate most of this season. While it never reaches the highest highs of the rest of the series (well, the rest of the series prior to Chibnall's run), it never reaches the lowest lows, either.

It's not just the Doctor though. Admittedly, this is largely in comparison to the trash fires of series 12 and 13, but the companions feel like they're at their most-developed in series 11 as well. Ryan and Graham actually feel like they have an interesting bond, and it's nice watching them develop a relationship after starting out weirdly estranged via only the connection to Ryan's grandma/Graham's wife. Admittedly, this arc doesn't conclude until their departure in series 12, but most of the heavy lifting comes in series 11, so I'll just call it that. Yas...also exists. Seriously, it's amazing that she's the only companion to last Jodie's full tenure, and I still find her to be the most irrelevant companion of the reboot.

But anyway, I largely like the stories. Woman Who Fell to Earth is a largely solid season-opener. I think Punjab and Witchfinders are fun historical episodes, and I think Kerblam, Arachnids, and It Takes You away are all interesting sci-fi episodes. The rest of the episodes aren't BAD, but they're just lacking. Even Ranskoor is largely the worst of the season because it's weirdly forgettable for a season finale. But overall, there's not abjectly offensive about this season. It's just very standard. It's the back half of series seven, without the annoying "Clara is the most mysterious mystery to ever mystery" tone about it. Granted, there's not a lot of consistency in general, and the season doesn't have a thematic hook I can point to...but it's still perfectly fine as a whole.

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LinkMarioSamus
05/14/22 1:21:17 PM
#53:


Fun fact: Sally Sparrow was supposed to get promoted to a full-time companion, but Carey Mulligan declined to reprise her role so Amy Pond was written as a similar substitute.

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GANON1025
05/14/22 1:39:55 PM
#54:


Kerblam is like, an all time low for the series imo

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Mac Arrowny
05/14/22 2:18:25 PM
#55:


The problem with S11 isn't that it's terrible, it's that there aren't any great episodes. I'd much rather have a series with a couple great episodes and a bunch of bad ones than a full season where the episodes are okay at best. I actually ended up dropping the series after S11 because of that.

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Lightning Strikes
05/14/22 2:55:19 PM
#56:


Series 11 is the absolute low point of the revival and a bottom 5 season including the classic series. Its better than seasons 23 and 24, maybe one of Tom Bakers later outings too but thats about it.

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mnkboy907
05/14/22 4:41:29 PM
#57:


Season 11 was the worst Jodie season because it completely forgot to have fun. Just about every episode felt too dark and/or serious. Her other two seasons felt more Doctor Who and thus were better for it.

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RyoCaliente
05/14/22 8:54:23 PM
#58:


S11 is bad because it does the unforgivable thing of being Doctor Who and boring.

Not only that, but so many of the episodes send out a kinda icky message. Punjab is like a Yas-focused story, yet she feels like a complete side character in it and the best scene goes to Graham (like so many scenes did). Kerblam! literally does a "maybe Amazon isn't that bad, y'know?". Arachnids goes for a "let's not kill any aliens! except when we put them in a room and then gas them all".

And god, the teeth villain...what a garbage fire. I'll watch Trial of a Time Lord over this cacophony.

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MysteriousStan
05/15/22 1:59:54 AM
#59:


Season 11 (and 10) aired when I was working 3rd shift and still watching it with a group of friends and I would routinely doze off during some episodes.

I really should rewatch 12 and 13's run cause I've seen 9, 10, and 11 multiple times but the other two just once...and sleeping through some episodes at that. >_>
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Dels
05/15/22 2:18:16 AM
#60:


LinkMarioSamus posted...
Fun fact: Sally Sparrow was supposed to get promoted to a full-time companion, but Carey Mulligan declined to reprise her role so Amy Pond was written as a similar substitute.

i googled this and the only quote sourced is moffat saying that "they" wanted to bring her back. not "I" wanted to bring her back. it seems more likely they wanted her for season 4.
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Dels
05/15/22 2:20:12 AM
#61:


RyoCaliente posted...
Kerblam! literally does a "maybe Amazon isn't that bad, y'know?".

I recall this episode being very ambiguous in its messaging. And not in a good "we're just presenting the topic and letting the viewer decide how they feel" way, more of a "we don't know what we're trying to say and are giving conflicting messages" way

But I don't remember exactly how now. Isn't it that not-Amazon was portrayed as pretty bad the whole time...? But then I guess it was revealed some bad alien thing was behind it and Amazon wasn't that bad? I guess I just don't remember.

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Dels
05/15/22 2:24:28 AM
#62:


the weird thing about 13's run is i actually think the holiday specials have been the best eps? this past one was fun (though full of horrible plot holes), the first dalek christmas special i recall being maybe my favourite ep of her run, and then... last year's was okay too.

the only other episode from her run that i recall enjoying was the tesla episode. i thought it was fun and it reminded me of fun "filler" episodes from the earlier era of the reboot.
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Inviso
05/15/22 9:31:53 PM
#63:


6. Series 10 (The Doctor: Peter Capaldi, Companion/s: Bill Potts, Nardole & Missy kind of)

*SPOILERS BELOW FOR SERIES TEN OF DOCTOR WHO*

Best Episode: The Pyramid at the End of the World
Worst Episode: Knock Knock

Here we are, halfway through the list, and I'm finally willing to eliminate the first of the three Capaldi seasons. Given that every other Doctor got knocked down to a single season (or fully eliminated in Jodie's case), it should be no surprise that Peter Capaldi is my favorite Doctor, and I think he's able to elevate any season he's in through sheer force of personality. That being said, series ten is easily his weakest outing as the Doctor. It's still largely good overall--I would say it's the first season on this ranking that's good on the whole, instead of either slightly annoying, or just completely average (another reason to rank series eleven squarely in the middle of this list).

First off, let's discuss the big change between this and Capaldi's two other seasons: Bill Potts. I just made a post about how Dan, Martha and Clara 7 all struggled to replace long-time companions, and largely felt like filler companions, more than anything else. Bill is more of the same. We were coming off of two great seasons with Clara (and whatever you want to call her half of series seven), and we needed a companion to travel alongside the Doctor during his final season on the show.

Bill is a filler character. We don't really get to know her personality that much, we don't get to know her personal life (outside of a few scenes that largely don't tell an overarching narrative). In essence, Bill's role on the show boils down to "she's a lesbian". Seriously, that is the only aspect of Bill's character I can remember after watching series ten, and I enjoyed series ten. But Bill just doesn't have a lot that makes her stand out, beyond being a lesbian character. It gives her a happy ending in the finale, which is a good bookend for the season...but that's it.

Honestly, I feel like Bill (and Jodie) would have been better-served by having a Clara situation. You could have a boring, filler companion with Capaldi, so long as you give her a meatier role with the new Doctor. Granted, given how Yas' story has gone, they would've just made the second coming of Rose/Tennant...but at least it MIGHT have been better than nothing. And it definitely would've improved some of the flaws people cite about series eleven.

Also, Nardole is a companion this season, but I largely forget him because he's not in every episode. Honestly, Missy's non-companion role is larger and more relevant than his, and hers is a big reason this season manages to succeed as well as it does. The overarching story arc of series ten revolves around the Doctor rescuing Missy and holding her in prison, trying to reform her. And Missy, to her credit, it the most empathetic and emotional version of the Master we've seen. I don't know if it's a conscious choice, what with her being female, but she stands out as the version of the Master most willing to listen to reason. I feel like her arc over the course of the season is really strong as a result, and it broke my heart when she died in such an unfair manner.

With the characters out of the way, the season itself is still really fun. Pilot and Smile are fun little early-season stories, and Thin Ice is more serious, which works in conjunction with the earlier filler. Knock Knock is admittedly REALLY dumb and bad, but then it's followed up by a trio of solid outings that make up 3/4 of a four-part story. Yeah, Lie of the Land is an EXTREMELY dumb ending to that story, and Empress of Mars/Eaters of Light are a bit too filler-ish to follow up on a more grandoise narrative, but then we get to perhaps the strongest overall finale the show has had. World Enough and Time/Doctor Falls is EASILY the best Cybermen story, and while I think there's one individual finale that's better than Doctor Falls, the two-parter overall is stronger than that two-parter.

Again, Capaldi elevates a ton in this season, and while there are some low points, I think the high points are strong enough to outweigh the bad. If anything, it's the lack of compelling personal narratives from the Doctor's companions (which even Missy manages to make up for to some extent) that sinks series ten down into only sixth place.

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Inviso
05/18/22 1:30:15 PM
#64:


5. Series 5 (The Doctor: Matt Smith, Companion/s: Amy Pond, Rory Williams)

*SPOILERS BELOW FOR SERIES FIVE OF DOCTOR WHO*

Best Episode: Cold Blood
Worst Episode: The Beast Below

I still don't care for Matt Smith and find him to be the weakest Doctor of the reboot...but series five is solid overall. It's got some flaws, like every season does (including the four I've ranked above it), but those flaws are minor enough that I can look back on the season and think positively of it. It's definitely the strongest of Matt Smith's seasons, because it's the one that treats the Doctor the humblest. Yes, the finale builds him up as the biggest force in the universe, but up until that point, the first eleven episodes are fairly low-key and allow him to serve as just a character. This is in comparison to the whole of series six being about his death and defeat, and the back half of series seven being about Clara as a mystery specifically to help the Doctor's past selves.

Additionally, while I've series two and three lower, I think Russell T. Davies original era is extremely strong in terms of how he paced the seasons overall. You start the first half of the season with some gentle filler to get people back into the swing of the show, and then around the halfway point, you start pushing the more emotional plots, growing stronger and stronger as the season progresses. Series five is the last season that follows that really follows that structure, since Moffat switched to a more fluid season layout, and Chibnall obviously went his own direction. But I think Davies hit the mark perfectly from the outset, and series five benefitted from being a holdover of that style.

Now, to discuss the season itself, I'll start by saying that, while I don't care for Matt Smith as the Doctor, I have seen every single "first regeneration" story in the franchise as a whole, and the ONLY one I would say is anywhere near as good as The Eleventh Hour is Colin Baker's The Twin Dilemma. I think The Eleventh Hour does an amazing job of introducing Smith as the new Doctor, giving him the time to gradually shift audience expectations from Tennant to himself, and he does this all without hamstringing himself, as is often the case in regeneration stories. Yes, he's still recovering from regeneration sickness, but the writers cleverly have him pop into the TARDIS and go off for an indeterminate amount of time, before returning to a much older Amy Pond, fully recovered and ready to go. It's a great choice that allows the story to breathe and play in a fun fashion. Plus, it gives a unique twist to kickstart Amy's time as a companion.

However, after Eleventh Hour, I don't know if it just set the bar extremely high or if the writers just had too much to deal with, but the rest of the early season is weak as hell. Even compared to the cheesy early episodes of series 1-4, series five has a ROUGH start. The first two episodes after Matt Smith's introduction are Beast Below and Victory of the Daleks, and both of them feel like outright character assassinations of the Doctor himself. In both instances, some bad shit is going on and the Doctor discovers it, but he's not able to think his way around the problem. Thus, it is up to Amy Pond, the young singing telegram girl who is on her first and second sojourn into time and space travel, to save the day. This is AFTER the Doctor reprimands her for erasing her memory, SHE'S still the one who comes to the realization "Hey, you don't NEED to lobotomize the space whale, Doctor. I'VE figured out a better solution." And she's the one who saves the day again with "Hey, just think about love and how much you love humanity and you won't explode as the WMD the Daleks created you to be."

This early season is where I think series five falters the most. Series one introduces Eccleston's Doctor and Rose, and it's a slow burn of character introductions. Series two introduces Tennant, but we still have Rose as a grounding personality who the audience understands, allowing Tennant to shine. And then both Martha and Donna are paired with Tennant, so they're allowed to shine while he's the familiar face. Series five is the first time where we have a new showrunner, a new Doctor, and new companions, and there's just too much going on all at once. It's the same problem series eleven had, except Chibnall never found his footing, while Moffat did.

But yeah, after Eleventh Hour, the Doctor is largely relegated to a side character while we develop Amy for most of the season. This sucks in the early episodes, because she's WAY too gifted for her level of experience, but I think it helps out a bit in the long run, because again...a little Matt Smith goes a long way, and Amy's more interesting to me overall. The second and third episodes are still weak, and the angel two-parter is...it's fine, but I hate the gradual spiral of the angels into worthless enemies of the week. They're so interesting in Blink, but they're absolutely mishandled every episode after (until the Flux season).

Series five kicks into solid gear with the introduction of Rory as a companion. The season's overarching storyline is about Amy's relationship with Rory and how she idolized this strange man she met as a child, and it's really a matter of her solidly choosing Rory above all else. Vampires of Venice is a standard filler episode, but it's still nice. I like it more than the early episodes (plus it's the first full story I ever watched), but then we get Amy's Choice, which is a great episode in its own right. This is the point when the season really shifts to being about the Amy/Rory love story.

Hungry Earth/Cold Blood is an amazing two-parter, with moral conundrums that I love (and are a large part of why the Silurians are so intriguing to me, both in the reboot and in classic Who), and ending on Rory's death and erasure from existence is such a bitter finale that leads into the sorrow of Vincent and the Doctor (with Amy feeling sad and not understanding why). The Lodger's a fun filler episode (and is one of the few stories that I think capitalizes properly on Smith's personality as the Doctor), but then we get a finale where Amy and Rory's relationship comes full circle, with him being resurrected by her memories, and he dedicates his life to protecting her in the Pandorica. It's a really sweet love story, and while the finale is nothing special, it's also not BAD (which is high praise, given some of the season finales we've had).

In the end, it's a solid story over the course of the season, and the crack in spacetime is a good running theme in the same vein as what we saw in series 1-4. It's easily the strongest showing and most consistent writing of the characters that we'll see across two and a half seasons, and if you can tolerate just HOW stupid those early episodes are, it's an enjoyable season overall.

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htaeD
05/18/22 1:39:29 PM
#65:


I adore season 5 and feel its one of the few times Moffat managed to deliver an entirely good ending (Season 10 being the other time) instead of just a 2parter that collapses inwards at the 2nd half.

But yeah you can tell that they filmed the early season5 episodes out of order... Matt Smith feels way more in character in Eleventh Hour than he does in the next 2 episodes.

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MysteriousStan
05/18/22 2:12:26 PM
#66:


Vincent and the Doctor is my favorite episode. I wish they'd do more historical episodes. The Amy/Rory dynamic of season 5 is sooo good. Rory is probably my 2nd favorite companion.
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Maniac64
05/18/22 2:23:41 PM
#67:


Inviso posted...
But yeah, after Eleventh Hour, the Doctor is largely relegated to a side character while we develop Amy for most of the season. This sucks in the early episodes, because she's WAY too gifted for her level of experience,
This made me really dislike Amy early and spoiled the entire show for me to the point where I stopped watching in series 6 (that and me not liking the big series long mysteries that seemed to be taking over the show.)

I just didn't want to watch the Amy Pond show starring Amy "Mary Sue" Pond and Co-starring Amy's childhood friend/idol and Amy's insanely devoted boyfriend (and later Amy's daughter!)

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Grand Kirby
05/18/22 2:37:58 PM
#68:


I love The Eleventh Hour. Rest of the season is kind of weak to me, although I do love Matt Smith's Doctor (well, mostly. He can cross the line and be too goofy a lot, but I find him likeable enough to overlook it most of the time.)

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Inviso
05/18/22 2:39:17 PM
#69:


MysteriousStan posted...
Vincent and the Doctor is my favorite episode. I wish they'd do more historical episodes. The Amy/Rory dynamic of season 5 is sooo good. Rory is probably my 2nd favorite companion.

Rory is either second or third for me, of the reboot era.

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DoomTheGyarados
05/18/22 2:40:45 PM
#70:


You have excellent favorite Dr taste but Matt to me is way above Jodi. Which I don't think is on her entirely and not an insult really. Her seasons just... that ain't it.


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Lopen
05/18/22 2:49:24 PM
#71:


Never thought Amy came off as a Mary Sue. Felt more like a highlight of why The Doctor is more effective when he has someone to bounce ideas off of-- not raw skill or intelligence that drives her to that conclusion but her personality biasing her to search that avenue.

She wasn't really reaching nay conclusion he couldn't have there. She just reached it faster because that's how her mind works.

Like Amy quite a bit overall-- probably my favorite companion of the reboot (haven't seen all the seasons yet though), but *shrug.

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Maniac64
05/18/22 3:36:38 PM
#72:


Amy is really only a Mary Sue in those first few episodes where they felt the need to have her save the day instead of the Doctor in ways that made the Doctor look bad as much as it made her look amazing. But it was enough to make me dislike her and the show never did enough to change my mind.

The show does often seem to care more about her than the Doctor though at least fron what I remember.

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RyoCaliente
05/18/22 4:00:51 PM
#73:


Comparing to the Eleventh Hour to Twin Dilemma is uh...certainly a thing.

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Anagram
05/18/22 4:41:46 PM
#74:


Can I ask something? I read a thing about a new actress playing Rose. Is she also a time lord who regenerates or something?

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Inviso
05/18/22 4:42:52 PM
#75:


RyoCaliente posted...
Comparing to the Eleventh Hour to Twin Dilemma is uh...certainly a thing.

If I'm comparing Doctor intros:

  1. Eleventh Hour (best intro)
  2. Twin Dilemma (this is how you introduce a new Doctor, establishing personality right off the bat)
  3. Robot (goofier, more fun)
  4. Castrovalva (goofy fun, but a bit too much regeneration sickness)
  5. Rose (goofy fun works better in the reboot, IMO)
  6. Unearthly Child (as a singular episode, it's good, but when you lump it into the larger serial with the cavemen, it's a step down)
  7. Deep Breath (average, but Capaldi is great)
  8. Christmas Invasion (goofy fun, if a bit overly serious and dealing with regeneration sickness)
  9. Spearhead from Space (goofy, but fun)
  10. Woman Who Fell to Earth (Jodie really does her best in the role, but it's too damn serious for a premiere)
  11. Power of the Daleks (forgettable)
  12. Doctor Who: TV Movie (yikes)
  13. Time and the Rani (this is one of the worst things ever)

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Dancedreamer
05/18/22 4:45:35 PM
#76:


Never thought I'd hear someone list Twin Dilemma as one of the best introductory episodes.

The Eleventh Doctor's introduction is definitely among the best, though. Eleventh Hour is just really good. All Doctor's deserve that level of introduction, but I feel we may never get that again.

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RyoCaliente
05/18/22 5:19:16 PM
#77:


I mean, The Twin Dilemma does a good job of showing off what they intended to do with Six...it's just a bad decision wrapped in an even more awful story.

In that sense, putting Power of the Daleks that low down, and ranking it as forgettable...yikes. Power of the Daleks is the first regeneration story. It's the complete and total change from the program, as the Doctor was a temperamental old man, and all of a sudden becomes a force of pure chaos.

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Inviso
05/19/22 9:50:36 AM
#78:


4. Series 9 (The Doctor: Peter Capaldi, Companion/s: Clara Oswald)

*SPOILERS BELOW FOR SERIES NINE OF DOCTOR WHO*

Best Episode: Heaven Sent
Worst Episode: Sleep No More

Is there ANY other season of the show in which the best and worst episodes are indisputable the way Heaven Sent and Sleep No More are? Yeah, series nine has a few weaker episodes (Hell Bent and Zygon Invasion), and some stronger episodes (Girl Who Died, Woman Who Lived, Zygon Inversion, Face the Raven), but none of those can ever compare to the praise heaped upon Heaven Sent, or the disdain heaped upon Sleep No More. This doesn't really have anything to do with this ranking...just something I thought about when looking at my choices for best and worst episodes of the season.

Obviously, I've ranked series nine in my top four overall, but there is a bit a gap between my top three and 4/5. There are just a few minor things that hold series nine back from being truly great (beyond Sleep No More...which isn't all that worse than some other seasons' worst episodes). For starters--and I know this is minor and nitpicky--but for starters, I'm not a huge fan of the season's formatting. Don't get me wrong, I don't think any of the two parters are full-blown misses (even if Hell Bent and Zygon Invasion are disappointments in comparison to their better halves). But having a season made up almost entirely of two-part episodes reduces the number of stories overall and kind of prevents the slow burn, long-term storylines that I think Doctor Who is very much capable of providing. I love Heaven Sent, but there feels very little build-up in the season itself to the grand reveal of Gallifrey, which I think might've been better with a little bit lengthier of a story schedule.

This ties into my next minor criticism with series nine: it lacks a bit of cohesion to its overarching narrative. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but most seasons of the show, for better or worse, have long-running themes that span the duration of the season. I think nine and eleven are the weakest in this regard. The only real theme that comes on display in nine is that of Clara slowly abandoning her humanity to become more like the Doctor (which she ultimately fails at in one regard...and succeeds at in a different regard). It's subtle, and it's not QUITE strong enough to anchor the season the way that the themes of my top three do.

All that being said, series nine is still awesome. For what it lacks in season-long theming, it makes up for in great performances from Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Michelle Gomez, and Maisie Williams. The opening two-parter is extremely fun, largely because we get to see a new dynamic as Missy becomes the Doctor and Clara becomes Missy's companion. Sure, Peter is still around, and he gets to have a bizarrely emotional moment with Davros (which will always be shrouded in mystery as to just how much both of them are faking their reaction to one another). It's just solidly enjoyable all around.

Under the Lake/Before the Flood is a great story and does a great job of introducing a new enemy that fulfills one of my favorite monster designs in the reboot. The Weeping Angels, the Silence, the Vashta Nerada...I love a monster that has a specific set of rules governing how to defeat it. The ghosts in this story are horrifying, yet they still appeal to that nerdy, scientific part of my brain. Then the Ashildr two-parter is another solid episode, with a strong back half as the Doctor's chickens come home to roost, and he discovers that his actions in the past have an impact on Ashildr's life in the future. Come to think of it, with Capaldi's best moment in Zygon Inversion being his speech about the pointlessness of war, maybe THAT'S a theme this season: decisions rippling outward, for better or worse.

Sleep No More is dumb and bad and leaves on a cliffhanger that remains unresolved 4 seasons after the fact, but then we get the tenuous three-part finale. Face the Raven is an amazing send-off to Clara (I choose to believe it's her finale moreso than Hell Bent), with the perfect culmination to her story arc. sure, Hell Bent allows her to continue a bit longer, but Face the Raven is just perfect as is. Heaven Sent is a masterclass in acting from Capaldi, carrying a whole episode of basically him, talking to himself. And it's such an interesting time loop plot twist as well. I just wish Hell Bent was stronger, since it has the finale issue of having to tie up a bunch of loose ends, and it KINDA succeeds. I guess. Still, it's a strong end stretch, and at least Hell Bent has enough goofiness to be a tolerable finale, which is more than some of the lesser finales I've discussed thus far. And the end result is a very good season of the show, that I think some fans would even call Capaldi's best season. Not me, but I can understand the logic.

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htaeD
05/19/22 10:10:49 AM
#79:


I have never even cared to watch Sleep No More

But Heaven Sent was probably the most impressed I've been with the show in a long time

Great music too.

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Grand Kirby
05/19/22 4:45:22 PM
#80:


Heaven Sent is so damn good. Might even be my favorite episode of the series.

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andylt
05/19/22 5:24:46 PM
#81:


Heaven Sent is terrific, but I really don't care for anything else in s9 lol. Guessing s8 is #1 given how much praise there's been for the Capaldi years so far!

Edit: forgot the Xmas special with River, that one has some great moments too. Capaldi and Kingston are great together!

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Maniac64
05/19/22 5:33:58 PM
#82:


Oh hey based on that bit of description I think Heaven Sent is the one post-Smith episode of scene.

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Mac Arrowny
05/19/22 6:17:47 PM
#83:


seems like you're not counting some of the x-mas specials as part of the series which is weird

S9 is one of the best seasons IMO. Certainly the best post-Tennant season. Every episode's a hit other than Sleep No More. By far the best of Capaldi too.

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htaeD
05/19/22 6:25:53 PM
#84:


I prefer Series 8 for Capaldi, even if it has 2 pretty bad episodes as well

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Inviso
05/19/22 7:09:35 PM
#85:


3. Series 1 (The Doctor: Christopher Eccleston, Companion/s: Rose Tyler)

*SPOILERS BELOW FOR SERIES ONE OF DOCTOR WHO*

Best Episode: Father's Day
Worst Episode: Aliens of London

It is a shame that Christopher Eccleston was only contracted for a single season (and that, following said season, he had a massive falling out with Russell T. Davies over press coverage of his single-season status), because is great in the role. Not only is he great for playing the Doctor in the immediate aftermath of allegedly destroying his entire race to end the time war, but he manages to do what I've complained that Matt Smith cannot. Eccleston is able to convey the kind of goofy energy one would expect from someone who is so above everything that he just wants to sit back and laugh at the universe around him. But at the same time, he's able to come across as deadly serious when he needs to. Ultimately, I think the latter is more important, because the former is more necessary in terms of putting up a facade more than anything else.

While Eccleston is great in his role (particularly for a storyline that we don't see come to fruition on-screen until the end run of Matt Smith's tenure), I have to give credit to Billie Piper's Rose as well. While she becomes a bit of an annoyance in his relationship with Tennant's Doctor, I think she is a perfect companion to hook viewers into the show back in that first season. First off, she's young enough to fill that role of someone who needs the Doctor's guidance and tutelage when it comes to matters of space and time, but she's also a very down-to-Earth person. She works in a shop, and she lives...I'm not sure if it'd be considered a council estate, but it feels like a lower middle class flat. She's a perfect audience surrogate, is what I'm saying. She has a strong personality, but not so much so as to completely overshadow Eccleston as the Doctor. What I'm saying is that, while Rose isn't my favorite companion (I'd put her around 4th...but SPECIFICALLY series one Rose), she's a perfect addition to THIS season.

Now, I'm just going to get my one major criticism of series one out of the way, because my top three seasons are all REALLY good, and it's minor things that earn series one a bronze medal, instead of silver or gold. All three seasons have their weak points; there is not a single series in the show's run that is without flaws in terms of clunker episodes and whatnot. But in the case of series one, the bad episodes stand out more because of their placement in the overall season. Series four and eight are more spread out, whereas with series one, if you swapped Dalek and Long Game in the broadcast order, you would have a clean cut dividing line with the entire first half of the season being far and away the weakest group of episodes.

The starting trio is pretty standard: aliens in present day, trip to space in the future, trip to Earth in the past. None of these three episodes are top tier or anything, but they're fun enough and fine enough. Unfortunately, then we get to the farting aliens, which are terrible. Aliens in London is an extended fart joke, and it's pretty rough when you consider that it leads into a two-parter. This is the first two-part episode of the reboot, and it's absolutely terrible. Fortunately, World War Three is somewhat better since it's played more seriously, but it's still rough. And Long Game, after introducing Adam in the previous episode, just has him be a self-centered scumbag in a lazy storyline that completely wastes the comedic talents of Simon Pegg.

All that being said, the season DOES pick up tremendously when we hit episode six. Dalek is the first truly amazing episode of the reboot, and it's not even the best of the season, in my opinion. Up until this point, Eccleston has been intense, yet goofy. But this is the episode where we really learn about his past and what happened with the Time War, and it's just extremely good to see the Doctor's character on full display. Plus, for the first introduction to the Dalek race (of the reboot), they manage to both give us an unstoppable killing machine, AND give us a parallel with the Doctor, sad about being the last of its race. The whole story is great.

Father's Day is my personal favorite episode of the season soon after, where we're coming off Adam's self-centered reasons for time traveling, and now we get to learn more about Rose. I'm a sucker for father/child relationships, and seeing Rose try to save her father from his impending death, and learning that he's not the perfect guy her mom portrayed him as made for some emotional television. Having Pete sacrifice himself to save the day at the end, and giving Rose closure as he didn't have to die alone...I'm tearing up just writing this sentence. It's a good story and one that I'm willing to look past its flaws.

Empty Child/Doctor Dances gives us a great horror story, and is the farting aliens were a bad introduction to two-part episodes, this duo gave us the first of five straight seasons in which the writers just hit it out of the park with their late-season two-part episode. Again, aliens with rules (don't touch them, they're all turning into the physical symptoms of a dead child) are my jam, and this story just has everything. Introducing Captain Jack gives us a little bit more fun in an otherwise dark story, and he winds up being a fan favorite overall as a result.

Boom Town is clearly an example of budget restraints needing a simple and cheap story, but despite reusing the farting aliens, they made the great choice to bring back the best actress from the earlier two-parter, and gave her an emotional, character-driven narrative that let her really showcase what she could do. The first half of the finale is goofy fun, particularly as a fan of reality TV, but the finale itself...it's a tough call between Parting of the Ways and The Doctor Falls in terms of the best finale the show has ever produced.

Eccleston gets to make two different heroic sacrifices, but can't bring himself to commit genocide again, not after his efforts to end the Time War led to the annihilation of the Time Lords. Meanwhile, Rose, who has been relatively meek all season, finally develops some personal strength and fights to return and rescue the Doctor. Baring her soul to her mother and Mickie, and wiping out the Daleks through sheer force of TARDIS energy feels earned, since she's grown and changed as a character over the course of the season. The kiss is a BIT weird, since Eccleston feels like more of a father figure than a romantic interest through most of the season...but again, it's a satisfying way to see Eccleston go into his regeneration, and it caps off an EXTREMELY strong back half of the season.

If the bad (or just weaker) episodes were more interspersed, I think I could overlook them more, but as it stands, with the episode schedule the way it is, I can only give series one third place, behind two titans of the shwo, in my opinion.

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Maniac64
05/19/22 7:41:10 PM
#86:


Man I wish we got more Eccleston. His Doctor is so good.

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htaeD
05/19/22 7:44:38 PM
#87:


Fantastic even!

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Maniac64
05/19/22 7:53:56 PM
#88:


Fantastic!

I will say Doctor Dances is definitely my favorite Series 1 episode. Jack/Doctor/Rose is a fun dynamic. The solution to the gas mask kids is interesting and satisfying. And "Just this once, everybody lives!" Might be the most memorable line in the series for me. I haven't watched it in probably a decade and I can still clearly hear it in my head.

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Grand Kirby
05/19/22 10:20:20 PM
#89:


Maniac64 posted...
Man I wish we got more Eccleston. His Doctor is so good.
Good news:

https://www.bigfinish.com/news/v/christopher-eccleston-returns-to-big-finish

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Lopen
05/20/22 1:06:19 PM
#90:


That's awesome. I liked Eccleston more than Tennant for a long time. Tennant did eventually grow on me but I really did wish Eccleston got more than one season.

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Dels
05/20/22 1:15:17 PM
#91:


I thought season 9 was absolute peak Moffat-style just throwing a million ideas into an episode without actually giving any of them time to develop, and with the dialogue only existing to move the plot forward and show how clever Moffat's ideas are rather than actually sounding like real people you can relate to.

A bit surprised you like it but it was well-received overall and people do seem to like that style so I guess I'm not too surprised.

Heaven Sent was good tho
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andylt
05/20/22 1:26:08 PM
#92:


Dels posted...
I thought season 9 was absolute peak Moffat-style just throwing a million ideas into an episode without actually giving any of them time to develop, and with the dialogue only existing to move the plot forward and show how clever Moffat's ideas are rather than actually sounding like real people you can relate to.

Heaven Sent was good tho
Agree with all of this.

Eccleston is so good, definitely underappreciated but given that he only had 13 episodes I can't blame people for overlooking him sometimes. His season is messy but is peak comfort TV for me, doesn't hurt that it introduced me to the show!
Inviso posted...
It is a shame that Christopher Eccleston was only contracted for a single season (and that, following said season, he had a massive falling out with Russell T. Davies over press coverage of his single-season status)
I believe he's said he left because of the poor working conditions the BBC inflicted on the crew, and I respect him for sticking to his principles and walking away like that.

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Maniac64
05/20/22 1:55:13 PM
#93:


Well going to have to watch those some time.

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LinkMarioSamus
05/20/22 4:10:54 PM
#94:


Doctor Who and the MCU both did Eccleston dirty. Poor guy.

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Dels
05/20/22 9:28:33 PM
#95:


It's pretty unfortunate that he didn't do more. Probably my second-favourite doctor behind 12. (I've seen reboot only) But I like all of season 1, even the first half.

1-season companions are also pretty sad. I liked Bill but it still felt sort of like "Uhhhh well 12 has one season left and we need a companion since Clara left so let's get someone in there???"

Of course, you can do a lot in 1 season. Donna proved that. And she had to share her finale with everyone else as part of a greatest hits compilation instead of getting one to herself like the other companions do. Also too bad.
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