Monday, 18 November 2013

Whovember: Top 5 Tenth Doctor Episodes

All this month on feeling fuzzier - a film blog is Doctor Who Month. With just a few weeks until the show celebrates 50 years, we're running a series of features that list the Top 5 episodes of each Nu-Who Doctor (Nine, Ten and Eleven). 

Today's Doctor is David Tennant's emotional, striking and fan-favourite Tenth Doctor. Typically kitted out in a blue pin-striped suit and Converse trainers, the Tenth Doctor also had a penchant for...well...romanticism. From 2006 to 2009, the Tenth Doctor dazzled us all with adventures to new and unexplored worlds with feisty companions like Rose (Billie Piper), Martha (Freema Aygeman) and Donna (Catherine Tate). 

Facing off against iconic villains such as Davros and the Daleks, the Cybermen, the Weeping Angels and the Sontarans, the Tenth Doctor very quickly sauntered his way into fans hearts. Allonsy!

So, what are the best Tenth Doctor episodes? Here is my pick...

Honourable mentions: Army of Ghosts/Doomsday (S2, E12 & E13), The Shakespeare Code (S3, E2), The Girl in the Fireplace (S2, E4)

5th - The Christmas Invasion (S2, Christmas Special)

Rose and the Tenth Doctor about to
begin their journey
What a way to kick things off! After the climatic finale of Series 1, David Tennant's Tenth Doctor fired onto the show with a rip-roaring Christmas special set back on Earth.

Knocked into a deep sleep after his regeneration process, the Tenth Doctor is unable to defend the Earth from the oncoming Sycorax horde.

The first Christmas special since the show returned, it's also the strongest. Unashamedly basking in the holiday themes, Russell T. Davies threw in robot Santas, killer Christmas trees, snow (sorta) and even a satsuma.

The writing is one of the episodes strongest suits, with Tennant launching into a genius monologue about his new life and 'big red buttons'. When it comes down to the finale (in which the Doctor saves the world in his pyjamas), Davies gave us a glimpse of Ten's darker side, something got us all intrigued about the shows new direction. 

4th - Blink (S3, E10)

Sally Sparrow stumbles across a Weeping Angel
Often regarded as one of the most well-written and original Doctor Who episodes, 'Blink' toys with the format by hardly featuring the Doctor at all. Written by Steven Moffat, the episode introduces us to a new foe, the Weeping Angels and is set across multiple time zones.

In 2007, Sally Sparrow (Carey Mulligan) stumbles across an abandoned house in Wester Drumlins. Inside, she finds eerie messages hidden behind the wallpaper that warn her, personally, about the 'Weeping Angels'. As she begins to unravel the mystery behind the sinister Angel statues, Sally discovers that a time-traveller called the Doctor has been zapped back to 1969 and is trapped there without his time-machine. 

The non-linear approach to the narrative is something Moffat has become known to use throughout his tenure on the show, and this episode proves how well it can work. The Angels are seriously scary here and I for one was gripped by the exciting "turn to stone" premise. 

Also, the episode features some of the Tenth Doctor's most memorable quotes - "Wibbly wobbly, timey wimey" and "Don't blink. Blink and you're dead. They are fast. Faster than you can believe. Don't turn your back. Don't look away. And don't blink. Good luck". Sensational stuff. 

3rd - Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead (S4, E8 & 9)

"Hey, who turned out the lights?"
Another Moffat-penned script, this double-parter from Series 4 sees the Doctor and Donna travel to a library in the 51st Century the size of a planet. 

Here, they encounter a mysterious archaeologist named River Song; River already knows the Doctor. Deeply. The Doctor, has never met River before. Yeah, don't you just hate it when that happens?

Also thrown into the mix is the creepy Vashta Nerada, piranha like creatures that inhabit the shadows and consume anyone who steps inside. All in all, I really liked this two-parter because it showed scope the show is possible of; alien worlds, time-travellers meeting in the wrong order, alternate realities, clever concepts - it's all here. 

2nd - The Waters of Mars (2009 Halloween Special) 

A poster for 'The Waters of Mars'
The Doctor travels to Mars in 2059 for a doomed solo-adventure aboard Bowie Base One - the first human colony on another planet. 

However, there is a twist. Bowie Base One, and the entire crew lead by Captain Adelaide Brooke (Lindsay Duncan) are infamous, going down in history for their unexplained deaths on the Red Planet. 

The Doctor knows this and has arrived on the day their fateful deaths take place. Knowing that their deaths are an influential point in history, can the Doctor stop himself from saving the doomed crew and turn and walk away?

'The Waters of Mars' is a really terrific hour of television on every level; funny, action-packed, emotionally-loaded and terrifying, the episode is perhaps one of the most underrated of the Tenth Doctors' tenure. 

The villains are seriously scary, with their cracked lips and white eyes. As they pick off the crew of the base one by one (Alien-style), the Doctor gets increasinly torn between the right thing, and his own desire to save lives. In the end, he snaps. He breaks the rules. He goes against the grain, saves the remaining crew members and changes history. 

Horrified by his actions, Captain Brooke tells him that "no-one should have that much power!". Cold as ice, the Doctor tells her "tough". Chilling stuff that leaves you wondering who that actual villain was in this episode...

1st - Human Nature/Family of Blood (S3 E8 & E9)

The Tenth Doctor's human alter-ego, John Smith
Ironically, the best episodes of the Tenth Doctor's tenure are those that make the most human; this double-parter from Series 3 (written by Paul Cornell) sees the Doctor forced to seek refugee from the Family of Blood, scavengers who seek to harness the power of the TARDIS.

In order to escape, the Doctor uses the Chameleon Arch to transform himself into a human, with all recollection of his Time Lord persona stored in a small pocket-watch. His human alter-ego ('John Smith') becomes a teacher in 1913 England but is still plagued by faint memories of 'the Doctor'. In order to keep an eye on him, Martha becomes a maid at the school - however, it isn't long before the Family have tracked the Doctor and Martha to the school and expose him.

Like I said, the best part of this double-episode is David Tennant's emotional performance as the humanized Doctor - completely oblivious to his time-travelling alter-ego, Smith falls head over heels for the school nurse and neglects Martha.

Both the Doctor and Martha are written really well in this episode, and the period aesthetic is brilliantly recreated. The Family are a memorable and creepy villain, not to mention the ambling scarecrows!

So, there we have it, my Top 5 Tenth Doctor episodes. It'll be great to see him back in action in 'The Day of the Doctor' special. What are your favourite Ten moments, across the show and novels? Let me know in the comments section below! Stay tuned for more Doctor Who posts throughout Whovember!

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...