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Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Skaro's Top 6 New-Who Episodes!

I have been debating if I should post this or not and after a long time I've decide I should, so today it's about my favourite episodes of New-Who. Listed below is my favourite episode from each series in the order I'd also rank them with reasons reviewing why. So Please - Enjoy.

6. Vincent and The Doctor

I feel Vincent and the Doctor is one of those episodes that you have to look deep into to understand all of the beauty in the episode. The Set and prop Designers did a fantastic job making everything as accurate as possible when relating to Vincent and his life. You also get the rare opportunity in one of the scenes (pictured above) where you get to see through the eye's of Vincent Van Gogh. In general it is one of those episodes that make you feel glad to be alive! There is so little I can say about this episode, except that it is a wonderful example of humanity.

5. Blink

I always use to hate Blink, thinking it was an awful episode but that was until I saw the amazing thing that is the true genius of Moffat's writing of the character of Sally Sparrow. But we mustn't forget it is not just his writing but the fact that it is a Doctor (and Martha)-light episode, which sometimes can be a good thing for the series. The concept of the weeping angels has never been a scary one to me but I must say, they are in my top 10 for brilliant monsters. For that reason I have put it as my favourite for Series 3. Oh - and my home town Hull gets a very comical reference in this episode!

4. The Girl in The Fireplace

Surpringly another one of my favourite episodes happens to be one of Moffat's, The Historical side of this episode is one which strays abit from the actual world by adding a little bit of banter and flirting between The Doctor and Madame De Pompadour (which Rose safely doesn't see thanks to a time-window). We also have the stepping-up of the character of Mickey Smith from the average person into an actual companion who unlike Rose the male viewers feel they can associate with. I must admit I'm an avid fan of the banter between them about The Life of the Doctor (Cleopatra...). I just find that this episode sticks out above all other ones Moffat has done.

3. The Girl Who Waited

I owe Tom MacRae a serious Thank-You for creating a wonderful episode! Not only was it made on a lower budget than the rest of the series, but it was actually the doctor-light episode of the series, and it worked really well as you never actually felt that, the way its done makes you feel like the Doctor is always there. Gillans acting in this episode is also something to give huge credit to. She took on two roles (Young and Old Amy) and portrayed them in such a way that made us feel sorry for Old Amy, and possibly for some Hate the doctor because he got the 'timings abit out'. We can't forget the wonderful supporting actors of this episode, Arthur Darvill (Rory) and Imelda Staunton (Interface) who keep the story rolling even when Amy isn't around. The occasional comical joke also makes it feel a very warm and light-hearted episode which really does bring a tear to my eye.

2. Turn Left

Turn left is an episode which is always viewed very badly by many fans, it doesn't fit the template of a Normal 'Doctor Who' episode but that's why I like it - It is different and provides us to an insight of what the Who-niverse would be like without the Doctor. It happens to be a Doctor-light episode and mainly features Billie Piper (Rose) and Catherine Tate (Donna) who I can safely say are both fantastic actors for this kind of sadness and tone of this episode. The Character of Parallel-Donna has alot of humour added in (which comes naturally with the character of Donna) but a little bit of fresh-edge that we haven't seen in a companion before. It is also a very nice episode which ties in even with The spin off shows, Torchwood and Sarah-Jane Adventures. One thing to say is Murray Gold's music in this episode is fantastic (to quote the 9th Doctor) and is full of tunes many fans remember!

1. Father's Day

Skaro: "Father's Day, written by Paul Cornell, is an episode which in generally overlooked by the main part of Doctor Who fandom. But when you take the time to appreciate all the emotions in the episode you look at it in a completely different way. It's about love, sadness, hope, joy and death - something which is hard to put into a 45 minute episode. The monsters in this episode may have been seen as abit 'flimsy' but they had a meaning and an origin that made sense, they also added an imposing pressure to the story which inevitably led to several things in the episode (such as being trapped in the church). A nice thing I like to add is how the TARDIS itself is left out of the majority of this episode (with it becoming just an empty, normal Police Box) which adds a sense of the Doctor being trapped. Generally the performance of all the actors in this episode are Amazing, Mainly that of Chris, Billie, Sean and Camille. The fact is we can learn alot from this episode and it always leaves a lump in my throat which I will never ever forget. It is safe to say that unless (very unlikely) a series 7 episode is better than this, this episode will remain my all time favourite and I personally want to take this opportunity to thank anyone involved in this episode for making it amazing!"


Mike's personal opinion on my choice: "This episode wasn't just a turning point for me as a fan of the classic series warming to the series relaunch, but hit me at a major turning point in my life as my own father's battle with cancer was coming to an end. Like many American viewers back in 2005 we had only bootleg copies of the new series to view to see the newly relaunched show at all. When I heard the show was coming back, I wasn't optimistic but mortified that this would be another part of my youth ruined by recycling. I was totally unprepared for Paul Cornell's episode and how hard it would hit me. Until someone you really know, a fixture in your life be it friend or family dies you never really understand how hard that is going to be. And I have to say even early into the episode I was feeling critical, the Reapers being a clear lift of The Langoliers from the Stephen King novella.

To me "Father's Day" was a first in "Doctor Who" to actually tackle life and death so intimately, so strongly affecting a companion. Think back to Tegan's aunt being murdered by the Master in "Logopolis" and it never seemed to come up again after episode one of that serial. Tegan didn't even seem to have any anger about it, though thinking back I'm trying to remember if she even knew that had happened. But surely at some point after traveling with the Fifth Doctor she must have learned what happened on that by-pass. She had seemed devoted to her aunt as they rode for the last time to their fateful encounter with the world of the Doctor, and afterword, not a jot of a reference to her aunt.

With Rose it was different, her mother worried sick for a YEAR when Rose disappeared into the TARDIS. "Stitch this mate!" was a great moment as Jackie socked the 9th Doctor in the jaw.

Up until then "Doctor Who" was more than a bit disconnected with everyday reality - companions seemed utterly content with making the TARDIS their whole existence. Some companions like Leela or Romana once could understand, but the rest like Jo or Sarah Jane behaved like orphans ready to leave every speck of their lives up until that point behind. Part of this is the velocity of television and movie story-telling - ever notice that in these mediums characters almost NEVER say "Goodbye" when ending a phone call. Just watch for it, they just hang up on one another and the audience never seems to remark how odd that is. Something is lost though when that story-telling gets so fast that characters aren't fleshed out and never seem to have more hopes and dreams than fighting the next monster the TARDIS is going to encounter.

I think we forget how important our relationships with friends and family are to us until we are utterly cut off from them, by some remote distance or the finality of death and that's what "Father's Day" particularly touched upon for me. And why despite some dodgy bits like magic time-reality eating dragons - it also featured such a first, the Doctor unhesitatingly standing his ground and dying to protect Rose and the humans. That was really a heroic moment, more so than past Doctor's knowing they might regenerate - the Get Out Of Death Free card. For a moment it's stunning; there's no Doctor and no hope, save for Pete who works it out and saves the day and the Doctor and his little girl.

For that and the moving tenderness of it's core story it is still one of my favorite "Doctor Who" episodes of all time.

11 comments :

Tom Buxton said...

My personal Top 10 would probably go something like this:
10. Dalek
9. Vincent And The Doctor
8. A Good Man Goes To War
7. The God Complex
6. The Time Of Angels/Flesh & Stone
5. The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang
4. Human Nature/The Family Of Blood
3. Blink
2. The Impossible Astronaut/Day Of The Moon
1. The Girl Who Waited
On a random series ratio, that's one story from Series 1, none from Series 2, two from Series 3, none from Series 4, none of the 2009 specials, three from Series 5 and four from Series 6. Personally, I'm a bit more of a Moffat fan with hindsight of the RTD era, and the final 3/4 entries in that list are close, chosen in order of the size of their minor shortcomings, same with the top 3/4. I personally thought Series 6's darker tone really helped the show innovate further, yet I look forward to seeing if by this time next year when we're looking back at S1-7 before S8 and/or the anniversary specials, whether things have changed and some S7 episodes are within this list!

Angus Martin Montgomery said...

Wow!...Just realised the Stephen King 'rip-off'...

com bom said...

#1: dalek - no contest

TimeyWimey said...

Well, nice list. Very different from mine: 
20. A Christmas Invasion19. Utopia18. Impossible Planet / Satan's Pit17. The Waters Of Mars16. Father's Day15. The Empty Child / The Doctor Dances14. Time Of Angels / Flesh And Stone13. Blink12. The Eleventh Hour 11. Human Nature / Family Of Blood10. The God Complex 9. Amy's Choice 8. Silence In The Library / Forest Of The Dead7. The Doctor's Wife 6. Tooth And Claw5. The Girl In The Fireplace4. Midnight 3. A Good Man Goes To War / Let's Kill Hitler / The Wedding Of River Song (Series 6 arc episodes which I included as one entire story) 2. The Pandorica Opens / The Big Bang1. Impossible Astronaut / Day Of The Moon

TimeyWimey said...

Favorite Series'? On a side-note.. 
1. S6
2. S5
3. S1
4. S2
5. S3
6. S4 

Jason said...

1. The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon
2. Blink
3. The Pandorica Opens
4. The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone
5. The Eleventh Hour
6. The God Complex

And I've just realised only one of those wasn't written by Steven Moffat.

Mike Jackson said...

 I'm not sure it was an intentional lift or as you say a 'rip-off', but that bit was a bit wonky to me, too anthropomorphic of a monster thing for no reason other than Doctor Who needs monsters. Actually I wasn't finished with that review, it was only a first draft that someone posted, probably Skaro not realizing I hadn't ever gotten to finish it.

To me "Father's Day" was a first in "Doctor Who" to actually tackle life and death so intimately, so strongly affecting a companion. Think back to Tegan's aunt being murdered by the Master in "Logopolis" and it never seemed to come up again after episode one of that serial. Tegan didn't even seem to have any anger about it, though thinking back I'm trying to remember if she even knew that had happened. But surely at some point after traveling with the Fifth Doctor she must have learned what happened on that by-pass. She had seemed devoted to her aunt as they rode for the last time to their fateful encounter with the world of the Doctor, and afterword, not a jot of a reference to her aunt.

With Rose it was different, her mother worried sick for a YEAR when Rose disappeared into the TARDIS. "Stitch this mate!" was a great moment as Jackie socked the 9th Doctor in the jaw.

Up until then "Doctor Who" was more than a bit disconnected with everyday reality - companions seemed utterly content with making the TARDIS their whole existence. Some companions like Leela or Romana once could understand, but the rest like Jo or Sarah Jane behaved like orphans ready to leave every speck of their lives up until that point behind. Part of this is the velocity of television and movie story-telling - ever notice that in these mediums characters almost NEVER say "Goodbye" when ending a phone call. Just watch for it, they just hang up on one another and the audience never seems to remark how odd that is.

I think we forget how important our relationships with friends and family are to us until we are utterly cut off from them, by some remote distance or the finality of death and that's what "Father's Day" particularly touched upon for me. And why despite some bits like magic time-reality eating dragons - it is still one of my favorite "Doctor Who" episodes of all time.

P said...

Anyone that thinks Blink is, or was, an awful episode is very, very strange.

Just saying.

Collin Kelley said...

I've been watching Doctor Who since the 80s and I am pretty sure that "School Reunion" and "Turn Left" are the greatest episodes Who - new and classic ever. 

Pete Caldwell said...

Re: Tegan did find out about her Auntie Vanessa from the 4th Doctor later on in Logopolis when the Doctor states too many people have died already - logopolitans and humans alike - and it hits home what he means. She does cry and is obviously shaken, and is part of what motivates her to help the Doctor against the Master and to join the TARDIS crew at least initially. Auntie Vaneesa is mentioned again a few times, and even in "Enlightenment" Tegan's room on The Eternal's ship even features a photo of Auntie V on Tegan's nightstand. And it must be said that Tegan is the only Classic companion that I can think of that asked the Doctor to take her to visit her Grandpa ("The Awakening") and we also meet her cousin in "Arc of Infinity". So Tegan was probably the closest family oriented companion similar to new series companions of the classic series.

As for favorite episodes of new Who, I am surprised "School Reunion" didn't make it as noteworthy as it is the first episode to show the after effects of being a traveling companion with the Doctor and not only one but two classic companions Sarah Jane Smith and K9 (well, we never actually saw Mark III travel with the Doctor but presumably he did for a bit at the very least). It also explored the dynamic and jealousy between current and ex companions and how the Doctor actually feels about them, all things I had long wondered about and was very pleased with wha was covered and revealed (yes, life is hard and boring after the fun adventures, yes, the Doctor does care and has his own emotional reasons for not going back, etc).

On this same line of exploration, I think Aliens of London deserves an honorable mention for the companion travel issues and how skipping around in time can have a profound effect not only on the companions but their families as well. How many times I wondered what the friends of family would have thought about someone disappearing

Sabrina Parseval said...

Mike, what you've just written about Father's Day would be a perfect submission for this effort to write short, positive essays on every Doctor Who story in time for the 50th anniversary. I urge you to claim it asap!
http://celebrateregenerate.blogspot.co.uk/