Written by Eric Saward, starring Peter Davison (the 5th Doctor)
This was my first Classic ‘Doctor Who’ story and what a way to enter the Classic era.
Peter Davison is fantastic as the Doctor, I love the little elements of the past Doctors he brings to the role. The guest cast were very impressive, the direction was really good for 80’s television – there were some really tense, atmospheric moments that had me on edge, but my favourite part of the story was the Cybermen. I was only nine when I first saw this and I found the Cybermen really scary! I’m serious, I remember holding onto my mum every time the Cybermen appeared.
This was a strong piece of ‘Doctor Who’ that had me thrilled and scared from the beginning and then shocked and tearful in the end.
9. PYRAMIDS OF MARS
Written by Stephen Harris, starring Tom Baker (the 4th Doctor)
The Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith take on the alien Osiran Sutekh and robot mummies, what more do you want?
‘PYRAMIDS OF MARS’ is great fun. It’s one of those stories that I love to watch again and again for many reasons – the terrific script, the really good direction (which gave the story a really good pace), the chilling music, the amazing villain we got in Sutekh (brilliantly voiced by Gabriel Woolf) who was a match for the Doctor, and the awesome robot mummies. But what really made this story for me were the performances from Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen as the Doctor and Sarah Jane, those two work brilliantly together – I think they are the best Doctor and companion duo ever to grace the screen.
This is easily the best story of the Tom Baker era and I think ‘PYRAMIDS OF MARS’ demonstrates just how awesome the 4th Doctor’s era was.
8. VINCENT AND THE DOCTOR
Written by Richard Curtis, starring Matt Smith (the 11th Doctor)
This was a beautifully told story that showed a dark and realistic portrayal of how the world used to view mental health.
Whilst Matt Smith is great as usual, it is Tony Curran who is the show stealer as Vincent Van Gogh. We do have a lot of fun and eerie moments as the Doctor, Amy and Vincent have to take on an invisible monster, but where this story succeeds the most is the powerful storytelling in Vincent’s mental health – like how the people of the town think he is a curse on them because of his ‘madness’ so they throw stones at him, or moments where he fears what the future will bring.
But the best moment easily goes to the ending sequence where the Doctor and Amy take Vincent to see his art on display in a gallery in the modern-day, showing that he is never forgotten and will always be remembered as one of the greatest artists who ever lived. It is a moment that had me in tears (I’m even crying right now
Written by Malorie Blackman & Chris Chibnall, starring Jodie Whittaker (the 13th Doctor)
As I said in my review after this episode aired, I think ‘ROSA’ is “one of the strongest and boldest episodes ‘Doctor Who’ has ever produced”.
This was an emotionally compelling script that really tackled it’s theme of racism, and showed the sheer importance of Rosa Parks’ brave act in not giving up her seat in a segregated bus.
Jodie Whittaker is just fantastic as the Doctor, nailing every moment she’s in and I think this episode contains her best scenes as the 13th Doctor so far. The performances from Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill and Bradley Walsh are all terrific – particularly Bradley Walsh when he realises that he’s the white passenger who ends up getting Rosa arrested, it was very emotional. The guest cast are very good, I think Josh Bowman made a very good villain as Krasko who suited the story really well, and Vinette Robinson was beyond amazing as Rosa Parks.
This was a bravely written story that I heard got many families talking – which is brilliant! I can see this being a story many ‘Doctor Who’ fans will remember in the many years to come, it’s definitely one I will always remember.
6. THE EMPTY CHILD / THE DOCTOR DANCES
Written by Steven Moffat, starring Christopher Eccleston (the 9th Doctor)
This story still scares me to this day, I still cannot watch it without having chills running down my spine. It’s all in the detail from the writing and the direction, that’s what makes the horror of this story work so well (my gosh the transformation from person to gas-mask zombie was terrifying). But don’t worry, it’s not just scary, we get a lovely bit of 40’s music and some dancing as well.
The script does a terrific job at not only making us scared of the empty child, but also feel sorry for him as he only wants to find his mummy, that I think is some really powerful writing. The characters were all brilliant, Christopher Eccleston is on top form as the Doctor, this is definitely his best story with the highlight being the ‘EVERYBODY LIVES’ moment. Billie Piper is fantastic as Rose Tyler and we have the one and only John Barrowman who brings a lovely charm to the role as Captain Jack Harkness. The interaction between the Doctor and Captain Jack was brilliant, it gave us some of the best scenes in the show, especially when they were comparing sonic devices.
I’d say out of all the scary stories in the show, ‘THE EMPTY CHILD/THE DOCTOR DANCES’ is the one I’d highly recommend to watch on the night of Halloween.
Written by Steven Moffat, starring David Tennant (the 10th Doctor)
This really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, but ‘BLINK’ is just an all time classic, it was a huge hit when it landed on our screens. What surprises me the most is that this is one of the greatest ‘Doctor Who’ episodes ever… and the Doctor is barely in it!
But even though the Doctor is only in for about five minutes… it still works. Everything here works beautifully! We’re given brilliant characters and actors (with Carey Mulligan being the star as Sally Sparrow), some wonderful pieces of music by Murray Gold, the writing gives us a wonderful mix of humour, warmth, tears, horror and mystery, and the direction was top-notch – the attention to detail was impressive. And best of all, we’re given the scariest monsters ‘Doctor Who’ has ever created… THE WEEPING ANGELS!!!
So all in all, this is a brilliant ‘Doctor Who’ episode with a fantastic ending that’ll have you creeped out every time you walk past a statue. Remember… “Don’t blink!”
4. REMEMBRANCE OF THE DALEKS
Written by Ben Aaronovitch, starring Sylvester McCoy (the 7th Doctor)
Of course I had to have a Dalek story in my top ten. This was an AMAZING story that had some awesome Dalek action sequences.
Sylvester McCoy really didn’t have a good start to his era, the first four stories he got were all a mess, but thankfully ‘REMEMBRANCE OF THE DALEKS’ put the show back on track by turning the slapstick-comedy down massively and making Sylvester’s Doctor more mysteries and manipulative, which in the end gave us some of the best scenes in the show’s history. I love how the Doctor knew he’d be fighting Daleks here, I love how he was playing behind the scenes, making the Daleks think he had no chance of winning, which in the end got them blown up. The 7th Doctor was not a Doctor you wanted to mess with.
Sophie Aldred was fantastic as the Doctor’s companion Ace, I love her moment where she got to beat up a Dalek with a baseball bat. Every actor has their moment to shine here and they all did a great job. The directing was brilliant, and the Daleks were awesome, with the Special Weapons Dalek claiming the ‘Best Dalek Ever’ prize.
This ‘Doctor Who’ story had an incredible pace, great music and some really cool, explosive battle scenes! ‘REMEMBRANCE OF THE DALEKS’ was a thrilling tale that I enjoyed from beginning to end, and it is an important story for ‘Doctor Who’ as it kick started the events of the Time War.
Written by Russell T Davies, starring David Tennant (the 10th Doctor)
OMG! ‘MIDNIGHT’ was terrifying! I cannot get over how scared I was and still am of this episode. I loved how the script was an exploration into the psychology of humans when put in a fearful environment under pressure that could end their lives, and I loved the fact that the majority of ‘MIDNIGHT’ was set in just one small room, it really added to the fear factor of the story.
David Tennant was glorious as the Doctor in every story he did, but I love how we see the really vulnerable side to him here, especially when the people back him into a corner and accuse him of being the brains behind the evil happening to them. All the actors were amazing with Lesley Sharp giving us a chilling performance as Sky/the-Midnight-Monster, I really liked the fact that we never got to see what the monster looks like – or even know what it was exactly, making the mystery scarier. I think the scariest moment for me has to be when the humans were going to throw the Doctor outside into the X-Tonic sun, my heart was pounding at that point.
I love this episode to bits, this was a great ‘Doctor Who’ story that had me more scared of the humans than the monster. Well done Russell T Davies for giving us what I think is the scariest ‘Doctor Who’ episode ever.
2. THE CAVES OF ANDROZANI
Written by Robert Holmes, starring Peter Davison (the 5th Doctor)
‘THE CAVES OF ANDROZANI’ holds the highest award in ‘Doctor Who’… Best regeneration story!
I mean it, this was ‘Doctor Who’ GOLD! This concludes the Peter Davison era marvellously, giving his Doctor the chance to do good by suffering so much pain in order to save a young woman who he has only just met, because it’s the right thing to do.
Every actor was on top form, Grahame Harper did a brilliant job as director, he made this story look like an awesome 80’s film, the music was gorgeous and the regeneration scene was really emotional and triumphant and gave Peter Davison the farewell he deserved.
1. THE PANDORICA OPENS / THE BIG BANG
Written by Steven Moffat, starring Matt Smith (the 11th Doctor)
What a way to end the fifth series (my favourite series of ‘Doctor Who’), this epic two-part finale brought everything series 5 was building towards to a wonderful conclusion.
I really liked how ‘THE PANDORICA OPENS’ started things off as a high-speed, adrenaline fuelled mystery surrounding the Pandorica which led to my favourite cliff-hanger ever with every monster the Doctor has ever fought trapping him, River getting blown up in the TARDIS, Amy gets killed by Rory (who turns out to be an Auton) and the universe is being erased from time! That cliff-hanger was mad.
But I then really liked how ‘THE BIG BANG’ took a turn in storytelling, instead of giving us an all-guns blazing, action finale we got used to by this point, we got a beautiful character piece, a story that gave us a lot of fun (this episode introduced the fez!) and emotion, it wasn’t about all the aliens coming back to trap the Doctor, it was about Amy Pond, the girl who waited for years to travel in the TARDIS and then ended up saving the Doctor by the power of memory on the day of her wedding.
Matt Smith and Karen Gillan are incredible as the 11th Doctor and Amy Pond – probably my favourite Doctor and companion of the new series. Arthur Darvill is cracking as the brave Rory Williams, and Alex Kingston was awesome as the badass River Song.
‘THE PANDORICA OPENS/THE BIG BANG’ is a story I am madly in love with, it is one that I will treasure for the rest of my life.