When I came up with the concept for this post a week ago, it was much broader. I thought it would be a brilliant idea to write a post ranking my five favorite concepts from Doctor Who. I thought this idea was brilliant until I sat down and actually considered what I was trying to do. First off, I am in the middle of watching my seventh season of Doctor Who, which means I have seen 81 episodes not to mention 4 specials. Beyond that there are twenty-six seasons of Doctor Who that ran from 1963 to 1989 that I haven’t even seen. With those two thoughts in mind I decided it was time to narrow down my search to a single Doctor. Luckily, when it comes down to picking a single Doctor to focus on there is no doubt in my mind which one to pick: the best one. So here it goes, my favorite five concepts from episodes featuring Doctor Who’s Tenth Doctor, David Tennant.
5. “The Girl in the Fireplace” (Series 2, Episode 4)
Concept: Time Windows- Not only did I find the concept behind this episode to be quite brilliant but it also lent itself nicely to yet another devastatingly amazing Doctor Who episode endings. The episode in question places the Doctor on a disabled ship with no sign of any crew. What the Doctor does find are time doors that take him back to the 18th century bedroom of Madame de Pompadour, known as Reinette (Sophia Myles). The episode focuses on the Doctor attempting to save Reinette from the clockwork men but the concept I want to highlight here are the time windows. The Doctor finds a number of different time windows, each one that leads to a different time in Reinette’s life. The Doctor is without control of when he can see Reinette or how much time has passed for Reinette when moving from window to window. SPOILER ALERT. This brings us to a devastating end of the episode in which the Doctor promises to take Reinette with him only to return through a time window to find that she has died in the six years since his last visit but it only seemed like moments for the Doctor.
4. “The Doctor’s Daughter.” (Series 4 Episode 6)
Concept: The Clone Wars- This entire paragraph is going to be one big spoiler because what I find to be fascinating about this episode is what the audience finds out at the very end of the episode. This episode brings the Doctor, Donna Noble and Martha Jones to the center of a battle between humans and a group of fish creatures called the Hoth on another planet. According to both sides the war has been going on for centuries, involving generation after generation of Hoth and humans. They are able to continue the lengthy battle because they have the ability to clones themselves. Towards the end of the episode, the Doctor figures out that the war had only been going on for seven days. The two sides have killed each other and cloned their ranks so many times that the war’s past had gotten confused and muddled, turning into war of mythical length and proportion.
3. “Silence in the Library” and “Forest of the Dead.” (Series 4 Episodes 8 and 9)
Concept: The Vashta Nerada The concept in these episodes that I really liked was the villain in the episodes, the villain that inspires the two-part episode’s line “count the shadows.” The villains are the Vashta Nerada, things that go bump in the night. The Vashta Nerada are generally found in forests, living in the shadows. They are carnivorous, minuscule creatures that group together and disguise themselves as shadows. This allows them to latch onto and hunt their prey. If you have two shadows, the Vashta Nerada have already marked you for death. These inventive creatures made for a great villain.
2. “Blink.” (Series 3 Episode 10)
Concept: The Weeping Angels- Believe it or not, it is only occurring to me now that the top three concepts on this list are actually villains (there’s a little hint about number one). The second best concept in all of David Tennant’s time as the Doctor is the Weeping Angels. One of the first episodes that does not focus on the Doctor, the Doctor and Martha must coach Sally Sparrow (Carey Mulligan) through her encounter with the Weeping Angels. Beings that the Doctor believes to be almost as old as the universe, the Angels are stuck in a quantum lock. Basically, the Weeping Angels can never be seen. Whenever somebody or something looks at an Angel, they must disguise themselves as stone statues. When not stone, so when nobody is looking at them, the angels are impossibly fast, incredibly strong and have the ability to transport a person through time with just a touch. The only way to combat them is to make sure that somebody is looking at them at all times. Don’t blink.
1. “Midnight.” (Series 4 Episode 10)
Concept: The Repeater- In this episode The Doctor and Donna are on the planet Midnight doing a little bit of sight seeing. Midnight is a planet with conditions such that no living creature can survive on the surface. Turned into a tourist attraction, Donna choses to spend a day at the Spa rather than accompanying the Doctor on a three hour train ride to a waterfall. On the way to the waterfall, the train is attacked by an unknown creature I have come to refer to as The Repeater. Somehow breaching the train, the Repeater takes over the body of a passenger named Sky Silvestry. Trapped on a train until helps arrives in an hour, unable to leave the car, the creature begins its attack. Beginning by having Sky’s body mimic the passengers movements, the Repeater went on to repeat what everybody was saying, locking onto the Doctor after a while. The time it takes for the Repeater to repeat the Doctor’s words shortens until suddenly, the Repeater is speaking before the Doctor. Somehow throwing words into the Doctor’s mouth, the Repeater remains in Sky and forces the Doctor to repeat whatever she says. Not only is this villain extremely terrifying, it is perfect for this episode, easily turing the train’s passengers against one another.