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My top ten:
1. Human Nature/The Family of Blood
2. Vincent and the Doctor
4. Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead
6. The God Complex
7. The Girl Who Waited
8. The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit
9. The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang
10. Turn Left
Just missing out: The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, Flatline.
1 month ago on Your Top 20 TV Stories of the Decade
Vincent, easily, always, forever.
1 month, 1 week ago on Revival Face-Off: Round #8
1 month, 1 week ago on Mark Gatiss Penning “Scary” Series 9 Episode
"Although the classic series was certainly not perfect, every story had to be about something, there was rarely any room for filler episodes."
I would strongly disagree with this sentiment.
1 month, 2 weeks ago on Why More Two-Parters Is A Good Thing
4 / 7 / 6 / 5. And that's a wrap.
Human Natures/The Family of Blood
Silence in the Library
Vincent and the Doctor
The Girl Who Waited
The classics of the New Series, for me. And...
5 Worst Episodes:
Nightmare in Silver (1/10)
Let's Kill Hitler (2/10)
Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS (2/10)
The Idiot's Lantern (2/10)
Voyage of the Damned (2/10)
1 month, 2 weeks ago on Rank the Revival: 2014 Part 4
Deep Breath - 7/10
Into the Dalek - 6/10
Robot of Sherwood - 3/10
Not really fussed about these three, especially the latest Gatiss Disappointment™. That said, ItD is the best Dalek story since the eponymous from Series 1. Which, granted, isn't saying much, but it's still something. DB is quite a good opening, with tons of good stuff for Clara. I have to give this episode credit for completely changing the way I thought of the character, and boosting her quite a lot in my esteem.
1 month, 3 weeks ago on Rank the Revival: 2014 Part 1
The only Tom Baker serials I give a 10 are The Deadly Assassin, Shada, and Warriors' Gate (the latter of which is the best). Season 18 is the best Tom series.
1 month, 3 weeks ago on Tom Baker: The Beginning, End and In-Between (Part 2)
The Name of the Doctor - 5/10
The Day of the Doctor - 7/10
The Time of the Doctor - 6/10
Time, at least, has improved in my estimation since first viewing it. It really is an encapsulation of the Matt Smith era, strengths and flaws and all.
I'm not a fan of proclaiming Day to be the best episode/story of all time. For me, it really isn't - a competent anniversary special, but not a favorite by any stretch of the term.
1 month, 3 weeks ago on Rank the Revival: 2013 Part 3
Hide - 8/10
Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS - 2/10
The Crimson Horror - 7/10
Nightmare in Silver - 1/10
1 month, 3 weeks ago on Rank the Revival: 2013 Part 2
The Bells of Saint John - 6/10
The Rings of Akhaten - 8/10
Cold War - 5/10
tBoSJ is a pleasant, if mostly empty 45 minutes (although I do have nostalgic value as it's the first episode I watched live); tRoA is great, albeit saddled with a couple plot problems; and CW is just bland.
1 month, 4 weeks ago on Rank the Revival: 2013 Part 1
My two favorite Doctors will always be the Seventh and Eighth. My least favorite is the Fifth Doctor, but that's besides the point - I adore Seven and Eight, my Wilderness Doctors.
1 month, 4 weeks ago on The Doctor Division
The Power of Three - 8/10
The Angels Take Manhattan - 6/10
The Snowmen - 4/10
tPoT's only flaw is the dreadfully rushed ending; tATM is a fair send-off for the Ponds, if one I have a few qualms with; and tS is just poor. A messily plotted Xmas special that brings back the Paternoster Gang (eurgh), saved largely from utter dreadfulness by the strength of Jenna Coleman's performance.
tPoT is second in my ranking of Series 7 episodes. Yeah, not a fan of this series.
1 month, 4 weeks ago on Rank the Revival: 2012 Part 2
Asylum of the Daleks - 4/10
Dinosaurs on a Spaceship - 6/10
A Town Called Mercy - 5/10
Not the most auspicious start to what is most definitely the weakest series.
2 months ago on Rank the Revival: 2012 Part 1
@JMorty For me it's Human Nature/The Family of Blood, Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead, Midnight, and Vincent and the Doctor. Series 3-5 is the highest quality run of the New Series, so far. In Doctor Who history, only really rivaled by Season 24-26 and some NAs and EDAs.
2 months ago on Rank the Revival: 2010-2011 Recap
Since I wasn't here for Series 5...
The Eleventh Hour - 8/10
The Beast Below - 6/10
Victory of the Daleks - 3/10
The Time of Angels - 8/10
Flesh and Stone - 7/10
The Vampires of Venice - 4/10
Amy's Choice - 7/10
The Hungry Earth - 4/10
Cold Blood - 2/10
Vincent and the Doctor - 10/10
The Lodger - 6/10
The Pandorica Opens - 8/10
The Big Bang - 9/10
A Christmas Carol - 7/10
Containing the strongest Moffat finale, the best episode of the Moffat era (VatD), and the best Moffat opener. Also one of the worst two parters in Chibnall's Silurian reinvention, and one of the most watchable (note: not one of the best) in the Weeping Angels extravaganza. Whithouse fails to impress here, with a pretty bland portrayal of Venice, only to redeem himself come 2011 with TGC. Gatiss, again, turns out a poor script. Two harmless pieces of filler in TBB (which admittedly has some great scenes for Amy) and TL (which is good physical comedy but rather pleasantly boring at times). ACC is the best Moffat Xmas special, good but no masterpiece.
"And Peter Capaldi! God, I fancy him so much." Don't we all, Faye, don't we all.
2 months ago on Faye Marsay: There’s Been No talk of Shona Returning
The Girl Who Waited - 10/10
The God Complex - 9/10
Closing Time - 6/10
The Wedding of River Song - 5/10
The Doctor, the Widow, and the Wardrobe - 3/10
TGWW is the true masterpiece of Series 6 that justifies its sloppy existence.
2 months ago on Rank the Revival: 2011 Part 3
@Malohkeh, not a member of any acronyms @Iris Wildthyme Yes, I dropped in on New New Hollywood in the year 3540. Got cast in the tenth remake of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
2 months ago on Rank the Revival: 2011 Part 2
Back after vacation! I've missed a lot, haven't I?
The Rebel Flesh - 4/10
The Almost People - 3/10
A Good Man Goes to War - 5/10
Let's Kill Hitler - 2/10
Night Terrors - 3/10
Midnight - 10/10
Turn Left - 9/10
The Stolen Earth - 7/10
Journey's End - 7/10
The Next Doctor - 5/10
Two out-and-out masterpieces (Turn Left manages to make countless continuity references not feel, y'know, obnoxious), followed by a lovely finale, followed by yet another blah Xmas special. But wow, the stretch of Series 4 from tUatW - TL is astounding in terms of overall quality.
2 months, 1 week ago on Rank the Revival: 2008 Part 3
The Doctor's Daughter - 3
The Unicorn and the Wasp - 8
Silence in the Library - 10
Forest of the Dead - 9
This is where we really hit the good stuff, after one last poor bit. TDD is bland, forgettable mush featuring a couple great scenes for Ten; tUatW is Roberts' best script for the show and one of the most watchable episodes ever; and SitL/FotD is, in my opinion, Moffat's true masterpiece.
2 months, 1 week ago on Rank the Revival: 2008 Part 2
Oops, small mistake - the scores for the Sontaran two-parter should be switched.
2 months, 1 week ago on Rank the Revival: 2008 Part 1
Partners in Crime - 6
The Fires of Pompeii - 8
Planet of the Ood - 7
The Sontaran Stratagem - 5
The Poison Sky - 6
Definitely the weaker end of Series 4. Fires is the clear standout, an episode that goes from strength to strength; the Sontaran two-parter is really mostly inoffensive, an action runaround that isn't quite my cup of tea. Doesn't help that I actively dislike the Sontarans.
@ElyotWren @Iris Wildthyme Er... I was just making a joke? I think it's safe to assume that anyone using the "royal We" is doing so in a joking manner. Obviously people are going to have different opinions from my own.
2 months, 1 week ago on Rank the Revival: 2007 Part 3
Blink - 8/10
Utopia - 8/10
The Sound of Drums - 8/10
Last of the Time Lords - 7/10
Voyage of the Damned - 2/10
Some very strong episodes here, and then one really just dreadful Christmas special. Blink is Moffat's 3rd best under RTD; Utopia and The Sound of Drums form a pair of immensely good setup episodes; Last of the Time Lords lets it down a bit with a pretty bogus conclusion, but does excellently with the lovely Martha; and we do not speak of Voyage of the Damned. The 5-episode run from Human Nature to The Sound of Drums is probably one of the strongest consecutive runs for the New Series (certainly of what we've ranked so far).
I'll do averages and bits and bobs when the catch-up polls are posted tomorrow.
@YaelMoise @Iris Wildthyme I just don't think there's a single one in S1-8 that compares in terms of drama, threat, acting, or overall production aesthetic. HN/TFoB breathes its atmosphere - the tension of John Smith's own personal dilemma is mirrored in the upcoming atrocity of the First World War. The sense of dread that permeates the whole thing is gorgeously realized; a personal favorite interpretation is the twisting of the scarecrow into a monster, a direct comparison with how the War will take these schoolboys and make them unrecognizable.
It's a showcase piece for what Doctor Who can do, it gives the Doctor a romance that's thematically relevant, and it manages to give fascinating insight into this Doctor's psyche. And Martha's absolutely wonderful (and better suited for this story than Benny IMO).
2 months, 2 weeks ago on Rank the Revival: 2007 Part 2
The Lazarus Experiment - 4/10
42 - 6/10
Human Nature - 10/10
The Family of Blood - 10/10
Two mostly whatever stories followed by the best two-parter of the revived series, bar none. An out and out classic. Also my first 10/10 of the revived series.
Smith and Jones - 8/10
The Shakespeare Code - 3/10
Gridlock - 6/10
Daleks in Manhattan - 5/10
Evolution of the Daleks - 2/10
Overall, not the best start to what's actually quite a good series. SaJ is an amazing opener, packed with confidence and character detail; TSC is a really, properly awful story; Gridlock is mostly plotless but full of great moments; and the Dalek two-parter is commendable for trying something new, yet ultimately failing in execution. Love to see a Raynor one-parter.
2 months, 2 weeks ago on Rank the Revival: 2007 Part 1
Discounting The Runaway Bride, as that's part of Series 3...
Overall Average: 6.3/10
Series One Average: 6.7/10
Series Two Average: 5.9/10
Highest Ranked Episode(s): The Empty Child & The Impossible Planet (9/10)
Lowest Ranked Episode(s): The Idiot's Lantern (2/10)
Most Common Score: 6/10 (6), 7/10 (6), 8/10 (6)
Comments: Quite the disparity between S1 and S2, then. That's probably down to the several outright clunkers in S2 being considerably worse than anything coughed up by S1 (World War Three, The Long Game).
2 months, 2 weeks ago on Rank the Revival: 2005-2006 Recap
Doctor Who's bread and butter is whimsy. Even at its most "dark" (a word I take a good deal of issue with) last series, Who was rife with fantastic elements you can't get pretty much anywhere else.
I very much agree when it comes to those complaining about "childish" elements of the show. Heaven forbid a television show with a sizable child audience attempt to provide material for a specific age group!
2 months, 2 weeks ago on Why Series 8 Needed Child-Friendly Episodes & Moments
Love & Monsters - 7
Fear Her - 3
Army of Ghosts - 6
Doomsday - 8
The Runaway Bride - 6
I don't outright despise any of the episodes here. The only one I dislike is Fear Her, mainly for being a very pedestrian story with little new to offer it. Also featuring one of the most dreadful scenes of all time (Doctor and the Olympic Torch) and yet another earthbound setting.
Love & Monsters is an amazing feat of storytelling let down by a really, really bad act three. I hover between 6 and 7 with this one. AoG/D is a decent finale, and TRB is a decent Christmas special featuring my favorite companion of the revival ("Santa's a robot!").
2 months, 2 weeks ago on Rank the Revival: 2006 Part 3
Rise of the Cybermen - 7
The Age of Steel - 6
The idiot's Lantern - 2
The Impossible Planet - 9
The Satan Pit - 8
Mixed bunch here. Gatiss continues to do poorly, as (spoiler!) he will for almost the entire new series. the two two-parters have their strengths and weaknesses, with TIP/TSP being far superior. Kudos to RotC/TAoS for telling a compelling Cybermen story, which is quite a feat considering how bland they tend to be.
2 months, 2 weeks ago on Rank the Revival: 2006 Part 2
Of course, the Bechdel test is by no means meant to be the be-all and end-all of discussing media from an intersectional feminist viewpoint. It's more a means of starting a conversation about representation, and an easy method of listing stats that can then be analyzed alongside the storyline.
That said, I'm glad to see these stats properly represented, and all together (with some wonderful graphics as well!). While I have my problems with Moffat's writing, more often than not I enjoy it.
The one thing about LGBT representation occurring via Vastra and Jenny that I have qualms with is that the relationship seems built on an inherent power dynamic - Vastra is the mistress, and Jenny is the maid. If the Paternosters return (which they, unfortunately, probably will be), I hope this is addressed, because their relationship seems built on a central unequal distribution of power.
2 months, 2 weeks ago on How Often Does Doctor Who Pass The Bechdel Test?
New Earth - 3/10
Tooth and Claw - 7/10
School Reunion - 6/10
The Girl in the Fireplace - 4/10
Not a great start for Series 2. The Girl in the Fireplace's popularity has always been inexplicable to me, as the only RTD-era Moffat story I actively dislike. School Reunion is wholly bad save the truly exemplary performances by Sladen and Tennant. The less said about New Earth, the better; and while the Doctor and Rose's irreverence during TaC seems to nag at a lot of people, the whole pastiche of the werewolf tale was a lovely change of pace.
2 months, 2 weeks ago on Rank the Revival: 2006 Part 1
@The Screwdriver @Iris Wildthyme Thanks for the hearty laugh, mate. I'm a cis guy, actually, but regardless of that I think it's interesting that you're blaming "the progressives" for everything under the sun when Doctor Who has been a largely progressive program for its 51 years of existence. The show is explicitly about change, and how change is for the better, so that it's attracted such a disastrously conservative fanbase makes me chuckle.
Also, re: your point at the beginning. That's not bias. That's sexism.
2 months, 2 weeks ago on Steven Moffat: The Good, The Bad and the Timey Wimey
Boom Town - 6/10
Bad Wolf - 8/10
The Parting of the Ways - 8/10
The Christmas Invasion - 7/10
A decent batch of stories, though not with any I consider very close to my heart. As a single unit of a finale, this is RTD's best series-ending two-parter, and his best Christmas special by a mile, even though it's nothing to write home about.
2 months, 2 weeks ago on Rank the Revival: 2005 Part 3
Dalek - 7/10
The Long Game - 5/10
Father's Day - 6/10
The Empty Child - 9/10
The Doctor Dances - 8/10
The most NA-ish bunch of stories you could ask for. Nothing outright terrible (Father's Day has aged awfully though), and then you get to The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, the showpiece of the first series. Dalek, while good, never reaches the nightmarishly twisted depravity of Jubilee which I adored so much.
2 months, 2 weeks ago on Rank the Revival: 2005 Part 2
Rose - 7/10
The End of the World - 8/10
The Unquiet Dead - 5/10
Aliens of London - 6/10
World War Three - 4/10
Two good episodes followed by three mediocre ones.
2 months, 3 weeks ago on Rank the Revival: 2005 Part 1
@Malohkeh, not a member of any acronyms @Iris Wildthyme For sure. Can you imagine a show led by Alex Kingston, Katy Manning, and Lisa Bowerman? I'd probably watch that more than Doctor Who.
2 months, 3 weeks ago on Steven Moffat: The Good, The Bad and the Timey Wimey
@Malohkeh, not a member of any acronyms The ultimate nightmare scenario. But oh, how I long for an episode co-written by Paul Magrs, Paul Cornell, and Steven Moffat, featuring Iris, River Song, and Benny all together.
...Oh god, they'd also probably do the same with Bernice Summerfield, wouldn't they?
Ugh, did this article really have to go off on a tangent about the gender of the Master and the Doctor? "Political correctness", indeed - the Master and the Doctor come from an alien race (alien as in not necessarily conforming to human expectations of gender). And what about the Doctor necessitates that he's a male, excepting casting processes in the 60s? Nothing about the Doctor's character (literally nothing) would have to change in order to make the next regeneration a woman.
For another thing, Doctor Who has always been science fantasy. Complaining that Doctor Who isn't believable enough is rather pointless, in my opinion. And you seem to be conflating fairytales with childishness when, in fact, you can write fantasy for adults. Also, how is fish fingers and custard difficult to suspend your disbelief for?! The Doctor regrew a hand in seconds during The Christmas Invasion! Good grief.
Not to mention that a sizable portion of the audience is, in fact, children, so writing the occasional episode (and, in the list you provided, exactly 1 was actually written by Moffat) to "pander" to them makes a great deal of sense IMO.
I'm also in agreement with those below refuting your claims of the genericness of Moffat women and your description of Moffat as vain. For a man running one of the most successful science fiction shows ever, I'd say he's pretty darn humble.
The one thing I really care about for Series 9 is the bringing in of new talent. Part of the reason why I liked Series 8 so much was its inclusion of three writers new to the program, and a variety of directors new to Who as well. I'd love if something like 2 or 3 new writers and 3 or more new directors are hired per series - really open up Doctor Who to lots of voices and ideas. The series, after all, survives on change.
I also wish that Gatiss and Thompson weren't penning scripts, but it's all but inevitable for the both of them. Oh, and no Daleks. I long for a Dalek-free series of New Who.
3 months, 3 weeks ago on 7 Things I’d Like to See in Series 9
Waiting for the inevitable finger-pointing, insisting that this heralds the end of the show. Moffat must go, etc etc.
4 months ago on Christmas Day 2014 Ratings Top 10
I went for 6/10. A very competent, very fair episode.
Jenna and Peter were wonderful; glad to see Clara's continuing.
4 months ago on Rate & Discuss Last Christmas
@nancy_nicolai That was one of the Clara echoes. That version of Clara was a Gallifreyan; our Clara, as we know, is an ordinary girl.
Fantastic article, Connor. I agree completely. Bravo.
4 months ago on Female Doctor Poll Results & A Case For
While I'd adore for Clara to stay on as a companion, I would really rather not have the plot arc (or even her central character arc) be about answering all of the supposed questions we have about her. I'd love to see an emotion-driven arc where Clara becomes a full-time traveler on the TARDIS, and begins recklessly throwing herself into deadly events because of the trauma of losing Danny. So if there must be a mystery, please don't make it entirely about Clara. She deserves to be more than a question mark.
4 months, 3 weeks ago on 5 Reasons Why Clara Should Stay for Series 9
@SeanBennion Check out Big Finish's The Lost Stories range. You'll be pleasantly surprised for a lot of them.
5 months ago on Writers to Bring Back for Series 9 & Beyond
@TheOncomingHurricane Should have put that I want him to write more. His episodes (despite how horribly Father's Day has aged) are great.
Really not a fan of this series, as I think its characterization of Eight is really quite dire - Eight is at his best when he's having fun, and these box sets don't ever sound like he is. Overall, I'd rate the box at 5/10, with TDOH at 6/10, TR at 4.5/10, M at 5.5/10, and RotE at 4/10. These stories aren't fun to listen to - they feel like a slog through the usual attempts to do "epic" and really, really failing. None of the guest characters are engaging; the villains (the Eminence, the Master) aren't exciting; and I don't get to listen to any vestige of the Eight I love. Looking forward to something post-Dark Eyes.
5 months ago on Dark Eyes 3 Review