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10 Must-Watch Episodes of Doctor Who
Doctor Who is one of the longest running shows of all time with 36 seasons created over the span of half a century. It still has a huge fan base of old and new fans alike and it is not hard to see why. Doctor Who can be funny, poignant, and dark all at once. Nothing is like watching an awkwardly charismatic Time Lord travel through time and space with his companions to save lives and even entire planets.
But Doctor Who has had some bad episodes. Episodes like "Sleep No More" and "The Rebel Flesh" are more misses than hits. But here are 10 must-watch episodes.
These are certainly not the only 10 must-watch episodes of Doctor Who and they are all from Christopher Eccleston and later because unfortunately I have not had the privilege to see the original episodes. But here are 10 fantastic episodes from the new series.
The Empty Child & The Doctor Dances
With Christopher Eccleston, the most underrated Doctor in my opinion, this part episode takes place in the London Blitz, where a scared boy with a gas mask is traveling around asking for his mummy. Unfortunately he also appears to have psychic abilities, super strength, and the ability to turn everyone he touches exactly like him.
I tried to not add too many 2-parters to this list, but I couldn't help but add this one. it introduces Captain Jack Harkness, a charismatic con man who's funny and flirtatious, and the flirting between Rose and the Doctor is great. It's funny and dark at the same time and it's two episodes of fun and suspense. Definitely a must-watch.
The Doctor and Rose find themselves on TV. The Doctor's in a reality show and Rose on a gameshow. However, these shows will kill you if you lose. But when they find out Bad Wolf Productions run the shows, they are sure they aren't there by pure chance.
It's almost like the Hunger Games before the Hunger Games was a thing. Almost. However, despite being set hundreds of years in the future, it says a lot about our society today without being too preachy. Bad Wolf has some great comic relief from Captain Jack Harkness as well as the Doctor showing how much he cares about Rose. For those wanting to watch more episodes with Christopher Eccleston, this is a can't-miss episode.
How could I make this list without including "Blink"? One of the scariest episodes on Doctor Who with one of the most genius villains ever created, "Blink" is the perfect episode to watch when you need a Doctor Who fix and also when you want to introduce Doctor Who to someone.
This episode is all about Sally Sparrow, a woman who ends up in the middle of weeping angels, statues that can only move when you look away. When you do look away, they throw you back in time and consume the energy you would have consumed in the present. They're terrifying and brilliant at the same time.
Don't blink. Blink and you're dead.
Trust me, you're going to love this episode.
Voyage of the Damned
The Doctor finds himself on the Titanic, a futuristic cruise ship orbiting around the Earth. But it quickly becomes clear that this Titanic will go the way of its namesake due to sabotage.
This episode is one of my favorites with David Tennant. It has a whole cast of amazing characters as well as all the fun adventure Doctor Who usually has. It features Astrid, a waitress who wanted to see the universe. She's one of my favorite characters because despite all of the crazy things happening and being totally out of her element, she keeps her cool and always does the right thing.
There's also a great I-am-Jesus moment with the Doctor which makes me smile every time. However, this episode also reminds us that for all the Doctor's power, he is not god and he cannot save everyone.
The Doctor's Daughter
When the Doctor, Donna, and Martha travel to distant planet Messaline where the residents are stuck in an endless war. But due to the generation machines the residents use to churn out new soldiers, the Doctor finds himself facing a much bigger problem than war: fatherhood. After the residents use some of his DNA in a generation machine, the machine creates the Doctor's Daughter, Jenny. But can the Doctor accept having a born soldier for a daughter?
I like this episode a lot because it shows some of the Doctor's own flaws and hypocrisies. It also gives some pretty good social commentary on war. It's a good episode all the way around and I wish they had done more Jenny's character.
What really makes this a must-watch episode, though, is the behind-the-scenes bit. The actor who plays the Doctor's daughter, Georgia Moffet is Peter Davidson's daughter. Peter Davidson is the fifth Doctor, so the Doctor's daughter is really the Doctor's daughter. To make things even more confusing, Georgia Moffet married David Tenant. So the Doctor's daughter ended up marrying the Doctor. So everything is a little timey wimey even in real life. But that trivia makes this episode even more fun to watch.
The Doctor, Amy, and Rory find themselves stuck between two worlds. According to a mysterious Dream Lord, one world is real and the other is a dream. They face a deadly battle in both worlds and need to choose which battle to lose. If they choose wrong, they die, but if they choose right, they end the dream world and survive in the reality. In one world, Amy and Rory married. They left the Doctor behind years ago. In the other, Amy and Rory are still with the Doctor on the TARDIS. Rory likes the world where he and Amy are married while the Doctor wants them on the TARDIS with him. Choosing which world to live comes down to Amy's choice.
I really like this episode for a number of reasons. We see the Doctor's darker side, which is always fascinating. The plot twist at the end caught me by surprise, too. But what really makes this episode a must-watch is it's one of the first time we see how much Amy loves Rory. Rory's love and devotion for Amy is clear from the beginning, but Amy doesn't let her emotions show as much. But in "Amy's Choice", she does. For the first time, we see how much she loves Rory.
There's a house on Aickman road. People go to the second floor but never come down. The Doctor wants to figure out why. To do that, he must pass himself off as an ordinary human to avoid suspicion. The only problem is, he's not quite sure how to do that.
This episode is hilarious! The Doctor pretending to be normal is entertaining, especially as he fails more often than not. There's also a great love story between the Doctor's new flatmate, Greg and his friend Sophie that is sweet and slightly sappy. The only thing wrong with this episode is the fact that the Doctor is knowledgeable in customs and cultures of millions of places across the universe. He also considers himself the Earth's protector and can tell the age of a garden shed by licking it (he did it ) and yet he can't remember basic Earth culture or saying he learned to cook in the nineteenth century is a bit weird in the twenty-first century. But I suppose that's necessary for this episode. As long as you can overlook that flaw, it is a lot of fun to watch.
Which of these Episodes Do You Like?
A Christmas Carol
Amy and Rory are stuck in a ship that is about to crash on a planet. They along with the other 4,000 people on board will die. Unless the Doctor can convince one selfish, grumpy old man who can control the weather to let them pass safely. To do that he must be the ghost of Christmas past, present, and future to change the man's mind.
This episode is one of my favorites ever. It's well written and it makes me cry every time I watch it. But it is also hilarious. This episode is quintessential Matt Smith as the Doctor. You even find out why bowties are cool.
Of course, this episode breaks practically every rule about time travel ever established in Doctor Who but if you can ignore that nitpicky detail, this episode is definitely a must-watch.
Day of the Doctor
For the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, David Tennant returns as the Doctor as he, Matt Smith, and the War Doctor-- played by John Hurt-- get thrown together to stop a Zygon invasion. During this time the War Doctor also must decide whether or not he will blow up Gallifrey, a decision the Doctor regrets for hundreds of years.
Matt Smith, John Hurt, and David Tennant bickering is so much fun. This is hands down my favorite Doctor Who episode that I've watched so far. The three Doctors work together really well once they sort out their differences and this episode finally shows what happened to Gallifrey. Despite covering possible genocide, this episode is light, funny, and a lot of fun.
The Husbands of River Song
The Doctor meets River Song again. Except this time she doesn't recognize his face. The Doctor sees firsthand what River is like when he's not there. And apparently she's married everyone on the planet, including a warlord with a diamond in his head that she wants.
I don't like many episodes with Peter Capaldi. His character was all over the place, especially in season 8. But this episode is really funny. It shows River Song in her prime, where she's confident, clever, and a little bit psychopathic. This episode is definitely a must-watch.
Any must-watch episodes I've missed? What are your favorite episodes of Doctor Who?