Your top three David Tennant Dr Who episodes?

Excluding Family of Blood and the one it goes together with–those are great episodes IMO but Tennant’s not actually being The Doctor through most of them IIRC.

I ask the question as a preamble to my showing someone a few episodes who has never seen any of the 9th, 10th or 11th Doctor episodes. We already watched a couple of 9th.

My hazy memories are leading me to The Impossible Planet and the one it’s together with, as well as The Girl in the Mirror. Are there others I should be considering instead?

“Silence in the Library” and “Forests of the Dead” are perhaps the best of the New Who episodes and have some great acting work by all involved; I’d follow them with the following episode, “Midnight”, where Tennant showed some truly amazing acting chops.

Or else just go with the last three episodes of Season 3 - the Master arc.

Can you remind me which one is “Midnight”? Is that the one with the lady who repeats everything he says?

ETA: Yes, yes it is. I loved that one! Thank you for reminding me of it.

And I think I’m inclined to go with Silence and Forests as well now that you’ve brought them back to mind.

The Waters of Mars? Or whatever it was called.

Beside some basic science absurdity, which is almost a requirement of any given Who episode, this one really drove home the idea that you can’t change history (which Who seems to ignore every other episode :slight_smile: ) and that sometime really tragic things just happen for no good reason and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.

I found watching for the second time, after knowing what happened the first time around and trying to think like a time traveller who can’t change a damn thing rather emotionally powerful. Damn, now I have something in my eye…

Well, I guess a little changed but still.

  1. Blink! Always Blink!
  2. The Shakespeare one with the witches (dooo be doo… off to google… aha! The Shakespeare Code! ahem.) is really good for the “goofy” end of things, and it has one of the feud between the Doctor and the Queen which was a subplot that I really liked. It’s fun as a not-so-scary entry to show that it’s not all horror and hiding behind the couch.

The Library duo are really good, but they’re more powerful if you’re more connected to the main characters by then. If you’re going for trying to hook someone in with blatant emotional manipulation, then The Girl in the Fireplace is better, IMO.

However, my personal vote for the last one is:

  1. Midnight. I am tempted to say that is my favorite scary episode of ANY season of Who, and that’s saying a lot. So really well done. Really really awesome and the acting is just phenomenal. Tennant really outdid himself there.

Girl in the Fireplace
The Waters of Mars

All of season four was just so great. I’m a big fan of giant ensemble team ups, so the season ending two parter (“The Stolen Earth” and “Journey’s End”) gets my vote. Even though I don’t like Daleks.

There are a few tough choices to make here.

I’d say Blink could be the top. Even though it’s “Doctor light” it’s still a phenominal concept and a very well executed story.

The Doctor’s Daughter is up there. I liked how they unravelled the mystery of the story. I am a little biased because this is my own daughter’s favorite, but it’s a good story.

I’m kind of stuck on #3. There are a lot of very good episodes out there, but if you told me to pick one ot watch right now, I’d have to go with Smith and Jones.

End of Time, Human Nature/Family of Blood, Planet of the Ood, and others are right up there, but I’ll stick with my three.

1. The Waters of Mars: Aside from what Billfish already said about the episode, I have to give special attention to the scene where the Doctor, having made his choice, walks away from the Mars colony, the sounds of the crew dying in his ears. Whoever put a light inside David Tennant’s helmet was a genius - the lighting hits his face in such a way that the Doctor looks more and more alien, until one person too many dies, and he falls to his knees, face lit to look like a scull. One of the best visuals I’ve ever seen on television.

2. Blink: In fifty years, Doctor Who has been scary exactly once. This is that once.

3. Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead.: I think these episode are the most perfect of the era - not the best, exactly, because WoM reached higher, but they get everything right. The library planet is a wonderfully whimsical, the Vashta Nerada are among the best ‘villains’ I’ve seen, the Doctor’s “A” plot is mysterious and tragic, Donna’s “B” story packs a great gut punch at the end … damn, I need to watch these episodes again.

Girl in the Fireplace - I think it shows the complexities of time travel. Each time he visits she’s several year older.

Tooth and Claw - I think represents the classic scary adventure D Who is known for. Werewolfs are always fun.

Fear Her is really good. Very intense story.

Blink is fantastic, but really includes the Doctor very little, so here’s my 3:

1 - Midnight: Just an overall outstanding episode and a very interesting look at the Doctor from a different perspective.

2 - Girl in the Fireplace: A refreshingly realistic look at the relationship of the Doctor with non-time-travelers, and a genuinely interesting story.

3 - The End of Time: Another time we really get to see the Doctor underneath the bubbly Tigger exterior, and just an overall great two episode finale.

I refuse to have Family of Blood waved off. Sure he is John Smith through much of it but it is Tennant’s best performance. And we get to see what a Time Lord is like when he gets really pissed.


I love Girl in the Fireplace. I actually don’t like Midnight at all, and won’t watch it on subsequent viewings.

Blink is awesome.

I’d have to think about three. I do love the one where he meets Donna for the first time, after she is whisked away from the wedding. I just love Tennant in that one.

With the family of blood pair of episodes, can you guys remind me–is he John Smith through the first episode or the second?

I’m starting to get the urge to just watch the whole series…

No time no time.

My top three are from the reboot’s fourth series: Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead and Turn Left (Episodes 08 and 09).

SitL/FotD: Donna’s conversation with Miss Evangelista’s communicator makes me sob every time I watch it. However, one needs to know something about the Doctor and how he (mis)-manages his relationships with his companions to be able to fully understand why he’s so shocked, and perhaps terrified, by what Dr. Song whispers in his ear.

Turn Left: The scene where Bernard Cribbins and Rocco Colasanto bid adieu and they both know–without having to say it–what’s in store for the Colasanto family is heartbreaking. Powerful acting, understated but amazingly rich dialog. But once again, one needs to know something about the show to understand how the Doctor inspires ordinary people such as Rose Tyler and Donna Noble to evolve into people who will commit the sacrifices they do in his name/for his cause.

For newbies, I recommend:
New Earth, the first regular episode of the reboot’s second series. A good introduction because Rose and the 10th Doctor are getting to know each other, so it will help newbs understand him. It brings back some characters from the previous season but there’s enough exposition to explain them. Also sets up some plot points for my third suggestion.

My second suggestion is a bit of a cheat as it’s a two-parter from the second series: The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit (Episodes 08 and 09). The ending of TSP is really weak, but there’s a great ensemble cast and the back-and-forth as to whether the Oods are harmless or a major threat had me seriously unnerved the first time I watched the episodes. The scene where part of a Kipling poem is quoted in tribute to a deceased character is very moving without being maudlin.

For my third suggestion, Grid Lock (Series 03, Episode 03), is an action-filled episode with humorous elements. Also shows that companions can act intelligently on their own. Also shows the Doctor starting to come to terms with the consequences of his actions in the Time War.

As a lagniappe, I really liked The Waters of Mars, from the fourth series.
Happy viewing!

Never tell the Doctor that there isn’t enough time!

Good point about the Family of Blood, Loach. That is such a strong ending and some great bits throughout.

I also think I have to go back and re-watch Girl In the Fireplace as well as Tooth and Claw. In fact, there appears to be quite a few that I need to go back and watch again.

Oh, Daleks! I messed up. SitL/FotD are the eighth and ninth episodes of Series 03 and TL is the eleventh.

As a post script, I like the Cybermen and episodes set in the past, so I really enjoyed The Next Doctor, the special that ran on 25 December, 2008 (in the UK). The dénoument left much to be desired, but overall, I enjoyed the episode.

The last scene from that episode is perhaps my favorite Doctor Who sequence. Watch it (major spoilers, of course). What how Tennant goes from amusement to interest to concern to abject terror within the course of maybe 30 seconds. It’s brilliant.