Greetings from the Odinson,
Launched in 1963, Doctor Who is the longest running science fiction television series in the history of the medium. Like James Bond, many different actors have taken on the mantle of the Doctor. Whether it was William Hartnell’s cantankerous and character-defining 1st Doctor, Peter Davison’s celery-sporting 5th Doctor, or the over-the-top, rainbow clad, volatile 6th Doctor portrayed by Colin Baker, every generation and every fan has their favorite Doctor. As a child of the late-seventies and early eighties watching syndicated episodes of the show on PBS on Saturday nights, the Odinson grew up with the marvelous Tom Baker and the sweeping scarf of the 4th Doctor. From the devastating Daleks and the cold, calculating Cybermen to the sinister Weeping Angels and the Moriarty-like Master, Doctor Who’s scary and diabolical Rogues Gallery is part of what makes the series so enjoyable.
Doctor Who ran uninterrupted for 26 seasons from 1963 to 1989. It had a resurgence in 1996. But the show really jumped over the moon in its current run of 2005 to Present. Christopher Eccleston’s 9th Doctor brought the character into the New Millennium with biting-wit and a wink that let everybody know that no matter how bad things may get, everything was going to be alright. David Tennant’s 10th Doctor, arguably the most popular incarnation of the character to date, took on the perils and danger of time travel with an unparalleled passion and his heart firmly pinned to his sleeve. For the Odinson, with much love given to Tom Baker and Tennant, his all-time favorite incarnation of the Doctor is, without a doubt, Matt Smith’s 11th Doctor, a bow tie clad imp who one second could be taking on the challenges of time travel with childlike wonder and on a dime turn into the most intimidating and capable hero the multiverse has ever seen.
Doctor Who has had a long and distinguished run and to try and talk about all the countless amazing moments in its history would be an act in futility. So I will just stick to the renaissance.
The Odinson’s Top 5 Doctor Who Moments of the New Millennium
5 – “Fair Enough.” – The 9th Doctor – Episode: “World War III!” – Picking up from the previous episode’s cliffhanger, the Slitheen, blobby aliens that use skin suits to walk amongst us, have revealed themselves and attack a group of influential government leaders. The Doctor alerts a team of armed guards of the plight. By time the Doctor and the guards return, the aliens have slithered back into their skin suits, appearing to be human and blame the deaths of the others on the Doctor. The Doctor pleas with the guards, saying that the high ranking government officials standing before them are in fact aliens in disguise. The Doctor, noticing the skepticism in a guard’s face, asks, “That’s never going to work, is it?” To which the guard replies, “No.” The Doctor simply says, “Fair enough,” and then just runs away. The absurdity of that moment has me in stitches every time I see it. It is, hands down, one the funniest moments in Doctor Who History.
4 – “I don’t want to go.” – The 10th Doctor – Episode: “The End of Time!” – After his much beloved run on the character, and an epic battle to save reality alongside his longtime nemesis, The Master, David Tennant’s 10th Doctor bid Adieu. During the final chapter, the 10th Doctor travels across time and space and says farewell to all his friends, allies and companions in a very poignant montage. The moment culminates in a signature Tennant driven emotional finale where the 10th Doctor, with tears in his eyes, simply says – “I don’t want to go.” It’s a beautiful moment that conveys all the love fans have for this legendary character and the love the creators of the show have for the fans.
3 – “Spoilers!” – The 10th Doctor – Episode: “Forrest of the Dead!” – In a moment of heroism, Professor River Song sacrifices herself to save the life of the Doctor. She tells him that if he were to die now, then they would have never met in her past. How does she know so much about the Doctor? This moment could make the list on the weight of its emotional content alone, but what really makes this an all-timer is the gravitas of the moment, the secret truth behind it as it would be revealed over the course of the next few years of Doctor Who episodes. Without giving too much away, Doctor Who and River Song have an epic and tragic love affair where throughout their history starting at the beginning point of this episode, he knows her more and she knows him less as their paths cross time and again moving forward into the future. Isn’t time-travel fun? The wonderful meaning of this moment will be made quite clear and all the more resonating as the series progresses and the viewers of the show witness their story unfold throughout the 11th Doctor’s run. “Spoilers!”
2 – “…there’s one thing you never put in a trap…” – The 11th Doctor – Episode: “The Time of Angels!” – The Weeping Angels, easily one of the Doctor’s most terrifying foes, have returned. These creatures are angelic statues, as long as one has eyes on them. But, the moment you blink or the lights go out, you’re dead. In this amazingly suspenseful episode, The Doctor, his companion, Amy Pond, River Song, and a small band of soldiers are trapped in a cave, surrounded by the approaching Angels, and the power to their only sources of light is quickly dying. With nowhere left to run and certain death literally moments away, the Weeping Angels make a tactical error. They taunt the Doctor with their impending victory and reveal that the last human under his protection died with fear. It’s in moments like this that the Doctor truly shines and the uncanny Time Lord responds to this no win situation by saying – “…there’s one thing you never put in a trap, if you’re smart, if you value your existence, if you have any plans about seeing tomorrow, there’s one thing you never ever put in a trap.” To which the Angels ask, “And what would that be?” And with all the confidence of a true hero, the Doctor says, “Me.” What happens next would be spoiling the fun, but let’s just say, the Doctor is true to his word.
1 – “Hello. I’m the Doctor. Basically, run.” – The 11th Doctor – Episode: “The Eleventh Hour!” – If I knew someone who knew nothing about Doctor Who and had never watched a single episode and they asked what one episode they could watch to make them a fan, this would be the episode I would show them. Matt Smith explodes into the role with all the boyish charm and brilliant comedic timing of a seasoned pro. We learn that there is a crack in the time stream, a mystery that would go on to play a major role in the run of the 11th Doctor. We are even introduced to Prisoner Zero, a sinister new dangerous and scary villain. As if that weren’t enough we are introduced to the beautiful and resourceful Amy Pond, the girl who waits, the brave and oft times silly Rory Williams, the Last Centurion, and the fact that bow ties are cool. But those are not the moments that make this entry number one on my list. No, it is as the Doctor stands, nonchalantly trying decide which tie to go with, he calls back the alien Atraxi fleet, which decided not to blow up the planet Earth. The Doctor tells the giant alien eye ball to take a good look at him. The Atraxi (and the audience) see in that moment the history of Doctor Who, and all the would-be alien conquerors that have threatened this world and met defeat at his hands flash by in an instant. In that moment, the Atraxi fleet realizes who it is that protects planet Earth and all of humanity. The Doctor simply says, “Hello. I’m the Doctor. Basically, run.” And they do. This is the moment for the Odinson that in a nutshell explains just what this show and the Doctor is. FANTASTIC!
Honorable Mention: The Day of the Doctor – Not only does this epic special bring together two of the most beloved Doctors in history – David Tennant’s 10th Doctor and Matt Smith’s 11th Doctor – and team them up with the “War Doctor,” the Doctor responsible for the guilt all Doctors share, but in one tremendously epic moment, the audience witnesses the team-up of every single incarnation of the Doctor from the past, present, and future! It’s a spectacular sight to behold.
From “Do the smart thing and let somebody else try first” to “You smell like fish” – there are so many great and wonderful moments from the history of this legendary show. These Top 5 moments above are the Odinson’s favorite Doctor Who moments of the New Millennium. What are yours? Geronimo!
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell