I’ve been watching a lot of Doctor Who clips on YouTube recently. Not of this year’s, or even last year’s, episodes, but of the ‘old’ New Whos. Makes me a little nostalgic. But then it occurred to me how many I know very little actually of – you could give me a name, and I could guess, but I’d not have half the plot from the top of my head.
So, I put a little thought together and created my top ten (in ascending order) of New Who episodes I want to watch again.
Of course, I’m omitting my favourite episodes, which I’d rewatch without saying – such as The Unicorn and the Wasp or Blink or Turn Left; these mentioned are episodes that I dismissed on first encountering them, but am tempted to give a second chance, going by concept and hook. I’m using criteria of curiosity, stickability, and general possibly-good plot, and most are Eleven episodes, as those are the ones that haven’t stuck in my mind and I could do with going back simply to remember how I experienced them at the beginning.
Oddly, episodes like The Crimson Horror or Deep Breath don’t feature, possibly because I don’t feel I need to watch them again to appreciate them. So, whilst some episodes aren’t here because I didn’t like them, others are missing because I did like them. Somewhat.
And, yes, I’ve counted two-parters as one episode here. Those are noted, but having two parts changes nothing about the way I experience them.
Stick around, Pond.
- Victory of the Daleks
Don’t shoot me! It was a poor episode, and it barely makes it onto the list anyway, but these historical figure episodes slip from my mind (I remember Let’s Kill Hitler, but, boy, I wish I didn’t) as if the Silence were involved, and I’d like to revisit them to experience them again to re-experience the plots. Let’s face it, there have been worse.
- The Impossible Astronaut (two episodes)
Speaking of the Silence… I’m not actually sure what happened in this/these episode(s). I should expect to see tally marks on my arms soon. Uhh… But it was good, yeah? Also, River rather shines in this one, even if Amy is pretty weak and mopey. #OhAmy
- The Girl Who Waited
For #8, I had to go through the list of episodes to encounter ones that I remember going “ooh, that was pretty cool” but have actually all but forgotten now. Out of several, I settled on The Girl Who Waited, because of the use of dual timelines that so reminds me of my own novel. From as much as I can remember, it has plagues, sterile white rooms, and is Doctor-lite. I do have a fondness for Doctor-lite episodes, which is bizarre, seeing as I’m watching a programme about the time-travelling alien.
- The Big Bang 2 (two episodes)
I know more of this plot than I would were it not my favourite Chameleon Circuit song, but it still leaves me perplexed. What actually happened? Why is Mini!Pond involved? How did all of The Doctor’s enemies managed to gang up on him? It wasn’t a great episode, but it’s one that I’d watch again to understand what was quite a clever plot, in terms of complexity.
- The Time of Angels (two episodes)
There aren’t many Amy episodes that I actually like, but this one was rather clever. The Weeping Angels were great in Blink, so it was nice to see them return here (even if they became overdone in The Angels Take Manhattan). But this episode, I believe, introduced the concept of the angels taking possession of one’s body through gaze, which I thought was an interesting addition to bring the plot forward.
- Nightmare in Silver
I remember thinking this one was pretty good when I first watched it – it’s built mostly on characters, but the setting was pretty nifty, too. Another one I can’t remember much about, but the clips I’ve been seeing on YouTube – Mr. Clever and their interaction inside The Doctor’s head – make me want to watch it again.
- The Rebel Flesh (two episodes)
I kept missing the beginning of this one whenever it was on TV, so I always get confused at The Doctor’s “I wanted to check out the signal to the flesh“ at the end and the whole Amy-has-been-a-ganger storyline, which I don’t know was ever explained properly in the series. In addition, I liked the whole consideration of ethics and whether the Gangers were people. They’re pretty creepy monsters, too.
- The Christmas Invasion
I could always rewatch this one, but it’s never made it into my favourites. The dialogue is great, and, despite not being conscious for most of the episode, Ten’s experiences provides a spark of colour and excitement that no one else could. Yet, the Tylers and Mickey give credit to humankind – whilst Harriet Jones shows her darker side of power. This episode is fun, but it has touches of morality that a lot of Eleven and Twelve’s episodes have had.
Don’t you just want to go back to the beginning? There are so many feels in this episode, but there is also a great storyline, character— and a light-heartedness that I feel we lost in Eleven’s puppy moments. Plus, Rose comes into her own right away – she doesn’t think much of herself, but still manages to help The Doctor with the skills she has.
- New Earth
I saw a clip of this on YouTube and it triggered that I didn’t know much of the plot, despite knowing I’d liked that episode when I first saw it. I’d forgotten how much I liked this episode – the classic Ten-and-Rose days. There are so many great one-liners, especially from Cassandra in Rose’s body, and the acting is, again, so much fun. How could you not like New Earth? 😀
Tell me, are there any episodes with which you’d go through that first-time experience again?