“There’s no one to turn to. Because who’s gonna believe the things you see out of the corner of your eye? No one. Except me.”
The 10th Doctor, Fear Her
Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey…
Yes my first list is already off to a great start, it started as “Top Ten Doctor Who Moments” but that was to broad. So it became “Top Ten New Who Moments” but nope, brain wasn’t having any of it, I’m amazed I was even able to settle on David Tennant’s Doctor. Even then my brain was like “ah, but, technically, he was the 10th and 11th Doctors (on-screen order, 11th & 12th regeneration order), so maybe we can split it again?” Yeh, my brains a dick.
So this will be a list of my favourite moments of David Tennant’s Doctor (whatever number you want to bloody call him/them), from his first appearance in The Parting of the Ways in 2005 to The Day of the Doctor in 2013.
David Tennant’s Doctor I think we can all agree, was fantastic. For a new generation of Whovians he will be remembered as fondly as Tom Baker is for the last generation. He was funny, witty, a dream to watch in action and had a hidden darker depth that raised its head once in a while. For me David Tennant is up there with the best at being the renegade Time Lord from Gallifrey. And don’t worry David, I didn’t want you to go either.
As always all things listed here are opinions, my list may differ to yours and that’s ok.
10. No Second Chances – The Christmas Invasion, 2005
To start us off is the 10th Doctor’s first appearance, Christmas day was always going to be a tough gig for a new Doctor. Not only did they kill your best friend, but they replaced him with a younger, more attractive, Scottish man. I mean just look it him, all skin and bone with a great smile and eyes you could just lose yourself in… *clears throat* anyway, moving on.
But in all seriousness this scene, and the episode in general, cemented David Tennant in my heart as a brilliant Doctor. From quoting the Lion King to an alien overlord to needing a cuppa to get started (“he’s just like me, I will love him forever” – Me, not me, totally me), he owned the show and this final scene where we see that he’s a Doctor that is all for giving someone a chance, but only one.
As a bonus, the 10th Doctor’s entrance just before the fight scene above is amazing (I’ve already broken the rules of the lists dammit).
9. Don’t Blink – Blink, 2007
Yes even when The Doctor isn’t the main character of the episode he still somehow manages to steal the show. In the above scene The Doctor, who is in 1969, is talking to Sally Sparrow, who is in 2007, while he reads from a transcript that is being written as Sally watches the video and The Doctor himself will not get until some time later, which is his past but in the future. Yeh, it’s quite easy to see why this episode came up with the famous phrase “Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey”.
When I first watched Blink back in 2007 and saw Steven Moffat’s name in the opening credits I thought “This should be good, his other episodes have been brilliant” and I wasn’t wrong (however, we all know how it turned out when he got Gordon Brown Syndrome).
This episode was scary, funny and metaphysically interesting as all good Doctor Who episodes should be.
8. I Never Stopped Running – The Sound of Drums, 2007
The Finale of Series 3 of New Who was a special one for me, I may have grown up in the “Dark Times” when we had no Doctor but I quickly became a fan, watching the repeats on the weekends and lamenting why it had to end. But when they brought back The Master for this Finale I was so excited.
This scene in particular though is the one that stands out for me in The Sound of Drums because it is the first time we actually see the planet Gallifrey on-screen since New Who started and we learn something new about Time Lord culture and The Master himself.
But of course what makes this brilliant is the reiteration that The Doctor runs (maybe that should’ve been rule 1?). Yes our renegade Time Lord saw into the heart of the Untempered Schism and never stopped running, and thank God he didn’t.
I don’t think you’ll find this on a lot of people’s lists but what I have always loved about New Who (Before the 50th at least) is the moments when The Doctor looks back at Gallifrey. The longing, the heartache and the fondness he shows for his own people makes us feel really, depressingly sorry for The Doctor, until this…
I couldn’t find an actual video but after the above scene (btw, I love Wilf) The Master contacts The Doctor informing him (essentially) that the Time Lords are coming back. At which point The Doctor grabs Wilf’s gun, knowing he will probably need it. I guess history can be all sunshine and roses when you’re the only one left to write it.
7. The Doctor And Donna Reunited – Partners in Crime, 2008
Ah Donna Noble, my favourite Tennant companion by far (if only because she didn’t want to shag him, looking at you Barrowman) but they had so many great moments together it was almost impossible to choose from them. So I opted for their first on-screen appearance together since The Runaway Bride in 2006.
Donna has regretted her decision not to travel with The Doctor since he left on Christmas day in 2006 and has been searching for him ever since. They are reunited by accident as both of them are separately investigating Adipose Industries. Long story short, people’s fat is getting up and walking away. Short story long, The 10th Doctor is about to have his best series and quite possibly the best series of New Who to date.
6. The Death Of The Master – The Last of the Time Lords, 2007
Yes, two of my top moments (technically) come from the same Finale back in 2007. The Master having taken over the world and preparing to dominate the universe using planet Earth as a warship, is defeated by the power of togetherness (and a Psychic Energy Field but let’s not focus on that), aww! The Master tries to run but is captured and subsequently shot by his own wife (women, amiright?).
What follows is heartbreaking and still gives me all the feels to this day, The Doctor thinks it’s time for him to grow up and stop wandering now that he has “someone to care for”. After killing his own kind and being all alone in the universe he finally has someone else, he is not alone (oh! I just got that, thanks Face of Boe). Then it is all ripped from him as The Master gets shot and refuses to regenerate, leaving The Doctor as the last of the Time Lords (oh! just got that to).
5. The Fury Of The Time Lord – The Family of Blood, 2007
Something that has been great about David Tennant’s run is when The Doctor lays down the law (it makes me tingly in all my special places). This scene from The Family of Blood shows us that at the end of the day, you may be a gaseous alien who can possess and steal the life from other beings and are (somehow?) capable of tracking and travelling though time but, you simply do not fuck with The Doctor.
As a bonus, here’s another clip where The Doctor lays down the law, this time from Voyage of the Damned also in 2007. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go lie down for a while.
4. The Doctor And Rose’s Final Moments(ish) – Doomsday, 2006
Ignore the fact that this video doesn’t have a thumbnail/screengrab (c’mon BBC pull your thumbs out) and just watch it, you watched it? Good, now go get a tissue and we can carry on. Again, as I had trouble with Donna, Rose was equally difficult, she was the first companion of New Who and took us through those first difficult steps of trying to understand this alien madman who travels in a blue box.
I never had a great deal of love for Rose and those who know me would tell you no different, but this scene means something to me and many Whovians old and new out there. We had already seen The Doctor change his face, but what the new Whovians needed to learn was that nothing, truly nothing, lasts forever in Doctor Who and this heart wrenching scene (and the one that follows) is proof of that.
For me though, this scene is important because it is the first time (that I can remember) I openly weeped while watching a TV show in my teenage years (I was 17 when this aired). Like I say I had no great love for Rose, but the music and what this clearly meant to The Doctor just cut me up.
3. It Feels Like Dying – The End of Time: Part 1, 2009
Goddamn, two tear-jerkers in a row, sorry about that. Yes David Tennant’s reign had to come to an end at some point, but just before he went he gave us some brand new insight into what it means to actually regenerate.
I’m so glad I wasn’t a kid when this aired (it was hard enough as an adult), you grow up watching Doctor Who and when your first Doctor dies you learn that it’s ok, he comes back! The Doctor never truly dies. But no, this scene pretty much shits on all of that niceness and says “actually, that man you loved? Your best friend from television land? yeh, he’s dead, dead as a can of spam. Oh! and Merry Christmas!” Heartless bastards.
God, now I’m actually getting a bit upset, hopefully the next one will be a bit nicer.
2. He Will Knock Four Times – The End of Time: Part 2, 2009
Okay, okay, so this one is even worse. The 10th Doctor’s final moments with Wilf are maybe some of the saddest bits of New Who, the prophecy of “he will knock four times” seemed to be averted with the disappearance of The Master and the Time Lords but nope, it turns out it will be little old Wilfred Mott who kills your best friend. Of course in the real world we knew that this was Tennant’s last outing as the latest Doctor but still, it could’ve all been one big prank by RTD and the BBC right?
But alas, 10’s final moments as a healthy Time Lord are upon us and as the Doctor laments that he could do “so much more”, he remembers that he perhaps has “lived to long” (at least in this iteration) and he must do what he does best, save people.
1. The Companions Fly The Tardis – Journeys End, 2008
Ah, that’s better. One of the best things about Doctor Who in general, is despite all the horrors of the universe we see, all the death, destruction, mayhem and general nastiness that is out there. Good always wins, and it always wins because people work together, sure I’ve listed some quite depressing moments in this list but right at the top is this scene, because just like the Meta-Crisis Doctor needed Rose to make him “good” again, people need each other and together we can do anything (sick bags at the ready folks).
Yes after stopping Davros and his “Reality Bomb” the three Doctors (10/11, Meta & DoctorDonna) take companions old and new for one last ride as David Tennant’s and Russell T Davis’ reign (at least as a proper series) comes to a close. It’s probably a good thing that he asked Jackie to just stand in a corner.
When writing this list, I knew going in that the Finale of Series 4 was my favourite arc of New Who and something from that episode had to be at the top. So know this, I didn’t forget about Davros’ Reality Bomb speech, I just wanted to end on a happy note (thus fucking the whole concept of a top ten royally), you’re welcome internet.
So there you go, my first Top Ten list where I managed to talk about 13 (how appropriate) different clips. Off to a good start then. What were your favourite moments from David Tennant? Did I miss any that is on your list? Let me know in the comments.
C’mon, how can you not love him?