So the global community of Whovians are excited/apprehensive to see the full introduction of Jodie Whitaker as the 13th Doctor and 13th incarnation of everyone’s favourite time traveling, regenerating Time Lord.
And while we eagerly await the Series 11 premiere in Autumn 2018 let us take a look back over the previous 10 Nu Who/post 2005 series (seasons for those on the other side of the pond and I don’t mean Amy). This countdown will be in two parts and in part one we will feature the bottom five series. So with a SPOILER ALERT Allons-y, Geronimo and here we go:
#10 Series 7, Asylum of the Daleks – The Name of the Doctor, 2012-2013: Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith), Companions Amelia “Amy” Pond (Karen Gillan), Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill) and Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman)
This split season was just a mess and had quite a few dull episodes. Case in point the abysmal Cold War. We love when they bring Classic aliens but they should get better stories than that drivel. And if I never see that blasted Ice Warrior “massaging” someone’s face again it will be too soon.
The stuff with the Ponds felt rushed and Clara had little to no personality, an unfortunate symptom of Moffat’s Impossible Girl arc. There are a few gems in there like Asylum of the Daleks but not enough to save it from being last on the list.
- Doctor 3/5, Companion 2/5, Villains 2/5
- Mythology 3/5 – introduction of Kate Stewart, reintroduction of the Ice Warriors and the Great Intelligence
- Overall episode quality 4/10 – Strongest: Asylum of the Daleks & Weakest: Cold War
Series 7 Final Score 14/30
#9 Series 10, The Pilot-The Doctor Falls, 2017: Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Companions Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie) and Nardole (Matt Lucas)
As one of the best Doctors of all time Peter Capaldi deserved better than this lackluster, phoned-in series. Bill Potts was a spunky, energetic, sassy companion but she did not get
to really stand out until near the end of the series. Nardole was good for a few laughs but if the character was excised it would make little difference.
In terms of stories we started relatively strong with Pilot but things went very badly downhill with Smile which felt like a weak rip-off of The Girl Who Waited and Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead. The Monk arc, like most of the episodes, felt decidedly meh and even great episodes like Knock Knock were undermined but dumb endings. Things really looked up with the awesome World Enough and Time and that mind-blowing Master twist. But the multi-master/Cybermen story just did not deliver on the high expectations, though at least it did give the wonderful Missy a decent enough send off. The Twelfth Doctor, however, deserved a lot better.
- Doctor 3/5, Companion 3/5, Villains 2/5
- Mythology 3/5 – Return of Ice Warriors, Origin of Cybermen (possibly), Return of John Simm Master and very first multi-master story
- Overall episode quality 5/10 – Strongest: World Enough and Time & Weakest: Smile
Series 10 Final Score 16/30
#8 Series 5, The Eleventh Hour – The Big Bang, 2010: Eleventh Doctor, Companions Amy and Rory
Smith’s introductory season was nothing to write home to Gallifrey about. A couple of great episodes like the fun The Eleventh Hour and the touching Vincent and the Doctor, but otherwise a whole lot of average.
- Doctor 4/5, Companion 3/5, Villains 3/5
- Mythology 1/5 – Reintroduction of the Silurians
- Overall Episode Quality 8/10 – Strongest: Vincent and the Doctor & Weakest: Victory of the Daleks
Series 5 Final Score 19/30
#7 Series 2 New Earth – Doomsday, 2006: Tenth Doctor (David Tennant), Companion Rose Tyler (Billie Piper)
Tennant’s debut season was one of polar opposites: some of the best episodes and some of the worst. You go from raising your eyebrows and griping at Fear Her and Love and Monsters to crying your eyes out at and cheering at The Girl in the Fireplace and Doomsday. It is quite the emotional roller coaster.
- Doctor 4/5, Companion 4/5, Villains 3/5
- Mythology 3/5 – introduction of Torchwood, reintroduction of Sarah Jane Smith and Cybermen
- Overall Episode Quality 7/10 – Strongest: Tie between The Girl in the Fireplace and Army of Ghosts/Doomsday & Weakest: Fear Her (Love and Monsters gets a dishonourable mention)
Series 2 Final Score 21/30
#6 Series 8, Deep Breath – Death in Heaven, 2014: Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Companion Clara
Capaldi gives an outstanding performance as a darker Doctor and Clara finally feels like a fleshed-out character. The chemistry between the two is also great. Missy is delicious as a villain but the season was generally lacking in good bad guys. Listen is one of the scariest episodes of all of Doctor Who but series 8 also has its share of duds.
- Doctor 4/5, Companion 4/5, Villains 2/5
- Mythology 4/5 – introduction of Missy, reappearance of Coal Hill School, young first Doctor, and reappearance of Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart
- Overall Episode Quality 8/10 – Strongest: Listen & Weakest: In The Forest of the Night
Series 8 Final Score 22/30
For part two of this list you can click here.