Yesterday for “Who Watch Wednesday” we began our countdown of the top 9 series of Doctor Who since the show was relaunched in 2005 https://redmangoreviews.wordpress.com/2016/06/15/who-watch-wednesday-top-9-nu-who-doctor-who-series-part-1/.
In the last post we counted down the bottom five series (seasons in America) and in this post we are looking at the top four series. So without further ado let’s complete the countdown:
#4 Series 1, Rose – Parting of the Ways, 2005: Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston), Companion Rose Tyler (Billie Piper)
The triumphant return of The Doctor to television screens and the one season with Eccleston was a great ride. The Ninth Doctor could jump from jolly to menacing in a heartbeat and brought back the show with a bang.
The companions let us down a bit as Rose was yet to really come into her own and this version of Mickey was silly and annoying (the actor, Noel Clarke, reportedly thought it was a kid’s show). But we had scary Gelth and Reapers, silly Slitheen, creepy gas mask people and the supreme Bad Wolf in a really great series.
- Doctor 4/5, Companion 4/5, Villains 5/5
- Mythology 5/5 – psychic paper, Captain Jack Harkness and Face of Boe first introduced, Last Great Time War first mentioned and reintroduction of Daleks
- Overall Episode Quality 8/10 – Strongest The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances & Weakest – Boom Town
Series 1 Final Score: 26/30
Tied for #3 Series 6, The Impossible Astronaut – The Wedding of River Song, 2011 – Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith), Companions Amy Pond (Karen Gillan), Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill)
This season was so good it makes me want to do the drunk giraffe dance. Smith was in top form, Gillan was fantastic and Rory was impressive. I will admit I have repeated the line from A Good Man Goes to War “where is my wife?!” when I cannot find my wife.
We are introduced to super creepy the Silence – best monsters since The Weeping Angels – we meet the future members of the Paternoster Gang, which quickly became fan favorites, and the mystery of River Song is unraveled. We had a couple of misses such as the uneven Let’s Kill Hitler and the boring Night Terrors, but we also have some great hits like The Girl Who Waited and The Rebel Flesh/The Almost People two parter. And The Doctor’s Wife is simply perfection. A fantastic series.
- Doctor 5/5, Companions 5/5, Villains 4/5
- Mythology 5/5 – reintroduction of the cybermats, the TARDIS becomes sentient, River Song’s origin explained, and introduction of the Silence and the members of the Paternoster Gang
- Overall Episode Quality 9/10 – Strongest Tie between The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon and The Doctor’s Wife & Weakest Night Terrors
Series 6 Final Score: 28/30
Tied for #3 Series 9, The Magician’s Apprentice – Hell Bent, 2015: Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Companion Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman)
This series went all out with its opening story that it almost felt like a finale. We had Missy, Davros (not seen since 2008) and the Daleks returning and we meet the creeptastic Colony Sarff, one of the most visually interesting villains ever.
Capaldi was at the top of his game and Coleman was superb, especially in Face the Raven. As I mention in my review of the series https://redmangoreviews.wordpress.com/2016/06/11/doctor-who-watch-top-9-stories-from-series-9/ we had the Zygons back and the continuation of two story lines. The Girl Who Died and Sleep No More may have been average but episodes like Hell Bent and the aforementioned Face the Raven were spectacular and lifted the overall grade. And I for one am overjoyed that we have Gallifrey back finally.
- Doctor 5/5, Companion 5/5, Villains 4/5
- Mythology 5/5 – reappearance of UNIT, the Zygons, Sisterhood of Karn and the Shadow Architect, first meeting of Missy and Davros, and return to Gallifrey
- Overall Episode Quality 9/10 – Strongest The Zygon Invasion/The Zygon Inversion & Weakest Sleep No More
Series 9 Final Score 28/30
#1 Series 4, Partners in Crime – Journey’s End, 2008: Tenth Doctor (David Tennant), Companion Donna Noble (Catherine Tate)
In preparation for the premiere of Series 8, Capaldi’s debut season, I went back and watched all of Nu Who. And after I watched Series 4 I thought, “my goodness, this is a perfect season”.
Tennant played a Doctor at his highest and lowest and was brilliant. Tate was flawless as the funny, thoughtful and caring Donna and she tops my best Nu Who companion list; Sarah Jane Smith is overall by the way. And the two of them have the best Doctor/Companion chemistry of Nu Who as well. “You’re not mating with me sunshine”. We miss you Donna.
In terms of mythology we have the Sontarans back, though their two parter was just okay, but also UNIT, the dreaded Davros and our first meeting with River Song.
And there are some mind blowing episodes this season. Planet of the Ood, Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead and Midnight will blow your socks and shoes off. And seeing all the companions together for The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End resulted in multiple Whovian nerdgasms. I’m getting emotional just thinking about it. It really is the best.
- Doctor 5/5, Companion 5/5, Villains 5/5
- Mythology 4/5 – Reintroduction of the Sontarans, UNIT, Davros, introduction of River Song
- Overall Episode Quality – 10/10 Strongest Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead Weakest The Doctor’s Daughter
Series 4 Final Score 29/30
So what do you think of my list? What is your favorite series of Nu Who and what is your least favorite? Feel free to comment below.
For part one of this list you can click here.