Doctor Who is a show that can have you cheering with excitement one minute, laughing your tail off the next and the very next minute you’re a blubbery crying mess.
So for today’s edition of “So Who Saturdays” we will be looking at the most touching moments of ‘Doctor Who’ from the NuWho era (since the 2005 revival). Now some ground rules – we will not be counting regeneration scenes or companion departures as they each deserve a list of their own.
So with a huge SPOILER ALERT in effect let us get to the countdown of the Top 10 Touching Moments of NuWho:
#10 School Reunion (Series 2, Writer Toby Whithouse)
Seeing my favorite companion Sarah Jane Smith reunited with the Doctor after 30 years (she said goodbye to the Fourth Doctor Tom Baker in 1976’s “The Hand of Fear”) and after eight regenerations was fantastic. And the love and affection between the two characters is beautiful and is enough to make you get a little misty eyed. Much praise to the writer and the performances by David Tennant and the late great Elisabeth Sladen.
#9 Blink (Series 3, Writer Steven Moffat)
The scene where Sally Sparrow discovers that the young and flirtatious Billy Shipton has been sent back in time and is now an old man dying in a hospital bed. It is really tender and sweet as he still flirts with her. He tells her “it was raining when we met” and she tells him “it’s the same rain”. Awwwww.
#8 Asylum of the Daleks (Series 7, Writer Steven Moffat)
It is truly heartbreaking when we learn that Oswin Oswald, who has been helping the Doctor in the Asylum, is actually a Dalek herself. Dalek Oswin asks the Doctor to remember her as human and delivers the line “Run. Run, you clever boy, and remember…”. I promised myself I wouldn’t cry.
#7 The Family of Blood (Series 3, Writer Paul Cornell)
In part one of this two-parter, “Human Nature”, the Doctor turned himself into a human to escape the terrible aliens “The Family” tracking him throughout time and space. But as a side effect the Doctor forgets he is the Doctor and believes he is the teacher John Smith. As Smith he romances another teacher Jessica Hynes (wonderfully played by Joan Redfern) and falls in love with her. In this follow-up episode companion Martha convinces Smith of his true identity. The scenes where Smith pleads for his human “life” and where the Doctor says goodbye to Jessica are both sad and beautiful.
#6 Planet of the Ood (Series 4, Writer Graeme Harper)
When the Doctor allows Donna to hear the woeful song of the Ood. It is a brief scene but touching, brilliant and sorrowful.
#5 Death in Heaven (Series 8, Writer Steven Moffat)
Not everyone was a fan of Danny Pink but I thought he was a cool character. In the preceding episode “Dark Water” he was killed in a vehicular accident but then was taken to the “Nethersphere” and later downloaded into the body of a Cyberman. Danny and Clara’s affectionate goodbye and his heroic sacrifice are enough to make you bring out the tissues.
#4 Face the Raven (Series 9, Writer Sarah Dollard)
Few companions have divided opinion like Clara Oswald. For me personally I thought she only got better with time and I found her chemistry with the Twelfth Doctor to be among the best Doctor/Companion relationships in all of Who, Classic or NuWho. And Jenna Coleman put her heart and soul into this swan song and her death scene was a spectacular sob fest.
And for the smart alec who says “but Julien, you said no companion exits for this list” I would respond that while Clara did die in this episode she returned two episodes later in “Hell Bent” and had her true exit then.
#3 The Girl in the Fireplace (Series 2, Writer Steven Moffat)
This is one of my favorite episodes of all time and it is the perfect mix of adventure, humor, romance and scares. Sophia Myles knocks it out of the park as Reinette aka Madame de Pompadour and Moffat crafts a wonderful relationship between her and the Doctor in just one episode.
The Doctor promises his new love that he will take her anywhere she wants to go. But he returns through the fireplace only to watch the carriage carrying off her body. His reading of her posthumous letter is only salt in the wound. Too sad.
#2 The Girl Who Waited (Series 6, Writer Tom MacRae)
An accident splits Amy Pond in two and one Amy ends up spending years alone fighting lethal robots. This Old Amy is battle hardened but still in love with Rory and desiring to resume her adventures with the Doctor. When the Doctor tricks her and locks her out of the TARDIS – there can only be one Amy – it is one of the saddest moments in all of Whodom.
#1 Vincent and the Doctor (Series 5, Richard Curtis)
If you have seen this episode its number one position should be no surprise. The scene that takes the top prize is where the Doctor takes troubled painter Vincent van Gogh (Tony Curran in a powerhouse performance) into the future to learn how beloved his art has become. Vincent begins to tear up with emotion and any fan would be hard pressed not to join him. This one will get you in the feels every single time.
So what is your most touching moment from NuWho and why? Feel free to comment below.
For my “Top 9 Most Wanted Doctor Returns” you can click here and for my “Top 6 Most Wanted For the Christmas Special” you can click here. And for more ‘So Who Saturdays’ and other wibbly wobbley timey wimey TV posts you can follow me on Twitter @suprememango012.
Julien is outie like a navel. l8rs
NB – All photos courtesy of BBC