It was such a joy to watch Matt Smith act out this wonderful scene from this year’s Proms, that I felt I had to include it in the Top Ten. Going further than Davey T’s heart~warming Music of the Spheres from 2008, Mazza actually appears in the Albert Hall (much to the crowd’s amazement). A cracking outing with Smith never more delightful. Watch it HERE.
9. Victory of the Daleks
If only the new Daleks got to say: “It’s a hump. I wear a hump now. Humps are cool!” then maybe some fans would have welcomed the 2010 update of Skaro’s finest with more gusto. This wasn’t to be the case, of course, but as I stated previously – I have no issue with their new look. Victory looked beautiful and played out like a good old~fashioned World War II romp – just as it should have. Writer Mark Gatiss added warmth and humour to his Churchill, creating quite the comedic spark between the PM and The Doctor. Read the original review HERE.
8. A Christmas Carol
With superb production values and cast, the recent special delivered the typical Christmas outing – full of OTT set~pieces and fun (Monroe and the shark) but failed to satiate the need for new Who. Gambon was satisfactory and Jenkins proved to be a real treat but the lack of threat for the 4,000 or so people on the ship “hurtling” towards its doom wasn’t realised as The Doctor seemed to be having a great time fannying about in time and space. His time~jumping as a solution to the plot is problematic – an issue shared with the finale. It seemed like an awful lot of work when he could have just simply gone back and stopped the ship leaving in the first place, perhaps? But, that’s missing the point. As my old minister used to say, it’s not the destination that counts but the journey. And at Christmas, the journey was suitably festive.
7. Amy’s Choice
Parallel and imaginary worlds are a well~trod route in sci~fi but writer Simon Nye’s take on it was surprisingly refreshing. The TARDIS has rarely looked so eerie and the uneasy mood evoked Hartnell’s claustrophobic The Edge of Destruction. Toby Jones proved to be an excellent adversary in the form of the Dream Lord, treating us to a performance that would not have looked out of place in The Prisoner or The Avengers. His glimpse at the end hopefully suggests that the chimerical one could appear at any time…
6. The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang
I lurve Alex Kingston almost as much as Cathy T but even her appearance couldn’t cover over the, erm, cracks (gah~roan), in the series finale. The Pandorica Opens was utterly gripping and suiting of a finale with one of the the most incredible pre~titles sequence the show has delivered. Truly time and space~spanning with direction, set~pieces, monsters, actors and score to match. For me, however, it comes undone in The Big Bang. Again, another great opening with Pond in the Pandorica but the Bill & Ted~based nature of The Doctor’s to~ing and fro~ing within time and the repetitive nature of people “dying” only to come back to life (which happened a lot in this series) left me a tad concerned (and slightly bored).
5. The Lodger
Gareth Roberts is something of machine, constantly churning out very high quality stories for both Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures (in fact, I would say his SJA tales are even better). The Lodger once again demonstrates Roberts’ marvelous gift for perfect~pitched comedy in a science~fiction context – a trope that Matt Smith devoured with much hilarity. More impressively, he made James Corden immensely likeable and sympathetic. Intriguingly, the “TARDIS” from this episode popped up in the recent Series 6 trailer…. But two words for Mr Roberts: Meglos, really??? Read the original review HERE.
4. The Eleventh Hour
Without a doubt this series saw the best opener any Doctor was gifted and within seconds Matt Smith inherited the role with frightening ease; “Fish Custard” has gone down in the annals of Whostory as has Miss Pond’s skirt… Accompanied by stout direction and one of Murray Gold’s most beautiful scores, Series 5 started like no other establishing Moffat’s new world within minutes. Read the original review HERE.
3. The Time of Angels/Flesh & Stone
Sometimes sequels aren’t as good as the original but The Moff put that tired cliche to rest with an incredibly cinematic and gripping two~parter featuring his Weeping Angels. So many highlights and memorable scenes to mention but I’ll cite Father Octavian’s tear~jerking and magnificently noble final words: “I think sir, you knew me at my best”. Perfect. And then there’s the always VFM Alex “Yummy” Kingston – stealing every scene she was in, adding to the mystery of River Song with every breath. Made all the more remarkable that this was the first story to be filmed – the production team really hit the ground running.
2. Vincent & The Doctor
Richard Curtis writes almost~the~best story of the year? Who would’ve thunk it? The Curtain~ator, as he’s known round these parts, deftly transferred his ample talents as sitcom/rom~com writer to the show and, in a series curiously bereft of much emotion, made one empathise and sympathise in equal amounts with The Doctor, Amy and the titular painter. Gloriously shot and scored, Vincent and the Doctor transcended the Saturday tea~time telly spot delivering a finely crafted and moving piece of art. Read the original review HERE.
1. The End of Time Part 2
Incredible to think that Davey T’s swansong took place just a year ago but there it is. I haven’t been as moved by any piece of television in my life as I was by the final twenty minutes or so of this truly mind~boggling end to David Tennant’s time in the TARDIS. Bernard Cribbins and Davey T may have been the greatest duo we never saw on a regular basis and Russell T Davies displayed he knows how to make achingly good Doctor Who. He is much missed. Read the original review HERE.