Physician Who: The 60 Finest Episodes

In addition to emanating a McCoy period comic-book power, ‘Gridlock’ displays the lead’s strained relationship at this level. The Physician, pining for the absent Rose, isn’t very open, and Martha, pining for the absent-but-frustratingly-also-right-bloody-there Physician, is getting fed up over his emotional distance. There’s an ongoing theme about religion on this collection, right here it’s in regards to the help it can provide you in arduous occasions, mirrored within the Physician’s descriptions of Gallifrey and the Time Lords to Martha, and whether or not or not that religion is finally limiting.

42 & 43. Human Nature and The Household of Blood

(Collection Three, 2007, written by Paul Cornell and directed by Charles Palmer)

Primarily based on Paul Cornell’s Nineties novel ‘Human Nature’, this sees the Physician and Martha on the run from the Household of Blood, and the Physician taking up human type to attempt to evade them. He turns into John Smith, a trainer at a boarding college in 1913, with Martha working as a maid. Sadly the Household discover them, possess human our bodies, and try to make a bewildered Smith flip again into the Physician.

Within the e-book, the Seventh Physician turns into human to higher perceive his companion’s grief. Right here, fittingly for his character, the Tenth Physician turns into human as a part of a rushed plan that places Martha right into a horrible place and endangers the lives of everybody round him. There’s this mercurial rush of power and charisma that takes individuals together with him earlier than the our bodies begin cooling. This story is the perfect depiction of this.

44. Midnight

(Collection 4, 2008, written by Russell T. Davies and directed by Alice Troughton)

The Physician decides to go on slightly vacationer shuttle journey round an ice planet, attending to natter away to some strangers and see some shiny issues. So long as an ineffable entity doesn’t entice all of them and possess one of many passengers, it’ll be completely beautiful.

It’s not an particularly authentic remark to make, however Russell T. Davies is excellent at writing TV characters. We’re launched to an ensemble solid and know the fundamentals of their relationships and personalities extraordinarily rapidly. The possession additionally cleverly weoponises characterisation: An entity that steals voices, mimics and learns is one which the Physician – particularly this Physician – goes to wrestle towards. And so it proves. A riveting and haunting episode, for what is basically half a dozen individuals arguing in an area bus.

45. The Eleventh Hour

(Collection 5, 2010, written by Steven Moffat and directed by Adam Smith)

The newly regenerated Physician (Matt Smith) crash lands in Amelia Pond’s again backyard. Returning years later than he supposed, he discovers nobody dwelling in the home, a suspicious police lady, and the precursor to an alien invasion.

Beneath immense stress following the extremely well-liked mixture of David Tennant’s Tenth Physician and showrunner Russell T. Davies, new showrunner Steven Moffat after which relative unknown Smith carry out a mushy reboot of the present that’s an ideal begin for the brand new and continuation of the outdated. From the second Smith sticks his head out of the TARDIS door and chirps “Can I’ve an apple?” we knew the whole lot was going to be alright.

46. Vincent and the Physician

(Collection 5, 2010, written by Richard Curtis and directed by Jonny Campbell)

The Physician and Amy, whose husband just lately ceased to exist so she will’t keep in mind him, go to and befriend Vincent van Gogh. In the meantime, a closely metaphorical monster is hiding out in a close-by church.

A surprisingly delicate script from Richard Curtis, the place you’ll be able to really feel his ardour for the topic shining by. The scene the place van Gogh is proven his future popularity as one of many nice painters is widely known, as is the second the place Amy realises that this doesn’t alter the truth that he’ll nonetheless take his personal life, however there are additionally moments of nice visible splendour right here: the scene the place van Gogh describes how he sees the evening sky, and the accompanying visuals, are an unabashed celebration of creativity and a vibrant excessive level.

47. & 48. The Pandorica Opens and The Massive Bang

(Collection 5, 2010, written by Steven Moffat and directed by Toby Haynes)

The Physician and Amy discover River with a Roman legion whereas investigating Stonehenge. There, they discover the Pandorica, a legendary jail, and the Physician’s enemies in wait.

Collection 5 stored the tough construction of the earlier 4 collection, and so right here we get to see Moffat writing a Russell T. Davies-style finale. Or not less than, half of 1. Whereas ‘The Pandorica Opens’ escalates the stakes in the direction of the cliffhanger, ending on the Physician being trapped, River exploding, Amy being shot, and your complete universe exploding (primarily going nuclear on the Collection Finale cliffhanger idea by destroying completely the whole lot ) we then head into ‘The Massive Bang’, and see a Steven Moffat finale in motion. Like ‘Forest of the Useless’ that is very completely different to its first episode, going smaller and extra intimate (as if there have been an choice after the final episode) earlier than a melancholy after which joyous ending.

49. A Christmas Carol

(Christmas Particular, 2010, written by Steven Moffat and directed by Toby Haynes)

The Physician makes an attempt to motive with Ebenezer Scrooge surrogate Kazran Sardick (Michael Precise Gambon) in an effort to cease the spaceship the place Amy and Rory are roleplaying from crashing. The extra profitable Physician Who model of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (Season 23 can also be loosely based mostly on it) that includes the inevitability of demise, singing and flying sharks.

50. The Evening of the Physician

(Mini-episode, 2013 written by Steven Moffat and directed by John Hayes)

A mini episode through which we have been promised one among both David Tennant, Matt Smith or John Damage would seem: a spaceship is crashing and its occupant is attempting to get the pc to ship a misery name, whereas it asks her if she wants a Physician. At which level, lo and behold! The Eighth Physician (Paul McGann) seems with the road “I’m a Physician, however in all probability not the one you have been anticipating”.

McGann’s Physician appeared as soon as on display screen within the 1996 TV Film, which didn’t end in an ongoing collection. Bringing him again particularly to regenerate into John Damage’s Battle Physician scratched the itch many followers needed to see McGann play the function once more. A brief episode, positive, however one which succeeds as a robust, tragic regeneration story for McGann’s tackle the function.

51. The Day of the Physician

(50th Anniversary Particular, 2013, written by Steven Moffat and directed by Nick Hurran)

The fiftieth Anniversary Particular. The Tenth and Eleventh Medical doctors meet the Battle Physician – a beforehand unknown incarnation between the Eighth and Ninth Medical doctors – on the level simply earlier than he destroys Gallifrey within the Time Battle. 

Contemplating there was some extent the place solely Jenna Coleman was contracted to seem on this episode, it turned out quite properly, being each celebratory and an important yarn in its personal proper. David Tennant and Matt Smith have nice enjoyable collectively, Billie Piper doesn’t have to recollect play Rose once more after being solid as a sentient superweapon as an alternative, and will get to chop unfastened a bit too, and John Damage is impressed casting as somebody representing all of the earlier Medical doctors and the burden of centuries of warfare.

52. Mummy on the Orient Categorical

(Collection Eight, 2014, written by Jamie Mathieson and directed by Paul Wilmshurst)

That is the second the Capaldi period sparks into life. After falling out within the earlier story, the Physician takes Clara on one final journey to the Orient Categorical (in area). Coincidentally individuals onboard are dying in unusual methods, which turn into brought on by a Mummy that solely the sufferer can see. The Physician proceeds to each save the day and alienate almost everybody on the practice.

An ideal monster, and an important story hook, however what actually stands out right here is the characterisation. The scene the place the Physician will get Clara to convey a possible sufferer to him, asking her to lie for him, is brutal, and the fallout on the seashore afterwards is vital to letting the Twelfth Physician appear one thing aside from chilly and detached. Pivotal to the next collection is the understanding that, whereas the Physician may be off-putting and clearly unhinged, the rationale that Clara needs to journey with him in the long run is easy: she is simply too.

53. Flatline

(Collection Eight, 2014, written by Jamie Mathieson and directed by Douglas Mackinnon)

The Physician is trapped in a shrunken TARDIS, so Clara has to analyze the thriller of killer graffiti in Bristol largely by herself. ‘Flatline’ is a persistently creative horror story that takes one thing on a regular basis and weaponises it. On this case: two dimensional patterns. Drawings. Even the bottom you’re strolling on. The second half of Collection Eight stays a extremely sturdy run of tales.

54. Final Christmas

(Christmas Particular, 2014, written by Steven Moffat and directed by Paul Wilmshurst)

Through which the Physician and Clara work by their emotional baggage with the assistance of killer crabs, the 2010 Christopher Nolan film Inception, and Santa.

Not many showscould make a narrative the place Facehugger-like crabs that make you dream are a key a part of a Christmas particular, however right here we’re. 

55. & 56. Heaven Despatched and Hell Bent

(Collection 9, 2015, written by Steven Moffat and directed by Rachel Talalay)

Through which the Physician finds himself trapped in a fort the place the rooms transfer, and a Dying-like determine stalks him, all of the whereas attempting to grieve the demise of Clara. ‘Hell Bent’, the comply with up episode that solely cowards fake is separate from ‘Heaven Despatched’, offers with the repercussions of this.

In some respects it’s a textbook Moffat season finale: the second episode is an entire rug-pull from the primary, discovering a extra considerate and fascinating story to inform. On this case although, ‘Hell Bent’ actually pushes towards the thought of the Physician’s heroism and delves into the uglier aspects of the character. It might probably take a number of views to settle, however it grows on every viewing and in addition enhances the extra straightforwardly well-liked ‘Heaven Despatched’ within the course of.

57. The Husbands of River Music

(Christmas Particular, 2015, written by Steven Moffat and directed by Douglas Mackinnon)

Through which the Physician arrives in the midst of one among River Music’s adventures, and as a result of his regeneration she doesn’t recognise him, so he finally ends up being her companion on a criminal offense escapade that includes the elimination of a number of well-liked comedians’ heads. After forty-minutes or so firmly in romp mode, the story focuses purely on the Physician and River, bringing their story full circle. It’s a extremely candy, tender ending and reveals indicators of the Physician maturing: the thought of him really settling down with one particular person in a single place had beforehand been handled as a joke, now it’s one thing he does willingly.

Hopefully Yaz by no means watches this episode. That’d be awkward.

58. Skinny Ice

(Collection 10, 2017, written by Sarah Dollard and directed by Invoice Anderson)

The Physician takes Invoice to a good on the frozen Thames in 1814, and discovers one thing alien beneath the ice.

Remembered extra for the Physician punching a racist than anything, ‘Skinny Ice’ is without doubt one of the nice depictions of the Twelfth Physician: there’s an acceptable coldness to him right here as he sees a toddler die and doesn’t flinch, makes an attempt to wriggle out of questions on whether or not he’s killed anybody, and brings Invoice with him on this journey. There’s that completely unsettling high quality about Capaldi’s Physician, a way that he likes entering into the abyss simply to see if he can get out once more. You get this easy-to-follow, partaking procedural with wonderful characterisation that leans in in the direction of the extra anarchic aspect of the Physician over the liberal one (as exemplified by, sure, the scene the place he talks to Invoice of motive over ardour, and then lamps Racist Nathan Barley).

59. The Physician Falls

(Collection 10, 2017, written by Steven Moffat and directed by Rachel Talalay)

The Physician, hoping that Missy actually is able to altering her methods, lets her ‘do’ an journey herself with Invoice and Nardole as her unwilling companions exploring a spaceship. Regardless of, or presumably due to, his determined intervention, Invoice is critically wounded and rushed to the opposite finish of the ship to be operated on. Because of the results of a close-by black gap, time dilation means time passes in a different way at one finish of the ship to the opposite. Can the Physician get to the opposite finish of the ship in time to save lots of his buddy?

That is the closest the present has obtained to a different ‘Caves of Androzani’, with the Physician sacrificing himself to purchase his pals time after getting them into the mess within the first place. On prime of that, it’s additionally an unimaginable Cyberman story. And Grasp story. And one other Grasp story.

60. Demons of the Punjab

(Collection 11, 2018, written by Vinay Patel and directed by Jamie Childs)

A spotlight of the Chris Chibnall period, this story begins with Yaz asking the Physician to return in time to be taught extra about her household. They discover Yaz’s grandmother as a younger lady, however she’s engaged to somebody Yaz has by no means heard of. As they attempt to work out why, the looming Partition of India threatens to tear the household aside.

Throughout Chibnall’s time as showrunner, Physician Who regarded for areas of historical past the present hadn’t coated earlier than. As Physician Who doesn’t search to vary historic occasions when it depicts them, as a result of its origins as an training programme, there’s a query of sensitivity in terms of depicting historic tragedy. What ‘Demons of the Punjab’ does so properly is make the destiny of 1 household a microcosm of a better historic occasion, an instance of Partition’s repercussions, whereas forcing the Physician to watch quite than intervene. That sense of battle feels acceptable right here, not less than, the Physician’s powerlessness clearly rankling.

Physician Who returns on November 25 with ‘The Star Beast’, airing on BBC One and BBC iPlayer within the UK, and on Disney+ all over the world.

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