As I said in my previous article, every incarnation of The Doctor has that “Aha!” moment where he comes up with a solution to a problem he is faced with. The Doctor always has a plan even if it seems like he doesn’t, there are many of these moments, but I have decided to compile a list of My Favorite “Doctor” Moments! I’ve already done Part I, so here it is folks Part II!
*WARNING MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD*
“The Fires of Pompeii” (Series 4, Episode 2, 2008)
This episode saw The Tenth Doctor and his companion Donna travel to Pompeii one day before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The Doctor discovers that this alien life-form known as The Pyrovile have been living underneath Mount Vesuvius and that they plan on invading the Earth! The Doctor realizes that destroying them is what causes Mount Vesuvius to erupt! Donna knowing that they cannot save everyone in Pompeii asks The Doctor to just save one person. The Doctor returns in his TARDIS and saves a family he met earlier in the episode! The Doctor leaves them on a hillside and they end up surviving the eruption!
This is a great Doctor moment because it shows how cold he can be when he doesn’t have a companion to make him realize what he is doing is wrong. The Doctor reluctantly saves the family, but is shown to actually care about people and this is a moment where we really see how different he would be without a companion.
“Forest of The Dead” (Series 4, Episode 9, 2008)
This episode continues where the last one “Silence in The Library” left off. The Tenth Doctor, Donna and River Song (a mysterious woman from The Doctor’s future, who seems to know him very well) and a team of astronaut explorers are in a library planet, where everyone is being killed by alien creatures known as The Vashta Nerada. When River Song ends up sacrificing herself to save The Doctor, The Doctor is about to leave the planet when he has a realization! River Song said The Doctor’s future version will give her a sonic screwdriver and he assumes there is a reason he would give her his sonic screwdriver! The Doctor realizes that he saved a digital copy of River to his sonic screwdriver, knowing that his past self would realize this! The Doctor saves River to the Library’s computer where she is able to live the rest of her afterlife!
This moment is great because it shows that The Doctor is never willing to give up even when all hope seems lost. He couldn’t accept that River was dead and ended up saving her, even though his version (The Tenth Doctor) didn’t know who River was.
“The Waters of Mars” (Series 4 Special, 2009)
This episode saw The Tenth Doctor travelling to the first Earth colony on Mars in 2059. The Doctor knows that this colony is destroyed in a nuclear blast and the events he is involved in are “fixed.” The Doctor leaves for his TARDIS while the remaining crew try to fight off members of their crew who have been infected with a virus that have turned them into zombies that can generate large amounts of water from their bodies. The Doctor begins to turn back declaring that “The laws of time are mine! And they will obey me!” The Doctor refuses to let the crew die and helps the Captain (Lindsay Duncan) fight off the water-zombie creatures. The Doctor is able to save Captain Adelaide Brooke and another crew member. The Doctor declares himself “The Time Lord Victorious,” which upsets and troubles Adelaide. The Doctor drops Adelaide off at her house where she commits suicide by shooting herself with her own weapon. The Doctor is horrified when he hears the gunshot and realizes he has gone too far.
This moment is great because it shows how dark, power-hungry and controlling The Doctor can be, trying to change events anyway he sees fit. He gets a wake up call when Adelaide kills herself, realizing that what he has done was wrong and this made him very arrogant because he thought he could play God.
“The End of Time” (Series 4 Special, 2009 and 2010)
David Tennant’s final episode as The Doctor, saw The Tenth Doctor facing off against the return of a resurrected Master and the return of The Time Lords and Gallifrey! The Tenth Doctor is faced with his own mortality and has become very fond of his current incarnation and doesn’t want to die. The Tenth Doctor jumps off a spaceship breaking through a window to a mansion where The Time Lords are about to return! The Tenth Doctor is wielding a revolver that Wilfred Mott (Donna Noble’s grandfather) gave him to kill The Master with. The Tenth Doctor is torn between shooting The Master or the power-hungry Time Lord President Rassilon! The Tenth Doctor makes eye contact with a woman who is being forced to cover her eyes in disgrace and he gives her a sad look, so it’s clear The Doctor knows who she is. Presumably it’s The Doctor’s mother, but it’s never explicitly stated in the episode. The Doctor shoots the diamond connecting The Time Lords to the Earth severing the connection between The Master and The Time Lords, sending The Master (who sacrifices himself to save The Doctor) and The Time Lords back into the Time Lock. Having survived The Master and The Time Lords, The Doctor celebrates realizing he is still alive. The Doctor hears four knocks, and his smile disappears, it’s Wilfred who has locked himself in a radiation chamber that can only be opened by another person in a chamber adjacent to the other. The Doctor gets very angry, but accepts his fate, telling Wilfred “It would be my honor,” taking in all the radiation in the chamber, while freeing Wilfred from the other chamber. The Tenth Doctor begins the regeneration process and goes on one final farewell tour visiting all of his past companions and finally angrily regenerating in his TARDIS.
This moment is great because it shows how vain The Doctor can be, but also how difficult and traumatizing the regeneration process must be. The Doctor is torn between killing Rassilon and The Master, but cannot muster the courage to do either, because he is not a killer and The Master is his old childhood friend. This is a great moment showing the humanity of The Doctor.
“The Eleventh Hour” (Series 5, Episode 1, 2010)
This episode saw the newly regenerated 11th Doctor (Matt Smith) faced with stopping an alien race called The Atraxi from incinerating planet Earth in order to destroy an escaped alien prisoner known as Prisoner Zero! After The 11th Doctor locates Prisoner Zero for The Atraxi, he summons them back to planet Earth, having a chat with one of them on a rooftop. The 11th Doctor asks The Atraxi two questions:
“Is this world a threat to the Atraxi?” and
“Are the peoples of this world guilty of any crime by the laws of the Atraxi?”
while it shows a holographic projection scanning all over Earth and the Atraxi answers “No” to both questions. The Doctor asks one last question, “Is this world protected?” The hologram projection then shows a montage of the different enemies the Doctor has defeated, while then showing every incarnation of the Doctor to date! An image of The Tenth Doctor is shown, then The Eleventh Doctor walks through it and says “Hello, I’m the Doctor. Basically…Run.”
This is a great moment to establish the character of The Eleventh Doctor and it’s also great because we see how The Doctor isn’t afraid to challenge his enemies, effectively saying “I’m The Doctor, don’t mess with me!” This is one of the best Doctor moments and really establishes what kind of Doctor 11 is.
“The Time of Angels” (Series 5, Episode 4, 2010)
This episode saw The Eleventh Doctor, along with his companion Amy Pond working with River Song (who returns, but clearly a version before the one who meets The Tenth Doctor in the Library), to go looking for a crashed ship called The Byzantium. The Doctor realizes that the caverns on the planet where The Byzantium crashed is filled with Weeping Angels. One by one the Angels kill soldiers who are tasked with keeping watch over River who has committed a terrible crime. The Doctor ends up cornered with one of the Cleric soldiers, Amy, and River. One of the Angels who killed a soldier named Bob is using Bob’s consciousness to communicate with The Doctor. Bob tells The Doctor that him and his friends are trapped which angers The Doctor causing him to say:
“Oh, big, big mistake, really huge. Didn’t anyone ever tell you there’s one thing you never put in a trap, if you’re smart, if you value your continued existence, if you have any plans about seeing tomorrow, there’s one thing you never, ever put in a trap…ME”
The Doctor then shoots a gravity ball above them! This is another great moment because it shows yet again how The Doctor has this sense of bravado and importance, and tells his enemy “If you’re smart, then you wouldn’t put me in a trap, because don’t you know who I am?!” The Doctor is telling his enemies that if you hurt my friends or anyone I care about, I’m coming for you, which is something The Eleventh Doctor inherited from The Tenth Doctor. This is one of my all-time favorite Doctor moments because it establishes his character and how much of a bad-ass he can be.
Well that concludes Part II, Part III will be up soon!