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> Doctor Who: Calum's ranking of every NuWho episode, 12 series, 165 episodes, 140 stories
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Calum
post Mar 18 2020, 05:46 PM
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It's been almost three years since somebody last took on the mammoth task of ordering all of the 21st century episodes of Doctor Who (see Joseph's brilliant thread here), so having just rewatched Series 12 from start to finish for the first time since broadcast over the last couple of days, I thought I'd try and come up with my own definitive list for my favourite TV programme (and it has not been easy).

It's been interesting browsing Doctor Who forums recently for the first time in a while and gaging the reactions to Series 12, seeing other people's rankings, and how they compare to episodes from the Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat eras. I also kind of surprised myself when I ended up working out which writers' episodes ended up where - but no spoilers. I've decided to include all Series 12 episodes in the countdown, because while there may be scope for some episodes to climb up the ladder in the future, or even fall down with repeated viewings, I doubt it'll be by very much. I've also decided to have both parts of a two-part story count as one story (so we have a top 140 to get through here) despite normally ranking each episode individually when I've previously compiled rankings.

So, while most of us might end up stuck indoors due to the pesky Coronavirus, I hope you all enjoy the countdown and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the episodes and where they land in the countdown! I can't wait to start counting down and revisiting every episode of my absolute favourite TV show! Allons-y!

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Klaus
post Mar 18 2020, 06:18 PM
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yaasssss

here to tell you when you’re opinions are right and when they’re wrong x

omg as if there’s been 165 episodes of nuWho

I’m currently about to start Series 5 of my epic marathon which started with An Unearthly Child over 18 months ago (!!!!)
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ElectroBoy
post Mar 18 2020, 08:38 PM
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QUOTE(Klaus @ Mar 18 2020, 06:18 PM) *
I’m currently about to start Series 5 of my epic marathon which started with An Unearthly Child over 18 months ago (!!!!)


I'm Currently on the Pirate Planet of my latest marathon through them biggrin.gif

I'm guessing with the lockdown i'll be rattling through them now though


This post has been edited by ElectroBoy: Mar 18 2020, 08:38 PM
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Calum
post Mar 19 2020, 08:11 PM
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140

The Tsuranga Conundrum

Series 11, Episode 5
Written by: Chris Chibnall



To my own surprise, when I think about some of the episodes that would have normally finished in last place prior to Chibnall taking over as showrunner, it's strange to think that compared to The Tsuranga Conundrum, I now seem to hold them in a much higher regard, despite how unappealing they are compared to episodes they aired alongside in their respective series'. Alas, The Tsuranga Conundrum, the fifth episode of Chibnall's bold new era of Doctor Who finishes dead last. Even with the comical nature of the Pting and it being one of the most iconic, meme-able monsters of this era so far (allegedly being the deadliest creature in the universe, only to be revealed moments later as a cute, CBBC-esque villain that wouldn't have looked out of place in spin-off show The Sarah Jane Adventures), that couldn't save this episode from doom.

Finding themselves aboard the Tsuranga - a fully-automated ship travelling to a medical space station - the Doctor and her new 'fam' (Graham O'Brien, Ryan Sinclair and Yasmin Khan) explore their surroundings before things take a "sinister" turn when the Pting shows up with a very large appetite for all things non-organic. We're introduced to a pregnant man, Yoss, and a host of other weird and wonderful characters that never really have a moment to shine. Despite this being an episode full of staple British actors including Suzanne Packer, Brett Goldstein (I'm still mad that he was killed instead of Mabli, whose voice started to irritate me a lot throughout despite her being Scottish, because he was certainly good eye candy), Ben Bailey-Smith and Lois Chimimba, even that wasn't enough to save this episode from being a complete damp squib. The relationship between Durkas and Eve never quite manages to capture me in a way that makes me sympathise with either of them, and Eve's sacrifice towards the end of the episode didn't bring out any emotion in me - it simply just happened with little dramatic tension from Chibnall to make this seem like a heroic act by a future classic Doctor Who character.

I don't know if my feelings towards this episode are tainted by the fact it was the fifth episode in a row to have been written/co-written by Chibnall (and certainly not the first average one either), or that it simply did not have any makings of a memorable episode by choosing to focus so much on its supporting cast who, ultimately, contributed nothing to the episode's development and eventual conclusion. At the end of the day though, it's sadly not a great moment for Chibnall so early on in his tenure as showrunner, and not a great moment for Doctor Who itself.

STATISTICS

Episodes remaining by:

Era
Russell T Davies • 47/47
Steven Moffat • 74/74
Chris Chibnall • 18/19

Doctor
9 • 10/10
10 • 37/37
11 • 39/39
12 • 35/35
13 • 18/19

Series
1 • 10/10
2 • 10/10
3 • 10/10
4 • 10/10
5 • 10/10
6 • 11/11
7 • 13/13
8 • 11/11
9 • 9/9
10 • 11/11
11 • 9/10
12 • 8/8
Specials • 18/18
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ON STRIKE
post Mar 19 2020, 08:14 PM
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I hope that all of Chibnall's entries at the bottom fo your list! He is absolute TRASH.
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JosephStyles
post Mar 19 2020, 08:24 PM
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omg u stole my idea!!11!1 ohmy.gif

Tsuranga isn't THAT bad for me, it's dull at worst really.
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Klaus
post Mar 19 2020, 08:46 PM
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erm

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ElectroBoy
post Mar 19 2020, 08:48 PM
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I don't mind Tsuranga mainly as its so bloody stupid. Its not dull (as a lot of the Whittaker stories) which is the worst thing Who can be. Bur with pregnant men and the Ptang its just batsh!t crazy

Dependent on how long the lock down goes; maybe i'll do a Mighty 299 of Classic and New Who biggrin.gif
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Calum
post Mar 20 2020, 09:16 PM
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139

Sleep No More

Series 9, Episode 9
Written by: Mark Gatiss



Where to start? Mark Gatiss' Doctor Who scripts are iffy at the best of times (there are a number of other episodes that come under this bracket that I'll go into more detail about later), but Sleep No More really takes the biscuit. Adding the layer of found-footage to what could otherwise be a typical base under seige story should make the episode a lot more gripping, with the potential to add in a lot of twists and turns along the way. The whole thing, however, unfortunately falls flat and doesn't really grip me at all. In typical Moffat style (something that's present in a lot of episodes throughout his era), we're presented with a monster/villain/threat that takes something so ordinary that we wouldn't even think about in our everyday lives and, in this case, 'tries' to make it scary. The monsters of the episode - the Sandmen - are formed from the sleep in the corner of our eyes. Probably a terrifying concept to younger viewers, and nobody else. They could have been utilised far better than they were too, potentially if told from a different perspective as opposed to found-footage.

Granted, the episode has a lot going for it in other aspects. It had a shining moment in history by casting a transgender actor which was a big talking point at its time of broadcast, but it failed to utilise its guest cast in a way that left us feeling any sort of sympathy for them whatsoever. Although a persistent problem in Chibnall's era of Doctor Who, it's something that rarely happened in Russell T Davies and Moffat's era. Thinking back to the lost episodes we now know about, I think Gatiss' idea of a Dalek story - The Suicide Exhibition - would have been a far better option than what we ended up with here. To me, in a series filled with mostly two-part stories or intertwined and connected episodes, this just stands out like a sore thumb, considering it followed an incredible Zygon two-part story and was immediately followed by Face the Raven, Heaven Sent and Hell Bent.

STATISTICS

Episodes remaining by:

Era
Russell T Davies • 47/47
Steven Moffat • 73/74
Chris Chibnall • 18/19

Doctor
9 • 10/10
10 • 37/37
11 • 39/39
12 • 34/35
13 • 18/19

Series
1 • 10/10
2 • 10/10
3 • 10/10
4 • 10/10
5 • 10/10
6 • 11/11
7 • 13/13
8 • 11/11
9 • 8/9
10 • 11/11
11 • 9/10
12 • 8/8
Specials • 18/18
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Calum
post Mar 20 2020, 10:55 PM
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138

Fear Her

Series 2, Episode 11
Written by: Matthew Graham



Honestly, if you remove Fear Her and a certain other episode, Series 2 could have been near perfection. Alas it wasn't meant to be though, and we ended up with an episode that, on paper, sounds like a brilliant idea. Taking a trip forward in time to 2012 where London is hosting the Olympic Games, and where a girl's scribbles and drawings come to life and attack you from inside a garage in a suburban London neighbourhood. Rose being attacked by a CGI scribble will forever remain one of the most iconic moments ever. Of all the things that could have happened, they decided that a giant scribble would have been terrifying / entertaining enough on the low budget they surely had for this episode. Despite its flaws, Fear Her has managed to provide us with so many meme-able moments, from the Doctor and Rose to Kel. On the other hand, it's a shame that from the entirety of NuWho it'll likely always be one that's not so fondly remembered.

I don't really have much else to say about the episode, because even the guest cast aren't at all likeable and don't make the episode any more enjoyable. Chloe Webber and her mother Trish just... weren't the best casting choices I don't think. The finest moments of the episode come towards the end when we're wrapping things up and we start to pay more attention to the Olympic Games themselves, where the Doctor ends up carrying the Olympic flame through a stadium that wasn't anything like what the real London 2012 ended up looking like. Some of the best moments also come in the more comedic moments too, with the Doctor's social awareness (or rather lack of) giving us a laugh. Randomly turning up in a stranger's home and eating jam out the jar with your fingers is just what you do, isn't it?

STATISTICS

Episodes remaining by:

Era
Russell T Davies • 46/47
Steven Moffat • 73/74
Chris Chibnall • 18/19

Doctor
9 • 10/10
10 • 36/37
11 • 39/39
12 • 34/35
13 • 18/19

Series
1 • 10/10
2 • 9/10
3 • 10/10
4 • 10/10
5 • 10/10
6 • 11/11
7 • 13/13
8 • 11/11
9 • 8/9
10 • 11/11
11 • 9/10
12 • 8/8
Specials • 18/18
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Klaus
post Mar 21 2020, 09:09 AM
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I actually really like Sleep No More and its amongst my favourite 12th Doctor episodes. It’s the same with Kill the Moon - both largely hated but I actually love them both oops!

What I like the least about Fear Her is the clear lack of budget that means theres about 5 minutes of the Dad going ‘Chloe, I’m coming’ ‘No, really I’m really coming’ ‘anytime soon I’m coming’ whilst all we see is red lighting because they clearly couldn’t afford to show him. Also the Council guy :’)
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Slick
post Mar 21 2020, 10:46 AM
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The three episodes so far are rightly near the bottom. I'll be tuning in to this. Hoping for lots of Series 4 and Series 6 near the top.
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Calum
post Mar 21 2020, 02:51 PM
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QUOTE(STREAMSTUPIDLOVE @ Mar 19 2020, 08:14 PM) *
I hope that all of Chibnall's entries at the bottom fo your list! He is absolute TRASH.

You'll just have to wait and see. kink.gif

QUOTE(JosephInSpace @ Mar 19 2020, 08:24 PM) *
omg u stole my idea!!11!1 ohmy.gif

Tsuranga isn't THAT bad for me, it's dull at worst really.

inspirational king tho!!1!

It's dull, but it's also awful in its execution of so many things. sad.gif

QUOTE(ElectroBoy @ Mar 19 2020, 08:48 PM) *
I don't mind Tsuranga mainly as its so bloody stupid. Its not dull (as a lot of the Whittaker stories) which is the worst thing Who can be. Bur with pregnant men and the Ptang its just batsh!t crazy

Dependent on how long the lock down goes; maybe i'll do a Mighty 299 of Classic and New Who biggrin.gif

Oooh I'd look forward to that if you were to do that, would love to see how closely (or far apart) our tastes are!!

QUOTE(Klaus @ Mar 21 2020, 09:09 AM) *
I actually really like Sleep No More and its amongst my favourite 12th Doctor episodes. It’s the same with Kill the Moon - both largely hated but I actually love them both oops!

What I like the least about Fear Her is the clear lack of budget that means theres about 5 minutes of the Dad going ‘Chloe, I’m coming’ ‘No, really I’m really coming’ ‘anytime soon I’m coming’ whilst all we see is red lighting because they clearly couldn’t afford to show him. Also the Council guy :’)

It's such an interesting concept, but I think I'd probably have liked it a lot more had it been written by anyone other than Gatiss, oops. Kill the Moon is a lot better, though.

QUOTE(Slick @ Mar 21 2020, 10:46 AM) *
The three episodes so far are rightly near the bottom. I'll be tuning in to this. Hoping for lots of Series 4 and Series 6 near the top.

Thanks Slick, hope you enjoy!! *.*
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Calum
post Mar 21 2020, 07:26 PM
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137

The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe

Christmas Special, 2011
Written by: Steven Moffat



It's Christmas 2011, and following on from 2010's A Christmas Carol it's time for Moffat's second Christmas special as showrunner. We get another adaptation, this time of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, albeit far less entertaining and with a lot less going for it. For all that happens in it, it has all the makings of being a great Christmas special, but it all falls a bit flat in the end. The opening scenes with the Doctor falling through space and crash-landing for Madge Arwell to find him are funny, and get things off to a promising start. After that though, when we're introduced to Madge's family and the tragedy they've encountered, it crumbles. There is of course the mystery of what could possibly be inside the massive Christmas present waiting for Lily and Cyril. It ends up being a portal to a snow-covered forest where most of the episode's events take place.

We get a happy festive ending when Reg, Madge's presumed-dead husband who had disappeared over the English Channel just days earlier, follows Madge as she brings everybody to safety and they're all one big happy family again for Christmas. But the fact that so much time was spent focusing on this when really I couldn't care less for the characters was disappointing. Not only that, but when we eventually find out what 'monsters' are hiding in the forest, it's one of the biggest anti-climaxes. A wooden king and queen (not too dissimilar to another Moffat-era 'monster' in Knock Knock) trying to escape the forest by finding an interface that they deem 'strong'. It's not surprising that the episode wasn't/still isn't well-received by many, because it sticks out like a sore thumb when you consider the festive specials both before and after. A good way to pass an hour on Christmas Day and to get your Doctor Who fix, but certainly not a classic episode by any means.

STATISTICS

Episodes remaining by:

Era
Russell T Davies • 46/47
Steven Moffat • 72/74
Chris Chibnall • 18/19

Doctor
9 • 10/10
10 • 36/37
11 • 38/39
12 • 34/35
13 • 18/19

Series
1 • 10/10
2 • 9/10
3 • 10/10
4 • 10/10
5 • 10/10
6 • 11/11
7 • 13/13
8 • 11/11
9 • 8/9
10 • 11/11
11 • 9/10
12 • 8/8
Specials • 17/18
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Calum
post Mar 22 2020, 12:33 AM
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136

In the Forest of the Night

Series 8, Episode 10
Written by: Frank Cottrell-Boyce



Frank Cottrell-Boyce's first outing in the world of Doctor Who wasn't exactly a classic Doctor Who moment, nor did it warrant him returning just two series' later for a second episode, despite that being a lot better than this. Although the episode in general is one of the most lacking in the entirety of NuWho, it does have some fine moments scattered throughout. Notably, it's the 12th Doctor's sense of humour and comedy that carries the episode most. His interactions with all of the school children that Danny and Clara are supposed to be looking after are hilarious, as well as the continuity of him always referring to Danny as 'the PE teacher' - the line where he says 'Mr. Pink was looking after you? Well that explains why you're lost.' is probably one of the most iconic, ever. For any flaws that people could identify with either Series 8 or Peter Capaldi as the Doctor, there's no denying that his characterisation was absolutely spot on throughout this series, and shaped him into a memorable and incredible Doctor. Even the guest writers knew how to land the jokes.

There isn't much really I can say about this story itself. Besides making us try to care for a young schoolgirl Maeve and all her family troubles, we're introduced to an overgrown forest that has spread over the whole of London overnight, covering it in shrubbery and green. Admittedly they did a good job making it look as realistic as possible, but even with all of that it's hard to believe that we're watching an episode of Doctor Who were it not for the fact we had our regular characters there for the ride. Remove them and we're watching an episode of Countryfile following a school field trip. Clara has a few moments to shine in this episode, and her relationship with the 12th Doctor is put to the test again which is a very regular occurrence throughout this series, but they both come out unscathed in the end and live to fight another day. Overall, not an episode worth shouting about or paying much attention to while rewatching.

Aside: The 9th Doctor, Christopher Eccleston, becomes the only Doctor not to have lost an episode to the pit of the bottom five.

STATISTICS

Episodes remaining by:

Era
Russell T Davies • 46/47
Steven Moffat • 71/74
Chris Chibnall • 18/19

Doctor
9 • 10/10
10 • 36/37
11 • 38/39
12 • 33/35
13 • 18/19

Series
1 • 10/10
2 • 9/10
3 • 10/10
4 • 10/10
5 • 10/10
6 • 11/11
7 • 13/13
8 • 10/11
9 • 8/9
10 • 11/11
11 • 9/10
12 • 8/8
Specials • 17/18
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JosephStyles
post Mar 22 2020, 01:11 AM
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I don't MIND Fear Her, it's no classic but I don't find it as bad as most!

Sleep No More and Forest are two massive stains on Capaldi's era sad.gif
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Klaus
post Mar 22 2020, 12:11 PM
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I think I’d give In the Forest of the Night the prize of my least favourite episode. So pointless.

I think both that and The Doctor, The Widow... show that dull is the worst that Doctor Who could be. It’s why I don’t overly dislike Orphan 55 because too much going on is better than nothing going on. It got too lost in the magical Christmas aspect and forgot the plot along the way.
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Calum
post Mar 23 2020, 06:19 PM
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135

It Takes You Away

Series 11, Episode 9
Written by: Ed Hime



Prior to broadcast, It Takes You Away seemed like it was going to be one of the best episodes from Jodie Whittaker's debut series as the Doctor. However, the episode aired and what we got was something quite different. Although it had all the elements of a properly scary episode, there were parts as well that came together to make it a lot less-so. The episode begins with the TARDIS team landing in present-day Norway, near to an isolated cabin where it appears that only a blind teenage girl Hanne is living. She moved there with her father Erik after the death of her mother Trine, and since then her father has gone missing. After the episode spends a lot of time building atmosphere and tension, it's not until the second half of the episode where things start to fall apart. As the Doctor realises there's a portal to another dimension upstairs, we find ourselves in a more typical sci-fi setting. We're introduced to Ribbons, a 'monster' that guides the Doctor and co. through this 'Antizone', only to be killed moments later by flesh-eating moths.

While there's so much going on with the episode, trying to piece together the mystery of why Erik and Trine can be on the other side of this portal together, and if the version of Graham's dead wife Grace popping up is indeed the true version, but not only that also having to take a step back for a moment and wonder who thought it was a good idea to have a FROG ON A CHAIR as the Solitract. Not only that, but it also took on Grace's voice, so that made matters even more silly. The episode does have a couple of nice nods in it - it manages to build on Graham and Ryan's fractured relationship, with Ryan finally finding it within himself to call Graham 'granddad' at the end of the episode, but honestly this episode was one major disappointment. It starts off well with an interesting premise, but by the end I'm left wondering why I bothered wasting 50 minutes of my time with it. It's a shame, and a confusing one too, because some fans do seem to think it's one of the better episodes of Jodie's era thus far, but there are other episodes that have done so much better with much less convolution, I reckon.

STATISTICS

Episodes remaining by:

Era
Russell T Davies • 46/47
Steven Moffat • 71/74
Chris Chibnall • 17/19

Doctor
9 • 10/10
10 • 36/37
11 • 38/39
12 • 33/35
13 • 17/19

Series
1 • 10/10
2 • 9/10
3 • 10/10
4 • 10/10
5 • 10/10
6 • 11/11
7 • 13/13
8 • 10/11
9 • 8/9
10 • 11/11
11 • 8/10
12 • 8/8
Specials • 17/18
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ON STRIKE
post Mar 23 2020, 06:51 PM
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God they really have ruined Doctor Who
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Klaus
post Mar 23 2020, 07:06 PM
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I find the Antizone pointless and I always forget it even exists when I think of the episode. Then you have the frog on the chair.

I've grown to like some ideas of it and I love that the other universe is mirror-flipped, a really nice touch and it nicely plays on the issue of grief but it's just all a bit dull overall.
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Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 31st May 2020 - 12:39 AM