Saturday, January 1, 2011

Top 10 Doctor Who Stories of 2010


Cliche? Yes, but why not. Here's a run down of the Top 10 Doctor Who stories broadcast on television during 2010 as thought up by the staff here at Blogtor Towers (I say "staff", it's just me). Feel free to add your own in the comments section and thanks for visiting during 2010 - it's been a lot of fun.

THE BLOGTOR TOP TEN OF 2010

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.

14 comments:

Alisha Rene' said...

#1 and #2 were my favs of the year. My daughter asked why I was crying at the end of 'Vincent and the Doctor'. It's hard to explain as an Illustrator/Painter, Vincent Van Gogh was pure inspiration to me. Beautifully acted and as poignant as one of Van Gogh's paintings.

'End of Time' - if you weren't tearing up in the least, then you have no heart. Penultimate of everything for me. Also understand I shoved the entire new Doctor Who series into only 3 months time. I hadn't known him like the rest of you, years invested, and I was a flipping mess. The writing, the score, everything about it poured out and straight into my two hearts. After suffering the blow to the end of LOST this was more than I could take. But I managed and truly believe this will be my most favorite of any Who episode I ever see.

I wouldn't be able to put any other of the episodes in order like you did Blogtor. It's been a great start on this ride with the new Doctor and he's performing WONDERFULLY

childeroland said...

Time of the Angels/Flesh and Stone are superb, but they are NOT as great as Blink.

Sarah O'Dwyer said...

Thats exactly what I did! 2010 was great because I watched the episode midnight because colin morgan was in it and I fell in love with the doctor's character. Then the first episode I watched when it came on David Tennant said "Im going to die." and it was just like Noooo! You just got here! I cried when I watched the End of Time and then again when I rewatched it I cried again. I recently got it on itunes and ive been watching it over and its fantastic. Its my #1 favorite episode.

StormWolf said...

I can't tell you how happy I was to see TEOT, Part 2 here. It's seemed lately that people were so busy falling over each other to show how much they are loving the new guy, it's been forgotten that 2010 had at least one more story with the beloved Ten.

And honestly, despite what people say about it, it is (to me) the most beautiful piece of writing, directing and acting I've seen in a very long time. When I'm sitting with a friend whom I've never, ever see cry before in the years I've known him, and I look over and find him sniffling and rubbing his eyes at the end of the episode...it's a good episode.

Captain Marbles said...

As much as I like TEOT, the joy of season 5 made it feel like Davey T was a lifetime ago (for me anyway).

I've watched DW since the Jon Pertwee era and never has a production team and new lead ever hit their stride as quickly as they did in Season 5. The Grand Moff continues to push the envelope of time travelling plot lines, weaving in River, Rory and Amy rejuvenated the show for me.

A Christmas Carol was not only one of the best episodes ever in terms of plot, acting and spectacle but it reassured me that Season 6 stands a real chance on being even better.

For me, top 10 for 2010 :

10. Victory of the Daleks
9. Vampires in Venice
8. Beast Below
7. TEOT part 2
6. Amy's Choice
5. Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone
4. The Eleventh Hour
3. Vincent
2. A Christmas Carol
1. Pandorica Opens/Big Bang

Happy New Year to all, and roll on Easter :)

Noblelox said...

As much as I like the Angel's two parter, I cannot agree that it was better than Blink. Each to their own, but I can't even comprehend how people could even prefer this sloppy story to the original. It may just be the OCD nerds amongst us that just can't be happy with how Moffat butchered his own greatest creation's mythology, but every time I could see that multiple angels could see each other, and when the Doctor made the statement that the "quantum locking" was an instinctive option, I died a little each time... yes there was lots to love about the story, but when you compare it to the perfect, water tight story of Blink, I just don't see how you can plumb for the follow up. It's like thinking Aliens it better than Alien!

PMount9720@aol.com said...

I absolutely agree with 'End of Time' part 2. I watched the BBC repeat today (2nd Jan) as I realised I've not seen it all the way through in a year. I just adore the last twenty minutes or so and, some plot oddities aside, it's just a great sprawl of an episode. Sorry, much as I like Matt Smith and what he's brought to the show, I do miss the massive emotional wallop Russell T was always able to give the show. There's a void in the show now, sadly but hey, onwards and upwards.

Captain Marbles said...

I must admit I think Blink is still amongst the best eps. It's a perfectly crafted one-off. The success of the episode demanded that the Weeping Angels return.

I wonder if there was any reaction when the Daleks showed up again in Dalek Invasion of Earth. This time with no dependency on deriving energy from their surroundings. Maybe someone somewhere decided that Terry Nation "butchered" his creations in bringing them back.

For me, I think its to Moffs and the show's great credit that they have successfully introduced an iconic villain that was created for the new series and not just some rehash from the classic series.

Noblelox said...

Can I also be a bit controversial here? And admit that I didn't rate the End of Time Pt.II? May I go as far as calling it Indulgent and flabby? In my defence I will quote RTD himself, from the EoT II Confidential (@23mins)"So that's what it's all about, is pushing, giving great actors such material, that they will just fly".... Sorry RTD, but that is rubbish, it is all about the story and the characters, it is not about giving Tennant all these "mugging" opportunities. yes pull the heart strings, the scene in the gate room is excellent, but end it there, don't then go on to do a flabby "Return of the king" multiple endings thing! The saying goodbye to "only the recent" companions is indulgent and boring, in jokes about the SJS cast not looking when they cross the road, Martha and Mickey showing how useless they are, that we know they'll be dead 2 days later, as they can't even see a big blue umpa-lumpa on a gantry! More Mugging for Tennant with the Ood, come the end, I was past caring..."I don't want to go"..Tough $&*% Tennant, just get on with it, I'm bored off my cake now! I had not sen a worse ending to anything since Who Framed Roger Rabbit!

Maddy said...

totally agree with EoTII at first place.
I know that there is all this whole new guy, new series, new everything..but people seems to have forgotten the past..and this is so sad..
I personally didn't enjoy most of series 5 and I'm still missing Ten..
it's like EoTII happened yesterday instead of one year ago...

Steve said...

Umm about "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? " - nope, can't do that because it creates a paradox where the Doctor can't have stopped the ship from leaving because it never left... All the instances of time travel to solve problems this year have been stable time loops (i.e. something happens because it had already happened), stopping the ship leaving would have broken that loop.

Oh and EoT2 as the best episode of the year? Sorry but for me it was absolute and total drek and by the end of it I was wishing Ten gone. Which is a shame as I quite liked Tennant's Doctor but EoT in general was overblown, over-sentimental rubbish with no real story, huge gaping plot holes (10 survives the hundreds of feet drop from the spaceship through the dome HOW??? Much less was required to bump off 4 and he had the scarf to cushion the blow), the return of the Time Lords ending up as a mere cameo (even RTD himself says he threw the idea out when he first had it as it was too Fanboy) and 10 went out like a selfish emo brat rather than the Big Damn Hero that 9 was. Yuck. Frankly Wilf's "do you think he changed them in their graves" and "don't you DARE put him ahead of them" scenes were far more affecting than the blatant 'THIS IS EMOTIONAL' codswallop that was the last 20 minutes of EoT(and this is from someone who enjoyed most of RTD's output). Immediate reaction to 11 was 'thank god, someone remembered that Who is supposed to be FUN!'.

Anyway, I'd put Pandorica / Big Bang (brilliant in every way and a wonderful use of time travel that actually makes perfect sense!) for EoT2 and out Vampires of Venice in at 8, everything above shifts up one.

Captain Marbles said...

Reading a couple of the comments, I'm having one of those "are they watching the same show as me?" moments.

Emotional wallop? How about Rory dying, then reappearing only to have to spend 2000 years guarding the one he loves. How about Vincent's story when Amy wanted to rewrite history and failed? And what about Amy deciding to commit suicide when she thought Rory had been lost in Upper Leadworth?

Forgetting Davey T's brilliance? Not a bit, but the idea of the long goodbye through several pointless specials with no real plot arc to emotionally involve us left me with a sour taste.

It's all opinions of course, but I believe that emotion is still central to the Moff's grand design but tight plotting and less froth have improved the recipe.

Paul Mount said...

Yes, Rory dying would have been emotional if he'd actually died. But Moffat's obsession with rather dry, intense time-travel plot twists and turns (even the Christmas special was bedevllied byu it) robs the characters of any emotional heart, in my opinion. Amy in a box for two thousand years, Rory as an Auton guarding her for two thousands years, the Doctor leaping in and out of Time...smart, clever, but too far removed from reality to really engage. And a (heightened) reality was what RTD gave the show and it's much, much missed. 'Vincent and the Doctor' was the closest we came to anything with the human intensity of the RTD era. But as I've saidm, work in progress and I await enxt season with interest.

Serosis said...

@Paul Mount:

You speak of reality as if it is something that should actually be present in a sci-fi show about an alien that travels around the universe in a time machine that looks like an old police box.

The show did just fine back in the 60's without all this human emotional baggage, it wasn't until the show started adding emotion that it started going downhill.

I'd also love to see a companion who wasn't universally important, but I guess we're never going to see those days again.