Wednesday, January 16, 2013

11 Heart~Melting Doctor Who Moments

Uh-oh, get the hankies ready Blog~a~trons for Blogtor has collected up his favourite moments in Doctor Who that melted the cold hard circuitry of his unloved titanium computer core. So here are eleven times in Whostory that got old Blogtor teary the most. Set eyes to blub...

11. "Did I also mention it also travels in time?" Rose, 2005
We were only forty-odd minutes in to the new series and I started welling-up. And what caused this outburst? A flippin' slow-motion sequence. So easily manipulated was I. Yup, as Rose ran towards the TARDIS, after her Auton adventure, the tears started to come. But why? This isn't a particularly heartstring-tugging moment, many of you might be saying (or typing in the comments section). No, but it was at the end of this story, whilst Rose was slow-mo-ing towards the Time Lord's ship, where I realised that Doctor Who was back, really back - something I had waited a long time for. And on the evidence of this first episode, it was something I was going to care about deeply. Already less than an hour in, and my heart was full of strange feelings, not normally associated with the show....

10. "Quite right too." Doomsday, 2006
I know this was a kicker for many, many people (most probably at the top for a great number of you) and it's still an incredibly powerful watch all these years on. Bad Wolf Bay was the scene of one of the most remarkable scenes in Whostory - The Doctor was clearly in love with his "companion". The final ten minutes or so of the Series Two finale were emotionally challenging and charged as television's favourite couple save the Earth (both of them) and were then separated by, well, whatever separates Parallel Universes. [I think that's "Void Stuff" - Ed.]  Poor little Bills blubs away, declaring her lurve for Davey T, yet he goes all Han Solo on her simply affirming what she says without a reply of his own (typical man!). Still, we all knew what the three words he really wanted to say were.

9. "Now I'll never know if I was right" Earthshock, 1982
Oh, Adric. Dear, dear Adric. Even in the face of death, his arrogance and petulance are as strong as ever - "if I was right." His last words, though affecting, weren't mawkish and were true to his character. Here, it's not so much the moment of his death but the aftermath. The stunned silence of the TARDIS crew (being repeated in every home in the land at the time) and the beautiful credits - smashed badge, no music. Devastating.

8. "Only forty three when she died." The Girl in the Fireplace, 2006
"My dear Doctor. The path has never seemed more slow, and yet I fear I am nearing its end. Reason tells me that you and I are unlikely to meet again, but I think I shall not listen to reason. I have seen the world inside your head, and know that all things are possible. Hurry though, my love. My days grow shorter now, and I am so very weak. God speed, my lonely angel." *dabs hanky*

7. "It's stopped being fun Doctor" Resurrection of the Daleks, 1984
Now this is quite the goodbye scene. After the bloodbath that was Resurrection of the Daleks, comes a slightly disturbing moment when Tegan 'fesses up to not enjoying life in the TARDIS anymore (though, I'd actually like to know when she was having a good time!). It's disturbing as the Australian obviously hits a nerve with The Doctor, who is rather knocked for six when she reveals she wants to travel no more. The Time Lord pensively troddles off, leaving the Earth behind for some time. But what really gets the old tear ducts preparing for the wet stuff is Tegan's quick return revealing, that after her emotive and heartfelt speech, she didn't really want to go after all. Too late though, as the TARDIS vworps off into space and time.

6.  "The finest painter of them all." Vincent & The Doctor, 2010
Despite the slightly manipulative nature of this scene, where The Doctor and Amy take Vincent Van Gogh to the future to see his own legacy, one cannot help but cry in equal parts joy and utter sympathy for the troubled artist. Yes, it may well have Athlete plugging away in the background (and foreground) and Richard Curtis may well be pulling a Love, Actually on us but it's such a tremendous outpouring of real joy and pain (the painter) mixed with the fictional (Amy's relationship with him). Of course, the Doctor's companion also has the extra layer of being in love with someone she can't remember. Tony Curran's performance in the episode is one of the finest in Doctor Who, hence why we care so much - Vincent is real, his pain is real. And his astonishment, bewilderment and then unbridled happiness are all real to us, and why it elevates us and hurts so much.

5. "Was she happy? In the end?" The End of Time, 2010
This is a most curious moment at the end of The Tenth Doctor's time in the TARDIS. Whilst visiting his previous companions and chums is perfectly understandable, Davey T's pit-stop to visit Verity Newman, great-grandaughter of Joan Redfern from the Human Nature two-parter, really adds an air of forlornness but also context to the proceedings. Much like The Fifth Doctor's final utterance of "Adric" whilst regenerating (revealing an unspoken guilt and regret that had laid heavy on his mind), here The Tenth reveals that Joan was indeed someone very special indeed. His query exposes his affection, which had remained hidden for some time, and the genuine care he felt for his one-time love. Verity responds positively to the question and asks, "Were you?" Unable to reply, the Time Lord moves on, glassy-eyed full of memories of what could have, or should have, been.

4. "Have a good life. Do that for me, Rose." Parting of the Ways, 2005
The Series "One" finale was full to the brim with heart-pounding scenes and Eccleston's regeneration was certainly emotionally-electric. But I have chosen the moment where The Ninth Doctor displays utter bravery ("Hope it's a good death") and selflessness - by sending Rose back home, unbeknownst to her, in the past and on Earth, in safety. He saves her, and his TARDIS, full in the knowledge that he's about to bite the big one. Speaking to her holographically, the Time Lord says, "let the TARDIS die. Just let this old box gather dust. No one can open it; no one will even notice it. Let it become a strange little thing standing on a street corner. And over the years, the world will move on and the box will be buried." It's almost as if Russell T Davies was talking about Doctor Who itself, as there was no certainty the show would continue when writing that piece of dialogue (incredible to think now almost eight years on). It's a beautiful and moving speech that displays everything good, positive and life-affirming about the world's greatest television show.

3. "Don't forget me!" The Hand of Fear, 1976
Similarly, though for a different reason, The Fourth Doctor had to return Sarah Jane Smith back to her home whilst he returned to his. After spending three and bit seasons with the curly-haired one, lovely Lis Sladen got a send off like no other companion in the "classic" era. The pair got to work on the scene and it shows. There's a genuine warmth and yet utter sadness behind what's happening; her plea of "Don't forget me" is delivered with a smile - a smile that undoubtedly hides an inner melancholy. Tom's "Till we meet again" may have seemed like a throwaway line but becomes prescient as Sarah Jane would indeed team up with The Doctor(s) again. Of course, the tears have no time to dry before the Time Lord's eccentricity has us giggling as the journalist had been dropped off in the wrong place. A perfect summing of their fun and strong friendship.

2. "That's not dying, 'cos a better world takes its place." Turn Left, 2008
Though Donna's send-off, as it were, in Journey's End was deeply distressing (I don't mind admitting that I was utterly miserable for days after its broadcast), it was in this story, her finest moment, that reduces me to an absolute wreck every time. I mentioned bravery with the Ninth Doctor earlier and here we see it in abundance again from Donna who has completed her journey of self-obsessed Chiswick temp to saviour of the world. Her bravery is augmented by a scintillating performance from Catherine Tate who ponders, "The Doctor's world! And I'm still alive! That's right, isn't it? I don't die. If I change things, I don't die." But then her positivity soon changes as Rose's expression reveals all and the ravishing red-head pleads, "That's... that's right, isn't it?" All to the soundtrack of one of the most stirring pieces of music I've ever laid my ears on from Mr Murray Gold (another finest moment in this episode). It's the perfect storm of emotion, adrenalin and beauty.

1. "I did some things, it went wrong." The End of Time, 2009
Whenever Bernard Cribbins popped up in a scene in any Doctor Who story, I was immediately welling-up -  no idea why, but that lurvable old chap just brought out the tears in me. And here, in The Tenth Doctor's opulent finale, it was so wonderful and so gratifying to see him back - especially side-by-side with everyone's favourite Gallifreyan, sitting in a plain old cafe, having a chat about this 'n' that.

Having said that, the rejoiceful feeling, emboldened by seeing Donna again, soon turned to sheer heartbreak as the Time Lord revealed his take on the awful events of The Waters of Mars. His fallibility and insecurities were on show for the world to behold, and Tennant's touching performance coupled with Cribbins fatherly assistance made for some of the most sorrow-filled seconds in Doctor Who's history. It's a simple moment, of two men in a humdrum greasy spoon, but a moment of huge honesty and ravaging, raw emotion; a conversation as powerful as it was enlightening. A moment that, for me, is still to difficult to actually sit down and watch, such is the woe that it still elicits.
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Feel free to leave your favourite moments in the comments section below. And pictures of ALL OF THE TEARS, please.*

Visit the LISTS page HERE for more, erm, lists.

19 comments:

RevNickie said...

The Adric thing. I was 11 when that was broadcast in the US the first time and it about killed me. He wasn't the most popular with the adult fans at the time, but I really identified with him. I even looked a bit like him (and fortunately I grew out of both!). Wasn't expecting that from Doctor Who. But it cemented the meaningfulness of the show for me to this day. I would have also included the final scene of "The Green Death" where #3 just kind of sadly slips away from the party after losing Jo.

Dan said...

The moment after Ian and Barbara leave the First Doctor is really sad- the Doctor reveals he will miss them and it showed how much he had changed since he met them.

Miles I. Hamer said...

I really enjoyed this, some interesting choices there. Good to see fandom can differ so wildly on opinion - here's my Top 10 weeps from The Fan Can sometime last year. http://thefancan.com/fancandy/features/whofeatures/tears.html

TheFirstDawn said...

Great list :) Would have liked to see Amy and Rory (the moment where she leaves and the afterword, plus their fall from Winter Quay) Having said that Adrick's death was strangely melancholy - not so much his death (woohoo), but the Doctor's reaction to it all.

drjon said...

"It's all right. I've had a good life. I'm nearly twelve."

Mark Orintas said...

Some excellent choices. Only one I'd add is the sorrowful 3rd doctor driving away in Bessie after the amazing Jo Grant decided to stay and marry her new found love. I don't recall Jon Pertwee ever so sad and it was a sadness that lingered with fans as well. So lucky to have had the amazing Sarah Jane up next

Emeraldnite said...

5 words--"I don't want to go." What a sad end to New Year's Day--though Matt brought back the joy almost immediately!

Anonymous said...

The moment in The Doctor's Wife when Matt Smith is in tears as Idris leaves...maybe not in the top 10 but pretty close!

Dalekbuster523 said...

For me,the saddest thing in Doctor Who so far is the graveyard scene in 'The Angels Take Manhattan'. I don't understand why this isn't on the list. It was utterly depressing and showed how great Amy and Rory were as companions.

Anonymous said...

So the scene where The Doctor basically says the guy who follows him won't actually be The Doctor, is your favourite? Okay. Personally, I thought that whole scene, along with the one where he whinges about having to save Wilf, were close to worst written scenes in New Who's history....and with Russell T. Davies there are plenty to choose from.

Cameron McEwan said...

"won't actually be The Doctor" is your own reading into it "anonymous".

But well done for noticing that was my favourite.

Anonymous said...

Considering how hated Adric was by fans, then and now, it's ironic that his death retains so much of its impact 30 years later.

Anonymous said...

For me the scene with Wilf on the spaceship where he talks about his war experiences and then says "I don't want you to die" just pips the one in the cafe. But then it's possible to pick 11 heart melting moments from that story alone.

Anonymous said...

I love all these moments, especially the ones having to do with Rose. I thought the whole way that they ended was so sad and whenever she comes back and tries to get to him, it breaks my heart even more. We see the doctor and Rose both hurting but seeing each other only makes it worse because they can’t be together. Also in The End of Time I thought the whole ending was very sad and not just visiting the great-granddaughter. I agree that anything to do with Bernard was a very sad moment, no matter if it was just seeing him when Donna went home or in that episode.

Anonymous said...

I think that three of the saddest ones ive seen were Family of Blood, Journeys End, and The Angels Take Manhattan.
Poor 'John Smith' when he realizes hat his life isnt real and has to choose between his love, Joan Redfern and saving the world from the Family and their army of evil scarecrows. Who didnt shed a tear when he kept denying his timelord existence and begging to live out his life as John Smith instead of The Doctor, and as he sees his possible future as a human with Joan, something The Doctor could never have? And when The Doctor finally returns and offers Joan the chance to travel with him, only to be denyed because he will not change back to Mr. Smith. I'm not sure why, but when The Doctor "gives" the family what they wanted(to live forever) in the end, made me well up as well. And finally, when The Doctor comes back to Tim in the future, and the fob watch is in his hand, one cannot deny the pure joy of seeing the boy who went through war only because of the watch speaking to him, once again be joined by his ultimate hero.
Journey's end. My god. After the hecticness that was a second doctor being created as well as a true "Doctor-Donna" and the battle against the Master of the Daleks, The Doctor finally returns with Rose back to Bad Wolf Bay, where Rose is in tears at the thought of The Doctor leaving her again in the very same spot as before, only to be told by the other Doctor, that he has only one heart and can age along with her. And when Rose asks what the Doctors final words were to be at their last farewell, only for him to assure that she already knows, the other Doctor jumps in and I'm sure we all know what he whispered in her ear to make her jump into his arms in that beautiful display of affection. The Doctors one true love, and he once again, must leave her. His words really ring true when he is before regeneration and make his stop to see Rose to tell her about the amazing year that is to come for her in The End of Time.
Poor Matt Smith, as the first companians of The 11th Doctor both die in the end of The Angels Take Manhattan. It was bad enough that they jumped off the roof just to destroy the Weeping Angels, but then stupid Rory had to look at that grave stone only to be taken back in time by the last surviving angel, taken to his final death. If there was anyone who was not sure who Amy's 'true' love was, in one of the most heartwrenching displays of affection I've seen in Doctor Who, as Amy sacrifices herself just to live with Rory, instead of the Doctor, the answer was revealed. And as The Doctor struggles back to the TARDIS, with their deaths weighing heavily on his shoulders, his despair is really shown in The Snowmen, when he refuses to save the world any longer.

nel said...

Thanks for the list and thanks for selecting, as your #1 choice, a very quiet, human moment in the sci-fi whirl of Doctor Who. I've heard many on-line fanboys dismissing the 10th Doctor as "too human," a criticism I confess I never really understood. Lord knows I have issues with much of RTD's writing but where i think he really excelled was the character development, amongst them great scenes like the one you describe. I was expecting even greater heights in that area when Moff took over and have been very disappointed by a series that, for me, has not had much emotional resonance since series 5. I think it's telling that only one ep from series 5 onward is on the list.

jdowlath said...

Sally and Billy, in the hospital.

"No, gorgeous girl, you can't. There's only tonight.

Ah, life is long, and you are hot. Oh, look at my hands. They're old man's hands. How did that happen?

I have till the rain stops."

Anonymous said...

It's not a sad moment, but I'm always touched when Martha says to Rose 'Oh my God he found you' in Journey's End. It's like finally all the bitterness has gone, now she's moved on. It's also a beautiful moment for Rose after the agonising in School Reunion she knows that the Doctor does remember her and talk about her even after she's gone.

Anonymous said...

I thought the episode with the library and how Donna was in love with lee and swore she would find him and that he was just there, stuttering her name, and she decided to write off that he wasn't real and they loved each other, I just... I can't.