Hello everyone. I’m still having computer issues, and as such I am also doing this on my dad’s laptop (which I seem to have hijacked since the issues started). Anyway, to pass the time I’ve been watching episodes of the revived version of Doctor Who that I hadn’t seen (or at least hadn’t seen all the way through yet). After watching the episode with a moment that will steal the #1 spot no question, I decided to make this list. So here we go. Here are, in my opinion, the top 5 most emotional moments in New Who history…so far anyway.
Before that though actually, I have one honourable mention.
Honourable Mention: The Unfilmed “P.S.” Epilogue (The Angels Take Manhattan, Series 7)
Since this moment was unfilmed I decided to keep it off the list, but I couldn’t go without mentioning it. In this scene, Brian Williams, father of the character Rory, finds out through a letter from Rory that he’ll never see Rory & Amy again, with the letter itself being delivered by Brian’s own grandson, who happened to be older than him due to the “wibbly wobbly, timey wimey” events of The Angels Take Manhattan.
This moment is very well done, and actually brought me close to crying without even being a filmed scene. It really is a shame that this wasn’t filmed, as I feel, like many other fans, that the character of Brian Williams should’ve had a proper send off, despite not showing up much. Not much else to say on this one I’m afraid, but if you haven’t given it a watch (and are a New Who fan) please, give it a watch. You won’t regret it. With that said, onto the proper list.
Number 5 – “I was gonna be with you…forever.” (Journey’s End, Series 4)
Due to a “two-way biological metacrisis” creating a half-human Doctor and giving Donna Noble the knowledge of a Time Lord, the heroes are able to defeat the Daleks for the umpteenth time. When all of that is over and done with, The Doctor sends Rose and the half-human Doctor to the parallel universe, and notices that Donna seems to be having some sort of issue that makes her get stuck on one word or generally start listing off random things, with the cause being the fact a human is incapable of having a Time Lord consciousness without it killing them. As a result, The Doctor essentially makes Donna forget she ever met him as a way to save her, telling Donna’s mother and grandfather that if she ever remembers her mind will burn and she’ll die (a fact they later write off).
Say what you will about Donna Noble, but I actually really like the character, and she may be my favourite female Tenth Doctor companion. Granted that may simply be because she was the only one who didn’t fawn over the Doctor like a lovesick schoolgirl, but still, I actually found Donna’s farewell to be the most emotional because they were just such great friends, and the friendship had to end with Donna completely forgetting about The Doctor, and interacts with him in a brief scene afterwards like nothing ever happened, which is very powerful and heartbreaking stuff. Also this shows that The Doctor or his companion don’t need to be in love for a farewell to be emotional, since being such great friends means they’d have a strong emotional attachment anyway
Now I’m not saying The Doctor should NEVER be in love with someone, but Rose/The Doctor and Martha’s one sided affection for The Doctor never had me interested. I actually kind of like Rose’s stuff before she becomes a lovesick idiot. Therefore it was a nice change of pace to see The Doctor having a best friend, so seeing that being forced to come to an end, and Donna having to forget ever meeting The Doctor is why Donna’s exit as a companion take my number five spot.
Number 4 – “This is the story of Amelia Pond. And this is how it ends.” (The Angels Take Manhattan, Series 7)
At the end of The Angels Take Manhattan, all seems well until Rory gets “touched by an Angel” and sent back to 1930s NYC again, with a tombstone that previously had his name on it now having the year he died on it. Realising the only way she’ll ever see Rory again is to let herself be touched as well, Amy says a final farewell to River Song & The Doctor and also gets transported back to 1930s NYC, leaving The Doctor in an emotional mess of a state. Later when River says she’ll get Amy to write an Afterword in the book she has to write, The Doctor rushes back to the picnic spot where he, Rory & Amy had been sitting and finds the last page of the book, which he’d previously ripped out, and reads it. In the Afterword Amy reassures The Doctor that both she and Rory are fine, and encourages The Doctor to visit Amy as a young girl and tell her about the adventures she’ll have when she’s older
Seems fellow gingers are my favourite New Who companions. Who knew? Also, the only ginger companions of New Who (thus far) are both female friends of the Doctor rather than love interests…interesting. Anyway, Amy’s departure hit me pretty hard, despite not having previously seen most of her run until now. No lie, I saw all of Series 7 before I’d seen any of Series 6 or most of Series 5, so the fact Amy’s epilogue ALMOST made me cry is a reflection of how well the dialogue was both written and acted. Oddly that’s about all I have to say, so let’s move on.
Number 3 – “EVERYBODY LIVES!” (The Doctor Dances, Series 1)
It was honestly kind of hard to find a way to describe the moment in question, so here’s a video featuring the moment
The first time I gave The Empty Child and The Doctor Dances a proper watch; I did legitimately tear up somewhat at this moment. Not all that much, but there were some actual tears at least. What makes this moment work so well is the Ninth Doctor seems to have accepted beforehand that “everything has its time, and everything dies”, which goes along with PTSD nature of the this incarnation. So to see him hope against hope that this time it could be different, and it actually works out for him, after ALL the crap he’s been through, is just amazingly touching. Generally the way Christopher Eccleston plays this like a kid at Christmas is great to watch and what makes everything work. Here’s a guy who’s the last of his race and has seen so much death and destruction over his long life FINALLY getting a day where everything works out fine and no one dies.
This may actually be my favourite moment of the Ninth Doctor’s series aside from being the series’ most emotional moment, purely because of how legitimately happy Eccleston plays the whole thing and that Ninth’s mood isn’t brought down at all in the closing moments of the episode. All that and Rose not being all that annoying (yet) make this an easy choice for the number three spot. However, this was originally going to be in the number two spot. But then I saw an episode that I had a more emotional reaction to compared to this moment, which leads us to…
Number 2 – “Whatever you are, whatever you do, you’re my son, and I will never, ever send you away” (Night Terrors, Series 6)
Near the end of the episode Night Terrors, The Doctor, Rory and a man named Alex are surrounded by a bunch of human-sized, freaky-as-hell Dolls (one of which being Amy, whom was turned into one) until Alex’s “son” George shows up and the Dolls start to go after him instead. Realising George is still afraid that Alex and his wife would send George away, The Doctor convinces Alex to actually tell George this. After doing so, the alternate reality they were in ceases to exist and everyone who’d been trapped there (or turned into a doll) reappears where they were in the real world before they ended up in this mess.
Trust me; you’re better off seeing the episode than having me explain what happened, it was hard trying to do so and none of it really makes sense unless you’ve seen the episode. But in any case, the line that got this the second spot did get the tears flowing a bit for me, and remains only one of 3 Doctor Who episodes to date to actually do so (aka the top 3 of this list). There still weren’t rivers of tears or anything, but the tears flowed a little more freely than when I watched The Doctor Dances. These days family oriented stuff like this really can get to me a lot easier than it used to, especially when it’s well acted. Seriously, here are two characters that haven’t existed in Doctor Who before and never show up again, but there I was, lightly crying over an emotional moment between the father and son. That’s what you call good writing and acting.
However this moment, nor any moments prior to it, can even come close to what was always going to be the number one moment in my eyes.
Number 1 – The entire final act of “Vincent And The Doctor” (Series 5)
After the stuff involving the “monster-that-didn’t-really-amount-to-anything” is over with, and Vincent Van Gogh has a moment with The Doctor & Amy, The Doctor decides to show Vincent just how respected his work has become, bringing him to tears when an art curator played by Bill Nighy lauds Vincent Van Gogh as the greatest artist to ever live. Having seemed to restore his will to live, Amy & The Doctor return him to his time period and go back to the present, only to find that history didn’t change and Vincent still committed suicide. This hits Amy hard as she thinks they changed nothing, with The Doctor comforting Amy and telling her they did make a difference, and some minor changes, such as Vincent dedicating his sunflower painting to Amy.
As anyone who follows me on Twitter, Tumblr, or is a friend with me on Facebook may already know, this episode broke me. For the first time when watching an episode of Doctor Who, I openly wept. The “Feels Floodgates” were opened all the way. There I was, sitting in my room, silently sobbing and crying my eyes out for a good 2-3 minutes. I even continued to cry well after the episode was over, only coming around when I saw some funny images people had posted on Facebook and/or Tumblr. What makes this more impressing is that I’m not an “art aficionado” so I never knew much or cared about Vincent Van Gogh. The fact this show was able to make me cry about a famous artist I don’t care about is amazing in its own right.
The funny thing is, I’d been joking with a friend that I was expecting “feels” from this episode anyway, but when it was over I was shocked at just how hard it’d hit me. I felt like I needed a hug after all that crying. To make matters worse I, by chance, happened to get a nose bleed when I was starting to calm down again…so that was weird. Anyway, this easily got the top spot simply due to that final act. A live-action TV show has NEVER made me cry like that before, if ever. So it was a very easy pick. If you haven’t seen this episode, I beg you, please give it a watch. Yes, most of the episode is pretty forgettable, but it more than makes up for it in the last few minutes. In case you react the same way I did though, I suggest having a box of tissues or a hanky at the ready.
Well, that’s it. I actually had four out of five moments picked out before I’d even finished watching the episodes I hadn’t previously seen, but even finally finishing Series 6 didn’t change much, aside from the addition of the moment from Night Terrors to this list to round it out. What making this list has taught me is that no matter what people say about New Who, and no matter what low points and head scratching/silly stuff the show does, it can still have a heavy emotional impact when it wants to, as can any form of fiction. In the future I may do more things like this about New Who, but for now I’ll leave it at this. I’m glad I got to finish this when I did, as I won’t have access to a computer/laptop for possibly a week, so it’s good to know I was able to post something here this week to make up for that. I’ll see you all next time with another article of some kind when I have computer access again.