When we last left The Doctor, he was undergoing a tearful regeneration that would change him from a man who just happened to look like David Tennant to a man that just happened to look like Matt Smith.  Almost that very instant, the tone of Doctor Who promised to shift.  As the last moments of Russell T. Davies more dramatic “Lonely God” tenure were playing out, the start of Steven Moffat’s “Nutty Funster with A Past” began.  Right from his first moment of existence, The Eleventh Doctor was setting us up for the man we’d come to know and love over the past couple of years.  He would still have dour and serious moments and he’d still show us his darker edges from time to time.  But indeed, a rediscovered sense of fun and adventure took place when Eleven began.  Here now are the ten essential Doctor Who stories during the beginning of Steven Moffat’s reign.

 

11. The Eleventh Hour (Series 5, Episode 1 – 2010)

Enter The Eleventh Doctor. Newly regenerated, he manages to crash land in the sleepy little town of Leadworth; more specifically, in the backyard of one Amelia Jessica Pond. Amelia is special as she seems to have a bit of a problem…a special sort of problem that someone like The Doctor could only solve.  This episode probably has the most fun introduction to a Companion that the modern era has ever witnessed thus far, especially when it explores how poor Amy (nee Amelia) had to learn to accept that The Doctor didn’t exist, only to have him come back years later and say “Sorry I’m late”.  The dynamic that would last throughout their pairing is firmly established, though the character/rapport of Rory would take a little more time to root into the show’s mythos.

 

12. The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone (Series 5, Episodes 4 & 5 – 2010)

It didn’t take long for Steven Moffat to revisit old friends, and old foes, that he’d introduced us to during the Russell T. Davies era. The Wreck of the Byzantium had been alluded to in Silence in the Library/Forest of the Damned, and we finally got to see just what Professor River Song was referring to as she checked her spoilerific journal the first time we met her.  Also along for the ride are everyone’s favorite stone cold killers, the Weeping Angels, as they were the reason the good Professor was even on the ship in question to begin with.  This story not only pushes two key pieces of Moffat’s mythology along the board, it also teases Series 5′s big “Crack in the Wall” mystery.

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This article was first posted on December 29, 2012