Doctor Who: 10 Most Poetic Quotes From The Show

A good speech can make a good Doctor Who episode great. These ones achieved that feat.

Mark White

Contributor

BBC

BBC

“When they made this particular hero, they didn’t give him a gun, they gave him a screwdriver to fix things. They didn’t give him a tank or a warship or an x-wing fighter, they gave him a call box from which you can call for help. And the didn’t give him a superpower or pointy ears or a heat ray, they gave him an extra heart. They gave him two hearts. And that’s an extraordinary thing; there will never come a time when we don’t need a hero like the Doctor.”

That’s a quote from Steven Moffat, talking about why Doctor Who is so important. Whilst there are fans across the world who wax lyrical about the beauty of Doctor Who, you might not expect to see any kind of deep dialogue actually in a science-fiction show. But that’s precisely what makes the genre so special; by relocating to faraway lands that we can only dream of, taking a story to extremes, both in the past and the future, writers can coax the most fascinating emotions from their audience; it’s no surprise that sometimes, every once in a while, someone says something profound or beautiful.

And Doctor Who is no different. Yeah, it’s chock-full of Daleks and Cybermen and Weeping Angels, but at its heart, it’s a show about what it means to be human. Here, in no particular order, are ten of the most brilliantly poetic or wonderfully moving moments when Doctor Who writers made the most of our exquisite language. What are your favourite quotes? Comment below!

 

10. Night Terrors

BBC

BBC

“Through crimson stars and silent stars and tumbling nebulas like oceans set on fire; through empires of glass and civilizations of pure thought, and a whole, terrible, wonderful universe of impossibilities. You see these eyes? They’re old eyes. And one thing I can tell you, Alex… Monsters are real.” – The Doctor

For such an offhand flick of an explanation, this quotation from ‘Night Terrors’ is certainly one of the more beautiful ways that the Doctor’s told someone, “I’m here to help.”

The imagery that Mark Gatiss uses is spectacularly colourful; the simile of oceans set on fire, combined with the idea that stars can glow crimson gives a burning passion to the words that Matt Smith delivers beautifully. It’s a quote that contrasts the fiery intensity of the universe with the serene vulnerability – it’s telling that “terrible” and “wonderful” are juxtaposed – and it’s warm, but fragile hyperbole, topped off with the reminder of the Doctor’s past: the simplicity of the line “They’re old eyes” really makes for a powerful reminder that the Doctor is an ancient being, and not just a young man in a bow tie.

It’s a fitting three words to end on, too; here is a man with blistering fervour, rattling off a smouldering description of the universe just off the top of his head. If there’s one person who knows a thing or two about monsters, it’s a man with old eyes, who’s travelled through a civilisation of pure thought.