In 2005, the BBC rejuvenated the Doctor Who franchise for the first time in nine years. The Doctor, a 900-year old alien from the planet Gallifrey, sidled alongside new companions to fight against classic foes from the 60s and 70s like the Daleks and Cybermen. New arch villains were introduced like the Weeping Angels, statuesque creatures who kill you buy sending you to the past and feeding off the energy of your unused life, and the Silence, memorably forgettable creatures who have made Sharpie marks on your arms more terrifying than waking up with a scrotum drawn on your forehead. Tom Baker’s multi-colored scarf has been traded out for leather jackets, then converses, and now bow-ties, fezzes and cowboy hats.
Though legendary adventures and terror abound in Doctor Who, one aspect of the show that remains steadfast throughout is heartache. The isolation of the Doctor, the last surviving member of his species who perished in the great Time War, should be enough to lead any man to claim “no, I just have something in both of my eyes at the same time,” but throw in some companions with their own troubles and you have a recipe for one hell of a Fez-wearing tear-gas bomb.
So grab your handkerchiefs and TARDIS-shaped mugs and let’s find out the saddest moments of the new Who.
As one of WhatCulture’s American writers, I’ve never been all too familiar with Kylie Minogue. She had that song that I couldn’t get out of my head, and apparently she’s been on soap operas in Australia in the past. What I actually remember most about her was that when she performed on Saturday Night Live, Sir Ian McKellen sat at the front corner of the stage and watched her sing from two feet away. She also seems adorably tiny; in fact, there’s a decent chance she’s actually hiding in my coat pocket right now. Seriously, she’s like three apples tall.
I’ve never been a huge fan of the Doctor Who Christmas specials. In comparison to the serial episodes, they tend to miss out on the bond the Doctor has with his companions that make the show so compelling.
And then there was Astrid Peth. In the Christmas special Voyage of the Damned, Minogue plays the waitress the Doctor befriends. They travel from the spaceship to earth, and Astrid alludes to wanting to travel the universe. And, having serendipitously befriended the Doctor on his travels, it would seem that her wishes might be fulfilled.
But, as always, crap goes awry when Max Capricorn and his Angel Hosts stage a terrorist attack on the ship, the aptly named Titanic. Before the Doctor can be harmed, Astrid pulls an Ellen Ripley-esque move and uses a forklift to kill Capricorn, sacrificing her own life in the process.
We find that she has a teleport bracelet on, but cannot be regenerated in a physical form. The Doctor shares a kiss with her shimmering silhouette before she dissipates into stardust, free to float around the universe and loco-mote back to the top of the pop charts.
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