10 Times Doctor Who Definitely Wasn’t A Family Show

Over the last sixty years, Doctor Who has always toed the line of family friendly viewing...

The Doctor Falls

When Doctor Who first came to be in the early 1960’s, Sydney Newman had a clear vision for what Who should be. Keen to avoid what he described as ‘bug-eyed monsters’, he wanted the show to stick to a more educational, kid-friendly vibe. After his initial doubts, Newman was convinced to greenlight The Daleks, an iconic serial that would change the course of the show forever.

As the years ticked by, Doctor Who developed its infamous ‘hide behind the sofa’ reputation, and in the almost sixty years since, has continued to toe the line of what is and isn’t family friendly viewing. In the 70’s, it would be subject to complaints that it was ‘too violent’, and this wasn’t helped by the Sixth Doctor’s murderous tendencies in the 80s. The show was dogged by these complaints until its cancellation...

When the show returned to screens in 2005, the entire landscape of television had changed. Writers could get away with more mature, darker plots, and they wasted no time in re-establishing their reputation for pushing the boundaries of what was acceptable for a prime time TV slot.

For this list, we are only taking scenes from the main show into account, and not the wider Whoniverse, or else Torchwood: Children of Earth might just take up this whole list...

10. Leaving Amy Behind - The Girl Who Waited

The Doctor Falls

When Eleven and the Ponds land on the paradise planet of Apalapucia, Amy is separated from the Doctor and Rory thanks to the trio’s sudden inability to discern colours, pressing the wrong button, and finding herself in a quarantine facility for victims of the Chen-7 virus. As the virus is fatal to species with two hearts, The Doctor is forced to send Rory in alone to rescue his wife.

Due to a time dilation effect between the two sides of the facility, Amy’s time stream moves at a much faster pace, and by the time she crosses paths with Rory, she has aged thirty-six years. This new Amy is cold and resentful, and refuses to help save her younger self, causing Rory to choose which Amy to bring back to the TARDIS. This dilemma is seemingly resolved when the older Amy asks him to save both versions of herself. Rory asks the Doctor if this is possible, and The Doctor tells him that it is.

As they make their escape, the Doctor ushers Rory and the young Amy into the TARDIS, before going back on his word and slamming the TARDIS doors shut on the older Amy as she desperately runs towards him, effectively dooming her. After a tear jerking exchange between her and Rory, The Doctor absolves himself of all blame or guilt by telling Rory it is now his choice who lives and who dies. Not his most heroic moment...

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Sci-fi and fantasy swot, writer for WhoCulture and Moffat fanboy. Enjoys very small cats and very big cups of tea.