The revival era of Doctor Who has treated us to a whopping 165 individual episodes. And while there have been some stinkers (looking at you Love And Monsters and Orphan 55) there have been many outstanding stories. From Eccleston to Whittaker, Davies to Chibnall, NuWho has been full of brilliant episodes.
From awesome premieres to heart-breaking finales, thrilling two-parters to Moffat masterclasses, everyone has their favourite. Even if you don't like a particular series as a whole, there are always episodes that you'd happily rewatch again and again until the end of time itself.
While nearly all Whovians agree that Series 4 is where the show peaked, debate still goes on about the best episodes of each series, the stories that above all else make are fantastic!
Quick note, we're only including episodes that aired within a main series, so don't expect to see any of the Christmas Specials nor the 50th Anniversary Special. Right then, allons-y!
13. Series 1: The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances
Honourable Mentions: Dalek, Father’s Day, Bad Wolf/The Parting Of The Ways
Show-runner Russell T. Davies deserves a lot of credit for reviving Doctor Who back in 2005 with an excellent first series, but its best episodes were written by his successor, Steven Moffat.
The two-parter finds the Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler in the middle of the Blitz, where London is being terrorised by a child wearing a gas mark, asking just one chilling question: “Are you my mummy?”
The Empty Child sets up the story brilliantly, giving us multiple compelling characters, creepy imagery, and an unsettling mystery at the heart of it, all before a nerve-wracking cliff hanger. The Doctor Dances brings all the plot threads together seamlessly, with a narrative that everyone can follow (which makes a nice change from Moffat's later work).
The story is iconic for a number of reasons. The gas mask zombies are among the scariest and best villains the show has ever created. We are introduced to the incredibly dashing Captain Jack Harkness, played to perfection by John Barrowman. And of course, one of the best lines in the history of Who: “Everybody lives Rose. Just this once. Everybody lives!”
These two episodes strike the right balance of mystery, comedy, horror, history and sci-fi. And it goes without saying that Christopher Eccleston is at his very best in this story.
Bananas are good!