After the jaw-dropping cliff-hanger in The Doctor Falls, thoughts have already turned to the Christmas special, and no doubt very soon the identity of the next Doctor will be revealed.
Series 10 is already becoming old news. So before we open this next exciting chapter in Doctor Who’s history, let’s take a look back over each one of this year’s episodes. How do they compare to each other? Which (if any) were clunkers and which will be remembered as classics?
Rating a series of such high quality was never going to be an easy task. With one or two notable exceptions this list was very much a moveable feast with little to choose between the series’ best episodes.
The rationale behind the final decisions here are as objective as is possible. If episodes were listed purely in order of enjoyment, it’s likely that there'd a quite different order. Instead episodes are judged on a range of factors, including though not limited to: The script; direction; design; message; acting; legacy; emotional impact; and its place in the series arc.
There will be a few surprises in these selections, with one fan favourite languishing towards the bottom and a much criticised episode near the top, but that’s the beauty of a show which can be so completely different from one week to the next – there’s usually something for everyone.
11. The Pyramid At The End Of The World
"Hello, I’m the Doctor saving the world with my eyes shut."- The Doctor
As the middle part of the Monks trilogy this was the episode that should have given us the explanation as to why they were so intent on invading the Earth. With Extremis the set-up and The Lie of the Land the resolution, the bulk of the exposition had to be included here. But we were given scant insight into the motivations or the background of the invaders.
Instead, the plot of all three parts of the trilogy revolved around the Monks’ methods, and they were different each time: the practice run and intelligence gathering on the virtual Earths, the watching and waiting for consent, and the 1984-like newspeak and brainwashing. No wonder the trilogy dragged in the middle.
The sketchiness in the portrayal of the monks led some to speculating that they would return to be revealed as pre-converted Cybermen or even degenerate Time Lords, all of which could have been avoided had this episode provided more context.
The central conceit of doomsday being triggered not by war but by accident is a good one, as is the shock ending, but overall the story was just a little too contrived. It’s hard to say which element was the most unbelievable – Bill’s failure to realise that the Doctor was blind? The combination lock? The siphoning out of the toxic air? The Doctor unable to work around his blindness? Take your pick.