Doctor Who Series 10: Ranking Every Episode From Worst To Best

The lowdown on every episode in Steven Moffat's final series as Doctor Who showrunner.

Doctor Who Series 10

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

Doctor Who Series 10
"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.


Paul Driscoll is a freelance writer and author across a range of subjects from Cult TV to religion and social policy. He is a passionate Doctor Who fan and January 2017 will see the publication of his first extended study of the series (based on Toby Whithouse's series six episode, The God Complex) in the critically acclaimed Black Archive range by Obverse Books. He is a regular writer for the fan site Doctor Who Worldwide and has contributed several essays to Watching Books' You and Who range. Recently he has branched out into fiction writing, with two short stories in the charity Doctor Who anthology Seasons of War (Chinbeard Books). Paul's work will also feature in the forthcoming Iris Wildthyme collection (A Clockwork Iris, Obverse Books) and Chinbeard Books' collection of drabbles, A Time Lord for Change.