Oh David, my Doctor. Here are what we consider to be the best episodes in his illustrious three-season journey.
With Peter Capaldi stepping down and Jodie Whitaker ready to fill the boots of many men before her, why not rank the best episodes of ‘new Who’ (post 2005) by Doctor? (except Eccleston because he had 13 episodes – it would be a short list). David Tennant’s era was when I really started to watch the show as a young teenager, and therefore I will always see him as my Doctor.
Beware – spoilers ahead for seasons 1 to 4. You’ve been warned!
10. The Christmas Invasion – written by Russell T. Davies
David Tennant’s first episode has a special place in my heart. I remember going to school the Monday after Christopher Eccleston’s last episode and telling a friend how much I already didn’t like David Tennant in his less than a minute on screen. I was young, naive, and we go through it with every Doctor at that age: initial hatred.
To have The Doctor in a coma for most of David’s first episode was a bold move by Russell T. Davies, but it gave space for season one and two companion Rose to deal with the dilemma of a regenerated Doctor. It was important to do this early in new Who to give new viewers a chance to get their head around it. Animosity on this new new Doctor was dispelled the moment David came out of the TARDIS on the Sycorax ship. “Did you miss me?”. He quotes Lion King and dispatches of the Sycorax with a duel – an inconsistently shot and rather stupid duel I concede.
I went back to school the following Monday and pretended I never said I didn’t like David Tennant.
9. The Satan Pit – written by Matt Jones
The best dilemmas to give The Doctor make him question his own beliefs. At this point The Doctor was over 900, and along comes this menacing beast that makes him question if Satan is real. Here, slave race The Ood are having strange communications coming through their orbs. Eventually, in this second episode of this two-parter we discover it may be Satan. The show doesn’t commit to one or the other, but puts The Doctor in an interesting position.
This giant devilish being thinks they have gotten away with their master plan, and has The Doctor all worked out. This episode also allows Rose to save the day by jettisoning this Satan’s mind (trapped inside an archaeologist) into a black hole. On The Doctor’s way down to face this beast we get a small look into his ideals about Satan and religion in general – something the show rarely tackles.