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10 Most Heartbreaking New Who Moments

Guest contributor Julia Richelle counts down ten of the saddest.

I’ve watched all of the new Doctor Who a few times now and I’ve realized that there are parts that make me cry much more than others. So, I’ve put together a list of scenes that just broke my heart and ordered them based off of how much they made me cry versus others. It was going to be just a “saddest moments” list, but it expanded a little. Here’s what I came up with:

10. “Before I go, I just want to say you were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. And you know what? So was I!”

 - The Parting of the Ways

eccleston-regenerates-parting

This was definitely a moment to tug at the heartstrings. For those of us in the new generation of Whovians, this was the first time we had to say goodbye to a Doctor. But since it was only after one season, I think it was a little easier. We weren’t quite as attached.

9. “No, you see, that’s where everybody’s wrong… It’s all one title. Gallifrey Falls No More. Now, what would you think that means, eh?”

- The Day of the Doctor

tom-baker-day-smith

I’m actually grouping this in with the scene immediately following this one that shows all the Doctors lined up next to each other because of one thing – Eleven’s face. His face is what makes the change from simply watching to being a mess of tears and joy on the floor. He looks so hopeful, so happy, that you can’t help but cry humany­-wumany happy tears.

8. “Raggedy Man, Goodnight.”

- The Time of the Doctor

amy-time-regen-smith

I think that framing Eleven’s run with appearance of Amy Pond was a good one. Even though I do agree with one critic that it kind of pushed Clara aside while she was also a crying mess like most of us watching, I also think that it was what the Doctor needed at that moment. He spent so much of his time with that face and her that she was the one who could really give him courage before he left. Also, all of the sadness of him growing old, knowing that he’s going to die, and then knowing that he’s going to regenerate all led up to that last goodbye.

7. “You’re always here to me. And I always listen. And I can always see you.”

 - The Name of the Doctor

name-of-the-doctor-river-smith

This scene broke my heart into a million tiny little pieces, shards going into my lungs and making it hard to breathe. One last goodbye between the Doctor and his wife. Her face when he catches her arm is so emotionally confused, and it just goes downhill from there.

6. “And I suppose, if it’s one last chance to say it, Rose Tyler…”

 - Doomsday

Army of Ghosts & Doomsday

I think that, for a lot of people, this would be higher on their lists, and to be honest, I’m surprised that it’s this high on mine. But I guess it’s because I’m less sad for Rose and that she’s separated from the Doctor as I am sad for the Doctor, who’s always losing people, always having to say goodbye and hating it. You can see it on his face. Which is why it can still make me cry even though I like Rose less the more I watch of Doctor Who.

5. “Doctor, please tell me you know who I am.”

- Silence in the Library

silence-river

Yes, the end of the second episode was sad too, but this was the part that really got me. And it didn’t, the first time I watched it. But then I made the mistake of going back and re­watching it while I was waiting for the 50th Anniversary to come out. I thought I was going to die. I love River Song, and the look on her face when he doesn’t know her…ugh. I couldn’t stand it. I just wanted to jump into the TV and give her a hug.

4. “I don’t want to go.”

 - The End of Time

tennant-final-line-regen-want-to-go-end-of-time

This is probably the most iconic (and divisive) Ten line. And for good reason, too. It’s pure agony. This is where the list starts to go from “crying a lot” to “rolling on the floor in a pool of my own tears.” By this time, we’ve all fallen in love with Ten and now he’s leaving us forever. And for the first time, we get a taste of what it’s really like for the Doctor and the sadness that comes with such a complete change of everything.

3. “Donna. Oh, Donna Noble. I am so sorry. But we had the best of times. The best. Goodbye.”

- Journey’s End

Donna-Noble-Journeys-End

This is another one where the face says it all. Their hearts are all breaking and so was mine. Also, for me, Donna was the first companion that I really fell in love with. Rose was special because she was my first, and Martha was okay, but I loved every bit of Donna. She was wonderful.

2. “To my mind, that strange wild man who roamed the fields of Provence, was not only the world’s greatest artist but also one of the greatest men who ever lived.”

- Vincent and the Doctor

vincent-and-the-doctor-cry-end

When I watched this scene for the first time, I actually had to pause [the DVR] and wait for the tears to clear from my eyes a little before I could continue watching because I couldn’t see a thing. His happiness at realizing that it wasn’t all for nothing was the greatest thing that could have ever happened.

1. “Amy. Please. Just come back into the TARDIS, Come along, Pond. Please.”

- The Angels Take Manhattan

amy-doctor-graveyard-angels-manhattan

Alright, here it is, the one scene in all of Doctor Who that I think is the saddest/most tearful. No more Ponds. The Doctor is devastated, and so was I. I had to pause this one as well. I just couldn’t do it. Two and a half seasons of Amelia Pond and her Raggedy Man screeching to a sudden halt in a way that they might as well have died. I was already gone from the moment Rory was taken.

Thanks for reading and let me know if you agree with my list, or if you would have ordered it differently, or if there was a scene you think I left out! Please! I live for your approval! Or at least, some kind of sign that someone is actually reading my stuff.

Step back in time...

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243 comments
DesmondBlack
DesmondBlack

I have to be honest. Matt Smith's goodbye was a bit disappointing, I felt nothing, just as I've feel nothing for River Song. The one Amy Pond story that was heartbreaking was in the Girl Who Waited as old Amy Pond says goodbye to Rory, and maybe Karen Gillan's best performance. Also, I enjoyed Wilfred Mott's goodbye, as it brought me to tears. Of course there is also Matt Smith's epic speech in the Rings of Akhaten. Finally, there was Father's Day when Pete Tyler sacrifices himself. Any of these could replace the ones on this list, in my opinion.

TheOncomingStorm
TheOncomingStorm

Not anything from The Family Of Blood? And what about when Tennant says goodbye to Rose for the first/last time in End Of Time?

JulesOShades
JulesOShades

10's final round visiting his people... when he goes to see Rose before they have "met"... she doesn't know him yet and he knows her so well. It was a lovely scene.

Maryanne123
Maryanne123

My goodness me Matt is a champ in making us cry. I'd repace River's goodbye to 11 with the one with 10. Even though they are closer in age, Tennant had zero chemistry with Alex and his gurning as usual spoiled the delicate words and plot developed by Moff. Just imagine how beautiful that scene would have been if Matt was playing it and giving proper weight to it

And Doomsday? Really? are kidding me? How is that cheesefest on the beach even allowed to be included with the others. Plus The End of Time is the funniest of the lot. Our family literally howled with laughter when Tennant made his funny faces and started whining. I presume you included it ss a joke. If that godawful episode has to be included to appease the Tennant fangirls at least pick a bit with someone who is able to do more than gurn and whine. I suggest the scene with Wilfred.Now that is class acting. How I wish he could have at least had one episode with Matt - what bliss. Instead he was wasted in what most critics see as one of the very lowest of RTD's low points as a writer and the worst doctor ever.

Your number one is spot on though. Simply sublime Matt Karen and Moff.

The Oncoming Jellybaby
The Oncoming Jellybaby

Vincent and the Doctor is the top of my list though I don't think I have 10.That said, the sound of the TARDIS at Amy and Rorys wedding always gets me as well.

DeAnnRossetti
DeAnnRossetti

I always cry at all of the above, but I also cried like a baby when the TARDIS said "Hello" to the Doctor before she went back to being his mute space ship. That and Tony Curran as Vincent nearly did me in. Also when Astrid gets a final kiss from David Tennant's Doctor before she becomes stardust, that had me weeping (AStrid was in the space Titanic episode).

Taz C
Taz C

My ten biggest tearjerkers, in no particular order except the first two are my top two: 1) Donna getting her memory wiped. Gets me in floods of tears EVERY time. 2) The WWI/Remembrance Day scenes at the end of The Family of Blood, again every single time. 3) "Hello. Hello Doctor. It's so very, very nice to meet you." 4) "All those people..." - The Fires of Pompeii. 5) River's death, the first few times, but I've watched that episode so many times by now that it only really gets me if I watch all the River stories in the order she experiences them, except Name of the Doctor - so it comes at the end of a story rather than the beginning; if I watch it in that order River dying still gets me every time. 6) Owen and Tosh dying in Torchwood 7) The Master's death 8) The jump from Winter Quay, except I did think the music went from amazing to a bit cheesy right at the most otherwise tearjerking point - didn't like the drums much. 9) Amy at the end of The Girl Who Waited. 


















10) "Goodbye, my Sarah Jane!"             By the way, how do you do paragraph breaks on Livefyre? :/






































































OnceTheDoctor
OnceTheDoctor

Brilliantly chosen! I found "Goodnight Raggedy Man"particularly memorable and heartbreaking. I think if Amy hadn't appeared in The Time of the Doctor it wouldn't have been as half as effective as Matt Smith's final scenes were.

JustMarianna
JustMarianna

A scene that no one mentioned, but made me cry so hard when i saw it was: little Barnable waiting outside the Tardis in the time of the doctor, and the doctor asking him if he is guarding his tardis. and barnable's words "i'll wait", they added Amy's theme there, and somehow it affected me so much. Part of me thinks that one of the reason's eleven left Clara and went back to Christmas was because of that shot of Barnable waiting outside. I think that it reminded him of Amelia.

JustMarianna
JustMarianna

Amy's last farewell: this is the story of Amelia Pond, and this is how it ends. Combine it with the shot of little Amelia still waiting and i was sobbing uncontrollably


Eradallion
Eradallion

Amy's goodbye didn't really affect me in any way. I didn't really care. Elevens goodbye was the biggest cry for me


MarlonJBonnici
MarlonJBonnici

I still don't get how Amy and Rory's goodbye is held by many to be so sad. They lived happily together and just didn't see the Dr again. Not the first companions to do this. Personally the whole scene with Vincent Van Gogh hit me quite hard for reasons I wont go into.

lordlional
lordlional

What about the Doctor's "hello" goodbye to Idris? Gets me every time.

pinkjaguar12
pinkjaguar12

I think I would rank Donna's goodbye as number 1, because it is still so emotionally wrenching for me every time I see it.  Sometimes, when I'm watching Journey's End, I like to pause it right after everybody succeeds in pulling the Earth back home.  Because that is when the episode is at its highest shining moment of happiness.  And then everything else happens, and it just comes crashing down.


Runner's up - Sad - Eleven's reaction in "Last Night" to River at Darillium; Lorna's death in Good Man Goes to War.  Happy - All of "Good Night" (for some reason that mini-episode is very touching to me); The moments in "The Satan Pit" starting when the Doctor finds the TARDIS again.

Riversmith
Riversmith

Eleven's reaction in the 'Last Night' mini episode when he sees himself taking River to Darillium. So tragic.


Mr 11
Mr 11

When Amy and Rory left....oh my god I just couldn't stop.

Venawesomeo
Venawesomeo

Number 2 broke me when I first watched it. Out of all of New Who, though, I'd say the Tardis' goodbye as Idris made me blub like a schoolgirl the most.

PaddyB
PaddyB

The Ninth Doctor's farewell to Rose as a hologram was sadder than his regeneration. The moment that he becomes solid and says, "do that for me," accompanied by Rose's Theme (which is also used to great effect in Doomsday) is brilliant. Also, I love it a few minutes later when a close up of the Emperor Dalek cuts to a shot of a rotisserie chicken!

PaddyB
PaddyB

That photo from The Angels Take Manhattan is heartbreaking. The Doctor looks like a child begging Amy not to go away.

sushigal007
sushigal007

Fairly good list, although I'd replace the Doomsday beach scene with the wall scene (and knock it down a few places because I found the Doctor saying goodbye to River far more moving). And I'd knock off Nine regenerating, which I didn't find sad at all to make room way way up on the list for the moment when Oswin realises she's a Dalek. I'd been completely fooled and realising it at the same time she did was like a punch in the gut.

Chronos the Fannibal
Chronos the Fannibal

Is it just me that was especially upset when Hath Peck died in that bog? (The Doctors Daughter)

Adric the Genius
Adric the Genius

Perhaps the saddest moment of all Doctor Who was the death of Adric.  One of the Fifth Doctor's original companions, with such a future ahead of him, dying trying to save the ship, whilst the Doctor was powerless to help.

KingOrokos
KingOrokos

A fair list and a good article, though not necessarily the order I'd have chosen. A few scenes which I think could deserve a place on this list:

The (final) death of Pete Tyler - Father's Day

Rose is the 'weakest link' - Bad Wolf

Discovering that Jackie has been converted - The Age of Steel

"We have until the rain stops..." - Blink

"You're not falling, Astrid. You're flying." - Voyage of the Damned

"All those people..." - The Fires of Pompeii

The song of the Ood - Planet of the Ood

Jenny's death - The Doctor's Daughter

"Was she happy? In the end?" "Yes. Were you?" - The End of Time

"Every life is a pile of good things and bad things..." - Vincent and the Doctor

"Halfway out of the dark..." - A Christmas Carol

"I just came to say... Hello." - The Doctor's Wife

Clara answers 'Pond' to the one-word test - The Snowmen

The speech to an Old God - The Rings of Akhaten

"We're all ghosts to you..." - Hide


And several scenes from The Time of the Doctor, most notably Clara being abandoned for the second time.

Bertass
Bertass

Excellent list - I'd rearrange a few, but the only one I think that I would have instead is the scene from The Girl In The Fireplace, when The Doctor realise he is too late for Reinette. Saw it again a few days ago and I was a wreck! If take out the Curator scene from the 50th Anniversary. Great but it didn't choke me up

MizzTerri
MizzTerri

I agree with your whole list! Well done!

Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!
Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!



A small one that I don't think anybody has mentioned yet is the "I have 'til the rain stops" scene between Sally and Billy in "Blink". I rewatched it last night and couldn't help but shed a few tears.


Also, the Christmas cracker scene in "The Time of the Doctor"... that one is just emotionally destructive. :'(

SteveWillis
SteveWillis

I thought the Vincent scene was the most emotional. I felt the Pond's farewell emotion was negatively affected by the "plot holes" that niggled at the back of my mind. The most emotional bit of that scene was River confirming that Amy could be with Rory by touching the Angel. It was like the ultimate sacrifice. River was giving up contact with her mother just so her parents could be together. Except... River sent a copy of the book to Amy to write-up so the paradox thing... so yeah, gg.



usmandikkoladan
usmandikkoladan

to me Matt's last scene would be my number 1. i know it sounds cliche, but it was heart breaking seeing your doctor go.

WellSpokenMan
WellSpokenMan

No 8th Doctor regeneration? Or are we counting that as Classic Series now?

Romanadvoratrelundar
Romanadvoratrelundar

One of my saddest moments has to be when the Doctor "dies" in The Impossible Astronaut. It wasn't so sad at first - we all knew he was going to live in the end, and we were all so shocked and busy speculating on how Moffat was going to get himself out of this one that there wasn't really any chance to shed a tear. But rewatching it shortly after Matt announced his departure and Capaldi was revealed as the Doctor put everything into a whole new context - when he started to regenerate I shed a tear, when Amy grabbed him I started to cry, and when they sent him out in the boat I absolutely lost it. I cried for the first time ever while watching Doctor Who, because I realised it represents how we all feel about a Doctor after he regenerates - we mourn him and we cast him off because we don't have a choice.

"Alive isn't sad" "It's sad when it's over" was also another one that was that much sadder in a 'regeneration' context.

Doctor What
Doctor What

Previously known as Doctor Qué?, but Livefyre doesn't accept question marks or accents as valid characters for the name.

Excellent list, and mostly agree with the order.


Another two tear-jerker scenes (for me, at last):


- The Tardis hello to the Doctor, at the end of The Doctor's Wife - we waited 48 years for this!

- In The Day of the Doctor, when the War Doctor has made his decision and is about to detonate the Moment, the Bad Wolf girl stops him with some of the most beautifull words about the Doctor:


- You know the sound the TARDIS makes? 

That wheezing groaning. 

That sound brings hope wherever it goes.

- Yes. Yes, I like to think it does.

- To anyone who hears it, Doctor.

Anyone, however lost...

even you. 

That was the perfect description of the most deep feelings that this show has awakened on me, so I can't help but cry everytime I've watched it (and there's been many times!).

I would like to think that any whovian shares this feelings, because, honestly, it is the most beautifull thing in the world.

50doctorwho
50doctorwho

I don't get any tears from watching the top 2  for me donna levaving was the sadesd

WhoPotterVian
WhoPotterVian

I still don't get what's so sad about 11's regeneration. There's nothing upsetting about it whatsoever. He's happy to go; to move on. What's so sad about that?

blueboxgirl
blueboxgirl

Another contender for me would be the scene from end of time, where ten and wilf are sat in the cafe, and ten nearly breaks down completely over what happened in waters of mars...."i´ve done some things....". Its just a superb scene, with tennent and cribbins acting their socks off and you can feel the fear from ten so much......love that bit.....

Clara Laurinda
Clara Laurinda

Your article is lovely: personal and emotional and enjoyable to read (if that is the right word for remembering all the tear-triggering scenes of sadness and joy. I agree with all your choices), except I would reorder them a bit and add the Christmas cracker scene between Clara and the aged 11th. I loved that scene and it reminded me of a 40-year mentorship that ended in my friend's death at 82, only two years ago. Emotions are a personal thing and I really loved your honesty and liveliness in capturing that in your article. Brava!

Balatsoukas Pavlos
Balatsoukas Pavlos

It's actually bizarre how some things can slip one's mind. I had forgotten all about this Doctor/Donna thingy, and it really was to cry for.


IMHO, I would not include "The Ponds gone" scene, as it followed a very long episode, full of plot holes, and all these blockbuster episodes where they weren't even proper companions any more - I was even (sort of) glad to see them go - and yes, I know this last sentence is enough to open the gates of eternal damnation... The scene when they fall together from a rooftop just to prove a point, though... That was heartbreaking.


Dinah Zhang
Dinah Zhang

The end of time----I don't want to go of the tenth doctor is my first. Every time I see this picture and remember this makes me cry again

craig33
craig33

"I will always remember when the Doctor was me" thats your number one.

The Living Angel
The Living Angel

I have just thought of one that's not on the list. 

In The Girl who waited, when Rory is inside the Tardis and an aged Amy stands outside, tells Rory not to let her in and that she is giving her days with him to young Amy :'(


craig33
craig33

Two and a half series of ponds.

Doctor Capaldi
Doctor Capaldi

Fantastic article. My most heartbreaking was Vincent in the Gallery... I cry everytime I even think about or watch that scene... that quote and photo are setting me off right now.

JustMarianna
JustMarianna

@MarlonJBonnici  I don't think that it's the fact that Amy and Rory left, it's more the way Eleven reacted with the whole "Come along, Pond" that made it so heartbreaking, add to that the whole last farewell: this is the story of Amelia pond and this is how it ends" and that last scene of little Amelia still waiting. It's the whole effect.

Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!
Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!

@SteveWillis  Well, River didn't necessarily see Amy in the process of getting the book to her. I imagine that she went to an earlier time period and left it for them with a note, kind of like Vastra's letter to Clara in "The Name of the Doctor", or Elizabeth's letter the the Doctor in "The Day of the Doctor".

Romanadvoratrelundar
Romanadvoratrelundar

@WhoPotterVian It's sad for the same reason any regeneration is sad - it's not so much about the actual scene itself but what it represents. For years, when we thought of 'the Doctor' Matt Smith's face automatically came to mind. His face was on all the merchandise, he was the man we looked forward to watching every week - he was Doctor Who

For me, when he regenerated it was like he began to float away. like Tennant, like Eccleston, like every other Doctor before him he just became a small part of a huge history that gets further away with every passing day. He's not the Doctor any more - he's just another face that will just blend in with the other ten before him.

Matt Smith isn't really the Doctor anymore, it's Peter Capaldi now...we're all so excited to see what he will bring, but doesn't that make you even just a little sad?

DalekSupreme1
DalekSupreme1

@FMOB11 Speaking of slightly unusual moments of sadness, the moment that made me get closest to crying in Doctor Who ever was actually the end of the Eighth Doctor Audios, To The Death. I won't spoil it for you, because you are ALL going to listen to them - AREN'T YOU?!!!!!