11 Doctor Who Instances When It Was Just… Blissful
Gustaff Behr examines some of those rare moments when things aren’t quite so dangerous.
We’ve had the worst moments, the dark moments, the best moments and now we have the ‘blissful’ moments. These scenes range from a few seconds to a few minutes. They are those moments when companions are actually happy to be travelling onboard the TARDIS because they aren’t being chased by monsters of any kind. At least not yet! Viewers might like to see them defeating Daleks, Cybermen and the Master, but the characters themselves just want the Doctor to take them somewhere fun, cool, exciting and most importantly – blissful!
1. Mother of All Toothaches – The Gunfighters
It’s been a while since I watched The Gunfighters, but John Barrowman’s comments in The Doctors Revisited on it being one of the funniest instances of Doctor Who made me watch it again and I have to declare…yes! Yes it is (channeling Phineas from Phineas & Ferb). For those of you who haven’t seen it yet: The Doctor has the worst possible toothache imaginable. But it’s okay. He knows just the place the go. The only place to go to get a tooth fixed and that is the O.K Corral. Yes ladies and gentlemen. Big spacey-wacey, super-duper time machine and it doesn’t occur to anyone that they could just hop back into the TARDIS and go someplace that actually has anesthetic. The most of the first episode is just one big laugh as Steven and Dodo live out their childhood fantasies of being cowboys, leaving the poor Doctor the only fellow who isn’t having the time of his first life.
2. Just Another Day at the Beach – The Enemy of the World
The opening scenes of The Enemy of the World with the Doctor stripping down into an onesie and jumping into the ocean are pure bliss. I believe he is the only Doctor to do actually something like that. It is so out of character (for the show, not the character) that it is welcomed as opportunities like these seldom come along. The idea that the Doctor actually sporting swimming attire underneath his world saving clothes is not only funny to watch, but exemplifies how enjoyable travelling with the Second Doctor can be. Because let’s face it, who wouldn’t want one of their first trips in the TARDIS to be somewhere near a kind of ocean (exotic in my case) with warm sunshine and fancy drinks?
3. A Bloke Fixing his Motor – Doctor Who and the Silurians
I think it was the Sixth Doctor who once said: There are few ways in which a Time Lord can be more innocently occupied than fixing your yellow roadster. The first Silurian story features the Doctor murmuring a tune while fixing up his car like a typical male. I know he’s a male, but…the whole image just bleeds quintessence because it is the Doctor! It’s a fitting reminder to us at home that now he really is stuck on earth like a proper human and is already keeping busy with earthy habits. Throw in some comedy with the Doctor not sure what ‘that’ part is for. Oh well. It can’t be important so we’ll just chuck it aside. Onwards!
4. A Relaxing Dip – The Invasion of Time
You know, one of these days we’re going to enjoy a proper scene with the Doctor and his companion actually in the TARDIS pool instead of wandering past some CG screen. It’ll probably be a minisode or prequel, but it will happen (I hope). Nevertheless, this scene with Leela essentially enjoying a brief dip in the pool, surrounded by a frog relaxer and whatever that pink one was, is quite nice and not just because it provides lots of fanservice to the male viewers at home, but because it fits. How else does one cool off? With a swim of course! At least that’s what I do. Bonus points because the companion relaxing is Leela, a character who is normally always on guard or confused – or both!
5. Bowled Over – Black Orchid
Peter Davison described this scene as one of the highlights of his run as the Doctor. However I can’t help but wonder why the production team spent five out of a forty five minute serial playing cricket. It seems like a waste of screen time. Visually, it’s very entertaining watching the Cricketer Doctor actually play a game of cricket with his companions looking on. Hilarity is thrown in when you’re informed by those bewildering faces that only Tegan understands what’s actually going on.
6. Fellas Gone Fishing – The Two Doctors
This one’s my personal favorite. So the Doctor decides that taking Peri fishing is a good idea. Fishing? The one activity that requires the patience of a monk, the determination of a drunk and the luck of an Irish. What on earth (or whatever planet they were visiting at the time) convinced him that this was a good idea? Attractive college student who always sporting revealing attire and he takes her fishing? Yip! The Doctor is definitely an alien. On top of all that, he fumbles and ends up spending hours boring poor Ms. Brown and only reeling in a guppy he claims was intentional in order to save it from a “mean old Gumblejack” that was trying to eat the poor little fellow. How precious? If only we believed you Doctor. If only…
7. Favorite Kind of Jazz – Silver Nemesis
What’s not to love about this scene? The Doctor and Ace attend a garden party and listen to a musician laying down some old-school jazz. What a strange, but wonderful notion. The scene is short, but sweet as a wise man would say. Ace is checking poll results while the Doctor is fiddling around with his fob watch almost certain he’s forgotten something. Amidst all the running about, Cybermen attacks, alien invasions, Doctor Who needs more scenes like this instead of just having the TARDIS randomly land somewhere at the start the story. In this case, the Doctor and Ace are already secured within an earth setting and stumble into the plot from there. See? It’s not that hard.
8. Breaking Tradition – TV Movie
There weren’t a lot to choose from, but it seems like the scene I chose was tailor-made for this portion of the article. Hilariously, the Master blunders (again) and accidently helps bring back his arch nemesis’ memory just in time for the Doctor to realize that there is an attractive woman within arm’s length. So what does a Doctor do? What would later Doctors always do? Kiss her damnit! Just reach out, grab her by the arm, reel her in like a barracuda and celebrate. Afterwards and upon her request of course – do it again! This moment may have enraged many fans at the time, but in hindsight, it is a remarkably important, if not vital point in the show’s run. Plus it provides lots of fanservice to both genders watching at home. Win-Win!
9. Fish & Chips – Boom Town
This particular scene is what makes Boom Town marvelous for me and I’ll just remind you that I hate the Slitheen with a capital H. Described as Series 1’s ‘cheap’ episode, this episode’s scene in the restaurant with the TARDIS team sitting down for a bit of breakfast with Jack Harkness at the end of a very naughty recount involving fifteen naked men running away from something with white ‘tusks’, stands as one of the highlights of Series 1. It gives you a sense that when they’re not defeating Quarks or Ice Warriors, this is the kind of stuff the Doctor and company get up to. Oh what I wouldn’t give to hear the start of that story Mr. Harkness.
10. I am Not Amused – Tooth and Claw
The Tenth Doctor and Rose at their best is when they’re just having fun and what can be more fun than annoying the hell out of Queen Victoria by tempting her to say those immortal words to you? Played for dramatic irony as the viewer is well aware of the danger, but the Doctor and Rose aren’t because they’re too busy having a laugh to notice anything out of the ordinary until she is kidnapped fifteen minutes into it. Yip! The first ten minutes of this episode probably fits this article. That and the final reveal when the Queen finally does utter those words, as well as the part at the end of the story with them mocking the royal family’s heritage on route to the TARDIS. With all the fun, one can almost forget that there was a werewolf stalking around in this episode.
11. Doctor Who’s Declassified TARDIS Survival Guide for Dating River Song – Night and the Doctor
This is something I wish Doctor Who did more often in the RTD era and in the classic series – minisodes about all the amazing (non-dangerous) things the Doctor and his companions get up to. An entire minisode (two actually) dedicated to the Doctor just trying to have a normal date with River Song. What could possibly go wrong? Cue two more River Songs showing up to spoil the party, convinced that the Doctor is seeing “someone” else behind her back. Or is that backs? Not only does Steven manage to deliver some character development, hilarity left right and center, but he even manages to drop a few tears down our cheeks when the Doctors discuss River while she’s busy getting dressed. Personally, I wouldn’t mind a Night and the Doctor series every year covering the exploits the Doctor and River get up to while everybody’s resting comfortably.
Feel free to lay down some comments about what your favorite moments are that don’t involve any danger of any kind! Cheers!