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Series 1-7 Face-Off: Episode 13

Doctor Who TV is running new series pitting all the revival episodes against each other to decide your dream run. This will be done on an episode by episode basis. Today we continue with the 13th episode of each of the seven series so far.

Note: Splits are not counted and specials will have their own categories at the end.

episode-13-face-off

Introduction by Lewis Hurst.

Today’s Candidates

  1. The Parting of the Ways (2005)
  2. Doomsday (2006)
  3. Last of the Time Lords (2007)
  4. Journey’s End (2008)
  5. The Big Bang (2010)
  6. The Wedding of River Song (2011)
  7. The Name of the Doctor (2013)

What makes a good Episode 13?

Episode 13 (more commonly known as the finale) comes at the end of every series and addresses the long running plot threads throughout the series as well as sometimes seeing the departure of a major cast member. Depending on the complexity of the arc, this episode can usually feel pretty cramped due to the amount of storylines to be wrapped up. A good Episode 13 will juggle these while still telling a great story and showing great development for the Doctor and his companion. If fans don’t like the answers given it can sour their opinion of the episode. So a good Episode 13 needs to juggle a fine line between delivering a satisfying story and delivering a strong emotional conclusion for the characters.

Predicted Winner

Say what you will about the conclusion to the “Impossible Girl” arc, but The Name of the Doctor is probably one of the strongest and fan pleasing finale. In the pre-titles sequence alone we’ve had a return to Gallifrey and all 11 Doctors as well as an answer to the Clara arc. Revealing that Clara had been scattered across the Doctor’s timeline that early on was a bold move and certainly kept audiences hooked. The episode is disadvantaged somewhat when you consider it’s not a very standalone episode, instead serving more as a prologue to both The Day of the Doctor and The Time of the Doctor. River’s presence feels unneeded, apart from serving as a way to open the Doctor’s tomb without revealing his name, but the final scene between her and the Doctor makes up for it. The Name of the Doctor is a magnificent episode and if it wins it will have fully deserved it.

Dark Horse

Journey’s End has its fair share of critics, but I love this finale. It’s big and it’s a lot of fun. Sure, there was no real reason for Davies to bring back Rose. Remove her from the episode and it’s exactly the same. She contributes nothing to the plot and the writing here does ruin her original exit in Doomsday. But despite that, this episode is marvellous. There are lots of fan pleasing moments, from the Daleks speaking German to Davos recognising Sarah Jane. And the episode also has one of my favourite moments in Doctor Who, as we see Davros show the Doctor his “true self”, claiming that he seems to “fashion his companions into weapons”. And of course, we mustn’t forget Donna’s heart-breaking farewell, which still manages to bring tears six years later. Journey’s End is overlooked by a lot of fans, which is a shame as it’s a real gem.

Writer’s choice

The Big Bang is a massive romp from start to finish. While at first it’s a little jarring to have most of the action take place in a museum with only a solitary Dalek as the main monster after the previous episode showcased an alliance of nearly every Doctor Who monster ever, it instead allows the episode to stand on its own two feet and almost feels like a completely separate story. It’s an episode that uses Moffat’s concept of “Timey Wimey” at its best potential. The Doctor escapes from the Pandorica by time travelling. He gives Rory his screwdriver allowing Rory to free the past Doctor, and then Amy is placed in the Pandorica to be revived by the younger Amy 2,000 years later after the Doctor posts a leaflet through her door one night. When the younger Amy requests a drink, he travels back in time and steals Amy’s drink thus making her thirsty in the first place. Is your head hurting yet? This episode is even more rewarding on rewatch. Why is the Doctor dying after being shot by a Dalek? Because as we learn in The Time of the Doctor, he’s out of regenerations! The Doctor’s bedtime story to young Amelia is amazing, and “I think I’ll skip the rest of the rewind. I hate repeats” still chokes me up. The Big Bang is just a marvellous finale and probably one of the best of the lot.

Vote

You’ve heard Lewis’ thoughts, but what about your own? Which one tops your list? Vote below.

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197 comments
Strontium
Strontium

"The Name of the Doctor is probably one of the strongest and fan pleasing finale". Completely disagree. For me, and many people I know, it was the most anticlimactic thing I have ever seen that is TV related. Utter disappointment.



Willywoo7
Willywoo7

The David tennant and Chris eccleston eps are so much better than matt smith eps

Willywoo7
Willywoo7

So hard to pick from all the David tenant episodes! But had to go for doomsday as I love rose so much!

gamingossipnet
gamingossipnet

I've never been so big on finales. I think the series always peaks with episode 1 to be honest. But I think I'll go with The Name of the Doctor. 

chinnysandshoes
chinnysandshoes

I have to say, I didn't particularly like any of these episodes because I found them in general, to be too keen to please fans and not particularly needed. Take Journey's End for instance. Writing in Rose so she can receive her consolation prize.... Or The Wedding of River Song. There really was no need to wed River. By that time, River would have done ANYTHING for the Doctor. All he needed to do was to simply say to her - now you have to trust me River, I am the Doctor - and she would have done exactly what he asked, married to him or not. Now the Name of the Doctor was beautifully built up. I was so in love with the episode.... until the resolution. That's it? Jump in? That's all? Oh I do not underestimate the courage of Clara and how it explained her as the Impossible Girl. But I guess I just expected something more wrenching. So even as I am so tired of TenRose, I'm going for Doomsday (it was either Doomsday or The Parting of the Ways). You don't need to be a shipper to feel the pain and anguish of their loss of each other. RTD could have written something 'kinder' but he didn't, and I like that he kept it real. The Doctor knows without exception, one day, he will lose his companion and he will have to carry on. I also particular enjoyed Mickey Smith as this confident, self-assured, mature young man. This is what the Doctor does. He changes people for the better.














latinbatman
latinbatman

It's got to be Journey's end for me. I cried more then i should have as i thought the show had been cancelled and that's why things were being wrapped up. Personally i never liked rose, so her inclusion was the only downside for me in an otherwise stellar episode. Last of the time lords was also brilliant in that it showed a side of the doctor we hadn't quite seen. And the master's refusal to regenerate was so evil, i loved it. Martha is my second favorite companion because she resolved her issues with her doctor on her own. No drawn out soppy love story like with rose, she remained friends with him but realized the importance of putting herself first. Last place? WORS. I can't even be bothered to type the whole title. River's one of my least favorite characters in that she reminds me of those annoying friends we all have that rock up to your house when THEY feel like it, eat all your food, leave a mess, then rack off leaving you to deal with the consequences. But that's my personal opinion.

Seaborn W Deadman
Seaborn W Deadman

Believe it or not, Journey's End! By far the most fan pleasing episode in the whole of the RTD era! Who doesn't grin a big goofy smile when they see Rose, Sarah Jane, Jack, Martha, and Donna all piloting the TARDIS together! Sure, it's blatant fan service, and sure the ending is all a bit too easy; why the heck would the Daleks have a remote control panel just happening to sit around, and how on earth did it not take billions of lightyears to manually haul the earth halfway across the universe? But it also gave us a beautiful resolution to Rose's character, so much more pleasing and fuzzy than her sad departure in Doomsday, and the best and last real goodbye to Sarah Jane we've gotten in the show. Especially now that Elizabeth Sladen has passed it's a particularly beautiful scene. Say what you like, but I also loved Davros's return in this episode and the intriguing but admittedly unrealistic concept of the Metacrisis Doctor. This was just a happy episode for the fandom all around, and the only dark stain was Donna's heartwrenching goodbye. In my opinion, the saddest companion departure in the new series; beautifully done. It was so sad to watch her grow and improve so much during her time with the Doctor, only to have it completely reversed and forgotten again. Overall I think the positives outweigh the negatives by far in this episode and while really, there haven't been any season finales that I haven't absolutely loved, Journey's End wins by a hair.

GWad84
GWad84

My Choice: The Name of the Doctor. Actually one of my favourite stories full stop. Yes it's very fan pleasing and the reveal as John Hurt as The Doctor made this 30 year old man contact his dad at 2 in the morning to tell him but there is far more to this episode than mere fan service. The full script is sublime and doesn't hit a bum note. "Sorry ma'am but I think I've been murdered" was especially chilling. The Moffs scripts always have great comedy and as a Scot the Strax in Glasgow Gag tickled me, also The Doctors "The little Daleks" line was a little comedy nugget. The tone changed quickly at the mention of Trenzalore. The rest of the story completely gripping and the cliffhanger as mentioned had me jumping about as if Scotland just got a Penalty in the World Cup final; shocked that something so brilliant and unordictable is happening, delighted at what's unfolding and wondering what is going to happen next

2nd choice: Doomsday

3rd choice: The Big Bang

KingoftheOod4450
KingoftheOod4450

There's only one episode here where the episode/story/series is resolved in a clever way. Just one. The Big Bang.


So clever, in fact, that it's clever in two ways:


The problems - the Pandorica and the exploding TARDIS - are used as the solution. Genius.


Then tying the wedding saying in with the TARDIS, and linking it wonderfully back to the first night Amy met her imaginary friend... powerful, powerful stuff.


ON the flip side:


TPOTW: Rose super-powers plot convinience.

D: Nothing too bad with it actually, but not a particuarly astounding resolution to the villains.

TLOTL: I'm not even going to go there.

JE: A couple of buttons that undo and control everything? Found in the BASEMENT of the Dalek Crucible? Moving the Earth like a pick-up truck... no words.

TWORS: The letdown to the most ambitious and exciting series. A re-hash of TBB in many ways. Unfortunately, unlike the Pandorica resolution, the Teselecta was a total cop-out.

TNOTD: Loved it on first viewing (perhaps because unlike the rest of Series 7 it seemed to have a point) but since then gone down massively in my views. Jenny's double-death, the underuse of the Whispermen... and let's face it, without finding a single spoiler I predicted this outcome from the moment we found Victorian Clara.



Only one winner, and what a clear winner it is. Though I've been fairly condemning, I do always enjoy the finales. You know that you're going to get some high stakes and good drama, and to be fair to them, they all have that. But most of them lack the balance shown in The Big Bang.

JPatterson2
JPatterson2

I have to say Name of the Doctor with Journey's End as my second. Journey's End was almost perfect but at times it was a bit cluttered because of so many people returning. A lot of characters that should have had more screen time and lines were basically background characters I just think that RTD tried to do to much in the time he was allowed. Given more time I think it would be my favorite.

DW_girl
DW_girl

Ooh, this is a tough one! But I'll go with the following:

1) The Big Bang 10/10

2) The Parting of the Ways 10/10

3) The Last of the Timelords 10/10

4) The Name of the Doctor 10/10

5) Journey's End 9/10

6) Doomsday 8/10

7) The Wedding of River Song 6/10

As you can see, there isn't much in it at all for my first 4 choices! On the other hand, Wedding was an easy last place.

ThereWasAWarAndWeLost
ThereWasAWarAndWeLost

The Parting of the Ways. The best, followed by Doomsday. Those two are miles ahead of the rest

VortexDan
VortexDan

Name is probably going to win, but I SINCERELY hope it doesn't. Even "The Wedding of River Song" was a better finale than that.

The_Horrors_Crimson
The_Horrors_Crimson

Journey's End, as we lost the greatest (in my opinion) of all the companions that we have had.


So sad, poor Donna.

Liana21
Liana21

The Big Bang with Name and Journey's End as runners up. I love The Big Bang it's so crazy but at the same time so beautiful and c'mon, River getting a Dalek asking for mercy, that's something you don't see all days.

JJ2000
JJ2000

Doctor Who: Best Episodes (In order):



1. The Eleventh Hour (Series 5, 2010)

2. Day Of The Moon (Series 6, 2011)

3. The Unquiet Dead (Series 1, 2005)

4. The Girl In The Fireplace (Series 2, 2006)

5. Flesh And Stone (Series 5, 2010)

6. Dalek (Series 1, 2005)

7. A Good Man Goes To War (Series 6, 2011)

8. Silence In The Library (Series 4, 2008)

9. The Empty Child (Series 1, 2005)

10. Blink (Series 3, 2007)

11. Boom Town (Series 1, 2005)

12. The Pandorica Opens (Series 5, 2010)

13. The Parting Of The Ways (Series 1, 2005)


Steven Moffat, Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat, Steven Moffat, Robert Shearman, Steven Moffat, Steven Moffat, Steven Moffat, Steven Moffat, Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat, Russell T Davies. A lot of Steven Moffat’s. Hope that his writing is back to his usual standards this year, because his last two episodes have been absolutely terrible.


Series 1: 5 Episodes



Series 2: 1 Episode

Series 3: 1 Episode

Series 4: 1 Episode

Series 5: 3 Episodes

Series 6: 2 Episodes

Series 7: 0 Episodes





1. Series One

2. Series Five

3. Series Two

4. Series Six

5. Series Three

6. Series Four

7. Series Seven

trenzalew
trenzalew

Best: The Parting of the Ways, Worst: The Name of the Doctor





Doctor Who-The Master
Doctor Who-The Master

1. Journey's End.

2. Doomsday.

3. Name of the Doctor.

4. Sound of Drums.

5. The Big Bang.

6. The Wedding of River Song.

The Moment
The Moment

Either Doomsday or The Name Of The Doctor. Can't decide

Doctor Who-The Master
Doctor Who-The Master

-Everthing must turn to dust.

-Rose Tyler, I-

-There is a man who has saved your lives hundreds of times.

-DETONATE THE REALATY BOMB!!

-Geronimo!!

-Look in my eye. (Apsalute rubbish)

What I did, I did in the name of Peace and Sanaty.

IamTheDoctorBasicallyRun
IamTheDoctorBasicallyRun

A big LIKE to all comments. Any of my three favorite finales(The Big Bang, The Name of the Doctor, The Parting of the Ways) could win. And it could be a close one... The results will be interesting.

DawnTime
DawnTime

Lots of goodies in the bag for the Finale.  The Parting of the Ways was the first time Doctor Who made me sob.  So will never forget that one. Very much enjoyed Journeys End and The Big Bang. , the Wedding of river Song is fab.  However The Name of the Doctor gets my vote, for the shear hard work , dedication of everyone involved in making this one.  You could see how much care and love went into making it for everyone for a memorable event. !

mgm1229
mgm1229

I went with Name of The Doctor, as I liked the solution to the Impossible Girl. All those fun scenes with Clara aiding all the Doctors. That John Hurt reveal? Marvelous. And it sets up Night of the Doctor and Day of the Doctor beautifully.

Kylephantom4
Kylephantom4

I struggle with. Name and Doomsday.....oh boy this one if a tough one

lukashcartoon
lukashcartoon

Okay, here's my take. YMMV


1)The Big Bang: Great season ender. Slightly sets up for the next season but you could conceivably never watch another Doctor Who episode. (Why anyone would deprive them of that pleasure, I have no idea 

2) Wedding of River Song: Perhaps one of the greatest openings ever. Containing the solution of how the Doctor escaped his fixed point. However its definitely a to be continued story.

3) Journeys End: was a really good 10 Adventure. Filled with companions and But had a really tragic end to Donna's story. Only weak part is a weakness of ALL RTD stories…Deus ex machina endings.

4) The Name of The Doctor: Great episode, with past Doctors and an answer to Clara and Rivers last episode. Solid story but the drama for the set up of Day of the Doctor overwhelmed the story.


5) Doomsday: Great ending for Roses story. If it was the ending. Least of RTD plotting problems-but put too much emphasis on Rose/Doctors relationship.

6) The Parting of the Ways: Decent season ender…but not really memorable outside of the regeneration. Also had the head scratcher about The Eye of Harmony and Rose manipulation of it.

7) The Last of the Time Lord. Worse of the season enders. It had the Tinkerbell/Jesus glowing effect of the Doctors escape. Totally took me out of the epside.





Bert_Macklin
Bert_Macklin

The Name of the Doctor WAS terrific, exciting, and inventive. However, the Big Bang was all that AND playful. No big bad, just the threat of time ending -- the finale happened last episode, so now it's time to have all the characters put the pieces back together. And it's one of the rare happy ending episodes. It was oh, so nice.

Unibot
Unibot

The Name of the Doctor for me!

The_Ogri
The_Ogri

The Parting of the ways was absolutely fantastic, it was one of the best send-offs for a Doctor since Logopolis. For the New Who era it poses as something even greater in our minds in being the first Doctor regeneration we saw. A big hats off to RTD for the tie-in of the Bad Wolf arc, and the Daleks I was not expecting. All the supporting cast were fantastic, and the only true contender in this list is... uhmmm... is... I'll have to get back to you on that. If you're voting and you haven't seen this episode, hold your vote, go buy Netflix and watch it and Bad Wolf. It's worth it even if you never watch Netflix again, I strongly recommend it.

Danosaur_Whovian
Danosaur_Whovian

This was so hard! These were all amazing! I have to go with Doomsday because I'm a hardcore Rose Tyler + 10 fan and *sniff* that was literally heartbreaking :'(

1. Doomsday

(really close)2. The Parting of the Ways

3.The Last of the Time Lords

4. Journeys End

5.The Big Bang

6. The Wedding of River Song

7. The Name of the Doctor

PeterGecko2
PeterGecko2

Had to be The Parting of the Ways for me.

DrWhoGoesThere
DrWhoGoesThere

I went for The Wedding of River Song.   Strangely, looking at this, I realized that most of the episode 13s aren't as good as the episode 12s.

Oncoming_Badger
Oncoming_Badger

1. Last of the Timelords

2. The Parting of the Ways

3. The Big Bang

4. Doomsday

5. The Name of the Doctor

6. Journey's End

7. The Wedding of River Song

Sorry to say, I really don't see the hype surrounding TNOTD. It's a decent episode and all but I don't consider it a masterpiece, I also despise the Doctor-Donna scenes in Journey's End, so my vote goes to the heartbreaking scene of the Doctor breaking down into tears after losing the last of his kind. It is magnificent.

Silurian53
Silurian53

Very conflicted with this one. I abosutely adore certain moments in all of these stories. The Parting of the Ways really does feel like there's no way out and has some truly emotional moments. The Big Bang introduces the Fez, wraps up the series 5 arc perfectly and has a couple of amazing Matt monologues. Again Name of the Doctor is a whopping story that is such a good ending to the series and does such cool little fan pleasing things. It introduces John Hurt in a crazy cliffhanger, brings back the Great Intelligence again, has a montage of Clara saving all the Doctor's and right at the start shows the most amazing little moment of Hartnell stealing the Tardis with Susan! Thinking about it now I'm going with The Parting of the Ways. I remember sitting there as a 9 year old boy (who had seen EarthShock on tv weeks earlier and loved it, which trigger me to tape the new episodes which had the same title but not the same cast, which confused me) and gasping as this big Dalek (The emperor) was revealed to be in the shadows, shouting as Jack died and as Rose was sent home and crying as my new favourite hero vanished in fire only to be replaced by a smiling weasel before the credits rolled. Haahah oh the memories.

Pockydon
Pockydon

This is really between The Parting of the Ways and The Big Bang for me. Both are pretty much perfect on almost every conceivable level, but for me personally, it's gotta be The Big Bang. Timey-wimey jumps and confusion are my favourite thing about current Doctor Who, and are probably the reason why I love Moffat so much, and The Big Bang is a perfect example as to how to do it right.

Polyphase
Polyphase

Pretty difficult, I'm stuck between TPOTW & TNOTD

1)

2)The Name of the Doctor

3)Doomsday

4)Journeys End

5)Last of the Timelords

6)The Wedding of Whatshername

7)The Big Bang

JJ2000
JJ2000

13. The Parting of the Ways - Christopher Eccleston's last episode. Doomsday was good, but how Pete catched Rose, I will never know? The 'Doctor' thing in The Last Of The Time Lords ruined it for me. Flicking switched in Journey's End also killed it for me. The Big Bang was also very good. The Wedding of River Song was also quite good as well. The Name Of The Doctor was also good as well. Steven Moffat's finales are always about time falling apart though, which is kind of annoying-ish. Russell T Davies is the monsters about to kill the Doctor and then saved at the last minute, but that can be okay though. The Parting of the Ways it was Rose and The Time Vortex, which was good. Then I loved the Yvonne Cyberman, that was so cool and sad at the same time. Rose's heartbreaking exit was extremely sad and upsetting and the music fits perfectly with it. But what kills it is how Pete saves Rose just in time and just in the right place and they don't go into the void together and she has enough time to look back at the Doctor. The Last of the Time Lords was sort of killed where it was the 'doctor' and magic thing. Then the flicking of switches in Journey's End. Then the Pandorica in The Big Bang, which was good. A kiss in The Wedding of River Song, which was also good and jumping into the time stream in The Name Of The Doctor, which was also good. But The Parting Of The Ways just does it for me. The Ninth Doctor's short lives but FANTASTIC life!

Seaborn W Deadman
Seaborn W Deadman

I really don't understand all the hate for this episode! Really my only complaint is that it was all too rushed, this episode would have fared much better as a two parter with the story a bit more developed. If nothing else, the fact that we briefly got to see all the past Doctors (except McGann? Don't remember him) certainly makes up for any flaws this episode could have had! But that's just my opinion, I respect yours too :)


 Notsosmartguy  the dalek of Jersey
Notsosmartguy the dalek of Jersey

What's so bad about name of the doctor I mean it does feel more like a prologue for day of the doctor but it's not a bad story and way better than wedding of river song.

Liana21
Liana21

@JJ2000 Series 5 almost all the way up, i think that taking out Day of the Moon and a A Town Called Mercy, the rest are from Series 5.

Seaborn W Deadman
Seaborn W Deadman

Bahaha Tinkberbell/Jesus XD Oh noes, the Doctor is Smeagol the world is about to burn and the Master is batcrap crazy HAHA NOPE, SUCKAS! THE DOCTOR IS JESUS. And then the TARDIS got hit by the Titanic, the end.


DW_girl
DW_girl

@JJ2000 To be honest the Pete catching Rose thing never bothers me. It just seems so fitting and I don't think I'd like it any other way.

VortexDan
VortexDan

@Notsosmartguy  Maybe, I'm kind of biased because it DID lead into Day of The Doctor and is thus an accessory to the great and terrible canon defilement and thorough ruination of so many things that WAS the 50th buuuuuuuuut I thought the GI was kind of a dumb villain, it doubled down on the "clara isn't a character" thing and the "women only exist to save the doctor" thing that had been building up. And the War Doctor in retrospect shouldn't have happened but at the time this aired, poor naive me, thought it would be cool

legionofthebeast
legionofthebeast

@DW_girl @JJ2000  I pretend that there was a tracking device on the jump buttons (only visible when the walls of the universes were down of course)

VortexDan
VortexDan

@Notsosmartguy  Tbh the War Doctor wasn't that huge, but the thing he participated me fills me with pointless nerd rage

 Notsosmartguy  the dalek of Jersey
Notsosmartguy the dalek of Jersey

Thank for well explained argument :-) but I must disagree with you as I actually found the great Intelligence to be a great villain, as well as Clara being my favorite companion. As for the war doctor I feel he was worth the retcon as I really enjoyed john hurt in the 50th.

DW_girl
DW_girl

Yeah thats what I reckon too.