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Series 1-7 Face-Off: Episode 2

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 2nd episode of each of the seven series so far.

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

episode-2-face-off

Introduction by Mark McCullough.

Today’s Candidates

  1. The End of the World (2005)
  2. Tooth & Claw (2006)
  3. The Shakespeare Code (2007)
  4. The Fires of Pompeii (2008)
  5. The Beast Below (2010)
  6. Day of the Moon (2011)
  7. Dinosaurs on a Spaceship (2012)

What makes a good Episode Two?

The second episode of a series is always an important one. The fact that someone has tuned in to the next episode either means they are a fan, or the series opener the previous week did its job. That said, most people will give a show a second chance before making a judgement. This increases the importance of the role of episode two, to keep the viewer invested. How it does this, is by building on the characters and what has already been established. As such for Doctor Who, the second episode in the series usually focuses on the companion and their first proper journey with their Doctor.

Predicted Winner

Series Four is one of my all-time favourites. The strength of the TARDIS duo of the Doctor and Donna Noble is a real highlight of the series. Donna is a wonderfully strong companion conveying a range of emotions from her audience. Her relationship with the Doctor was a refreshing one, the previous two companions had a more romantic relationship with him, and so Donna’s friendship made for a welcome change. The Fires of Pompeii was one of the real strong points of Donna’s story. A narrative where she convinces the Doctor to save someone, who should not have been, shows what type of a woman she is. Her actions here typify her character and present her as a relatable character. The use of the most infamous volcanic eruption in human history, and then having the Doctor as cause of it was a fantastic idea. The episode also stunned visually and musically whilst sporting an incredible guest cast (including current Doctor – Peter Capaldi). The Fires of Pompeii is amazing episode which would be a worthy winner.

The Dark Horse

From one of my favourite series to another, this time all the way back to Series One. The End of the World was my first TARDIS trip as a fan and as such holds enormous nostalgic value. Where is a better place to start than right at the end of our planet? Strangely enough it is an episode I have come to appreciate more on re-watch and now find it to be one of the most underrated stories of the revival. Filled with wonderful character moments and featuring lots of alien species, it set the tone which the rest of the series would follow. Cassandra typifies the faults of humanity and their desire for survival. We also see some excellent development for both the Doctor and Rose which gives the series a strong platform from which to strive. This is an episode which is certainly capable of pulling off a shock victory.

Writer’s Pick

Episode Twos across all seven series of the revival of Doctor Who have been of a very high quality. As such the decision between them is a difficult one. It is no huge coincidence that all of my choices come from my three favourite series. Series Five is often describe as having a fairy-tale feel to it; this description is also apt for The Beast Below. This is a story full of character foils and moral questioning decisions. I have always seen the Star Whale as a mirror to the character of the Doctor, impossibly old, and the last of his kind. This comparison took even more poignancy when the Doctor saved his home planet for the sake of the children, just like how the Star Whale could not stand to see children cry. The strong focus on Amy and having her go against the Doctor’s advice, was to me a defining moment for her character. The Beast Below is marvellous episode which is often overlooked by fans.

Vote

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

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147 comments
chinnysandshoes
chinnysandshoes

It was a very hard decision between Pompeii and Beast. In the end I chose Beast because Amy defies the Doctor. That is what a companion needs to do sometimes, when she sees things from a perspective which the Doctor overlooks or is unable to. She teaches the Doctor. I love Donna, she's my favourite companion. But Beast wins by a hair.

TheOncomingFish
TheOncomingFish

I don't know which to pick- Day of the Moon or The Beast Below. I love both of them...

Dalekoverlord
Dalekoverlord

DINOSAURS ON A SPACESHIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DW_girl
DW_girl

1. The Fires of Pompeii 10/10

2. Tooth and Claw 9.5/10

3. Day of the Moon 9/10

4. The End of the World 9/10

5. The Beast Below 8.5/10

6. The Shakespeare Code 7.5/10

7. Dinosaurs on a Spaceship 6.5/10

Liana21
Liana21

Day on The moon, with Dinosaurs and Pompeii as Runners up.

SEDAKRO XIV
SEDAKRO XIV

I chose Day of the Moon, as it's the second part in one of my top 3 favorite two parters. The Shakespeare Code and Tooth And Claw for me both come a very close joint second...




needcomicmoney
needcomicmoney

Fires of Pompeii. It's got the brilliant Tennant/Tate double act plus future companion Karen Gillan and future Doctor Peter Capaldi.

lukashcartoon
lukashcartoon

I love Matt Smith Dinosaur/beast below is a damn good one., but I loved Shakespeare one too much.

Big fan of the historical ones. Great to see the Globe, witches and really fine companion in Martha

Doctor What and Where
Doctor What and Where

Its between End of the World and Fires of Pompeii for me, and I choose the latter because I think the Tenth-Donna dynamic really took off in this one, and it really worked. However, little else beats Ninth's showing of the World's end to Rose.


master no six
master no six

7) Dinosaurs on a Spaceship 4/10




6) The Shakespeare Code 5/10

5) The Beast Below 6/10



4) Day of the Moon 6/10



3)Tooth and Claw 7/10



2)The Fires of Pompeii 8/10



1) The End of the World 8/10

WhoMallow666
WhoMallow666

So torn! I absolutely adore The Fires of Pompeii and Dinosaurs on a space ship. One is a character-establishing episode for Donna full of touching moments and heart-breaking scenes with humor added; while the other is a perfect nonsensical romp full of heart. eeny meany miny moe... Dinosaurs on a spaceship it is!

KristinDanielleJames
KristinDanielleJames

we love all the episode 2's on this list especially from season 5-7, our Doctors era, but we totally agree with u on your point that episode 2 of s5 was totally amazing, we can't see why it has been overlooked

Malohkeh
Malohkeh

For me, it's "The Beast Below" or "Day of the Moon", followed by "The Shakespeare Code".

I neither love nor hate "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship" and "The End of the World".


"Tooth and Claw" irritates me. The smugness of Rose and Ten is grating. As for "The Fires of Pompeii", it feels like a missed opportunity to me. It could have been so much greater, but apart from the final scenes, it's rather mediocre. And don't get me started on the explanation for the people seeing the future. I can only suspend disbelief so far...

EricPavlat
EricPavlat

What a great selection!  "The Shakespeare Code" was my first-ever NuWho episode; "Fires of Pompeii" was superb; and "Day of the Moon" was a five-star episode.  But for me, you just can't beat the creativity of ... Dinosaurs!  On a Spaceship!  Not everyone's cup of tea ... but it sure was mine!!!

Kylephantom4
Kylephantom4

Day of the moon for me....still cant get over that shocking cliffhanger!

DawnTime
DawnTime

Goodness very difficult decision Lots of favourites. Tooth and Claw for that wonderful opening with the martial artists.  The Fire's of Pompeii for story narrative. Dinosaurs on a spaceship for sheer good fun.!?????  Oh well Dinosaurs on a spaceship - Love It.

The Moment
The Moment

I voted Tooth & Claw. It was an amazing episode I loved it, although it was closely followed by Day Of The Moon, but Tooth & Claw topped it. 

The13thDoctor
The13thDoctor

Unfortunately i have an idea which will win and its just cause capaldis in it and lets be honest fop had a good few cast members but the episode itself was pretty naff

The_Eternal_Dalek
The_Eternal_Dalek

Fact of the matter is though Steven Moffat has said The Beast Below was a terrible story and given another chance he'd have replaced it with another story entirely or given it a big overhaul. If the writer isn't happy with it you can't blame the fans for overlooking it.

SouffleBoy
SouffleBoy

The Fires Of Pompeii takes my vote because of that heartbreaking scene where Donna is basically begging The Doctor to save someone, anyone. One of my favourite scenes from Series 4, and made  Donna for me, so much more than comic relief and one of my favourite companions. :)

Bert_Macklin
Bert_Macklin

Tooth and Claw. RTD seemed to be really enjoying himself and was really on his game. T&C was a lot of fun.

sontaran17
sontaran17

  1. The End of the World (2005) -- 9.5/10
  2. Tooth & Claw (2006) -- 10/10
  3. The Shakespeare Code (2007) -- 9/10
  4. The Fires of Pompeii (2008) -- 10/10
  5. The Beast Below (2010) -- 10/10
  6. Day of the Moon (2011) -- 10/10
  7. Dinosaurs on a Spaceship (2012) -- 10/10

Ah! Another Tough choice! The winner goes to Day of the Moon Though, because it was just EPIC! 


Unibot
Unibot

Moffat apparently is not fond of it, but I think Beast Below was very good and I always enjoy it when I rewatch it. 

Polyphase
Polyphase

Here's how I list them

1) Tooth & Claw

2)The Fires of Pompei


3)The Shakespeare Code


4)Dinosaurs on a Spaceship


5)Day of the Moon


6)The End of the World


7)The Beast Below


Oncoming_Badger
Oncoming_Badger

The Beast Below easily, magical, marvelous, emotion and did what Doctor Who does best, took me away to a world that I'd never seen before.

stargazer0118
stargazer0118

Went for Tooth and Claw coz adored Ten and Rose. Fires is great, though.

Jono81
Jono81

I love Beast Below to death, and Tooth and Claw is pretty solid. But Fires of Pompeii is one of my favorite episodes ever. So..... it.

Huknar
Huknar

The Fires of Pompeii is one of my favourite episodes. It is just really well written, INCREDIBLY well acted, directed with perfection. The scenery is beautiful and very convincing and the CGI is top notch, all while maintaining an even paced, mysterious story. Doctor Who at it is utter best. It even has connections spanning out later in the show, twice over. I don't think anyone will quite look at CaeciIius marvelling at the TARDIS the same way again.

I think my second vote would go with Tooth and Claw. For its time, that was some seriously amazing CGI for the show, and it's just a fun adventure.

Oodkind
Oodkind

Hmm, this one isn't quite as hard, simply because a lot of second episodes just are not very good. I thought End of the World, though it had some good parts developing both Rose and the Doctor, wasn't the best episode. It did it's job as an introducer to the characters, but didn't do much else for me. I thought the Shakespeare Code was awful, and Tooth & Claw may have had funny moments, but just wasn't very good. The Beast Below was similar to the End of the World. Good character developement, but wasn't quite there.Dinosaurs on a Spaceship was kind of a WTH moment for me. 

That leaves Day of the Moon and the Fires of Pompeii. I, personally, prefer the plot of Day of the Moon.

1) Day of the Moon

2) The Fires of Pompeii

3) The Beast Below

4) The End of the World

5) Tooth and Claw

6) Dinosaurs on a Spaceship

7) The Shakespeare Code.

Americanwhovian
Americanwhovian

Tooth and claw. watched it late at night with my friend and it scared the crap out of him

no_tweeter
no_tweeter

Day of the Moon for me. I fully expect Tooth and Claw to win this but I'm sadly not a fan. Fires of Pompeii I could live with.

Rio Rio
Rio Rio

Day of the Moon for me. Sure.

Special Weapons Dalek
Special Weapons Dalek

I really like these Episodes, so hard to choose just one though... Tooth and Claw.. A truly a brilliant.story. Now excuse I am off to watch The Fires of Pompeii have not seen it in ages! :D



Planet of the Deaf
Planet of the Deaf

I voted for Fires of Pompeii but struggled slightly as none of these episodes are up there in my personal favourites! 

LaraHarris
LaraHarris

I really hated Dinosaurs. The only thing worthwhile in it was Rory and his dad, their relationship and interactions. Everything else for me just... *shakes head*. I found the concept ridiculous, I found Amy irritating, the idea of Nefertit and John Riddell just too much and as for the Robots... 


Matt had his usual brilliant moments because he is always brilliant but no. Not good. I voted for Tooth and Claw and that was a tough choice because Day of the Moon was wonderful. However TAC did everything it needed to do. Pacing was great, story was good, the relationship between 10 and Rose was cemented and there is this bit, in the observatory where Rose is trying to get QV to not be amused and the Doctor is standing behind her desperately trying not to laugh. It's a Unit story without Unit and it lays the groundwork for Torchwood. Love it.

As I said, DOTM was fantastic but it doesn't stand on it's own and my next favourite is TSC. Nice wee romp, good story, dynamic between Doctor and companion set. Interesting villian and Shakespeare and JK... come ooon! lol

TBB.. again.. I found Amy irritating and I didn't really like the whole "I'm the bloody Queen mate"... dunno why.m*shrugs* It was however the episode the made me realise we were in safe hands with Matt, his seething anger and disappointment was brilliantly played but on the whole found the story a bit daft. 

TEOTW and TFOP I both really enjoyed I just would rate them below TAC, DOTM and TSC. Good stories, well developed, great pacing, all together thumbs up for both of them

mrpaddy1984
mrpaddy1984

If fandom teaches us anything it's that we don't have to agree with the writer. I voted for Beast Below.

Didgeridoomen
Didgeridoomen

Then you should think about fixing your ranking system.

Oncoming_Badger
Oncoming_Badger

Oh and if we are listing them.

1. The Beast Below

2. Day of the Moon

3. Tooth & Claw

4. The Shakespeare Code

5. The Fires of Pompeii

6. The End of the World

7. Dinosaurs on a Spaceship

Huknar
Huknar

@LaraHarris  The Shakespeare Code had a wonderful score too. "The Carrionites Swarm" is one of my all time favourite tracks.

Planet of the Deaf
Planet of the Deaf

@LaraHarris  Funnily, I found 10 and Rose rather irritating in TAC and found the trying to get QV to say we are not amused a bit juvenile! Like a pair of teenagers out on a date :-)