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Series 1-7 Face-Off: Episode 5

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 5th 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-5-face-off

Introduction by Luke Gwalchmai.

Today’s Candidates

  1. World War Three (2005)
  2. Rise of the Cybermen (2006)
  3. Evolution of the Daleks (2007)
  4. The Poison Sky (2008)
  5. Flesh & Stone (2010)
  6. The Rebel Flesh (2011)
  7. The Angels Take Manhattan (2012)

What makes a good episode 5?

Around the time of the fifth episode of the series, we have pretty much fully adjusted to any changes introduced to us at the start of the series; be it a new Doctor, companion, or both. In six of the seven episode fives we have seen since 2005, we have seen one part of a two-part story. Two-part stories have many aims to achieve, such as setting up a cliffhanger for the concluding instalment of the story, or simply resolving the dangers shown in the first part. But whether it is a part of a two-part story or not, episode five is all about keeping the viewers interested. The story has to be good enough to make sure that you are going to continue watching the series. It has to tease the arc of the series enough to keep you intrigued, but not so much that it gives away the whole thing.

Predicted Winner

It’s tough to predict a winner here, as all of the episodes on that list are of such high quality. But I reckon that The Angels Take Manhattan will sneak this one. This was the heart-wrenching episode in which we were forced to bid farewell to two beloved companions; Amy and Rory. It told us a brilliant story and really put us in the Doctor’s shoes, as he was simply a bystander from start to finish. Everything that was going on in The Angels Take Manhattan was set in stone from the moment Rory went to get coffee. The episode was jam-packed with emotional moments, just one example being watching an aged Rory so happy to see Amy again after being prisoner to the Weeping Angels for decades, before passing away. The ending really tugged on the heartstrings as the rug was well and truly swept from under our and the Doctor’s feet when Rory was zapped back in time, the last time we would see him. Amy then made the decision to finally grow-up and let go of her Raggedy Man by bidding him an emotional farewell and making the ultimate sacrifice to be with her husband again. This episode was visually stunning, using New York as a backdrop for the episode really helped the episode. Murray Gold was on fine form with scores like Together or Not At All that really helped to get the tears rolling. The Angels Take Manhattan is a fine episode, superbly acted and would be a worthy winner.

The Dark Horse

An episode that is definitely capable of pulling off an upset here is World War Three; the concluding part to the first two part story since the shows revival. After escaping the Slitheen; the Doctor, Rose and Harriet Jones (MP for Flydale North, in case you don’t know who she is) find themselves sealed off in the Cabinet room, with only Rose’s “super phone” as a means of communication with the outside world. This episode plays a key part in the rest of the series (and beyond) in terms of the characters involved, with plenty of character development here. Mickey Smith is given the opportunity to shine, saving Jackie from the Slitheen, nobly offering to sacrifice himself for her to escape its grasp, and then saving the world with help from the Doctor. Speaking of the Doctor, he gets his moment to show off his intellect by identifying the Slitheen’s planet of origin, and we also realise that he can’t guarantee Rose’s safety, which makes Jackie more worried than ever and shows us that the Doctor isn’t a perfect character.

The episode has a satisfying conclusion as the Slitheen are blown to smithereens after Mickey launches a missile at Downing Street. The Doctor finally realises who Harriet Jones is; the future Prime Minister who brings about Britain’s golden age, and the Doctor is the man to start, and eventually end, it. This has dire consequences for him later on in the show. And finally, Rose joins the TARDIS as a full time companion, despite her mother’s concerns. World War Three is a very strong episode, with many layers, all actors involved on fine form, and it is more than capable of snatching this one.

Writer’s Pick

Episode Fives across all seven series have all been extremely strong. Each has their positive and negative aspects, but on the whole they are all high quality episodes, so the decision to choose between them is a tough one. Due to a high feeling of nostalgia and sentiment, combined with the fact that it is high quality episode, I would choose Flesh and Stone. This was the first episode of Doctor Who I watched as it was aired, and it got me hooked on the show. Matt Smith shines and really shows us that he has settled into the role of the Doctor. Karen Gillan is outstanding and shows us that Amy, while having many positive aspects is a flawed character, showing her abandonment issues and pre-wedding jitters. The Angels prove to us just how sadistic they are, by making Amy countdown to her own death for fun.

Flesh and Stone succeeds in doing what I mentioned earlier on; teasing the arc of the series without giving it away. It does this by dropping little hints to the series finale, like the crack in Amy’s wall being caused by an explosion, or River ominously warning us that the Pandorica will soon be opening. I love the Doctor’s final confrontation with the Angels, and we were wondering how he was going to stop them, but he already knew, giving the Angels a hint by saying “I think they’ve forgotten where they’re standing. I think they’ve forgotten the gravity of the situation.” This episode is packed with action, comedy and some heartbreaking moments as well, like the scene of Father Octavian’s death, where he had some moving lines, and also gave the Doctor an ominous warning about River Song. And this was the first time we saw her with the Eleventh Doctor, and they were brilliant together, showing fantastic chemistry. Flesh and Stone would be this writer’s choice for top episode five, as it is a brilliant episode with plenty of character development for all of the main characters, and sets up the rest of series five perfectly.

Vote

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

Continues on Monday with episode 6.

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117 comments
chinnysandshoes
chinnysandshoes

Like the majority, it was Angels Take Manhattan or Flesh and Stone. I chose FaS. The ending was brilliantly resolved. The Doctor tricking the Angels by his cleverness - fantastic!!! And River being River and teasing Eleven, him getting slowly but surely intrigued and attracted to River despite himself - lovely!! And of course the image of the Angel becoming the Angel.... Great supporting acting all round too.

I would choose ATM on grounds of sentimentality. How not to feel the anguish of Amy and the Doctor in the finale... But as long as the Doctor or River was looking at the Angel, Amy would not get touched by the Angel just be turning around, no? Anyway, FaS it is.

GWad84
GWad84

My choice: The Angels Take Manhattan. It had everything humour, suspense and personally speaking if your doing Weeping Angels in New York The Statue of Liberty is a must. The spine in the episode is the novel, it drives the story and is an inspired touch by Moffatt.

2nd choice: Flesh and Stone

3rd choice: Rise of the Cybermen

DW_girl
DW_girl

For me:

1) The Angels Take Manhattan 10/10

2) Flesh and Stone 9.5/10

3) The Poison Sky 9/10

4) Rise of the Cybermen 8.5/10

5) World War Three 7.5/10

6) Evolution of the Daleks 7/10

7) The Rebel Flesh 5.5/10

DawnTime
DawnTime

Completely disagree with the Predicted winner, dark horse suggestions. For me this one was easy the only one out of that list that I fully enjoyed. -FLESH & STONE. - The others were I hate to say it does not bother me at all if I see them again or not. !

DaftDalek
DaftDalek

1.Flesh And Stone: Fantastic conclusion to the Time Of Angels, great plot resolution, clever ideas, creepy Weeping Angels, who seem to be inventive in finding new ways to kill...

2. The Angels Take Manhattan: Really emotional, good-looking, dark, with chilling moments. Still sometimes it's over the top and you feel it has nothing to do with reality.

3. The Poison Sky: Old-school Doctor Who, action-packed and flexible in general. Really underrated.

4.Evolution Of The Daleks: An episode that has been much hated without deserving it. The truth is that it explores in depth Dalek nature, it's action-packed and its plot is satisfying enough for me at least.

5. Rise Of The Cybermen: It had great ideas, there were some disturbing in a good way moments (homeless people being converted) and the parallel worlds idea, while it wasn't original, was intruiging.

6. World War Three: It gave character development to Mickey, that's undeniable and the Doctor running in Downing Street is really cool, but it didn't live up to Aliens Of London premise.

7. The Rebel Flesh: Not a bad episode by any means, but it was nothing but a setup for the brilliant The Almost People. Well, that makes it worth watching, doesn't it?



twoheartsonemind
twoheartsonemind

Flesh and Stone. I do think that The Rebel Flesh is underrated; yes, it is a bit slow in the beginning, but the premise is really quite good.

Wibbly-Wobbly is John Reese
Wibbly-Wobbly is John Reese

I LOVE The Angels Take Manhattan.  


But... I have to go with The Rebel Flesh


Damn, I'm only picked Smith-era episodes except for Episode 2 where I picked Series 1. :/

KingoftheOod4450
KingoftheOod4450

Flesh and Stone - a cybernetic forest inside a ship inside a tomb on an alien planet... yes, I was very impressed. Teased the arc, not too heavily, but massively shifted the tone from Part 1. Very much trapped inside the ship, very very tense. Exciting climax too.

mgm1229
mgm1229

None of these are episodes I ever feel like rewatching. They all have some nice moments, but overall a weak group.

ReidOwen94
ReidOwen94

1.Flesh and Stone- Love this one

2. Angels Take Manhatten

3.The Rebel Flesh

4.Rise of the Cybermen

5.The Poison Sky

6.World War Three

7.Evolution of the Daleks

The Moment
The Moment

Gone for The Angels Take Manhattan. But I love Flesh &Stone. 





Oncoming_Badger
Oncoming_Badger

1. Flesh & Stone

2. The Angels Take Manhattan

3. Evolution of the Daleks

4. Rise of the Cybermen

5. The Rebel Flesh

6. World War Three

7. The Poison Sky

stargazer0118
stargazer0118

The Poison Sky was exciting, so it gets my vote. Rise of the Cybermen a very close second. Both very solid episodes that I have fun watching.

Unibot
Unibot

Rebel Flesh was awful >_> Truly awful. Evolution of the Daleks more suffered from poor execution, but Rebel Flesh was one of the few Doctor Who stories I can say was downright boring.  Flesh and Stone and Angels in Manhattan are both quite good episodes - Season Five's Angel two-parter is one of my favorites, I love to rewatch it. Because I feel uncomfortable voting for a second parter, I will give this one to Angels in Manhattan. 











EdWhovian
EdWhovian

Ah, an easy one this time. Flesh and Stone!

LaraHarris
LaraHarris

This is actually an easy one for me. Rise of the Cybermen. Why? Because the Doctor is amazing in it. It's a proper, Doctor Who, "run away from the terrible things!!" Adventure and there was (I felt) real danger. The Doctor was vulnerable and it's always nice to see him on the back foot and I LOVED the new Cybermen. I know lots of people found the stomping annoying. I didn't. I liked it, it was intimidating and reminded me of so many of the older Cybermen stories that terrified me as a child. Much like Tomb and Revenge, the idea that they just keep churning themselves out, that there are so many of them, that they just. don't. stop... Loved it.


World War Three was ok. Not terrible, not great, just ok. I didn't like EOD. I don't know why. The Doctor was brilliant in it but it just didn't hit any of the right notes for me. 

TPS was a brilliant episode, Doctor and Donna both on full form and the only real rival for ROS as far as I am concerned. 

TRF I think is underrated. I don't really understand what it is about it that people don't like. No, it's not "teh bestest episode eeevaaah!" but it's good and the story is well told and there is a hell of a lot going on relationship wise and it tells you a lot about the Doctor this episode. I found it interesting. 

Flesh and Stone was ok. Some nice wee touches but this was where Moffat started to loose the plot with the Angels, which is a shame cause the whole "we should have realised, why didn't we notice, they don't have two heads!!" bit in the first episode made me almost pee myself. lol But then they started moving, in front of each other and then in front of the rest of the cast and I felt a huge surge of disappointment. 

And then we have TATM. An episode I could gladly burn. There are some really choice moments in it. My heart went out to the Doctor when Amy shouted at him for repairing Rivers arm, his anger and fear when he read the words "Amelias Last Farewell"almost broke my heart. River's love for him and her utter confidence in him "you just wait till my husband gets home"... beautiful moments... and then it all went to hell in a hand basket. The utterly ridiculous notion of The Statue of Liberty, the stupidity of the whole "oooh stuck in 1938!" and the fact that the ending didn't move me one little bit. Not a jot. I felt some for the Doctor but I felt no loss over Amy herself. I was sadder to see Rory go and I found it interesting that despite the fact that River just watched her parents die, that was never even touched on. She would have had to keep watching that angel as the Doctor got lost in grief and she was just... forgotten. It disappointed me.

Jono81
Jono81

I love so, so many of these, but Flesh and Stone - aside from seeing the Angels move - is one of my favorite episodes of all time. It sets up the arc in such a brilliant way, and the conclusion is just so epic. Plus, it's intense all the way through. Again, though, quite a few of these are up there with the very best.


lddkennedy
lddkennedy

Despite some glaring plot holes TATM is streets ahead of every other episode on this list.

Badwolf2
Badwolf2

I picked flesh and stone

Nightmarish
Nightmarish

Torn between TATM and Flesh and Stone, but like yesterday, I'm going with the one with the tearjerker, even though Flesh and Stone is more consistent, the appalling/unrealistic Liberty Angel in TATM is made up for by the amazingness of the rest of the episode.

TheSoundofDrums
TheSoundofDrums

1. The Angels Take Manhatten

2. Flesh and Stone

3. Evolution of the Daleks

4. The Posion Sky

5. Rise of the Cybermen

6. World War Three

7. The Rebel Flesh

TheSoundofDrums
TheSoundofDrums

This seemed to be a lot easier than yesterday. It was a case of looking for the one that really stood out. With these choices there wasn't that many that really made too much of an impact to automatically claim the winning spot. So I was pretty much drawn to The Angels Take Manhatten. It had a great story, creepy atmosphere, made the Angels even more sinister and gave two brilliant companions a great send-off. What more could be asked for?

Judge Claude Frollo
Judge Claude Frollo

How are these all episodes of high quality? Only half of them are good. 

Huknar
Huknar

Rise of the Cybermen for me. It is one of the best Cyberman stories. Love their design, their voice, and the overall plot. Very exciting episode.

Rio Rio
Rio Rio

Hard to choose, but, The Angels Take Manhattan (2012), sad about Amy and Rory.

sontaran17
sontaran17

The Tens this round are: TATM, FaS, TPS - quickly followed by EOTD on 9. The vote today just goes to TATM

TheOncomingFish
TheOncomingFish

So hard to choose. My best to worst list would be: 

1. The Angels Take Manhattan- A beautiful and emotional goodbye for the Ponds, with great acting especially from Matt Smith and Karen Gillan. 

2. Flesh and Stone- A great episode with lots of fantastic elements and tense scenes like Amy having to travel through the forest with her eyes closed. You never would have guessed TTOA/FAS was Matt and Karen's first episode, they're so good.

3. The Rebel Flesh- I'll never understand the amount of criticism this story gets, it's great IMO. It explores some really complex concepts and emotions. Plus it's terrifying. 

4. The Poison Sky- Not that great an episode but with some good elements. I liked clone!Martha.

5. World War Three- Entertaining but not a very good episode IMO. 

6. Rise of the Cybermen- Again, it's okay, but nothing special. 

7. Evolution of the Daleks- Not that good an episode.

BowTiesAreCool12
BowTiesAreCool12

I found the Angels Take Manhatten and Flesh and Stone were really the only choices, in my opinion I like Steven Moffat's work much better on Doctor who then Russel T Daves (not hating on seasons 1-4 though!)

Ninjauthor
Ninjauthor

difficult question as none of these are particularly good episodes IMO, so with evolution of the daleks in a close second I'd say poison sky

needcomicmoney
needcomicmoney

Going with The Angels Take Manhattan because it was farewell to the Ponds.

Tennant_Capaldi
Tennant_Capaldi

Think we can all agree that Evolution of the Daleks will be a clear loser

Pat108
Pat108

It was going to be one of the two that takes place in Manhattan but I ultimately went with The Angels Take Manhattan. Amy and Rory were fantastic characters. It was a great ending to their story. 

TheCapaldiMasterplan
TheCapaldiMasterplan

Seeing as there are only two good episodes on that list, it has to be Flesh and Stone (although The Angels Take Manhattan comes really close).

Stott
Stott

It's Flesh and Stone.

Chronos the Fannibal
Chronos the Fannibal

I feel like I've betrayed my other choices by picking just one over the others :(

Chronos the Fannibal
Chronos the Fannibal

Rise of the Cybermen, The Poison Sky or The Angels Take Manhattan? :/ WHY IS IT SO HARD TO CHOOSE.




I've had an Accident
I've had an Accident

The Angels Take Manhattan for me. The first DW episode to actually get me on the verge of tears.

Nightmarish
Nightmarish

No edits :(

I think The Rebel Flesh is extremely underrated.

Malohkeh
Malohkeh

@Clara Prefect  They also said the farting slitheen could win this. I think we have an optimist.

Rio Rio
Rio Rio

Changed my mind to Flesh and Stone in "Series 1-7 Face-Off: Episode 1-5 Recap", hard to choose anyway.

Nightmarish
Nightmarish

The Rebel Flesh is so underrated, it's one of my favorite stories. I agree with the rest of the list as well.

Oncoming_Badger
Oncoming_Badger

We can agree on what the most likely outcome will be doesn't mean everyone thinks it's bad it's in my all time top 10

Ivegotnewkidneys on the 23rd
Ivegotnewkidneys on the 23rd

@Tennant_Capaldi  I disagree I think the rebels flesh will be. that one doesn't do to well in most of the polls I've seen for some reason although I do think Evolution will be 4th or 5th place though

Tennant_Capaldi
Tennant_Capaldi

Rebel Flesh was downright abysmal. To be fair the list that has the most awful episodes was the episode 3's : Gridlock , Victory of the Daleks , Curse of the Black Spot , Town Called Mercy and Unquiet Dead ( Uniquiet Dead not awful but still a poor episode)