Series 1-7 Face-Off: Episode 8

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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 8th episode of each of the seven series so far.

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


Introduction by Vincent van Onna.

Today’s Candidates

  1. Father’s Day (2005)
  2. The Impossible Planet (2006)
  3. Human Nature (2007)
  4. Silence in the Library (2008)
  5. The Hungry Earth (2010)
  6. Let’s Kill Hitler (2011)
  7. Cold War (2013)

What Makes a Good Episode Eight?

To answer this question, one has to wonder what makes any episode of Doctor Who good. It should be creative, fun and adventurous. If it pulls this off well you have a good episode. If it pulls this off fantastically (as most in this list did, in this writer’s opinion) you have a very memorable episode eight, one that will not be forgotten quickly.

Depending on whether there was a series split or not, an episode eight might be under more pressure. After a long time without any new episodes, the third episode after a split has to be a good solid adventure. It sometimes has to stand on its own, and sometimes it is the beginning or the ending to a two-parter.

If there was not a split, it should still be good of course, but with a split the episode could be under more pressure as fans have grown more impatient and judgemental. Either way, all episode eight has to do, is be good.

Predicted Winner

I have been thinking long and hard on this one. There are some really good episodes in the list of today’s candidates. I have narrowed it down to either Human Nature or Silence in the Library. Both are a part of very highly rated stories among the fandom. Both feel very unique from the rest of the series run; they are among the most memorable episodes. So which one of these will win? That is a very tough call. I think Human Nature might top Silence in the Library. I am really not sure why. It is more a gut feeling then anything. No science is involved in my predictions. Just space magic and ice tea.

The Dark Horse

Of all the episodes mentioned above, I fear Let’s Kill Hitler might be the one to divide people the most. It seems Let’s Kill Hitler is what the Helmic Regulator is to the TARDIS: It makes for a gratifying bumpy ride, but it is not reliable, and at times you will find yourself annoyed with where things end up.

I think something that people dislike about the episode is the character of River. She is a lot more immature in this episode. Her immaturity is justified, as this episode is set earlier in her personal timeline, but it does not make it enjoyable.

I think it could also have gotten some heat because it was after A Good Man Goes To War, which might have set the bar a bit too high for this episode. This episode did not carry on the arc as well as A Good Man Goes To War did.

I personally don’t think Let’s Kill Hitler is the best episode ever, but I can enjoy it nonetheless. Not every episode has to be completely mind-blowing. The acting of the cast is spot on as always, and while the writing was not perfect, I enjoyed the various ideas it employed, such as The Teselecta. If you look past the flaws, this episode can be very amusing. So if I were to vote for this one, it would be because of its solid concepts.

Writer’s Pick

It has to be The Hungry Earth for me. It is part of my first series, Series 5. Asides from this I really enjoy the Silurians, and I think The Hungry Earth was a great reintroduction for the species.

I hope in the future a writer continues what this episode started, and show the future human race working together with the Silurians. I love the Silurians for the fact that they can both be allies and enemies. Despite what people might think, the Silurians and humans are not that different from each other. They have enough similarities to work together towards a brighter tomorrow.

This was a solid episode, with good performances and good writing. I was not disappointed. I quite liked the new Silurian design as well, though I think the old design was more unique. My only major criticism is the cliff-hanger. I find it a bit lame. Don’t get me wrong, it is satisfying, but it does not have me at the edge of my seat, and it is not exactly ‘hide behind the sofa material’. Despite that, I really enjoy this episode. I am curious about what you might think, so feel free to comment. Any tips regarding my writing is welcome too.


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