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Series 1-7 Face-Off: Episode 9

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 9th 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-9-face-off

Introduction by Ed Goundrey-Smith.

Today’s Candidates

  1. The Empty Child (2005)
  2. The Satan Pit (2006)
  3. The Family of Blood (2007)
  4. Forest of the Dead (2008)
  5. Cold Blood (2010)
  6. Night Terrors (2011)
  7. Hide (2013)

What makes a good Episode 9?

Five out of the seven episode 9s here are one part or another in a two-part story and as we know, two-parters are great because they allow enough time for a story to be expanded greatly. When it is the first part of the story it has to establish a solid plot with a good cliff-hanger, when it forms the second part it needs to neatly conclude the story and tie up any loose ends. Also, by now, we’re a good way in to the series and getting closer to the series finale, so they need to have some little teasers for the final stories to make viewers excited and want to watch through to the dramatic series ending. Episode nines are often standalone stories (or part of a standalone two-parter).

Predicted Winner

Looking above, episode 9 is an incredibly strong category, the first four contenders are loved by fans alike, but I think that The Family of Blood is our predicted winner. A story set on the brink of war, this story contains absolutely everything a good Doctor Who episode should have: the villains are perfect, menacing and terrifying which supplements the emotional plot well, and that’s the great thing about this episode. The whole thing oozes emotion. The love story between John and Joan handled perfectly, with some bittersweet and poignant moments, for example, when Joan is trying to convince the Doctor to open the watch. John’s horror at the thought of becoming this Doctor, a lonely traveller who never even thought of falling in love. The narrated montage, where the Doctor gives the Family what they want, the ability to live forever. This story is genius, and one I would recommend to any new viewer of Doctor Who.

The Dark Horse

When I think of episode 9, I think of The Family of Blood, The Empty Child, Forest of the Dead and The Satan Pit, those four blockbuster episodes loved by many, however, one that is commonly overlooked is the underrated gem, Cold Blood, which I think is our Dark Horse here. It is often only remembered for the interesting Silurian redesign, Rory’s death and the fact that it’s the second part of a story supposedly very similar to Doctor Who and The Silurians, however, the episode is so much more than this! It’s a thrilling tale about the humans and Silurians negotiating peace and the humans having 1000 years to ‘prepare’ the planet for the Silurians return. The performances are brilliant, the sets are magnificent and combine all that with a fantastic plot and a suspenseful ending and you have a cracking episode! And you must admit, it is hard to reintroduce a loved monster after 24 years!

Writer’s Pick

I think my choice has to lie with The Satan Pit. The religious ideas behind the Beast are interesting an unnerving. It believes that it was the source of every manifestation of the Devil ever and that it has some kind of biblical relation, calling itself several different religious names, and I find this frightening. This creature is the exact opposite of everything the Doctor is.  As well as the deep religious meanings this episode is packed full of action, the scenes where the Ood chase the crew through the air vents are tense and thrilling, and I always remember used to terrify me when I was younger (who am I fooling, they still do!). All the supporting cast are utilised well, none of whom feel like a waste of space which I often feel is often a danger in a ‘base-under-siege’ story. The episode was lightly paced, quick, and punchy, captivating the audience from the start, and once again, Murray Gold gave the story a creepy presence with his beautiful score. Overall, it’s a meaningful, deep and scary episode, one that I can rewatch dozens of times without getting bored of it!

Vote

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

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129 comments
JJ2000
JJ2000

9. The Empty Child - Brilliant, absolutely brilliant.

DW_girl
DW_girl

Why is Cold Blood the dark horse???

DW_girl
DW_girl

In order of preference:

1) Forest of the Dead 10/10

2) The Satan Pit 9.5/10

3) Family of Blood 9/10

4) The Empty Child 9/10

5) Hide 8.5/10

6) Cold Blood 7/10

7) Night Terrors 6.5/10

The Rtd episodes are brilliant, but the Moffat episodes (apart from maybe Hide, but it's still not one of my favourites) are a bit lacking.

OMG episode tens next- I don't think I'll be able to cope with the decision!!!!

GWad84
GWad84

My choice: Family of Blood. Perfect conclusion to a perfect story

2nd choice: The Empty Child

3rd choice: Hide

Unibot
Unibot

The Empty Child. That'll be a classic in years to come. 



DaftDalek
DaftDalek

1. The Family Of Blood 10/10 2. Forest Of The Dead 10/10 3. The Satan Pit 10/10 4. The Empty Child 9/10 5. Hide 8/10 6. Cold Blood 7/10 7. Night Terrors 6/10

SGMusic
SGMusic

NOOOO. This is definitely the hardest decision I've made so far. 6 out of these 7 rank in some of my favourite stories…

Frig it. The Family of Blood.

BeyondThePolice
BeyondThePolice

Out of all the polls so far, this one was by far the easiest for me; I saw Hide and I chose it, no contest.


HiPeople
HiPeople

I was stuck between Forest of the Dead and Hide, but I went with Hide because it has my favorite Doctor: Matt Smith.

chinnysandshoes
chinnysandshoes

The Empty Child.

Of all the episodes, who doesn't remember "Are you my mummy?" Iconic!

Amaru Narvaez Reyes
Amaru Narvaez Reyes

 Wow. Episode 9's are so good! I'm having a hard time deciding between 'Forest of the Dead' and 'The Family of blood'. TFOB has to be one of the most touching episodes I have ever seen on DW, (or anything else for that matter) and certainly one of the most interesting, exploring some of the most important moral issues posed by the show. FOTD is yet again touching, particularly with *SPOILER ALERT* (see what I did there?) River's death and her speech at the end. It is also a very original and interesting episode not to mention scary and exhilarating. Not to mention the beautiful score from Murray Gold they both had. One with 'The Doctor Forever' and 'The Dream of a Normal Death' and the other with 'The Doctors Theme' for series 4 (which I think debuted in this episode) and 'The Greatest Story Never Told', all of which are some of my very favourites. Fantastic!

SouffleBoy
SouffleBoy

This is awful to vote for, so many good episodes. But I went for The Empty Child for scarring me for life when I was younger. :(

The_Doctor_
The_Doctor_

Very hard conserding i didn't like any of them at akll.....

I liked The Empty Child but only because the acting was decent, the script and monsters wasn't great,

I think i'm going to vote for Hide

11th's Sonic
11th's Sonic

I have voted for mostly S4, because so far, it's my fav S

DawnTime
DawnTime

It could have been The Empty C, The Satin Pit, The Family of Blood or the Forest of the Dead all amazing and wonderful and much loved by me. But then along came HIDE.! need I say more,.

Stott
Stott

What these last two lists make clear is how many of the very best stories are placed around this point in the series. The previous lists would have only one or two obvious stand-outs, these last two have been full of classics and it's been difficult to place one above the others.

YorkshireDicky
YorkshireDicky

Now it's getting really hard - harder than episodes 8. For me 5 superb episodes and 2 good ones (Cold Blood and Night Terrors). Cold Blood is almost worth going for simply for the last five minutes when Rory dies and the Doctor finds a shard from the TARDIS. I have to say I really like Hide, but my vote goes for the Empty Child!

The Alien Hunter
The Alien Hunter

The Empty Child for me.

It freaked the heck out of me as a kid!

The_Ogri
The_Ogri

The Satan Pit because of the excellent villain, or The Forest of the Dead for the touching scenes at the end with Donna and River. Especially Donna. I'll vote for The Doctor Dances tomorrow FOR SURE.  Any on got a coin?

Nightmarish
Nightmarish

The Empty Child or Forest of the Dead? Choices...


Kiki Kiki
Kiki Kiki

It's down to "The Empty Child", "The Family of Blood" and "Forest of the Dead" for me.  OMG PLEASE DON'T MAKE ME CHOOSE!!!! D:



Jono81
Jono81

Forest of the Dead, my second favorite episode ever. That ending!

Polyphase
Polyphase

Hard to pick which will be first but we ALL know what's going to come last :)

Ninjauthor
Ninjauthor

another really difficult list had to go with night terrors though

Oncoming_Badger
Oncoming_Badger

1. The Satan Pit

2. Hide

3. The Empty Child

4. Cold Blood

5. The Family of Blood

6. Forest of the Dead

7. Night Terrors

Oodkind
Oodkind

This one's hard, because there are so many spectacular ones! I have to go with Family of Blood. It's just so amazing! However, I really love the Empty Child... Maybe I should vote for The Doctor Dances tomorrow. But that interferes with Blink... AAAAAH!

1) Family of Blood - 10/10

2) The Empty Child  -10/10

3) Forest of the Dead - 10/10

4) The Satan Pit - 9/10

5) Cold Blood - 7/10

6) Hide - 7/10

7) Night Terrors - 5/10

needcomicmoney
needcomicmoney

The Family of Blood just wins over Forest of the Dead for me, both were strong second parts of great stories. My personal opinion is that The Satan Pit was a bit of a stunt/gimmick both in name and story and that other episodes on the list like The Empty Child and Night Terrors were much scarier.

TheCapaldiMasterplan
TheCapaldiMasterplan

Again, a tie between The Empty Child, The Satan Pit, The Family of Blood, Forest of the Dead and Hide.


Polyphase
Polyphase

Another very easy one :)

1)The Empty Child 9/10

2)The Satan Pit 8/10

3)Hide 6/10

4)Cold Blood 5/10

5)Family of Blood 4/10

6)Forest of the Dead 2/10

7)Night Terrors 1/10

stargazer0118
stargazer0118

Both The Satan Pit and The Family of Blood are true masterpieces and some of the very best storytelling I've ever seen or read anywhere. The characters are explored in such a deep and compelling way and the visuals are so fantastical it's really mindblowing. What a joy to have been able to see it with my own eyes.  


But I have to choose... and my vote goes to The Satan Pit because the story is utterly captivating in every way to me, and I just love the strong connection between the Doctor and Rose; she's willing to stay on Krop Tor for him because she just can't accept he's dead, and he's convinced she'll find a way. They are great together. They are truly stuff of legend.  





"But that implies, in this big grand scheme of gods and devils, that she's just a victim. Well, I've seen a lot of this universe. I've seen fake gods and bad gods and demi-gods and would-be gods. I've had the whole pantheon. But if I believe in one thing... just one thing... I believe in her!"



 In a way, The Family of Blood is more affirmation of the Doctor divinity, because he basically becomes a God and his fury to his enemies is a force to be retckoned with.   


 "We wanted to live forever. So the Doctor made sure we did."  

Chills down the spine.





Chronos the Fannibal
Chronos the Fannibal

Forest of the dead ( plus on another note, Dr.Moon is Walter Steele in Arrow :D )


Christopher Brown
Christopher Brown

Shoot, I voted for "Hide" but I realized I skipped out on a chance to give "Night Terrors" a much-needed salute. From an objective standpoint, It is better than most episodes in Series 7, imo, and it's the only Gatiss story that's really held any appeal to me - don't reprimand him for it, guys, or else we'll get more hollow "Victory of the Dalek"ses!!!

MichaelBoon
MichaelBoon

Just slightly favoured Forest of the Dead over The Empty Child. Think Cold Blood is very near the bottom of the Moffat era episodes.

NumberNine
NumberNine

The Empty Child is one of the greatest episodes in the 50 year history.

Moves Like Jagaroth
Moves Like Jagaroth

Some very, very strong contenders here.  So much so have to abstain!

DW_girl
DW_girl

I apologise- when I say the Moffat episodes I mean the episodes from the Moffat era. I am aware that Forest is written by Moffat, and I think he is a fantastic writer.

Polyphase
Polyphase

@The_Ogri The end of Forest is what turned me off that episode, Could you imagine the terror of being trapped in that computer? I thought it was the most horrific thing I've ever seen the Doctor do

Kermit9
Kermit9

Same thing happened to me.

stargazer0118
stargazer0118

Where is the edit button when you really need one?? Sigh. Any way, also have to mention that the music in both episodes is BEAUTIFUL and suits the themes and atmospheres perfectly.

needcomicmoney
needcomicmoney

@Chronos the Fannibal A lot of Who actors are turning up on 'Arrow'. It's good to see John Barrowman and Alex Kingston whenever their characters are featured.

The_Ogri
The_Ogri

@Polyphase @The_Ogri  I agree, which is why I eventually chose the Satan Pit, but Donna's children and husband, and when he sees her walking away and he tries to call out but he can't because of his stutter. I just rewatched and I cried so hard. MOFFAT!