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Series 1-7 Face-Off Results: Dream Run (Episodes 1-8)

Across March and April Doctor Who TV pitted all the revival episodes so far against each other and asked you to vote on each. The results are now in and now we’re revealing the “Dream Run” – these are the episodes that topped their respective slots.

Now join Mark McCullough as he examines the first half of episodes in the list.

Episode 1: The Eleventh Hour

Doctor-Who-The-Eleventh-Hour (7)Not a huge surprise with this correctly predicted winner, in fact something would have been badly wrong if anything other than The Eleventh Hour had won here. Matt Smith’s first episode in the TARDIS was the start of an era, in more ways than one. Perhaps the most magical and nostalgic episode of the lot, and thoroughly deserving of the praise it gets. If I’m looking to introduce someone to the show, I usually use this one, which in itself shows just how good it is as an Episode One. So good in fact that I would say it has become the marker from which series openers are judged. Let’s hope Moffat can repeat this success with Series Eight.

Episode 2: Day of the Moon

day of the moon promo pics (7)“We’re not fighting an alien invasion, we’re leading a revolution”. A dramatic twist to the usual format of the show with the enemy already dominating Earth and a high stakes storyline, complemented by the use of beautiful scenery in the United States, all combined to make a wonderful episode. Day of the Moon is more than deserving of this spot in the Dream Run. That said I am still quite surprised to see it here as it was up against several very good episodes. Something which also works in its favour is the inclusion of what has been touted as the best cliff-hanger ever. An episode featuring Canton, Nixon and a perfect balance of tone, perhaps it was foolish to overlook it.

Episode 3: School Reunion

School ReunionConceptually the Krillitanes are a fascinating monster, able to adapt themselves based on those they have conquered. The story of School Reunion is quite strong too utilising the brains of schoolchildren to aid the alien incursion. But I’d be prepared to bet that isn’t the reason for its inclusion in the Dream Run, that’s probably due to a Smith. This episode was the first to properly feature Mickey involved in the adventure. This naturally was overshadowed by the re-introduction of Sarah-Jane Smith. Through Sladen’s wonderful performance the audience immediately fell in love with her (eventually leading to a spin-off series). I will always love School Reunion for introducing me to Sarah-Jane

Episode 4: The Doctor’s Wife

doctors-wife-farewellEpisode Four seems to be the romantic one, at least it appears that it was given this result was the product of a very close contest between The Doctor’s Wife and The Girl in the Fireplace. Ultimately The Doctor’s Wife emerged victorious and I have to say I’m glad. I’m not as big a fan of either episode as most; but I can certainly appreciate our winner a lot more. The concept of giving the TARDIS a body and a voice providing it with an opportunity to converse with the Doctor is a genius one. More than that, writer Neil Gaiman also manages to create some of the more chilling ideas within (or should that be outside) the Doctor Who universe: the patchwork people Aunt and Uncle, a sentient asteroid with immense power and the scene with the Ponds in the TARDIS corridor. Couple this with the romance storyline and it is easy to see why this story is here.

Episode 5: The Angels Take Manhattan

angels-take-manhattan-rory-ledgeThe final episode to feature both Amy and Rory, who having previously occupied the companion role for the entirety of the Smith/Moffat Era were about to meet their bitter end. The Angels Take Manhattan had to be brilliant; it was only fitting for such wonderful companions. Emotionally and tonally the story was spot on, complemented by Murray Gold’s particularly powerful score. Unfortunately the logic at times was far from sound and had a serious impact on my enjoyment of the episode. I can’t help but wonder if this episode is only in the Dream Run because it was the Pond’s swansong, after all we did have the heartache of losing them twice within the about five minutes. Also worth noting is the wonderful performances by the main cast.

Episode 6: Dalek

dalek-Robert-Shearman-eccleston-2005The episode which featured the re-introduction of the Daleks, the show’s most iconic monster to the new audience, of course it was due a place in the Dream Run. The title Dalek reflects the perfect simplicity of the narrative: one single Dalek wreaking havoc on the world. If you want to establish something as a threat, this is the way to do it. Rob Shearman writes the Daleks journey perfectly as it evolves from a killing machine, to adopting some of Rose’s qualities. It is a huge testament to the writing that as the viewer I actually felt sorry for the Dalek by the end. The episode also featured several interesting characters and a few nods to the history of the show. I think it would have been a travesty if Dalek had not been included in the Dream Run.

Episode 7: A Good Man Goes to War

a-good-man-goes-to-war-promo-pics-(3)I’m a little bit surprised to see A Good Man Goes to War feature on the list. I can’t dispute the quality of the majority of the episode, but I feel it was let down slightly by its ending. The River reveal was quite obvious and rather poorly done. With the Doctor supposedly having “fallen further than ever before” it all seemed too happy and neat. It would have perhaps been better without the reveal. Ignoring that, it is quite easy to see why people voted for it, it contain so many epic moments: the Doctor taking Demons’ Run, Rory on the Cybership. Along with this it also has character defining moments: Dorium’s statement about the Doctor collecting his debts, the Colonel Runaway incident and the Doctor’s treatment of Lorna. Wonderful performances by the entire cast, especially from the wonderful Francis Barber as Madame Kovarian, helped to cement the quality of the episode.

Episode 8: Silence in the Library

Silence in the Library & Forest of the DeadThere is just something about Silence in the Library (and its second part too) which makes it such a wonderful episode. By this stage Moffat had established himself as the ‘scary writer’ following Blink. This time he uses shadow as the object of fear, shadows which could strip the flesh from your skin in a matter of seconds. The story features the introduction of the mysterious River Song, a woman from the Doctor’s future who knows everything about him, whilst he knows nothing about her. This makes for some heartbreaking scenes between the two. Utilising a dark tone and dark set completed the narrative and gave the audience a real sense of danger serving to increase the tension. The episode ended on a cliff-hanger which placed Donna in serious danger leading to an agonising wait until the next Saturday. Silence in the Library is an episode thoroughly deserving of its place in the Dream Run.

Join us again tomorrow for the conclusion of the Dream Run, looking at episodes 9-13 and the specials from each showrunner.

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245 comments
TheOncomingFish
TheOncomingFish

My opinion on each result:

1. The Eleventh Hour- Agree. Although I voted for An Impossible Astronaut I was happy for either to win. 

2. Day of the Moon- Agree. 

3. School Reunion- Disagree. I really don't like this episode. I don't really understand all the praise it gets. 

4. The Doctor's Wife- I think I agree? (I can't remember what this episode was up against so I'm not entirely sure).  

5. The Angels Take Manhattan- Agree. 

6. Dalek- Again, can't remember what it was up against. It's a good episode though. 

7. A Good Man Goes to War- Agree. 

8. Silence In The Library- Agree. 


DW_girl
DW_girl

I would have picked:

1) The Eleventh Hour 

2) The Fires of Pompeii (but Day of the Moon is close!)

3) School Reunion

4) The Doctor's Wife

5) The Angels Take Manhattan

6) Dalek

7) Amy's Choice (A Good Man Goes To War is at the bottom for me here- I'm not fussed by that episode at all really)

8) Father's Day (Silence in the Library would be 2nd)


Overall, I'm happy with these results as most of my choices are on there, or my 2nd place choices are on there. Disappointed by the pick for episode 7 (expected better than the over-rated AGMGTW for that slot!)

no_tweeter
no_tweeter

Author lets his prejudice really show here. A Moffat episode wins "I'm really surprised to see this one here" x3

DaireConstantineOReilly
DaireConstantineOReilly

Instead of Reviewing the new series Over and over and over again, WE GET IT . NuWho is Awsome , Why not start reflecting and reviewing the Classic Series Episodes for change, would be refreshing and different from all the NuWho Worshiping on this site.

JamesStroud
JamesStroud

My list so far would be:


 


1. The Impossible Astronaut

2. Tooth And Claw

3. A Town Called Mercy

4. The Girl In The Fireplace

5. World War Three

6. Dalek

7. Amy's Choice

8. Father's Day


As I said in my previous comment, TGITF is my favourite episode of Doctor Who, including Classic series, and that TATM and AGMGTW were bad episodes, and didn't deserve their places. I will admit that episode 5s over the seasons have been pretty bad in all, but Angels was a particularly bad one in my eyes, and for A Good Man, Amy's Choice was a stand-out episode of a brilliant season, and I'm quite surprised it didn't win. For me, The Impossible Astronaut, as a series opener, was the best we've had since revival. The Eleventh Hour was good, don't get me wrong, and it was a great intro for a new Doctor, but The Impossible Astronaut set up brand new villains, the new story arc, and it had River in it. Was a clear winner for me. It was hard for me not to put Day of the Moon second, but I just adore Tooth And Claw, David's reaction to seeing the wolf was fantastic, and the whole plot was clever and the dialogue was fantastic. The rest of the list is scattered with 9th Doctor episodes, from my favourite series, bar one, and that one is controversial. I'm going to say it: School Reunion wasn't that good. Yes, it was good, but it wasn't as fab as everyone makes out. K9 was poorly used, and Sarah Jane's return didn't make up for the poor acting from the majority of the support cast in my eyes. The headmaster was great, loved his portrayal, but it wasn't good enough. To me, A Town called Mercy was fantastic, the conflict within the Doctor was brilliantly acted, and the twist with the Gunslinger was really cleverly pulled off, though admittedly it was to be expected

JamesStroud
JamesStroud

I have absolutely no clue how The Angels Take Manhatten or A Good Man Goes To War got on this list. Frankly they are poor episodes, and the competition was a lot better. Similar for The Doctor's Wife, The Girl In The Fireplace to me is THE best episode of Doctor Who ever, and it should have been no contest. I do like the Doctor's Wife, and it is a very good episode, but nothing at all in comparison. Ah well

GWad84
GWad84

Moffat penned 5 of these episodes, RTD hasn't written any. Plus there are 5 episodes from Moffats era and three from RTDs

Smaragdkek
Smaragdkek

I'd like to draw the attention to the fact that 5(!) of these were written by Moffat and only one by RTD. If tomorrow goes as predicted, then this will be an overwhelming victory for Moffat (and he has actually written fewer episodes than RTD), and, quite separately, his showrunning, as he currently stands at 5 episodes for that, as well.

YourSpacialHatness
YourSpacialHatness

Human Nature defeated by Silence in the Library!  How could this have happened?!

Dalekworld
Dalekworld

This proves people like the eleventh doctor!!


The Eleventh Hour- The perfect episode, with the perfect timing. They should use the timing in this episode for every episode.


The Day Of The Moon- This fells so connected to the last part, yet it so different in many ways. The ending was great as well. Well done Moffat.


School Reunion - This was just the episode for classic who fans. If only my school had chips that made you clever. If only!


The Doctor’s Wife- The concept of this episode is pure genius. For the first time in 48 year ( from then) we get to speak to the Doctors best friend.  Oh TARDIS.


The Angels Take Manhattan- One of my favourite New Who episodes. I think it would of been fitting if they said there good-byes on the roof though.


Dalek- What a way to return the Daleks. With everything from Americans, to the Doctor showing all emotion to a Dalek, this is ne of my favourite 9h Doctor episodes.


A Good Man Goes To War- I remember very looking forward to this and it very paid of. There are some very powerful scenes as well.


Silence In The Library - All I can say about this is I need to re-watch it as what remember of it  was a creepy episode!  

HomelessBoxBoy
HomelessBoxBoy

DOTM, TATM and AGMGTW? Seriously? To each their own I guess...

edoe101
edoe101

Ooh, from what I remember these were all the ones I voted for!

chinnysandshoes
chinnysandshoes

Thrilled to see The Doctor's Wife here! If I had to vote an all-time favourite, that would be mine. I'm all right with the rest except for The Angels Take Manhattan. I think that was more a sentimental favourite, but in the end, we're all sentimental about things in our own way (like I am about the Doctor's relationship with the TARDIS hence my favourite The Doctor's Wife). School Reunion was special to me because of what Sarah-Jane realises in the end despite her own hurt and pain - "The universe has to move forward. Pain and loss, they define us as much as happiness or love. Whether it's a world, or a relationship... Everything has its time. And everything ends." The wisdom of a great companion.




mgm1229
mgm1229

Human Nature is way better than Silence in the Library. Rose is the ultimate episode 1, more than The Eleventh Hour, charming as it is. The only episodes I voted for that won, so far, are School Reunion, the Doctor's Wife, and Dalek. Just goes to show that we are lucky they mix it up, as people seem to have deeply divided opinions, and taking risks gives different people their favorite episodes. But I've said it before, and I'll say it again, even the worst Who is better than most episodes of anything else!

SouffleBoy
SouffleBoy

Loving the list so far, minus The Angels Take Manhattan. I swear people only praise it highly because of the ending. It's too plotholey for me.

supermoff
supermoff

Revised predictions for tomorrow

Episode 9 - The Empty Child (Moffat) (Series 1)

Episode 10 - Blink (Moffat) (Series 3)

Episode 11 - Turn Left (Davies) (Series 4), though hopefully it'll be The God Complex.

Episode 12 - The Pandorica Opens (Moffat) (Series 5)

Episode 13 - The Big Bang  (Moffat) (Series 5)

RTD special - The Waters of Mars (Davies) (2008-2010 Specials)

Moffat special - The Day of the Doctor (Moffat) (2013 Specials)


JJ2000
JJ2000

Most of these are mine: 


1. The Eleventh Hour

2. Day Of The Moon

3. The Unquiet Dead

4. The Girl In The Fireplace

5. Flesh And Stone

6. Dalek

7. A Good Man Goes To War

8. Silence In The Library

School Reunion is okay and The Doctor's Wife is absolutely rubbish and did not deserve to win at all!


TheNightmareChild sees into your soul!
TheNightmareChild sees into your soul!

I think the only episode that I actually voted for on this list is Dalek.  But I'm not up in arms, or anything.  These are all great episodes.  There isn't one on this list that I utterly disagree with being on here.  I am really looking forward to tomorrow, though.  I'm kind of pulling for an upset on that one.

KristiStoneman
KristiStoneman

The only one that I would really disagree with would be "Day of the Moon".  While I love both episodes in that two-parter, I feel "The Fires of Pompeii" makes a better second episode.

TheSoundofDrums
TheSoundofDrums

Now I was actually surprised by School Reunion. Not saying it's a bad episode or anything like that, because it was a classic by Toby Whithouse and brought Sarah Jane Smith and K9 back wonderfully, but for some reason I never expected the episode to win. The same goes for Silence in the Library for similar reasons. The rest were more or less expected and deserved their place as the winners. Curious to see what makes it onto the rest of the winners list.

Romanadvoratrelundar
Romanadvoratrelundar

@no_tweeter uhh 5/8 of the episodes on this list were written by Moffat. I think they just meant that A Good Man Goes to War doesn't exactly get a showering of praise like the other episodes here, so it kind of got them by surprise. 

Smaragdkek
Smaragdkek

@DaireConstantineOReilly Well I dunno, maybe because NuWho is better and more people have seen it? I mean, the Classic Series had its moments, but it was not nearly as good as NuWho.

Romanadvoratrelundar
Romanadvoratrelundar

@mgm1229 I agree, Slience in the Library is good, but Human Nature is something else. It's the first ever episode where I thought I knew what was going on, but was proven wrong at every single turn. I was so sure that when Joan listened to John's heart she would hear two, after that I just ran out of theories - and that never happens. I, like I would imagine most people, always have a theory, even a subconcious prediction of what's going to happen (not to say it's always right). But after that...I literally had no idea. All of a sudden I realised I didn't know the show I thought I knew. 


Basically, a genius idea brilliantly executed. 

Pertbaker34
Pertbaker34

Solid predictions. I prefer the Big Bang but I might have guessed The Name just because I know how well loved it was.

Romanadvoratrelundar
Romanadvoratrelundar

@supermoff I agree with most of these, except I know an awful lot of people who love The Christmas Invasion (IMO it's a bit overrated), and I'm not sure about episode 11...I love The Crimson Horror, but I know lots of people love Turn Left, The Lodger and The God Complex. I'm not sure which one will win. 

The Alien Hunter
The Alien Hunter

LOL, that sums me up! xD

Although I still am pretty social, I love talking to people and I don't mind doing it. If my friend was having party and there was a Doctor Who episode on, I'd go to the party and watch Doctor Who.

:P

The_Horrors_Crimson
The_Horrors_Crimson

Ok... I don't do well when people say The Doctor's Wife is rubbish.

Care to explain why you think so? Because in my opinion, The Girl in the Fireplace is a lovely story, but a very average episode for me.

JamesStroud
JamesStroud

@TheSoundofDrums Silence In the Library I expected, though I didn't want it to win, Father's Day was so fantastic that it was a clear winner in my eyes. School Reunion though I share our feelings on

bluBob
bluBob

@Smaragdkek @DaireConstantineOReilly Whoa there Sunshine. NuWho isn't better... it's written for it's 21st century audience. Similarly, Classic Who was written for the audiences of it's time. I can almost guarantee you that kids 20 years from now will probably have similarly disparaging things to say NuWho, it doesn't make it true.

SouffleBoy
SouffleBoy

@Amy the Consulting Key Ring @SouffleBoy It was good in those ways and New York is one of my favourite cities, but it didn't deliver in the story side for me. But, I guess everyone has a different opinion and it did get on the dream run. :)

JamesStroud
JamesStroud

@Amy the Consulting Key Ring @SouffleBoy See, I never thought that the Noir atmosphere was pulled off well enough. It was clear what they were trying to do, but It just didn't work for me. Plus the ending was poor, and the Weeping of Liberty? Just no

Romanadvoratrelundar
Romanadvoratrelundar

@The_Horrors_Crimson I know, right?! I hate it when people completely bash things they don't like without explaining why. Having your own opinion is fine, but please don't go calling one of my favourite episodes "rubbish" or "an abomination" without even trying to put up a decent argument. I've even been told I'm "misguided" before, with I found both patronising and rude. 

Romanadvoratrelundar
Romanadvoratrelundar

@JamesStroud @supermoff Interesting you love Boom Town, it's not one of my favourites but really didn't think it was all that bad. I also really disliked Aliens of London/WW3, which seems to be the opposite of popular opinion. But either way I'm supportive of people who love unpopular episodes, I'm the Whovian who basically spends their time defending the crap out of The Doctor's Daughter, Planet of the Dead and Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS. 

JamesStroud
JamesStroud

@supermoff @Romanadvoratrelundar I think it may actually be 9 or 12. With 9 you have The Empty Child, Satan Pit, Family of Blood and Forest of the Dead, while everyone loves the first episode of a two parter more than the second, these second episodes were fab. And in the case of 12 it's similar. As I said, everyone loves the first episode of a two parter, and these were big cliff hanger episodes like Bad Wolf, The Sound of Drums and the Pandorica opens, that had lots of guts and emotion (even if people hated their conclusions) and surely people will contest them hard


For me, all the episode 11s listed were pretty bad, with The Lodger being the best of those, but I loved Boom Town. So underrated

TheNightmareChild sees into your soul!
TheNightmareChild sees into your soul!

@DW_girl @Amy the Consulting Key Ring @TheNightmareChild  I would just like to say that, as someone who actually likes Manhattan, who thinks it's actually a pretty good episode, the Statue of Liberty still annoyed me.  And it really doesn't come down to the logic of it, or at least not anymore or as much as before.  No, my problem with it is that it doesn't even need to be there.  It is wholly unnecessary.  It feels like something Moffat wrote in there because he just couldn't help himself.  Seriously, remove the Statue of Liberty from the episode and it would barely be different.  We wouldn't have any scenes of people being spooked by a giant "scary" demon angel face.  That's about it.  And so the fact that we have to devote so much of our time thinking through and explaining such a random, superfluous element that will inevitably illicit some "F*cking... what?!" from the audience just makes it all the more ridiculous.  Speaking completely for myself here, for something like that to distract us from what is otherwise a very tense, atmospheric and emotional episode is a bit of a drag.

TheNightmareChild sees into your soul!
TheNightmareChild sees into your soul!

@Amy the Consulting Key Ring @TheNightmareChild  Well, I'm just saying, you're not doing yourself any favors.  If you really felt the urge to vent your frustrations, you probably should've done it in a less passive aggressive way.  Because you're not just affecting future discussion on this episode in particular; you're damaging your rapport with people on this site in general.  


I have strong opinions of my own, and I've made some of them known on this site.  But I have always made it a point to limit my critiques to the show itself, and not to let it stray to other fans.  As a general rule, I think it's a good idea to foster an environment in which everyone feels open to each other's thoughts.  Being open to other people's experiences with a show and being open to being swayed is one of the most important aspects of a fandom.  And if a certain portion of this site thinks that you just see them as thoughtless whiners (however founded you might think that belief is), then you will probably find it difficult in the future to open them up to your thoughts on anything.  


And at the end of the day, we're talking about a TV show here (books, audios and other media notwithstanding).  We're all gonna love that one episode that everybody hates, hate that one episode that everybody loves, and the world's gonna keep on spinning.  It's really not worth getting that bitter about it.  Just relax, have a jelly baby, and enjoy the show. :)



Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!
Amy says Peter Davison is the Thirteenth Doctor!

@TheNightmareChild @Amy the Consulting Key Ring  Oh, believe me, I'm fully aware of that. But considering that this specific instance pertains to a discussion that I am beyond tired of having, I think that I would welcome that in this case. Besides, it's not as if very many people had listened to me about it before. Present somebody with a well-reasoned argument based on logic and facts and what do they do? Ignore it completely so they can keep shouting "Plot hole! Sack Moffat!" That's been my experience.

TheNightmareChild sees into your soul!
TheNightmareChild sees into your soul!

@Amy the Consulting Key Ring @TheNightmareChild  You know, even if I agreed with you 100% about everything, I do not think this is the best way to invite people into your perspective.  Being that judgmental of people who don't see things the way you do, whether you're right or wrong, makes you come off like a jerk and them less likely to be open to a discussion about it.