Series 1-7 Face-Off Results: Everything Else (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. We’ve revealed your choices for both the Dream and Nightmare Run, now to wrap up it’s time to look at everything inbetween.
Catch-up on other articles:
- Nightmare Run (Episodes 1-8)
- Nightmare Run (Episodes 9-13, Specials)
- Dream Run (Episodes 1-8)
- Dream Run (Episodes 9-13, Specials)
Now join Mark McCullough as he examines the first half of episodes in the list.
NB: Having already looked at first and last place in each of the episode categories, there is no point in talking about them again. Instead I will focus on the five episodes which make up the middle of each set of results. Also, this time we have the percentage splits for each of the episodes so we can see how certain episodes fared. So without further ado:
As previously revealed, The Eleventh Hour was our expected winner and as you can see, it won quite easily in the end taking a large percentage of the vote. Second place doesn’t surprise me as the episode featured the strangest opening to a series yet. The Doctor’s ‘death’ and slight change of format was always going to be well received. Rose, the first episode of the revival was always going to fare well given its nostalgic value. I’m sad to see Partners in Crime occupy the middle position; it is an episode which I love for being fun and a perfect re-introduction for Donna’s character. Asylum of the Daleks is one which I have seen split the fandom, as such it was probably never going to much better than what it has. Smith & Jones was also a fantastic opener which managed to introduce a lot of strong ideas very well. As the introduction of one of my favourite companion, I love it. And finally New Earth, as discussed in the Nightmare Run section is more than deserving to be last. For all the episodes here however the competition was stiff and with The Eleventh Hour doing so well, the results are probably not reflective of how the community would rate openers excluding it.
This section was won by Day of the Moon, which beat the episode which many seemed to think would take the win here. The Fires of Pompeii is a widely praised episode and deserved so, featuring a narrative which takes place around the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius; it is packed with wonderfully poignant moments. Donna’s pleas for the Doctor to help at least one person were truly heart-breaking. Tooth and Claw appears to have a much larger following than I would have thought. Don’t get me wrong, I find it to be an excellent episode; it’s just that I find it has a lot less to offer than some of the others on this list. The same could be said for The Shakespeare Code, although that notably has much less of a share of the vote. The End of the World is an episode which I love, so again I’m a little disappointed to see it take up the middle spot on the list. Making up the rear of the list we have Dinosaurs on a Spaceship and The Beast Below. Both of these if find to be wonderful enjoyable episodes and both have a lot going for them. Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, has the wonderful gang and The Beast Below is packed with imagery and character foils.
As revealed in the Dream Run list, School Reunion was the communities preferred episode three. The competition in this set of episodes was actually pretty strong with the wonderfully poignant Planet of the Ood taking up second place in the list, and deservedly so. A Town Called Mercy comes next with a solid share of the vote. As part of the block-buster of the week format of the first part of series seven, Doctor Who’s Western explored the depths of the Doctor’s character and how far he would go. I am delighted to see Gridlock so high up the list, an episode which I find to be criminally underrated. It’s story id relatively simple yet it is packed with emotional moments, especially in that final scene where the Doctor talks about Gallifrey. Mark Gatiss makes up two of the bottom three episodes. The Unquiet dead probably finds itself as a victim to tough competition, whereas Victory of the Daleks is a victim of the production team featuring the much maligned new Dalek design. The Curse of the Black Spot was never in any danger of coming anywhere other than last. Fittingly it is the episode featuring the wonderful Elisabeth Sladen which tops the poll.
In this list we have the tightest battle for the top spot. As you can see, The Doctor’s Wife and The Girl in the Fireplace were separated only by 0.76%. In reality, either of the two episodes more than deserved to win the section and make the Dream Run. I’d suspect they both would have only they are the same episode number. Both stories feature a strong romantic element and both are considered classics. Lagging quite far behind the leading duo is The Time of Angels, a fantastic episode featuring one of the best ‘Moffat Tricks’ I have seen. Who can honestly say the noticed the one headed statues on first viewing? After this there is another large dip in percentage votes for the final four on the list. With Helen Raynor occupying the bottom spot, I’m happy to see her other offering in fourth. The Power of Three and the Aliens of London are so close that they are practically tied. This list represents a case of an episode which some offerings are considered to be far superior to others.
The list of episode for the fifth outing of the series features mostly the second parts of episodes. The outright winner is the Pond’s swansong, The Angels Take Manhattan taking over double the amount of votes. Unsurprisingly episodes which had their first part in the previous poll all faired very similarly. Flesh and Stone comfortably takes second place despite its decision to feature the Weeping Angels moving. Rise of the Cybermen makes up third place on this list. As the first episode to feature one of Doctor Who’s iconic monsters. That said, it doesn’t feature them for very long as they only make an appearance just before the cliff-hanger. The setting of the parallel Earth is also a wonderful idea. Helen Raynor’s episodes again take positions four and seven which is unsurprising. World War Three does slightly better than its predecessor and The Rebel Flesh completes the line-up in second last place. Again the competition in this set is quite good so some episode are probably slightly lower than they deserve.
This one features the episode with the largest percentage of the vote in a single poll so far. Robert Shearman’s Dalek, take a hugely impressive share of the vote. Thinking about it, of course it was going to win by a stretch. I really can’t praise the episode enough. Second place surprises me if I’m honest, I do love The Bells of Saint John, I just didn’t realise everyone else did too. The Doctor’s Daughter in third place is also a bit of a surprise; perhaps it should have been a little higher. The narrative was incredibly intelligent and kept the viewer guessing right until the end. The Vampires of Venice also did better than what I thought it would. I quite like all the episodes in this category, and am particularly fond of both The Age of Steel and The Almost People as I tend enjoy two-parters slightly more. As with quite a lot of the poll results on this results page, the bottom few episodes are all very close, but in this case the scores are slightly exaggerated due to the huge success of Dalek.
I’ll admit, when I wrote the segment on the Dream Run, I had totally forgotten that Amy’s Choice was an episode seven. I stand by the praise I gave to our winner, A Good Man Goes to War. But I must admit that I think Amy’s Choice deserved it more, and it didn’t even come close. A wonderful concept for an episode made even better by an exemplary performance by Toby Jones as the Dream Lord. The Unicorn and the Wasp, has also done quite well here taking a respectable portion of the vote. A fun episode featuring Agatha Christie was probably always going to do so. The Rings of Akhaten has always seemed to be a divisive episode with some loving it, this meant it was always going to get a reasonable share of the vote and I for one am glad it did. The music and the speeches made the episode for me. 42 is another of those episodes I find to be underrated, yet it does quite well here, given the competition in this section. The last two episodes on the list are certainly deserving of their place, whilst not bad as such, they are nowhere near as good as the rest.
For me this was always going to be one of the toughest polls to make a decision on, featuring the first part of three of my favourite two-parters. Evidently the majority agree with me as all three make up the top three of this list. Silence in the Library takes the majority of the vote winning by a considerable margin. Second is Human Nature, the episode where the Doctor becomes human and one of my all-time favourite stories. The Impossible Planet pits the Doctor against the devil and is perhaps one of the tensest stories in the history of the show. Let’s Kill Hitler is not my cup of tea as an episode, I really don’t like it for numerous reasons. Therefore I’m quite sad that the wonderful Father’s Day loses out to it here. If you had an opportunity to change time, would you? That’s what Father’s Day explores so well, depicting the consequences of such a change. Cold War attempts to do what Dalek did, but falls terribly flat, perhaps that’s why it did so badly, people comparing the two. Completing the list is The Hungry Earth with the lowest vote so far.
Join us for the conclusion tomorrow.