47 Days of Doctor Who–Day #16: Best Mini-Episode

Welcome to Day 16 of my 47-day series about the revival version of Doctor Who (2005-present).  I’ve come up with  47 topics / questions to answer, all of them basically positive and upbeat about the program.  Each day (or as often as I can actually write these–so far so good!) I’ll pick one of them at random (using this convenient random number generator) and then write up an answer.

Why 47?  It’s my favorite number.
Why Doctor Who?  It’s my favorite show.
Why the modern day Doctor Who only?  Simply because I remember it better.
Why only positive stuff?  Because really, I write enough snark.

Today is Day #16, and around and around goes the Random Number Generator, and without any false starts this time, we get number 29, which means the topic of the day is this:

“Best Mini-Episode”

The modern Doctor Who has given us lots and lots of little mini-episodes which have supplemented our enjoyment of the series and filled in some the gaps that were left in between the main stories.  Released on TV, the internet, or as DVD extras, there seem especially to have been a lot them during the 11th Doctor’s era…Matt Smith and Steven Moffat must have really enjoyed making them!

Some of the ones I’ve especially enjoyed have been

• Time-Crash – which guest starred Peter Davidson as the 5th Doctor meeting up with David Tennant’s 10th
• Two unreleased scenes from Season 5, which feature the Doctor and Amy and take place after two of the regular episodes–The Eleventh HourFlesh and Stone–had concluded
Night and the Doctor – five short episodes which filled in some pretty significant gaps around the 6th Season of the show
SpaceTime – two goofy episodes telling a story of life on the TARDIS is like for the Doctor, Amy & Rory

My favorite, however, is a no-contest:

Night of the Doctor

This mini episode, which came out just before the 50th anniversary in 2013, does everything we’ve come to expect from these sorts of installments:  it brings back familiar faces, it teases an upcoming story, and it fills in some gaps in the continuity of the series.  But this episode does all that in more, as it demonstrates the deftness and economy of Steven Moffat’s writing.  In the brief space of just over seven minutes, the episode manages to deliver a fairly epic tale goes into the 8th Doctor and the Time War, showing us pivotal moments for both.

It also features on the best surprise reveals that we’ve ever had over the entire franchise, when Paul McGann shows up and delivers his now iconic opening line:

I’m a doctor.  But probably not the one you’re expecting.

Really, if there’s a disappointment to this whole thing, it’s just that it whetted the appetite to see more Paul McGann’s Doctor on TV, but didn’t satisfy it.  Otherwise, really good work.  Have a look:


Click here for a master list for this series.


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