47 Days of Doctor Who–Day #41: Best Catchphrase

Welcome to Day 41 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.

So, today, we spin the Random Number Generator, and after many tries it lands on 36, which means today’s topic is

“Best Catchphrase”

I say catchphrase, but what I really meant as I came up with this list was a “recurring of dialogue” – a phrase or sentence that is heard multiple times in the show, with the intention of drawing attention to itself.  The most famous of these is without a doubt, “Exterminate!”, but that is definitely not my favorite.  Neither is “Fantastic!”, “Allons y!” or “Geronimo!” which are all less interesting than the people who say them.  There are also more complex lines, like “Silence must fall,” or “Am I good man?”

But if I have to pick a favorite, it’s this

“Spoilers!”

Of course, this isn’t the Doctor’s catchphrase, but River Song’s.  Although eventually we learn that it was the Doctor from whom River first heard it.  It sums all the great things about the River Song story, which was a massive one that dominated the show for about 2 years.  Never before had the series invested so much energy into telling the tale of a truly non-linear relationship, something you’d think the Doctor would be having all the time (and indeed was popular in spin-off material long before it found its way to TV).

The line is first heard in River’s debut story, Silence in the Library, and it ends up being the very last thing she says before she sacrifices herself for him.  Alex Kingston and David Tennant are both great in that scene, and every time we hear it after that it invokes the sadness inherent in their relationship.  Good stuff.

Click here for a master list for this series.

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