Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor Tournament – Newman Conference – Round Two

After a long long absence, we are finally voting again on Tenth Doctor Doctor Who stories starring David Tennant, pitting them against each other in an elimination tournament, with whichever story gets at least two out of three votes from our judges will move on to the next round. The judges will be myself and two of my daughters–Johanna (14-15 when we took these votes) and Laurelle (13-14).  The stories have been seeded according ratings on IMDb, and randomly broken up into two conferences–the Newman Conference and the Lambert Conference.

Doctor Who - David Tennant

Read all about that process and the first round, starting here.

Right now, we’re going to continue things with the first half of Round Two, in the Newman Conference.

The Newman Conference

Doctor Who - Silence in the Library : Forest of the Dead

1. Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead


9. Rise of the Cybermen / The Age of Steel

Ben:  The Rise of the Cybermen two-parter has never been a favorite of mine.  The Cybus Industries version of the Cybermen were never as interesting as the original  series version, and though the story has an epic scope, there is little about it to genuinely distinguish itself.  Silence in the Library, on the other hand, is chock full of interesting ideas from writer Steven Moffat–the Vashta Narada, Donna’s virtual life, River Song–some of which helped to set the stage for what was coming on Doctor Who for years to come.

My Vote:  Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead

Johanna: Rise of the Cybermen and Age of Steel was a decent episode that was a good storyline and fun to watch.  It was a decent storyline that made sense (as much as Doctor Who ever does).  It was good.  Silence in the Library and Forest of the Dead was terrifying, interesting, and had Donna as the companion, which is a plus for any story.  It was fun, and featured some brilliant lines from the Doctor, including the one about looking him up.  It’s a clear winner.

My Vote:  Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead

Laurelle:  Definitely Silence in the Library.  It’s not a very big question.  I really like Silence in the Library, it was super creepy, especially with those face people (the library avatars).  Rise of the Cybermen was only okay. 

My Vote:  Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead

The Winner:  Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead

Doctor Who - Last of the Time Lords

5. Utopia / The Sound of the Drums / The Last of the Time-Lords


13. The Sontaran Strategem / The Poison Sky

Johanna:  I don’t remember either of these stories very well.  But I remember the three parter better, and what I remember about it is the Doctor being very sad about the Master when he died, which I found annoying.  Yes, he’s the last of your race, but he’s also an evil mass-murderer, who also turned you into a bird.  While the three parter was a big story, I remember the The Sontaran Strategem to be overall less disappointing.

My Vote:  The Sontaran Strategem / The Poison Sky

Ben:  I have never been a fan of John Simm’s Master, at least not under the pen of Russell T. Davies.  So, even though I liked Derek Jacobi, I’m not a huge fan of The Last of the Time-Lords three-parter.  And I think it was a really strange choice to replace David Tennant for an emaciated CGI version of himself for so much of it.  On the other hand, I really enjoyed a lot about The Sontaran Strategem–from the treatment of the re-imagined titular monsters, to Christopher Ryan’s performance as the main villain, to the classic feel of UNIT’s involvement.  It’s not a masterpiece, but is a solidly enjoyable tale.

My Vote:  The Sontaran Strategem / The Poison Sky

Laurelle:  I guess Sontaran Strategem.  I liked all the characters that they had, and I liked the part where the Doctor thought that Donna was going to leave forever–that was funny.  With the three-parter, I didn’t like that the little balls turned out to be the human race–that was kind of stupid, and a depressing end for the humans.  And I didn’t like how the Doctor turned into that weird little bird-thing.

My Vote:  The Sontaran Strategem / The Poison Sky

The Winner:  The Sontaran Strategem / The Poison Sky

Doctor Who - Doomsday

3. Army of Ghosts / Doomsday


11. The Unicorn and the Wasp

Ben:  I used to think I liked The Unicorn and the Wasp, but after re-watching it I have to say I found it a bit tedious and tiresome.  The Doomsday two-parter is not perfect by any means, but it does give an emotional conclusion (so we thought) for Rose’s story and features the novelty of the Daleks facing off with the Cybermen for the first time on TV.  Their interaction isn’t quite as satisfying as it could be, but it’s still interesting to see.

My Vote:  Army of Ghosts / Doomsday

Johanna:  I feel like I would be more interested in rewatching the Agatha Christie episode.  I did like the Army of Ghosts, but I think I’m going to vote for Agatha Christie.  I remember it being fun.  No big story things, just fun.

My Vote:  The Unicorn and the Wasp

Laurelle:  The Unicorn and the Wasp was interesting but I found it kind of strange with the big wasp thing.  But I liked the talking between the Daleks and the Cybermen in Doomsday–I found it kind of funny.  And I liked it when the Daleks showed up out of the small thing.  It was interesting and funny, and it was sad at the end when Rose had to go to the other dimension and the Doctor went and saw her.

My Vote:  Army of Ghosts / Doomsday

The Winner:  Army of Ghosts / Doomsday

Doctor Who - Partners in Crime

2. The Girl in the Fireplace


10. Partners in Crime

Ben:  Partners in Crime has little going for it other than it’s accomplishment of turning Donna into a likable character, and giving us a few funny scenes.  The Girl in the Fireplace, on the other hand, gave us a tight and twisty time-travel story–the first real such episode by Steven Moffat–anchored by great on-screen chemistry between David Tennant and Sophia Myles as Reinette.  It’s a clear winner.

My Vote:  The Girl in the Fireplace

Johanna: I’m voting for The Girl in the Fireplace.  I enjoyed the other episode, but The Girl in the Fireplace…well, it’s hard to say you enjoyed it so much as got really sad, but it was really good with some very scary monsters.  They were clock people, but very scary monsters.  Meanwhile, the Partners in Crime episode was kind of fun and funny, but nothing special.

My Vote:  The Girl in the Fireplace

Laurelle:  I like both of those episodes.  I like Donna’s one because it’s so funny when they first see each other.  The two characters are so funny together.  The fat monsters weren’t very interesting villains but they weren’t really the point of the episode.  I like The Girl in the Fireplace because of the creepy part with something being under the bed.  And I liked how the Doctor goes through her whole life and sees her growing up.  I liked that episode, but I think I liked the other one more.

My Vote:  Partners in Crime

The Winner:  The Girl in the Fireplace

Tenth Doctor Tournament Brackets - Round 2 Middle

Next voting is here (soon)!


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