Quite some time ago, I posted a video about the 51 episodes of Doctor Who that I love the most. I’ve always had it in the back of my mind to do a quick analysis of my choices. Today, that idea has gone from the back of my mind to the front of my mind to my fingers to this blogpost and now soon, into your brain. After that, who knows?
(Daily Doctor Who #359)
So first off, you can look at the video here.
As you can see, we’re only talking about modern Doctor Who. Second, this doesn’t count the current season (season 13) becuase it hadn’t started yet when I made the list. It also doesn’t countAlso, when I say “Episodes” I guess what I really mean is “Stories”, as I have personally decided to define them. In reality, my 51 episodes is actually 68 episodes.
Here’s a master list if you don’t want to watch (or rewatch) the video:
50. The Haunting of Villa Diodati
49. Face the Raven
48. Utopia / The Sound of the Drums / The Last of the Time Lords
47. The God Complex
46. Smith and Jones
45. The Doctor’s Daughter
44. The Name of the Doctor
43. The Angels Take Manhattan
42. Army of Ghosts / Doomsday
41. The Wedding of River Song
40. Time Heist
39. Amy’s Choice
38. The Doctor’s Wife
37. The Girl Who Waited
36. The Pyramid at the End of the World / The Lie of the Land
35. The Impossible Planet / The Satan Pit
34. Turn Left
33. The Next Doctor
32. The Husbands of River Song
31. The Snowmen
29. The Return of Dr. Mysterio
28. The Sontaran Strategem / The Poison Sky
27. A Christmas Carol
26. Let’s Kill Hitler
24. The Christmas Invasion
23. Dark Water / Death in Heaven
22. The Girl in the Fireplace
21. Under the Lake / Before the Flood
20. The Lodger
18. The Magician’s Apprentice / The Witch’s Familiar
17. Asylum of the Daleks
16. The Time of the Doctor
15. Last Christmas
14. The Stolen Earth / Journey’s End
13. The Pandorica Opens / The Big Bang
11. Mummy on the Orient Express
10. The Day of the Doctor
9. The Time of Angels / Flesh and Stone
8. The Empty Child / The Doctor Dances
7. World Enough and Time / The Doctor Falls
6. The Eleventh Hour
5. The Impossible Astronaut / Day of the Moon
4. Human Nature / The Family of Blood
2. Silence in the Library / The Forest of the Dead
1. Heaven Sent
Man, this list is only six months old, but I can already see things I’d like to change in it. But I won’t.
Now, I’ve often said that Matt Smith is my favorite Doctor, but is that born out by my choices?
51 Favorite Stories Broken Down by Doctor
Christopher Eccleston – The Ninth Doctor: 1 story, 2 episodes
David Tennant – The Tenth Doctor: 16 stories, 23 episodes (counting Day of the Doctor)
Matt Smith – The Eleventh Doctor: 18 stories, 20 episodes
Peter Capaldi – The Twelfth Doctor: 16 stories, 21 episodes (not counting Day of the Doctor. I also didn’t count that for Eccleston, clearly)
Jodie Whittaker – The Thirteenth Doctor: 1 story, 1 episode
Wow, so Matt Smith has got the most stories, but less actual episodes than either Tennant or Capaldi!
51 Favorite Stories Broken Down by Major Companion
So a few explanatory points here–we are counting all original appearances, including “regular” cameos (ie, Clara in Heaven Sent or Amy in The Time of the Doctor) but not the “blink and you’ll miss it” appearances by Rose in Midnight or The Poison Sky. We are counting The Moment in Day of the Doctor as a Rose Tyler appearance, however.
Billie Piper – Rose Tyler: 8 stories, 12 episodes.
Freema Agyman – Martha Jones: 7 stories, 12 episodes
Catherine Tate – Donna Noble: 6 stories, 9 episodes
Karen Gillan – Amy Pond: 15 stories, 18 episodes
Arthur Darvill – Rory Williams: 12 stories, 14 episodes
Jenna Coleman – Clara Oswald (or splinters): 15 stories, 18 episodes
Matt Lucas – Nardole: 6 stories, 8 episodes
Pearl Mackie – Bill Potts: 4 stories, 6 episode
Bradley Walsh – Graham O’Brien / Mandip Gill – Yasmin Khan / Tosin Cole – Ryan Sinclair: 1 story, 1 episode each.
Given that Amy and Clara are my favorite companions of the revived series, it’s no surprise they are listed here the most.
51 Favorite Stories Broken Down by Series
Series 1 – 1 story, 2 episodes (15% of episodes)
Series 2 – 3 stores, 5 episodes (38% of episodes)
Series 3 – 4 stories, 7 episodes (54% of episodes)
Series 4 – 6 stories, 9 episodes (69% of episodes)
Series 5 – 5 stories, 7 episodes (54% of episodes)
Series 6 – 5 stories, 7 episodes (54% of episodes)
Series 7 – 3 stories, 3 episodes (23% of episodes)
Series 8 – 5 stories, 6 episodes (50% of episodes)
Series 9 – 5 stories, 6 episodes (50% of episodes)
Series 10 – 4 stories, 6 episodes (50% of episodes)
Series 11 – 0 stories, 0 episodes (0% of episodes)
Series 12 – 1 story, 1 episode (10% of episodes)
Specials – 9 stories, 9 episodes (47% of episodes)
Wow…Series 4 for the win! Impressive since that series doesn’t feature my favorite Doctor or companion. It is a good one though.
51 Favorite Stories Broken Down by Writer
Steven Moffat: 28 stories, 36 episodes
Russell T. Davies: 8 stories, 12 episodes
Toby Whithouse: 3 stories, 5 episodes
Jamie Mathiesen: 3 stories, 3 episodes
Several other people wrote just one story each. Chris Chibnall wrote zero. It’s no surprise who won for both this and the next category.
51 Favorite Stories Broken Down by Producer
Steven Moffat: 34 stories, 42 episodes
Russell T. Davies: 16 stories, 25 episodes
Chris Chibnall: 1 story, 1 episode
Will Chibnall’s count increase if I do this again in a year or two? Maybe!
51 Favorite Stories Broken Down by Director
Nick Hurran – 5 stories, 5 episodes
Graeme Harper – 4 stories, 6 episodes
Douglas Mackinnon – 4 stories, 5 episodes
Toby Haynes – 3 stories, 5 episodes
Rachel Talalay – 3 stories, 5 episodes
Charles Palmer – 3 stories, 4 episodes
Daniel Nettheim – 2 stories, 3 episodes
James Hawes – 2 stories, 3 episodes
Euros Lyn – 2 stories, 3 episodes
Hettie MacDonald – 2 stories, 3 episodes
Adam Smith – 2 stories, 3 episodes
Alice Troughton – 2 stories, 2 episodes
Saul Metzstein – 2 stories, 2 episodes
Catherine Morshead – 2 stories, 2 episodes
Paul Wilmshurst – 2 stories, 2 episodes
And of course a bunch of people directed just one.
Now, the last big question is which episode from my list represents my trends the most strongly? It seems like it should be a Series 4 episode featuring the 11th Doctor and either Amy or Clara, produced and written by Steven Moffat and directed by Nick Hurran or Graeme Harper (depending on how we count). Now clearly there is no such episode (as Steven Moffat as producer and Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor didn’t start until Series 5.)
So our next best option is a Series 5 or 6 episode, produced and written by Moffat, featuring the 11th Doctor and Amy (and Rory if possible, for good measure), and directed by Hurran or Harper.
Quickly looking it up I see that Nick Hurran didn’t direct any of the Series 5 or 6 episodes that Moffat wrote, and neither did Graeme Harper! Our next most prolific director is Douglas Mackinnon, who also didn’t direct anything in either Series 5 or 6.
Toby Haynes, who is almost as high as the others in terms of directing duties, was the man behind the camera for both The Pandorica Opens / The Big Bang, and The Impossible Astronaut / Day of the Moon. Both featured Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill (my tied for 1st and 3rd place companions) and Matt Smith (my first place Doctor), and were written by Steven Moffat and produced by Steven Moffat during the two seasons that were equally popular for me, so they kind of tie as the Doctor Who stories that represent the most of my favorite things the most.
I will therefore select The Impossible Astronaut / Day of the Moon as my “most representative” Doctor Who story in terms of my tastes, because they feature the Silence, which is my favorite of the show’s recurring monsters.
So there you go! Congrats to The Impossible Astronaut, I guess. I’m sure you are very proud.