Doctor Who: The 51 Episodes I Love the Most – Analysis

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:

51. Oxygen

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

30. Extremis

29. The Return of Dr. Mysterio

28. The Sontaran Strategem / The Poison Sky

27. A Christmas Carol

26. Let’s Kill Hitler

25. Listen

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

19. Flatline

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

12. Blink

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

3. Midnight

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.

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