It’s that time of year again! No, not Halloween… Not yet, anyway. The new season of Doctor Who has finally started. Peter Capaldi’s 12th Doctor has officially debuted! Now, I’ve talked at length about how Matt Smith’s 11th Doctor is My Doctor. I’ve also talked about a few of my least liked episodes of his run. However, it’s time I finally fulfilled my promise. In order to officially close the curtain on My Doctor, I am going to list my Top 11 Favorite Moments and Scenes from his run. This article is going to be long enough without a long introduction, so let’s get right to it.
11. The End of Time – Regeneration Scene
My first ever episode of Doctor Who was actually the Eleventh Hour, the first full length episode featuring Matt Smith as the Doctor. I only went back and watched Doctors 9 and 10 when I had fully seen all of Season/Series 5. As such, Tennant’s Doctor turning to Smith’s Doctor wasn’t a surprise to me anymore. However, this moment is still fantastic because, as a few people have pointed out in the past, it brought the humor back to Doctor Who. Tennant’s era ended on a melancholy note that just left a bad taste in my mouth. But when Matt came into the scene and immediately started showing his energy in the role, I couldn’t help but smile. Tennant may have gotten an iffy send-off but Smith got a brilliant introduction.
10. Time of the Angels – “There’s one thing you never, ever put in a trap.”
The Doctor and his friends are trapped. They’re surrounded by Weeping Angels who are closing in with every flicker of the light. With no hope of escape, the Angels mock the Doctor. Wrong move. Because there’s one thing you never put in a trap. I love this moment because it’s the first time I remember thinking “Just what the hell is he going to do to get out of this?” Then, he grabs a gun, points it at the sky, taunts the Angels right back, and fires. End of episode cliffhanger. My jaw dropped when this happened and I NEEDED to know what happened next. This is one of the Doctor’s many badass scenes in this show. The intensity in his eyes as he taunts the Angels is almost scary. Still, no matter how crazy his plan seemed, like the army in that scene, I had faith in the Doctor.
9. The Doctor’s Wife – The Doctor meets the Tardis
I have never seen a relationship between a man and his transportation vehicle quite like the relationship between the Doctor and the Tardis. The Tardis has always had a presence in the show and, even before this episode, it seemed that the two would communicate with each other. When the Tardis was forced inside of a human body, the two were actually able to have conversations. The result is hilarious, heart wrenching, and just all around awesome to watch. The Doctor’s Wife is one of my favorite episodes of Matt Smith’s entire run and that is largely thanks to the chemistry the Doctor and his Tardis. Smith and Suranne Jones work beautifully off each other as they fight, laugh, and work together. The Doctor will probably always have his Tardis by his side, but this is the time when they talked.
8.. Nightmare in Silver (The Doctor vs Mr. Clever)
I absolutely love it when actors are called to play alternate versions of their characters. In this episode, the Doctor’s mind is taken over by the Cybermen, one of his most common enemies. This results in the Cyberman brain, which dubs itself Mr. Clever, combating with the Doctor’s brain in a battle of wits. This is a fantastic moment because, in essense, Matt Smith is playing against himself. He has to, at the same time, act as the Doctor, and act as Mr. Clever, two completely opposing beings. Mr. Clever, as a character, is just fun to watch because he’s maniacal, tricky, and (like the Doctor) full of energy. While this is by no means a perfect episode, the interaction between the Doctor and Mr. Clever results in some brilliant acting by Matt.
7. Day of the Doctor – The Doctor meets the Doctor
The Day of the Doctor was the 50th anniversary episode celebrating this great show. As such, it called for something the fans had been wanting to see for ages: The Doctor meeting himself. Of course, the Doctor has met himself before in the past, but the 10th and 11th Doctors had never interacted until this episode. I love every single moment of interaction between these two Doctors because they work so well together. They show their similarities with each other, of course, but they also show how different they are. However, they have little spats between them too, which makes it all the more great. They’re always trying to show each other up and that’s just wonderful to watch. If I had to pick, I’d say that the scene where they first meet is probably my favorite of the entire episode. Call me immature, but I’m a sucker for a good “size comparison” gag.
6. Vincent and the Doctor – Museum Scene
Full disclosure: This is probably the very first instance where this show actually made me cry. Before this point, there were some sad moments. However, nothing had emotionally moved me before this scene came. The Doctor takes Vincent Van Gogh to a museum in 2010 to give the painter a spark of hope in life. The Doctor then asks a curator to talk about Vincent’s impact on the art world. The result is a beautiful speech that is only more impactful as you see the look on Vincent’s face. This is the perfect example of where we can see the amount of good the Doctor can do for people with a simple gesture. Watching this scene always fills me with hope.
5. Rings of Akahten – “Come on, then. Take my memories.”
The Doctor faces down a “god” the size of a planet that feeds on memories. But, here’s the thing. The Doctor has lived 1000 years. He’s got the memories of several life times. And so, the Doctor makes a speech (something he does often). He talks about his life, the things he’s seen. However, unlike all of his other speeches, this is the first time I saw the metaphorical size of the weight on his shoulders. Most of the Doctor’s speeches are triumphant expressions of defiance against the odds. This one is different. This one shows us the Doctor, I think, in one of his most intimate moments. He shows us just how much he’s seen in the universe and the impact all those sights have taken on him. Matt Smith’s performance here is flawless and just the emotion he puts into his voice always makes me teary.
4. A Christmas Carol – Down the chimney.
If you want a perfect example of the 11th Doctor’s energy, look no further than this scene in A Christmas Carol. Doctor Who’s Christmas Carol is my favorite version of this story of all time. The special tells a unique version of the story we’ve all seen a hundred times before. In this scene, the Doctor makes his first appearance, sliding down the chimney. From the moment he pops into the room, he has control of the entire situation. He cracks jokes, analyzes the situation, makes a connection with the people, and even has time to intimidate the Scrooge of the story. It’s impossible to take your eyes off him once he’s started in this scene. It’s probably the best scene in any DW Christmas special.
3. Time of the Doctor – “I will always remember when the Doctor was me.”
Saying goodbye to My Doctor was probably one of the most hard hitting moments I’ve ever went through in entertainment. He was my first Doctor and I hated to see him go. However, with this beautiful speech, the Doctor made it all seem… not so bad. Change is inevitable and it’s important to embrace it rather than shun it. This speech does a brilliant job of helping the audience cope with the Doctor’s change and letting them know that it will still be the Doctor. It does the added job of letting us know that, though the 11th Doctor’s time is done, we will always remember him.
2. The Pandorica Opens – “I. AM. TALKING!”
Bar none, this is the best speech the 11th Doctor ever made. In the middle of Stone Hedge, the Doctor is surrounded by every single enemy he’s ever encountered. With time running out and no way to run, he does the only thing he can do: He intimidates them. He makes a bombastic, defiant, and all around epic speech telling them all to back off. And the funny thing is, IT WORKS. The Doctor manages to intimidate an entire legion of the worst things in the universe all by himself. It’s a purely amazing moment and I feel like the 11th Doctor never topped this moment in terms of epic-ness and sheer scale for the rest of his run.
1. Eleventh Hour – “Hello. I’m the Doctor. And basically, run.”
This is it. This is the moment I fell in love with Doctor Who. This is when I said “Okay. You’ve got my attention. I’ve got to see the rest of this.” The Doctor, having gotten a group of hostile aliens to leave Earth has already won the day. So what does he do? Tells them to come back. This speech, this moment where he says “I’m the Doctor”, I was completely engulfed in the show. When he steps through that hologram, he BECOMES the Doctor, for me. Even after all this time, every time I see this moment, I get chills. It’s a perfect moment and it’s my favorite moment of the 11th Doctor’s run.
Well, that’s all I have to say about the 11th Doctor for now. The 12th has started his run and, judging from the first episode of Series/Season 8, I can tell we’re in for a hell of a time. Do you have any other favorite moments? Let me know, I’d love to here them! Until next time! GERONIMO!