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02 December 2011 @ 01:28 pm
The Ten Worst Episodes of Doctor Who (According to Me) #6-10  
Honorable mentions: "The Next Doctor". I might be an RTD stan, but he is not without flaws, and imo this is the worst of his episodes. The Cyber King stuff is ridiculous as is the idea that a giant robot stomping through London would just be forgotten by history. But there is enough flashes of good stuff in the episode to barely save it from making the list. Rosita is lovely; the Doctor making the screw driver noises is funny; the speech about the all of the Doctor's companions leaving him; and the bit about how Miss Hartigan feels like the men in her society look down on her.

Also, "Aliens of London"/"World War Three". I LOVE Mickey and Jackie in this two parter, and I love Rose in it. But the plot itself does nothing for me and then the farting Slitheens are just a bit too silly for me. So yeah, not a fan of these episodes. But now for the Top 10!

#10 "42" by Chris Chibnall

Things That Are Not Completely Awful About This Episode: That one guy who flirts with Martha is cute. Seeing the Doctor so scared is really interesting to see because he's usually so calm and the one you depend on to save the day, so it's incredibly unsettling to see him scared. Also, I love Martha Jones.

Why This Episode Is On The List: This episode makes the list because it just misses the mark on so many levels. It's trying to be something good, but it just fails. It feels like a shallow echo of "The Impossible Planet"/"The Satan Pit". The industrial futuristic space setting, the Doctor in the space suit, the cast of secondary characters, Ten believing in/not believing in Rose/Martha, and the alien force possessing people all combine to make it seem like this episode is trying to recreate TIP/TSP, except it is nowhere near as good. The Monster of the Week is not at all as creepy as the Ood or Satan in TIP/TSP, and I just don't care about the secondary characters. They're really underdeveloped, and while I understand that it can be hard to create a lot of fully formed characters in a single episode... maybe Chibnall should have just included less crew members? I mean there's that girl with short hair, that older guy, the husband, the captain, the doctor, and the cute guy that hangs with Martha, but most of them just feel like random red shirts.

As boss as Martha Jones is, this episode is like everything that is bad about Ten and Martha's relationship. Martha is completely there for the Doctor, but he just doesn't see her or appreciate her. Then you have the scene where the Doctor gives Martha her Tardis key which I think shows how much Martha completely idolizes the Doctor.

But the number one thing I hate about this episode is that a lot of the dramatic tension in the story comes from the asinine idea that a quiz show is a valid security system. LOL UM OK. It's like the worst kind of manufactured drama. Getting to the auxiliary engines is too easy so lets put 20-something doors between Our Heroes and where they need to be AND let's make it so that instead of using a key to open the doors, they have to answer pub quiz questions! SO STUPID.

#9 "The Forest of the Dead/Silence in the Library" by Steven Moffat

Things That Are Not Completely Awful About This Episode: The bit with Donna and her not!husband is genuinely moving. Even though it was really ill conceived to have what should be the most tragic moment of River's life be one of the first times me meet her (so on first watch I really could not find it in me to care), in retrospect it is very sad. Too bad most viewers don't care enough about the show to go back and watch this episode and view River's death in context.

Why This Episode Is On The List: Again with the bland secondary characters! Although unlike "42" there are actually two full episodes to develop them. If you want to see secondary characters done right, go watch "The Impossible Planet" and "The Satan Pit". But here the crew that travels with River are either caricatures or blank slates. They don't feel real at all and it's hard to care about any of them.

The Monster of the Week is just not scary. The concept of the Vashta Narada is the same as the Weeping Angels. Something that you see everyday but could really be deadly! Which, whatever. It's a valid concept even though it has less impact on the second go around, imo. BUT ONCE THEY BECOME LUMBERING PLASTIC SKELETONS? LMAO. NO.

Then you have the fact that in order to keep the plot suspenseful, the Doctor is an idiot. WHAT DO TREES AND BOOKS HAVE IN COMMON? HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. I cannot believe it takes him as long as it does to figure out that the books were made from the Vashta Narada's forest. And the safe/saved thing is idiotic. The Doctor says, "Safe. You don't say saved, nobody says saved, you say safe. The data fragment! What did it say?" BUT YOU DO. If there was a search and rescue mission of some kind, I WOULD say that X number of people were saved. I WOULDN'T SAY THEY WERE SAFE.

Finally you have River. The fact that in this episode River is all "Now my Doctor... I've seen whole armies turn and run away. And he'd just swagger off back to his TARDIS and open the doors with a snap of his fingers. The Doctor... in the TARDIS... next stop: everywhere." Here it comes off like this is GOOD THING. But in "A Good Man Goes to War", River chews the Doctor out for the exact same thing. This makes no sense. AGMGTW River is one of the oldest Rivers we've ever seen, so really that River isn't far off from Library!River which is of course the oldest River we'll ever see. Why the change in opinion, River?

And really, her ending just sucks. I've heard it posited that being in the library computer means that she can relive any adventure in the library's archives, but... I just don't remember getting that impression at all. I don't think River is in control in the computer. Isn't CAL still in control? Even so, if River is supposed to be able to live every adventure in the library's books, the script should have been clearer about it. Because all I got from her final scenes is that she's playing mum to CAL and some other (fake?) kids and walking around wearing a floaty dress with some work acquaintances which is not at all what the River we've come to know would want.

#8 "Victory of the Daleks" by Mark Gatsiss

Things That Are Not Completely Awful About This Episode: There is a Dalek with tea! Also, the Doctor hits a Dalek with a wrench which is pretty lulzy.

Why This Episode Is On The List: This episode gives me so much second hand embarrassment. OMG. I know this is Doctor Who and all, but for some reason, the spitfires in space is just a step too far for me.

The plot is kind of boring and really it's all just some plot device to bring the Daleks back (but this time they're multicolored!). Also, I still don't quite get why Amy doesn't remember "The Stolen Earth"/"Journey's End". Was it just because of growing up near the Crack of Doom? Like that... sucked her memories away?

But the real reason I think this is an awful episode is the idea that the ~Power of Love~ that comes from fake memories can make a bomb... not a bomb? LIKE I DON'T GET HOW THAT WORKS. The ~Power of Love~ can be used to save the day and make sense (see: "Closing Time") but it is just so nonsensical here.

#7 "The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood" by Chris Chibnall</b>

Things That Are Not Completely Awful About This Episode: Eleven is cute with the kid. Amy trying to remember Rory after he was erased was legitimately sad.

Why This Episode Is On The List: Remember that time you'd get swallowed by the crack and erased from history if the light touched you and how that happened to Rory and then 10 seconds later the Doctor actually stuck his hand in the crack like it was no big deal? WHAT WAS THAT ABOUT? This is one of several things I hate about the crack plot of series 5. (The other main one being that the script keeps saying that being swallowed by the crack means that people get erased from time/history as if they never existed WHEN THIS IS PATENTLY NOT THE CASE or else when Amy's parents were swallowed by the crack, she would have ceased to exist. Being swallowed by the crack just erased people from memories. But this is all neither here nor there.)

This episode is just really unlikable. The secondary characters (with the exception of Nasreen) are either flat out annoying or they're obnoxiously stupid and make bad decisions in order to further the plot. The plot itself is really boring and doesn't capture my interest or imagination in any sense of the word. I totally relate to Amy when she is bored during the negotiations because that is exactly how I feel while watching this episode.

#6 "A Christmas Carol" by Steven Moffat

Things That Are Not Completely Awful About This Episode: The visual of sharks flying around is pretty. The singing is nice. It's all very Christmas-y which is appropriate for a Christmas special.

Why This Episode Is On The List: I HATE IT WHEN COMPANIONS GET BENCHED. So the fact that Rory and Amy are pretty much non-entities for 80% of the episode annoys me. Utilize your main characters, Moffat!

I also cannot get over the fact that Eleven just leaves all those other people frozen in Kazran's basement. Like a 10 second scene of a changed Kazran pressing some magical release button and all the people walking out would have been fine and actually worked to resolve that plot. But no. Kazran ends the episode, riding off in a sleigh to spend one last day with Abagail while all those other people being used as collateral just get to hang out in a frozen coffin until when/if Kazran decides to let them go.

And then we have the character of Abagail. In order to make me feel better about her lack of personality or purpose in the story beyond being Kazran's love interest, I have to pretend that it is a conscious spoof of the way Dickens writes a lot of his women (like Kate Nickleby or Lucie Manette). The alternative is too depressing. I mean, Abagail is literally (as well as figuratively) fridged in order to provide growth for Kazran. And there's also that fun Moffat trope of kids being obsessed with an adult and then later having a relationship with that adult. It's so creepy. The sequence that really gets me is where Abagail is all "Doctor!" while Kazran is a kid and then is all "Kazran!" when the door opens the next year except it's been like 15 seconds for her and I'm like "Girl.... look at your life, look at your choices". I guess I just don't understand the idea that one second you've been hanging out with a kid and the next he can be a viable romantic interest. Blegh. Whatever.

But mostly, I hate how this episode looks in relation to the rest of series 6. The entire premise of this episode is that Eleven is messing around with Kazran's past to make his life happier and to make him a better person. Eleven can't do this with River because....? Eleven shouldn't be able to do this with Kazran because once the Tardis has entered a time stream it has to stay there. The Doctor has already become part of events, he shouldn't be able to go back and alter the events that he's become a part of. But since this episode establishes that he can do this, WHY NOT CHANGE RIVER'S LIFE? Or is Eleven only ok with playing God when the mood suits him? IDGI.

Tune in tomorrow to see who lucky numbers 5 through 1 are. Which episode will get the honor of being the Worst Episode of Doctor Who? I know, the suspense is killing you, I'm sure.
sunnytyler001: ten and rosesunnytyler001 on December 2nd, 2011 09:49 pm (UTC)
I fell asleep during A Christmas carol XD
fauxkarenfauxkaren on December 2nd, 2011 09:56 pm (UTC)
I was watching it with my parents, my sister and two of my cousins, so I couldn't really go off on a rant about illogical it all was and how I found the character of Abagail problematic.

I'm not really looking forward to this year's Christmas special either. AH WELL. I have the Downton Christmas special to look forward to this year.
(no subject) - firstofoct on December 3rd, 2011 02:39 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fauxkaren on December 3rd, 2011 02:47 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - firstofoct on December 3rd, 2011 02:52 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fauxkaren on December 3rd, 2011 02:54 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - firstofoct on December 3rd, 2011 03:02 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fauxkaren on December 3rd, 2011 03:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
ladysophiekitty: Amy sunflowersladysophiekitty on December 2nd, 2011 09:54 pm (UTC)
il this list and am looking forward to part 2!
fauxkarenfauxkaren on December 2nd, 2011 10:05 pm (UTC)
lol. I am so predictable in my tastes, so I doubt there will be many surprises, but Part 2 shall be amazing nonetheless.
demented & sad, but socialpapilio_luna on December 2nd, 2011 09:55 pm (UTC)
Seeing the Doctor so scared is really interesting HAWT!!!!

Fixed that for you :D
ladysophiekitty: Doctor Time Lord Victoriousladysophiekitty on December 2nd, 2011 10:01 pm (UTC)
LMFAO is it weird that sometimes I find him screaming/being in pain kind of hot? I thought so with the chameleon arch too...

That was the only good thing about the episode.
(no subject) - papilio_luna on December 3rd, 2011 12:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - firstofoct on December 3rd, 2011 02:33 am (UTC) (Expand)
phoenixrising06: dw- geometry of tenphoenixrising06 on December 2nd, 2011 11:14 pm (UTC)
Your brain is one of my favorite brains.

Chris Chibnall episodes are neither here nor there for me. I tend not to pay much attention to them, really. I guess that just goes to show you how much of an impression they made on me.

You already know I didn't make it through ACC, but it should also be noted that I quit VotD as soon as the Skittle Daleks turned up. Like you said, too much secondhand embarrassment.

The Vashta Naradas in the spacesuits are pretty much the least scary thing I've ever seen. They're even lamer than the Clockwork Robots for me, which is saying a lot.

An interesting fact about the Donna plot: an early draft of the script had Donna's "soul mate" being woman outside of the computer, but seeing ideal self as a man inside the computer. The giveaway at the end would've been her stutter, which would identify her to the audience as Donna's dream mate.
Kali: dw :: doctordonna :: taxi!_thirty2flavors on December 2nd, 2011 11:17 pm (UTC)
I heard that about FOTD in the commentary and thought it was interesting.

Also, as spud14 drew to my attention, I am always going to be a little sad that Donna looks better in her fake wedding than she did in her real wedding in EOT. (srsly who was responsible for that hairstyle and where can I judge them, etc).
(no subject) - phoenixrising06 on December 2nd, 2011 11:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fauxkaren on December 2nd, 2011 11:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - phoenixrising06 on December 2nd, 2011 11:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fauxkaren on December 2nd, 2011 11:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - phoenixrising06 on December 2nd, 2011 11:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - _thirty2flavors on December 2nd, 2011 11:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fauxkaren on December 2nd, 2011 11:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - _thirty2flavors on December 3rd, 2011 12:09 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fauxkaren on December 3rd, 2011 12:14 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - _thirty2flavors on December 3rd, 2011 12:43 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sherrilina on December 3rd, 2011 05:08 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ladysophiekitty on December 3rd, 2011 02:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - phoenixrising06 on December 3rd, 2011 06:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
Kali: dw :: amy :: the girl who waited_thirty2flavors on December 2nd, 2011 11:15 pm (UTC)
IA with all of this as you know. I think our lists are near-identical, though just in a different order.

Victory of the Daleks is legit so bad lololol like, it's sort of a different kind of bad than most of these episodes, it doesn't really offend me morally or anything, it just offends me that someone filmed this and thought it was fine. Like with Curse of the Black Spot, which is likewise just... ...bad.
fauxkarenfauxkaren on December 2nd, 2011 11:20 pm (UTC)
Victory of the Daleks is so bad. When people go on about Mark "Godtiss" and how he should be the best show runner I'm just like "...really?" I mean I don't mind his other scripts he's done for the show, they're not particularly GOOD either. The Unquiet Dead isn't OMG TERRIBLE, but it's not great either and I mostly just enjoy watching Nine fanboy all over Dickens. And The Idiot's Lantern is mostly enjoyable for the Doctor/Rose aspects of it. As a storyteller, he's not great.
(no subject) - _thirty2flavors on December 2nd, 2011 11:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - papilio_luna on December 3rd, 2011 12:37 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - _thirty2flavors on December 3rd, 2011 12:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
Queen of the Castlejessicaqueen on December 3rd, 2011 01:16 am (UTC)
I don't think 42 would make my personal Top 10 worst eps list, but you're so very right that it's an ep that strives to be TIP/TSP and falls well short. The characters aren't anywhere near as awesome, the idea of faith isn't canvassed as effectively, there are no Ood (which is a crime), and the overall premise is pretty much flawed.

Nor would SitL/FotD make my list, but it definitely has it's moments of >:(. Like Vashta Nerada = lumbering skeletons in spacesuits... what the hell, Moffat? The sense this makes is nil. And I'm with you entirely on the 'safe/saved' thing. And the Doctor trapping River in a limited 'afterlife' that she didn't ask for is more cruel than happy, IMO (but the same concept is done so much worse in Love and Monsters, so I'll let this one slide).

Otherwise, I agree completely, and I'm looking forward to seeing your Top 5. :)
fauxkarenfauxkaren on December 3rd, 2011 06:00 am (UTC)
"42" is just so boring. Guh. I mean there are other episodes of Doctor Who that I find boring (like "Night Terrors"), but somehow "42" seems worse to me just because it pales in comparison to TIP/TSP which is one of my favorite stories.

SitL/FotD shifted around on my list a lot over the years. At first I hated it because of the saved/safe thing and my shipper butthurt. Then I liked it more circa series 5 because River grew on me, but now after series 6 when I'm just angry about River's entire storyline, it crept back on my worst episodes list.
(no subject) - _thirty2flavors on December 3rd, 2011 06:09 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fauxkaren on December 3rd, 2011 06:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - _thirty2flavors on December 3rd, 2011 06:21 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fauxkaren on December 3rd, 2011 06:28 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - _thirty2flavors on December 3rd, 2011 06:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
obstinate, headstrong girl!: dw | ten + rosezombie_boogie on December 3rd, 2011 02:25 am (UTC)
Haha, I was so excited to see your lists because I was like, MAYBE SHE'LL PUT ALL OF MY FAVOURITE EPISODES ON HERE AND I WILL LAUGH. But here I am agreeing with your list so far (though I don't hate the library two-parter, I can see why people do). They really shouldn't allow Chibnall to write for this show anymore.
fauxkarenfauxkaren on December 3rd, 2011 06:10 am (UTC)
JUST WAIT FOR TOMORROW. (Maybe. Idk. You might agree with a couple on there, idk.)

Chibnall is so bad. I'm convinced he is the reason why Starz's Camelot was a flop. I could see his terrible fingerprints all over some of those scripts.
kilodaltonkilodalton on December 3rd, 2011 04:45 am (UTC)
Nice list!! No surprise, it largely parallels mine (although I tend to forgive 42 for quite a lot bc I find some interesting moments in there to meta on ... but that's neither here nor there). Can't wait to see your bottom 5 XD

fauxkarenfauxkaren on December 3rd, 2011 06:12 am (UTC)
I DID X-POST IT ON TUMBLR. But without any fun results. :( Possibly because I didn't tag characters and only tagged writers and episodes. Maybe I should change that for my #5-1 worst episode post.
(no subject) - notemily on December 3rd, 2011 07:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fauxkaren on December 4th, 2011 12:43 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - notemily on December 4th, 2011 02:02 am (UTC) (Expand)
spellweaver731spellweaver731 on December 3rd, 2011 05:16 am (UTC)
We have nearly exactly the same opinions. Weird.
fauxkarenfauxkaren on December 3rd, 2011 06:13 am (UTC)
sherrilina: Arthur/Chicken (Merlin)sherrilina on December 3rd, 2011 05:16 am (UTC)
Good list and honorable mentions! 42 is even worse for me b/c I just hate that kind of plot period (to the extent that I disliked TIP/TSP @ first, and am not fond of WoM)...

VOTD was only tolerable for me in that a) I had just visited Churchill's Cabinet War Rooms the last time I'd been in London before watching that epp, so I thought the setting was neat and tried to figure out if they filmed there or not, and b) I imagined 11 and Amy running into 9/Rose/Jack, lol. So the setting was cool, but everything else...:s
fauxkarenfauxkaren on December 3rd, 2011 06:23 am (UTC)
TIP/TSP and WOM are two of my favorite episodes of Doctor Who so I like this type of plot when done right, but "42" is not it. UGH. The character stuff is just not there to support the plot, so it's just boring.

I wish that Jack had a brief cameo in the background. THAT WOULD HAVE SAVED THE ENTIRE EPISODE FOR ME. I'm not even a big fan of Jack, but I just think that would have been super fun.
la, zeitgeist!zeitgeistic on December 3rd, 2011 05:45 am (UTC)
Well, I guess I'm glad that the ONE episode I've seen of DW isn't on your list (the one where London was on a star whale).
fauxkarenfauxkaren on December 3rd, 2011 06:26 am (UTC)
hahaha. I thought about putting that episode in this post as an honorable mention, but the post was getting long as it was. If this was a Top 15 list, that episode would have made it on. The OTT metaphor between the Doctor and the star whale is just hilariously bad, and the episode is trying to do too much on a thematic level and thus doesn't really explore ANY of the themes adequately.

There are MUCH better episodes of Doctor Who out there.
(no subject) - zeitgeistic on December 3rd, 2011 06:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fauxkaren on December 3rd, 2011 06:53 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - zeitgeistic on December 3rd, 2011 07:02 am (UTC) (Expand)
jal80jal80 on December 3rd, 2011 03:29 pm (UTC)
Ugh, I HATED THE/CB, both because they were boooooring, and because I thought there was some really weird character shit happening. Like, everyone spends the whole episode going, "EFF YOU IN YOUR FACE FOR KILLING THAT ALIEN, AMBROSE! EVEN THOUGH SHE WAS PURPOSELY TAUNTING YOU! AND HAD KIDNAPPED/INJURED EVERY MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY! BE BETTER, GOD!"

But when River makes a Dalek beg for mercy before killing it, that is a-okay! As is the Doctor making teh human race commit genocide! But Ambrose accidentally killing that one Silurian? HOLY SHIT NOT COOL YOU ARE THE WORST OF HUMANITY. I just...yeah.
Kali_thirty2flavors on December 3rd, 2011 05:17 pm (UTC)

(no subject) - fauxkaren on December 3rd, 2011 07:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - fauxkaren on December 3rd, 2011 07:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
some blockheaded bracegirdle from hardbottle: dw - blue amynotemily on December 3rd, 2011 06:57 pm (UTC)
I agree that 42 just feels like a lesser version of Impossible Planet/Satan Pit. It says something that I always have to work really hard to remember which one 42 was. And the quiz show thing is so dumb.

SitL/FotD: I agree on the bland secondary characters, but I just love River and Donna's storyline is so sad. I always wished they could have gone back and had her find that guy somehow, but instead they gave her the worst ending in the world.

The Vashta Nerada were fine, darkness is scary, but when he started talking about dust motes in sunbeams I was like "okay, no." You can't make EVERY bland thing in life terrifying. Hasn't Moffat tried to say that like three or four things now are "that movement in the corner of your eye" or something? Just stop it.

And River's ending, UGH. Not okay.

I've forgotten everything about VotD except the Dalek with tea. YOU DO NOT REQUIRE TEA??

Hungry Earth/Cold Blood is not one of my favorites. It has some good moments--I like the Doctor talking about the best of humanity, and Amy is heartbreaking--but the rest of it I'm like, meh. Don't care. Go away, Silurians.

I really liked "A Christmas Carol" because I love the idea of the Doctor as Santa. (Much better than the Doctor as Jesus!) And I didn't mind the timey wimey stuff because it was a Christmas episode. But the Abigail storyline was just badly done. Ugh.
fauxkarenfauxkaren on December 4th, 2011 12:46 am (UTC)
Hasn't Moffat tried to say that like three or four things now are "that movement in the corner of your eye" or something? Just stop it.
LOL YES. It was cool the first time he did it, but it's lost its charm by now.

I love the idea of the Doctor as Santa. (Much better than the Doctor as Jesus!)
LOL I LOVE TINKERBELL!JESUS!DOCTOR! Idk. It's cheesy, but it fits in nicely into the themes of faith and Martha as a disciple and the Doctor forgiving the Master.
(Anonymous) on August 16th, 2012 08:24 pm (UTC)
fauxkarenfauxkaren on August 16th, 2012 08:33 pm (UTC)
Re: Ugh

Please, tell me more!