Doctor Who Tardis

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Proof of my insane levels of autism for a 60-year old British sci-fi television show.

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It's no secret that with a show like Doctor Who, there's gonna be favorites. They're like noses--everyone's got one. Their favorite Doctor(s), companion(s), even episodes. And, like everyone else, I have those favorites. In very particular order, here are my favorite Doctors, companions, and episodes (when I have them).

The Twelfth Doctor is my all-time, hands-down, favorite Doctor. Full stop. I love him so goddamn much, I don't even know if I can put it properly into words.

Funnily enough, he wasn't always my favorite during Capaldi's tenure. I was not a big fan of series 8 or 9 at all, and I chalk that up to how poorly Clara was written in my eyes, and how tired I was of how much the show focused on her. Series 10, however, changed my mind completely. I was 15 when it aired back in the first half of 2017, and 15 year old me was ENAMOURED by Twelve during series 10.

See, while I was 15, I had recently discovered the concept of selfshipping. And dear god, did I selfship hard with Twelve. For a long while after series 10 ended, he was my main F/O and a major comfort character. But, as anyone in the selfshipping community can attest, faves come and go. While I never dropped him, I drifted off to focus on other faves, and Twelve landed in a backburner role for a good few years. Sometimes he'd pop up in my mind, but not for long.

Flash forward to the end of the last year, and somehow in the combination of college stress and my own mental health struggles, Twelve re-emerged in my brain. Currently, he holds the title of my main F/O, and has since early December.

I'm not entirely sure what about Capaldi's performance I like the most. There's just something about it. Maybe it's the way I think the Twelfth Doctor is one if not the most outwardly autistic incarnations of the Doctor, maybe it's just how goddamn powerful even the smallest scenes feel...who knows. Series 10 is, as I said before, my favorite season of his. The way he can go from a complete and utter goofball one scene to having a dramatic monologue about the value of a human life in the next is just fucking amazing.

I'd say my favorite companion with Twelve is, of course, Bill Potts. I love her dearly, and I'm glad she got some kind of happy ending (no matter what other people think) by the Christmas special (Twice Upon a Time). Nardole, the other S10 companion, is...there. I don't hate him, but he's just so good at being the annoying little twerp, y'know?

As for my favorite episode, probably either Thin Ice (S10EP03), Knock Knock (S10EP04) or The Lie of the Land (S10EP08). Yes, they're all S10 episodes. Fight me on it.

I can't exactly articulate why I like the Fifth Doctor as much as I do. This is a bias I've held, oddly enough, since around the same time Twelve took over as my primary main favorite Doctor. Five just sort of came along for the ride.

Truth be entirely told, I have yet to sit down and watch all of his episodes. I've seen some--growing up, we had a DVD of just The Five Doctors, the big anniversary special that featured Five meeting three of his past incarnations (infamously, Tom Baker didn't return), and I watched that damn thing so many times. I tried watching his episodes over winter break this year, but the wifi was so bad Tubi just would not function.

I can't tell you as much about Davidson's performance as I can some of the other Doctors on this list. I just the Fifth Doctor. Plain and simple. Someday, I'll come back to this page after finally watching all his episodes and I'll be able to accurately describe why that is, but as it stands, I don't have much to say on that front.

That all being said though, from what I have seen (shoutout to this one guy on YouTube who made compilations of iconic Classic Who moments) I do have a companion bias. Five's 'Team TARDIS' (a fandom nickname given when a Doctor has more than like, two companions) is probably my favorite. Adric, Tegan, and Nyssa are all great, and every time I remember the fact that New Who has referenced Adric's death more than once I get all sad. Also, behind-the-scenes, the actors were and still are close, which I think added to the experience.

This feels inevitable. Anyone who likes New Who will probably point to the Tenth Doctor and say that in some way, he's a favorite Doctor of theirs. And for good reason; David Tennant is a fucking fantastic actor, and his performance as Ten was amazing.

Ten is probably the Doctor I would say I "grew up" with, alongside Smith's Eleventh. While I'll expand more on this on the history page, I was fairly young during his run--I was 8, turning 9, the year he gave up the role. But I think it was how young I was watching it combined with how really good most (not all, can't give Davies or Moffat too much credit) episodes were really cemented how I'm still utterly obsessed with this show as a 22 year old.

Tennant's acting as Ten was nothing short of fantastic. This may feel like a repetition of my commentary on Capaldi's acting but goddamn could he act the "switch flip". Goofy and lighthearted one moment but dramatic and serious the next, just like that. Not to mention how absolutely unhinged he could play the Time Lord Victorious moments--shoutout to the "we're fighting time itself" bit.

I have vivid memories of being in my grandparents' basement--where we lived at the time--sitting around one of their old coffee tables, eating pizza and watching one of the Christmas Specials. I think it might have been The Runaway Bride? It's been a long time.

Funnily enough, I think Tennant is my mom's favorite Doctor. So in that regard, even if he is technically my 3rd favorite, we share that in common. Not that my mom will ever see this, but it's still a nice thought.

My favorite Tenth Doctor companion is hands-down Donna Noble. She, well, kinda reminded me of my mom. And I always wish, with each next passing season, we get a companion like her. Some have come close, but I dunno, I liked her vibe. Older than most companions, snarky as hell, so on and so forth. I have yet to see the 2023 60th anniversary specials, just due to not having the energy to watch anything new, but I am so glad they brought her back.

It's been a really long time since I've watched his seasons, but there's a few episodes that stand out in my head as ones I'll probably never forget. Silence in the Library and its second half Forest of the Dead (S4EP08 and S4EP09) and Midnight (S4EP10) are stand-outs, but when I finally rewatch his episodes I'll probably have more to list.

Another inevitable listing. The Eleventh Doctor is probably one of the most iconic of them all, alongside the Tenth and Fourth incarnations. And, of course, like many others, he's one of my favorites.

As I said earlier, Eleven was the other Doctor I "grew up" with. By the time Smith took the role, I was starting to actually be a person, and I really enjoyed his episodes. He's spunky and weird (as I look back, god Eleven is so autistic it hurts) but in a sort of sad, running-away sort of manner. But that's what they were going for, as future episodes spelled out for us; Eleven's youth was to hide a damaged old man underneath.

I also thought it was so cool that the Doctor was being played by such a young man. I remember how people were so obsessed with that fact--oh, oh, Matt Smith is the youngest actor to ever play the role, isn't that neat. Which, in a way I guess it was, but looking back now it just seems so silly. Age didn't matter for the Doctor--he's a centuries old alien.

And for such a young actor, dealing with scripts written by...Moffat...Smith did really well. I definitely prefer series 5-series 7a Eleven over series 7b Eleven, minus the 50th anniversary special. (But I blame that on not liking Clara then either.) The big speech to all the different villain species during The Pandorica Opens still hits different. Sometimes the "old man pretending to be a young man" motif didn't exactly work--I think Capaldi did that slightly better at times--but for the most part, it did work. Eleven was the Doctor trying to run away from his problems, trying to pretend he wasn't in pain.

On that note, the Ponds were my favorite companions of his. Amy was our weird girl representation during New Who and I loved her for it. And Rory's constant level of "goddammit why did I let them drag me into this" was always a treat--although now that I know his actor wasn't really all that into it, I can kinda see why he acted the way he did. River Song doesn't really count, especially since she was strung between Ten, Eleven, and Twelve, but fuck it I'll mention her here too. I fucking love River Song. She's so damn cool.

Finally, as for favorite episodes, I have to give a shoutout to Vincent and the Doctor (S5EP10). My junior-senior year art teacher showed the class the gallery scene from that episode once, fun fact. Also, the 50th anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor (S7EP14).

Finally, we have who used to be my favorite as a kid but has been religated to last-favorite-but-not-least-favorite, the Fourth Doctor. My original placement of him as my favorite was almost entirely inspired by the fact he was my dad's favorite.

Four is another Doctor where I haven't actually watched a lot of his episodes. There were a few we had on DVD, both legit and pirated (shoutout to my late uncle who digitized some of my dad's old VHS) that I remember watching as a kid, but I don't honestly remember which episodes those were. I think one of them was the arc where Four was briefly in charge of Gallifrey. That's all I remember.

It's safe to say that pretty universally, Four is a fan-favorite. Tom Baker stayed the Doctor the longest, and is still fondly remembered by a lot of folks that grew up around that time. One of my professors this semester even mentioned she'd watched him as a kid! Part of that, I think, is because it was during Baker's run that they started syndicating Doctor Who in the United States, so he was a lot of Americans' first taste of this weird ass British sci-fi.

Despite the fact I haven't watched a lot of his episodes, and perhaps also just as expected as anyone else who places Four in their favorites, my favorite companion is Sarah Jane. I love her, and I love the fact she was brought back during Ten's run multiple times. Also, she has K-9. I love K-9. He's such a weird little robot and I love weird little robot characters. I once made a paper-mache and cardboard K-9 for an art project once.