Farewell Matt Smith: Top Five Episodes to Remember the Eleventh Doctor
We all remember what we thought when Matt Smith first appeared in a blinding flash of light where David Tennant’s face had just been. Who is this guy? He’ll never fill those Converse high tops. But fill them he did, and now we can’t believe the time has come to say goodbye. Peter Capaldi will be taking over the TARDIS on Christmas Day, and I have faith that he will also be an excellent Doctor. It’ll be hard to see The Eleventh (er… Thirteenth? Still not clear on that) go, but even harder to forget him.
So pop on your fez, adjust your bowtie, and dive in to this list of my five favorite episodes to remember our beloved Raggedy Doctor. Geronimo!
[WARNING: SPOILERS. Also, opinions. Have your own favorite Matt Smith episodes? Share in the comments!]
5. The Wedding of River Song “I had to die. I didn’t have to die alone.”
Season 6: Episode 13
Silence will fall when the question is asked. This episode is the culmination of a season’s worth of suspense, and it pulls it all together brilliantly. The moment has come for The Doctor to stop running and face his death, but time has stopped and reality is breaking apart. Monsters, aliens, a wedding, the death of the doctor, an alternate timeline, and a twist ending I never saw coming: everything one needs for an epic Doctor Who experience. Question, though: Are River and The Doctor still married even though that timeline was aborted? Hmm…
4. The Eleventh Hour “Bacon? That’s Bacon? Are you trying to poison me?”
Season 5: Episode 1
Our first true introduction to Doctor #11. Matt Smith climbs soaking wet out of a crashed TARDIS demanding apples from a red-headed Scottish girl. A strange voice coming from a crack in the wall warns of an escaped prisoner, and the new Doctor has twenty minutes to save the world with no TARDIS or sonic screwdriver. While Prisoner Zero isn’t my favorite DW alien, this shape-shifting multi-form is still pretty creepy. This episode gave us the girl who waited and fish fingers and custard, reminding us exactly why bowties are cool.
3. Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS “Don’t get into a spaceship with a madman. Didn’t anyone ever teach you that?”
Season 7: Episode 11
What kind of demons does a Time Lord keep in his spaceship? The Doctor and Clara are forced to find out when the Van Baalen Bros’ salvage ship damages the TARDIS, causing it to leak time into its own passageways. Together they must reset time to repair the heart of the TARDIS. It’s an action-packed episode that showcase’s Matt Smith’s mastery of mischief, compassion, fear, and last-minute genius. We also get to unfold more of the mystery of The Impossible Girl, keeping pace with The Doctor rather than him being his usual one step ahead of the audience.
2. Vincent and the Doctor “My experience is that there is always, surprisingly, hope.”
Season 5: Episode 10
At first glance, this is your standard filler episode, as the season’s main storyline was only hinted at in passing. A terrible monster appears in the window of a church in one of Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings, giving Amy and The Doctor a reason to visit 19th Century France. There’s your usual monster chasing and silly Doctor antics, but at it’s core this story is emotional and touching. Vincent, not The Doctor, saves the day, but in a truly tragic way. Wanting to “add to his pile of good things,” The Doctor decides to show Vincent the future, where his paintings are renowned by the world. Tear jerker, every viewing.
1. A Good Man Goes to War “Please, point a gun at me if it helps you relax.”
Season 6: Episode 7
My absolute favorite – I find myself watching this one over and over again. The Doctor calls in every favor he is owed to save Amy and her newborn from The Silence. We get to see an angry Doctor rising victorious above his enemies, only to be fooled once again by The Flesh. When baby Melody melts in Amy’s arms? Total heartbreak. But we finally find out who River Song is and we’re left with hope that The Doctor will come out on top, a changed Time Lord.