Best/Favorite Regeneration Story 3 (2017 Update) - Rank & Rate

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by Emperor-Tiberius, Dec 26, 2017.

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Which one of these regeneration stories is your favorite?

  1. The Tenth Planet (BBC) (1->2)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. The War Games (BBC) (2->3)

    20.7%
  3. The Planet of the Spiders (BBC) (3->4)

    10.3%
  4. Logopolis (BBC) (4->5)

    17.2%
  5. The Caves of Androzani (BBC) (5->6)

    44.8%
  6. The Brink of Death (BF) (6->7)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. Enemy Within (The TV Movie) (BBC/Fox) (7->8)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. The Night of the Doctor (BBC) (8->Warrior)

    17.2%
  9. Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways/Born Again (BBC) (9->10)

    20.7%
  10. Turn Left/The Stolen Earth/Journey's End (BBC) (10->Meta Crisis 10)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  11. The End of Time (BBC) (10->11)

    20.7%
  12. The Time of the Doctor (BBC) (11->12)

    3.4%
  13. World Enough and Time/The Doctor Falls/Twice Upon a Time (BBC) (12->13)

    27.6%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    I'm very fairly sure the fan-film Devious doesn't count, as it was never finished and was never sanctioned by the BBC, although the clip of 3 having just regenerated did feature in the War Games DVD, so... I kinda like to count that, but I don't think it actually counts.

    Six's regeneration totally does, though. Not a huge fan of the reconstruction, thoiugh, wish he'd used this version:
     
  2. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It seems unfair to favor one type of fanfiction over another. If you count the audio fanfiction, you should have to count the fanfilm. At least, that seems like the only fair way to do it to me.
     
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  3. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Because was santioned by the BBC, and one wasn't. How exactly is that a difference that is difficult to understand, its beyond me.
     
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  4. The Nth Doctor

    The Nth Doctor Infinite Possibilities... Premium Member

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    From Merriam-Webster:

    stories involving popular fictional characters that are written by fans and often posted on the Internet ​

    Ergo, BBC-licensed stories produced by Big Finish are emphatically not fan fiction.
     
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  5. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Dimensions in Time, The Curse of Fatal Death and The Scream of Shalka were all sanctioned by the BBC. None of them are canon (well, DiT might be, but I'm pretty sure it isn't). Neither are a bunch of sanctioned Doctor Who comics, like ones where The 1st Doctor had grade school age grandchildren named John and Gillian Who.

    Calling it fanfiction is kind of just a way of describing their impact and lack of quality. technically, there is no BF story that seems to have been written by anyone who actually likes the show. I even question whether the people who write for BF have seen a single episode of any incarnation of Doctor Who, or if they just look at wikis and write from there. So, the fact that no one at BF seem to even like the franchise would make calling BF stuff "fanfiction" inaccurate. I guess calling BF stuff "cheap, non canon cash grab stories" would be more accurate, but its a bit long to have to type it out every time I talk about Big Finish.
     
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  6. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Yes, they are not canon because TPTB at the time said they weren't. They made the kind of statement that reflects that. Meanwhile, nothing that precludes anything else in the same way has ever been made. Period.

    And that includes all the comics, and all the inconsistensies. Because as RTD and Moffat both argued, at the time they came out, they probably were true, and they did happen.
     
  7. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Anyway. Speaking of regeneration, how about the scenes themselves?

    Having recently exposed a NuWho friend of mine to OldWho via TV and audio stories, I've revisited them all, and I'd have to say, my favorite regeneration scene of all time might be Ten's, from a purely aesthetic, audiovisual POV. From the moment he sees Rose one last time (really the only one he should've seen in his "tour") to his actual "geronimo", the Doctor's goodbye is emotionally right. Sure, the line "I don't want to go" sound egotistical, but honestly, this is a Doctor who just started getting over the Time War. The scene wouldn't be the same without the epic Vale Dacem, which might be the single best piece of music Murray Gold has ever written for the show.

    Beyond that, its Nine's regeneration that stands out, on-par with Five, Six and Eight's. They're all rather low-key and uneventful. Nine and accept it and puts up a brave face for Rose, though Five seems to be more worried about the effect, since he'd never died that way (and also, the Master was doing his tricks again, but that's a lesser fact to know). And Six just accepts it quietly, without pomposity and, crucially, without anyone to witness it, in a stark contrast with his birth, where he boasted "not a moment too soon." And its sad even, because he doesn't know that he caused that regeneration, and why he did it. Meanwhile, Eight's death is mostly symbolic, and McGann plays it perfectly... but I'll never escape the regret that he should've been the Warrior in Day of the Doctor. But given what we have, his is the only regeneration that could constitute as a sacrifice, since he gives up his identity in order to fight a war he doesn't believe in. A powerful moment, sold brilliantly by McGann. Love all of them.

    Three's exit is also lovely, as Pertwee acts his way out of the show in a touching way. His interaction with Sarah Jane just works, and the decision to actually kill the Third Doctor in that moment is rather brave, because for a moment, you are wondering if the Doctor will regenerate at all. That said, the Abbott helping him out, while nice, is kinda like the Watcher and the Time Lords granting him a new cycle - it falls in the "Wha?!" category, and as such, it lessens Pertwee's performance a tad. Plus, the regeneration effect itself is rather poor, especially given the fact that its not an effect at all.

    Tom Baker's last scene is iconic, and rightfully so. However, the whole Watcher thing... it just never sat right with me. It overshadows not only this scene, but the whole story, taking time and focus away from Baker himself, robbing him of an adventure worthy of his caliber. He simply deserved better. Meanwhile, after watching the TV Movie last week, I found myself appreciating McCoy's death even more. He literally doesn't say a lot in the story, and he dies purely by chance and incompetence. Not the end you'd expect for the Doctor during his Curse of Fenric phase, would it be?

    Hartnell's original regeneration is the show's last great mystery, and fittingly it was his Doctor who gifted it to the show. as he left it. As much as I dislike the story itself for not giving his Doctor anything noteworthy to do as he was leaving, he still did well in that iconic regeneration scene, and that effect, which still works and is much better than anything done for the show until Five's regeneration into Six. As for Troughton... well, we never really saw him regenerate, have we? I mean, I know we're seeing regenerating, but its less about and more of a lyrical disintegration of the programme before our very eyes. The Troughton era, and indeed the '60's, end with an effect similar to how it all started, with a whirling effect. Brilliant.

    The Warrior's regeneration is a big meh, for me. Never really cared for it. And the Meta Crisis... well, it can't be a cop-out, since he was never going to change, but it still feels as such.

    EDIT: I was lukewarm to Eleven's final scene in the TARDIS, as I thought it too wordy... but after Twelfth's, I've warmed up to it. It kinda makes sense why he talks like that as its Clara he's doing this to, and the "like breath in a mirror" line is indeed precious. I like it overall, however narratively he should've regenerated at the tower, shouldn't he have? And I'd have prefered if it was Twelfth who's remove the bow tie.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2018
  8. kirk55555

    kirk55555 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    My favorite regeneration scene will always be 11s. He had the bet speech, and between the speech anseeing Amy at the end it was one of the most emotional Doctor Who moments for me.

    Ones regeneration did suffer from the story not giving him much to do, but the scene itself was weird and differnet so it worked. The second never shows the regeneration, and I haven't seen Planet of Spiders so I can't comment on the thirds.

    The 4ths regeneration gets ruined by The watcher. It makes no sense at all, and having Tom baker first change into a mummy then Peter Davison just looked bad. But, his actual death scene, right before the regeneration, was pretty good. Plus "Its the end...but the moment has been prepared for" is just a classic line.

    The 5ths was overly long and I didn't like the visions in his head, but I did like the 6ths first line at the end. 6th's regeneration consisted of him hitting his head on the TARDIS console because of The Rani blasting the TARDIS and falling to the ground, and Colin Baker didn't even get to do it. So, his regeneration is easily the worst. Bonus negative points to his last words on screen being "carrot juice", although to be fair he didn't say that as he died so it doesn't really count as his last pre-regeneration words, just the last words we as viewers hear.

    I LOVE the 7ths regeneration because I really dislike the evil version of the 7th Doctor and having him die of medical malpractice is what he deserved. The 8ths regeneration is pretty good, outside of him spouting some random names out that made some Who fans insufferable. The War Doctor's regeneration was just a small thing, but it felt like he was finally getting some peace and it worked.

    The 9th's regeneration was ok, but nothing all that special. Ignoring the metacrisis, 10ths regeneration was very good. I liked his "I don't want to go" mentality, and it was a sad end. 12's regeneration was ok. His speech went on to long but it was still pretty entertaining.
     
  9. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    I've just seen Turn Left/The Stolen Earth/Journey's End and The End of Time. Well, its official - RTD's late DW finale writing was blockbuster, balls to the wall, nuts go fuck, end-all-be-all epic. Proper epic, too. And it works well with the series 4 finale... but it doesn't quite with EOT. In the latter, it come off as a tad much, as if stuffing a turkey with ice-cream. I love both, but maybe not at the same meal? As a result, while I think I enjoyed EOT more than ever before, it still isn't quite as good an exit for Ten as it probably should've been. From NuWho, I still think its the weakest story, though I've not revisited Time of the Doctor yet.

    As for Ten's farewell tour... Well, after seeing the regeneration stories in chronological sequence... it makes less sense now than ever. I know its RTD saying goodbye to his DW, but... the Doctor's not dying. He's regenerating. He's not gonna change that much. I just think his exit was overplayed. Αnd no matter how many years go by, I'll always hate Mickey and Martha's nonsensical pairing.

    Still, his last scene with Rose, and then the Ood... well, sure, again, too melodramatic, but at least he's not speaking endlessly to himself with no one present, and Vale Dacem is the best regeneration music ever. There.
     
  10. Iamnotspock

    Iamnotspock Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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  11. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    I've not kept up with my recollection of regeneration stories, have I? Since then, I saw Time of the Doctor, and I guess I'll always be one of the select few who still really likes this story. Its way too fast-paced, and it is fairly rushed, but I loved the sentiment and the emotion behind it, and Matt Smith I feel really gives it his all. And his regeneration speech has actually aged well. Its superior to Capaldi's in almost every way, because he's at least talking to someone instead of giving a long, long speech to himself. Even Sixie only said a few words to himself before regenerating, and he said it to convince himself it was alright to change, since his was abrupt as hell.

    That being said... the triptych of World Enough and Time, The Doctor Falls and Twice Upon a Time is simply brilliant. Its the best regeneration story since Bad Wolf/Parting of the Ways, which still might the better one but still, pretty good company there. Its emotional, poignant, actually coherently written (though TUAT less so), and they make sense as a three-parter, because the main story is the first two eps, with the Christmas Special being, essentially, a long epilogue (kinda like Ten's farewell half-hour in TEOT, really).

    Also, theory time: Now, both stories by Moffat share the basic same conceit: The Doctor stays for a protracted amount of time in a small, rural area to protect a specific population from an incursive threat. I have a feeling that this was always going to be the ending for the Eleventh Doctor, that he really did want Matt Smith to stay long enough so they'd both exit the show together, and this template would serve that purpose.He just happened to have to do Capaldi's exit, and he had this template that worked for Time last time (pun intended), and he used it again, infussing into it Capaldi's desire of a Cybermen origin story.

    All I'll say is, its too bad we didn't see Susan again, even as a memory. I mean, why the fuck not? Just have her appear at the end, even. Damn you, Moffat!
     
  12. The Borgified Corpse

    The Borgified Corpse Admiral Admiral

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    My top 5:
    1. "The Caves of Androzani." I don't even like Peter Davison or Peri all that much but this story is still a stone-cold classic! Robert Holmes at his finest!
    2. "The War Games." Even as a 10-parter, I don't think the story ever really drags since it keeps evolving. And the moment where Jamie suggests that they still might be able to escape and the Doctor just shakes his head and says, "Goodbye, Jamie," god that breaks my heart! (Also of note, both "The War Games" & "The Caves of Androzani" feature a cliffhanger where the Doctor is nearly executed by firing squad.)
    3. "World Enough & Time"/"The Doctor Falls"/"Twice Upon a Time." Now, had Capaldi actually regenerated at the end of "The Doctor Falls," this would be #1. As is, "World Enough & Time" & "The Doctor Falls" are tied with "Heaven Sent" as my favorite new series episodes ever! "Twice Upon a Time" is what brings this entry down several notches for me. In particular, all the chauvinist jokes that Moffat makes at the 1st Doctor's expense. While the 1st Doctor could be paternalistic and patronizing at times, he was never THAT bad. (And, honestly, the 1st Doctor wasn't any worse than most of the other male characters on the show at the time.)
    4. "Bad Wolf"/"The Parting of the Ways." As mentioned, this is one of the few regenerations that feels inherent to the story rather than just tacked on. But at the same time, it's also not dripping in needless foreshadowing the way so many other regeneration stories are. It's also just a great story. I love all the futuristic piss-takes on reality shows. I love how pissed off the Doctor gets at the Daleks. I love the elegant simplicity of Eccleston trying to reassure Rose (and thus the audience) that, while his regeneration is sad, it still beats the alternative. Plus, I think Tennant has the best post-regeneration scene of any Doctor.
    5. "The End of Time." On the one hand, too much of the story is just Tennant & John Simm trying to out-ham each other. Nearly every single moment of this is 110ft. over the top. Some of those bombastic moments work. Some don't. But they all feel authentically representative of both the highs & lows of the David Tennant years. And then there's Wilf, who makes the whole thing about 40% better.

    Agreed. "Vale Decem" is tied with "I Am the Doctor" for my favorite piece of new Doctor Who music.

    Much as I love McGann, I don't think he would have fit into "Day of the Doctor" in the same way that John Hurt does. I feel like McGann, even after being exhausted & grizzled by the Time War, still wouldn't have been enough of a contrast when held up against Tennant & Smith. What works about Hurt is that he's kind of a stand-in for the old, pompous Doctors of the early classic series, like Hartnell & Pertwee. Putting that gruffness against the giddy childishness of Tennant & Smith shows just how far the character has come over the show's 50 year run.

    Sadly, I think the regeneration stories for both T. Baker & Hartnell were hampered by behind-the-scenes stuff. "The Tenth Planet" had to be hastily rewritten to accommodate Hartnell's failing health, which is why he's completely absent from Part 3. (Which makes it all the sadder that Part 3 is actually the last surviving episode of the Hartnell years.)

    Meanwhile, "Logopolis," like most of Season 18, is an exercise in watching just how much Tom Baker doesn't give a crap anymore! I love Tom Baker as the Doctor but his last season doesn't feature any of his finest work. (He's decent in some of the E-Space trilogy stuff but that's about it.) Before I ever started watching the show and LONG before Doctor Who had its own sub-forum here, I remember reading threads about great sci-fi death scenes and someone would always mention "Logopolis." I still don't really understand what they see in it. "It's the end... but the moment has been prepared for," is a great, portentous final line that absolutely doesn't fit with Tom Baker's Doctor at all!

    He's talking to that alien that may or may not still be hiding from him from "Listen"! :p

    Honestly, I could listen to Capaldi reading the phone book. So I don't really care if he's actually speaking TO anyone. I'm still listening. :D

    I was kinda surprised that we didn't see her in "Twice Upon a Time." I was expecting the 12th Doctor to finally force the 1st Doctor make good on his promise to come back. Also, I kinda wish that the Moment in "Day of the Doctor" had taken the form of Susan instead of Rose. The 50th anniversary special needed some more classic callbacks besides just a Tom Baker cameo & name-dropping the Brigadier.
     
  13. Cutie McWhiskers

    Cutie McWhiskers Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Which is ironic, since the season-ender was hastily rewritten because Eccleston was legging it as fast as he could away from the show. :( Given the reversed logic that leads to his regeneration yet Rose is okey-dokey-healthy despite harboring the vortex energy maguffin for far longer than Eccleston had, to me it always felt the most forced and added on...
     
  14. Cutie McWhiskers

    Cutie McWhiskers Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    My top three:

    1->2 the one that started it all. It's the only one nobody would ever begin to expect. Since then, ways have been found to surprise the audience or to ramp up emotional manipulation. In some ways they're better, but the very first one is still the most unique and unsurpassable as a whole because it had never been done before. And it's brilliant. Mostly because the Doctor isn't human to begin with. :D

    12->13 despite re-using the scene from 10->11 with the TARDIS blowing up, the story leading to the regeneration was genuinely epic and made some amazing use of science and the time dilation effect. The Master being very Masterish with Bill had a level of menace never really seen in the show before, apart from arguably when he hijacks the body of Tremas - thank Antony Ainley's performance for making Tremas' end so nasty, but that's still pale compared to tricking the Doctor's own companion into becoming a lab experiment. (And two Masters, both played to perfection! Pearl Mackie and Peter Capaldi definitely needed a second season together, the 10th series is pretty much the best since the show was revived - series 1 and 5 being the next best, IMHO.)

    5->6 The Doctor isn't saving the universe or a planet. Just getting caught up in others' events (a staple of the Hartnell era) and sacrificing himself to save the life of... a newly made friend that he barely knew and was even hesitant to allow to stay on as a companion, which is a shame since the 5th Doctor and Peri had the best chemistry since him and Nyssa if not more because his placidness was balanced by her feistiness. But his finale is pretty darn epic.
     
  15. The Borgified Corpse

    The Borgified Corpse Admiral Admiral

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    I figured that the energy had to GO somewhere, so the Doctor was sparing Rose by taking it from her. But then, the Doctor couldn't disperse the energy without it killing him or killing anyone else that he tried to transfer it to, so that's why he regenerated. At the time, I figured that the yellow particle effect when he regenerated was him burning off the time vortex energy, not anything tied into the regeneration process. So imagine my surprise when the Master did the same thing when he regenerated in "Utopia." (Not to mention all of the subsequent new series regenerations seen in "Journey's End," "The End of Time," "The Impossible Astronaut," "Day of the Moon," "Let's Kill Hitler," "Day of the Doctor," "Time of the Doctor," "Hell Bent," & "Twice Upon a Time.")
     
  16. The Borgified Corpse

    The Borgified Corpse Admiral Admiral

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    Agreed. Capaldi/Bill/Nardole is one of my favorite TARDIS teams (up there with Smith/Amy/Rory, Troughton/Jamie/Zoe, T. Baker/Sarah Jane/Harry, and Hartnell/Ian/Barbara). Unfortunately, it felt like they'd only started to find their groove by the time the season ended. Here's hoping for some audios!

    Also, the bit at the beginning of "World Enough & Time" with Missy pretending to be the Doctor was so good, that should have been its own separate episode.
     
  17. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Its one of those things that you just can't imagine OldWho doing. Just utterly brilliant.

    But you could showcase McGann in that light, as well. Just show him with grey hair and a moustache, short hair, and he'd sell it. It was the BBC wanting a big name to sell the anniversary that ultimately prevented this, which is a huge shame, because McGann, I think, would've been ever better at it than Hurt was. And not because his arc would completed the circle or starting out with hope for the future, not having any by the end of the Time War, and giving it to 11 when he(they) save Gallifrey.

    I don't get it. Doctor Who, especially back then, was a huge show, one that they went to great lengths to extend its lifeline for at least 3 or more years if possible. Why not accomodate the poor actor, who made the show popular in the first place. Its bad enough he'd driven off against his will (not fired), at least let him finish the last story he'll ever make. Its a damn shame he wasn't allowed to go out on a bang, because he deserved it, more than any other Doctor since.

    And I have to admit, I always liked Tom Baker's last season. Its not, however, better than Douglas Adams' previous, simply because it lacks brilliant pieces like City of Death or Shada (maybe good ol' Douglas should've written something for the season? :) ) but it does bring the Master back in style (Ainley being pretty good here, unlike other times that he's not allowed to be this good), and I simply like that the series feels a lot like current DW, with an overall arc connecting disparate plot points throughout the season. I appreciate that effort, despite not being planned in any way.

    Well, I do hope he'll do some BF at some point. But the regeneration scene is just too long. I LOVE the name anecdote, which is also, in my mind, the perfect closer to Moff's obsession with the Doctor's name throught his tenure, but it feels pointless, largely, since he's talking to himself. I said it before, but at least One, Six and Eight were alone, by themselves (OK, so Mel was there, but she was unconscious, wasn't she?) and only said very, very few words, since they didn't expect to regenerate, and Ten only even said that he didn't want to die.

    I think it might've been a smart twist by Moff if he had 1 tell 12 he half expected to see Susan there, in the Testimony room, then NotBill would show Susan as he remembered her, in the battlefield scene, and he'd then tell her "I really thought I'd see you there, you know" or something. But yeah, missed opportunity, by any measure.

    And the Brigadier keeps getting mentioned anyway, so big whoop on that one. But yeah, it needed more of that. I wish they'd let Ian Chesterton make an actual, physical appearance in the episode. Or had the old Doctors record new lines for the Save Gallifrey scene, to hide the fact we're watching old clips again (though I believe Colin Baker vetoed that idea, or so I heard), or had Benton or Yates present in the UNIT scenes as special advistors that Kate would bring for help, or anything more tanglibly connecting to OldWho. As is, Linkara's got it right: An eight-year celebration of NuWho, with a hint of OldWho and Tom Baker making his last ever appearance. Still good, but not really a 50th anniversary.
     
  18. The Borgified Corpse

    The Borgified Corpse Admiral Admiral

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    While McGann is a hell of an actor, I think there's something just a little too humane about his Doctor. I can't quite see his Doctor going that far. It would be fun to see him try. But I still think he would have come across as a bit too young to properly contrast with Tennant & Smith. (And we know from "The Time of the Doctor" that this show can't do subtle old age makeup very well.)

    Given the breakneck pace at which they had to shoot that show to churn out 43 episodes each year, I understand why they had to paper over everything as quickly as possible. Nothing short of a cameraman's strike or the studio burning down would have stopped the big machine back then.

    I was actually expecting Susan to make her appearance in the Testimony room. I was super excited. And then I was like, "Oh. It's just Bill." (Nothing against Bill but I needs me some classic series fan service!)

    I still think they should have had Ian Chesterton personally give Clara her message at the beginning of the episode. And I would have liked to see Romana & Leela during the Gallifrey scenes. I will say that, while the ratio of new series to old series is a bit higher than I would like, I thought Moffat at least did a good job of making an anniversary special that felt fundamentally about the Doctor as a character and did a great job of selling Hurt, Tennant, Smith, & T. Baker as all being the same guy at different points in his life.
     
  19. Gavin70

    Gavin70 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Hard to go past Caves of Androzani. Top quality story with my favourite Doctor of all.
    After that I'd say Night of the Doctor. A fantastic (if too short) finale for the Eighth Doctor.
    World Enough and Time/The Doctor Falls/Twice Upon a Time is probably the best overall regeneration story of the new era and equal second overall in my view.

    Other honourable mentions:-
    The Tenth Planet - a brilliant introduction to both a new enemy and the concept of regeneration. Only spoilt by the missing final episode (only partly redeemed by animation) and the almost complete absence of the Doctor in the 3rd episode (due to ill health).
    BadWolf/Parting of the Ways - a fantastic finish for a Doctor I'd only just begun to fully enjoy. I can only imagine how shocking it would have been if they hadn't spoilt it by announcing Eccleston's departure.
    The War Games - probably went on a bit long but the end, with the introduction of the Time Lords was brilliant. It's also a little disappointing that they hadn't yet cast Jon Pertwee so we don't get to see the actual regeneration.
    Logopolis - great finish for the Fourth Doctor but Tom Baker had been there too long by that point. Also a bit of a weak ending falling off a tower (especially since we've now seen him fall from significantly higher).

    I've heard good things about The Brink of Death but haven't heard it yet. It would be hard to make a regeneration worse than what we got on screen for the Sixth Doctor.