Just twenty minutes. Just believe me for twenty minutes. Look at it. Fresh as the day you gave it to me. And you know it’s the same one. Amy, believe for twenty minutes.Eleventh Doctor, Doctor Who, S05E01
‘The Eleventh Hour’
I remember being so nervous going into Series 5, I had adored Tennant’s run, and change is hard, but there was nothing that was going to stop me from loving this series. It took about 30 seconds of Matt Smith on screen for me to accept him as the Doctor, and from that moment on I was so excited for what was to come. Matt Smith has become one of one of my favourite Doctors (I think I say this every regeneration but it doesn’t stop me from loving his incarnation of the Doctor dearly).
Series 5 introduced Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor, Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, and Arthur Darvill as Rory Williams. One of my favourite TARDIS trios! Also that new version of the Doctor Who theme/title sequence, gosh darn, amazing!
I love the quote I picked for Series 5 – I really feel like it is both the Doctor speaking to Amy and Matt Smith speaking to the Doctor Who fan base.
New Doctor’s First Episode: S05E01 ‘The Eleventh Hour’
This episode I think is still one of my favourite ‘New Doctor’ episodes (with S11E01 The Woman Who Fell to Earth a close second). Matt Smith’s Doctor was just so funny in this episode – the script had the perfect mix of comedy and enchanting/heartfelt moments. The sequence where the Doctor is trying to find a food he likes never fails to make me smile, especially with the conclusion that he needed “fish-fingers and custard”.
(Which I tried, by the way – managed to disgust my family in the name of my obsession with a TV show – and as it turned out, it wasn’t that bad. Then I find out that Matt Smith was just eating cake made to look like fish-fingers – which makes sense, because he would have had to do a lot of scenes eating that – but I did feel possibly a little betrayed.)
There is something so magical about this episode of Doctor Who, and I think that is why this one is one of my most rewatched in this series. I love how young Amelia Pond is the first person he meets and from there the Doctor becomes almost childlike in his fascination with the universe he is travelling through.
That scene on the rooftop though! The Eleventh Doctor walking through the hologram image of the Tenth Doctor’s face and saying, “Hello, I’m the Doctor” – just plain epic. Also the New TARDIS interior is gorgeous, I remember tearing up in that scene.
Favourite Episode: S05E07 ‘Amy’s Choice’
Most of the episodes in this little review I could easily put into this category, as Series 5 is easily my favourite Eleventh Doctor series, but I really love the concept of this episode. Two dreams within a dream, and a choice for Amy. It is honestly quite a cruel conundrum, but does make for entertaining TV.
As the trio try to figure out which dream is the real one it becomes more and more evident that they’re not choosing between two dreams, but that Amy is choosing between Rory and the Doctor, or between two paths her life could take. It makes Amy make her decision for the most heartbreaking reason.
Plus amongst the chaos and the emotional moments of the whole episode, there is a wonderful amount of humour as the trio tries to decide which is the dream and which is the reality. This episode says so much about each character, and I think that is why I love it so much.
Scariest Episode: S05E04/05 ‘The Time of Angels’/‘Flesh and Stone’
Series 5 is packed with episodes that I could happily write about in any of these categories, this two part story is no exception. We get the return of River Song – last seen in the two part story from Series 4 ‘Silence in the Library’/‘Forest of the Dead’ that I wrote about here, we also get the return of the Weeping Angels last seen in Series 3 in ‘Blink’ which I wrote about here. Both River and the Weeping Angels have become favourites of mine in the Whoniverse, so I have a lot I want to say about these episodes, but so little space to do so (I have to stop at some point).
To be honest, I remember that at first I wasn’t so sure if bringing the Angels back was a good idea. They had been so good as the monster in ‘Blink’ and I really wasn’t sure how they could be any more scary than they already were. As it turns out, a few rogue Angels are a manageable amount of creepy/scary in a Doctor Who episode, but with two episodes containing a ship full of Angels that initially weren’t seen to be Angels? Pure fear.
There’s a scene where the Doctor, Amy and River are walking through the tunnels to try and get to the crashed ship and the Doctor realises the statues surrounding them aren’t what he thought they were. Surrounded by one headed statues, meant to be the fossilised versions of the people who used to live in the catacombs, there’s a beat of silence before River says “The Aplans…They’ve got two heads” followed by the Doctor saying, “So why don’t the statues?” It gives me chills every time.
This two part story also gives more insight into the character of River Song – something else I didn’t expect going into Series 5 (until I watched the trailer of course. I love her character, and her story, as heartbreaking as it is. Especially as at the time that I watched these episodes I didn’t know just how much of her story there was to come.
Most Emotional Episode: S05E10 ‘Vincent and the Doctor’
To start off, even just the mention of this episode, or the mention of Vincent Van Gogh is enough to make me emotional with little to no detail. It’s not just the content of this episode, but the beautiful way it is shot and cut together, along with the orchestral score and choice of song at the end. Everything about this episode is beautiful, and it brings me to tears every single time.
It really is heartbreaking, with this episode, with Amy’s reactions to everything. It feels as if she went into that trip thinking she’d be able to help Van Gogh avoid his fate. Then when she can’t, it breaks her heart. Provoking another of my favourite quotes from the Doctor in Series 5, this one in response to Amy not thinking she made a difference in Van Gogh’s life:
The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but visa versa, the bad things don’t necessarily spoil the good things or make them unimportant.Eleventh Doctor, Doctor Who
Then there’s the end where they bring him to the Galley and I weep every time.
As close second to this is the ending for the two part story of ‘The Hungry Earth’ and ‘Cold Blood’ where Rory saves the Doctor and ends up dying in the process. Amy’s reaction is heartbreaking, especially as she knows that she’ll forget him if he dies. Then the quick turn around of emotion once she does forget. What tops it off though is knowing that the Doctor remembers him but can’t say anything.
Series Final: S05E12/13 ‘The Pandorica Opens’/‘The Big Bang’
My gosh this series final was epic! Romans, all the monsters and aliens working together for a common cause (even if said cause actually made things worse), time jumps, the Doctor in a fez (for about 5 minutes before it was disintegrated), and a wedding. So a perfectly normal episode of Doctor Who. Right?
I love the scale of this two part story. Especially having so many of the monsters/aliens in the same space. There is so much going on and it is amazing! My favourites had to be the Daleks (pepper-pots) or the Sontarans (talking potatoes) in this case.
I remember being so on edge when I watched this the first time. There was so much going on, and so much at stake for the characters. I remember finding the whole thing really emotional (and still do).
I think Series 5 has to be my favourite series of Matt Smith’s Doctor. Do you have a favourite series for his Doctor?
What were your picks for the above? I’d love to know your thoughts! Thank you for reading!