#9 The Angels Take Manhattan

written by Steven Moffat

The Collective blog has had a few changes in the past weeks and it has been a while since we touched on the 11 Episodes of Eleven series. Readers, we are almost to the end of the journey. We’ve made the jump into season 7 it has been a season of change. Season 7 brings with it a shift in companions, costumes, intro music and opening sequence. I was underwhelmed by most of season 7, honestly, except for a few key episodes. I loved the addition of Rory’s dad to the storyline, but I missed River Song. The stories seemed so disconnected in the beginning, but they were all leading up to the inevitable shift in cast that audiences had been privy to for some time. I almost didn’t write about this particular episode. I really wanted to skip right over it for a couple of reasons. Namely, the Ponds and Moffatt. I have rec’d a number of Moffat episodes and there are so many other great writers on Doctor Who that deserve a bit of acknowledgment. Also, I realize I’ve gone on and on about River Song to the point where my bias is ridiculously obvious. Still, Whovians cannot deny the impact of this particular episode, and, with only 3 more to go in my series, I have to do it. After this painful experience, we can lose the bowtie, move on to a new adventure and remodel the TARDIS, but for now,  we have to talk about The Angels Take Manhattan.

Don't Blink.
Don’t Blink.

#8 Night and the Doctor written by Steven Moffat and Tom MacRae

With the release of the DVD box sets, the BBC and Moffat did something extra special in that they included extra mini episodes with the Doctor Who cast that weren’t available anywhere else. With the season 6 box set release in 2011 came these 5 adorable mini episodes that focus on the Doctor and what he does with his nights. It is difficult to find the clips on the web, and the only versions I found have french subtitles. So, watch, enjoy and practice your french with my number 8 pick in this 11 Episodes of Eleven series.

#6 Closing Time written by Gareth Roberts

I thoroughly enjoy both Craig Owens stories written by Gareth Roberts, including season 5.11, The Lodger. In Closing Time, the 12th episode of season 6, we meet back up with Craig as the Doctor makes his rounds and says goodbye to his friends before heading to meet his impending death at Lake Silencio. The friendship between Craig and the Doctor closely resembles that of two ordinary mates who enjoy each other’s company and simply stumble into otherworldy trouble because that is what life is like when you are friends with the Doctor. Craig has since had a child with his longtime crush, Sophie and when the Doctor arrives on his doorstep, Craig is watching their son, Alfie, while Sophie has a ladies weekend at the spa. Just when Craig begins to think that he will never learn how to be a good dad, the Doctor shows up on his doorstep and hilarity/alien conquering/parenting 101 ensues.

Craig Owens and the Doctor.
Craig Owens and the Doctor.

#5 Let’s Kill Hitler written by Steven Moffat aka the Dalek Emperor

As I mentioned last week in the fourth installment of “11 Episodes of the Eleventh Doctor,” it is a tie between The Wedding of River Song and Let’s Kill Hitler for my all-time favorite Eleven story. This week Moffat is the writer, and perhaps I am a predictable and obvious fan because of course River is a main character and I totally ship River and Eleven as canon. While haters gon’ hate, I consider the River/Eleven storyline to be the most ambitious plot point Moffat has undertaken in his tenure as showrunner; it is a doozy and worth the twists and turns. This episode starts out with Amy and Rory summoning the Doctor after Demon’s Run and River Song’s reveal that she is Amy’s baby all grown up, the little Melody Pond. No, I didn’t rec that episode (A Good Man Goes to War), but I’m assuming if you’re reading this you are a fan of DW and don’t need too much explaining the oddness that is a Doctor Who/Steven Moffat plot line. If you do need a refresher, click the links in the text for a trip in the TARDIS to the DW wiki. So, this episode is broadcast after the show’s summer hiatus as the opener of the second part of season 6 and it begins with Amy and Rory in Leadworth contacting the Doctor by creating a crop circle. That, in itself, is kinda perfect. It is always a treat to visit the Ponds/Williams’ in their sleepy hometown, because audiences get to see the “normal” and enjoy watching the Doctor try to fit into everyday English life. In this episode, we meet a friend of the Ponds, Mels, a petty thief and crazy childhood companion of Amy and Rory.

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The birth of River Song.

#2 Vincent and the Doctor written by Richard Curtis

Oh, the Doctor Who feels. This episode is full of them. The show opens with Amy Pond fangirling over van Gogh paintings at the Musee d’Orsay with the Doctor spotting something alien painted into one of the artist’s pictures. Eleven decides to take his companion to investigate the strange face in the van Gogh portrait and meet the painter. At this point in the series (this is episode 10 of Matt and Karen’s first season together), we have watched the relationship develop between the Doctor and Amy, while the Timelord Victorious lay dormant inside of him. In a previous post, I briefly discussed the idea that the Doctor is a god, and when he acts like a god, people get hurt. In Vincent and the Doctor, Amy develops a relationship with a troubled Vincent van Gogh, even though she knows less than a year after their meeting, he will commit suicide.

Vincent, Amy and the Doctor on a starry night.
Vincent, Amy and the Doctor on a starry night.