#11 Nightmare in Silver

Written by Neil Gaiman

This is the final installment of the “11 of 11” series and I am a bit sad. I began this series when I heard that Matt Smith was officially leaving DW, and now that it is almost November and with less than a month to the 50th anniversary episode of Who, well, my feels, guys. My feels.

Miss you already, Matt.
Miss you already, Matt.

I don’t want Matt to go! As a newly inducted Wholigan, this is the first time I’ve lost a Doctor on the linear time line. If you’ve know my “New to Who” story, you know that I didn’t watch Doctor Who in order, I jumped around in the series, finding episodes that entertained me, all the while desperately trying not to fall in love with the show. It was an unexpected love affair, and it wasn’t until River Song showed up in series 6 that I realized I’d inadvertently become a Whovian. I love David Tennant as Ten, don’t get me wrong. I, too, swoon over the fangirl favorite and adore every episode in which he sexily runs around, fighting nefarious aliens, falling in love with Rose, showing off to Martha and laughing with Donna. I cry when I watch “The End of Time” and never want to see him go. But Eleven. Eleven is the Doctor who fell in love with River Song. He is the Doctor who laughs away the pain of being Ten, Nine and the others, while remaining immensely powerful. He is still the Timelord Victorious, but with a bow tie and new best friends. Eleven never forgot life as Ten, he just refused to fall into a pattern of despair and self loathing. Eleven allowed himself to fall in love with River, to create a family in the Ponds and who, when that family is finally lost, discovered something to live for in the mysteries of the Universe and of Clara Oswald. Matt Smith has played Eleven’s ridiculously huge story arc fearlessly, with finesse that makes the role look easy. He goes from dark and intense to silly and childish in a matter of seconds, never afraid to utilize emotion, physical humor or emotional pain to drive the character forward. Peter Capadli definitely has bigger-on-the-inside shoes to fill. No one thought Matt could do it, and then suddenly, the show is an American hit, a internet sensation and new audiences across the globe are falling in love with time travel and the TARDIS, as Britain has been for years. But Matt Smith is moving on, Whovians. There’s no doubt he will do well after Who. He is young, attractive (in a Timelord-y sorta way) and has range. This episode, Nightmare in Silver, proves it. So, goodbye Eleven. You will be missed, mourned and meme-ed for many years to come.

Episode S07xE13

AKA The Episode Eleven Kinda Loses His Mind

#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.

#4 The Wedding of River Song written by Steven Moffat aka the Dark Lord of the Whoniverse
If you were to ask me what my favorite Eleventh Doctor episode is, this just might be it. Honestly, it’s a tie between this and next week’s, but I flip-flop back and forth. If you are a River Song fan (and many Whovians are not), this episode canonizes my OTP and puts to rest the question that has followed River since she rejoined the cast in season 5; Is River the woman who marries the Doctor or murders him? Spoilers: BOTH. I decided to start with this River episode because it is easiest to follow her Impossible Astronaut story line if you start here, at the end of season 6. Yes, I know, wibbley-wobbley, timey-wimey. But River and the Doctor’s stories run in opposite directions, and I find it helps me comprehend her time line if we begin when River marries/kills the Doctor.

I consent and gladly give.
I consent and gladly give.