#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.

#3 The Doctor’s Wife written by Neil Gaiman

Whovians love the TARDIS because she is sexy and exciting. We know that she doesn’t always take the Doctor where he wants to go, but she always takes him where he needs to go. In The Doctor’s Wife, famed sci-fi writer Neil Gaiman takes a Whovian dream and makes it a reality by giving the TARDIS a voice and a flesh body. This season 6 story begins with a Gallifreyan hypercube communication device summoning the Doctor to a place outside of the Universe. The Doctor, Amy and Rory travel through the time vortex to an alien asteroid that has been summoning and consuming Timelords for an undetermined amount of time. In a twist of plot that involves shutting down the TARDIS mainframe and stealing her soul, the TARDIS consciousness is transferred into the lovely, steampunky Idris (Suranne Jones), who embodies the Doctor’s ultimate companion in this exciting episode.

The Doctor and his wifey.

#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.

#1 The Eleventh Hour written by Steven Moffat

This Wholigan is not happy about the fact that Doctor Who doesn’t come back on air until November 23. Do you realize that is 16 weeks away!? A bit overwhelming when one has to travel time in a straight line. In honor of Matt Smith’s departure from Who this Christmas and to keep sane for the next 115 days, I have decided to count down my favorite 11 episodes featuring the Eleventh Doctor well, just because I can. Each week for the next 11, I will give you a rundown on an Eleventh Doctor episode, and hopefully satiate this longing for new Who as well as mentally prepare myself to say goodbye to Matt Smith. The most difficult part of a list like this is trying to put the episodes in order of preference, because honestly, I love every single one of them. Therefore, I won’t necessarily begin with my favorite of the 11, instead, I will begin where any Whovian trying to catch up with Smillian really should begin, The Eleventh Hour.

Little Amelia Pond and the Raggedy Doctor.
Little Amelia Pond and the Raggedy Doctor.

i ship itFirst of all, let’s get this straight. I totally ship River Song and The Eleventh Doctor. If you follow The Collective on Pinterest or on Tumblr you know this to be true.

This is what I do with my Saturday nights.
This is what I do with my Saturday nights.

When I first acknowledged my Wholigan tendencies, it was after two very special episodes of Who. Silence in the Library and The Forest of the Dead. I couldn’t get into the first season, didn’t understand the hype with the second season, so I began jumping around to watch episodes that other Whovians suggested (like a Timelord). I enjoyed the hell out of Blink and Tooth and Claw, everything Donna and in the middle of season four, we meet River. I loved her feisty, comfortable banter with the Doctor and then, all of a sudden, this brave, smart woman sacrifices herself for Ten, who cares, of course, but doesn’t seem to understand; Donna doesn’t understand; viewers don’t understand either. Before, I had watched seasons three and four out of sequence, not focusing on the larger story arc because I didn’t watch season one or two and therefore had no idea about Rose and the Doctor or why he needed Donna and why everyone hated Martha (still don’t get that one). In the Library, I began to care about his story; the tale of the Doctor and the TARDIS. I wanted to know who this River Song was, and lucky for me, I was watching on Netflix and didn’t have to wait two years, like the rest of the world.