Doctor Who is the longest running science fiction series of all time. It has has millions of devout fans, each with their own opinion on who is their favourite Doctor, their favourite villain,companion and favourite moment. Now 50 years is a long time, and being a lifelong fan with, I’d like to think, a little bit of knowledge on the matter, here, after weeks of planning with my fellow Whovians, are my top 10 most iconic moments in Doctor Who history. I’ll be taking slight liberties with a few of my picks, but without further ado… ALLONS-Y!
Now I’m not way talking about the character Rose, but rather the first episode of the modern series, “Rose”. Doctor Who had been on hiatus essentially since 1989, despite Paul Mcgann dropping in for an adventure in the 1996 TV movie. Unless you watched repeats as a child, like I did, that’s a whole generation of children that missed out on Doctor Who (curse you, Michael Grade!). As such, the beauty of “Rose” is in its using essentially the same format as “An Unearthly Child”, the very first episode of Doctor Who which aired some 42 years before: it introduced an unsuspecting companion to a familiar foe in Who lore – The Autons – and threw a new Doctor in the form of Christopher Eccleston into the mix, paving the way for Who to capture the unsuspecting hearts and minds of a whole new wave of parents and kids.
9. The Death of Adric
It may come as an out-of-left-field surprise, but this is one of the most iconic moments in Doctor Who history. In the episode “Earthshock” starring Peter Davison‘s Fifth Doctor, Adric, the annoying child genius who’d been a companion to The Doctor since the final season of Tom Baker‘s tenure, made the ultimate sacrifice by crashing the ship and stopping the Cybermen from destroying a primeval Earth, and, in doing so, inadvertently triggering the start of all life on the planet. At the end of the episode, The Doctor is left devastated, leading into a new era of the show where not even The Doctor’s companions – in this case, a child! – were safe from the dangers of time travel.
8. Peter Cushing
“Doctor who?” Peter Cushing is the black sheep of all the actors who played The Doctor. Back in the 1960’s when Doctor Who was in its first boom period, the BBC wanted to sell the idea to the Americans and commissioned Amicus Studios (mostly known for low-budget horror) to create two Doctor Who films based on the two most popular Dalek stories of the time. Made on a shoestring budget, these films made little change to the original story-lines from the TV show, but Peter Cushing reveled in the role of The Doctor, truly embracing the character while never copying William Hartnells mannerisms. He may not be considered canon, but Cushing put the idea into the public’s mind that someone else could, perhaps, play The Doctor…