The BEST 10th Doctor Episodes! – Doctor Who

    David Tennant is one of the most well-known and beloved Time Lords to ever cross our screen on Doctor Who. Often topping or nearing audience polls and rankings. His three seasons received much praise and are often the most talked about episodes of New Who. And with the Doctor Who 60th anniversary just around the corner, which will see him taking on the role of the 14th Doctor and reconnecting with his former companion Donna Noble (Catherine Tate), now is the perfect time to rank The Best 10th Doctor Episodes.

    It’s important to note that two and three-parters will count as a single entry on this list.

    David Tennant as the 10th Doctor in Doctor Who (Via BBC Studios)

    10. The Unicorn and the Wasp

    Often an episode that goes under the radar, this Season 4 story goes for a “whodunit” murder mystery. The Doctor and Donna meet the famous Agatha Christie and have to solve the murders, which a giant wasp is causing. The witty and hilarious interactions between the Doctor and Donna are in full swing here. And offers some of the funniest scenes in the series.

    The actress who plays Christie (Fenella Woolgar) gives an utterly perfect performance of the writer and fits in smoothly with the dynamic between the Doctor Donna. The episode keeps us guessing until the end, with a splendid payoff.

    David Tennant and Catherine Tate in Doctor Who (Via BBC Studios)

    9. The Waters Of Mars

    In this Autumn special, The Doctor arrives on a base on Mars, where the whole crew are due to die very soon. What causes their deaths is soon revealed in a chilling number of scenes. We find out the water supply to the base has a virus living inside, which turns the crew into The Flood (Water Zombies), looking to turn the whole crew on board.

    The unsettling feeling that water can be turned against you makes it unsettling with some key decisions which have devastating consequences for the crew on board. The guest star Lindsay Duncan plays the role tremendously here. She shows her scope by forming a strong and believable relationship with the Doctor despite not having much screen time together. Tennant’s performance shines as we feel sad that his time is ending.

    Lindsay Duncan and David Tennant in Doctor Who (Via BBC Studios)

    8. The girl in the fireplace

    The Girl in the Fireplace is an iconic episode for season 2. And a time when David Tennant started to feel like the Doctor. In an episode very early into Tennant’s tenure, the Doctor, Rose and Mickey (Great Tardis Team). Land on a spaceship from the 51st century linked up with 18th century France, run by repair androids, to stalk Madame de Pompadour (Sophia Myles) as she has the brain that the ship needs.

    But it’s a nice romantic story for Madame and the Doctor, which feels natural and not pushed. With the Doctor and Rose’s own love story in the early days, this fits in well for the time. Despite Rose and Mickey being on the side for a lot of the episode, we get some good moments between Rose (Billie Piper) and Mickey (Noel Clarke) while they are on the spaceship, and it has a sad but appropriate ending to the story.

    Noel Clarke, David Tennant and Billie Piper in Doctor Who (Via BBC Studios)

    7. Utopia/Sound of Drums/Last of the Time Lords

    This finale is often under-talked about but offers much of what you want with a Doctor Who finale. Massive revelations, great tie-ups with story arcs and someone challenging the Doctor. The biggest talking point from this finale is the spectacular return of the Master, played by the Veteran actor (Derek Jacobi). Despite not having him for long as the actual Master, he plays it sublimely. Showing the anger, smugness and evil within him. And the rest of the finale doesn’t disappoint. The new and very popular master (John Simm) shows a younger, funnier and more energetic side to the villain while still being menacing.

    With the Master returning, this gives more time to focus on the Doctor’s home planet, Gallifrey. Which the Master also comes from. This is explained well and gives us more of a backstory for the Doctor, which adds to his character. Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) and Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) are great alongside the Doctor. They all bring their own spin to the story and integrate with each other very well. Also little shoutout to the ending where Jack reveals he is “The Face of Boe”, which was confirmed by showrunner Russell T Davies. Now, no one was expecting that to be said.

    John Simm as “The Master” in Doctor Who (Via BBC Studios)

    6. The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit

    This mid-season two-parter was the first time The Doctor and Rose were in danger. Coming face to face with true evil in the devil. This is such a cold, dark and brilliantly put-together two-parter. The relationship between Ten and Rose really blossoms here as we see their commitment to each other as friends at the darkest of times. This also introduces the “Ood”. Who are partly the villains but are being controlled by the devil, so we can cut them some slack.

    The crew on board are very well cast. One of the crew possessed by the devil (Will Thorp) plays off a truly despicable villain in human form. The biblical and scientific facts and references make this very balanced and interesting. Introducing the devil as a villain offers an edge-of-the-seat story, as we never know how far the devil will go to get what it wants. But we do know the answer is not good for anyone.

    The Ood in Doctor Who (Via BBC Studios)

    5. The End of Time Part One & Part Two

    Some stories are sad, maybe even bring a tear to an eye. But this full-on had the nation crying buckets, as we saw the end of David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor. Now, while the Doctor may not have been at the forefront of every entry on this list, David Tennant gives an outstanding final performance. And the story is much about him. I think, hands down, this is easily one of The Best 10th Doctor Episodes.

    This also sees the return of the Master, still played by John Simm. And yet again, they play off each other perfectly. The Master is trying to take over the world, and what is no better way to do it than cloning himself onto everyone else? This is a great final story for Tennant to solve and make himself a true hero by saving planet Earth again for the last time but in spectacular fashion.

    David Tennant in Doctor Who (Via BBC Studios)

    The Big Goodbye

    Having Wilfred Mott, played by the late great Bernard Cribbins, as the Doctor’s companion is a stroke of genius. We knew they were close but only got it in short bursts throughout his run. Having them together for a whole two specials signified their relationship with one another. It’s so different yet works, and the journey they both go on feels like a fitting end for the pair.

    When Tennant says goodbye to many of his companions and close friends, which is heartbreaking, we get arguably the biggest regeneration in Doctor Who’s history as we see the Doctor’s Tardis getting destroyed and set alight. His final words, ‘I don’t wanna go,’ proved controversial to some fans, but did show it to be very fitting to something this incarnation of the Doctor would say. He is sorely missed, but the show must go on and cue Matt Smith’s ‘Geronimo’.

    4.  Turn Left / The Stolen Earth / Journey’s End

    This was not Tennant’s official finale. But this was the end for several of the companions and Doctor’s friends and was very well wrapped up in this Doctor Who finale. The importance of the companions cannot be talked about enough as Donna’s half-time lord, half-human brain, almost single-handedly defeats the Daleks (for a while), so the companion’s exits feel well done and accomplished.

    The main theme from this finale is the Daleks trying to take over the universe, wiping out any planets in its way. While not technically a “Three-parter”, these three episodes fit together. Other little stories are being wrapped up, including the whole mystery of Bad Wolf, which has been mentioned in Doctor Who since season 1. And a world where the Doctor is killed in a parallel world, we see all the chaos he fixed being undone, which is a great twist in Turn Left. And the mighty return of Rose Tyler helped get Donna back to the Doctor to stop the Daleks.

    All the extra little scenes with other characters, for example, Captain Jack, Sarah Jane, and even Harriet Jones, squeeze in. They are there for a reason, and all have a part in the bringing down of the Daleks. The dynamic between them all is great. Credit Russell T Davies for bringing many characters into one story and not leaving any out.

    Tennant was amazing as per, or should I say, both Tennants (meta-crisis doctor). The ending for Rose is perfect, and even though Donna has a sad ending, she ends on a high. Shout out to Murray Gold, who needs to be complimented for every entry, especially this story. The music used is beautiful, fitting, and close to perfect. It amplifies everything going on in the story and deserves much praise. 

    3. Blink

    Time for a story that is more wibbly wobbly than any other story. This could be potentially number one, but because of the lack of the Doctor we get in it, it lands in number three, which is still a very respectful place. With The Doctor being zapped back to 1969, we are given a present-day story about a girl called Sally Sparrow. She investigates a creepy house but soon finds out it’s not the house that’s the creepy part.

    The introduction of the Weeping Angels is massive, being used multiple times in other seasons going forward. But this is their first appearance, and it still holds up today as the most remembered episode from the villains. Arguably, it’s the most talked about and viewed episode of New Who. What makes it so popular is the angel’s ability and how clever that fits in with the story.

    Sally Sparrow (Carrey Mulligan), the main character for the episode, does a great job, and we instantly fall in love with her. Her intentions, her character, and her actions are all very understood. As a character taking over the Doctor for a whole episode, you have to have that same interest, and she performed to show and prove it.  The reaction from Blink today is still massively positive and will not change. At the end of the episode, the message leaves it on an eerie note that you should keep your eye on every statue. Because if you blink, you are dead. And what’s the one advice the Doctor gives us at the end? ‘Good Luck’. Great, very helpful.

    2. Human Nature/The Family of Blood

    This two-parter is where Martha (Freema Agyeman) gets her moment and shines. In this episode, the Doctor, or John Smith, has to hide his Time Lord conscious to hide from the family of blood who need the doctor and not in a good way. The story is set one year before the ‘great war’ (World War I).

    The location, costumes and designs are fittingly picked for this type of scenario and offer some great television. The storytelling about the type of warrior the Doctor is, is very well told, giving us an insight into the Doctor’s thoughts and beliefs. The suspense of where the story will go next leaves this very high-up of Doctor Who episodes as one of the best-told stories ever to screen.

    Martha is truly amazing. The spotlight is on her, and watching her interact with a human version of the Doctor is very good, watching her struggle with telling a stubborn human what to do, to open the watch and release the Time Lord back in him. The love story on the side is not too much and gives warmth to the story. The ending with the shots of the cemetery and the music alongside it is a nice touch to end the story, as we are told always to remember them, which carries a strong message to the viewer. It’s almost the best, but not quite. One more story has got to come out on top.

    1. Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead

    This is one of the best-written, acted, and spooky episodes of Doctor Who. Two parters can often be drawn out, but there’s no indication of the amount of plot we get and the way the story is told. The Doctor Donna ends up on a whole planet: a library. (Big library). Early on, we get a sense of unease that something is not quite right when no one can be found. Supposed to be the biggest library in the universe, and there’s no one. But it turns out everyone was stored on a computer to save them from what was lurking in the shadows, The Vashta Nerada.

    The Doctor and Donna are brilliant together and even crack a few jokes despite being stuck in a massive library where the shadows want to eat your flesh. The introduction of River Song (Alex Kingston) is one of the best additions to the show ever, and her story is so original and unique, hence why she is well-loved.

    Seeing her interact and her story develop with other doctors over time makes us appreciate this episode. And tons more as it’s her introduction. But all the more sad when she meets her sad and heroic end. (End for her but only the beginning for us). Is this the best story of Doctor Who ever? Could not answer because of one rule: Spoilers!!


    That’s our round-up of The Best 10th Doctor Episodes. What did you think? Do you agree with our list, or is there a certain episode you think ranks higher? Make sure to let us know via social media.

    Doctor Who will air in November 2023 with three special episodes as the show’s 60th Anniversary headliner event. David Tennant returns as the 14th Doctor alongside Catherine Tate as Donna Noble. Ncuti Gatwa’s first episode as the Fifteenth Doctor will air over the festive period, while his series 14 will debut in 2024 with Millie Gibson. Disney+ will be the exclusive home for new seasons of Doctor Who outside of the UK and Ireland.

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