Entry 3 in our look at the best of the best from NuWho charts a course into the zig zaggy waters of MindF$cks…you know what we mean; that game changing moment in a TV series that leaves you gasping, literally. That dramatic scene rendering you speechless yet compels you to text everyone you know to ask if they had seen it. That moment…when your mind is blown.
Unlike other genre shows that hinged on toying with our mental state on a weekly basis (we’re looking at you LOST) Doctor Who hasn’t made a habit of tossing our mind into the blender, and when it has pushed us to the edge of our breath, it’s been fairly moderate…but damned good. Here are 5 of NuWho’s best MindF&kks/revelations/Holy Crap moments….
UTOPIA/THE MASTER IS YANA – Series 3 followed the successful pattern of the previous two by introducing a loose season long arc with a big bad revealed in the final few stories, and in this case the ultimate villain turned out to be The Master. Which in itself was a departure with dramatic impact because showrunner Russell T. Davies had flatly denied the Master would ever be part of the show. Not bad. But the real WTF moment came when the Doctor realized that The Face of Boe had in fact tried to warn him that he was not the last of the Time Lords. Well played RTD.
LISTEN/WELCOME BACK TO THE FARM – Perhaps the best Capaldi episode so far, Listen was another typical Moffat gem: high brow, fast paced and telling an out of synch time travel story. Early on there was a decent “Did You See That?1” moment when Clara confronts an astronaut on the Tardis (don’t ask) only to find he is a descendant of her boyfriend Danny Pink from the future. But that was just an appetizer for the main course…when the Tardis deposits the Doctor, Clara and Pink Jr. at the farm seen in Day of the Doctor. Which was the Doctor’s home when he was a boy. Oh yeah, and we meet his parents.
BAD WOLF/ IS ROSE– Throughout series 1, the words Bad Wolf had been subtly scattered across the Doctor and Rose’s adventures, and it wasn’t until the final episode that we got a payoff…and it had most of us going from startled to shocked in a matter of seconds when Bad Wolf was revealed as Rose. A uber powerful Rose who went by the name Bad Wolf and set about destroying the Daleks.
THE END OF TIME/HE WILL KNOCK – We’ve got plenty of End of Time in this section, and it hit on a couple of MindF$CKS in both parts one and two; The startling reveal that the Time Lords were (sort of) still alive was the first, but the second was the one that left us breathless. And heartbroken, as the prophecy the Doctor had feared, the 4 knocks spelling his doom were finally revealed…to be cast by Wilf.
THE NAME OF THE DOCTOR/FORGOTTEN DOCTOR – The Series 7 finale has some detractors, but it can’t be said it was lacking in shock value as the closing moments unleashed the stunning reveal that The Doctor…had another regeneration we had never seen. And it was this incarnation of him that fought in the Time War and destroyed both Time Lords and Daleks. Yeah, we had to spend a few minutes collecting our brain matter from the walls too.