10 Best Episodes of Doctor Who (David Tennant) | TheReviewGeek Recommends


Doctor Who is one of the longest running sci-fi shows on TV – and for good reason. The series constantly reinvents itself with its ingenious “regeneration” idea, which sees our protagonist change to a brand new character.

Since 1963, Who has delivered some outstanding episodes, and this time we turn out attention to David Tennant’s tenure. So strap in, get your sonic screwdrivers ready, and join us as we celebrate the best this long-running show has to offer.

As a quick heads up, we’ve added two-part episodes as one choice here, and the list below is in no particular order. Of course do feel free to comment with your thoughts below. Do you agree with our picks? Have we missed your favourite episode? Get in touch and let us know!

Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead (Season 4, Episodes 8 & 9)

This two-part episode begins with the Doctor and Donna Noble landing in a planet-sized library in the 51st century. The Library has been sealed for 100 years due to a threat of “silence in the library.” They are quickly joined by a group of archaeologists, led by Professor River Song, who has a close and mysterious connection with the Doctor, even though he’s meeting her for the first time.

It’s revealed that the Library is infested with the Vashta Nerada, flesh-eating creatures that typically live in the shadows and appear as dust in sunlight. Donna is “saved” from the library, leading to a desperate search to get her back.

The introduction of River Song, a character who plays a significant role in the Doctor’s future, is a particular highlight of this storyline, with her “out of sync” relationship with the Doctor opening the door nicely for Steven Moffat to take over as showrunner from season 5 onwards.

The Vashta Nerada create a sense of intense fear, presenting a terrifying enemy that’s already everywhere, in the shadows, and repeating a simple line of dialogue in a very chilling way. This one’s a must-watch.

Blink (Season 3, Episode 10)

Blink is regarded by many as the best Nu-Who Doctor Who episode, which is ironic given it barely features The Doctor. Instead, the story’s protagonist is Sally Sparrow, who uncovers a mystery involving the Weeping Angels – creepy statues that move when not observed.

With only a video from The Doctor to go on, who’s stuck in 1969, Sally must decipher cryptic clues left by the Doctor to stop the Angels from taking the TARDIS and feasting on the time energy inside.

Blink is one of the most inventive episodes of Who, no doubt, and the Weeping Angels are among the series’ most terrifying monsters. The narrative is compelling, and Sally Sparrow is a memorable one-off character, who’s right at the heart of this one as the show cleverly uses time travel to reveal some big surprises.

Turn Left (Season 4, Episode 11)

We’ve all wondered what would happen if we made different choices in life. Well, in this episode, Donna Noble encounters a fortune teller who tricks her into changing her past — making a different decision at a critical point in her life, turning right instead of left, hence the episode title.

This leads to an alternate timeline where Donna never actually met the Doctor, resulting in disastrous consequences for Earth. With the help of Rose Tyler from a parallel universe, Donna must correct the timeline before it’s too late.

“Turn Left” is a unique episode that explores a fascinating ‘what if’ scenario, showing the significant impact the Doctor and his companions have on the universe. Donna’s character development is outstanding here too, showcasing her bravery and determination. Rose’s return is also another particular highlight, setting up the grand finale of the fourth season.

Utopia (Season 3, Episode 11)

The Doctor and Martha Jones are joined by Captain Jack Harkness, who hitches a ride on the TARDIS when they visit the end of the universe. There, they meet Professor Yana (played by the brilliant Derek Jacobi), a brilliant scientist who is helping the last humans reach “Utopia.”

However, Yana is hiding a dark secret and it could well be linked to the same pocket watch we saw earlier in the season within Human Nature.

“Utopia” reintroduces one of the Doctor’s oldest foes in a shocking twist at the end. It also sees the return of Captain Jack Harkness too. The narrative is suspenseful and atmospheric, exploring themes of despair and hope in the face of the end of the universe.

It’s an episode that ties earlier ideas in the show to the upcoming two-parter to close out season 3, and shows off an intriguing and interesting threat, one that’s been under our noses the entire episode.

Midnight (Season 4, Episode 10)

The Doctor is trapped on a shuttle with several others when a mysterious entity begins to possess the passengers. With Donna Noble chilling elsewhere, leaving our Time Lord all on his own, The Doctor finds his situation worsening as the entity begins to mimic them, leading to paranoia and fear among the group. The Doctor is forced to find a way to defeat the entity before it’s too late, but this may be his toughest task yet.

This episode works as an intense psychological drama, playing on the absolute worst parts of humanity and showing how quickly people can turn on each other. Tennant’s performance is especially powerful in this episode, owing to the fact our Time Lord’s usual array of quips, jokes and one-liners are rendered moot.

Human Nature/ The Family of Blood (Season 3, Episodes 8 & 9)

The Doctor uses a device called the Chameleon Arch to transform himself into a human named John Smith, intending to evade an alien race called the Family of Blood, who want to take his Time Lord life force.

John Smith, now a schoolteacher in 1913 England, falls in love with a school nurse called Joan but he doesn’t have any of his memories. Martha most certainly does, and watches from afar, acting as his maid and trying to ensure John Smith’s safety, reminding him of his true identity when the time is right.

This episode adds a new perspective to The Doctor character, while the historical setting provides an engaging backdrop too. Many fans agree that Human Nature is the turning point in season 3, which really feels the absence of Rose Tyler, the Doctor’s popular and long-running companion. Until this point, Martha Jones hadn’t really been used all that well, but this is the turning point to show she can definitely run with the Time Lord.

Army of Ghosts/Doomsday (Season 2, Episodes 12 & 13)

In these episodes, the Doctor and Rose return to modern-day Earth to find it plagued by ghostly apparitions. These ‘ghosts’ are actually Cybermen from a parallel universe who are manipulating the walls of reality. Simultaneously, the Daleks emerge from a mysterious sphere in Torchwood Tower.

A catastrophic conflict between the Cybermen and the Daleks threatens Earth, packing both episodes with dramatic action, emotional twists, and turns. The ending is absolutely gut-wrenching too, marking the end of Rose Tyler’s regular stint as a companion.

The farewell scene between the Doctor and Rose on Bad Wolf Bay is particularly touching and memorable; good luck getting through those scenes without shedding a tear!

The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit (Season 2, Episodes 8 & 9)

The Doctor and Rose land on a sanctuary base located on a planet orbiting a black hole, seemingly defying the laws of physics. The crew on the base is drilling into the planet, hoping to harness the energy of the power source within.

As they dig deeper, they unwittingly awaken an ancient evil entity claiming to be the Beast, which feeds on chaos and takes over one of the crew members, causing havoc on the base. With the TARDIS lost and The Doctor forced to confront his worst nightmares, everything quickly spirals out of control.

These episodes are a tense blend of sci-fi and horror, pushing the Doctor to question his understanding of the universe, particularly regarding religion and demonic figures. The relationship between the Doctor and Rose is explored in-depth too, given the pair believe they have no way out of this situation. This adds an emotional layer to the narrative, while the suspenseful atmosphere and the iconic Ood, makes the story a standout.

The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End (Season 4, Episodes 12 & 13)

The Earth is stolen and relocated by the Daleks, led by their creator, Davros. As chaos reigns, former companions and allies of the Doctor — including Rose Tyler, Martha Jones, Donna Noble, Sarah Jane Smith, and Captain Jack Harkness — band together to contact the Doctor and fight back.

The Doctor’s regeneration process is triggered too, but he halts it with the help of a regeneration chamber, leading to the creation of a human-Time Lord hybrid.

These episodes mark the culmination of multiple story arcs from the era of Russell T. Davies, bringing together the best parts of four seasons of TV and marking an incredible run of 6 fantastic episodes in a row. The gathering is a fan-pleasing move, while the showdown with the Daleks adds thrilling stakes, especially as Donna’s narrative arc reaches a heartbreaking conclusion.

The Girl in the Fireplace (Season 2, Episode 4)

The Doctor, Rose and Mickey arrive on a spaceship in the 51st century, where they find time windows leading back 18th century France. There, they encounter Madame de Pompadour, with whom the Doctor forms a close bond.

The crew of the spaceship, however, are under threat from clockwork androids who believe they need Madame de Pompadour’s brain to fully repair their ship, which is made from different human parts.

This episode is a beautifully crafted mix of sci-fi and romance. The relationship between the Doctor and Madame de Pompadour adds a layer of depth and emotion to the narrative that hadn’t been seen all that much during season 1.

So there we have it, our picks for the best David Tennant Doctor Who episodes. There are so many great choices missing from this list too, including Tennant’s final two-parter where he eventually regenerates, the first arrival of the Cybermen in season 2, and even the 50th anniversary special, which saw a big reunion of Doctors grace out screen.

These ten episodes are just a small sample of the show’s many highlights. Of course, do feel free to let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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