12 Days of Christmas – Day 3


Hello-ho-ho! And welcome to another New Series question as we count down the RTD/Tennant/Tenth Doctor/2009 Specials days…

Question 3: What – to your mind – is the story that best exemplifies the style of the new series?

(Note: your answer needn’t be a positive one if you insist, but it’s Christmas after all, so think about the kids…)

4 Responses to “12 Days of Christmas – Day 3”

  1. Al Says:

    Ho-ho-hawsome banner picture, Peter – the best yet!

    Difficult one this, but I’d have to pick ‘Parting of the Ways’. It’s the first of the huge, effects-heavy ‘US-style season finales’ (the original series usually only had ‘end-of-season limps to the finish line’ as the budget, time and energy evaporated).
    It exemplifies the power of the ‘little people’ to make a difference (Jackie and Mickey’s rallying to help Rose get back to the Doctor are still among the most affecting scenes ever). And with Rose literally becoming a Goddess, it’s the pinnacle of the companion’s power to change events rather than be at the mercy of them.
    And in the case of the ninth Doctor, it also typifies his dependence upon his friends and allies, rather than being a one-man revolution.
    We also have the Doctor locking lips twice – once with the companion and even with another man – and we barely batted an eyelid (maybe we’re growing up!)
    The more cynical among us would also point to the Rusty ‘deus ex machina ending’, although I’d argue that in this case, it’s the whole point of the story and he knew exactly what he was doing.
    I could go on and on, but I’ll finish by mentioning that repeated viewings of Parting of the Ways still create an embarrassing welling of fluid in the corner of my… wait for it… eyes – something which the original series never did.

  2. the_other_dave Says:


    Now I was thinking of trying to find a way to make a Moffat story work here, but Al makes such good points I’m inclined to agree. Other things to consider with Parting:
    – first explanation/reveal of a series meme (and I feel, one of the more satisfactory ones – though we have yet to have “THE DARKNESS” revealed (and for that matter the suns going out – same thing or will we find out in a week or so? Possibly not as the whole Master/Saxon thing couldn’t have occurred in the Turn Left universe… anyway)),
    – “Coward or Killer” big decisions (and I was always less sure of these with Tennant’s Doctor),
    – the loneliness and loss of being a Timelord (sending Rose back, and doomed love generally),
    – the return of the Daleks to being drones of a puppetmaster/leader – Emperor/Cult/Sec/Davros/Supreme/Rice Pudding (and, in fact, alien races in general having feature Cyberleader/giant brain/Satan/ priestess/Mastermind loci),
    – Doctor’s actions having consequences, not always pleasant.
    – It also marked the start of the BBC licensed spoiler machine advertising things that detracted from their “surprise” appearance on screen.
    – And of course the first appearance of the now obligatory “end of season departure” and “christmas cliffhanger”.

    Good call that man.

  3. Foo Says:

    This is a much tougher question, especially after having just answered the two previous ones. I have to say it that for me, it would have to be a Tennant story, but as to which one, I don’t really know. I think that series one was settling into a style but was also experimenting a little and had more misses than later seasons.

    Dave and Al, you both raise some very good points for The Parting of the Ways and it does really set up a bit of a template for series two through four.

  4. Peter A Says:

    I’d sat this one out so Al would get a chance and look what happens! Interesting that everyone’s chosen something from Eccleston’s tenure.

    I’m no different, but my nomination is The Doctor Dances with bits of The Empty Child thrown in. Why? Well because

    1. Its setting is very British, as the new series played to its strength. Its sense of history is still the immediately recallable aspect (even if to its youngest audience the Second World War is the history of their great great or great great great grandparents).

    2. There’s an immediately mimic-able figure in the gas mask child – surely more playgrounds saw re-enactments of ‘Are You My Mummy?’ than a Slitheen ‘I’m Shaking My Bootie’? I hope so anyway.

    3. Captain Jack.

    4. Rose on a rope, lots of derring-do set pieces – we’d see more of these, admittedly more from the Doctor in Tennant’s reign, but still.

    5. The human element through Dr Constantine, and the family element as well- very strong themes in New Series stories

    6. Great one liners and non-sequiters. Bananas are good – it could be a Tennant line, that’s how much this story ‘imprints’ on what follows, and yet..

    7. It carries the New Adventure pedigree, notably the NA Human Nature‘s “Nobody dies tonight”. It’s no adaptation, but is as much informed by those stories as the actual adaptations were. And finally…

    8. Scares. Genuinely creepy and strong undercurrents of writing beneath. Many of us might have thought Rob Shearman’s story to be the one to watch of the non-RTD stories (or maybe Paul Cornell’s), but Moffat’s New Series debut sets the scene, and we’ve had an equal mix of comedy, action and scares since. Oh, alright one more…

    9. Whether you buy into the conspiracy theory or not: G*y Ag*nda…

    10. The Empty Child – you can dip in from this episode and need know nothing about the series to enjoy it. And you’ll be sold by the end of episode two.

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