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Friday, May 24, 2024

Doctor Who – Hitting you right in the feels

Me watching Doctor Who with friends
Me watching Doctor Who with friends

Adventuring through time and space is exciting, dangerous and all wibbly wobbly. At over 900 years old, it is inevitable that our Timelord’s two hearts have been broken, and that he has also broken quite a few. Let’s take a look at those heart-breaking moments that have us quietly snivelling to ourselves hoping that the other people in the room don’t see your complete emotional breakdown.

For the purposes of ease, I am going to stick to new Doctor Who for my choices. I grew up on Who but my memory isn’t great so they only emotional moments I really remember are the ones that left me terrified hiding behind the cushions, usually Dalek related. As this is an article about emotion, I don’t feel it would be right to, well, write about moments that I didn’t actually feel. I hope you don’t mind too much. Let us begin:

Rory decides between his two wives

I’m going to hold my hand up and admit that I’m not a massive fan of Amy. I was never that impressed by the way she treated Rory, she seemed too keen to move to bigger and better things,  to believe he was her true love. But Rory on the other hand worshipped Amy, I had no doubt of his love for her and that he would do anything to save her. That is what makes this moment so very sad.

In The Girl Who Waited Amy is trapped in an accelerated time stream separate from The Doctor and Rory. Things happen and it comes down to this – they arrive in Amy’s time stream only to find it is 36 years in her future and she has been trapped her all alone waiting to be rescued. The Doctor decides they can use her to rescue young Amy through some mind syncing shenanigans. Older Amy realises that by rescuing the younger version she will cease to exist so only agrees to help if the Doctor promises to take both Amy’s.

What comes next is some major Doctor douche-baggery at the expense of Rory’s heart. The Doctor knows this cannot happen, space time implosion, can’t happen, so he has lied to save young Amy.   

Rory must work with his older version wife to rescue his Amy, the problem being this older hardened Amy is still the woman he loves. It is in the last minutes of this episode I hated The Doctor for he did to Rory. 

The best clip I can find for this is in the form of a music video, which I don’t think necessarily portrays the full emotional impact of those closing moments, but you’ll get the idea:

Here’s what you could have won

This moment is towards the end of two part story Human Nature and The Family of Blood. Basically, in order to hide from The Family, nasty aliens looking to consume the mind of a Timelord, The Doctor removes his memory and stores it in a pocket watch. He becomes ‘human’ John Smith and Martha (memory still intact) his ‘maid’ as they settle in 1913 Britain. 

With no memory of being an amazing time travelling alien, the quite normal John Smith falls for a widowed nurse. When The Family track them down Martha must persuade John Smith to open the watch and become the Doctor, the only person who can save them. The one thing that is certain, that all fans know, is that the Doctor will never have that long sought after ideal settled life; but when John and his lady friend hold the watch together, they get a glimpse of the life they could have had:

How to break a mother’s heart

This pick is a personal one and I appreciate not everyone may agree, so let me explain. Being a parent changes you and how you feel. Before you were only ever responsible for your own feelings and emotional well-being, but when you become a parent you have a whole human to worry about and protect. Unfortunately in life there are just some things that you can’t protect them from. One day you may have to tell the little innocent person that actually, bad things do happen, really bad things. That, my friend, is hands down is the hardest thing I have had to do as a parent. To watch your child’s heartbreak before you and be able to do nothing more than to comfort them, in that moment you feels hopeless.

From the Christmas special The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe, this mother has the hard task of telling her children their father has died, the thought of spoiling Christmas has delayed this but the emotional impact is understandably taking it’s toll on her. But what the Doctor says next is something very important and encourages us to make the best times we can because reality is, there will be sad times:

Vincent’s legacy

In this episode The Doctor and Amy have an adventure with Van Gogh. Those of you that aren’t historically illiterate will recall that Van Gogh was a tortured soul. Scholars theorise that he probably suffered from bi polar as well as temporal lobe epilepsy, he drank large amounts of absinthe and even had a stint in an asylum, where he produced some of his best work.

Sadly, this all culminated in his suicide at the young age of 37. So, from the outset of the episode, anyone who really knows Doctor Who will already be aware that there will be no saving him from his fate. However, it is Amy and the Doctor’s attempt to do just that, which is so emotional. They take this tortured man and show him that he is in fact, one of the most celebrated and acclaimed artists in history. The nature of mental illness means it isn’t as simple as that, but this bit right here, man, it gets ya right in the feels:

The Longest good bye

When I watched David Tennant announce is departure as the 10th I cried. One of the most popular incarnations, the 10th Doctor was never going to go without some kind of sentimental swansong. I mean just look at that face:


They didn’t disappoint, because what we got was a whole 10 minutes of him saying goodbye to his companions, changing their futures, doing one last good thing for them. I’m going to acknowledge that in those moments one thought did spring to mind, which served to alleviate the sad for a couple of second, when did Martha marry Mickey?  I mean how did that happen? But nonetheless it all had impact. In amongst these final minutes is a little comedy relief, particularly when it comes to Captain Jack which is a nice, but then there is Rose.

I’m also tagging on our ten’s final words, this Doctor wanted to stay, I wanted him to stay, but it’s not how it works:

Burning up a sun just to say good bye…

I’m sucker for a love story so the developing relationship between Rose and the Doctor was one of my all time favourite arcs. To me they were perfect, he showed her all of time and space and in return she softened that war heavy heart of his.  But, alas, all good things must come to an end and when it was time for Rose to depart, I was struck with one of the most emotional reactions to a TV show I have ever experienced. Seriously, full on sobbing and snot and that awful red blotchy thing that happens to my face. All of this could have been quite embarrassing when you’re watching it with a group of friends, but I didn’t care because, sigh, it’s Rose and The Doctor.

It was bad enough when this happened, Rooooossssseeeeeee!

But then they well and truly finished me off with this:


*Deep breath

There you have it, my top most emotional moments from recent Doctor Who. Researching it has not been easy, to do a proper job I’ve watched these tear inducing moments over again. However, I’m sure people well be annoyed at the moments I have left out and, to be fair, I could have carried on writing this, but it has to end somewhere and so I’ll leave it as this.

If I have made you cry well, I’m not sorry. That is what makes Doctor Who so great and such a success. In amongst the adventuring, the fun and quirkyness, it still manages drama and twists, and those unexpected moments that have in you rummaging around in your pocket for a crumbled up, long forgotten tissue.

Feel free to share your heart breaking moments in the comments below


Becca Harper
Becca Harperhttp://geekparenting.tumblr.com/
Editor and occasional writer for Geek Pride! I prefer Star Trek over Star Wars, collect comics and wish I could be a superhero one day. I tabletop RPG as well as a little gaming, design the odd t-shirt now and again, update my Geek Parenting Tumblr and when I have cash to spend (which is rare) I scour the internet for Wonder Woman collectables. Also Doctor Who and Firefly rock!!

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