The Best ‘Doctor Who’ Episodes for Beginners

My personal favorites, from 10 to 1

10. “The Angels Take Manhattan”: Features companions Amy and Rory for the final time, and the Weeping Angels return (watch "Blink" first).
9. “The Girl in the Fireplace”: A Steven Moffat masterpiece, veering between the 51st century and the Paris of the beautiful Madame de Pompadour. Set during the time of Louis XV, this episode has beautiful costumes, sets, and it’s romantic as well. One of Mr. Moffat’s greatest triumphs.
8. “Human Nature”/”The Family of Blood”: An incredible two-parter in which the Doctor is human, feels real love, and agonizes over his place in the universe. Also, the kid in this one later plays Rafe Sadler to perfection in Wolf Hall.
7. “The Magician’s Apprentice”/”The Witch’s Familiar”: The Master is back, and now she’s Missy, played by the sensational Michelle Gomez. Plus Peter Capaldi references “All The Young Dudes” and plays the Doctor Who theme (and the riff from "Pretty Woman") on guitar.
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6. “Vincent and the Doctor”: Lots of good acting (even by my least favorite Doctor, the hammy Matt Smith) but the real beauty here is when Starry Night comes to life.
5. “Silence in the Library”/”Forest of the Dead”: Meet River Song in the largest library in the universe. Mind the shadows.
4. “Left Turn”: The rare episode that focuses on a companion, in this case, the acerbic Donna. What if she had turned right one morning instead of left, and never met the Doctor?
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3. “Blink”: The brilliant introduction of the Weeping Angels. Masterful writing, nuanced acting, perfectly plotted.
2. “The Waters of Mars”: The Doctor lands on Bowie Base One (no Major Tom on board) on the day the base will be mysteriously destroyed.
1. “Midnight”: The Doctor decides to take a bus ride on a deserted planet to see some natural beauty…things are fine until the bus takes a different route. Add if you like “The Fall,” you will be delighted to see a young Colin Morgan, who plays Tom Anderson.

Read an exclusive interview with Doctor Who show-runner Steven Moffat

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