Doctor Who (2015) - Clara (Jenna Coleman), The 12th Doctor (Peter Capaldi) [Source: BBC]
How would you rank every episode of season eight of Doctor Who? Last year Doctor Who turned 50 and the show just finished it's eight season since being brought back from cancellation in 2005. BBC says the ratings of season 8 are wonderful but it faltered in spots. Last season Peter Capaldi took over as an older, Scottish regeneration of the Doctor. Clara, played by Jenna Coleman, questions her role as the Doctor's companion as she finds love with Danny Pink played by Samuel Anderson.

We're huge fans of Doctor Who so even the worst episode is still amazing. But, here's our attempt to rank every episode of Doctor Who season 8.


1. "Deep Breath"

The best episode of the season has the Paternoster Gang, an exploding dinosaur and the super-creepy clockwork "Half-Face Man" and Clockwork Men. It’s our first look at the new Doctor and it’s brilliantly unsettling. This episode is wonderfully complex and thoughtful as Clara and the audience has to accept a drastically different Doctor. It stands as one of the greatest regeneration episodes along with "The Parting of the Ways", "The War Games" and "Logopolis."

2. "Dark Water"

The secret of the Nethersphere is revealed and the mysterious company 3W finally gets a name: The Three Words ("Don't cremate me!"). The idea that people still feel their bodies after they die sounds like an idea by an "idiot" but the Cybermen reveal totally sells it. Clara's relationship with Danny takes another sad turn after his death and we still miss him. It's too bad he never got to next season. This is one of our favorite episodes and the twist of "Missy" is the most mind-bending of the last four seasons.

3. "Death in Heaven"

The Master returns to glorious form as “Missy” the female regeneration of “The Master” and is both hilarious and terrifying. While the concept of the Cybermen invading Earth is good, and the final moments of Danny Pink is memorable. The finale is the perfect end to the 12th Doctor’s final season, but is so chaotic that it doesn’t top the previous episode. Pink's final moments are heart-breaking though.

4. "Into the Dalek"

While some feel the Daleks are overused, their very name always strikes fear. That's why the idea of a "good" Dalek is so mind-blowing and tantalizing to the Doctor and leads him to some brilliant soul-searching. It's also the first episode featuring Samuel Anderson as Danny Pink.

5. "Robot of Sherwood"

One of the funnier episodes of the season as Robin Hood and the Doctor constantly spar and fight for control. BBC had to cut a beheading scene, so there's a big reveal you miss. The payoff of the robots is a little formulaic, but the overall tone works for the 12th Doctor.

6. " Listen"

Another brilliant Stephen Moffat script leads to a terrifying story about the Doctor's hunt for the "Thing Under The Bed". But, even after all the terrifying moments, it's the first date between Clara and Danny that makes it wonderful. The end is a letdown since we never get to see the enemy we spent the episode waiting for.

7. "Mummy on the Orient Express"

The most terrifying creature of the season is the "Foretold" which attacks someone in 66 horrifying seconds. It's a tense and bold episode, but having Clara separate from the Doctor ruins the wonderful chemistry between them. Plus, the origin of the Mummy is yet another "wounded alien soldier" trope.

8. "Time Heist"

The idea of the Doctor robbing a bank is great, but the episode is uneven. The entire bank robbery should have been a two-part episode, so it felt rushed. The "Teller" who turns people's brains to mush while identifying their guilt is an interesting creature, but not much of one till you got to the twist ending. Just like last season's "Hide" it turns out the monster is motivated by love, and not hate, so it feels too familiar.

9. "Flatline"

"Flatline" has a strange concept about people being turned into graffiti but it plays out well. The hilarious idea that the Doctor is trapped in a shrinking TARDIS allows Clara to play Doctor, and there are few memorable scenes like the Doctor's speech at the end.

10. "Kill the Moon"

Ridiculous scientific errors like the moon being 100 million years old when it's clearly 4.5 billion. It would have been forgivable if the episode had been better. A terrific moral choice at the end that has the same emotional impact as a "very special episode" of Different Strokes.

11. "In the Forest of the Night"

A very poetic and fabled story by Frank Cottrell Boyce that fails to reach any real sense of threat or peril. While it probably appeals to kids with its "Red Riding Hood' elements and precocious children,  adults find it slow and grating.

12. "The Caretaker"

While the interplay between Danny Pink and the Doctor was fun, the episode is just awful. The best Doctor Who episodes have a great villain like the Weeping Angels, Daleks or Vashta Nerada. The Skovox Blitzer is the lamest ever as an aging, clunky and bad-tempered robot. It's like being attacked by Abe Vigoda.

If you watched season 8 which is your favorite episode of Doctor Who and why? Which one did you hate and why? What did you think of this season and the 12th Doctor?

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jeremy [retro] said...

I have only watched about half, I am digging most on the levels that they are presented to us... and outside of being sweet on Clara, I think this Doctor is doing a great job... well until the next Doctor. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Wish I was a fan. Just never got into the show.

Yolanda Renee said...

I saw all the episodes, but I'm still up in the air about whether I liked the season or not. I like that she had a love interest, but I never really felt the love and then he was gone. Don't like that, but I'll have to watch again before I decide. Did enjoy your listing though and your reasoning!

Dave said...

Crikey, my list couldn't be more different:

1 – Dark Water
2 - Listen
3 - The Caretaker
4 - Mummy On The Orient Express
5 - Kill The Moon
6 - Flatline
7 - Deep Breath
8 - Robot Of Sherwood
9 - Death In Heaven
10 - Into The Dalek
11 – In The Forest Of The Night
12 - Time Heist

Clarissa Draper said...

I started watching the show but stopped. Need to get back into it.

Maurice Mitchell said...

We agree on the top ones Dave! Good solid list you have there.

Maurice Mitchell said...

It's a fun ride Clarissa

Maurice Mitchell said...

It's an acquired taste Alex

Maurice Mitchell said...

Clara is one of the finer Companions Jeremy and you gotta love her spunk


Great list! I would have Time Heist higher if not for the predictable and familiar ending. I don't know if you add the Christmas Special "Last Christmas" with season 8 or 9, but it ranked high on my list as well. The Twist of Missy being the Master made me upset at first, only because I wanted the Rani so badly. I thought Michelle Gomez and Peter Capaldi had great chemistry together, then again it might just be that they are both Scottish!

Tony Laplume said...

If I ever get around to diving into Doctor Who...

Sci-Fi Gene said...

I thought both Mummy and Flatline had very strong enemies, something lacking in other episodes. There's been too much humanising of Daleks and Cybermen and of other enemies.

OTOH I think the "ageing soldier" trope being repeated is deliberate, it goes with the idea of this particular Doctor as a military commanding officer, something Danny Pink calls him out on.


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