With a new face of each Doctor, we are left with a little a bit of sadness in our heart for the Doctor we have lost to regeneration. This of course, only truly makes sense to my fellow Whovians but I will warn anyone wanting to start the show, Doctor Who is actually quite tragic.
You spend a season or two falling in love with this current “incarnation” if you will just to have the warm comfortable rug ripped out from underneath you when something horrible happens and he has to regenerate. (For the non-Whovians … it’s kind of like cats having nine lives but each time they’ve used up one of their lives, they would look and act like a different cat but retain all it’s previous lives memories.)
What sneaks up on you though, is how attached to the companions and the adventures they share with this “madman in a box.” In each action-packed episode, someone is peril, whether it’s the Doctor, his companions, or some new to us alien race, you get lost in the incredible storytelling and open your hearts the way the companions do. You fall in fully and find yourself struggling with the same moral dilemmas as our favorite characters.
So in honor of the new season of Doctor Who, our new loss of one doctor and the regeneration into our new doctor, I’ve compiled a list of the saddest moments in the “New Who” era. These are just my picks for the saddest moments so I’d love to hear more on your favorites.
Rose Saying Goodbye to 10
What fan could forget the time the Doctor, burned up an alien sun just to see Rose Tyler one last time. Watching her stand on that beach, saying goodbye to the Doctor she fell in love with. As the projection is fading, she finally tells him she loves him and his response, “I suppose it’s my last time to say it, Rose Tyler…” and then he is gone, forever. Holy heartbreak guys. This episode is in the second season so it’s one of our earliest sad moments in the “New Who” era.
Amy Pond Says Goodbye To Her Daughter
While having her daughter taken from her by an evil corporation, Amy takes the time to explain to Melody that her father, Rory, would be looking for her, and that they would never stop looking for her. It’s beautiful to see the love between Amy and Rory, and it’s also heartbreaking having to watch Melody be ripped from Amy’s arms, not knowing if they will ever see each other again.
Donna was not necessarily a fan favorite. Especially when she first appeared on screen. I suppose I can’t speak for everyone but I know a lot of us Whovians were sorely disappointed having to say goodbye to Rose Tyler, just to be faced with this sad yet bold middle-aged companion that couldn’t grasp the concept of traveling with the doctor. What made me end up loving her was the fact that she felt very much like the doctor’s mortal equal. From the episode in Pompeii where she begged the Doctor to just save one family to her final moments with him, she challenged him in many great ways. And it seemed, at least to me, that even he felt like she was his best friend. So when she gets all the knowledge of the universe stuck in her head, the Doctor has to make the decision to wipe her memories and say goodbye to his best friend forever.
If being the very last of your kind isn’t sad enough, if having to say goodbye to numerous companions as you live on for what seems likes forever due to having multiple regenerations doesn’t put a tear in your eye, then how about seeing the Doctor meet his daughter and then watch her sacrifice herself for her father. As confusing as the timelines in Doctor Who are it wasn’t entirely easy to accept the fact the fact that the Doctor had a daughter. And right as you are coming to terms with it, she gets shot and dies in her father’s arms.
Amy Says Farewell
I may be a little partial to Amy and Rory as companions. They were both so incredibly important to the Doctor. Not only are they his mother and father in law but much like Donna was for 10, they were the Doctors best friends. So, after Rory gets taken back to the past by a weeping angel, Amy has a choice to stay with the Doctor and her daughter, River Song, or to let the angel take her back to Manhatten to be with her true love. She already had to live without him for 36 years in the “Girl Who Waited Episode”. And he waited for over 2000 years for her. The thing that’s the hardest about this moment is Amy telling River to look after the Doctor and to be a good girl and then turns to the Doctor, in her very last moment and says, “Raggedy Man … goodbye”. The pain the Doctor is feeling is written and executed so well that I’m welling up just thinking about it.
As I mentioned earlier, timelines get a little wonky throughout Doctor Who, thanks to time being all timey wimey wibbly wobbly, and that just makes River sacrificing herself for the Doctor that much sadder. In a time before they’ve had their adventures together … before he even knows her, River sacrifices herself so that he may live. He tries to get to his Sonic Screwdriver so that he can try and switch places with her and she tells him, “don’t you dare” because it would erase all the memories they have together. And in the final moments before she dies, he realizes, the only reason she would know his true name, is because she is his wife.
Vincent and the Doctor
Perhaps the saddest moment in Doctor Who, at least for me, is the episode in which Eleven and Amy travel to Provence and meet a very troubled Vincent Van Gogh. They defeat a creature together and as a special treat, decide to take Vincent to the present to see how much is art has affected the world, how amazing of a man and artist he is. Re-watching this one for the article has me all choked up again, just like every single time. Vincent is standing in the middle of the Louvre, listening to an art director speak of him with such kindness, such reverie, and Vincent can’t contain his tears. He thanks the man, and they take him back to his time. Excited to see that they made an impact in his life, they rush back to the present to see that the past didn’t change at all. Vincent Van Gogh still took his own life but now, in the gallery, is a special painting he did for Amy.
There were many more I could have added, Amy and Rory alone had so many tragic moments that could have been listed. We’ve lost companions, we’ve lost creatures, been to the end of the world and back. I for one am so unbelievably excited to see where this next season takes us. How many more people are we going to fall in love with just to have them ripped away from us? Every heartbreak is worth it because this show is just that good. It’s worth it.
So now that I’ve shared my saddest moments of Doctor Who, what are yours? And what are you most excited about for Season 12?
Featured image credit: BBC