SFs 26 Greatest Tearjerkers (15-11)

15 STAR TREK
Opening scene

A bang up-to-date entry here, with that heart-string-tuggingly overwrought opening scene to JJ Abrams’ Trek reimagining, in which we learn where Kirk’s hero-gene came from. At least Kirk Snr had a good excuse for not being there at the birth.

Blublines: “What are we going to call him?"
“We could name him after your father.”
“Tiberius? You kidding me? No, that's the worst. Let's name him after your dad. Let's call him Jim.”

14 QUANTUM LEAP “Mirror Image”
The final caption

Yep – you voted for a caption, but few would deny the bleak impact of Quantum Leap‘s final sign off. It’s made even more poignant by the fact that he‘s just changed history so that his pal Al is reunited with his wife. One minute Sam’s telling Beth, "Instead of starting with once upon a time, let's start with the happy ending. Al's alive. He's coming home.” The next we’re told Sam‘s never coming home. There’s no happy ever after for the man devoted to engineering happy ever after.

Blublines: "Instead of starting with once upon a time, let's start with the happy ending. Al's alive. He's coming home."

13 STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK
The final voyage

Kirk and co abandon ship and let the Klingons on board. One detail Kirk forgets to mention: he's set the Enterprise self-destruct. In a special FX bonanza the ship truly deserves, she explodes and then burns up in the atmosphere of a nearby planet like a shooting star. Kirk may have found Spock, but he's lost another dear old friend. And so have we.

Blublines: "My God, Bones, what have I done?”

12 DOCTOR WHO “Doomsday”
Burning a star for Rose

It starts when Rose’s mascara starts running as she leans against the now-closed gateway to another dimension, with the Doctor mere inches away in terms of geography, but a universe away in terms of emotion. It ends with the Doctor burning up a sun to reach across that universe to say goodbye, as a spectral figure on a Norwegian beach. Murray Gold’s melancholic Morricone-esque score – delicately holds the whole sequence together like the gossamer surface of a soap bubble, ready to burst at any second.

Blublines: "It takes a lot of power to send this projection. I’m in orbit around a supernova, burning up a sun, just to say goodbye.”

11 THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE
The final few chapters

In a book about time travel, we're given plenty of foreshadowing of what’s on the cards for temporally-challenged Henry, but that doesn’t make his death any less emotional, as he dies in the arms of his wife. The real tearjerker, though, is the fact that he tells his wife that they she will only see him once again in the timeline of her life – which she does when she is 82 and he is still 43.

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