14 THE GLIMPSE OF GALLIFREY
The CG FX providers at The Mill outdid themselves with this one, bringing true majesty, mysticism and sense of wonder to such an important part of Who mythology. It certainly wiped all memories of the MFI Gallifrey of “Arc Of Infinity”.
15 IT’S OKAY TO CRY
In the entire history of the original show there were probably only three truly tearjerking moments, but New Who has been unapologetically full of them: Rose’s farewell, Donna’s fate, Pete Tyler’s sacrifice, Sarah Jane turning down the offer to travel with the Doctor again. But the biggest weepfest of all has to be the final few minutes of “Family Of Blood” in which writer Paul Cornell keeps ramping things up (John Smith’s lost future, Joan refusing to join the Doctor) until the final whammy – the Poppy Day memorial scene – leaves even the coldest-hearted cynic a blubbering wreck.
16 VOTE SAXON
And the way it lead to spontaneous, fan-lead viral marketing. Admit it, you stuck a poster up in your local shopping centre, didn’t you?
17 MAKING BRITISH SCI-FI JOYOUS FOR A CHANGE
Traditionally British TV sci-fi has been dour and cynical. From Quatermass to Blake’s 7 and Survivors, things have been grim and desperate. But New Who has been full of joyous, uplifting, life-affirming moments. As the fourth Doctor said, “What’s the point of being grown up if you can’t be childish?” and New Who has reawakened our sense of wonder with outlandish aliens and audaciously silly concepts. You will believe a TARDIS can tow the Earth back into orbit, or that aliens look like rhinos, or that the Doctor could ride a horse through a mirror, or that your teachers could be flying reptiles. Or maybe not, but you'll want to believe it.
18 IT MADE BAD IDEAS WORK
The ability of the show to turn the tide of teeth-gnashing fan opinion has been simply awesome. A pop singer as a companion?! It’ll be a disaster! Two years later it’s, “Billie, don’t leave us!” Surely Catherine Tate was going to be dire, though? THE RATINGS WILL PLUMMET! Um, no… she was one of the best companions ever, and ratings grew. Generally fans were happy to admit they were wrong to worry, with only a few surly die-hards refusing to change their opinion. But forums would be a duller place without them.
19 THE WEEPING ANGELS
Scariest. Monsters. Ever.
20 MURRAY GOLD’S MUSIC
Okay, he has his detractors, but mostly the problem with the music has been the sound balance levels rather than Gold’s work. It seems that directors sitting in edit suites with all the latest sound tech around them forget that most of us at home have much more basic systems and what sounds great in Super Dooper Surround 4.0 often becomes more of an aural onslaught pumped out of a small TV set at home. But, gripe over, Gold has given us some stunning, emotional and truly cinematic themes over the years, pieces that underscore the action perfectly and sound great in isolation too. Among our faves are his Pirates Of The Caribbean-esque “All The Strange Strange Creatures" (the one used whenever the Doctor gets all heroic), the Ennio Morricone-inspired score to Rose's farewell and the melancholically beautiful “The Dream Of A Normal Death" from “Family Of Blood”. And let’s big up “Song For Ten” again, too.
Go to SFX’s fave things about New Who 21 to 27