Tears of a Time Lord
As you may have noticed by now, Doctor Who has the strange ability to turn everyone who watches it into emotional wrecks. Maybe it's because the fans who watch it are so invested? Or maybe it's because travelling through time and space in the blue box actually makes for some pretty heartbreaking situations? Who knows? Whatever the reason, we've trailed through and compiled ten of the saddest moments from the show just so you can relive the pain and trauma all over again. Aren't we nice? As we count down to Doctor Who's return in series nine on Saturday (BBC One in the UK, BBC America in the US), look out for more great Time Lord-related features on GamesRadar+ this week. Read more about the new series in the latest issue of SFX, on sale now. You can also prepare for the new series by reading our series eight reviews.
The Goodbye on Bad Wolf Bay
It is perhaps the apex of Doctor Who heartbreak: the Tenth Doctor, tear running down cheek, being separated from the love of his life by a parallel world. Finding a way to at least send a farewell message through the dimensions, he tells Rose that, I'm burning up a sun just to say goodbye making every other boyfriend look a bit crap. The real moment comes, though, when the Doctor's message cuts out right before he can say those three little words leaving a whole generation of heartbroken fans to make black and white YouTube videos to try and get over the loss.
Never trust a hug...
Series eight of Doctor Who saw a new dynamic for the Doctor and Clara; a dramatic shift from the wacky Matt Smith and his saccharine sidekick, to a far angrier, more charismatic pairing with Twelve and Clara instead. In the final episode, their bickering relationship was perfectly cemented by a pack of lies and a not-quite hug, as Clara fibs about Danny still being alive, and the Doctor in turn pretends that he has found Gallifrey As they embrace, both masking their sadness, Clara asks why the Doctor doesn't like hugs. Never trust a hug, he says. It's just a way to hide your face. A line to smash the coldest of hearts.
The Doctor lets his granddaughter go
Classic Doctor Who didn't really go in for heartbreak not compared to the modern show anyway. Yet one of its more poignant moments comes right at the beginning, with the First Doctor and his granddaughter Susan. The actual moment itself is weird: the Doctor basically ignoring the teenager's pleas and stranding her on a war-torn planet. But forget that right now; for it's the emotional goodbye speech from the usually steely Hartnell that resonates. One day, I shall come back, he says. Yes, I shall come back. Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine.
Donna gets her memory erased
It's hardly an easy task being the Doctor's companion, but it's fair to say that some got it worse than others. While Amy suffered at the hands of the Weeping Angels, and Martha suffered the fate of being married to Mickey, poor ol' Donna Noble (the self-confessed "temp from Chiswick") was dealt the unfair blow of having all her memories with the Doctor erased. A death by any other name. It was made far worse, however, when the Doctor brought Donna home, telling her grandad Wilf he of the dreaded wobbling lip that she must never know how important she really is.
The Weeping Angels finally get the Ponds
The tribulations of being a married couple and time travellers finally caught up with Amy and Rory during "The Angels Take Manhattan", when one of Steven Moffat's most deadly creations, the Weeping Angels, zaps them back to 1940s New York a place and time that the Doctor can never visit for some weird reason.
The Doctor is too late for Madame De Pompadour
David Tennant's Doctor was never exactly shy when it came to the ladies, but his many (many) encounters didn't quite hit home as much as his meeting with Madame DePompadour in 18th century France. After rescuing her from a spaceship that mysteriously needs to function on her body parts, the Doctor can't quite overcome a greater enemy: time. He returns for Madame De Pompadour four years too late to find out she has died and, upon reading a letter left for him in case he ever returned, the Doctor learns that she never stopped hoping he would come back, leaving him utterly bereft.
Sarah Jane Smith leaves the TARDIS
There was no soaring music when Sarah Jane Smith left Doctor Who; no dramatic plot twist or teary Time Lord. It was just surprisingly ordinary. The Fourth Doctor has been summoned to Gallifrey, and Sarah Jane is not allowed to go so she leaves. That's it. Packs her bags and goes. What makes it emotional, mind, is what's unsaid the crackling in Sarah Jane's voice, the quiet, repressed regret of Tom Baker's Doctor. Neither of them want to go. Don't forget me, she says. And he never did.
I don't want to go
A thousand fan Tumblr accounts will gently inform you of how popular David Tennant was during his tenure in Doctor Who. However, when it finally was time to hang up his billowing brown coat, Russell T Davies (who was also leaving) made sure the actor got a hell of a goodbye in the process. In the final 10 minutes of The End Of Time, Part II, the Doctor says goodbye to the characters who helped truly bring the rebooted Doctor Who back to life, with trips to see Sarah Jane, Donna, Jack, Martha, Joan, and of course, Rose. If all that wasn't enough, the shot of David Tennant's sorrowful big brown eyes as he says I don't want to go was the final punch to the gut.
The death of John Smith
The Doctor may get to live hundreds of years and explore all of time and space, but he will never live a normal, human life. In The Family Of Blood/Human Nature, however, he finally does, when he hides his Time Lord presence from a hungry alien family. In doing so, he turns into John Smith, a bumbling 1913 teacher. As it turns out, though, John is too human, and falls in love with the school nurse Joan. When the aliens devastate his village to try and find the Doctor, John must make the choice to change back, tearfully leaving Joan in the process.
Amy Pond learns she can't save Van Gogh
Richard Curtis's "Vincent And The Doctor" is one of the most powerful episodes of Doctor Who there is, a delicate and sensitive take on Vincent van Gogh's battle with depression. Its sledgehammer moment comes right towards the end, though, with Amy desperately trying to show Van Gogh how much he has to live for taking him into the future to reveal his legacy. Despite being moving him to tears, however, it is just not enough some monsters are just too big. For more on top sci-fi TV shows like Doctor Who, subscribe to SFX