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8 of the best David Tennant Doctor Who episodes

Wednesday 12th December 2018

The latest Doctor Who series has come to a conclusion, with many fans loving the new change in direction for the BBC programme, which saw Jodie Whittaker take the title role.

While everyone has their favourite incarnation of the time travelling hero, the 21st Century reboot is largely remembered for David Tennant’s time as the Doctor.

Taking on Daleks, Cybermen, and his many companions with ease, Tennant’s Doctor had some of the best storylines to ever grace the show. With Doctor Who currently streaming on Netflix, it’s time to look back and pick the eight best David Tennant episodes of Doctor Who.

The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit

With ‘Oodles’ of horror, “The Impossible Planet”/”The Satan Pit” toyed with the idea that the devil himself was pulling the strings on a planet circling a black hole.

The two-parter really stretched Doctor Who’s budget and took audiences out into the abyss alongside the introduction of the Ood. The squid-like aliens were originally conceived as yet another Who villain but went on to be revealed as oppressed slaves.

With a script that was seemingly written for Christopher Eccleston’s surly version of the Doctor, Tennant still managed to flex his darker side while confronting the demonic entity known as The Beast.

Next Doctor Who odds

School Reunion

A nostalgia-packed trip back to the past of Doctor Who, “School Reunion” appealed to old and new fans alike. Alongside the return of fan-favourite K9, “School Reunion” also brought back Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith.

It was the end of the road for K9 Mark III, but the loyal hound soon found a new lease of life thanks to K9 Mark IV.

Mainly, the episode was a real hint of something more between Rose and the Doctor. Realising she’s not the one-off she thought she was, Rose came down with a case of green eyes in a “missus and the ex” scenario. All in all, it was a great way for Doctor Who to explore a bygone era of the lead’s backstory.

Army of Ghosts/Doomsday

The jury is still out on whether the Daleks or the Cybermen are the big bads of Doctor Who, so why wouldn’t you combine the two for a series finale to end all series finales? Following the rusty return of the Cybermen in “Rise of the Cybermen”/”Age of Steel”, those rockin’ robots were back with a vengeance at the end of Series 2.

Playing with the idea of alternate universes, there was tragedy for the Tyler family, Tracy-Ann Oberman was brilliant as Torchwood's Yvonne Hartman, and a pre-companion Freema Agyeman met her maker as unnamed Torchwood grunt #12.

What makes “Doomsday” particularly stand out from the crowd is the Doctor saying goodbye to Rose in Bad Wolf Bay. Marking the end of Billie Piper’s full-time role as Rose, the character’s swansong proved that the Doctor has a heart (or two).

Turn Left

‘What If’ episodes are always interesting, and Series 4’s “Turn Left” was no different. It was tragic as Donna Noble saw the world fall apart after the ‘death’ of the Doctor. Using a giant scarab beetle as the main villain was largely forgettable, but the rest of “Turn Left” was a thrilling 50 minutes of television.

It paints an interesting picture of what life would be like without the meddling Time Lord, and safe to say, things don’t end well.

With a poignant Butterfly Effect twist, future Donna realises that the only way to save the world was to throw down her life -- talk about cheery!

Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead

Heading to the 51st Century and the echoing emptiness of the universe’s largest library, the carnivorous Vashta Nerada were genuinely terrifying in this two-parter where DT is sidelined in favour of someone altogether more interesting.

“Silence in the Library” goes down in history as the episode that first introduced us to River Song.  Although Song went on to bond with the likes of Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi, her entry to the Whoniverse was ushered in by the Tennant era.

Also, given that “Forest of the Dead” is the definitive moment that River Song dies as a fixed moment in time, there’s something legendary about the concluding part.

The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End

Rounding off Catherine Tate’s tenure as Donna Noble, the climax of series 4 was an all-star ensemble that brought back pretty much anyone who’d made the 21st Century revamp memorable.

Captain Jack, Sarah Jane, Martha, Donna, Mickey, Rose -- let’s also not forget Jackie. All of the above melded perfectly with the cackling Davros and the threat that the universe would be wiped out to leave the Daleks in charge.

There was also the clever return of the Doctor’s severed hand from "The Christmas Invasion" and the introduction of two Tennants. It was double the trouble but also gave Rose Tyler the happy ending she’d longed for. “Journey’s End” marked the end of the era for the show as 2008-2010 replaced a full series with the five Tennant-led specials.


Easily the best monsters invented for the ‘new’ era of Doctor Who, the Weeping Angels had fans reaching for the cushions. Although Steven Moffat had originally envisioned the idea of those stony statues for a movie, the winged menaces worked so much better as a Doctor Who monster.

Carey Mulligan’s Sally Sparrow isa memorable one-off character in yet another Doctor-lite episode. Mulligan has since found Hollywood fame, and it isn’t hard to see why thanks to “Blink”.

Sure, the Weeping Angels returned for arguably better episodes in "The Time of Angels" / "Flesh and Stone", but it’s important to remember where it all started.

The Day of the Doctor

Not just a Tennant adventure, “The Day of the Doctor” was the perfect way to celebrate the show’s 50th anniversary. Combining the talents of Tennant, Matt Smith, and a legendary turn from John Hurt as the ‘War Doctor’, “The Day of the Doctor” did everything right.

Set on the last day of the Time War, it was up to the Doctors past and present to make the toughest decision that has ever faced the troubled Time Lord. It was basically two men comparing the size of their sonic screwdrivers in an episode packed full of fan service.

Paving the way for Peter Capaldi and an even darker era of Doctor Who, sharing the screen between Tennant and Smith was a stroke of genius.

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