Doctor Who is the BEST thing on TV. We know this already. Genre magazine SFX is celebrating their 250th issue with a poll of the greatest 250 moments in sci-fi and fantasy history and it will come as no surprise to you, dear reader, that a scene from OUR SHOW heads the list.
Rose’s farewell to the Tenth Doctor on Dårlig Ulv Stranden (Bad Wolf Bay) was the favourite moment in science-fiction and fantasy as voted by 96,300 readers of SFX. Tennant said:
I feel very lucky to be standing on that beach… Whatever else I do, and wherever else I end up, this will be a moment I am forever proud to look back on.
The scene, from 2006’s series 2 finale Doomsday, is foreshadowed by Rose’s voice-over introduction about her death. Ultimately she doesn’t die but is trapped in a parallel universe where the Doctor cannot reach her. The scene takes place after the Daleks and Cybermen have been sucked back into the “void” and Rose nearly follows them, being rescued by her father from the parallel universe at the last moment.
It came ahead of some uber-classic moments like Darth Vader revealing he is Luke’s father, the chest-burster scene from the original Alien film with the demise of War Doctor, John Hurt’s character. Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Firefly, Bladerunner and The Matrix all make it in to the Top Ten with a couple of surprises and poor old Trek didn’t get a look-in…
So why has this struck such a cord with viewers? Undoubtedly there’s something about the combination of Russell T Davies’ writing and the performances from Piper and Tennant. Billie Piper in particular nails the dialogue – you believe every emotions she goes through and in particular how much it hurts knowing that she can never be with the Doctor again. Tennant pitches it perfectly – the “lonely God” cut off seconds before he can admit his all-too-human feelings (thank goodness – RTD knowing just when to rein it in). The scene rubber-stamps the chemistry that we’d seen between the Doctor and Rose over the first two years of the show’s return – remarkable given that the Doctor had been played by different actors for each year!
We see Rose’s story come full-circle. She had lost a father before she was old enough to know him then got him back. Her boyfriend was a coward but found his chutzpah. Her mother was jumping from bloke to bloke looking for the love she’d lost – and got him back (with another sprog on the way). Rose was in a job she hated but now was doing something that used her skills and challenged her. And at the same time the adventurous life she craved and her best friend – the man she loved – were taken away from her.
And this, I think, is part of what makes the scene stand out so much. When RTD brought the show back, he wasn’t afraid to give it the Buffy treatment and bring love, kissing and *feelings*. Whereas the Doctor had never really been a love interest for other characters or for the audience, he was suddenly, um, kinda cute. And the sort of energetic dazzling chap that a lot of fan-girls (and guys) could get all gooey over. It introduced a whole new viewership to the show and stopped mainstream science-fiction being something just-for-boys. And THIS was where that whole new viewership – in to the lovey stuff – got their dramatic pay-off. Search YouTube for “Doomsday reaction” to see a collection of teenaged emotional meltdowns. Or head over to our article initially announcing the good news to see a breakdown.
But why listen to us when you can take it from the Doctor himself:
I remember worrying on the day we shot this scene that as I was actually a projection from inside the TARDIS my hair shouldn’t be blowing in the wind.
That seemed terribly important at the time, and although we didn’t find a solution to it, it bothered me for weeks. Then I saw the finished scene and of course all that matters is the end of the Doctor and Rose’s story. Russell had weaved some glorious magic for two seasons and it all came together so perfectly in this scene that people still talk to me about it with misty eyes all these years later (and I suspect they always will).
Of course any poll like this is going to have its own biases – fans of particular things being more likely to respond with a vote. What do you think, Kasterborites – agree with the numbers? Is this the greatest moment in sci-fi/ fantasy and more importantly is it the greatest moment in Doctor Who?
Here’s the Top 10, as voted for by SFX readers:
1: Doctor Who – The Doctor and Rose say farewell at Bad Wolf Bay in Doomsday
2: Avengers Assemble – The Hulk destroys Loki
3: Alien – John Hurt’s chest-burster scene
4: Firefly – Mal Reynolds kicks a baddie into Serenity’s engine intake (episode: The Train Job)
5: Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back – Darth Vader reveals he is Luke’s father
6: Blade Runner – Roy Batty’s “Tears in rain” monologue improvised by Rutger Hauer
7: Game of Thrones – “The Lannisters send their regards” (The Red Wedding)
8: The Matrix – Neo dodges bullets in the slow-mo bullet-time scene
9: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Novel) – Dumbledore’s death
10: Back To The Future – “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”
So what do you think? What else should have made it in? And do you agree with me that Susan’s farewell from 1964 easily beats #5…?
(Via D-T News.)