So there we have it, the twelve weeks every year that Whovian’s love is over. Sure, we have the Christmas special, The Husbands of River Song to look forward to in just under three weeks, but this list is going to be a ranking of the episodes of Series 9. This is all my opinion. I hardly expect you to agree with me wholeheartedly, but just remember everyone is entitled to an opinion. This part will focus on episodes that rank from 12-7 and tomorrows part will focus on 6-1.
Anyway, let’s get this started.
12. Sleep No More
The less said about this episode the better. Sure, it was an experimental episode by Mark Gatiss and if you see it as an experimental piece of television is holds up slightly better. But the problem is, this isn’t just television. This is Doctor Who. Maybe if Gatiss got the two parter he wanted, it would have been more successful, but I guess we’ll never know.
11. The Woman Who Lived
Maisie Williams’ second episode in Series 9 was set up to be something interesting. Another take on an immortal character; whilst Captain Jack was immortal and used it to try and make the world a better place (yes, I’m aware that didn’t always happen, especially in Children of Earth), Ashildr/ Lady Me seemed to want vengeance on the Doctor. Which is understandable. This episode would have probably ranked higher on this list if it wasn’t for the total unnecessary inclusion of the Cat-Man-Thing, Leandro, who served no purpose to the narrative of the story at all.
10. Under The Lake
A base under siege story again. The Doctor and his companion trapped away from the TARDIS again. A looming, imposing threat. Again. To me, this story seemed like we’ve already done it a fair number of times. Sure, there have to be limits after 52 years of recycling ideas, but for me, Under The Lake was okay at best. I am not saying that it’s a bad episode, far from it, it’s just that the calibre of Series 9 has been so high, it makes these lists really difficult.
9. The Girl Who Died
Maisie Williams in Doctor Who! Vikings! Something I’m surprised hasn’t really been done before. The only reason that this episode is number 9 really, and not number 10 is the revelation of the Doctor remembering why he chose this face. I have to admit, it was a bit of a rushed job, and very anticlimactic, but overall the episode worked well, even with the plot holes.
8. Before The Flood
I have to admit I have a soft spot for Before The Flood, mainly because it tries to put a new twist on the classic base under siege story. This time the Doctor goes back in time before the events of the previous episode to try and work out what had happened. I admit, the Fisher King was underused and not really a threat apart from being incredibly tall, but the episode was still rather good.
7. The Magician’s Apprentice
Things are getting really tough now, because I really liked this episode as a series opener. It was big, bonkers and captured the audience; which is exactly what a series opener should do. We had the Daleks. We had Missy. We had the revelation of Davros played by Julian Bleach again! We had the Doctor playing electric guitar on a tank! I realise I gave this episode quite a low score on the review, but that’s mainly because there were a lot of questions for the follow up episode to answer. Something we’ll come to in the next article.