10 Most Skippable Doctor Who Episodes

Categories: Doctor Who

Between the Christmas Special, the second half of Series 7 including the return of Neil Gaiman and the Cybermen, and all the magic of the 50th Anniversary special(s) that I can dream about, Doctor Who has left little room in my brain for anything else. So to tide me over, I've been rewatching the series again.

And you know what? There really are some episodes that you don't have to live through a second time. In the spirit of my New to Who FAQ, I present this list of adventures that you can totally skip past if you're not feeling it because they A) Are not that great, and B) Don't really matter much in the long run.

Note: These are presented in chronological order, not by ranking.

Boom Town: As much as it pains me to skip any of the few Ninth Doctor stories available, "Boom Town" is really lacking in any point. The Slitheen were never very good villains, more an excuse to use a bunch of fart jokes, and we spend most of the episode watching Rose being conflicted between The Doctor and Mickey...something that literally no one can conceive of.

Love and Monsters: Otherwise known as 'The One with the Ridiculous Scooby Doo Chase Scene." Even the Fifth Doctor mocked it in "Time Crash." Plus, the ending where The Doctor "saves" Moaning Myrtle's life as a sentient face in a piece of paving stone is one of the most horrifying things ever placed in the show since Elton implies that he still has sex with her in this state.

Fear Her: It's understandable that "Fear Her" isn't very good since it was really just a low-budget replacement for another episode that got pushed back. That doesn't change the fact that whoever directed Abisola Agbaje to use an "evil voice" didn't realize that all they really did was make us wonder why no one gave the child with a sore throat a lozenge. The episode did give us the perfect shots to Photoshop David Tennant into the Olympics this year, though. That's something.

Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks: The Doctor really needs to stay away from New York. Everything goes wrong and it's always stupid. In this case, we get to see a human/Dalek hybrid that looks more like a Sid and Marty Krofft creation. It's almost merciful to see him killed.

The Wasp and the Unicorn: This episode is the one that proves Doctor Who needs to occasionally do historical episodes rather than insisting on aliens at every turn. The murder mystery aspect of it is fine, and the scene where Donna has to save The Doctor from being poisoned is comedy gold. Whenever the big alien bug shows up, it absolutely ruins the pacing completely. Seriously, the classic series was fine with the occasional pure history outings. Not everything needs special-effect antagonists.

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I would not include The Waters of Mars or The God Complex in this list. They were both incredible episodes that showcased some of The Doctor's more unlikeable and suppressed characteristics. TWOM showed his vanity and narcissism while TGC showed how he uses others to build himself up, he is selfish. The episodes were refreshing because I actually found myself getting angry with him when he stopped being the silly hero and was more the mad man with box.


I guess the key word is "skippable" because Last of the Time Lords is the most horrid ending to an otherwise brilliant 3-part story.  The Doctor becomes ... wait for it ... Tinkerbell !!!  But, you can't skip it, and in a way, isn't that worse? 

So, most people believe that all of Doctor Who until 2005 is skippable, but I'll let that go.  You cannot convince an idiot they are an idiot. 

1. Love and Monsters - Just awful.  It's actually a great idea and I love ELO. It just isn't Doctor Who and that's bad when the show has a really open format.  

2. The Next Doctor - The CyberKing?  Plus, David Morrissey, an excellent actor in everything, clearly phoned this one in.  Actually, the entire series of specials is skippable, apart from the regeneration.  In the dying words of Captain Kirk "Oh my ..." 

3. The Idiot's Lantern and The Lazarus Experiment - Mark Gatiss has done some better work since for the show, but these were forgettable outings.  

4. The Shakespeare Code - Er, "Not to be" would have been my answer.  

5. Night Terrors - Usually shows improve on repeat viewings.  This one dies a bigger death on each viewing. 


I really like Love and Monsters. It's a nice love letter to the entire concept of DW fandom -- the little community that grows from people whose lives were briefly touched by the Doctor. It also gives those fans a nudge to not take it too far and act creepy. You don't want to upset Rose's mum, after all.

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