HANG ON A MINUTE… “Dragonfire”, episode one (1987)
What a wheeze, they must have thought back in 1987, to have an actual, literal cliffhanger at the end of an episode. It would have been nice if it had been plotted and had some motivation behind it. But no, instead, Sylvester McCoy climbs over some railings and hangs off a cliff of ice by his stupid question mark umbrella for no apparent reason whatsoever (it all made sense in the original script, we’re told), gurning away as he slides to certain doom! And what kind of hero has to be saved by Sabalom bloomin’ Glitz?
TIME CHANGES EVERYTHING The TV Movie (1996)
Oh, fiddlesticks! One-night-only companion Grace and “the Asian Child” Chang Lee are dead at the hands of the Master. No worries, though – the TARDIS is a time machine, so why not take it back in time a few minutes to when they were alive? Huh? Sorry, America – it doesn’t work like that. A worrying sign of the baggy science that would have followed had Doctor Who become a proper US series back in the ‘90s.
GONE WITH THE WIND “Rose” (2005)
The first of series one’s trademark bodily function jokes. As if to prepare us for the farting onslaught that was “Aliens Of London”, Mickey comes a cropper to a wheelie bin controlled by the Nestene Consciousness, which gobbles him up. After which the bin bellows a hearty belch. Charming. Thankfully, Russell T Davies resisted the urge to make Davros soil himself or have Rose waft a fruity guff in the direction of Sarah Jane, for which we find ourselves eternally grateful.
A RIGHT ROYAL RESULT “Voyage Of The Damned” (2007)
It’s like the spirit of The Goodies wafted into the world of Doctor Who for one brilliant moment. The Queen had popped up in Who before, for a few seconds in 1988’s “Silver Nemesis”, but not in slippers and curlers, thanking the Doctor for saving Buck House from being flattened by a replica of the Titanic. The Queen was voiced by impressionist Jessica Martin, who played werewolf Mags in 1988’s “The Greatest Show In The Galaxy”.
TUGGING YOUR HEARTSTRINGS “Journey’s End” (2008)
At the finale of this episode, the Doctor – aided by loads of his friends – tows the Earth back to its rightful place after it’s been “planetnapped” by Davros. Judging from the shakes that ensue, it’s likely that millions more died from being bonked on the head by falling household objects than as a result of the Dalek invasion in the previous episode. Undeniably daft as the physics may be though, it’s a proper lump-in-the-throat moment.
Read more from Steve at his jolly amusing website, thefancan.com This article was originally published in SFX in November 2010.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of course! We haven’t even mentioned Dobby Doctor, or Richard Briers, or Ace taking on the Cybermen with a catapult, or Turlough pretending a hatstand is some kind of laser, or… well, frankly, we could be here all day. Have you got a favourite silly moment from Doctor Who that we’ve missed out? If so, be sure to post a comment and let us know! If we get enough reaction, maybe we’ll do a follow-up readers’ top ten!