In a world of bloggers, long lenses and tabloid tattle, Doctor Who casting news and storyline leaks attract the same scrutiny as the soaps. Wonderfully, thanks to the misdirections of the production team, a few things still sneak to air undiscovered.
CultBox recently asked you to tell us the most shocking moment in post-2005 Doctor Who. Here’s how you voted…
1. “Introducing John Hurt as the Doctor” in ‘The Name of the Doctor’ (18 May 2013)
Although guessed by those following the filming of the 50th Special (not to mention some delightfully casual interview quotes from the man himself), it’s easy to forget that the appearance of this unDoctor was still unexpected for most viewers. While his true nature remains unclear, the casting of John Hurt bodes well – as long as we can clear the image of Merlin’s CGI dragon, that is!
2. Wilf knocks four times in ‘The End of Time: Part 2’ (1 January 2010)
Ominously foretold at the start of the Tenth Doctor’s final run, it was neither a monster or a villain but Donna’s grandad, kindly old Wilfred Mott (Bernard Cribbins) who rapped out the death knell for David Tennant’s Doctor.
3. Amy is revealed to be a flesh avatar and pregnant in ‘The Almost People’ (28 May 2011)
Following several episodes teasing an indecisive TARDIS monitor, the Doctor terminated Amy’s flesh avatar revealing that she was not only missing, but pregnant too. Meanwhile, in a terrific cliffhanger, the real Amy came to and was encouraged to push!
4. Jack is the Face of Boe in ‘Last of the Time Lords’ (30 June 2007)
Dropped as a half joke in Series 3’s finale, Captain Jack’s ultimate destiny as the oldest inhabitant of the Isop galaxy was simultaneously a frightening and a reassuring prospect. Refusing to be drawn, RTD has left this hanging saying “the moment it became very true or very false, the joke dies”.
5. River is Amy and Rory’s daughter in ‘A Good Man Goes to War’ (4 June 2011)
Pond and River; just a Moffat naming quirk? Both red heads, quick-witted and feisty with an ability to keep the Doctor on his toes? Let’s face it folks, this one was staring us in the face!
6. The 10th Doctor is shot by a Dalek and almost regenerates in ‘The Stolen Earth’ (28 June 2008)
After reuniting with Rose, what better than to have the Doctor shot by a Dalek and forced to regenerate? In a thrilling cliffhanger, the press really bit and we were left hanging for a week wondering if the production team had pulled off the ultimate shock.
7. Professor Yana is The Master in ‘Utopia’ (16 June 2007)
Derek Jacobi’s gently mannered turn as the kindly Professor Yana was interrupted when that pesky Martha Jones drew his attention to a certain fob watch. Once restored, the deliciously evil Time Lord soon reverted to type, murdering his chattering assistant before angrily regenerating and stealing the Doctor’s TARDIS.
8. Rose’s surprise appearance in ‘Partners in Crime’ (5 April 2008)
With Billie Piper’s reappearance at Series 4’s end well publicised, a brief encounter in the opener caused a whole fanbase to gasp. Carefully left out of press previews, this jaw-dropper set the scene for a series of glimpsed appearances in the background leading up to her dramatic return in ‘Turn Left’.
9. The appearance of Oswin Oswald in ‘Asylum of the Daleks’ (1 September 2012)
There can be a long wait between the casting announcement and an onscreen debut. Feeding our insatiable curiosity, Jenna Louise Coleman guested in ‘Asylum’ as the ill-fated Oswin Oswald. Smoothing the transition from the Ponds this untimely appearance kick-started the Clara mystery, cleverly giving something for the fans to chew on.
10. The Doctor is killed in ‘The Impossible Astronaut’ (23 April 2011)
Teased on the cover of DWM, the death of the 11th Doctor began Series 6. Shot by a space-suited assailant, the Time Lord began to regenerate before being killed outright. When a younger Doctor appeared, unaware of his fate, the burden weighed heavy on his companions – one they carried to an incredibly ‘timey-whimey’ conclusion.
And just missing out on the Top 10…
Young River’s regeneration in ‘Day of the Moon’ (30 April 2011)
This child of the TARDIS surprised everyone by inheriting the Time Lord’s ability to renew her body. However, many regenerations she’d been through before, this coda to Series 6’s two-part opener caught everyone on the hop.
The Time Lords return in ‘The End of Time’ (25 December 2009)
While it seemed inevitable that the Doctor’s own people would return eventually, given the number of Daleks that survived the Time War, no one expected them like this. Driven to near extinction in their battle with the Daleks, they became ruthless and far from the ethereal beings of legend.
Watch the Series 7 Part 2 trailer…
What’s your favourite shocking moment in Doctor Who? Let us know below…