On Whovian Rankings

Because it needs to be done (which in this case means, because Keith did it and that automatically makes it good and worthwhile)…

Stolen ruthlessly, here is The Utterly Utterly Accurate And Definitive 21st Century Doctor Who Tiered Rankings, as decided upon by me because my opinion is the only one that matters. :p

The ranks are (and translated for the British-impaired):

  • Genius=the best of the best
  • Bloody brilliant=not quite best, but pretty fucking good
  • Smashing=very good
  • Luvverly=good
  • Happy enough=adequate
  • Yeahok=less than adequate
  • Oh dear=pretty awful
  • Pants=incredibly shitty

Oh, one thing I’m going to do. I’m going to include Torchwood. šŸ™‚


  • The Empty Child
  • The Doctor Dances
  • The Girl in the Fireplace
  • Human Nature
  • Blink
  • The Sound of Drums
  • Small Worlds (TW)
  • Out of Time (TW)

Bloody Brilliant

  • Dalek
  • Father’s Day
  • The Impossible Planet
  • Love and Monsters
  • Utopia
  • The Invasion of the Bane (SJS)
  • Captain Jack Harkness (TW)


  • The End of the World
  • School Reunion
  • Rise of the Cybermen
  • The Satan Pit
  • Army of Ghosts
  • The Runaway Bride
  • Gridlock
  • Ghost Machine (TW)


  • Rose
  • Aliens of London
  • World War III
  • The Christmas Invasion
  • New Earth
  • Smith and Jones
  • 42
  • Everything Changes (TW)

Happy Enough

  • The Unquiet Dead
  • Boomtown
  • Bad Wolf
  • The Age of Steel
  • The Shakespeare Code
  • The Lazarus Experiment
  • Day One (TW)
  • Combat (TW)


  • The Parting of the Ways
  • The Idiot’s Lantern
  • Doomsday
  • The Family of Blood
  • Cyberwoman (TW)
  • They Keep Killing Suzie (TW)

Oh Dear

  • Tooth and Claw
  • Fear Her
  • Daleks in Manhattan
  • Greeks Bearing Gifts (TW)
  • End of Days (TW)


  • The Long Game
  • Evolution of the Daleks
  • Countrycide (TW)
  • Random Shoes (TW)

A random comment. My placement of “The Family of Blood” is accurate. I think it’s a deeply flawed episode. It has moments of great power. It’s also incredibly derivative of the Lord of the Rings films, from the preparation before battle at Helm’s Deep to the multiple ending structure. Jack Nicholson’s comment on Return of the King–“It has too many endings”–is entirely appropriate. And in the end, I was disappointed by it, and not just because it wasn’t the book. Pacing was probably my biggest issue.

Comments? Questions? “Allyn, you ignorant slut”? Tomatoes?

3 thoughts on “On Whovian Rankings

  1. Allyn, you ignorant slut.

    At least with regards to “Love and Monsters”. (And maybe “Tooth and Claw”, “End of Days”, and “The Long Game”. And about half of the “Yeahok” episodes.)

    No, I’m not opinionated. Why do you ask? šŸ˜‰

  2. “Love and Monsters.” Andrew, dude, I wrote “Make-Believe.” Tell me I’m not going to love a meta-textual take on Doctor Who. šŸ˜‰

    “Tooth and Claw.” Except for the reference to Jamie, that episode just didn’t do anything for me.

    “End of Days.” The first half hours was awesome. But the final twenty minutes? What the fuck was that? (You’ve read my lengthy disassembly of “End of Days”‘s problems.) Those final twenty minutes sank the episode.

    “The Long Game.” Tasmin Grieg forgives a lot, but the rest was pants.

    The “Yeahoks”–notice that they’re mostly second parts. RTD’s Who just doesn’t do second parts very well. I liked “Cyberwoman” at first, but in retrospect it slipped in my estimation. “They Keep Killing Suzie”–it’s impossibly convoluted, and the plot falls apart if you apply any thought to it. And as hot as Indira Varma is, I can’t rate it any higher.

  3. Metatext is fine. The Doctor’s casual enslaving of Ursula, not so much. (And the ELO didn’t help. :p)

    “Tooth and Claw” I suppose I can understand. I guess that after Whedon’s underwhelming presentation of werewolves, I appreciated a story where I actually thought they were menacing. And I liked the irony of the ending—how the Doctor is persona non grata in the British Empire, yet it seems like he spends half his time there!

    I have read your comments on “End of Days”; I guess I just don’t think the last half sank it as badly as you do. I could understand a “Yeahok”, though I’d still probably at least call it “Happy enough”. (And I’m still not entirely convinced that the problems with the back half lie in the episode itself instead of the series preceding it.)

    I guess I like “The Long Game” for reasons similar to “Tooth and Claw”—at the time, I thought it was pants, but I thought that “Bad Wolf” did a brilliant job of turning it into a tale of just what consequences the Doctor’s actions can have. (Maybe even more so than “Father’s Day”, where it was the fault of an external entity and not a result of what the Doctor did before he ran away.) All the keys are there; the unthinking Doctor, going blindly ahead to do what he thinks is right (yet another thing not the case for “Father’s Day”), without a thought of what the results will be. And really, what happens—what needs to happen, what he lets happen—is something I thought was brilliant. (And Simon Pegg probably forgives at least as much as Tasmin Grieg, if not more. ;))

    As for the “Yeahok”s… *shrug* Generally I’ve actually liked the second parts over the first parts. There’s been too much time spent on misdirection (that doesn’t work thanks to the episodes’ titles!), and not enough on actually moving the plot forward. (“Rise of the Cybermen” and “Daleks in Manhattan” are probably the worst offenders, with “Bad Wolf”, “The Sound of Drums”, and “The Empty Child” being definite exceptions.)

    I don’t blame you on “They Keep Killing Suzie” (though I thought it held up until the key hinged on the ISBN). “Cyberwoman”… I like the concept, and I’m tempted to blame the costume for the episode’s failings more than anything else. šŸ˜‰

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