Doctor Who’s best speeches | 3-1

Click for: 12-10, 9-7, 6-4 in this series!


3. Eleventh Doctor, The Big Bang

The Eleventh Doctor says farewell to Amelia Pond in this beautiful, pathos-laden little speech before he steps into the cracks in time and disappears from the universe. This is some of the best acting I’ve seen from Matt Smith, I think. He truly, convincingly conveys the impression of the weary, jaded old man as he rambles affectionately at Amy’s bedside, no mean feat for an actor of Matt’s age. It’s a simple, nice little scene but it’s so powerful and emotive and iconic that I think it deserves its place near the top of my list.

2a. Twelfth Doctor, The Zygon Inversion

Come on now. This is the reason we don’t deserve Peter Capaldi. This is the reason Peter Capaldi has rightly been called the best actor ever to play the Doctor. Peter is channelling passion and theatrical genius into every syllable, and that’s what makes this speech the widely acclaimed piece of television that it is. The writers, Steven Moffat and Jamie Mathieson, knew they could give Peter Capaldi an extended, soliloquising monologue like this and that he would pull it off outstandingly. Only an actor of Peter Capaldi’s calibre. Twelve’s words themselves are incredibly moving expression of the Doctor’s visceral abhorrence of war, and, when it comes to his feelings about war and his experiences in the Time War, I think the Doctor bears his soul more in this speech than we’ve ever seen from him before.

2b. Eleventh Doctor, The Time of the Doctor

Why are there two speeches tied for second place, you ask? It’s because I ONLY JUST REMEMBERED THIS SPEECH BEFORE I STARTED THIS POST OH MY GOD HOW DID I FORGET ABOUT THIS ONE I’M SO SORRY. This is the speech you watch on repeat if ever you’re feeling particularly masochistic. It absolutely killed me at the time, and I still find it incredibly gutting to watch, especially so because Matt was my Doctor, and saying goodbye was hard. It’s just a sublimely executed trainwreck of emotions. Matt’s speech is so beautiful, and then “I will always remember when the Doctor was me,” and then, goddamn it, he has a hallucination of Amy, “Raggedy man, goodnight,” and JFC JUST SPARE ME ALREADY. You get the picture. It makes me feel things.

1. Eleventh Doctor, The Rings of Akhaten

Some of the speeches in this list I chose for their emotive quality, some for their narrative or character significance, some for the pure captivating drama and theatrics. I chose Eleven’s acclaimed speech in The Rings of Akhaten because, in a way, it’s a combination of all of these things, and, above all, it’s just a sublime, consummately written, produced and acted segment of television. More so than any of the other speeches on this list, it’s pure art, pure literary flair and brilliance. It doesn’t really serve a critical purpose in the story, which I think is a fairly average episode in general, it’s just the writer, Neil Cross’s, and Matt Smith’s, and, not least, Murray Gold’s, creative talents unleashed, and the result is a sequence of utterly spellbinding, emotional, invigorating television. Matt Smith, of course, is the star of this sequence, and it’s his impassioned, candid performance here that makes this speech—in my opinion some of his absolute best acting during his time in the role.

So that’s my twelve thirteen picks*. Now this is the part where you tell me your twelve 😀

So, to recap

My twelve picks were:

  1. Eleventh Doctor, The Rings of Akhaten
  2. Twelfth Doctor, The Zygon Inversion / Eleventh Doctor, The Time of the Doctor
  3. Eleventh Doctor, The Big Bang
  4. Tenth Doctor, The End of Time
  5. Amy Pond, The Big Bang
  6. Eleventh Doctor, The Pandorica Opens
  7. Eleventh Doctor, The Eleventh Hour
  8. Twelfth Doctor, Flatline
  9. Clara Oswald, Listen
  10. River Song, The Forest of the Dead
  11. Ninth Doctor, Rose
  12. Tenth Doctor, The Christmas Invasion

Honourable mentions

I’m giving honourable mentions to speeches that I probably would have included somewhere on this list if I had actually remembered them in time (lmao I’ve messed this up I’m so sorry 😂😂).


What do you think? Which speeches do you like the most? Do you agree/disagree with my list? Wanna fight about it? Comments are open!

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9 thoughts on “Doctor Who’s best speeches | 3-1

  1. Well, I was pretty much with you until “The Rings of Akhaten” – I really didn’t like that episode. Matt Smith gives it his all but it all but the story and situation are unsatisfying and forced, and the speech itself more overwrought than genuine.

    I thought maybe your Number One was going to turn out to be the entirety of “Heaven Sent” – certainly I’d think something in there would have made my Top 12

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fair enough. I really liked it, I thought it redeemed what was otherwise a fairly unremarkable episode (apart from the music), but different impressions I guess.

      I thought about including Heaven Sent, but I didn’t think it counted as a “speech” as such. Maybe the Shepherd Boy sequence might have been appropriate, in which case I certainly would have put it somewhere near the top. But like I said I didn’t quite think this through before I started because I completely forgot about a handful of speeches that I would have included!

      What would be your favourites, if it’s not putting you on the spot?

      Like

      • I haven’t thought it through, and there are probably loads I’m forgetting because it’s been a long time since I’ve seen the episodes, but what comes to mind right away is Matt Smith in The Eleventh Hour (“Hello, I’m the Doctor. Basically, run.”); River Song at the end of Forest of the Dead (“Every once in a very long while…everybody lives.”); Amy Pond in The Big Bang (“Raggedy Man, I remember you, and you are late for my wedding!”); Matt Smith in The Time of the Doctor (“I will always remember when the Doctor was me.”). Maybe something from David Tennant in The Christmas Invasion. As I said I was pretty much with you up until the end.

        Although I’m not as much of a fan of some of the other classics – the Pandorica Opens speech, or the Zygon Inversion speech. Both a bit “over-cooked” if that makes sense. But I like both episodes, so I can understand why people like them.

        Liked by 1 person

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