In a discussion as to who was the best companion in Doctor Who, there were a surprisingly large number of votes for Ace. When someone asked why, everyone gave the same reason: she once beat the crap out of a Dalek with a technologically-superpowered baseball bat. Because it called her "small". In fact, Sophie Aldred herself mentioned in a DVD documentary that, after her marriage and her children, the greatest moment of her life was the fact that she beat the crap out of a Dalek using a baseball bat. And she would carve it on her tombstone. Sophie, if you're ever going to read this, we encourage you to do just that.
This also inspired the creation of The Ace Test for the evaluation of the physical badassness of companions. Basically: "can you see this person clobbering a Dalek with a baseball bat?"
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First Doctor era
An Unearthly Child
The First Doctor ends up saving the day in the first story, "An Unearthly Child", easily outwitting a murderous caveman:
Kal: Za killed the old woman with his knife! Here! Here is the knife he killed her with! Doctor: This knife has no blood on it. I said, this knife had no blood on it! Kal: It is a bad knife. It does not show the things it does. Doctor: It is a finer knife than yours. Kal: I, Kal, say that it is a bad knife. Doctor: This knife can cut and stab. I have never seen a better knife. Kal: Then I will show you one! (He pulls out his own knife, which is covered in blood) Doctor: This knife shows what it has done. There is blood on it! (shows it to the tribe) Who killed the old woman? Za: I did not kill her. Doctor: (turning to face Kal) You killed the old woman!
They then proceed to drive him out with rocks, at the Doctor's prompt.
Ian creating fire.
Ian stopping the First Doctor from killing the caveman Za with a rock, and having the guts to call him out on it. This act could be considered as the turning point in The Doctor's life, and would have lasting repercussions for centuries.
Susan leaps onto a caveman's back and starts pummeling his head when her grandfather has been captured by the tribe. Badass.
Susan's idea to make the cavemen think that she and the others have died: place actual human skulls on actual flaming torches. She does so and then beams with delight.
The Doctor when he learns of the Daleks' plan to irradiate the atmosphere so that only they can survive, his first true encounter with a relentless evil which essentially mirrors his own attitude at the time;
Doctor: This senseless, evil killing!
The Doctor gets another when the Daleks, powerless and dying, approach him and ask him to find a way to save them after all they've done, to which he replies:
A moment of awesome for Barbara for being the first person to have the "let's slap something on the Dalek's eyestalk" idea.
Ian passing himself off as a Dalek.
Susan finding her way back to the TARDIS alone, at night, in a storm, through a creepy petrified forest that she has been told is full of deadly mutants, in order to fetch anti-radiation medicine for the others who are dying of radiation poisoning and are being held captive by the eponymous pepperpots of doom.
Ian standing up to the First Doctor and Barbra when they continue to selfishly advocate forcing the Thals to fight (and quite possibly die) for them, continually pointing out the Thals' lives are more important than their convenience.
The series itself became awesome when the Daleks made their first appearance.
The Edge of Destruction
Barbara verbally bitchslapping the Doctor, which directly led to the Doctor's very first Took a Level in Kindness moment when he apologised to her for being a git.
Most of this episode was just Barbara being awesome, actually. It was, after all, she who more or less figured out what was wrong, remained calm at blade point, and was the only one to keep a level head most of the episode.
The Doctor cannot bow to Kublai Khan due to his back being sore from having walked across China. He later ends up winning a big part of the Mongol empire off him in a game of Backgammon.
Ian hauling Ping-Cho home with all the assorted problems that escapade caused.
At the end of his eponymous serial, Marco finally wises up and swordfights Smug Snake Tegana.
The Keys of Marinus
Barbara smashing the Brains of Morphoton.
What one might call The Doctor's first official Big Damn Heroes moment ever.
Ian: The laws in this country are a mockery.
Doctor: (suddenly and without warning, walks into the room) I quite agree with you my boy.
Barbara holds an Aztec priest at knifepoint.
Barbara gets another one when she easily sees through the priest's attempt to poison her with a drink.
Barbara: For as I prove my faith in you, so must you prove yours to me.
Priest: Tell me quickly that I might obey and all the past be forgotten.
Barbara: Drink first. (hands him the poisoned drink)
Ian spends three episodes trying to get to Barbara to rescue her, and by the time he finally meets up with her she's already rescued herself and is on her way home.
When Princess Joanna learns of her brother King Richard I's plan to marry her off to Saphadin without her knowing beforehand, she basically bites his head off. Remember, this is a medieval king she's bawling out in front of the men. Sister or no, that takes guts.
The Space Museum
For a Secondary School science teacher, Ian beat the ever-loving crap out of the guards.
Ian and Barbara hijack a Dalek time machine to get back to London rather than relying on the TARDIS. After arrival, Ian sets it to self destruct.
Notice how many of these moments from the first two seasons belong to Barbara? The first two seasons could've been renamed The Why Barbara Is Awesome Show and nobody would've noticed. She strode through time in sensible shoes, wearing the Bouffant of Doom...
The Daleks' Master Plan
Ancient Egyptians stop a Badass Dalek by blocking its way with rocks.
ROCKS. The Daleks are killing machines and nearly unstoppable, and they stopped one with ROCKS.
Bret Vyon (a pre-Brigadier Nicholas Courtney) gets one for being the only man in the universe to ever tell the First Doctor to "shut up" and get away with it.
At the end of the twelve-part serial, the Doctor and Steven are left standing on a barren plain that was a jungle planet only moments before. As they stand there, overlooking all the damage caused by the Time Destructor, the Doctor starts to go into a philosophic ramble about it, but Steven angrily interrupts him by listing the names of the people who were killed. This promptly shuts the Doctor up, and they walk back to the TARDIS together in somber silence. Steven may not be the most well-remembered of companions, but he certainly deserves mention for that.
Dodo pulls a gun on Doc Holiday and threatens him into returning her to Tombstone. This impresses Holiday enough to go ahead and bring her back, even though he had a small sidearm of his own to shoot her if she actually attacked. The Awesome is hurt just a bit by Dodo fainting at the sight of Holiday's gun.
During the shootout itself, Dodo gets taken hostage by Johnny Ringo. She manages to break out of his grip long enough for Doc Holiday to use the above-mentioned hidden gun to shoot him.
The cliffhanger of episode 3. Soldiers are fleeing before the War Machine when their weapons all fail. The Doctor stays put where he is and steps toward it instead.
The Tenth Planet
It is a bit modulated by the silly voices, but Cyberman Krang's response to Polly when she challenges him about not caring that people are going to die.
Krang: Care? No, why should I care? Polly: Because they're people and they're going to die! Krang: I do not understand you. There are people dying all over your world and you do not care about them.
Second Doctor era
The Power of the Daleks
The Second Doctor escapes a sound-locked cell by replicating the tone with a spoon and a glass of water.
Ben, Polly and Jamie blasting the Cybermen with various solvents made from nail polish remover.
The Macra Terror
Ben breaking free of the Controller Macra's hypnosis and blowing him up.
The Faceless Ones
The Second Doctor convices Blade and the other Chameleons to turn against the Director.
The Evil of the Daleks
Alpha, Beta and Omega are essentially Daleks that have had their feelings of love, kindness and righteousness restored with a bang by the Doctor. After a pep talk from the Doctor and on return to Skaro, they proceed to create an idealistic conflict that quickly evolves into a civil war that ends up destroying their entire species (at least temporarily).
Black Dalek: Discontinue work. Dalek voice: Why? Black Dalek: ...who spoke? WHO QUESTIONED A DALEK COMMAND!????
Doctor: Come on! This way! Come on! Beta: I will obey! Omega: (playfully) But not without question! Doctor: That's right! Question!
The Tomb of the Cybermen
The Second Doctor baits the monomaniacal and increasingly delusional Eric Klieg into revealing just how power-mad he is—and then caps it with the perfect put-down:
Doctor: Well now I know you're mad. I just wanted to make sure.
Victoria shooting a Cybermat and destroying it, with what was undoubtedly an unfamiliar weapon.
Judge Time Lord: It is not we who is on trial here, Doctor, it is you.
Doctor: No, no, of course, you're above criticism, aren't you.
Judge Time Lord: Do you admit that these actions were justified?
Doctor: Yes, of course, I do. Give me a thought channel and I'll show you some of the evils I've been fighting against. The Quarks, deadly robot servants of the cruel Dominators, they tried to enslave a peace-loving race. Then there were the Yeti, more robot killers, instruments of an alien intelligence trying to take over the planet Earth.
Judge Time Lord: All this is entirely irrelevant.
Doctor: You asked me to justify my actions, I am doing so. Let me show you the Ice Warriors, cruel Martian invaders, they tried to conquer the Earth too. So did the Cybermen, half-creature, half-machine. But worst of all were the Daleks, a pitiless race of conquerors exterminating all who came up against them. All these evils I have fought while you have done nothing but observe. True, I am guilty of interference, just as you are guilty of failing to use your great powers to help those in need!
Judge Time Lord: Is that all you have to say?
Doctor: Well, isn't it enough?!
The Doctor bluffing his way into the prison under the pretense of being a "prison inspector."
Jamie's last scene is easily one of his most Badass. After the Time Lords return him to the battlefield where he met the Doctor, he wakes up to a Redcoat shooting him. His response to this is to charge the Redcoat with sword—and the Redcoat turns around and runs for his life.
Third Doctor era
Spearhead From Space
Channing: You're too late. The Third Doctor: On this planet, there is a saying that it is never too late.
Doctor Who and the Silurians
Though it's a tough call, and the Doctor is not happy, the Brig taking out the Silurian base to protect Earth was quite badass.
Ambassadors of Death
The Third Doctor Obfuscating Stupidity and parking Bessie in the middle of the road to get back Recovery 7.
The Doctor defeats an opponent with two fingers.
The last few moments of Inferno. The Doctor has called him a "pompous, self-opinionated idiot" as he thinks he can leave Earth and then reappeared after transporting himself only as far as a rubbish dump. He asks the Brigadier for help getting the TARDIS console back and the Brigadier just says "Pompous, self-opinionated idiot, I believe you said, Doctor?" It feels so awesome the way the Doctor is taken down with the Brigadier acting so straight-faced. Doubles as a Funny Moment.
Terror of the Autons
An Auton gets hit with a car and knocked off a cliff. As soon as it reaches the bottom, it just whips back to its feet. What's even more awesome is that the actor had actually gotten hit by the car and tumbled down the cliff, and been injured on the way, but he still managed to get up!
In the Master's first-ever appearance, where he made an alliance with the Autons, he killed a man with an armchair and almost took over the world with fake daffodils.
The Mind of Evil
Jo foiling the prison takeover in the third episode.
The Doctor bluffs his way out of an execution, "moving" several distant objects (when in truth it's Benton shooting them) and using Bessie's remote control function to take the town leader by surprise.
The Brig: Complete, unflappable, pure win when faced with an animated gargoyle: "Chap with the wings there, Five Rounds Rapid."
Lampshaded in the Doctor Who New Adventures novel No Future, in which the Brig indicates an alien standing next to Paul McCartney: "Chap with 'Wings', five rounds rapid!"
When Arcturus attacks the Doctor, Izlyr shoots him without thinking twice.
The Sea Devils
The Doctor not only manages to best the Master in a sword fight - he disarms him, holds him at swordpoint, steals his lunch for no real reason other than to prove that he can, and then gives the Master his sword back because he's having too much fun to stop. Oh, and then beats him again. Granted, the Doctor still ends up captured, but the entire sequence is pretty awesome.
The Time Monster
The Master's completely failed to hypnotise the Atlantean king and is being led away by guards. His one consolation is that at least he's killed the Doctor. So when the Doctor and Jo show up, he's literally speechless. And Jo prompts him "How about 'Curses! Foiled again!'?"
The wonderful observation that "rocket fire at long range - somehow it lacks that personal touch."
The Time Warrior
Professor Rubeish, a kidnapped scientist who is blind due to losing his glasses, re-invents them in the 13th century by heating up a microscope, refuses to leave the other scientists during the affair and then, oh yes, becomes the first character in the show's history to take advantage of a Sontaran's probic vent.
The Monster of Peladon
The Doctor has an epic fight scene toward the end with a Peladonian rebel.
Fourth Doctor era
Sarah Jane delivers a killer ice burn to the Scientific Reform Society.
"I'm sure I can find room for you ... between the flying saucer people and the Flat Earthers."
The Ark in Space
Noah fighting the Wirrn influence long enough to blow them all up, saving the whole of mankind.
Genesis of the Daleks
The Doctor's "Do I have the right?" speech.
You wouldn't think that a man in a wheelchair with one working arm could have a Moment of Awesome. Then Davros comes along with his legendary "To hold in my hand..." speech.
The Doctor: Davros, if you had created a virus in your laboratory, something contagious and infectious that killed on contact, a virus that would destroy all other forms of life; would you allow its use? Davros: It is an interesting conjecture. The Doctor: Would you do it? Davros: The only living thing... The microscopic organism... reigning supreme... A fascinating idea. The Doctor: But would you do it? Davros: Yes; yes. To hold in my hand, a capsule that contained such power. To know that life and death on such a scale was my choice. To know that the tiny pressure on my thumb, enough to break the glass, would end everything. Yes! I would do it! That power would set me up above the gods! And through the Daleks I shall have that power!
The Doctor gives Sarah the job of shooting a pack of explosives next to Sutekh's rocket to destroy it. Even though we've never seen Sarah use a gun, she coolly tells the Doctor: "Don't worry. I won't miss." She didn't.
Sutekh containing a gun blast to destroy one of his rockets with his mind!
And then there was his famous line:
"Your evil is my good. I am Sutekh the Destroyer. Where I tread, I leave nothing but dust and darkness. I find that good.
Oh, and he nearly kills the doctor while sitting down. And staring at him with his green laser eyes. In fact, that entire scene is one of the most awesome scenes in the history of doctor who.
The Brain of Morbius
When the Doctor faces Morbius and challenges him to a mind-bending contest. Ok, he nearly dies, but it's still awesome.
Let's face it, any time the Fourth Doctor performs the switch from charming, childish and humorous to pure hissing rage is going to herald (or make) a Moment of Awesome.
The Doctor: I doubt it, Morbius!
The Hand of Fear
Nothing hurts Eldrad. She avoids being hit by a missile by absorbing all of its power.
The Deadly Assassin
The Doctor's episode-long cat-and-mouse game with Goth in The Deadly Assassin is one slow-burn of Bad Ass.
Castellan Spandrell, the most sensible and wise of the Time Lords appearing in this story, is completely peaceful, collected and reasonable through the entirety of the serial... that is, until a guard who was under the Master's influence tried to kill the Doctor, at which point Spandrell shot him without skipping a beat.
The Master frames the Doctor for murdering the Time Lord President, then fakes his own death.
The Face of Evil
There's a reason this exchange from The Face of Evil is in the Funny Moments list, but the Doctor's sheer unflappability even as his bluff is called is pretty awesome as well:
Doctor: Now drop your weapons, or I'll kill him with this deadly jelly baby. Pissed-off Tribal: Kill him. Doctor:What. Pissed-off Tribal: Kill him then. Doctor:(calmly) I don't take orders from anyone. (noms jelly baby stoically) Take me to your leader.
When we are both in the Great Hereafter, I will hunt you down, Bent-Face! And put you through my agonies a thousand times!
Horror of Fang Rock
The Doctor and co. are under attack by the ice-dwelling Rutan fleet, so what does he do? Simple. He uses a scope and some diamonds to turn a lighthouse into a giant laser beam. Of course!
The Invisible Enemy
Leela: I've worked out how to stop them. Fourth Doctor: Oh. Leela: Stab them in the neck!
Image of the Fendahl
In the Fendahl Core's first scene, she stands up in one motion, without the use of her hands.
The Fendahl Core kills people by pointing at them.
The Invasion of Time
K9 Mark I stunning a Gallifreyan guard and then destroying the Transduction barrier.
Also, despite Andred's objections, The Doctor disarming the Gallifreyan force field, with K9's assistance.
Andred: Now, look— K9: I'm in charge. We will now trace the circuit again and fuse it. Andred: But the circuit is part of the Academy. Instruction and investigation control. K9: We will give them a day off school.
Leela, just after being told a Sontaran's weakness, throwing a knife the full length of a decent sized room straight into a 5mm "probic vent".
The Sontarans invade Gallifrey, one-upped only by the fact they accomplice this via their deception of the Vardans.
The Doctor completely fooling the entire Time Lord citadel and Vardan empire into thinking he's a traitorous madman with Obfuscating Stupidity. And then wielding the De-mat gun against the invading Sontarans.
Borusa playing the Celebration chimes fifty times louder than should be allowed to assist the Doctor and co.'s escape from the Sontarans at the start of the invasion.
The Ribos Operation
Romana's introductory scene. She just strolls around calm and collected, remaining completely unflappable the entire episode.
The Pirate Planet
After the Captain reveals the true nature of the Planet Zanak to the Doctor (the planet in question being a hollow world-sized spaceship which swallows other planets whole and mines them for minerals. The Captain then keeps the crushed remains of the planets he's plundered in a trophy room.), the latter then gives this epic speech of utter outrage, and shows why Tom Baker is awesome:
The Doctor: Appreciate it? APPRECIATE IT?! What, you commit mass destruction and murder on a scale that's almost inconceivable, and you ask me to appreciate it? Just because you've happen to have made a brilliantly conceived toy out of the mummified remains of planets! The Captain: DEVILSTORMS, DOCTOR! IT IS NOT A TOY! The Doctor: THEN WHAT'S IT FOR?! What are you doing? What could possibly be worth all this?!
The Stones of Blood
Cessair convinces the Megara, who are chasing her, that the Doctor is the villain!
The Androids of Tara
The Doctor owns Count Grendel, the best swordsman on the planet. Meanwhile, Romana and Princess Strella stop Grendel's goon with a needlework loom and a pitcher.
The Armageddon Factor
At the climax, Romana stops the Doctor from becoming a monstrous universal dictator by shouting at him.
Though in truth The Doctor was just messing with her, like in "The Invasion of Time", which is actually a moment of awesome for him, for putting on such an impressive performance.
The Shadow's plan to get the Key to Time was genius: get the sixth piece of the Key, then wait for Romana and the Doctor to bring the other five pieces.
City of Death
Duggan punching Scaroth in the face, which prevents the latter from stopping his past self from blowing up his ship and giving the spark of life to the amniotic fluid from which all life on Earth will spring. In other words, that one punch allowedlife on Earth to happen at all. Immediately followed by the Doctor's hilarious:
The Doctor: Duggan...that was probably the most important punch in history!
This episode is one long string of CMOAs for Romana. She's kidnapped by bandits, and within three sentences has them terrified of her and bowing to her every whim, and eventually tricks them into summoning K-9, with whom she simply walks away. And then when captured by Adrasta, although her escape fails miserably, she manages to threaten and manipulate the crazy lady into more or less doing what she says; this despite the fact that she spends most of her imprisonment with a sword at her throat, tied to a chair, or both.
The Horns of Nimon
The "despicable worm" scene.
Romana's arrival on Skonnos is pretty damn impressive. Soldeed comes out to greet the latest shipment and the co-pilot immediately calls out Romana as the source of all the trouble. Then she butts in and tells her side of the story. Not only does Soldeed believe her, almost without question, but punishes the co-pilot right there for being a liar.
State of Decay
From the climax, the Doctor launches the Great Vampires' scout ship from the surface of the planet, then guides it to fall straight down, piercing the Great Vampire's heart, using it as a makeshift "stake", causing the Three That Rule to die alongside him.
As Rorvik and his men are about to blow the Doc and Romana away, Adric calls to them from the doorway where he's suddenly appeared and covering them with the MZ Cannon and advises them to drop their weapons? Just awesome cool from the Alzarian nerd.
Adric: I don't know what these levers do, but it's pointing in your direction.
The Keeper of Traken
The Master's TARDIS, disguised as the Melkur, becomes the most powerful person on Traken. The scene where he steals Tremas' body is especially badass-looking.
The Master held the entire universe for ransom.
The Master destroying a quarter of the universe by accident.
The Fourth Doctor's final MOA, with his brutal fight with the Master on a satellite array, including stringing up his scarf to trip the Master.
Fifth Doctor era
The Master creates an entire city with a complete, detailed, fabricated history just to trap the Doctor and his friends.
George's escape from his room; light the door on fire, wait until the entire door is an inferno and then break through the door, while it's still on fire!
Also, the Doctor winning the cricket game. It's mentioned that the team was doing poorly 'til he joined in.
The Doctor killing the Cyber Leader by jamming Adric's star into the Leader's breathing vent. Also a Tear Jerker.
Even if you disliked him, Adric's final scenes were quite impressive, crunching numbers like that in an effort to save Earth, knowing full well what was going to happen to him if he failed, which it's pretty clear he knew was highly likely, and tricking the others into getting away without him.
Tegan getting a wardrobe change and going around shooting Cybermen.
When the Master returns, he finds it funny that the Doctor thinks he could stay trapped so easily.
Arc of Infinity
Nyssa's attempt to save the Doctor from execution on Gallifrey. She stuns two guards and even holds the Lord President at gunpoint.
Turlough rejects the Black Guardian's deal for the enlightenment diamond in exchange for the Doctor and then pushes the diamond off the table, into the Black Guardian, who then BURSTS INTO FLAMES. An epic moment for the otherwise shy and cowardly Turlough.
Before that, the Black Guardian gets tired of Turlough not killing the Doctor, so he materialises and strangles him.
Peri verbally owning the Master of all people in this memorable exchange:
The Master: You will obey me. I am the Master! Peri: So what? I'm Perpugilliam Brown, and I can shout as loud as you can!
Turlough, knowing that contacting his people for help evacuating Sarn would doom him to, at best, exile, at worse, execution, contacts them anyway. His exile was rescinded, but still.
The Caves of Androzani
Who could forget the cliffhanger to episode three ("I'm not gonna let you stop me now!"). It takes several viewings to notice it, but the fact is he is not only saying it to Stoltz, but to himself- he is stopping himself regenerating (witness the effect on the screen).
Stotz: You better turn this ship around Doctor! The Doctor: Why? Stotz: Because I'll kill you if you don't! The Doctor: Not a very convincing argument actually, Stotz, because I'm going to die soon anyway, unless of course— Stotz: I'll give you to the count of three! The Doctor: Unless of course I can find the antidote...I owe it to my young friend to try because I got her into this— Stotz: One, The Doctor: So you see— Stotz: Two, The Doctor: I'm not going to let you stop me now!
Point of fact, who can forget the scenes leading up to the regeneration in the final episode of The Caves of Androzani? Carrying Peri across a battlefield surrounded with explosions, nearly dying of asphyxiation in an earlier scene and generally engaging in derring-do - all so he can save the girl he accidentally got into this situation and all while dying from spectrox poisoning. And not only this, but in the final moments of the first scene mentioned, he knows he has no cure for himself - he still delivers Peri to safety and meets death with dignity. And people thought the Fifth Doctor wasn't badass.
"Caves of Androzani" as a whole is such a CMOA it's frequently cited as the best episode in Doctor Who history.
Davros reminds us why he is feared throughout the universe when he takes a page from the book of fellow Magnificent BastardPalpatine and shoots lightning out of his hand. Plus it's the artificial hand that replaced the one that'd gotten shot off in the previous story! "Well, I've lost my only good hand, do I mope around about it? FUCK THAT I'LL BUILD A NEW ONE THAT SHOOTS LIGHTNING."
He also shows he's Crazy-Prepared, building a fake Davros on the off-chance an assassin would come calling.
The Trial of a Time Lord
When Katryca bursts into Drathro's chamber, she starts giving a dramatic speech, when Drathro simply decides to electrocute her.
Doctor: In all my travels through time and space I have battled against evil—against power-mad conspirators. I should have stayed here! The oldest civilization—decadent—degenerate—and rotten to the core! Power mad conspirators? Daleks! Sontarans! Cybermen! They're still in the nursery compared to us! Ten million years of absolute power! That's what it takes to be really corrupt!
It looks like Ace is about to mark herself with the coin that marks people as belonging to the Big Bad — and then she knocks it away and threatens him with Nitro-9.
Ace: Do you want to argue with a can of deodorant that registers nine on the Richter Scale?
Remembrance of the Daleks
In part four, the Seventh Doctor rewires a Dalek machine he had thoroughly fried earlier that day.
The Doctor briar patches Davros into blowing up the Dalek home system, with a Time Lord weapon he'd stashed away in his first life. His vicious serving of Davros in the following moments are brutal.
Davros: Do not do this, I beg of you! Doctor: Nothing can stop it now! Davros: Have pity on me! Doctor: I have pity for you. Goodbye Davros, it hasn't been pleasant. (cuts off transmission)
And then he manages to do away with the Last Dalek solely through talking to it.
Apart from her big moment, Ace also killed another Dalek by shooting it in the face with a rocket launcher.
The Doctor: You destroyed it! Ace: I aimed for the eyepiece.
The Imperial Daleks from Remembrance of the Daleks deserve a mention here, for sheer awesome firepower. After their landing party starts being beaten back by renegade Dalek forces, the Emperor orders the Special Weapons Dalek into action - and onto the screen trundles an extraordinary machine: Basically a Dalek chassis topped by an independently-swivelling turret. No eye-stalk, no plunger arm, just a massive cannon version of the Dalek gun, and the whole thing scarred and grime-stained as though it had been through dozens of battlefields. It rolls up to take aim on a pair of opposing Daleks, and fires - once. The resulting massive explosion wipes out the renegade Daleks completely. The Special Weapons Dalek fires its weapon exactly twice more in the episode - once to totally demolish the gates of the renegade Daleks' compound, and once to annihilate the remaining renegades. Each time, it's awesome.
The Special Weapons Dalek in the novelisation is even scarier. Among all the Daleks it is unique - it has a personality of its own. This is basically because the weapon's radioactive recoil has so warped the creature inside that it has developed individuality and a sense of self. And only Davros's explicit orders keep the other Daleks from killing it out of fear and loathing. And the author gets us inside that creature's head and makes us identify with it.
It's worth noting that the BBC special effects team went seriously overboard with the explosions for these effects. The first one got them into trouble after police and fire brigade were summoned, because they hadn't told the authorities they were going to be using pyrotechnics on that scale. The second shot, of the gates exploding to reveal the Imperial Daleks behind them, had to be cut short during editing to end before too much of the smoke had cleared, because the force of the explosion had blown several hemispheres off the Daleks' skirts.
For the first time in the show's history, a Dalek climbing a staircase, albeit briefly.
The Happiness Patrol
Only the Seventh Doctor could disarm someone by telling them to shoot him.
Sniper 2: Get back. Or he'll use the gun. The Doctor: Yes, I imagine he will. You like guns, don't you? Sniper 1: This is a specialised weapon. It's designed for roof duty. Designed for long range. I've never used one up close before. Sniper 2: Let him go. Sniper 1: No. The Doctor: No. In fact... let him come a little closer. Sniper 1: Stay where you are. The Doctor: Why? Scared? Why should you be scared? You're the one with the gun. Sniper 1: That's right. The Doctor: And you like guns, don't you? Sniper 2: He'll kill you. The Doctor: Of course he will. That's what guns are for. Pull a trigger. End a life. Simple, isn't it?' Sniper 1: Yes. The Doctor: Makes sense, doesn't it? Sniper 1: Yes. The Doctor: A life, killing life. Sniper 2: Who are you? The Doctor: Shut up. Why don't you do it then? Look me in the eye. Pull the trigger. End my life. Sniper 1: No. The Doctor: Why not? Sniper 1: I can't. The Doctor: Why not? Sniper 1: I don't know. The Doctor: You don't, do you. Throw away your gun.
The Doctor: Ace, I don't suppose you've totally ignored my instructions and secretly concocted any Nitro-9 have you? Ace: What if I had? The Doctor: Then of course you wouldn't do anything so insanely dangerous as carry it around with you? Ace: Of course not. I'm a good girl, I do what I'm told. The Doctor: Excellent. Blow up that vehicle.
Earlier in that story, Ace jams the Cybermen's signal with Awesome Music.
Ace spent the climax of the plot shooting gold coins with a slingshot to kill (almost) all the Cybermen.
The Greatest Show In The Galaxy
The Seventh Doctor gets one when he calmly walks away from a circus tent — which proceeds to blow up very violently right behind him.
This wasn't just an MOA for the Doctor, but for Sylvester McCoy as well. The explosion was way bigger than expected and his clothes actually caught fire, but he knew there could be no second take, and didn't even flinch.
He gets another one much earlier in the story, when he and the others are attacked by a killer robot attendee demanding bus fare. The Doctor stalls it by requesting a series of accommodations and then blows it up with its own weapon as it figures out how to go about doing that.
Yet another one is when The Doctor and Mags pretend to have an argument, drawing the hairdos into their caged prison before beating them unconscious with juggling pins.
Knights Ancelyn and Mordred are engaged in a vicious swordfight... and the Doctor just walks calmly between them in the middle of their duel. Lifting his hat to them as he strolls right between them.
"Get off my world!"
The Destroyer: Pitiful. Can this world do no better than you as their champion? Brigadier: Probably. I just do the best I can. [opens fire]
Morgaine shoots down a helicopter with her magic energy blast.
The Doctor: But you evolve too, Light. Light: Nonsense. The Doctor: Of course you do. You change, you adapt, all the time. Your attitude, your place, your mind... I mean, look at you now: you're no longer your original shape. And I don't think much of your catalogue— it's full of gaps. Light:[suddenly alarmed] All organic life is recorded! The Doctor: What about the gryphons, the basilisks? You missed the dragons, the bandersnatches... then there are the slithy toves and the crowned Saxe-Coburg. [strolling into the entrance hall, he casually clicks his fingers and Light immediately appears at the staircase] Light:[frantically reviewing his data screen] Where are these items? The Doctor: I can't think how you missed them. You have to complete the catalogue before you destroy all life here. Light:Control? The Doctor: She's no use to you, she's evolved as well. Light: No! All slipping away... The Doctor: All is change, all is movement. Tell me, Light, haven't you just changed your location? Light:[gritting his teeth] Not yet. The Doctor: What's the matter, Light? Changed your mind? Light: You are endlessly agitating, unceasingly mischievous, will you never STOP?! The Doctor: I suppose I could. It would make a change. Light:[desperate] Nimrod—I can rely on you! Assist me now... Nimrod: I'm sorry, sir, but my allegiance is to this planet—my birthright. Light:[hysterical] Everything is changing! All in flux! Nothing remains the same! The Doctor: Even remains change. It's this planet—it can't help itself. Light: I... will not change... I'll wake up soon. No... change... dead... [trails off as he begins to evaporate] The Doctor:[to the data screen] Subject for catalogue: file under "imagination, comma, lack of."
The Curse of Fenric
When Fenric first appears, he has glowing eyes and is chillingly calm.
The Doctor's final line of the classic series. Sad in the respect the series ended, but powerful:
"There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, and the sea's asleep, and the rivers dream. People made of smoke, and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there’s injustice, and somewhere else the tea's getting cold. Come on, Ace — we’ve got work to do!"
Dimensions in Time
When the Rani starts boasting her victory prematurely to the Fifth Doctor, he counters by focusing all his energy on summing a different incarnation of himself, which, despite the Rani's claims of weakening him, manages to conjure up the Third Doctor, whom the Rani backs away from in fear.
Eighth Doctor special
Doctor Who (1996)
The Seventh Doctor manages to resist anesthesia three times to warn his human surgeons not to operate on him because he is a Time Lord. Sadly, they are not convinced he's of sound judgement to decide that with bullets lodged inside him and they don't even know there are aliens out there in space. The last time his resists the anesthetic, he wakes up screaminglikehell. Which leads to his tragic death and regeneration inside a morgue. Do Not Go Gentle indeed...
Somehow, the Eighth Doctor pulls a broken medical probe out of his chest, with the sewing needle still attached, without further wounding himself or showing any signs of pain beyond a few blood splotches. And gets around without shoes in an uninviting hospital, its elevator, and then a concrete parking garage without hurting his feet. Thankfully, he's given a pair of shoes and is extremely happy to know they fit perfectly.
The Eighth Doctor restores the hope and dreams in disillusioned and skeptical Grace Holloway in true Doctor fashion.
The scene where the Eighth Doctor escapes from the cops by stealing a gun using a jelly baby... and holding himself hostage, thus beautifully subverting the behaviour of nearly every action movie protagonist in existence. ("Now, will you stand aside before I shoot myself?")
Towards the end, the Master, having murdered Bruce, Chang Lee and Grace, brought the Earth to the brink of destruction and very nearly stolen the Doctor's remaining lives. He leaps at the Doctor, but is blinded by the glare from one of the Eye of Harmony's mirrors, and flies into the black hole that powers the TARDIS. And as he hangs on for dear life — The Doctor reaches out and says, "Give me your hand."
In the 1996 telemovie, the Master gets to display his cruelty, fear, and awesome all at the same time.
The Doctor: You want dominion over the living, yet all you do is kill! The Master: Life is wasted on the living!
Ninth Doctor era
This speech from the Ninth Doctor:
Doctor: Do you know like we were saying, about the earth revolving? It's like when you're a kid, the first time they tell you that the world is turning and you just can't quite believe it 'cause everything looks like it's standing still. I can feel it—the turn of the earth. The ground beneath our feet is spinning at a thousand miles an hour. The entire planet is hurtling around the sun at sixty seven thousand miles an hour. And I can feel it. We're falling through space, you and me, clinging to the skin of this tiny little world. And, if we let go... That's who I am. Now forget me, Rose Tyler. Go home.
Rose Tyler. She's not an Action Girl, or not supposed to be one. She SAVES THE WORLD.
World War Three
Harriet Jones had one in her very first appearance, when the Slitheen were about to go for Rose, she leaps out from her cover yelling 'Take me first!' Obviously the Doctor appears to save them, but it's one of those tiny characterisation moments that really shows you how good she could be.
She gets another at the end of that episode, when she flat out orders the Doctor to stop the Slitheen, even though his plan puts them all at risk. Especially impressive is that it's the first time her Catch Phrase is treated as something more serious than a Running Gag.
Harriet: Harriet Jones, MP for Flydale North. Elected by the people, for the people. And on behalf of the people, I command you Doctor. Do it.
It's subtle here, but it's an awesome moment crossed with a Heartwarming Moment with some Fridge Awesome in hindsight. Nine would not have gone against Jackie's wishes, as he personally did not want to be responsible for any harm that would come to her daughter, and Harriet realized he did not want the burden of Rose's blood on his hands, so she, in a Donna Noble "Fires Of Pompeii" moment, ordered him to commence his plan on behalf of the British people by virtue of her being the highest ranking legitimate governing authority present, thus pinning all the blame on herself if everything went wrong. Or, in short, she proved she was the perfect politician to be Prime Minister by being willing to take responsibility for her actions, regardless of their consequences.
Mickey Smith spends most of his time as second-fiddle, but he's had a couple of MoAs. Did you realize that he blew up Downing Street with a submarine missile from his flat? When the Master talks about Downing Street being rebuilt? That's because it took the British Government two seasons to get over Mickey.
The Dalek's final death. The idea of a Dalek experiencing such emotions as this one did after forty years of canon establishing them as vindictive bastards is... quite something. As was its final use of its own world famous Catch Phraseagainst itself (after asking Rose to order it to destroy itself, because it can't do anything without an order).
Rose: ...Do it. Dalek: Are you frightened, Rose Tyler? Rose: Yes. Dalek: So am I. Exterminate.
The iconic scene where the Dalek kills all the "Daleks cannot handle stairs" jokes with one word:
It also managed to do something other Daleks rarely do: stun the Doctor into silence with words. Namely ... 'You would make a good Dalek.' Done as the Doctor is foaming at the mouth and screaming at it to DROP DEAD. And that isn't exaggeration at the scene. (Incidentally, nice job, Chris—seriously.)
The moment it meets Henry Van Statten. It advances on him, demanding to know why it was tortured:
Van Statten: I'm sorry, I'M SORRY! I just wanted to hear you talk! Dalek:[stops its advance] Then hear me talk now. EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINAAAAAAATE!
The Dalek breaks its chains, murders a man with its plunger, downloads the entirety of the internet and drains power from the entire west coast of the US to repair itself. And THEN screams:
Dalek: The Daleks survive in MEEEEEEE!
The Long Game
The Doctor revokes Adam's companion status after he nearly changed history.
The Empty Child
The Doctor turns up for dinner. ("Thanks miss!")
A doctor in at least his sixties, being the last person left in Albion Hospital who has not succumbed to the Empty Child virus, Dr Constantine stays there to look after his patients, fully knowing there is absolutely nothing he can do for them and risking almost certain zombification which happens shortly after he is introduced.
Dr Constantine: Before this war began I was a father and a grandfather. Now I'm neither, but I'm still a doctor.
The Doctor Dances
The Doctor tells the child to "Go to your room!"
The Doctor identifies Jack's weapon:
The Doctor: Sonic blaster, 51st Century — Weapon factories at Villengard? Jack: Yeah. You've been to the factories? The Doctor: Once. Jack: They're gone now, destroyed. Main reactor went critical. Vaporised the lot. The Doctor: Like I said. Once.
Captain Jack Harkness. Firstly, stopping a German bomb seconds before it plows into the rest of the cast, then saying his farewells while straddled atop it (popping back once to compliment Rose on her shirt). Later, on his ship, on learning the bomb's detonation (and his death) is pretty much unavoidable, he nonchalantly orders himself a martini and reminisces in what appear to be his last moments. Then to top it all off, the camera pulls away from him, past the bomb...and through the TARDIS doors. WIN.
It also is a subtle Establishing Character Moment. Jack mentions earlier on he's worried that the part of his life he's missing may be clues he was a horrible person, and he seriously fears that may be the case, so when the Doctor got him to stop that bomb, it also counts as a CMOA for the Doctor in not only giving Jack a chance to make sure an act of unquestioned moral virtue is forever a part of his personal history, but it's a CMOA for Jack later on, as he found his own actions would kill him 100% that he decided not to curse the Doctor for what happened, but instead decided to allow himself to die with a good deed as his last living act, proving that whatever person he was during those missing two years of his life, he's ultimately a heroic person. And thanks to Rose, his Redemption Earns Life.
Nancy verbally bitch-slapping the guy whose house she broke into. "Oh look, there's the sweat on your brow."
"I. Am. Your. Mummy."
When the Doctor takes Blon Slitheen out to dinner while the TARDIS refuels, she slips poison into his drink while he's gone. When he comes back, the first thing he does upon sitting down is switch cups. Then she shoots a poisonous dart out of her finger - only for the Doctor to catch it in mid-air without even looking up. Then she leans in close, about to breathe poison on him... and he squirts some mouthwash into her mouth.
The TARDIS literally rewrites an alien's biology so she can become a child again, and have a second lease on life. That's pretty cool.
The Daleks have Rose, and have called the Doctor to gloat and demand his surrender.
The Doctor: No! 'Cause this is what I'm going to do: I'm going to rescue her! I'm going to save Rose Tyler from the middle of the Dalek fleet, and then I'm going to save the Earth, and then, just to finish off, I'm going to wipe every last stinking Dalek out of the sky! Dalek: But you have no weapons! No defenses! No plan! The Doctor: Yeah! And doesn't that scare you to death? Rose? Rose: Yes, Doctor? The Doctor: I'm coming to get you.
What really sells this moment is the Daleks' reaction: the Doctor's speech really does scare them to death, as they immediately scramble their troops for an attack.
This is a cool moment thanks to Chris Eccleston's acting either way, but if you are British, it has an added layer of "hell yeah!" because it ties into the Big Brother bit at the beginning - host Davina McCall always uses the same line when announcing an eviction: "X, you have thirty seconds to leave the Big Brother house. I'm coming to get you!" Housemates have commented in the past that they love that because it gives an air of support from her, as the way she always says it (with a certain amount of joy) gives the impression that she means "don't worry, I'll be there with you". When the Doctor says this to Rose, to anyone who's watched more than a handful of BB episodes (which, considering the phenomenon it is here, is probably the majority of DW fans) it makes you grin that little bit wider. This furthermore is nicely contrasted with the episode's own use of McCall's line, which - given that the show as in the episode is part of an oppressive regime which forces people to participate against their will and kills them (although not in the way they expect) when they get voted out, is a lot more sinister.
Though of course, the earlier use isn't McCall's friendly "I'm coming to get you", but "we're going to get you" - quite a different implication!
Speaking of Eccleston's acting, the final third of "Bad Wolf" is certainly an MOA for him as a performer, starting from the moment of Rose's apparent death. No amount of screaming or tears could possibly convey the amount of despair and loss in his eyes in that shocked, silent moment.
And then his Oh Crap look when he realises that there are half a million Daleks on Earth's doorstep.
The Controller emulating the similarly named character from "Day of the Daleks"' betrayal and bringing the Daleks' downfall.
Captain Jack Harkness producing a concealed laser pistol while completely naked and destroying the makeover droids.
And then a little after when he figures out the Daleks' plan:
Jack: Doctor, Rose is still alive!
The Parting of the Ways
Everything the Doctor says.
Doctor: Do you know what they call me in the ancient legends of the Dalek homeworld? The Oncoming Storm. You might have removed all your emotions, but I reckon right down deep in your DNA, there's one little spark left. And that's fear. Doesn't it just burn when you face me? — Doctor: I think you're forgetting something: I'm the Doctor. And if there's one thing I can do, it's talk. I've got five billion languages and you haven't got one way of stopping me, so if anyone's gonna shut up, it's you!"
And the Daleks back away! Awesome.
Doctor: You were fantastic, absolutely fantastic. And you know what? So was I.
Nice bookend to how the Doctor introduced himself to her. "Nice to meet you, Rose. [holds up explosive with a half-badass, half-nuts (read: 100%-Doctor) grin] Run for your life!"
Whereas the Tenth Doctor claimed that wielding the power of the Time Vortex would turn a Time Lord into a vengeful God, the Ninth Doctor absorbed all of it to save Rose... and then he let it go.
Jack's death (for the first time, anyway). After fighting down to his last bullet, he coolly stands and faces a troop of Daleks, holding out his arms ready for the attack:
Just after Mickey's mini car fails to break open the TARDIS, Jackie arrives with a large tow-truck to help.
When Rose becomes the Bad Wolf. "You are tiny. I can see the whole of time and space. Every single atom of your existence. And I divide them."
Rose's speech to Jackie and Mickey back on Earth.
Rose: But it was.... it was a better life. And I don't mean the travelling, the seeing aliens and spaceships and thing, that don't matter. The Doctor showed me a better way of living your life. You know, he showed you too. That you don't just give up. You don't just let things happen, you make a stand, you say no. You have the guts to do what's right when everyone else just runs away, and I can't...
A collective Moment for the Daleks: when an enormous horde of Daleks pours out of their ships and heads straight for the Game Station. This is later topped and combined with Kick the Dog in "The Stolen Earth" with their brutally efficient invasion of Earth, including the destruction of the Valiant. It says a lot when you can make the two most experienced alien fighters on Earth break down in tears just by announcing your arrival.
Another of the Daleks' best Mo A: when they can't break into the observation deck to kill Lynda, they instead rise up through space to the observation window, and, although we can't hear it, their lights clearly flash to the scream of "EXTERMINATE!". They then blow the window open. Hell, they probably could have gotten in given time, but decided to stealthily do it the fast way just to screw with her before they killed her.
The Doctor says goodbye to Rose through a pre-recorded hologram which at the end turns and looks directly at her to say goodbye.
Tenth Doctor era
The Christmas Invasion
The Tenth Doctor, his hand just chopped off in a way that would have made George Lucas proud: "As it happens, I'm within the first fifteen hours of my regeneration, allowing me to do this." (regrows hand) "And you wanna know the best bit? This new hand... it's a fightin' hand!"
The Doctor gets a moment of awesome even before the above notes; earlier in the episode, Rose realizes she can't understand the Sycorax despite the translating properties of the TARDIS, concluding that this is because the Doctor is unconscious. Later, we find Rose, Harriet Jones, and a man translating the Sycorax language with a device, about to be killed. The Sycorax leader is boasting in his language...then, he starts speaking English. Rose realizes that the TARDIS is translating again...cue the Doctor exiting the TARDIS. He doesn't do it dramatically, he doesn't start fighting right away, he just steps out of the TARDIS casually. And it is awesome.
The Doctor: Now... first things first. How do I look? Rose: Um...different. The Doctor: Good different or bad different? Rose: Just... different. The Doctor: Am I... ginger? Rose: No, you're just sort of... brown. The Doctor:Aww, I wanted to be ginger! I've never been ginger.
The Tenth Doctor puts himself in perspective for some Sisters.
Sister: And who are you to decide that? The Doctor: I'm the Doctor! And if you don't like it, you want to take it to a higher authority, there isn't one, it stops with me!
The Doctor stops an epidemic by turning walking plagues into walking cures!
The Doctor: I am the Doctor and I have cured you!
Tooth and Claw
Queen Victoria gets one when she pulls a pistol out of her handbag and shoots the leader of the monks.
Monk: Oh, I don't think so, woman. Queen Victoria: The correct form of address is "Your Majesty!" [BANG]
K9 Mark III's Heroic Sacrifice: "You bad dog!" "Affirmative." Even more awesome because K9, as always, sounds so damn smug.
The tiny dog taking down all those Krillitanes almost single-handedly.
"We are in a car."
The Girl in the Fireplace
Reinette: What do monsters have nightmares about? Doctor Me!
The above line is right after... well, Television Without Pity said it best: "He totally beat up the literal monster under her literal bed." Even better: he says it while beating up the Droid.
The Doctor leaving through the rotating fireplace and telling a stunned courtier:
Doctor: I'm the Doctor—and I just snogged Madame de Pompadour!
The Doctor pretending to be three sheets to the wind so he can get close enough to a clockwork robot to destroy it.
Clockwork Droid: She is compatible. The Doctor: Compatible? If you believe that... you probably believe this is a glass of wine. [pours said glass over the top of its head]
The Doctor rides a horse through a mirror, then there's the following exchange when he's introduced to Louis XV.
Reinette:Oh, this is my lover, the King of France. Doctor: Yeah, well, I'm the Lord of Time.
Reinette telling the entire Royal Court of Versailles to get ahold of themselves, while facing down unstoppable killer clockwork robots:
That's right, Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys was inverted. Because never forget, popular opinion about 20th century France aside, in the 18th Century, France was one of the most important and powerful nations in the world.
Rise of the Cybermen
The fact that as soon as the Doctor realizes what's going on, he's scared. Really scared. His frantic screaming of "We surrender!" over and over again helps.
The Age of Steel
It almost seems wasted on someone so evil, but when Mr. Crane rips out his EarBuds ("Oh, no you don't!") as Lumic tries to seize control, makes his way into his boss's central chamber, and mortally injures Lumic before the Cybermen restrain and "delete" him... you've got to admit that that was impressive.
The Doctor: Hold a minute. You've got hands, Mr. Connolly. Two big hands! Why is that your wife's job? Connolly: It's housework, innit? The Doctor: And that's a woman's job? Connolly: Of course it is! The Doctor: Mr. Connolly, what gender is the Queen? Connolly:[uncomfortable] She's a female. The Doctor: And are you suggesting the Queen does the housework? Connolly: No, not at all! The Doctor: Then get busy.
And, when he catches on to what they're doing, he tries to reinstate his supposed authority over them, only for the Doctor to show that not everybody is as easily bullied.
Connolly: "Hold on a minute. Queen and country's one thing, but this is my house! What the... What the hell am I doing? Now you listen here, Doctor. You may have fancy qualifications, but what goes on under my roof is my business." The Doctor: "Not if people are being abducted—" Connolly: " I am talking!" The Doctor: "And I'm ''not'' listening!"
The Doctor:They did what? Bishop: I'm sorry? The Doctor: They left her where? Bishop: Just... in the street. The Doctor: The street. They left her in the street. They took her face, and just chucked her out and left her in the street. And as a result, that makes things... simple. Very very simple. Do you know why? Bishop: No. The Doctor: Because now, Detective Inspector Bishop, there is no power on thisEarththat can stop me!
Tommy Calling the Old Man Out on his betrayal and hypocrisy, followed by his wife joining in, slamming the door in his face, and then telling her relatives that "something has ended," implying she's going to divorce him. After seeing how cowed they were, it took a lot of guts to do that.
The Impossible Planet
The Beast. Seriously, this character just oozes with Evil Is Cool and his entire stick of messing with crew psychologically just shows how powerful words can be.
The Satan Pit
Rose and the Doctor kill Satan (or at least a being with a good claim to inspiring the legend). By dropping it down a black hole.
Rose: Go to Hell.
The speech the Doctor gives just before he does was pretty awesome too.
The Doctor: So that's the trap, the great test, the final judgement, I dunno. But if I kill you, I kill her. But that implies, in this big grand scheme of gods and devils, that she's just a victim. Well, I've seen a lot of this universe. I've seen fake gods and bad gods and demi-gods and would-be gods. I've had the whole pantheon. But if I believe in one thing... just one thing... I believe in her!
He's Badass Boast as the planet is falling into the Black Hole deserves a mention too.
The Doctor: This is your freedom. Free to die! You're going into that black hole and I'm riding with you!
Mr. Jefferson's Heroic Sacrifice, taking out the pursuing Ood with his guns and then accepting his fate with the knowledge he bought the others some time. He then asks the Captain the increase the speed of the oxygen removal so he can die from oxygen starvation rather than be lapelled as "death by Ood".
Love & Monsters
The Doctor did not have to save the day. LINDA defeated the Monster of the Week by the themselves. That's impressive by any standards. Special mention should go to Ursula, who discovered how to kill it and implemented The Plan to do so.
Army of Ghosts
Right when the Cybermen had emerged, and creating a cliffhanger ending of how the Doctor would defeat them, the Sphere opens and out come the Daleks.
"Doomsday" may have had more than a few Dalek Moments of Awesome, but the Cybermen also get to verbally own the Daleks in this exchange of insults (around 2:13):
Cyberman: Our species are similar, though your design is inelegant. Dalek Thay: Daleks have no concept of elegance! Cyberman: This is obvious.
Cyber Leader: Daleks, be warned. You have declared war upon the Cybermen. Dalek Sec: This is not war. This ispest control! Cyber Leader: We have five million Cybermen. How many are you? Dalek Sec: Four. Cyber Leader: You would destroy the Cybermen with four Daleks? Dalek Sec: We would destroy the Cybermen with one Dalek! You are superior in only one respect. Cyber Leader: What is that? Dalek Sec: You are better at dying.
Just a minute later, Rose points out to the Daleks why the Doctor owns them both.
Rose: Five million Cybermen? Easy. One Doctor? Now you're scared.
That moment at the end where Will figures out, all on his own, that the Doctor is an alien and Martha is a time traveler from the future. Oh, and the psychic paper not working on him because he's just that brilliant.
The Lazarus Experiment
The Doctor turning his sonic screwdriver Up to Eleven and inserting it into a pipe organ in order to stop the Lazarus monster. It's a lot better than it sounds.
Human Nature / The Family of Blood
The denouement of "The Family of Blood". The Doctor didn't disguise himself as a human for months because he was afraid of the Family. He hid because he knew what he'd do to the Family.
Son of Mine: He never raised his voice. That was the worst thing - the fury of the Time Lord - and then we discovered why. Why this Doctor, who had fought with gods and demons, why he had run away from us and hidden. He was being kind. He wrapped my father in unbreakable chains forged in the heart of a dwarf star. He tricked my mother into the event horizon of a collapsing galaxy to be imprisoned there, forever. He still visits my sister, once a year, every year. I wonder if one day he might forgive her, but there she is. Can you see? He trapped her inside a mirror. Every mirror. If ever you look at your reflection and see something move behind you just for a second, that's her. That's always her. As for me, I was suspended in time and the Doctor put me to work standing over the fields of England, as their protector. We wanted to live forever. So the Doctor made sure we did.
The Doctor's ultimate MOA came near the end, when he reveals himself as the Doctor, and blows the Family's ship up.
Doctor: Oh, I think the explanation might be that you've been fooled by a simple olfactory misdirection. It's a little bit like ventriloquism of the nose. It's an elemantary trick in certain parts of the galaxy. But it has got to be said. I don't like the look of that hydrokilominator. It seems to be indicating that you're got energy feedback all the way through the retro-stabilisers, feeding back into the primary heat converters. OOH! 'Cos if there's one thing you shouldn't have done. You shouldn't have let me press all those buttons. But, to be fair, I will give you one word of advice. RUN!
When the Doctor is all "come with me" towards Joan, she calls him on the way death and destruction follows in his wake. "If you hadn't come here, never chosen this place, on a whim. Would anyone have died?" Instead of being oh so dazzled by his awesomeness, she spoke up for the people who get left behind (like Harriet Jones tried to before). It's fine that he was trying to be kind to the Family of Blood and all, but by saving them (rather than just giving them a quick death and being done with it) how many more people ended up dead?
John Smith, the Doctor's alternate personality, is brave enough to sacrifice himself for the greater good of a cause he knows next to nothing about (although he probably realized it was the only way to stop the psychotic aliens).
John Smith raises a rifle, looks down the sights... Then realizes he can't do it. The Doctor is THAT opposed to using guns that he won't use them, even when he can't remember who he is!
John Smith instinctively grabbing a cricket ball and bowling it, thus causing a chain reaction which prevents a mother and her child from being killed by a falling piano. Whereas this sort of thing would be easy to the Doctor with his Time Lord senses, keep in mind he's still meant to be biologically human at this point! Whatever the species, the Doctor cannot help being a Big Damn Hero!
When told black women will never be doctors, Martha proceeds to list every bone in the human hand. Surely an MOA for Freema Agyeman simply for being able to do that, let alone Martha totally owning the stuffy matron. Not to mention the Stealth Pun: Martha knows human anatomy like the back of her hand.
Son: What do you know of history sir? What do you know of next year? 1914 sir! Because the Family has traveled far and wide looking for Mr. Smith and, oh, the things we have seen. War is coming. In foreign fields, war of the whole, wide world, with all your boys falling down in the mud. ''Do you think they will thank the man who taught them it was glorious?
And the headmaster gets his own in turn; true, it's a remarkably bloodthirsty little statement for one of the allies, but you've got to give the man credit for not flinching in the face of someone as creepy as Baines:
Headmaster: You forget boy, I was in South Africa; I used my dead mates for sand bags, I fought with my gun when the bullets ran out, and I would go back tomorrow for King and Country!
And Baines/Son Of Mine quite literally shoots this rebuttal down by shooting Phillips dead and sending the headmaster scurrying for cover.
Hell, Son of Mine in general is a CMoA for the actor.
Lucy Cartwright/Daughter of Mine casually entering the barricaded schoolyard, disintegating the headmaster, and daring the boy soldiers to shoot her.
Sally Sparrow: I love old places. They make me sad. Kathy Nightingale: What's so great about sad? Sally Sparrow: It's happy for deep people.
Sally chastises the Doctor and forces him to explain the situation to her. He is visibly taken aback.
Sally: How?! How is this possible? Tell me! Doctor: People don't understand time, it's not what you think it is. Sally: Then what is it? Doctor: Complicated. Sally: Tell me. Doctor: Very complicated. Sally: ...I'm clever, and I'm listening, and don't patronize me because people have died and I'm not happy. Tell me.
Still taken aback, it should be noted, even though he's in 1969 and reading her side of the conversation from an autocue.
Jack's reintroduction, holding onto the edge of the TARDIS, through the Time Vortex, while it desperately tries to shake it off. This is awesome for two reasons; Firstly because exposure to the Time Vortex is lethal to damn near everything else, but secondly because the TARDIS travels right through to the end of the universe before it's finally forced to land. In other words, the TARDIS ran out of universe to go through, before Jack was willing to let go. Perhaps this may be part of the reason the TARDIS later seems more willing to permit Jack onboard, since this act showed a ton of loyalty towards the Doctor, in that Jack would risk being killed or stranded anywhere rather than lose his chance to see the Doctor again.
The exchange after the Master opened his Chameleon Arch and remembered who he was.
Chantho:Chan,Professor Yana,tho? Professor Yana: THAT IS NOT MY NAME! "The Professor" was an invention. So perfect a disguise that I forgot who I am. Chantho: Chan, Then who are you, tho? Professor Yana:I. Am. The MASTER!(electrocutes Chantho)
Much of this was made possible by some excellent acting on the part of Derek Jacobi. Particularly when, after having his memory restored, Yana's vocal cadence shifted slightly; some of Jacobi's line readings ("Not to worry, my dear. As one door closes, another must surely open") sounded just a bit like Anthony Ainley.
The entire last 12 minutes.
More specifically, there's this conversation:
The Master: Why don't we stop and have a nice little chat while I tell you all my plans and you can work out a way to stop me, Idon'tthink! The Doctor: I'm asking you really, properly, just stop! Just think! The Master: Use my name. The Doctor: Master... I'm sorry. The Master: Tough!
He then proceeds to leave the Doctor stranded. At the end of the universe. With a horde of cannibals about to break in. Awesome.
All capped off with some awesome parting words:
The Master: End of the universe! HAVE FUN!!! Bye bye! [leaves in the TARDIS]
A line made all the more awesome by John Simm's perfectly manic delivery.
Last of the Time Lords
The Master busting out more funky dance moves to the tune of "I Can't Decide", while he capers about the Valiant's command deck, snogs his wife, pours coffee on Martha's mum, and rings a bell to call out the Doctor, whom he has living in a tent and eating from a dog bowl. And starts spinning him around in a wheelchair.
Jack spending an entire year enduring being repeatedly tortured to death by the Master and still not breaking.
Martha's Moment of Awesome has to be when, after two episodes of effortlessly pwning absolutely everyone (including the Doctor and the immortal Captain Jack), the Master has her imprisoned, kneeling at his feet... and she laughs at him.
To be fair, though the U.S. President displayed some jackass-ish behavior (understandable since he's dealing with The Master), he stood up to The Master more than anyone else before his death and refused to tolerate the man's bullshit. The fact that he seemed immune to The Master's mental manipulation is another mark in his favor.
Off-screen, during the Year that Never Was, Martha did such deeds as going to Shipyard #1 in Russia, walking across radiation pits in Europe, being the only person to leave the burning islands of Japan alive, getting her hands on a disk telling exactly how to kill a Toclafane, and finding the parts for a fake gun. And her only defense? A low-level perception filter, that doesn't even really hide her.
Martha spent a long while being treated as or feeling inferior, even without "Human Nature"/"The Family of Blood", but she still stayed strong and in the end, she realised she was not inferior, neither to Rose nor the Doctor, and left.
Martha: So this is me, getting out.
Tom Milligan's attempt at a Heroic Sacrifice with his pistol, even though he knew that both the Toclafane and the Master were invulnerable to bullets, to try and save Martha, a woman that he's known less than a day...in a word, awesome.
The end of "Last of the Time Lords" where the Master dies in the Doctor's arms, refusing to regenerate, and just laughing at the Doctor's pain at being the only Time Lord in existence once more. Even though the Doctor foiled his plans, he has the last laugh. As he puts it himself: "I win!"
A Meta version: Martha for being the only main companion of the new series to leave on her own terms.
Voyage of the Damned
When they demand to know who he is.
The Doctor: I'm the Doctor. I'm a Time Lord. I'm from the planet Gallifrey in the constellation of Kasterborous. I'm 903 years old, and I'm the man who's gonna save your lives and all six billion people on the planet below. You got a problem with that?
The Doctor striding forwards, holding out his hands and being lifted up through the ship by a pair of angels. Say what you want about the inclusion of religious imagery and portraying the Doctor as Messianic Archetype, but that moment is soberingly awesome to watch.
The Doctor pulling the Titanic up in the nick of time and missing Buckingham Palace by literally inches.
Having the Queen, without a hint of anything but calm in her voice, wave and say "Thank you Doctor, thank you" as if this sort of thing happens every Tuesday.
It's incredibly minor, but after a couple who won tickets onboard the ship fall for a prank, the Doctor soaks the snobs who pranked them in their own champagne.
Wilf coming out of his stall to shake his fist at the sky. This is the man who, when the entirety of London ran in fear of the invasions of years past, stayed in his stall to mock any aliens who might try it this year. Did we mention this is his first appearance ever? When the Doctor takes a passenger from the starship Titanic (not that one) to Earth and finds London deserted at Christmas, there's a lone old man running a newsstand who tells him that everyone else cleared out because nasty things happen to London every Christmas. But he wasn't letting any invaders scare him away, no! And he only gets more awesome from there.
The Fires of Pompeii
The Doctor holds off the attacking alien menace with... a water pistol. At first you think it's just a bluff and he treats it as such, but then you remember that these are lava monsters and actually, that kinda stings. How often do you get a character who can seriously hold off the bad guys with a water pistol?
Donna: You fought her off with a water pistol?! I bloody love you!
Donna convinces the Doctor, after being forced into a horrible Sadistic Choice ( Pompeii or the world) to go back. Bonus points because she motivates him to save an entire family from Vesuvius.
Donna: Please. Not the whole town... just save someone.
When she realizes that the Doctor has to pull the lever and destroy Pompeii, what does Donna do? She doesn't just support him in his decision; even better, she pulls the lever WITH him. She shoulders the guilt of killing hundreds of people with him.
The Sontaran Strategem
The Doctor defeating the enemy commander, no less, with applied squash.
Stahl gets a minor one after this, instantly repairing the damage the Doctor inflicted on the teleport system, and dismissing the sonic screwdriver as 'primitive'.
Donna gets to come into her own thanks to her experience as a "supertemp" and wring a salute out of the ranking UNIT officer present.
Mace again: "The Sontarans might think of us as primitive, as does every passing species with an axe to grind. They make a mockery of our weapons, our soldiers, our ideals, but no more. From this point on it stops. From this point on, the people of Earth fight back. And we show them, we show the warriors of Sontar what the human race can do."
Mace, right before introducing two bullets to a Sontaran's head:
Mace: You will face me, sir!
Keep in mind that Sontarans are at a disadvantage when their back is turned. He willingly gives up his advantage and still wins. Badass.
Donna Noble knocking out a Sontaran. "Back of the neck!"
The entire last 15 minutes of "The Poison Sky" for the whole of UNIT, after 40+ years of playing the Redshirt Army they finally get to kick some Sontaran arse.
The Valiant on the start of the attack run. Even the Doctor is impressed.
Rattigan's final "Sontar-HA!"
The Doctor's Daughter
After Jenny takes a bullet from General Cobb, the Doctor points a gun at Cobb's head... of course being the Technical Pacifist he is, he doesn't shoot, but what he tells Cobb and the rest of the colonist descendants is definitely a Mo A-worthy speech.
Jenny making it through the beams via epic gymnastic skills.
Delivered after relocating the shoulder of a Hath soldier under gunpoint:
Martha: Now then, I'm Dr. Martha Jones. Who the hell are you?"
Martha is completely unfazed by the radioactive surface of the planet, and convinces her Hath friend to accompany her across.
Forest of the Dead
The Doctor tries to get the Vashta Nerada to back down. The Vashta Nerada won't back down. The Doctor tells the Vashta Nerada to read all the files on him in The Library. The Vashta Nerada back down.
Doctor:Don't play games with me. You just killed someone I liked, that is not a safe place to stand! I'm the Doctor, and you're in the biggest Library in the universe. [pauses] Look me up.
Sort of a Moment of His-Awesomeness-Precedes-Him, that one!
The Tenth Doctor then finds out that armies will all but flee in his wake, learns that he will build an improved sonic screwdriver in the future (with optional body pattern imprint capability), saves the life of River Song by plugging her pattern into the planet's computer (keeping her alive for all time), then learns to open the TARDIS doors with the snap of his fingers. Epic.
Doctor: Why? Why would I give her my screwdriver? Why would I do that? Thing is, future me had those years to think about it. All those years to think of a way to save her, and all he did was give her a screwdriver! Why would I do that?! [pops the lid and realizes what he can do as the Awesome Music reaches a crescendo]Oh.Oh! OH! LOOK AT THAT!!! I'M VERY GOOD!!! Donna: What have you done? Doctor: Saved her. [starts running]
This could also count as a MOA for the Eleventh Doctor (even before he appeared, as he uses the screwdriver that was later modified and given to River, so it was probably him doing the modifying (and devising the rescue-plan that goes with it).
The unnamed stewardess saving The Doctor and killing the alien, that is all.
Despite the fact that "Turn Left" is basically a Tear Jerker incarnate mixed with some terror for kicks, the entire extended cast gets at least one even if it's usually the death of them in the alternate timeline. The Doctor gets one in absence for being the one who inspired most of them.
Donna finally going through with Rose's plan at the end of "Turn Left".
The Stolen Earth
Gwen and Ianto:
Ianto:[after being handed a gun by Gwen] Those don't work against Daleks. Gwen: Yeah? I'm going out fighting. Like Owen. Like Tosh. How about you? Ianto: Yes ma'am.
Harriet Jones, former Prime Minister, gets hers when she's about to die.
Harriet Jones:Harriet Jones, former Prime Minister. Dalek: Yes, we know who you are. Harriet Jones: Oh, you know nothing of any human, and that will be your downfall.
Martha being genuinely happy the Doctor found Rose, despite her previous annoyance of her name. (well-earned, really, as Rose was a large part of why Martha was constantly put down by the Doctor and constantly made to feel inferior? Heartwarming AND Awesome.
Rose's first appearance in "The Stolen Earth": following scenes with every other surviving major character of both the series itself and its two spinoffs, Rose teleports into the middle of the street with a huge gun. Then her Unflinching Walk a bit later on. The latter is even more impressive since let's face it, if before this episode you were to figure what characters on the show would be able to pull off the Unflinching Walk, Rose would probably be pretty low on the list.
Once the Earth is taken by the Daleks, Rose walks past a shop being looted by two goons. She points the gun at them and orders them to leave with the classic line "Do you like my gun?"
Dalek Fred, the Dalek from the last few minutes of "The Stolen Earth" shoots the Doctor mid-Meadow Run.
The Doctor-Donna. Seriously, watching her gleefully dismantle Davros's entire plan within the span of one minute is possibly the biggest joy of watching "Journey's End".
Martha not only blackmails Davros by holding the destruction of Earth (and all Davros' plans) in her hands, but while she's doing that, she tells the Doctor to shut up.
Sarah Jane's speech to Davros is one of the best "surrender now to keep your ass intact, good sir" speeches ever.
Another one just for the fact that Davros still remembers Sarah Jane after thousands of years from his point of view. Maybe that counts for RTD as well for remembering that Sarah Jane was in "Genesis of the Daleks" and managing to cram in that nod to it.
Wilf takes on a Dalek. With a paintball gun. Then the Dalek vaporises the paint from its eyestalk with the line "MY VISION IS NOT IMPAIRED."
One belongs to none other than Dalek Caan:
Caan: I saw the Daleks, what we have done throughout time and space. I saw the truth of us, creator, and I decreed: No! More!
Made even more awesome when you realize Dalek Caan was actually appropriating the War Doctor's catchphrase.
Davros' magnificent Breaking Lecture to the Doctor, hurting him as he has never been hurt, destroying the foundation of his entire life and morality and all with a single speech:
Davros: The man who abhors violence, never carrying a gun, but this is the truth, Doctor: you take ordinary people and you fashion them into weapons... behold your Children of Time, transformed into murderers. I made the Daleks, Doctor, you made this. The Doctor: I'm trying to help. Davros: Already I have seen them sacrificed today, for their beloved Doctor. The Earth woman who fell opening the Sub Wave Network. The Doctor: Who was that? Rose Tyler: Harriet Jones. She gave her life to get you here. [flashback of Harriet Jones] Davros: How many more? Just think, how many have died in your name? [more flashbacks of the people who have died helping the Doctor] Davros: The Doctor, the man who keeps running, never looking back because he dare not, out of shame. This is my final victory, Doctor. I have shown you yourself.
What makes the above speech all the more awesome is that it continues to be vindicated long after this episode, and its message even becomes a key plot point in the Eleventh Doctor's run, to the point where it almost seems to be have been foreshadowing. Especially since the Doctor himself seems to be aware of this.
Davros' ultimate MoA must come when he unveils what the Reality Bomb will do in typically Hitleresque fashion, increasing in volume with each word.
Davros: Across the entire universe. Never stopping, never faltering, never fading. People, planets and stars will become dust. And the dust will become atoms. And the atoms will become.... nothing. And the wavelength will continue, through the rift at the heart of the Medusa Cascade! Into every dimension! Every parallel! Every single corner of creation! THIS is my ultimate victory, Doctor! THE DESTRUCTION! OF REALITY! ITSELF!
The best thing was that this was exactly what he and the Doctor had talked about 30 years ago in "Genesis of the Daleks". That Davros finally had within his grasp the universal removal of all non-Dalek life, and that this all-consuming Critical Existence Failure was stopped only by a series of fortunate events? Davros has always been a creepy, psychotic and excellent villain. This was the first time Davros had him honest to goodness scared. And it was awesome.
The episode even includes a wonderful little nod to that earlier scene. In the scene from Genesis, Davros is holding up his hand with finger and thumb just parted, as though holding the imaginary vial of virus - and even before he actually exclaims "Yes! I would do it!", he brings the digits together as though crushing the vial. In the more recent episode, he unconsciously makes the same gesture, this time when he orders the detonation of the Reality Bomb.
And the laugh. Dear god, the laugh had the potential to be cheesy but given all his character and backstory it was genuinely frightening to see the madman that close to achieving all his goals. Also awesome for Julian Bleach for pulling it off so effectively...
After every stolen planet is returned to its rightful place in the universe, The Doctor and company notice Earth is still floating aimlessly in the Medusa Cascade and know that just won't do. So how do they get it back home? After what seems like just another wave of Technobabble, we are introduced to perhaps the single most beautiful, insane, over-the-top two minutes in the history of science fiction: A time-and-space traveling Police Boxtowing Planet Earth back to Sol at light speed. And just to rub in the glory of what you're seeing for all its worth, it cuts between the so-called Children of Time piloting the TARDIS looking positively ecstatic as they move Earth back home and their own allies on Earth, either having a ball or freaking out at the mild earthquakes their transport is causing. All to the tune of The Song of Freedom. In 45 years of Who, there has never been a so many moments of Awesome, Heartwarming, and arguably a Tear Jerker (in a good way) crammed into the same two minutes, and perhaps there never will be again.
The Next Doctor
Humongous Mecha trampling Victorian-era London. The Doctor counters this, by borrowing the Next Doctor's TARDIS... a hot air balloon. You have to admit, that takes balls.
The eponymous "Next Doctor" suffering from mental trauma from finding out he's not the Doctor, that the Cybermen killed his wife (and did something else he can't remember), he straps on a bandoleer of fancy thumbdrives (called 'infostamps') and charges into battle, using them to destroy the Cybermen and rescue the Doctor. Sweet Jesus, for someone who wasn't the Doctor, Lake really is a massively awesome Badass Normal.
Jackson Lake leading the crowd in cheering the Tenth Doctor after he saves the day.
The scene after they first encounter Miss Hartigan. The two Doctors turn to run. Rosita decks her in the face. The Doctor's impressed, but can't admit it:
Doctor: Can I just say... I completely disapprove!
This exchange with Miss Hartigan and the Cybermen:
Three words: BUS BITCH-SLAP. Two more: flying bus.
UNIT not playing the Redshirt Army to stingrays with metal shells.
The Waters of Mars
The Doctor comes back to save the outpost.
The Doctor: It's taken me all these years to realize the laws of time are MINE. AND THEY WILL OBEY ME!
And he would have gotten away with it too, if not for his previous lecturing. Also, when Adelaide realizes the Doctor won't recognize that he's gone too far, she kills herself to fix the timeline in place. Watching the Doctor's sudden realization of what he just did is very satisfying, after his above speech. Also absolutely terrifying.
Gadget! The Doctor turning him into a super-scooter is cool, but the Moment of Awesome comes when he un-boxes and remote-controls Gadget to fly the Tardis in to save them at LITERALLY the last second - complete with Awesome Music in the background as it all unfolds.
The End of Time
Quite possibly the best usage of one of Ten's Catch Phrases ever:
Tenth Doctor: There's an old Earth saying, captain. A phrase of great power and wisdom, and consolation to the soul in times of need. Vinvocci: What's that then? Tenth Doctor: Allons-y!
The Doctor points out a small but significant detail to the Master: "That guard is one inch too tall." *Rossiter cold-cocks the Master with his rifle*
Wilf further cementing his Badass Grandpa status by piloting an anti-missile turret and saving the entire ship.
Wilf has an epic, but entirely well-meaning What the Hell, Hero? moment when he tells the Doctor that he better dare not, even for a moment, consider putting the Master above the whole of the human race.
Rory gets well-deserved credit for his lack of response upon first seeing the inside of the TARDIS, but Wilf might have topped that.
Wilf: I thought it'd be cleaner!
The Master Race. If anything could top what the Master pulled off in "The Sound of Drums", it's that. It's also an MOA for John Simm. If you just read the script you would think 'Wow!', but if you see him? Awesome!
Even better, the last we see of Rassilon and the Master before they vanish, the Master's kicking his ass.
"The End of Time", Part One. That. Last. Scene.
Rassilon: For victory! FOR GALLIFREY!FOR THE END! OF TIME! ITSELF!
In Part Two, even Rassilon himself gets a moment: the Master taunts him, calling him ancient and decrepit, gloating that he will turn every last one of the Time Lords into a genetic copy of himself. Response? Rassilon undoes the Master's handiwork on the entire human race.With a flick of the wrist.Awesome.
Where the Doctor shows the planet Earth is protected as he finishes getting dressed.
The Eleventh Doctor: Oh, you're not the first lot to have come here. Oh, there have been so many. [slideshow of various monsters] And what you've got to ask is, what happened to them?[hologram of all the previous Doctors kicking the collective asses of every alien to mess with Earth, ever, comes up while utterly awesome music plays. Slideshow finishes with the faces of the First through Tenth Doctors, then the Eleventh walks through, having just finished picking out his new clothes] Hello. I'm the Doctor. Basically...run.
Oh, and watch closely—as the Atraxi representative flies away, it keeps its eye on the Doctor the whole time. If those giant eyes had pants, they'd probably have been soiling them at that point. The Doctor is so badass that a clip show scares alien threats off.
Also, the Eleventh Doctor's introductory episode has him saving the world with no TARDIS, no Sonic Screwdriver, and only twenty minutes to work with.
And a post office, but it's closed.
With two minutes to spare. Really.
This is given a Continuity Nod by the Gamma Forest people in "A Good Man Goes to War": The above exchange is after the aliens in question have already left, and he calls them back to Earth to scold them for the atrocity they were threatening.
The Beast Below
Amy one-ups the Doctor in Awesomeness by Analysis, subverts the Doctor's plan to Take a Third Option, manhandles the Queen of England, saves everyone, and restores the Doctor's faith in humanity, all in her first time off-planet and while wearing her nightie.
Liz X, Guns Akimbo, takes out the Smilers with the immortal quip "I'm the bloody queen, mate. Basically? I rule." The Doctor is quite impressed, as he should be.
Victory of the Daleks
The Doctor bluffs the Daleks for a long while by convincing them that a jammy dodger (a jam-filled biscuit sandwich) is the self-destruct switch for the TARDIS. Also doubles as a Funny Moment, especially when the Progenitor Daleks finally figure it out.
Dalek: TARDIS self-destruct non-existent! Doctor:[eats biscuit] Alright, it's a jammy dodger! BUT I WAS PROMISED TEA!
The accurately-named "Victory of the Daleks." They manage to manipulate the Doctor, of all people, into restoring his greatest enemy, and then manage to pull off a Sadistic Choice on the guy who is known for Taking A Third Option.
The Time of Angels
The Angels use the voice of their latest victim (who still has some sentience) to taunt the Doctor. The Doctor responds.
Amy figuring out how to deal with the Angel that was threatening her. Even the Doctor and River are impressed.
Doctor: River, hug Amy. River: Why? Doctor: Cause I'm busy.
Which actually takes on an entirely different dimension now that we know River is Amy's daughter.
River Song opened the hatch door and blew herself into space just in time to be saved by the Doctor.
River: As I said on the dance floor... you might want to find something to hang onto.
Flesh and Stone
Two in the same scene: "No, seriously, GET a GRIP!" and "I just don't think you understand the gravity of the situation!" The latter being a nice reuse of the exact same pun as seen in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier in the opening scene.
Father Octavian, a oneshot character from the two-parter "The Time of Angels / Flesh and Stone," had perhaps the most dignifieddeath in the history of the show. Faced with the imminent and inevitable prospect of being killed by the Weeping Angel which has its arms around his neck, he keeps hold of his convictions and remains utterly, touchingly calm.
Octavian: There's no way out. You have to leave me. The Doctor: You can't wriggle out? Octavian: No, it's too tight. You have to leave me, sir, there's nothing you can do. [...] Now please, you have to go. It's your duty to your friends. [...] Sir, the Angels are coming, you have to leave me. The Doctor: You'll die. Octavian: I will die in the knowledge that my courage did not desert me at the end. For that I thank God, and bless the path that takes you to safety. The Doctor: I wish I'd known you better. Octavian: I think, sir, you knew me at my best. The Doctor: [pause] Ready? Octavian: Content.
Companions often call the Doctor out on dickery, pompousness, or some other questionable policy—heck, that's practically why the Companions arethere, but Rory takes this time-honoured tradition a step further by telling the Doctor, loudly and bluntly, exactly why he is such a huge threat to the people he travels with: not because he's dangerous and powerful, but because he makes people a danger to themselves by making them want to impress him when other people have to live with the consequences.
Amy figures if she and the others are going to die, they might as well die in "style".
Amy: Come on boys. If we're going to die, let's die looking like a Peruvian folk band.
The Doctor vs. the Silurian soldiers.
Vincent and the Doctor
The Doctor and Amy taking Vincent to the present day and showing him the museum of all his masterpieces, and Bill Nighy's speech about how Van Gogh was the greatest artist and one of the greatest humans who ever lived. It may not have been enough to save Vincent's life, but it definitely added to his pile of good things. Doubles as a Moment Of Heartwarming.
The Doctor kicking ass at football, complete with theme music blaring.
Craig using The Power of Love to short out a TARDIS knock-off that had already fried 18 people who had interfaced with it beforehand.
The Pandorica Opens
The Doctor gets on a microphone, surrounded by 15 Roman soldiers and "10,000? 100,000? 1,000,000?" alien space ships who all want what he's got. First, he tells them who he is, and then tells them to shut up. They do. He tells them that he's got the Pandorica. Then, he reminds them what he's done to them before, and he tells them "do the smart thing: let someone else try first." They leave. Romans gape.
The Doctor: Now the question of the hour is: Who's got the Pandorica? Answer: I do. Next question: Who's coming to take it from me? (No response) Come on, look at me! No plan, no backup, no weapons worth a damn, oh, and something else, I don't have. Anything. To. Lose! So! If you're sitting up there in your silly little spaceship with all your 'msilly little guns and you have any plans of taking the Pandorica tonight'', just remember who's standing in your way. Remember every black day I ever stopped you, and then! Aaand then! Do the smart thing! Let somebody else try first.
So, in other words, he's basically saying..."COME AT ME BRO!"
This is Double Subverted later on. Subversion the first: the Pandorica is actually a prison for the Doctor, and by sticking around he's just ensured he'll get put in it. Subversion the second: it turns out he was right after all, since the Pandorica protects him from erasure and after he gets out via time-travel abuse he proceeds to use it to save Amy, himself, and the universe, in that order. Recalling pretty much his boast of never putting him in a trap in "The Time of Angels", "Who takes the Pandorica takes the universe", indeed.
River Song's opening adventure in "The Pandorica Opens". She hears the Doctor may be in trouble, so she busts out of her prison, steals a painting, procures a Vortex Manipulator, writes the first words on the first planet in existence as a message to the Doctor, and then bluffs her way into a Roman camp by making the soldiers think she is Cleopatra. A little Hallucinogenic Lipstick goes a long way!
"The Pandorica Opens" gives some great material to a lone Cyberman, practically getting the same amount of MOA on behalf of his species as the title character from "Dalek" in just one scene. Broken into pieces, the human inside having long rotted to uselessness, and it manages to get quite far in trying to take down the Doctor and Amy while being damn scary in the meantime.
Let's be honest: the Alliance that we see in this episode is also a pretty damn big Awesome Moment for the Doctor's enemies, being one of the biggest and most threatening Villain Team Ups that we've ever seen in this show. Even though it's treated as an Oh Crap moment, you can't help but feel a little tingle of excitement when River and the Doctor realize just what kind of army they're up against.
The Doctor is ready to sacrifice not only his life, but his very EXISTENCE, to "reboot" the universe. As he's flying the Pandorica on a suicide-run into the TARDIS explosion, he takes time to send one final message to River, Rory, and Amy. He smiles as he drops the computer...
River: It's from the Doctor. Amy: What does it say? River:Geronimo.
Actually, it's implied that he had River tell Amy that he would be erased from existence when his last in-person word to Amy was "Gotcha." Which basically doubles the awesome because he knew he would be able to come back and left Amy the clue to do it!
At Amy's wedding: "Something old, something new, something borrowed...something blue."
Amy: Raggedy Man, I remember you, and you are LATE FOR MY WEDDING!
To sum it up nicely: Amy flat-out orders reality to give her back her Doctor, and it does. Not with a begrudging "Why should I?" or even a permissive "Very well, here you go." The totality of existence is officially Amy Pond's bitch.
River faces down the Stone Dalek. She informs it that its shields are compromised, and that one blast from her gun will kill it stone dead. The Dalek replies that its records show that, as an associate of the Doctors, she will show mercy. Her reply? "I'm River Song. Check your records again." And with that one line, the Dalek literally begs for mercy. Three times.
"Where's the Dalek?" "It died." Also doubles as a Funny Moment.
Dalek: INTRUDER-IS-UNARMED. Rory: Oh, you think? (BANG)
His earlier exchange with The Doctor is also awesome.
Doctor: Why do you have to be so... human? Rory: Because right now I'm not.
Rory gets a LOT of awesome in this episode, including single-handedly DRAGGING the Pandorica out of a building that was just bombed by Germans, punching out the Doctor and getting COMPLIMENTED for it (since it proved his humanity), and, one more thing, protecting the Pandorica all alone for just under two THOUSAND YEARS. Forget Amy, Rory is the best companion of this series.
That last part can't be overstated enough. One thousand, eight hundred and ninety four years. Conscious, the whole time. Never sleeping. Never resting. Alone, stranded in time, and with no way of knowing whether he would even last until the modern day. Probably still wracked with guilt over shooting Amy in the first place, and tasked with keeping the Pandorica safe from ANYTHING, following it wherever it went, through dozens of civilizations and countries. No reassurances, no help, no instructions other than "protect Amy". No way of healing any damage if he gets hurt, and the only weapons he has when he starts are a sword and an Arm Cannon. And he SUCCEEDS. Not only that, but when he shows up as the museum guard, there isn't a scratch on him. Not to mention the fact that he's now twice as old as the Doctor himself. Yes, Rory is definitelyBadass.
The rescue of the Pandorica from the German Blitz also cannot be emphasised enough. Rory was made of plastic and still willingly risked walking into a burning building, in order to drag out the several-ton box containing the woman he loved. Even historians thought he'd perished whilst saving her.
One more thing: The Doctor indicated that if he took the slow path alone for that long, he'd very likely go insane. But did he? Nope, Rory kept it together for nearly two thousand years out of sheer dedication due to his love for Amy. If there's a poster child for The Power of Love, it's that.
Socking the Doctor in the face when he dismisses Amy as unimportant. "She is to me!". Sure, it was a ploy by the Doctor to ascertain his humanity, but look at it from Rory's POV: you are two thousand years from home, you've just discovered that you are actually a plastic being with fake memories, you were forced to kill your girlfiend, the entire universe suddenly ended, and the only guy who can possibly save it (who is also the most feared being in history) declares that doing so is more important than saving your loved one. So you punch him. Bad. Ass.
"That's my TARDIS burning up. That's what's been keeping the Earth warm." Even in death, the TARDIS still keeps the Earth safe for her Doctor as long as it can.
A Christmas Carol
Abigail uses her singing voice to save Rory, Amy and everyone on board that ship with the help of a broken screwdriver.
The Doctor travelling back in time and landing in the home video that Kazran is watching. The old man then gets to literally watch as his whole life is rewritten before his eyes.
The Doctor pulls his sonic screwdriver from the throat of an awake flying giant shark. Read that again.
The Impossible Astronaut
"I'm going to need a SWAT team ready to mobilise, street maps covering all of Florida, a pot of coffee, twelve Jammy Dodgers and a fez!" The rest of the scene is not necessary. Awesome will, without a doubt, ensue.
This was preceded by "Really? I just walked into the highest-security office in the United States, parked a big blue box on the rug. You think you can just shoot me?" Yeah. The Doctor just shows up behind the American President's desk in the Oval Office, while said president and his body guards are in the room.
Canton gets a pretty good MOA, albeit a smaller one, back at him. After the Doctor demonstrates his knowledge and, frankly, how necessary his participation is in solving this case, Canton calmly continues to play hardball and merely responds, "[beat] Get him his maps."
Canton: Mr. President, that man walked in here with a big blue box and three of his friends and that's the man he walked past. One of them's worth listening to.
"RIVER, MAKE HER BLUE AGAIN!" The Doctor cloaks the TARDIS in the Oval Office, and orders River to de-cloak her when he's tackled by secret service agents, dumbfounding everyone, including President Nixon himself.
The events at Lake Silencio.
Day of the Moon
How the Doctor defeats the Silence: He plays a clip of one of the Silence saying "you should kill us all on sight" during the broadcast of the moon landing, causing every human who ever watches footage of the moon landing (which would end up being billions of people, for billions of years) to kill the Silence as soon as they see one. Also counts as a CMoA for humanity.
Neil Armstrong:...one giant leap for mankind. The Doctor: And one whacking great kick up the backside for the Silence! You just raised an army against yourselves! And now, for a thousand generations, you're going to be ordering them to destroy you, every day. How fast can you run? Because today's the day the human race throws you off their planet, and they won't even know they're doing it. I think quite possibly the word you're looking for, right now, is...whoops, run. Guys, I mean us: RUN!
Canton gets one for recording said clip.
One of the Silence starts on a speech about how they have always been on Earth and have no need for weapons, while Amy can be heard screaming for help in the background. Canton simply pulls out his gun and shoots it with the words "Welcome toAmerica", before running to find Amy.
With no shame and no hesitation, in 1969, Canton informs the President of the United States — Richard fucking Nixon! — that he wants to marry a black man. The man has balls of titanium.
With a little help from the Doctor, Canton manages to successfully con the entire American government (with the possible exception of Nixon) while acting like he is leading the hunt to track down the Doctor's companions.
River Song mowing down at least eight Silent creatures by firing her gun while whirling rapidly in a circle, then holstering it and quipping "I hope my old man didn't see that, he gets ever so cross..." (possible foreshadowing) When Rory asks her "Just what sort of doctor ARE you?" She replies, "Archaeology," ...and shoots a Silent that was creeping up on her without looking! And then finishes it all off with "love a tomb." Bad. Ass.
How do you shoot a Silent that's behind you? I don't know, but River Song is awesome enough to pull it off.
For those reading those spoilers but not getting what the big deal is: the moment you take your eyes off of one of the Silence, you completely forget about them. River wasn't just shooting something she couldn't see, she shot something she literally could not have even known was there.
If you pay attention to Rory, you'll notice his alarmed expression when he sees a Silence creeping up behind River's back. River can shoot the Silence not because she knows it's a threat, but because she sees her daddy's expression and unhesitatingly kills whatever he is reacting to.
Courtesy of a bit of Fridge Horror and Fridge Brilliance. At the end of their three months on the run in 1969, Rory has over twice the number of tally marks on his body, implying that he's been dealing with the Silence on a nearly daily basis. This means one of two things: either he's either been really unlucky... or the Silence consider him the largest threat, even more so than River, and have been sending wave after wave of mooks in a desperate bid to eliminate him.
For a device often regarded as unreliable, the TARDIS pulls off one heck of a manoeuvre in "Day of the Moon", in which picking up River Song requires her to materialise within a timeframe of a few seconds, in mid-air, several storeys up, and oriented on her side.
The Curse of the Black Spot
Amy dresses as a pirate just for the hell of it, and shows off some swordfighting.
When the Doctor finds the auto-saved last screams of terror of hundreds of Time Lords who died on the planet long ago making him realise there truly are no more Time Lords AGAIN!,
Doctor: You gave me hope and then you took it away. That's enough to make anyone dangerous. GOD KNOWS what it will do to me! Basically......run!
This exchange is fantastic.
House: Fear me; I've killed hundreds of Time Lords. The Doctor: Fear me; I've killed all of them.
Crosses over with Fridge Brilliance: Just when Amy is about to go into a Heroic B So D after seeing what looks like Rory's corpse, thinking that he'd gone insane and hated her for leaving him alone for so long, the real one shows up and calmly reassures her that her head's just being messed with. How would he know? Because it's been messing with him the same way, but he's managed to shrug it off. After all, what's a little Mind Rape to a man who kept himself sane and loyal for nearly two thousand years?
Word of God from Neil Gaiman does indeed say that Rory was subjected to House's torments and that he was much better able to withstand them because of everything he's already been through.
The TARDIS burning away every part of House inside herself.
The Doctor: Finish him off, girl. [cue House's screams as the TARDIS takes back what's rightfully hers]
Really, the entirety of "The Doctor's Wife" is just one great CMoA for our police box. Special props to when she first reveals to the Doctor who she is. She's just so smug, and the look on his face is priceless. Goes for when she explains to the Doctor that she might not be reliable, but she's always taken the Doctor where he's needed to go.
Taken in this context, one can give her some credit for almost every moment of awesome on this list. After all, she was the one that brought the Doctor and his companions to any given place and time specifically so that he or they could make a difference there.
The Rebel Flesh
After a whole episode of the humans and their gangers being suspicious of and then wanting to kill each other, the Doctor (someone who rutinely pulls an I Hate Past Me) meets a ganger!Doctor, and they get along wonderfully!
And later, they switch sides, the Doctor exposing himself of the hatred and distrust of his companion, just to see the ganger's point of view. Made more awesome by the fact that the one who could feel the gangers' pain so strongly was the real Doctor.
Dorium: But all this to imprison one child? [headless monks look at him] Dorium: Oh, I know what you're up to, I hear everything in this place. I even hear rumours about whose child you've taken, are you mad?! [monks turn away and move off] Dorium: You know the stories about the Doctor? The things that man has done? God help us if you've made him angry!
"Three minutes forty seconds." It actually took three minutes forty-two seconds, but who's counting?
The Doctor turns two armies against each other without lifting a finger, only for their leader to recover the situation, talking both armies into standing down and disarming themselves. Then the Doctor's army turns up and claim sthe entire base. Without. A. Single. Casualty.
The Doctor's punishment for the Colonel.
Strax: Colonel Manton, you will give the order for your men to withdraw. Doctor: No; Colonel Manton, I want you to tell your men to "run away." Colonel: What? Doctor: Those words, "run away," I want you to be famous for those exact words. I want them to call you Colonel Runaway. I want children to laugh at your door because they've found the house of Colonel Runaway. And when people come to you, and ask if trying to get to me through the PEOPLE I LOVE is in any way a good idea... [visibly collects himself] I want you to tell them your name.
Give the man some credit, he bears the full force of the Doctor's "Col. Runaway" speech without even flinching. The Daleks do a double take at the mention of his name and they're engineered not to feel fear!
The Doctor shows such pure, undiluted rage when he gets to the words "the people I love" that Vastra—who up to this point has been portrayed as an unflinching badass—is visibly shaken at the Doctor's ferocity.
The following exchange is enough to make you crap yourself too, if you know the Doctor:
The Doctor: Oh look, I'm angry. That's new. I'm really not sure what's going to happen now. Madame Kovarian:[steps in] The anger of a good man is not a problem. Good men... have too many rules. The Doctor: Good men don't need rules. Today is not the day to find out why I have so many.
Madame Vastra enters the series by revealing she just ate Jack the Ripper. Ate him. The most infamous and brutal serial killer in Victorian Times, and SHE ATE HIM. Someone give her a massive round of applause.
Jenny Flint: perfectly ordinary parlormaid from Victorian London not only isn't afraid of Vastra (who ate Jack the Ripper, this cannot be overemphasized) but manages to both keep up with her in terms of badassery, and get an ancient Silurian warrior who used to hate humanity to fall in love with her.
Vastra gets in a polite but very firm rebuke when the Doctor starts to let his temper get the best of him.
Vastra: Anger is always the shortest route to a mistake.
River breaking into Stormcage to go back to her cell after having an adventure with the Doctor, letting the guards know it was her, and topping it off with a casual order of breakfast for the next morning.
River bringing the Doctor to task and telling him that every death at Demon's Run is a result of his ego.
"WHERE. IS. MY. WIFE?" Rory goes badass... again!
Before that he curb stomps his way through the Cyberman base while they try desperately to stop him
Cyberman: Intruder at level 9, seal level 9. Intruder at level 10... Intruder at level 11, seal levels 12, 13 and 14... Intruder at level 15... Prepare to engage
Rory spends the entire episode back in his Centurion outfit and beating headless monks with electric swords in swordfights. Before getting to Demon's Run he walks on a Cybership and refuses to flinch when they all raise guns his way, then again refuses to flinch when over half their fleet detonates RIGHT behind him.
Made even more awesome by the fact that before he shows up, the viewer just sees all hell breaking loose on a Cyber-ship, woven with shots of Amy telling Melody about the man who's coming to save them. The viewer is made to think it's The Doctor she's talking about. When she tells Melody "...your father" those watching have just enough time to blink and go "what the fu-" before Rory makes his appearance on the ship.
Rory's too badass to look at explosions.
Madame Kovarian fooling the Doctor twice with the exact same trick, and calling him up to taunt him about it. We have a new Magnificent Bastard on our hands.
The Space Spitfires return.
Let's Kill Hitler
The Doctor's duel of I Know You Know I Know with a psychotic River, including giving the Ninth Doctor a nod by making her pull out a banana.
Everything River does in "Let's Kill Hitler" qualifies, really. Melody Pond regenerates, poisons the Doctor, then jumps out a window and insults the Nazis. They shoot her. It doesn't work. She then steals a motorbike and drops in on a fancy lunch and demands people relinquish their clothes. When the dying Doctor arrives and Melody performs a Heel-Face Turn, she gives up her regenerations to save him. Quite good for her first day out.
Rory punches a fully armed and very angry Hitler in the face. Let me repeat that. Rory. Punches. Hitler. In. The. Face. Fans have made videos of this looping for ten minutes (at the minimum). He punches Hitler, puts him at gun point, tells him to shut up and then shoves him in a cupboard, all while sounding relatively unthreatening, which somehow makes it better.
Two moments combined for even more awesome: Rory Williams is the only person in all of creation to have decked both the Doctor and Hitler in the face. The ultimate good and the ultimate evil. One of them complimented him on it and he promptly told the other to shut up and shoved him in a closet. Just... wow.
Rory punches a Nazi guard by shouting "Heil!" and saluting, getting the guard to repeat it out of habit, then socking him so hard and fast the guard didn't stand a chance. Is anybody else noticing a connection? Mind you, this isn't any ordinary guard, but a shapeshifting robot.
Rory sums it up when they steal a motorcycle to chase after Amy's robot duplicate:
Amy: Can you even ride a motorbike? Rory: I expect so. It's been that sort of a day.
Rory killing a robot by smashing the Mona Lisa over its head.
Rory's What the Hell, Hero? to the Doctor over Amy going through hell due to his not doing the proper research.
"You're turning me into you!" Gotta love Rory. Never hesitates to call the Doctor on his manipulation.
When Amy talks to her future self, she doesn't plead to be saved, she doesn't consider herself for a second. She asks to be saved so that Rory won't have to live with abandoning her. For all the talk about Amy's selfishness, her only thought on facing 40 years imprisoned in the quarantine is what it'll do to Rory. This is Amy's ultimate CMoH. Period.
The God Complex
What does the Doctor do after finding the room with his greatest fear? He calmly puts a "Do Not Disturb" sign on it. Fear can't stop the Doctor.
Rory Williams is officially Too Spicy for Yog Sothoth. The monster manipulates people by showing them what they're scared of. Everyone else sees rooms containing their worst fears. Rory, who has no fear left in his mind just sees... fire exits.
For those who don't catch why this makes him a badass, thanks to the way the antagonist works this means Rory not only doesn't have a terror trigger like everyone else despite all he's seen, he also has ZERO need for "faith" in anything external... including not just God/religion but the Doctor himself, since Amy's reason for being there is that her faith in the Doctor was so strong it pulled them in. Hell, Rory doesn't even "need" Amy—if we take the phlebotinum at face value the way it's explained, that means he doesn't have "faith" in Amy, he just loves her. And he will goddamn love her, and stay with her even though the complex is letting him escape. Translation: Rory is so badass, he can deal with any potential terror you could inflict on him, including all of the nightmare fuel he's run across, such as the Weeping bloody Angels. Rory is so badass that he is completely unimpressed with the Doctor. Rory is so badass that when he decides to stick with a woman, it's not out of needy terror of being alone nor blind devotion, but because he genuinely loves her and has made a conscious decision to stay by her side. And yet, despite all that self-assurance he isn't an egotistical asshole.Fridge Brilliance basically turns this little fact into an Establishing Character Moment that is equal parts Moment Of Awesome and Heartwarming Moment. There is a reason a lot of fans like his character.
A really subtle one, but after she and the Doctor part ways, we can see that Amy picked herself up, re-acclimated to the world, and moved on with her life. Considering Ten's record with companions, that's a serious accomplishment, especially considering where she started out.
Craig is able to resist being turned into a Cyberman, return emotions to the existing Cybermen, and blow up their base all because he heardhis baby crying.
Stormageddon Master of All. That baby might be the best companion The Doctor's ever had.
The Wedding of River Song
"Look into my eye." Who but the Doctor could go to his own death, a fixed point in time that can't possibly be overwritten, and survive?
It's easy to forget in the wake of every single other thing in the episode, but the first thing we see the Doctor doing is perhaps the most brutal dispatching of a Dalek in the show's history. And then he plops its eyestalk on a counter as a sign that he's not someone to be screwed with.
Amy saving Rory when the Silence are about to kill him. WITH AN ASSAULT RIFLE!
And moments later, when Madame Kovarian asks Amy to save her, Amy reminds her of how she took her daughter from her. Kovarian claims the Doctor would save her and Amy wouldn't do anything to disappoint him.
River disintegrates reality to send out a beacon to all points of time and space simultaneously with the message, "The Doctor is dying. Please, please help." She is answered by a million million voices, saying, "Yes, of course we will!" She then proceeds to tell the Doctor in question that she did so just so she could tell him that "...you are loved so much, and by so many—and by no one more than me." To sum up: River Song disintegrates reality to tell the Doctor how much she loves him, saving his life in the process, and then proceeds to marry him. She seems to take a cue from her mother there: neither of them are willing to be parted from the men they love.
Rory keeps his eye drive on so that he can see the Silence coming so that he is able to defend Amy, the Doctor, and River despite the fact it can kill or at least cause the wearer crippling pain. When he's reminded it could activate at any time he says, fairly calmly but with trembling clenched fists, "It has activated, Ma'am." And this happens in a universe where Amy is just Rory's cold-hearted boss, not his wife, and doesn't even know his name. Rory is the living embodiment of the Power of Love.
Not to mention having The Doctor free-fall hundreds of miles to earth from space after being jettisoned from said spaceship, wearing a huge grin on his face and laughing like a maniac, treating it as though he were skydiving or bungie-jumping from within Earth's atmosphere and thoroughly enjoying every single second of it despite imminent death!
A woman from 1941 manages to get the better of three trained people from the future, all with weapons, using just fake tears and a pistol. She then pilots a Humongous Mecha through the forest in search of her children. The fact that she eventually crashes it does nothing to lessen the awesomeness.
Madge braves an acid rain storm and emerges unscathed, is chosen to be the vessel for the trees, pilots the ship, and saves the Doctor, her children, and an entire species! And then she resuces her husband. Essentially, the 2011 Christmas Special could've been renamed The Why Madge Is Awesome Special and no one would have noticed. She even manages to make its official title, "The Doctor, the Widow, and the Wardrobe," a bit of a Non-Indicative Title.
Asylum of the Daleks
Most hilarious and epic has to be the end, when after the Daleks' entire collective memory of the Doctor has been permanently erased the entire assembled parliament of the Daleks screams the same question over and over again: DOCTOR WHO!? DOCTOR WHO!!!!!!????
Oswin spends a year trapped in a Dalek insane asylum, baking soufflés.
The Doctor: You accessed the Daleks' hive mind? Oswin:(nonplussed) It's very easy to hack. The Doctor: No, it isn't!!!
This is also a Fridge CMOA for Oswin as wiping the Daleks' memory of the Doctor, and thus their fear of him is probably the most catastrophic blow ever struck to the Daleks (and yes, that counts their multiple near-extinctions), as now the single biggest factor in why the Daleks were ever so powerful and dangerous has been permanently removed. Without it they are just another race of wannabe universal conquerors.
Normally it’s frowned upon for a character to acknowledge the camera in a series that doesn’t usually do that, but this episode pulls off two such moments in quick succession without making them seem cheesy, gimmicky, pandering, or self-indulgent (well, maybe a bit of that last one). Given how the character endears herself to the audience, Oswin’s quick final glance at the camera after saying “And remember” is less a distraction and more of a conspiratorial wink. And when the Doctor leans out of the TARDIS and says “Fellas, you’re never gonna stop asking” directly to the camera (and by extension the viewer) as hundreds of Daleks chant “Doctor who?!” in the background, any negative reaction to breaking the fourth wall is probably offset by the sheer squee-worthiness of the moment.
The Doctor has a roomful of Ax-Crazy(even by their standards) Daleks coming at him. How does he deal with this? He notices the front one has no weapon, so he provokes it into activating its self-destruct as a way of killing him, and then starts fiddling around with its machinery. The Dalek tells him the self-destruct can't be stopped. He replies he wasn't trying to, he was looking for "reverse." The Dalek then starts helplessly reversing, straight into its comrades, and the unstoppable self-destruct goes off, clearing the room. Later, Rory goes through the same room, and we get the exchange that puts the cherry on top: Rory: "Who killed all these Daleks?" Doctor: "Who d'ya think?"
Early in the episode, the Doctor states his intention to fix Amy and Rory's marriage, which Amy declares is "not something you can fix like your bow tie." Later in the episode, the Doctor maneuvers events so that the Ponds fix their marriage. Cut to a shot of the Doctor, adjusting his bow tie, as if to say "challenge completed."
To put the icing on the cake, Eleven is the only Doctor who snarks off at the Daleks and gets away with it. "You know me, the Doctor. The Predator. The Oncoming Storm."
Oswin resisted Dalek conversion of her mind and held onto her humanity for at least a year, possibly longer.
Did you think Daleks were already scary? Now not only can any ordinary person suddenly sprout an eye stalk and try to kill you, but a dozen frozen skeletons can sprout eye stalks and try to kill you. DALEK. SKELETON. ZOMBIE. HORDE.
Dinosaurs on a Spaceship
The Doctor refusing to help Solomon off his ship before sending it off to be hit by missiles is probably the kind of thing that should concern viewers, but considering all he had done... kind of hard not to root for the Doctor on this.
Doctor: Look, Solomon. The missiles. See them shine? See how valuable they are. And they're all yours. Enjoy your bounty.
In his first appearance, the Unfazed Everyman, Brian Williams, decides to pilot the spaceship even though he doesn't fully understand it.
A Town Called Mercy
During the Gunslinger's hunt for Kahler Jex, Jex flees to his spaceship outside of town. Instead of escaping into space just as he and the Doctor planned, he decides then to set his ship to self-destruct to atone for his past mistakes.
After Kahler Jex dies, the Gunslinger feels he is but a weapon without a purpose and decides to go self-destruct in the desert. The Doctor convinces the Gunslinger otherwise and makes him the new Marshall of Mercy, complete with his very own badge and a new-found sense of purpose.
If you think about it, Isaac, the Marshall of Mercy, is everything that the Doctor has ever hoped to see in humanity. Here's a man who runs a town where all are welcome, regardless of race, color, creed, planet of origin, or past misdeeds. He barely even knows the Doctor, and still performs a Heroic Sacrifice to save him.
The Doctor uses some of his regeneration to fix River's wrist. Proof that he loves River.
Rory effectively decides to Screw Destiny by committing suicide. It works.
"Raggedy Man, goodbye." - It shows just how much Amy's grown as a character, and that unlike a lot of companions, she's gotten over her dependence on the Doctor, particularly because she's making the choice to spend the rest of her life with Rory in a completely different time setting, knowing she will die without ever seeing the Doctor again, and does so almost instantly.
The Angels coming the closest of all the show's villains to actually killing off a companion. Sure, there have been Heroic Sacrifices, and then Adric on the bomb-laden space ship. But these guys managed to "kill off" not one, but two top-ranking companions. Bravo, Angels. Bravo.
River breaks her own wrist, and then lies about it, just to give the Doctor some hope.
The Doctor's Big Damn Heroes moment in The Snowmen, using a Mr. Punch puppet to assist him.
Doctor as "Mr. Punch": Doctor? Doctor?! Doctor...Who? Araghh! (blasts the Ice Governess with Sonic Screwdriver, causing her to shatter)
Oswin Oswald's return as Clara Oswin Oswald in The Snowmen has her snap the Doctor out of a very deep funk after the loss of Amy and Rory.
The whole plan for the Doctor to get Clara to join him. He gives her an umbrella so she can reach the TARDIS ladder.
A minor but brilliant nod to the fact that Jenny is very much the Great Detective's full partner in awesomeness—she immediately recognized that Clara's behavior was more than just odd, and managed to deduce that she had met the Doctor (admittedly not difficult given that she was yelling "DOCTOR!" at a tree), calm her down, peg her as Companion material and get her set up to meet the Doctor again in only a few minutes.
The One Word Test. That scene is just concentrated awesome for both Vastra and Clara.
On a meta level:
Vastra: I resent the implication of impropriety! We are married.
"Good evening, I'm a lizard woman from the dawn of time and this is my wife." Points for sheer matter-of-fact ballsiness.
Madame Vastra. The Great Detective. In the Doctor Who universe, she was Arthur Conan Doyle's inspiration for Sherlock Holmes. Without her, the people in the Doctor Who Universe wouldn't be reading about him today. And the Doctor wouldn't be able to do his Sherlock impersonation either.
"There are two beverages in your world the color of red wine. This is not red wine."
Strax spends most of his time in "The Snowmen" as a bumbling sidekick whose solution for every problem is violence. But when the snowmen actually attack, you get to see just how good a military tactician he is.
How he intentionally acts stupid in order to prevent the Doctor from wiping Clara's memory, without the Doctor realizing it.
The Bells of Saint John
The Doctor, or rather a Spoonhead copy of him, driving up the Shard
The Doctor: [talking through the Spoonhead] Didn't you hear the word Anti-grav?
That moment is immediately followed by another one. The Doctor pulls another Teselecta-type robot switcheroo trick on Ms. Kizlet.
Prior to that, the Doctor using Hollywood Hacking to recover Clara's stolen consciousness.
Three Words: Under My Protection.
Clara shows a remarkable degree of Genre Savvy, and uses her recently acquired Hollywood Hacking abilities to bypass the computer security of the Big Bad, instead using the lower-level security of the laptops and snapping shots of all of the employees, then using recognition software to locate their place of work.
The Rings of Akhaten
At the climax, the Doctor tries to defeat the sentient sun by force-feeding the parasitic sun over a thousand years' worth of his bad memories, and gives a speech of epic proportions about the many terrors he has seen in his long life.
The Doctor: Oh, you like to think you're a god, but you're not a god! You're just a parasite eaten out with jealousy and envy and longing for the lives of others. You feed on them. On the memory of love and loss and birth and death and joy and sorrow. So... so come on, then. Take mine. Take my memories. But I hope you’ve got a big appetite, because I've lived a long life, and I've seen a few things. I walked away from the Last Great Time War. I marked the passing of the Time Lords. I saw the birth of the universe and I watched as time ran out, moment by moment, until nothing remained. No time. No space. Just me! I've walked in universes where the laws of physics were devised by the mind of a MADMAN. I've watched universes freeze and creations burn. I have seen things you wouldn’t believe. I have lost things you'll never understand! And I know things. Secrets that must never be told. Knowledge that must never be spoken. Knowledge that will make parasite gods BLAZE! SO COME OOOOON THEN! TAKE IT! TAKE IT ALL, BABY! HAVE IT! YOU HAVE IT ALL!
And while The Doctor is giving this magnificent speech, Merry and all the people sing a hymn to help him quell the sentient planet. And it is glorious.
And one Youtube commentor made a similarly awesome speech in the comments section of the above link, with 79 likes and counting:
ElectricNova: I walked away from the last great youtube redesign. I marked the passing of the star rating system. I saw the birth of the internet, and I watched as posts ran out, moment by moment, until nothing remained. No trolls! No commenters! Just me. I've walked in forums where the terms of service are controlled by a MAD MAN! I've watched threads freeze and websites burn. I have seen things you'd never believe. I have lost accounts that you will NEVER understand! And I know links. Links that must NEVER be told. Links that will make parasite mods BLAZE! So come on, then! DOWNVOTE IT ALL BABY! DOWNVOTE IT ALL!
Despite this, the Old God is still hungry. What does Clara do? Makes it implode by force-feeding it a leaf. A single leaf containing the memories, hopes, and dreams of her mother, proving that though the Doctor has a plethora of memories to feed off of, nothing beats the infinite possibilities of the many could-have-beens of a single person.
The Doctor's Rousing Speech to Merry about how she's a unique combination of elements millions of years in the making.
The Doctor: Hey. Do you mind if I tell you a story? One you might not have heard. All the elements in your body were forged many many millions of years ago in the heart of a faraway star that exploded and died. That explosion scattered those elements across the desolations of deep space. After so, so many millions of years, these elements came together to form new stars and new planets. And on and on it went. The elements came together and burst apart, forming shoes and ships and sealing wax and cabbages and kings. Until, eventually, they came together to make you. You are unique in the universe. There is only one Merry Galel. And there will never be another. Getting rid of that existence isn't a sacrifice, it's a waste!
Professor Grisenko and Clara are cheerfully chatting together when the de-armored Ice Warrior grabs Clara in its claws. What does the Professor do? Blast at it with his .357 magnum revolver. And it lets go of her! Revolvers Are Just Better, indeed.
Clara flies the TARDIS into a pocket universe doomed to collapse to rescue the Doctor. Twice.
This is even more awesome if you remember that the TARDIS more or less hates her at the moment, and realize that Clara basically forced her to put aside her disdain for Clara to rescue the Doctor.
Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS
The Doctor forcing a rather ruthless bunch of scavengers to help him search the TARDIS for Clara.
The Doctor: I just activated the TARDIS self-destruct system. One hour until this ship blows. Don't try to leave, the TARDIS is in lockdown, I'll open those doors when Clara's by my side. Bram: You crazy lunatic! The Doctor: My ship, my rules! Gregor: You'll kill us all, and the girl. The Doctor: She's going to die if you don't help me. Don't get into a spaceship with a mad man, didn't anyone ever teach you that? OK, a little gentle persuasion. Say, 30 minutes. [shortens the countdown] Bram: We'll die even quicker now! The Doctor: You'll perform better under pressure. Anybody wanna go for 15 minutes?
Made even better by the later revelation that he's bluffing, and the TARDIS still doesn't have a self-destruct.
The TARDIS manages to defend herself admirably even when crippled by the salvagers. When one is climbing down a ladder to take her apart, she zaps him with a piece of exposed wiring, sending him crashing down a ladder. When Gregor steals a pod she uses to make new parts, she simply makes the door to the room disappear. Additionally, she constantly reworks her own architecture to confuse the salvagers and lure the carbonized zombies towards them. Even when at her weakest, the TARDIS is still a force to be reckoned with when pissed off.
The TARDIS creating a couple of echoes of the console room to save Clara and the Doctor, keeping them in the safest rooms in the TARDIS until Clara accidentally lets one of the zombies in.
The TARDIS Library.
Clara: Oh, now that's just showing off.
The Crimson Horror
Ada beating the Red Leech that destroyed her life to a bloody pulp.
Ada getting the courage to stand up to her mother. She screams at her and even goes so far as to beat her with her cane. It's both terrifying and incredibly therapeutic.
Ada rescuing the Doctor from the "reject pile." She knows perfectly well that her mother would hate her for it, and her mother's opinion of her is the only thing she cares about—but she saves him anyway, not even knowing who he was. Because she could, and she knows what it's like to be rejected, and she has it in her to be splendid.
Ada, at the end, being brave enough to not let her mother's tyranny ruin any more of her life; she's going to do something with her life, and has even found enough confidence to refer to herself as a 'bright young lady' whereas before she had only ever called herself by derogatory terms.
"Just when you think your favorite lock-picking Victorian chambermaid is never going to turn up...! Jenny!"
"Right, we need a plan..." "Plan later. This one's on me!" Cue Jenny going from "formal Victorian" to "ass-kicking ninja suit" and beating the tar out of everyone in the immediate vicinity.
And that is just after she smacks the Doctor silly for kissing her without permission.
And considering that Diana Rigg is the villain in this episode, the fact that Jenny delivers an ass-whooping worthy of Emma Peel makes it especially awesome.
Jenny, infiltrating Sweetville, alone, with no way of contacting anyone for help if something goes wrong. Considering she knows perfectly well what happened to the last undercover investigators... and single-handedly rescuing the Doctor while she's at it!
Vastra is a fan of the dramatic reveal.
Vastra: I have seen these symptoms before...A long time ago... Coroner: Oh aye? How long? Vastra:[turns to reveal her face, smirking] About 65 million years.
The Great Intelligence pulls off a Batman Gambit that leads him to the Doctor's final resting place. Instead of a corpse, the Doctor leaves behind an open rift of temporal energy that represents the whole of his timeline. The Great Intelligence then steps into that burning white light, destroying himself and nearly erasing the whole of the Doctor's life with him.
Clara jumping into the Doctor's timestream, reincarnating herself throughout time and space to protect him from the Great Intelligence. Among other things, she advises the First Doctor on which TARDIS to steal. To save her, the Eleventh Doctor jumps in after her, crossing his own timestream.
Fridge Brilliance: This means that Clara managed to completely thwart the Great Intelligence at every single instant of the Doctor's more than thousand-year-old life. Badass Normal at its finest.
Doctor Who has an unprecedented Continuity Cavalcade in this episode, showing all of them as Clara and the Doctor travel through the latter's timeline. This culminates in the big moment of the episode, where it's revealed that John Hurt is playing another incarnation of the Doctor, one who performed an act so reprehensible that the other Doctors refuse to acknowledge it.
The War Doctor's reveal. Dramatic and incredibly shocking. Just when everyone thinks there are strictly 11 Doctors out there to this point... we learn there is one more... who is not using the name that has been central to the show for 50 years. People's assumptions that there couldn't be any others are completely shaken. And his lines indicate that it was for a good reason.
War Doctor: What I did, I did without choice. In the name of peace and sanity.
Also, The Eighth Doctor saluting his companions by name from the Big Finish audios before his regeneration, solidifying their status in the televised series's continuity. That means he has given himself a fully-fledged tenure without even appearing onscreen for the ride.]]
The above needs to be re-iterated: Big Finish is officially canon. If you listen carefully you can still hear the [[ And There Was Much Rejoicing joyous shrieking]] of the fandom.
His re-introduction, appearing behind Cass on a crashing spaceship while she argues with the computer about needing a Doctor.
A subtle touch that crosses with CMOH; it was a very clear decision to not reveal Paul McGann until after the audience hears him speak. For those unfamiliar with him, all it causes is a brief moment of confusion. For fans of the audios, it was like being clubbed over the head. Their years of devotion to their Doctor paid off in that one moment of breathless "...is it possible?"
The fact that the BBC managed to keep it a secret is a CMOA in and of itself.
The regeneration. Period. The moment Christopher Eccleston appeared as the Ninth Doctor, fans began clamoring about what happened to the Eighth Doctor, not even knowing if it was a straight shot between 8 and 9 (which was later quashed). It became a gigantic blank space in the continuity of the show that was left unchecked and even Paul himself wanted it dealt with properly. The demand built up to have it take place, until the 50th rolled around and fans were bellowing for it to happen because it was the perfect excuse to show it. Paul even had to quell the commotion on his Twitter account repeatedly to hide his involvement and play coy the whole time before his minisode aired. Until at last, the impossible happened... and the video posted on Youtube by the BBC exploded with over a million hits in a matter of a week.
The Eighth Doctor makes it audibly known he doesn't give the slightest rip that he's dying:
Eigth Doctor: Four minutes? That's ages! What if I get bored or need a television, couple of books? Anyone for chess? Bring me knitting.
His new costume is a Badass revamp of the old one, and the Doctor looks a bit messy—five o'clock shadow, unkempt hair, clothes all wrinkled and unbuttoned. He is evidently exhausted—who knows how much running he's been doing since the Time War began? Even the TARDIS is banged up with laser fire scorches and weathering paint. But he's still going.
As the show's 50th anniversary there was a truly gigantic level of hype surrounding this episode. It not only did not disappoint but had literally countless Moments of Awesome throughout.
The entire Time War scene, which managed to outdo all the epic battle scenes beforehand in the revival show's history as thousands of Daleks swarm Arcadia while Time Lord soldiers fight for their lives in the chaos.
The War Doctor has had it with the Time War and he wants his enemies to know it. How does he do it? He calmly asks a Gallifreyan soldier for his gun and engraves "NO MORE" into a ruined wall of a building in Arcadia. He then steals the most dangerous weapon ever known to be created and threatens to activate it, not caring if he goes up with them all.
After the Doctor blasts down the Daleks, the Gallifreyan Soldier notices one of them is still alive—a bisected Dalek ranting for someone to explain what "No More" means. He then proceeds to give it a Shut Up, Hannibal! by blasting it in the eyestalk, causing it to explode, in one of the most beautiful explosions in the history of the show. That soldier, whether he died or not, had balls of steel.
Let's give one to the editors too! They did an amazing job of editing in the stock footage to make it seem like all 13 were there, and they probably had to go through over four decades worth of stock footage, find the appropriate ones, and edit them in.
The final scene with all the Doctors standing side by side, War Doctor included, staring upon Gallifrey, now saved.
Though drowned out by the epic story surrounding it, the Zygon plot of the episode has multiple Moments of Awesome in its own right.
Kate Stewart proving once again that she has inherited her father's stainless steel balls, even if she is willing to nuke London to save the earth.
Queen Elizabeth I both killing her Zygon double with a dagger and then successfully impersonating it to trick the other Zygons into entering stasis. Bad Ass, thy name is Elizabeth!
Osgood is cornered and helpless, about to be killed (or at least, covered in Zygon goop to allow her continued impersonation). Then she notices that her attacker is standing on the end of her scarf... One good yank and the attacker is flat on her back on the floor.
The Moment gets quite a few, for a sentient super-weapon that developed a conscience. Taking the form of the Bad Wolf, she kicks off the entire plot by opening the windows in time to allow the War Doctor to meet the man he'd become if he pushed the button, in addition to offering him advice as an invisible Stealth Mentor for most of the episode.
More than that, as the War Doctor points out, the Moment didn't show him just any possible future (time can be rewritten after all), she showed him exactly the future he needed to see in order to save Gallifrey. You could make the argument that the entire Doctor Who revival series is thanks to her; it was only a possible future for the Doctor until her manipulation caused things to happen the way they did and thus made it the future. Nu-Who is a Batman Gambit by the Moment.
Two moments in one for The Doctors getting into the Black Vault. First, they come up with a plan to get past Kate's TARDIS-proofing. Second, they make one hell of a Big Damn Heroes entrance by sonicing an active Dalek through the plate glass of the picture frame.
War Doctor: Hello. Tenth Doctor: I'm the Doctor. Eleventh Doctor: Sorry about the Dalek. Clara: Also the showing off.
Alluded to in the climax; when 13 TARDISes start flying towards Gallifrey, each with an incarnation of the Doctor in them, the Daleks' only response is to increase their firepower, cleary terrified out of their wits at the thought of all thirteen Doctors coming at them.
The Time Lords themselves. If you think about it on a meta-level, any race that the Daleks encounter—whether it be humans, Cybermen or some other race—gets thoroughly curbstomped by them. Yet, the Time Lords, who are described as being "old dusty senators" and "decadent and decayed", manage to hold centuries of warfare against them (considering the fact that the War Doctor died of old age, and given a Time Lord's superhuman life-span). There is a reason they are known as the mightiest race in the universe.
Even after spending his life as a warrior, the War Doctor has not managed to end the Time War. It was just too big a conflict to end on his own while in his youth. He outlived that purpose and grew old. And all the while, he has gone through hell, but never abandoned his compassion for the innocent men, women, and children of Gallifrey and everyone else who was dragged into this war.
He has a bandolier taken from someone he failed to save as a reminder of his purpose for fighting from the start of his life to the end of his life. His clothes are also really beaten up compared to the other Doctors, showing that he hasn't had the luxury of being whimsical.
The Time Of The Doctor
The Doctor fought for centuries in the same town just for a chance to finally bring his people back. Think about that. Centuries spent fighting Weeping Angels, Cybermen, Daleks and The Silence all for a chance to undo his greatest regret. And in all that time, the town called Christmas never fell to any of them. Now THAT is a stand that would make any Doctor proud.
The Doctor forces the cooperation of The Silence due to the Daleks nearly destroying them during the siege of Trenzalore. Think about that. The organization that planned so far ahead that they almost outsmarted The Doctor turned around and ended up being among the last True Companions the Doctor ever had this regeneration.
As if to illustrate this, there are shots of the Silence zapping Cybermen and of the Doctor leading a squad of Silence into battle. That's right, the Doctor was able to win the allegiance of an army of Slenderman-Expy Humanoid Abominations and lead them into battle against the Daleks.
One must give props to the Daleks as well. 300 years where most of the Doctor's other enemies just gave up in their siege, and only the Daleks never gave up trying to kill The Doctor. Nobody can say they aren't determined.
By 300 years everyone else had given up; who knows how many centuries later, the Eleventh Doctor is dying of old age and the pepper pots of doom are still at it. Determinator, thy name is Dalek.
Not to say the others didn't try. The Cyberiad somehow dispatched a Cyberman made entirely of wood.
Their trap for the Doctor, though it fails, is also awesome, as they manage to convert large numbers of Silents into Dalek Puppets.
And even when they seem to have won, when they have the Doctor completely surrounded, in an old, decrepit body and knowing that he can't regenerate since he's used up all his lives, the Daleks are still too afraid of the Doctor to actually shoot. That is how much he scares them.
Daleks: YOU WILL DIE, AND THE TIME LORDS WILL NEVER RETURN. Eleventh Doctor: And you still can't work up the courage to shoot me, can you? You're still worried I've got something up my sleeve.
A minor one, but the means the Doctor uses to sneak a TARDIS key past Tasha Lem are clever. The church is accustomed to people using holographic clothes, but the Doctor exploited a blind spot by shaving his head and hiding the key in a wig.
The Doctor is dying. He has run out of options and the Daleks are going to, at long last, finish him off. There is no one that can save the day, right? Wrong. Cue The Time Lords, with an absolutely heroic version of This is Gallifrey playing, reaching out from a pocket universe to give The Doctor, the man so many of them saw as insane and whom they belittled and mocked, a brand new set of regenerations... all because Clara told them that they didn't need to HEAR the Doctor's real name... that the name he chose should be good enough for them.
Oh yeah, Clara talking the Time Lords into giving the Doctor more regenerations. She talked the Time Lords into something they didn't want to do.
Oh, that's nowhere near the real awesome. The Time Lords already know the Doctor's name. Even if it was somehow erased from their obsessive filing system, there's no way the name of one of the most (in)famous renegades in Gallifreyan history isn't in the Matrix, or known to one of his House members. The Time Lords didn't need to learn the Doctor's name; they needed him to say his name. He refused because he didn't want to give that kind of power to his enemies. Clara's appeal to the Time Lords was essentially saying that the Doctor wasn't ever going to be able to play that game but that he had spent centuries fighting to protect them and he was about to die for them. After millennia of tormenting him, the Time Lords finally listened to the Doctor and gave him his chance to save them.
The fact that the Time Lords get to have a Big Damn Heroes moment when we've only seen them as antagonists since the revival.
The Doctor removing his bow tie before regenerating. It's heartbreaking as hell, but Awesome.
The Doctor managing to trick a Cyberman into killing itself while under the influence of a truth field.
Clara riding on the outside of the TARDIS as it passes through the Time Vortex. Keep in mind that the only other person to do this was immortal. It's a case of Fridge Logic, really...
The speech itself is one because of Vastra's self-satisfied grin by the end of Clara's defense. She didn't mean a word of it; she was just trying to make Clara angry enough for her to see that she still cared about the Doctor.
Jenny and Vastra make a very stylish Big Damn Heroes entrance into the "larder" of the ancient ship.
"Remain still and lay down your weapons in the name of the British Empire!"
The Doctor's final confrontation with the Hal-Faced Man. He tells him he's afraid he's going to have to kill him, surmising it's the only way to stop him and that he's the command module for the other clockwork droids. After a brief scuffle, in which the Half-Faced Man says he can't self-terminate and the Doctor says he can't kill him, the Doctor says one of them is lying. Cue the Half-Faced Man impaled on a tower, and the Doctor giving the camera a hell of a Death Glare.
"Those people down there? They're never small to me. Do not make assumptions about how far I will go to protect them, because I've already come a very long way! And unlike you...I do not expect to reach the Promised Land."
"Hello, hello rubbish robots from the dawn of time."
Into the Dalek
Despite being a massive Pyrrhic Victory on the Doctor's part, Rusty the Dalek turning on and destroying the rest of the Daleks is admittedly pretty spectacular.
Rusty: I see into your soul, Doctor. I see beauty. I see divinity. I... see... hatred!
Clara gets one for delivering one hell of an Armor-Piercing Slap, calling the Doctor out in the grand tradition of the Companions.
Clara: This is the look you get right before I slap you!
The Doctor gets one not only for rescuing Journey at the last second, but when she was threatening him with a gun, he doesn't even bat an eye and flat out, calmly tells her that no, that is not how you ask for something. He actually gets her to back down and ask for help, "please."
This episode captures the true horror of a Dalek assault force; A Dalek saucer descends on to the Aristotle, which is dwarfed by the saucer's side, with cries of "Exterminate" echoing all around. Chillingly awesome.
Likewise, the Combined Galactic Resistance deciding that, if the Daleks want to take down the Aristotle, they're going to have to fight through them to achieve it.
Colonel Morgan Blue: That door's never going to hold. But I'm damned if I'm going to make it easy for them!
Robot of Sherwood
After Robin Hood attempts to steal the TARDIS (all property being theft to him), The Doctor defeats him in a swordfight with a spoon.
Robin, The Sheriff, and The Doctor in an archery contest. Even though The Doctor cheated.
Robin vs. The Sheriff.
The Doctor leading the enslaved peasants to revolt against their captors. They take unmelted gold plates and use them as reflector shields against the robot knights' laser beams. The plan is so successful that all of the robots in charge of the area are completely destroyed, allowing the peasants to escape.
Robin Hood managing to shoot a golden arrow, as in an arrow that must weigh more than a brick, miles into the air with an 1190-ish bow. With his arm broken! While compensating for the two other people who are helping to hold his bow! And hitting the target. But you know, that last one's a given.
"When did you start believing in impossible heroes?" The fact that Robin Hood was so impossibly awesome that each and every one of the Doctor's regenerations believed it couldn't be real. Not even the child-like Eleven, or the human curious One ever considered him plausible enough to even investigate. Coming from someone like The Doctor that says a lot about how awesome Robin Hood is. It may even be that the Doctor took such offense at Robin because he considered Robin Hood his personal hero, and didn't want some fake parading around.
Clara managing to outsmart the Sheriff and have him spill the beans on his entire plan. Bonus points for correctly deducing what happened and letting him fill in the rest.
This episode is a great one for Clara. From her helping young Danny Pink with his fear of a monster under his bed to her telling the young First Doctor that it's okay to be afraid, and that it doesn't have to make him cruel or cowardly.
Clara managing to make the Doctor follow orders.
Clara: Promise me you won't look at where we've been. Just fly us out of here. Doctor: I don't take orders Clara. Not from anyone. Clara: Do as you're told.
When she uses the traces of her mental link with the TARDIS to transport the crew away from the end of the universe.
The Doctor actually turning his back on the monster under Rupert's bed, and then urging Clara and Rupert to do so with him. Sure, he was terrified for their safety if they saw something that evolved to be a perfect hider, but it takes true courage to ignore the things you're scared of if it means protecting someone else.
In the "Next Time" clips for the episodes, Abslom Daak from Doctor Who Weekly makes a cameo on a wanted poster. In the same vein as "The Night of the Doctor" confirming the Big Finish audios as cannon, "Time Heist" will confirm Doctor Who Magazine as canon.
Really, the whole heist is one for the Doctor. He puts together the perfect team and makes it through the biggest, most impenetrable bank in the universe, all to save the lives of the last two of an ancient species.
The Doctor's Eureka Moment is a great thing to behold. He first recalls Saibra's question from earlier and then asks Clara what he knows about the Architect. Clara's answer: The Doctor hates him. The Doctor hates that manipulative, pompous, arrogant show-off called the Architect! There could only be one person as arrogant and manipulative as the Architect: The Doctor!
Danny's Big Damn Heroes moment. He decloaks from the invisibility watch and buys the Doctor some well needed time by drawing Blitzer's fire, then backflips over him and then runs to hug Clara.
And all of that? Scratching the surface. In effect, what we're talking about is a TV series that if there isn't some sort of MoA in a story, the story is considered poor. And then there's the Doctor Who Expanded Universe, which gives us just as many.
The first Doctor looks and acts like he's 60+ years old (he's actually about 400). So when he's challenged to a kung fu duel in The Eleventh Tiger you expect him to come up with something brilliant and avoid the fight. He doesn't. Instead he physics the arrogant thug into submission. He uses his momentum from an attack to flip him onto his back. To prove he's not a one hit wonder, he does it again. THEN when the thug pulls out his "breaks clay jars, and heads are softer then clay jars" kick, the Doctor stands in classic "bring it on" pose and catches the light with his sapphire ring, temporarily blinding the thug. The kick still connects. With the pole the Doctor was standing in front of. All the Doctor did was tilt his head. He then sets about tending the thug's wounds. Ian and Barbara are stunned into silence. If they weren't paragons of '60s virtue they'd have both said "ohh hell yes." As it is, they eventually respond by reciting the lyrics to Kung Fu Fighting.
In the novel Illegal Alien (originally a PDA), the Seventh Doctor not only manages to reprogram the Cybermen, but he makes them attack the Nazis that were storing them. That's right, CYBERMEN. FIGHTING. NAZIS. Guess who won?
Bonus points for the Cyberleader taking one look at CaptainHartmann, throwing him across the room and later shooting him in the face. They also make a MG42 machine gun explode by simply grabbing the barrel, heat up a Tiger Tank, destroy all the Nazis and generally be Badass. To top it all off, unlike what the cover of the Monster Collection edition shows, they're not the "Nightmare in Silver" Cybermen or the Cybus Cybermen - they're Mondasian Cybermen who look◊ like◊ this◊. And yet they're terrifyingenough to make a SS Commandershit his pants.
The human characters still have loads of CMOAs, and are all pretty damn Badass. The most shining examples are, naturally, Ace, who hits a Cyberman hard enough to make a huge dent in one of its "Handles", Cody McBride, who attacks the Cybermen with a oxycelatene torch and manages to saw off the arm of one of them, Mama the bartender who blasts a Cybermat with a double-barreled shotgun, Colonel Schott, the WWI veteran who decides to keep on fighting the Cybermen (which he isn't scared of at all) with a Luger and a Tiger's main gun while the driver is dead and the arrogant SS Commander is busy crapping his pants, and Colonel George Lazonby, who goes down fighting the Cybermen with a Bren Gun.
The fact that the reprogrammed Cyberleader scans Ace, George Limb and Captain Hartmann, then decides to ignore the other two completely and attack Hartmann. This, and the subsequent attack on the Nazis, can be interpreted as evidence that even the Cybermenhate Nazis.
BBC New Series Adventures
"Winner Takes All": The Ninth Doctor disarms a knife wielding Darren Pye with ease and then stares him down into a retreat.
The Legend of Rory Williams lives on in the IDW Doctor Who comic book. In "The Doctor and The Nurse", when Amy insisted that a squabbling Doctor and Rory spend some quality male-bonding time together, the Doctor and Rory (who was wearing a tux at the time) ended up in London during The Blitz, where they saved the life of Ian Fleming. Evidently Rory inspired the creation of James Bond!
And right after that, they mistakenly end up in the Pleistocene and a saber-tooth chases them into the TARDIS. A cornered Rory slaps it in the face with a rolled-up magazine and, to his surprise, it runs away mewing like a scared kitten.
The Adventure Games
City of the Daleks: The Doctor walks through a room full of Daleks who've just been blinded and are spraying gunfire nonstop to save the Daleks exterminating humanity and Amy from being erased from time. And of course then has to run to the top to escape the explosion.
In The Gunpowder Plot, Rory, stuck in orbit around Earth within the Houses of Parliament of 1605, armed with an EMP generator and a Dennis the Menace slingshot, takes out as many Rutans and Sontarans as he can. That's right, two species locked in war for millennia can't take down the Lone Centurian.
In the stage show Doctor Who Live, there was one very awesome moment where the Cybermen and the Daleks have a rematch. Only unlike last time, it's the Cybermenthat got theupper-hand. And keep in mind in the context, these Daleks are supposedly a lot more powerful than the ones in "Doomsday" and managed to outwit the Doctor TWICE in a row. Watch the whole battle here
Behind the Scenes
Midway through his career as the Third Doctor, Jon Pertwee put the Doctor Who theme to words in the form of "Who is the Doctor?", spoken more or less in-character. Among other things, the results stand as a powerful challenge to the dominance of the Villain Song.
As fingers move to end mankind, metallic teeth begin to grind With sword of truth, I turn to fight the satanic powers of the night!
For getting the Sixth Doctor Rescued from the Scrappy Heap in the audio dramas. Whereas the Sixth Doctor is usually the least popular to TV fans, he is the most popular to audio drama fans.
Getting elected President of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society.
Writing his own Doctor Who stories. I mean, who the hell is awesome enough to write their own Doctor Who for their own character?
Similar to McCoy's and McGann's cold readings of Doctor Who speeches, we have Colin Baker doing a cold reading of the Doctor's speech from "The Rings of Akhaten".
The Seventh Doctor's Unflinching Walk in "The Greatest Show in the Galaxy" was pretty awesome for Sylvester McCoy too: the explosion was somewhat bigger than the special effects crew were expecting, and it doesn't faze him at all.
He has said he was fully expecting to have scorch marks on his back afterwards, but he knew there could be no second take so he simply went on with the shot.
In the filming of "Battlefield", Sylvester McCoy arguably saved Sophie Aldred's life when he noticed a watertank used for a booby-trap holding Ace was about to crack and pour water onto a floor covered in electrical cables; in a second, he managed to get the stage hands to pull her out just before the glass broke.
And amazingly it was all caught on camera and was considered so awesome that it gets its own brief documentary on the DVD for Battlefield.
In a matter of three appearances, John Hurt has effectively filled an enormous gap in the Doctor's life that had been ignored for a long time, and with a performance that is done masterfully.
The full list recounted to Martha in "Human Nature". Since Tennant was required to ad-lib about a minute of footage that would be fast-forwarded, he just rambled on aimlessly a bit before jumping right back into character at the end. The bit about pears isn't an ad-lib, though; it's from the novel that the episode was based on.
Marrying Georgia Moffett. Who is also the daughter of Peter Davison. Tennant married the daughter of the man who inspired him to go into acting in the first place. And thanks to Steven Moffat, he got to perform with his idol in the role that he wanted to play one day... The Doctor. Promoted Fanboy, thy name is Tennant.
Tennant did a tribute video with the cast and crew at the end of his run for a party, set to the Proclaimers' "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)". The Proclaimers themselves merrily join in. Warning: MAJOR EARWORM
To top it off, behold the Ballad of Russell and Julie about Doctor Who's revival, as sung by David Tennant, Catherine Tate and John Barrowman. Epic Awesomeness.
Sladen's reaction to Sontaran general Styre in "The Sontaran Experiment" was enough to have the director leaping up and down with joy - actually running up the West Country equivalent of a mountain to congratulate her on the scene. And these moments are only added onto with the second season premiere of The Sarah Jane Adventures when Sarah Jane sees a Sontaran space pod, and knows exactly how screwed they are.
In "The Stolen Earth", she achieved levels of fear with a tiny little tremble and a pale face that would take screams on a King Kong level from lesser actresses.
Elisabeth Sladen deserves one for saying, upon seeing a man wearing a gas-mask, "Are you my mummy?" in the commentaries for Genesis of the Daleks.
A posthumous moment of awesome for the late actress: the fact that almost nobody had any clue she was ill until she had already passed. It's a testament to her sheer professionalism and love for what she did, because she never saw it as being about her, it was about making great television that entertained fans. Lis, we love and miss you, and the world's a little darker now you're gone.
Lis's magnificent career renaissance. She became so beloved by fans that her departure was headline news, a first for any Companion. And then, thirty years after she was last seen on Doctor Who, she made a one-off appearance on the show that made her famous, and was so popular she earned her own spin-off. A spinoff aimed at children who largely had no idea who she was, which went on to earn critical raves and a high audience for its channel. Name another actor or actress who has made that kind of comeback on television, ever. And she did it all without a fuss. But then, that was Lis Sladen for you. Oh, Lis... we will never, ever forget you.
Actually, just before she got back on TV, she made two series of AWESOME audio adventures for Big Finish, which is kind of a company that makes stories for fans of Old Who. She also returned in radio plays with Jon Pertwee. If anything, it just kind of shows how great her devotion to her character and giving the fans even more really was that she could return, first 20 years after her time, then thirty, and still just be her character like she's been living it all along.
One of the darker chapters in the show's production history was Tom Baker becoming incredibly difficult to work with in his final season. Recollections abound of him snoring in read-throughs at parts of the script he didn't like, verbally abusing the writers, having numerous shouting matches with co-star and brief-wife-to-be Lalla Ward, and caught in the middle of it all was new companion and Promoted Fanboy Matthew Waterhouse, watching the image of his childhood hero shattering violently before his eyes. During one of Tom's "acting up and being rude" periods on the last day of filming for "Full Circle," Matthew (in full Adric get-up) finally put his foot down and told him to "fuck off." And got away with it. And kept Tom quiet (aside from his lines, of course) for the whole rest of the studio day. The 2010 Doctor Who Magazine interview described it as a "coming-of-age moment."
Though given that this account came from Waterhouse himself and the reactions to his interview from his costars in the next issue (which was basically them gently laughing at him) it's disputable whether this even ever happened.
At the end of "Bad Wolf" we see thousands and thousands and thousands of Daleks all chanting EX-TER-MIN-ATE. For the first time, the show was able to transcend budgetary considerations and deliver not just a tabletop full of dapol toys, not just cardboard cutouts propped up in the background, not just three Daleks driving around in a circle trying desperately to look like many, but a proper, honest-to-god army to be feared.
The show itself
Really, with a show that has run for thirty-three seasons over fifty years and counting, contains two MoA goldmines in the Doctor and the Master, as well as many other characters with more than a few moments themselves (Daleks, Davros, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart) Doctor Who itself is a Moment of Awesome for The BBC.
In 2005, accepted wisdom in the British television industry held that the family TV genre was dead. The audience simply wasn't there; families didn't watch TV together anymore. Something like the revived Doctor Who wasn't going to last long. Doctor Who promptly proceeded to demolish all those assumptions. It regularly got ratings higher than those of most other dramas, its average audience staying stable in defiance of the general TV decline. It was repeatedly acclaimed by public, critics, and TV professionals alike. It quickly established itself as a centrepiece of the BBC's Saturday night schedule, heralding the revival of the family TV genre, and becoming a justification for the BBC's continued existence. Doctor Who became a crowning achievement for the BBC, and for British television in general.
Using the BBC's rival network ITV to break the news of David Tennant's departure. Seriously, mega-cojones.
Even better, they had no idea it'd even work. They had a backup plan but they bet their chips that Tennant would win the award and be able to drop the bomb during his acceptance speech.
There's the fact that the work of the new production team (along with the later work by Moffat, of course) has caused an explosion in the show's popularity across The Pond in the US. Sure, DW had fans in the US in the past, but it never truly approached the level it reached during the BBC America years.
Back in the 1980s, Sylvester McCoy's era was scheduled against UK soap Coronation Street, and got clobbered, getting some of the lowest ratings in Who's history. Fast forward twenty years: "The End of Time" Part Two was scheduled against Coronation Street, and won (10.4 million to Corrie's 8.6 million on overnights). For those of us who lived through that time, it felt like justice had been done.
Steven Moffat turning the series title into a nearly 50-year old Arc Word.
The special effects team during "The Girl in the Fireplace". Apparently they decided that the iconic Doctor-astride-a-horse-through-a-mirror-into-a-ballroom shot was quite literally impossible to produce. After episode writer Steven Moffat threw, to quote the man himself, "the biggest queeny strop yet done on Doctor Who" and cried like an infant, the team basically decided to give "impossible" the finger and do it anyway. And it was awesome.
A collective CMOA goes to the show's makers, and the few fans and members of the press in on it, for successfully keeping the HUGE secret that actress Jenna-Louise Coleman, publicized to be the Doctor's next companion starting with the 2012 Christmas Special, had a MAJOR role to play 3 months earlier in the series 7 premiere, Asylum of the Daleks. The premiere was actually shown in 4 semi-public screenings for fans in 4 countries prior to its televised debut and practically no one from the audiences in those screenings spoiled the secret online before the episode aired.
The show also gets another CMOA over the only constant in the series: the TARDIS itself. When the BBC registered the TARDIS as a trademark in 1996, the Metropolitan Police challenged it, as the TARDIS is based on the police box they used in the 1960s. The Patent Office ruled in favour of the BBC, as the role of Doctor Who in the British collective psyche was so great that people identified the police box symbol with the series rather than with the police.
In America, the Series 7 Part 2 Blu-ray was given to several hundred people in error before the airing of "The Name of the Doctor". Normally revealing a finale early is disastrous, but Moffat managed to keep fans quiet by promising a release of an interview of David Tennant and Matt Smith if the fans were good. The fans kept the secret, and Moffat complied.
David Tennant and Billie Piper's return for the 50th anniversary special.
On November 25, 2013, The Day of The Doctor grossed $4.8 million. In 660 theaters. In. One. Night. Two days after it premiered on BBC America. For perspective, it was number two behind The Hunger Games: Catching Fire that day. It made more than The Fifth Estate did in its entire run and almost as much as the 3D run of The Wizard of Oz. Again, in one night. Not too shabby.
Any time a lost episode, episodes, or rarest of all, complete serial that was thought to be junked by the BBC turns up. You've got maybe one very precious remnant of something that's been AWOL from television upwards of four decades. On a feather and a prayer, through one magic discovery, be it in a rubbish bin, a garage sale, a dusty backlot of old celluloid in Hong Kong or Nigeria, or even pure dumb luck, another missing link is completed. And as soon as the film goes digital, it will proliferate the internet, whereupon the episode will be copied by those wishing to market or share the piece of Doctor Who history- countless backups from one reel of old weathered film!
How about finding nine lost episodes, including the entirety of the long-lost "The Enemy of the World", in 2013? Talk about a 50th anniversary gift.
Not to mention the other story they found in near entirety, "The Web of Fear", which features the first ever appearance of beloved companion Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. In fact, he's a Colonel at this point!
To put it in perspective as to how amazing these finds are, it's considered very lucky to find even audio of lost episodes, let alone an entire episode. To find this many tapes, containing an entire missing story and all but one part of another, is a spectacular find.
A collective decade of awesome for a small handful of fans (nearly all of them children at the time) who managed to make complete audio recordings of every single episode from The Sixties. So even though to date 26 serials and nearly 100 episodes (until 2013, it was over 100) are now missing, thanks to these fans, and with a little help from narrated CD, telesnaps, and animation (a few animated reconstructions being officially sanctioned by the BBC), it's now possible to "watch" all 97 missing episodes of Doctor Who.
Paul McGann finally getting his long overdue return as the Eighth Doctor in The Night of the Doctor. Granted he dies in the special, but it's still brilliant to see him back. The special also answers the old question of "How did the Eighth Doctor regenerate?".
Steven Moffat managed to weave a whole new Doctor out of the gap between Eight and Nine and come up with a perfect reason to not upset the numbering.
The very inception of the War Doctor into Doctor Who opens up a whole new avenue for storytelling potential, and finally lets writers cut loose and deal with the long untouched history of the Time War, because it was unclear which Doctor fought in it. Now we know.
"The Day of the Doctor" winning a Guinness World Record for being the biggest simulcast in television history to date, transmitted in 94 countries.
The War Doctor's regeneration was only shown half-completed. We didn't see his full transition into Nine because Christopher Eccleston declined to return for the 50th and Steven Moffat wanted to respect his decision, on the grounds that making it appear that an actor was in something they did not want to be in without their consent would be unethical. But some fan decided to extend the regeneration into a complete version... With fantastic results.