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Tear Jerker: Doctor Who
"There are worlds out there where the sky's burning, where 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, somewhere else the tea's getting cold. Come on Ace, we've got work to do."
—7th Doctor (the final scene of the classic series), "Survival"
Seriously, it's a very emotional show. The hero dies and turns into someone else on a regular basis, and as a Long Runner (50 years already) there have also been a lot of instances of The Character Died with Him. You have been warned...
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First Doctor episodes
The very first episode introduces us to the series very first murder victim. An old cavewoman, sure she was a political schemer. But she was only trying to protect her tribe from what she believed would destroy them. Not only that, but instead of killing The Doctor and his companions to prevent them from teaching the tribe of fire, she sets them free. And once caught she faces her death with (for the most part) fortitude and dignity.
The Daleks (oddly enough) in their debut appearance, after receiving an anti-radiation serum to protect from radiation poisoning. Many Daleks prove that the serum is incompatible with there biology, and they start screaming in pain before dying. It's surprising how sympathetic they seem when calling for help.
The First Doctor's Accidental Engagement in The Aztecs. Note that he is so traumatized by the pain he unintentionally inflicts on his 'fiancee' that it is at least six hundred years and nine regenerations before he gets romantic with an ephemeral again putting this in Tear Jerker territory.
Going back and picking up Cameca's engagement necklace. It's probably the first sign of affection the First showed to anyone who wasn't Susan.
The very first companion departure. Susan, the Doctor's granddaughter, is torn between staying with her love and leaving with the Doctor, so he makes the choice for her by locking her out of the TARDIS. "One day, I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then, there shall be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs, and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine. Goodbye, Susan. Goodbye, my dear." This was so moving to the producers that they used part of the speech to represent William Hartnell at the very beginning of "The Five Doctors." And then again as Flesh Eleven's first words in "The Almost People".
It gets worse in the Expanded Universe; despite her grandfather's promise of coming back, he never did. The love of her life died during the rebuilding of the Earth and then her son died when the Daleks launched a counter-attack a few years later, and Susan was left to deal with it completely and utterly alone. It's also been confirmed that by the time of the new series she's dead, and likely perished along with the rest of her race in the Last Great Time War. Poor Susan.
And the next story — The Rescue — doesn't just brush off the whole thing. It's still not the focus of the serial, but there comes a time when the Doctor needs to operate the Tardis. And, out of habit, he orders Susan to help him — only right then and there for it to fully sink in that she can't help him; that she's gone. And for several whole seconds, both the Doctor, Barbara, and Ian just stand there in silence, before Barbara tries to get their minds off it all.
To make things even better, it's been heavily implied that in the 400+ years and ten regenerations since she left, the Doctor has forgotten about her almost entirely.
However during "The Five Doctors" episode an obviously older Susan is with the first Doctor. So he did remember.
Except in the IDW comic series The Forgotten miniseries where the Tenth Doctor asks the TARDIS' matrix to appear as one specific Companion — "You know who I need to see..." and it's Susan, so he can finally hug and say goodbye and apologize for leaving her so many, many years ago with her assuring him he made the right choice. It also doubles as heartwarming
Dr Constantine: Before this war began I was a father and a grandfather. Now I am neither, but I'm still a doctor. The Doctor: Yeah, I know the feeling.
Big Finish Doctor Who has the Eighth Doctor finally return, and to find he has a grandson, Alex. After a brief, eventually happy reunion, Earth is invaded again by the Daleks. In the final fight, Alex is killed in a Heroic Sacrifice, leaving Susan distraught, and the Doctor bitter and more vengeful toward the Daleks then ever. This is, as far as the audience can tell, the last time the Doctor sees Susan.
The loss of the Doctors first human companions in "The Chase". Ian and Barbara chose to return to their own time, and The Doctor spends the last few moments of the episode in an uncharacteristically gloomy and morbid mood.
This even continues into the next episode, when The Doctor makes it quite clear that he views Steven as an inferior version of Ian, and takes an immediate dislike to him, picking on him and using him as a focus for all his frustration over losing his friend.
Though she wasn't a 'proper' companion, Katarina's death in 'The Daleks' Master Plan' is a bit of this, even with only the audio.
Steven: Not that one! Katarina! *decompression* Katarina!
The end of that same story. The jungle planet Kembel, once known as the most hostile place in the solar system, reduced in seconds to a barren wasteland filled with the corpses of the Daleks and Sara. It doesn't help that the Doctor and Steven, the only survivors, spend several minutes contemplating the horror that the Time Destructor was able to bring about, all in absolute silence and stern voices.
The Doctor: The waste... the terrible waste...
This line, after the Doctor is expressing satisfaction with the destruction of the Daleks:
Steven: Bret! Katarina! ...Sara.
The ending of the Massacre, where Steven leaves the TARDIS, disgusted that the Doctor left Anne Chaplet to be butchered. Gets even worse as the Doctor breaks down, remembering his companions who left him, especially Susan and combined with his guilt over his inaction in the massacre he's so broken he ponders whether to give up traveling altogether.
The Doctor's speech is truly heartbreaking. He's never sounded more broken:
The Doctor: Even after all this time he cannot understand. I dare not change the course of history. Well, at least I taught him to take some precautions. He did remember to look at the scanner before he opened the doors. Now they're all gone. All gone. None of them could understand. Not even my little Susan, or Vicki. And as for Barbara and Chatterton. Chesterton. They were all too impatient to get back to their own time. And now, Steven. Perhaps I should go home, back to my own planet. But I can't. I can't.
Second Doctor episodes
"The Evil of the Daleks" introduces us to the very first humanized (read adorable) Daleks ever. Sadly, by the end of the episode, all the good Daleks are killed as they destroy their Emperor. All The Doctor could do was stand by the window and watch as the adorable pepperpot's die when the building finally collapsed on top of the survivors.
This whole speech from "Tomb Of The Cybermen". Deborah Watling's wonderful, moving performance as Victoria sadly remembering her dead family beforehand is great enough, but then Pat comes out with this about HIS family...
The Second Doctor: I have to really want to - to bring them back in front of my eyes. The rest of the time they... they sleep in my mind, and I forget. And so will you. Oh, yes, you will. You'll find there's so much else to think about, to remember. Our lives are different to anybody else's. That's the exciting thing! Because nobody in the universe can do what we're doing. So you go get some sleep, and let this poor old man stay awake.
Note that this is the first time the Doctor ever talked about his family (outside of his grand-daughter Susan). The fact that he chose to confide in Victoria about this is proof that he truly loved her very much.
Victoria's goodbye in "Fury from the Deep".
What happens to the Companions of The Krotons.
"The War Games" episode 10 combines half a regeneration (we see the old Doctor go, but not the new Doctor appear) with the departures of two companions. Both of whom keep on hoping there's going to be a happy ending long after the Doctor's realized all too well there won't. Then after they've said goodbye to the Doctor (still hoping they'll see him again one day), the Time Lords casually inflict Victory Guided Amnesia on them and we get to see the results. Heartbreaking.
Upon realizing that he couldn't avoid his trial, and had to say goodbye to his companions, the Doctor turns to Jamie, offering his hand and says goodbye. Jamie tries to object, but gets cut off by a much more curt "Good-bye, Jamie." You can practically see Jamie's heart breaking when he says goodbye back; he was the Second Doctor's companion for all but the first six episodes of his tenure, and the longest running male companion in the Classic Who series. To see their friendship, and their adventures, have to end so suddenly, was just heartbreaking to those who had watched Jamie from the very beginning.
"I won't forget you, Doctor."
The last we see of him, he's charging a Redcoat who's shooting at him, when just before his memory was erased he talked down and cooperated with another. When you remember that and take into consideration how close Jamie was to the Doctor and how long they travelled together, well...
"I thought I'd forgotten something important, but it's nothing."
That Jamie and Zoe lost their memories was bad enough, but factor in the realization that given his nationality and time period, Jamie probably died at Culloden...
Perhaps a slight happy tearjerker when, after he asks after them the Time Lords due comfort The Doctor with the assurance that they'd taken steps to insure both Jamie and Zoe will be fine.
Third Doctor episodes
The end of Episode Six of "Inferno". It's a Mirror Universe and all, and the Brigade Leader's a nasty piece of work, but that's how four billion other people are dying at about the same time. But what really does it is the Doctor's complete inability to save anyone else.
Brigade-Leader Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart: You’re going to take us with you, Doctor! Third Doctor: I can’t - it’s impossible! Brigade-Leader: (Whilst pointing a pistol at him) I advise you to try. Doctor: I can’t, I literally can't. It would create a cosmic disaster. Brigade-Leader: You are not going to leave us here! Doctor: Do you think I want to? I’d give anything to save you all. Greg Sutton: It’s not loaded! Brigade-Leader fires a warning shot to the side to prove Sutton wrong. Section Leader Elizabeth Shaw: Let him go, Brigade-Leader! Brigade-Leader: We helped him... We have every right to go... I give you until three, Doctor. One! Doctor: You’ll have to shoot me Brigade-Leader, I have no intention of taking you! Brigade-Leader: Two! Thr- (BANG!) The shot came from the Section Leader’s pistol. The Brigade-Leader keels over. Section Leader: Now’s your chance Doctor! Sutton: Go on, Doctor, get out of it! Section Leader: Go on Doctor, go now! Doctor: I can’t it's still too erratic- Professor Petra Williams: GREG! The last thing we and The Doctor see of that world is lava pouring in through the door of the room the characters are standing in.
Ashe's Heroic Sacrifice in Colony in Space, going up in flames before your very eyes when launching the rocket.
In The Three Doctors, Omega isn't a very sympathetic character because of his ceaseless power tripping. This changes the moment he removes his mask and discovers his entire body has disintegrated in the antimatter realm and only his will allows him to exist as long as he thinks he is still alive. Omega collapses to his knees and begins the loudest, most helpless, and absolutely pitiful wailing you've ever heard. What follows is a horrifyingVillainous Breakdown.
The DVD Commentary to The Green Death, when Katy Manning begins talking about Jon Pertwee and breaks down in tears at the end.
And, of course, that lingering shot of the Doctor, standing alone by the door at Jo's engagement party, downing his last drink as he watches the guests mingle. There's a reason it's in every Fan Vid. Worse, Jo turns around once she notices he leaves and has a look of infinite sadness about her.
The way the newly regenerated Fourth Doctor was trying new costumes in Robot, only to have each one turned down by the Brigadier, was absolutely heart-wrenching. He just looked so sad when each suit was rejected...
Well, when you think about it, the Doctor solidifying his wardrobe after each regeneration is basically his way of demonstrating that he's finally comfortable with his new identity. The reason he's so downcast there is because he's just trying to figure out who he's turned into this time...
In addition, the ending also has Rogin, the one truly likeable member of the Ark's crew, being burned alive in a Heroic Sacrifice.
Near the beginning of "Pyramids of Mars" The Doctor is quietly standing in the control room of the TARDIS, looking unusually sullen. When Sarah Jane walks in she's wearing a dress she found. When she shows it off to him, The Doctor instantly recognizes it as one once worn by Victoria.
The Doctor then goes on for a bit about how earth isn't really his home, sounding much like a stranger in a strange land.
Watching Laurence trying "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight on Marcus (or more precisely, Marcus dead body possessed by Sutekh's will) when he shows up. Worse, there seems to be a faint glimmer that Marcus might break free of Sutekh's possession, only to kill Laurence a second later.
The title character from "The Brain of Morbius", whatever terrible things Morbius did in his lifetime, he was still a very sad and pitiable creature in the end.
Unstoffe is deeply affected when the Graff brutally murders Binro simply for trying to help him.
The Doctor didn't have it any easier, he had to stand by and watch as the Graff murdered many innocent people. It's no wonder he made certain the Graff suffered a Karmic Death from his own bomb.
Near the end of "Meglos", just as The Doctor, Romana and K9 are about to leave Tigella to find and stop Meglos. the High-priestess Lexa dies shielding Romana from a stray laser blast. It's just so out of nowhere. Worse, moments before Lexa was little more than a one-dimensional religious zealot, next minute she's a dead hero.
Worse still, she died saving Romana. Since Romana is a Time Lord getting hit by a laser blast would probably have only required her to regenerate. So in effect, Lexa's death was little more than a Senseless Sacrifice.
Even worse, Lexa was played by Jacqueline Hill, who had played the first Doctor's companion Barbara Wright. "Meglos" was the last 'Doctor Who' episode Jacqueline Hill ever stared in.
The Marshchild's final moments in "Full Circle": just watching the poor creature, who's been treated cruelly by nearly every human it's encountered (not least the Mad Scientist who just attempted to dissect its brain while it was fully conscious), reaching out towards a video screen on which it can see the face of the one person who showed it kindness: the Doctor. And then realizing that it can't tell that the image of the Doctor it sees isn't real, and watching helplessly as it smashes the screen to try and get to the Doctor, electrocuting itself in the process.
Adric: Will Romana be all right? The Doctor: All right? (Whispered) She'll be superb.
By the end of "The Keeper of Traken" the Master pulls one of the cruelest Grand Theft Me's ever and hijacks the body of Tremas. The rather kindly old man who'd just lost his wife to The Masters machinations.
Let's not forget the moment in "Logopolis" where the Doctor is forced to eject Romana's room from the TARDIS, even though you can tell he really doesn't want to. Dammit, Tom Baker, who knew you could deliver a heartbreaking performance like that?
Nyssa helplessly watching as her entire planet is engulfed in the entropy (especially after discovering that the man she thought was her father has actually killed him and taken over his body). Can you even imagine something like that, everyone you know dying all at once, and you can't do anything about it?
And she's not the only one to suffer grief, in the scene where the Doctor has to inform Tegan that the Master has killed her aunt. Logopolis as a whole is practically rife with this, including last but not least...
The Fourth Doctor's regeneration. Especially compared to the Fifth and Ninth, the circumstances may not have been the most impressive (and he knew it was coming), but keep in mind the Fourth is regarded by some as the most "alien" of the Doctors...to see such a strange, lovely creature go...
Not to mention that, if you were watching live from 1975-1981, you had spent over six years and 172 episodes with this Doctor. That's a big loss.
Not only that but he was thinking of his companions before he "died."
Fifth Doctor episodes
The death of Adric made a few fans go misty-eyed.
And the break with the traditional closing credits. No Doctor Who theme song, no starfield; just a picture of Adric's broken gold star accompanied by deafening silence. This moment of silence is all the more noticeable because it hardly ever happens on television these days. With the Credits Pushback, it's nigh impossible to do.
The last sound you hear before the silent credits is Nyssa and Tegan crying quietly in the TARDIS.
What makes Adric's death really heartbreaking is that he died thinking he'd failed, and that the entire population of Earth was going to die with him. He had no way of knowing that he'd actually already saved them. It got even worse when you realise what that is he's holding in his final scene - his dead brother's belt, and the last little piece of home he has with him.
The last part of "Terminus", when Nyssa is bidding farewell to the Doctor and Tegan.
Tegan: She'll die here. Nyssa: Not easily, Tegan. Like you, I'm indestructible.
Once again Omega proves to be a Tragic Monster, by the end of "Arc of Infinity". Borusa openly mourns for him, and hopes that Omega could find peace after the Doctor used the antimatter gun to disperse him.
Borusa: My hope is that he (Omega) has found peace at last...
Once Omega has gained his new body, he just walks around and takes in the sights. In fact, other than murdering a lone gardener to get a new outfit, he's positively adorable. Joining a crowd in watching a street side entertainer and smiling for probably the first time in a millennia.
In "The Five Doctors", the look on the Second Doctor's face as he realizes that the Jamie and Zoe in Rassilon's Tomb can't possibly be real.
And the apparitions' screams as they fade away...
The twist that Borusa of all people was the one who pulled a Face-Heel Turn in order to obtain immortality was no doubt a shock to those who'd seen the episode for the first time.
The death of the Castellan, while the man was no saint, and certainly not likable. Being framed of betrayal, them promptly executed without trial still seems a rather pathetic way to go in the end.
"Warriors of the Deep," a Fifth Doctor episode with a Kill 'em All ending. All the death is bad enough, but then the Doctor says "There should have been another way," and his voice is cracking and guh.
"Resurrection of the Daleks", three stories later, ends the same way — and Tegan, unable to bear any more stupid, stupid deaths, leaves. More accurately, she runs away, leaving the Doctor standing among the ruins of his enemies.
Tegan: I'm tired of it. A lot of good people have died today...I'm sick of it. My Aunt Vanessa said, when I became an air stewardess, "If you stop enjoying it, give it up." It's stopped being fun, Doctor! The Doctor: No, don't leave! Not like this. Tegan: I must. I'm sorry! Goodbye. (runs)
The Doctor: It’s... it’s strange. I left Gallifrey for similar reasons. I’d grown tired of their lifestyle.
The end of "Planet of Fire". Turlough didn't want to leave the Doctor, but he had just found his brother and needed to take care of him.
Despite Peri's cleavage, the Master's laugh, and the post-regenerative Mood Whiplash from hell, the Fifth Doctor's death at the end of "The Caves of Androzani" is still a massive downer.
Sixth Doctor episodes
While some might argue, watching The Doctor going through his post-regeneration trauma throughout "The Twin Dilemma". The poor guy has spasms of pain and screams one moment, then can't tell friend from foe the next.
The Doctor: Didn't go very well now, did it? Peri: Well, Earth's safe, and so is the web of time. The Doctor: I meant on a personal level. (Beat) I don't think I've ever misjudged somebody quite as badly as I did Lytton.
The Doctor's grief over the loss of so many innocent and brilliant people in "The Two Doctors".
The second Doctor's reaction when Dastari and Chessene tell him Jamie's dead. The audience know Jamie's alright, but the poor Doctor has no way of knowing this, and lets out a howl of despair.
In Revelation of the Daleks, The Doctor's brief but shocked reaction when Davros casually mentions that the two graverobbers he befriended and recruited earlier are dead.
Doctor: Do you ever do anything but kill!?
From "Mindwarp": "You... killed Peri?" okay, she's Not Quite Dead (possibly. God knows), but the vulnerability, grief and shock in his voice is so profound.
The death of the Vervoids in "Terror Of The Vervoids". While the creatures did kill many innocent people, and would have likely continued to do so if not stopped. The poor creatures' look very pathetic as they wither, die and turn to dust. The sad look on The Doctor's face as the last Vervoid leaf crumbles to dust in his hand says it all.
The Doctor: In all my traveling throughout the universe I have battled against evil, against power mad conspirators. I should have stayed here! The oldest civilisation: 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!
Although the circumstances behind Mel's departure in "Dragonfire" are possibly the most random and arbitrary reasons for a departing companion in the show's history, it's well-compensated for by the actual farewell scene, in which the Doctor quickly reveals his inner loneliness and sense of loss:
Mel: I'm going now. The Doctor: (faux-cheer) Yes, that's right, you're going! You've been gone for ages! (increasingly maudlin) You're not really gone. You're still here. Just arrived... haven't even met you yet... It all depends on who you are and how you look at it. Strange business, time. Mel: (sadly) Goodbye, Doctor. The Doctor: (recovering) I'm sorry, Mel. Think about me, when you're living your life, one day after another, all in a neat pattern. Think about the homeless traveller and his old police box. And his days like crazy paving.
The scene in "Ghost Light" where Ace tells the Doctor about the murder of her best friend at age 13 (though extra-canonical sources indicate that she survived), after her flat was firebombed by skinheads.
The moment from "The Greatest Show In The Galaxy" that can only be described as cold blooded murder, when the young starstruck über-fan WhizzKid was killed. To be frank, it's hard to tell who's callus disregard for the young mans life was worse. The Gods of Ragnarok, or the treacherous Captain.
If your heart wasn't ripped out of your chest when the Doctor intentionally stuck a knife in every last one of Ace's insecurities to force her to lose her faith in him in Curse of Fenric, there is a high possibility you are not in fact human.
The audience knows, of course, that he doesn't mean a word of it. Ace does not.
Karra's death near the end of "Survival". Pretty much that entire scene from Ace's broken cry onward.
The Doctor's final monologue at the end of Survival, recorded at a point where it was clear that series 27 was unlikely to occur:
The Doctor: There are worlds out there where the sky's burning, where 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, somewhere else the tea's getting cold. Come on Ace, we've got work to do.
Eighth Doctor (TV Movie & "Night of the Doctor")
The Seventh Doctor's death during the 1996 TV movie. Yes, he was shot, but the bullets were removed and he seemed on the mend. But then a cardiologist with no knowledge of his two hearts got hold of him on the operating table. The eyes start getting watery as soon as the Doctor reaches up and grabs the surgeon's hand holding the scalpel. "Whatever it is you're about to do, stop." Perfectly lucid, desperate to stop the Master, and succumbing to sedation while terrified beyond belief at the idea of being cut apart by ignorant humans trying to fix a nonexistent problem.
"WHO... AM I?!" The Eighth Doctor gets it even worse than his predecessors, not only not entirely sure of the person he's turned into this time, but he's not even aware that he's the Doctor! Waking up in a morgue with no idea who you are but being fairly sure you didn't look like that a few minutes ago would freak any person out.
When the Master kills Lee. It was so brutal and sudden, even though I knew it was coming. Luckily Lee got better.
Then he goes and kills poor Grace moments later.
Eight's goodbye to Grace at the end of the movie.
It's even sadder that Grace refused his offer to tag along. It would have been fun...
Just before their goodbye The Doctor offers to take her along. Grace declines but then suggests that he stay. The Doctor then looks around considering the idea for one wistful moment, then sadly declines.
The very idea that this gentlemanly, sweet, slightly scatterbrained Doctor is the one to experience the Time War.
"The Night of the Doctor" reveals that he actually ran from the Time War, and tried to help where he could, but eventually realized at the end of his life that the Daleks and Time Lords were becoming indistinguishable and that he was the only one who could end it, regenerating into a 'warrior' who could fight.
The experience that brings about this? The sole survivor of a crashing ship he was saving straight up decided she would rather die than be rescued by him the second she realized he was a Time Lord, despite his pleadings.
Cass' expression during her last moments sell it. You can tell that beneath all that spite and hatred, there's a bit of her that's terrified of dying and nearly on the verge of tears. Yet to her, this horrific last moment is preferable to being saved by a Time Lord.
The first word out of the Doctors mouth after he's temporarily revived?
Furthermore, when she refuses to let him save her, he doesn't bother to save himself and remains on the ship until it crashes into the planet, killing them both. When the Sisterhood of Karn bring him back to life temporarily to give him the chance to regenerate, he initially refuses and snarks he'll spend his last few minutes knitting instead. The Eighth Doctor is so broken by this point, he actively wants to die.
Then when the Doctor asks the leader of the Sisterhood if he'll feel any pain during his regeneration.
The newly-regenerated War Doctor's first words- "Doctor no more". Not helped by the fact he has donned a bandolier- a piece of equipment the Doctor would normally avoid like the plague. And his face is grimly serious. Not a smile, not a chuckle, not a witticism to be found going into his new life- just a very short and concise summation of what is likely going to be an unforgiving and joyless ordeal.
The Doctor watched Gallifrey burn when the Cruciform fell, an event so terrible that even the Master fled Gallifrey.
In "Dead Man's Hand", the War Doctor is summoned to the Matrix to defend the name of the Eleventh Doctor by detailing his history as the Doctor. Poor War can't even bear to speak because he's so ashamed of the dark route he took compared to the other incarnations.
Only the Eighth Doctor will defend him, why? No doubt he fells horribly guilty for forcing War into his life in the first place.
Seeing how young and pristine the War Doctor looks in "The Night of the Doctor" versus the end of his life. He went into this life to end the war as quickly as possibly, but missed the boat on that notion because the war was just too bloomin' violent to curtail on his own. He instead spent 400 years fighting almost non-stop and his clothes and TARDIS showed the damage. He grew extremely old, his hair went fully grey, he looks very tired, and he even has a Beard of Sorrow. But worst of all, the War Doctor is now haunted almost perpetually and sports a consistent Thousand-Yard Stare.
Engines of War was a major tear-inducer; it brutally justified why the War Doctor almost always traveled alone- companions die far more easily in wartime. And the Doctor is to the point where he lets people actively carry weapons onto the TARDIS.
The Doctor feels like becoming his war incarnation was a Senseless Sacrifice for failing to end the Time War.
Time Lord society has fallen away so badly that their system of power is a joke, and their Lord President Rassilon (who like The Master was only resurrected to help fight in the war), once heralded as thegreat hero and innovator of their civilization, believes the death of millions is alright if it means defeating the Daleks. Challenge him and you are automatically an enemy of the Time Lords. That's all the Doctor did to be considered their enemy. He worked with the Time Lords for nearly all of the war, but a single refusal of their demands was all it took to destroy that alliance.
Rassilon is terrifyingly tyrannical. Disagree with him to his face and get wiped clean from history. The rest of his followers are willing to discard the entire physical universe altogether as a last resort to stop the Time War and quantum lock those who don't approve of the sanction like Weeping Angels as monuments to their shame- or are too scared and subjugated by Rassilon to question him. Coupled with the above point, they effortlessly live up to Cass's views of the race, and reveal why she treated the Eighth Doctor so harshly. The Time Lords really have become as bad as Daleks.
Rassilon's fall is really depressing if you've only ever seen him in the television series. He goes from a wise, though admittedly intimidating figure who actually helped the Doctor, to a complete monster. Makes one wonder if his resurrection at the hands of the other Time Lords unhinged him in some fashion.
Daleks are actively killing humans and aliens as experiments to create superweapons. Or worse, turning them into Daleks.
Vice versa, Time Lords have tried to screw with the Dalek race's evolution in every conceivable alternate reality, only for it to have Gone Horribly Wrong on all counts. Cinder sees this as the universe declaring it practically wants Daleks.
The Doctor has become so far removed from his namesake that the Daleks actually think about making him the ultimate Dalek. Which they call the "Predator Dalek". "Asylum of the Daleks" just got a lot more upsetting.
Cinder's backstory, the fact she was served the fate of the Mauve Shirt after seeming to have a positive effect on the War Doctor's personality, and how the Doctor had a chance to reverse her death, but had to pass it up for the greater good of the universe.
Worse, a Time Lord named Karlax murdered her in cold blood after getting a new lease on life through a regeneration and the Doctor anticipated a move like this, showing how far the Time Lords have fallen. And what does the Doctor do as an act of retribution? Demateralize the Time Lord into a circle of the nastiest Daleks out there at the time and let fate take its course. Yes- he sincerely lets the Daleks have a free kill after spending nearly every encounter with them trying to do the exact opposite.
After Cinder dies, the Doctor takes great care to learn her real name so that she's remembered and honoured. This makes the Hostess's death in "Midnight" heartrending by retrospect.
Cinder's family wasn't just killed off, they were killed off in such a way that they had to be abandoned and left to rot in the spots where they were exterminated without proper burial, until nothing but dingy skeletons remained. The War Doctor makes a personal journey in his TARDIS to go and bury them with Cinder, erecting a proper grave for the whole family.
The ultimate clincher in this story? Cinder's death was the last straw for the War Doctor. Her sacrifice had such a profound impact on him, it made him declare, "NO MORE." To be clear, Cinder getting killed caused the War Doctor to steal the supreme weapon of mass destruction- the Moment.
"The Last Day": A Foregone Conclusion that many Time Lords are about to be mercilessly killed by the single biggest Dalek attack of all time... and we get a front row seat to it in the sky trenches of Arcadia. The minisode shows you that there are families who are going to see this and learn how their loved ones died... Soldiers screaming in terror, PTSD-like premonitions, and gratuitous close up shots of Daleks descending right in front of the victims to gun them down at point-blank range. For the children, it would be beyond traumatizing to watch a family member die and get a clear glimpse of the murderer.
A single Dalek starts a mad panic in Arcadia after they feel totally secure that not a single one of the pepperpots can get in. This proves that the soldiers on watch at Arcadia were collectively putting up a front of courage and security, when in fact, all of them were scared out of their wits that the whole of their defenses could come crashing down at any moment, which they did.
In "The Day of the Doctor", the War Doctor goes to a quiet, secluded barn to detonate the Moment, abandoning the TARDIS. Why? He doesn't want her to witness the horrible thing he's about to do after she's been right beside him in all the times he has made her proud. This will be the one time he breaks her heart.
Worse, that barn is actually a childhood remnant of days long since past for the Doctor on Gallifrey. He chose the location out of some sense of security and comfort to latch onto in his Darkest Hour.
The Moment is far from a weapon of genocide and truly cared that the Doctor would find a proper ending to the Time War. She might be the one and only force in the universe who was powerful enough to administer help where he needed it most in the exact way he needed it, almost like she was acting as his guardian angel.
The General and Androgar, along with the War Council, are not the cracked up evil Time Lords viewers were led to believe dominated the population of Gallifrey. There were innocent Gallifreyans, too- families, men, woman, and most of all, children caught in the fray of the battle who would have been killed if the Moment and Clara did not intervene.
The Tenth Doctor was definitely right when he said the Time War turned into Hell. Children crying as Daleks lined up in droves to exterminate them, Time Lord soldiers were being blown up in huge fireballs in the seats of their gun turrets by high intensity Dalek fighter pod lasers, and just one Dalek was enough to reduce a city of millions to total ruin. Thankfully, the War Doctor was there to put a stop to all that.
The War Doctor is suicidal when he wants to use the Moment, not intending to live through the utter annihilation of his home and all the innocent residents who are about to burn.
When the Moment shows a glimpse of Arcadia being attacked, panicked residents are seen fleeing for their lives, there's a scream of a young girl, and a view of a mother cupping her hand to her mouth in horror at what she has just witnessed. This sight makes Clara break down in tears, and the War Doctor looks completely devastated by it- perhaps another reason to justify his lack of companions- he didn't want to make them suffer.
There is an Empathy Doll Shot of a fuzzy animal... except not only is it abandoned, it's burning.
The War Doctor's soft, "Thank you" to the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors when they arrive to help him activate the Moment. War sounds on the verge of tears.
The War Doctor's pragmatic TARDIS control room is so haphazardly strung together, the TARDIS itself looks like it's been forced into a configuration it doesn't like and is screaming "no more" at the Time War.
Even though the War Doctor regenerated with the knowledge he saved Gallifrey and that life will end in peace, his next incarnation will immediately think he killed everyone, have a colossalHeroic BSOD, and spend most of that life brooding and angry. 100 years spent beating himself up, reconfiguring the TARDIS console room into an even more cold and grungy machine, and likely doing a great deal of crying from huge regrets, if the Single Tear Nine sheds "The End of the World" is a good indicator.
Ninth Doctor episodes
"Rose": Rose's reaction when she thinks Mickey has been killed by Autons.
Clive is shot down by an Auton right in front of his own family, who then run for their lives, abandoning his body. And Clive just looks so resigned when the Auton turns its gun on him, like he was thinking something along the lines of, "I researched a dangerous alien whose constant companion is death. I got too closely involved. I knew this was bound to happen sooner or later."
The end of "The End Of The World", Rose is looking out the window at the remains of the Earth after it is destroyed by the Sun's transformation into a red giant. "The end of the Earth. It's gone. We were too busy saving ourselves, no one saw it go. All those years, all that history, and no one was even looking." And then the Doctor takes her back to her time, and we see all these people and things that, a moment ago, were gone.
The Doctor: You think it'll last forever. People, and cars, and concrete. But it won't. One day, it's all gone. Even the sky.
In the same episode, what was said at the beginning of the episode. Rose's first trip in the TARDIS, and the first thing she sees is the death of Earth - not in any of the thousands of potentially imaginable holocausts that humans could bring upon themselves. But because it's an old, old planet that has reached its time.
Doctor: You lot, you spend all your time thinking about dying. Like you're gonna get killed by eggs, or beef, or global warming, or asteroids, But you never take time to imagine the impossible: That maybe you survive.
Earlier in the episode, where Jabe tells the Doctor she knows where he's from and and how sorry she is for what's happened to him. Cue single Manly Tear from the Doctor.
You'd never think you'd cry over a Dalek of all things. But when the lone Dalek from the 9th Doctor episode "Dalek" develops feelings, due to using human material to regenerate, and finds itself unable to exterminate Rose Tyler or even Van Statten - the person responsible for containing and torturing it - and growing disgusted with itself for its nature, it begs for new orders - and realizes it's all alone. It begs Rose to order it to commit suicide, unable to deal with it all.
And the line after the order, with the Dalek facing its suicide/death was what really did it though.
Dalek: 'm'[softly] Are you frightened, Rose Tyler? Rose: Yeah... Dalek:[softly]'' So... am... I...
Even before absorbing Rose's DNA, the Dalek shows qualities of humanity. Whether this was an elaborate ploy or genuine caving in under the inevitability of death, it's enough to make you feel a bit sorry for it.
Dalek: [softly]I... welcome death. But, I am glad that... before I die... I met a human... who was not... afraid.
The Harsher in Hindsight realization that the Doctor isn't long removed from The Moment, when he committed genocide against the Daleks and the Time Lords, killing warriors and innocents alike. As the lights come on, he has a moment when he realizes that it was all for naught: a Dalek survived, and despite having the blood of billions, if not trillions, on his hands, one of his enemies survived and the war between Dalek and Time Lord must inevitably restart.
"Father's Day" is often cited as making fans cry.
Pete: Who am I, love? Rose: My daddy. — Pete: I never read you those bedtime stories, I never took you on those picnics. I was never there for you. Rose: You woulda been. Pete: I can do this for you. I'll be a proper dad to you now.
From "The Doctor Dances":
The Doctor: Just this once, Rose, everybody lives!
And the moment before: "Yes, I am your mummy... I will always be your mummy."
The fact that, despite the Blitz going on all around and the immediate danger from the attacking zombies, what is it that saves the entire world? The love of a mother for her child.
Nancy's whole life, when you think about it. She gets pregnant, in the 1940s, aged probably no more than 16. The baby's father either dies or abandons her. Her parents kick her out to give birth alone, and she struggles against all the odds to keep her little boy, all the while lying to him and everybody else (except perhaps Dr Constantine) that he's her brother. And then she loses him anyway. And then he comes back as a monster.
Nancy and Rose's discussion about her general lack of Arbitrary Skepticism. Given the situation she finds herself in, she's ready to believe almost anything, even that Rose and the Doctor are time travelers... but not ones from the future. Pointing at nighttime London sky, with barrage balloons and flak burts and German bombers bombing the city, she asks Rose: What future? Nancy is, at this point, pretty much utterly hopeless and just running on survival instinct rather than any actual belief that anything could possibly get better.
The ending to "The Doctor Dances doubles as a Tearjerker and a Moment of Heartwarming. How desperately The Doctor wants just one day where nobody has to die.
The Doctor: Oh, come on. Give me a day like this. Give me this one...
[shortly thereafter]The Doctor: Everybody Lives Rose! Just this once, everybody lives!
[later still]The Doctor: I need more days like this...
Not to mention Nine probably only recently come out of the Time War before meeting Rose—and in that war he had to commit what was basically a double genocide, even if unsuccessful (not that he knew), half of which was his own people. Knowing that in retrospect, it's clear just how desperate the Doctor is for a day when nobody has to die at all.
It's worse than that. Yes, he killed his own people, but A Million Is a Statistic. The conversation where Dr. Constantine says, "Before this war began I was a father and a grandfather. Now I am neither," and the Doctor agrees was a Tear Jerker, when you take into account the Doctor indeed was a grandfather.
The last few scenes of "The Doctor Dances" have a second tearjerker that happens right after that. Captain Jack intercepts the German bomb, but finds that it can't be defused, only it's detonation can be slowed down. He transmits an absolutely heartwrenching hologram to Rose and The Doctor before taking his ship to outer space. And the few scenes after that implies that he is preparing to meet his doom. Of course, he's an important character, so cue Mood Whiplash and The Doctor to the rescue!
"Boom Town" starts off as a humor episode. Its title and content threaten to be all about action. The bulk of the episode is given over to a quiet allegory about capital punishment. Blaine is a murderer, and attempted to be one on a genocidal scale, but her grief at the loss of her family, her fear of death, her knowledge that she's responsible for the sorry state of her own life make her all too familiar, both to the Doctor and the audience. Both she and the Doctor argue whether the capacity for mercy outweighs the need for justice for her crimes:
The Doctor: You let one of them go, but that's nothing new. Every now and then a little victim spared, because she smiled, 'cos he's got freckles, 'cos they begged. And that's how you live with yourself, that's how you slaughter millions. Because once in a while, on a whim, if the wind's blowing in the right direction, you happen to be kind.
Margaret Blaine:Only a killer would know that. Is that right? From what I've seen, your funny little happy-go-lucky life leaves devastation in its wake. Always moving on, because you dare not go back. Playing with so many peoples' lives — you might as well be a god. And you're right, Doctor, you're absolutely right; sometimes you let one go. Let me go.
An absolutely amazing line from Boom Town, and one unexpected for a former Monster of the Week (and a relatively minor member of the group at that) to be able to perform as well as she does:
Blon: "Let's see who can look me in the eye..."
In "The Parting of the Ways", we have Lynda, freshly-invited to join the TARDIS, and utterly ignorant of the Daleks' ability to survive hard vacuum. Then the lights flash in that cadence we know all too well....
The Doctor's holographic farewell to Rose in "Parting of the Ways". Especially when the hologram turns and looks right at her and tells her to have "a fantastic life." Cue the waterworks.
If you replace Rose's theme with the music intended for the scene, it gets worse.
Especially in retrospect, knowing what happens to him over the course of the next two thousand years or so, Jack being left behind on the Gamestation in The Parting of Ways is quite the tearjerker. What with the absolute disbelief on his face and us knowing just how much he's going to go through from now on...
Jack sums up the consequences of when The Doctor inspires those around him to be selfless and self-sacrificing.
Jack: Wish I'd never met you Doctor. I was much better off as a coward.
The Doctor's death, especially if you're a newcomer and he's your first, seriously hurts. Knowing that it's going to happen, watching it happen, watching him change...
His final exchange with Rose is all at once beautiful, heartwarming, and bloody sad.
Ninth Doctor: See, Time Lords have this little trick. Sort of a way of cheating death. Except... it means I'm gonna change. And I'm not gonna see you again — not with this daft old face. And before I go... Rose: Don't say that— Ninth Doctor: Rose. Before I go, I just want to tell you that you were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic! And you know what? [Rose shakes her head] Ninth Doctor:[grins] So was I.
What makes it especially sad is how ridiculously short the Ninth's "era" was. Other than the Eighth Doctor and the War Doctor (both of whom are explicitly stated to have numerous adventures/years off-screen), no other Doctor has had so few episodes before dying. Furthermore, it's clear that "Rose" is very, very soon into this incarnation and that Rose Tyler stayed with the Ninth Doctor basically his whole life. Unlike other Doctors, there is no Time Skip in between companions. Rose never really noticeably ages either, indicating that their time together is fairly brief. That one little series, Series 1, is basically the whole of the Ninth Doctor's life. Tenth lived for only 6 or 9 years but chances are Ninth probably didn't live much past his first birthday. And to top it off, if Tenth's lines in "End of Time" ring true, another man basically got up and walked away with his girlfriend.
He was also stated to have been the ninth doctor for at least a hundred years before meeting Rose. So Ten actually had the shortest life of any of the doctors.
not quite when he met Rose he was fresh out of the Time War, never having seen his face. At the end of the first episode, he flies of in the TARDIS, only to appear a second later. That is were the hundred years were
Tenth Doctor episodes
"The Christmas Invasion":
When there's nothing left the humans can do and the chips are down, Harriet Jones does the only thing she can think of: she makes a desperate plea to the Doctor on national television for him to save them.
Harriet Jones: [...] But, ladies and gentlemen, this crisis is unique, and I'm afraid to say it might get much worse. I would ask you all to remain calm. But I have one request — Doctor... if you're out there... we need you. I don't know what to do. If you can hear me, Doctor—if anyone knows the Doctor, if anyone can find him—the situation has never been more desperate. Help us. Please, Doctor, help us.
It doesn't help that Rose breaks down during this because she believes the Doctor is Deader Than Dead.
The Doctor's punishment of Harriet Jones. Though he did save humanity, that does not give him the right to pass judgment on the Prime Minister and remove her from office. And not just because she was supposed to usher in a new "golden age."
Worse still, The Doctor and Harriet are never shown reconciling. She continued to have faith in him till the day she died, but he never once told her "I'm sorry".
Worse than that, by interfering with the timeline and bringing about Harriet Jones's downfall, The Doctor unwittingly triggers a cascade of events that will cause the suffering of countless innocent people, including Jack, the Jones family, all the humans living at the end of the universe, and Harriet Jones herself.
In "New Earth", Lady Cassandra accepts death, having taken over her willing servant, a clone with almost no real life anyway. The Doctor takes her back in time to a party when she was young. For those few seconds a woman who has spent so long desperately chopping and changing and eventually mutilating her own body in a desperate bid to be beautiful can finally see what she lost.
Cassandra: [in Chip's body] Excuse me... Lady Cassandra... Younger Cassandra: I'm sorry, I don't need anything right now. I'm fine, thank you. Cassandra/Chip: No — I just wanted to say... you look beautiful. Younger Cassandra: [casually] Well. That's very kind, you strange little thing. Thank you very much. Cassandra/Chip: I mean it. You look... so beautiful. Younger Cassandra:[sincerely moved] Thank you.
At the end, when Cassandra/Chip dies, and Younger Cassandra cradles the clone in her arms, stroking his face and shouting for someone to get an ambulance. It gets worse when you rewatch the episode and hear Cassandra at the beginning refer to Chip as being based off of "[her] favorite template." She remembered him!
Ten explains the curse of being the last Time Lord.
This line is a double-whammy Tear Jerker and CMoH. Just for a moment, as he picks her up, she's young Sarah-Jane again...
Considering the news on 4/19/11 knowing that Elisabeth Sladen, the actress who played Sarah Jane, has passed on, the line "Goodbye... my Sarah Jane!" will now cue Inelegant Blubbering of the messiest sort from Whovians old and young. Made even worse by the passing of Sir Nicholas Courtney just two months before; two of Classic Who's biggest, most beloved icons, gone in a matter of weeks.
The Heroic Sacrifice of K9. When the Doctor says "Good dog", it brings on the tears.
"The Girl In The Fireplace":
The last five or so minutes of The Girl in the Fireplace never fail to trigger the waterworks for some.
The scene where the clockwork robots shut down... because they no longer have a purpose.
"Rise Of The Cybermen" and "Age of Steel".
The reveal of Mickey's background. As if it's not enough that both parents walked out when he was a baby and the grandmother who raised him died, he blames himself for causing his grandmother's death (she fell down the stairs after tripping on a piece of loose carpet he was supposed to fix). He breaks down when he meets the alternate universe version of his gran.
Rose interacting with her "mother" in the alternate universe. You can't help but feel bad when Alt!Jackie looks at Rose and talks to her like she's dirt under her shoe, especially considering Rose considered this woman to be her mother just as much as Jackie from Rose's universe.
Ricky's death: he and Mickey are almost to safety. Mickey spots the oncoming Cybermen and desperately warns Ricky to hurry, but the poor man just isn't fast enough... And of course Mickey is witness to all of this, unable to even help his alternate self (almost like how he was unable to save his grandmother).
Jake's reaction upon finding out that Ricky is dead, that and Alt!Jackie's cyberization.
Just the looks of horror on Rose and Pete's faces when she/it reveals the truth to them.
The sad little voice coming out of the Cyberman who has regained self-awareness; "Is Gareth there? It's bad luck to see me before the wedding..." God, the poor thing...
At the end when all the Cybermen's emotional inhibitor were broken all at once: at least before they were mostly unaware, but now, the people inside could see what they had become. None of these people deserved what happened. They didn't ask to be turned into emotionless metal monsters, but they were all killed as part of Lumic's mad Evil Plan. The Doctor had to Mercy Kill them all in part because death is preferable to being that, and to save all the living still in the world. It's a small-scale version of what we later learn he had to do in the Time War... and oh god, that's a tearjerker in itself.
We get to see one Cyberman staring at its reflection. Through just the movement of its head and arms, the sheer horror of what the poor person inside is feeling comes through perfectly. The Cybermen not only do not have emotions, in their metal suits they are designed so that they shouldn't be capable of showing emotions, which just makes seeing this even more heartbreaking.
There's something about "The Idiot's Lantern". The Abusive Parent is heavily implied to be a Fallen Hero, families have to hide their family members because The Men in Black will take away the ones who have had their face stolen, and even a member of The Men in Black himself hates what they're doing in the first place. Inspector Bishop wants to investigate, but it's way out of any of their league and there's nothing they can do about it. Not to mention that Tommy, son of Abusive Parent, absolutely hates his dad for tattling on the other families. It's clear that no one in his family will ever forgive him , even after Rose tells Tommy to try and make up with him. The dad just looked so lost while standing there on the steps of his house, realizing what he'd done. Then he left when the mom (Rita) told him to get out. He clearly regrets what he's done, but there's nothing he can do. His life is over.
"Love & Monsters"!
We see two romances born from LINDA and both of them are sundered by a villain.
If you believe the Word of God theory that Elton's gone mad from the events of the episode, then the best time of his life has broken his mind.
When Rose is joking about bratty children, the Doctor says "I was a dad once." Rose looks like she wants to ask or comfort or say something, but the Doctor changes the subject immediately.
"She's my baby! You're not hurting her again!" Adult Fear, anyone?
"Doomsday" is often cited as making fans cry.
Being separated by that wall... the goodbye scene ain't got nothin' on the one before it!
When the breach is sealed and the Doctor walks away.
The transmission being cut off. When he gets back to the TARDIS, one eye wet, it's even worse.
The Doctor's expression as he leans against the wall. It is so simple, so unmoving, but his eyes... Rose can bawl her eyes out and everything, but Ten has the pure, unadulterated sadness conveyed solely in the Doctor's eyes.
The Doctor: Rose...
When the two touch the wall at the same place but divided by not just a wall but by an unbreakable universe... *Sniff*
Yvonne Hartman's Heroic Sacrifice after being turned into a Cyberman, especially with that one black tear sliding down her "face". Whatevershe was, she so did not deserve that.
Her final words, too. "I did my duty for Queen and Country." She wasn't out for money or power, everything she did was out of patriotic love for her homeland- and look what happened because of it. She is choking up, but continues to mutter this under her breath as she walks in the conversion chamber
Her patriotisim turns her last words into a You Shall Not Pass moment for her. She opens fire on a stairwell full of fellow Cybermen, repeating the last thing she said as a free-willed human being. She believed that she was doing the right thing so completely that even the indoctrination of the cyber-conversion couldn't take that away from her. She even gives a rhetorical reply to the question "What is your malfunction?" Her only 'malfunction' was doing what she fully believed was the best thing for her nation.
It's a small thing but, when The Doctor hears from Alt!Pete that an alternate Harriet Jones is now president. The Doctor delivers a rather cold "warning" that Pete should "keep an eye on that one". After all that's happened, he still can't let go of his anger toward Harriet Jones. And now he's taking it out on her alternate self too.
In "Runaway Bride," when Donna finds out that Lance had been lying to her the whole time, and in reality couldn't stand her. Dammit, Catherine Tate. No wonder Donna went on to become so beloved, if we were seeing flashes of Tate's talent that early...
The scene in "Gridlock" where the Face of Boe dies, and the look of sheer emptiness on the Doctor's face as he's told he's not alone.
Even more so when rewatching it after the end of series 3, given that that maybe Jack dying too. Which is simultaneously upsetting and in another way, almost happy, because finally, after five billion years which have no doubt contained one helluva lot of heartache and waiting, Jack Harkness gets the all too human gift of peace.
The Hymns. How the hell did they make a freaking traffic jam that tragically uplifting?!
They seem to have used 'eventide' (the melody of 'abide with me'), a truly beautiful and sad tune.
The Tenth Doctor remembering Gallifrey as he talks to Martha at the end of "Gridlock". The look on his face, not quite crying but totally hollow and empty, like he's hurting just to think about it. The look on David Tennant's face, like he's just thought of the saddest thing in the world.
After the events of "The End of Time", rewatching this scene is even worse. Dammit, RTD...
The third season episode "42", in particular the end where Captain Kath opens the airlock allowing her and her possessed husband Corwin to be sucked into space... while telling him she loves him, even when he's preparing to kill her.
And earlier when Corwin is striding towards Kath for the first time since his possession, about to vaporise her, while she begs him not to, reminding him that she's his wife, to which he responds:
possessed!Corwin:[in a curious, remembering tone] My wife?
It then gets even sadder when the Sun possessing him reasserts itself and hisses, "This is your fault!"
What about the bit in "42" when Martha and one of the weekly mauve shirts are trapped in an airlock capsule heading directly for the sun, and she calls her mum up — just to talk, about (in Martha's words) "Anything! What you had for breakfast! What you're going to give dad next time you see him!"
Made all the worse by the fact that the call was clearly being overheard by Mr. Saxon's people.
The point when they are about to push a possessed Doctor into a stasis chamber to be deep frozen in an attempt to get it out of him and he's screaming, saying how scared he is, yelling for Martha and reaching out for her, trying to find her even when she only lets go of him for a matter of seconds, because he can't open his eyes without killing someone and she's telling him to trust her... Gah. Just, gah, David.
Martha: Are you ready? Doctor: No!
Not to mention before that, when we first realize he's possessed and he's going on about how he knows about them taking fuel from the living sun, just the rant he gives and how he says it is heart-wrenching because he's in excruciating pain from being possessed by the sun's spirit (?) and so enraged at the horror of what they've done to a living being. And he's right.
The Doctor: You mined that sun! Skimmed its surface for cheap fuel! You should have scanned for life! That sun's alive, a living organism! They scooped out its heart, used it for fuel and now it's screaming! HUMANS! YOU GRAB WHATEVER'S NEAREST AND BLEED IT DRY! GAHH! YOU SHOULD HAVE SCANNED!!
When the escape pod is being jettisoned, and Martha's banging on the wall, yelling for the Doctor and looking more and more desperate, and the Doctor, unable to help her, stands on the other side of the air lock and screams, "I'LL SAVE YOU." (five times.) and she can't even hear... And the pod just drops toward the sun. The silence makes it hit harder.
"I'll save you"? Sure, that's what he was saying. But think about what that particular combination of words looks like, and remember that this is Martha seeing the Doctor scream this at her. Hint: it's "I love you". Tissue, anyone?
"Human Nature/The Family of Blood"
Not only the drama of John Smith's choice (and seeing his "dream of a normal death") but the Ode of Remembrance too?
Though it starts out as funny when we hear The Doctor emerge for a moment to give some Technobabble explanation to Timothy when he asks why he can hear the watch. Literally a second after, it's not so funny.
As The Doctor: Oh, it's just a low-level telepathy field, you were born with it, just an extra-synaptic engram causing— As John Smith: [gasps in utter horror and looks up, terrified] Is that how he talks?
Then Joan asks Martha and Thomas to give them a moment alone. She turns to John, who breaks down and starts crying on the spot. Joan promptly goes to him and gives him a hug, it doesn't help...
The bit when you realise Joan would never really see John again, only the Doctor. As in, John's dead. He lost himself when he opened the fob watch.
"The Family of Blood," from the part when Martha, Joan, and Smith are hiding and the Family begins to call out for the Doctor to show himself because they have the TARDIS. It's when he recognizes the blue box from his dreams that Smith finally realizes that it's all true, and starts to cry himself, begging Joan, "Why can't I be John Smith? Isn't he a good man? Why can't I stay?" Damn you, David Tennant. The rest of the episode only gets more Tear Jerky from there.
A smaller one, when the scarecrow army attack the school and the schoolboys take up arms to defend the school. The sheer look of horror on their faces as they gun down the scarecrows, some visibly crying, coupled with that choir music from the start of Human Nature is pretty hard to watch. War Is Hell indeed...
Made even worse by the fact this conversation is the reverse of one the newly regenerated Tenth Doctor had with Rose.
Rose: Can you change back?
The Doctor: Do you want me to?
Rose: Can you?
The Doctor: No.
These conversations are true opposites. Whereas Rose eventually realises that though he looks different and cannot change back, he is ultimately still the man she loves, Joan has to live with the fact that although he looks exactly the same and can change back any time he wishes, he is ultimately not the man she loves.
The bit with the Journal of Impossible Things. Especially when, in passing, we got a glimpse of a bunch of faces John Smith drew. His faces◊. All the Doctors before him, unknown to him, simple strangers. It's something little, but reminds the audience of something: If John Smith refuses being the Doctor, the work of ALL of them will be lost.
The end of the episode, where we see Latimer and Hutchinson fighting in World War One just as the Flash Forward predicted. They narrowly survive being killed by an artillery shell, and then we have another Time Skip to an elderly Latimer, wheelchair-ridden and visiting a war memorial, being visited by The Doctor and Martha, wearing poppies.
Sally Sparrow's reunion with Billy Shipton in the episode "Blink". Especially the final shot, of her in the empty hospital room after he dies.
Made worse when you remember the Doctor warning that the angels feed off the person's possibilities — their could-have-beens, should-have-beens. That Sally Sparrow Shipton was one of those things taken away with a blink. Making two people who had a connection to a mourning young lady and a dying old man in a hospital room.
And made even worse by coming right off of Kathy's attack by the Weeping Angels. Although she's stranded in the past, it's at least softened by the implications that she was looking for something new in life, enjoyed old things, and in a sense, maybe even belonged there. There is none of this with Billy, and the contrast hits you like a sack of rocks; this was truly a murder.
The dialogue is just heartbreaking.
Billy: It was raining when we met. Sally Sparrow: It's the same rain.
Billy: No, gorgeous girl, you can't. There's only tonight. He told me, all those years ago, that we'll only meet again this one time, on the night I die. Sally Sparrow: Oh Billy... Billy: It's kept me going; I'm an old sick man but I've had something to look forward to. Life is long, and you are hot! ...Look at my hands. They're old man's hands — how did that happen? Sally Sparrow: I'll stay. I'm gonna stay with you, okay? Billy: Thank you, Sally Sparrow. I have til the rain stops.
In the same vein as "Human Nature", Professor Yana's "death" in "Utopia" can be quite heartbreaking. He was so nice... and he became the Master.
Remember the Crowning Moment Of Heartwarming when the last humans leave for Utopia? Try watching it the second time round — remembering the Toclafane.
The fact of Yana being the Master is a tearjerker in and of itself- the Doctor tells Joan that John Smith was just a part of him, only a fraction of the being that is the Doctor. Then you realize that the same must be true of the Master- somewhere in there is just a kind, helpful old man that will likely never see the light of day because the Time Lords ruined his life when he was a child. The Fridge Horror tearjerkers are just as bad.
Sir Derek Jacobi's acting makes it even more effective. He wasn't the Master for very long, but he still was able to play the character as completely different from Yana. Just like when Tennant played John Smith, the difference in their personalities really drives home that Yana is dead, but Jacobi pulls off in minutes what took Tennant two episodes.
In the same vein, watching the Doctor's "You could be beautiful" speech to the Master in End of Time, realizing that he's remembering not only their childhood, but also the brilliant old professor trying to help his people reach Utopia. (Sniffle)
In "The Sound of Drums," It's really heart-wrenching to see the Doctor struggling in agony when the Master uses his Laser Screwdriver to make the Doctor's age catch up with him. It's even worse when he does it a second time. When we finally see the end result, the Doctor has shriveled away until he's just a wrinkly head, and a baby-like body that can barely support him. And the Master puts him in a cage.
The start of "Last of the Time Lords" when we realise Jack's been tied up and tortured (and probably killed repeatedly in every possible gruesome way the Master can come up with) every day for the last 365 days... and he's still joking. Never mind that the humiliated Joneses have probably had to watch, the Doctor probably hasn't had it much better, and a good half of earth's population has been slaughtered. Not even those amusing Voodoo Child scenes will convince her that the Master isn't a Complete Monster.
When you re-watch the "decimation" scene, really watch it: the expression of helpless heartbreak on the Doctor's face, the tears running down Martha's face, the innocent people screaming in horror as they're slaughtered like cattle. Not so funny now, is it?
It's "Last of the Time Lords" that does it. "REGENERATE!"
The version they show in the Confidential is even worse. The sound of him sobbing goes on forever.
The scream of anguish. You can feel the sheer heartbreak at losing the last hope he has at real companionship; remembering how willing the Doctor was to "adopt" the Master makes it that much worse.
Yes, as monstrous as the Master is, the Doctor is that lonely.
The Doctor: You wouldn't listen... because you know what I have to say... "I forgive you!"
"All my love to long ago" in "Time Crash".
The entire last half of Time Crash probably counts:
The Doctor: You know... I loved being you. At the start I was always trying to be old and grumpy and important, I didn't like to deal with the young. But then I was you, and it was all running about and playing cricket, my voice going all squeaky when I shouted! I still do that! I got that from you! Ooh, and the trainers, and... [puts on brainy specs] Snap. 'Cause, you know what, Doctor? You were my Doctor.
The 2007 Christmas special "Voyage of the Damned": whether it was Bannakaffalatta's Heroic Sacrifice, the Doctor scattering the late Astrid's atoms so that she'll always be able to travel the universe, or the Doctor's goodbye to Mr. Copper, the episode is guaranteed to make everyone cry at some point.
Astrid, oh Astrid. Her flickering, translucent figure crying out "I'm falling," and just everything The Doctor says after that is so heartbreaking.
Epic sob when he said, "You're not falling, you're flying."
Foon's reaction to Morvin's death, all the way up to her lassoing the Host and jumping off the bridge. They were such a sweet couple!
Listening to "The Stowaway".
"I CAN DO ANYTHING." Excuse me, my heart is breaking into thousands of pieces.
During "Partners in Crime" when Donna tells the Doctor about how meeting him in "The Runaway Bride" changed her and her outlook on the world and how she woke up the next day to "the same old life", because she seemed to be speaking for all of us young people who are still looking for some sign of what they want to do with their lives and what the world is all about.
Maybe Doctor Who has always been about this kind of thing, to a lot of people: after all it introduces us to a world full of brave, beautiful, terrible, wonderful things, people, and places we can't quite touch: it scares us to death and entrances us at the same time. It's kind of a reflection on reality, because the real world has potential too, and yet so many of us fear ending up like Donna, living that same old life, and never getting to experience anything bigger or be anything more important. We're the Roses who never had a chance, the Mickeys who never learned to be brave, and the Donnas who tried to believe, and then had that hope taken away again. That's the real Tear Jerker.
"The Fires of Pompeii." You know from the title on how it'll end, but when you actually see the lava and smoke pouring into the city, interspersed with the panicked screams of thousands...
The family he saved and that one line, "All those people..." It would be bad enough for a fictional event, but for something that actually happened it was almost too much.
The Doctor has his hand on the lever that will kill thousands, knowing he has to pull it. Donna places her hand with his, refusing to let him bear the burden alone. And together, they pull...
And later, while the volcano is erupting. Donna is pathetically screaming at everyone to run into the hills instead of the beach. She's trying desperately to save them, knowing full well that she can't. It gets especially bad when she tries to pick up the little boy that was frozen with fear, but his mother grabs him away. She has the slightest glimmer of hope of saving somebody, anybody, but it just doesn't work.
That is soon followed by her completely breaking down in the TARDIS and begging in tears to the Doctor to save just one family. If there were any doubts about Donna's character before, they were gone with this episode.
Hearing the Ood sing in Planet of the Ood...it's not just the overwhelming intensity of the song itself, it's being slammed with the sheer reality of how dehumanized the Ood really are. These are people, with a culture.
Not to mention, the "unprocessed" Ood just sitting there, huddled defeatedly, in cheap labor camp-style clothing.
Just try watching the Ood singing the praises of the DoctorDonna on repeat, having already seen what happens to Donna at the end, without crying. Just TRY it.
Any of the Ood song, really, especially at the end of "The End of Time".
Ood Sigma: The universe will sing you to your sleep.
Clone!Martha's death in "The Poison Sky."
Also, the utterly pointless death of Ross the UNIT soldier, refusing to flee even when it's clear he'll die. And what the Doctor, who had gotten to know him in the previous episode, says to Colonel Mace afterward.
The Doctor:[utterly calm] His name wasn't Greyhound Fourteen, it was Ross.
"The Doctor's Daughter". Jenny's death; she wasn't even alive for an hour! And she'd gone from just a soldier to someone looking forward to seeing the wonders of the universe. and then she takes a bullet to the chest for the Doctor, and watching the Doctor telling her she's going to be amazing and that she'll be okay as she dies in his arms.
It helps that she gets better.
It doesn't really for the Doctor, since he will probably never know that she survived...
Which makes it even worse. Let's look at all of this in order:
The Doctor tells Donna about his (dead) children
Notes that he has a daughter now
Said daughter dies
Said daughter is actually alive, but the Doctor will never know this
The Doctor: Donna, I've been a father before. Donna: What? The Doctor: I lost all that a long time ago. Along with everything else. Donna: I'm sorry. I didn't know. Why didn't you tell me? You talk all the time but you don't say anything. The Doctor: I know. It's just... when I look at her now, I can see them. The hole they left, all the pain that filled it. I just don't know if I can face that every day. Donna: It won't stay like that. She'll help you. We both will. The Doctor: When they died, that part of me died with them. It'll never come back, not now. Donna: I'll tell you something, Doctor. Something that I've never told you before. I think you're wrong.
Then consider the 50th aniversary special: Although he hasn't been in contact with them for very long, his real children may be no more dead than Jenny is; and he's still grieving all of them.
And the fact that, after seeing "The End of Time", you realize that he was forced to kill his own children.
Martha's Hath friend sacrificing himself to save her. Cue seemingly never-ending crying scene.
And the Doctor's reaction to it. He grabs the gun you wonder just for a second if it had really pushed him enough to send him over the edge, then he declares that he never would. The Lonely God, Last of His Kind, can't keep a companion because of the nature of his existence, been through absolute hell the past few hundred years, and add to that the traumatic emotional roller coaster of gaining a daughter and fellow Time Lady, accepting her, and losing her within hours, and he still never would. Gah, DT!
Near the end, Donna says that she's going to travel with the Doctor forever. If you've already seen the season finale, this can just be counted as the scriptwriter kicking you when you're down.
When the Mauve Shirt Miss Evangelista dies in "The Silence in the Library", because despite being just a skeleton she was wearing some neurological Applied Phlebotinum device which keeps your consciousness around for a little while after death, but you don't realize what's happened - combine this with the Vashta Nerada and you're left as just a skeleton and a voice. So she fades away as the rest of the cast try to comfort her in her last seconds.
The Doctor: Help her. Donna: She's dead. The Doctor: Yeah, help her.
She previously mentioned to Donna that the rest of her crew didn't like her because she was stupid. As she is dying, she asks for the "nice lady," a.k.a. Donna. After one minute-long conversation, she wants to talk to Donna over all the people she actually knew. None of them were kind to her one bit, were they?
And you can tell by the pure guilt on their faces when this happens that they're all painfully aware of this fact as well.
That last bit at the end, when her thoughts have finally degenerated to the point where it just repeats "Ice cream. Ice cream. Ice cream..." is absolutely heartbreaking. No wonder Donna says it's the most horrible thing she's ever seen. There was a very strong HAL vibe, this quote, but is very applicable:
"It would have been funny, only she had never seen anything less funny in her entire life."
One episode later, Anita, another Mauve Shirt, discovers she has two shadows and realises it's only a matter of time before the Vashta Nerada eat her. Watching her struggling to keep it together and the crew's attempts to keep her safe is heartbreaking, as is the Doctor's fury when the Vashta Nerada finally kill her.
The Doctor: I really liked Anita. She was brave, even when she was crying, and she never gave in, and you ate her.
"Please don't tell the others. They'll only laugh."
When the Doctor sees Donna's face on the statue, and realizes she's been taken. He just stares in horror and touches her face, calling her name, and it takes River to snap him out of it when the Vashda Nerada catch up.
When River's about to plug herself into the computer rather than let the Doctor do it and she starts telling him it's okay.
River Song: It's okay. It's okay, it's not over for you. You'll see me again. You've got all of that to come. You - and me. Time and space. You watch us run.
Not only her death, but the look of broken heartedness on the Doctor's face once it's done as he just sits there, looking off in the direction of the chair with a face that makes it seem like he feels like he's really failed.
For some reason, the position of his arm by his face does it. Just the sort of resigned practicality of it, as compared to the rest of the image...
Hush now. Spoilers...
And her talking about their last date:
River: The last time I saw you, the real you, the future you, I mean... You turned up on my doorstep with a new haircut and a suit. You took me to Darillium to see the singing towers. What a night that was! The towers sang, and you cried. You wouldn't tell me why, but I suppose you knew it was time. My time. Time to come to the library.
That scene with River and the Doctor in "Forest of the Dead" is even worse after series 5 and 6.
River Song: If you die here, it'll mean I'll have never met you. The Doctor: Time can be re-written! River Song: Not those times. Not one line. Don't you dare.
This hurts so much more after "The Time of the Doctor."
All the River Song parts are made much sadder after watching Series 6. Now the Doctor meeting River is so much worse, because it's not River's Doctor at all.
Oh lord, this. Some of the dialogue going back is just heartbreaking.
River: You know, sometimes, I really hate you. Doctor:[sadly] I know.
Cue the audience bellowing, "YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO SAY 'No, you don't!'" And then there's this:
River: You're younger than I've ever seen you. Doctor: ...You've seen me before then? River: Doctor...please tell me you know who I am. Doctor: Who are you?
Right after this exchange River just gets this stricken look on her face, like her heart's just been ripped out of her chest.
She might have actually been hoping for death, considering, as she said in series 6, finally meeting the Doctor with no memory of her was something so terribly heartbreaking to her because it was the sign that, for the rest of her life, she'd never see him ever again, something she told Rory she lived for. Now, though, she's in the computer world, sure with nice people that she knows to pass the time with, but with the fact that she'll never see the Doctor again, not just until the end of her life, but forever.
Made even worse because at this point, she is just some woman to him, rather than the brilliant badass that we end up seeing.
From that same episode, Donna's struggle in the parallel universe, realizing that nothing is real and her children don't exist. Crying with her husband (who has an adorable stutter), they assure each other that they DO exist, and that they will find each other when they get out. Once back in the Library, Donna can't find him, and resigns herself to the knowledge that he wasn't real either. The audience knows better though, because we see him see Donna and try to call out to her, but he can't manage with his stutter and she leaves forever, never to see him again.
The part where her virtual children disappear in their beds and Donna just completely panics and starts sobbing... truly a Tear Jerker for any parent because it's a completely real Adult Fear.
And the fact that Donna will never meet the man she was married to in the library's computer because the Doctor wiped her memories AND she's from another place and time.
Ever dreamed of something you didn't have, a dream so real you were sure it couldn't be a dream? A dream so real you checked in the dream if it was really happening?
At the end of "Forest of the Dead":
River Song: Now and then, every once in a very long while, every day in a million days, when the wind stands fair and the Doctor comes to call, everybody lives.
Especially if you don't consider being imperfectly saved after death for all eternity trapped inside a computer already shown to reprogram people to be a very happy ending after all.
The Doctor:[to River Song] STAY WITH ME! You can do this, stay with me! Come on! YOU AND ME, ONE LAST RUN!!"
"Midnight." Oh dear God, "Midnight." The very concept of the episode is depressing. Every single one of the Doctor's strengths are turned against him. At the same time, the other people on the ship become more and more paranoid to the point where they actually attempt to murder a possessed passenger and the Doctor. But then comes the point after the Hostess has saved everyoneby ejecting both herself and the possesed woman from the ship. The Doctor asks the other passengers what the Hostess's name was and nobody knows.
It is also incredibly tragic when he's on the ship facing the camera, and you see one of the TV screens behind him flick on, and you see Rose clearly calling out "DOCTOR." Because he truly loved her, and right when he admits his feelings to himself, right when there's a chance for them to actually be together... and he loses her. And when she appears on that screen, she is so close to him and he doesn't even notice. But it's also a bit frightening too, because one has to wonder what is so important that would bring Rose back...
The Doctor's interaction with Donna at the end of the episode. She gives him a big hug, and the two start to talk, with her eventually answering the Doctor's halfhearted "Molto bene" with one of her own. The Doctor then replies with his usual "No... don't do that" and it looks like, despite not being a happy ending, now that the danger has passed, things are going to be hunky-dory like usual. Then the Doctor adds a fearful "Really... don't." Many an episode has had the Doctor sad at the end, but never, not even after taking on the Devil, had he seemed so frightened. A few extra words take a usually comical Catch Phrase and use it to show just how traumatized the episode left the Doctor, and it's heartbreaking.
He's just so scared. After the Hostess and Skye die, he's set free, and all he can do is whisper, over and over, "It's gone. It's gone. It's gone. It's gone."
Think that's heartbreaking? Think about how the other passengers feel. They'll have to spend the rest of their lives with the knowledge that they nearly murdered an innocent person because of their paranoia. Who wants to bet at least one of them might end up Driven to Suicide?
The episode's overall implication about human nature. For a series that's told us time and time again of how brilliant and wonderful humanity is, we're faced for the first time with the other side of the coin. And it is terrible.
In "Turn Left" when the soldier says the Doctor is dead and we see the sonic screwdriver fall from his hand, when Martha, Sarah Jane, and the kids all get killed, when most of the Torchwood team sacrifices themselves, and when Donna's running in front of the car.
The slightly corny Italian guy saying goodbye to Donna and her Grandpa, before he gets shipped off to a "labour camp." The look on Wilfred's face as he salutes him is utterly devastating — you can tell he knows exactly where this is going. And as they start to drive off, you can tell the Italian guy knows too.
Just the part where they're standing there and you hear the horn in the background.
It becomes absolutely horrifying when you remember Wilfred fought in WWII. And remember what the Nazis were most hated for doing...
What's even worse is that the Cyberman theme plays as the Italian family is being driven away, implying that something more horrible than mere death is in store for them.
Then you have the moment where Donna realizes what's about to happen, and starts screaming at the soldiers.
What's happened to the TARDIS. Without her idiot, she's dying. And from the way Rose phrases it, she's dying from depression.
The worse part is the speech Donna makes when she has decided to go with Rose and is standing in the circle of mirrors.
Donna: 'Cos I understand now. You said I was gonna die, but... you mean this whole world. It's gonna blink out of existence. But that's not dying, 'cos a better world takes its place. The Doctor's World! And I'm still alive! [Rose doesn't answer] Donna: That's right. Isn't it? I don't die, if I change things, I don't die, that's... that's right, isn't it? [Rose remains silent until...] Rose:I'm sorry.
She just starts out so happy and confident that she's dodged a bullet, And, of course, by the end of the episode we think it too. Then "Journey's End" happens.
Let's just mark the whole episode as a Tear Jerker, including the end where the Doctor realizes exactly who Donna talked to in the parallel world.
Half tearjerker and half Nightmare Fuel, but the mere fact that all that happened! It is exactly what happened, and the only reason it didn't happen in the series continuity was because the simple act changed the timeline, but that doesn't change the fact that everything in "Turn Left" actually happened!
Both a Tear Jerker and Nightmare Fuel: when the Daleks put their first message through to the human race, consisting of nothing more than the repetition of their famous catchphrase. The scene moves rapidly amongst the cast members as they react in horror to what they're hearing. Particularly the reactions of Jack, clinging to Ianto and Gwen, kissing them and saying he can't do anything, they're as good as dead, and Sarah Jane clutching Luke and sobbing, knowing better than anyone exactly what's coming. Special credit to Elizabeth Sladen's top notch acting. When she could have played it over the top, instead we just get this long moment of Sarah Jane staring in silent, tearful horror, before looking at Luke.
"Oh, God you're... you're so young."
And when you look at their faces, as Jack was killed by Daleks, which began his immortality curse, and Sarah Jane, who obviously knows the Daleks very well, and their dread is just tangible.
Often overlooked here is the reaction of Ianto, because it's so briefly seen and quiet within Jack's typical boldness and Sarah Jane sobbing. One of 28 survivors of Canary Wharf, and he knows exactly what's coming.
Made even worse knowing that he will live through this, only to die when the 456 release a killer virus.
There are several in the 'subwave network' sequence of "The Stolen Earth":
Martha's mother: 'You came home. At the end of the world, you came back to me.' This is made even more so when you consider that "Project Indigo" could have taken Martha anywhere in the universe - even to the Doctor himself - but in the back of her mind, she wanted to go home to her mum...
Captain Jack saluting Harriet Jones.
Especially when you realise that she knows that she's about to sacrifice herself.
Harriet: Captain Jack Harkness, SHAME on you! Now stand to attention, Sir!
Harriet Jones facing the Daleks for the final time:
Harriet:[holding up her I.D.] Harriet Jones, former Prime Minister. Dalek:Yes, we know who you are. Harriet: Oh, you know nothing of any human — and that will be your downfall.
Let it be known that no series but Doctor Who could, in three lines, manage to evoke a Running Gag, a Tear Jerker, and a Crowning Moment of Awesome at the same time.
It's not the only time it does, either — consider K9's final "Affirmative" in School Reunion.
"I'm sorry... it's too late — I'm regenerating-!"
The scene where the Doctor connects with the subwave network:
Rose:[sadly, as she can't communicate with the network, only monitor it] Doctor, it's me... I came back.
And, a moment later:
Donna Noble: It's like an outer-space Facebook! The Doctor: Everyone except Rose...
Worse is Jack's "Good luck". He's the only one who really accepts it's about to happen.
...Except of course it doesn't. The second half fixes the problem in approximately twenty seconds, but it was the relieved type of being cheated.
Never mind the actual regenerating, the goddamn lead up to it. What starts out as a Meadow Run turns into a scene straight out of West Side Story. The Dalek comes out of nowhere (and the Daleks are just the most illogical bit of Nightmare Fuel ever; for heaven's sakes, characters whose designs are based on a salt shaker should not be as scary as they are to many people) and then... just... "Exterminate". Like Rose or not, that scene still tugs the heartstrings.
"I've got you, it missed you. Look, it's me. Don't die, oh, my God, don't die..."
Not until you've seen the Tenth Doctor actually regenerate do you really understand the overwhelming, crushing fear of death that motivated his sudden bright idea to channel his regeneration into his severed hand. It was a desperate try to get. One. More. Minute. In existence. Cue waterworks.
And when he reaches towards Rose to pull her back, she hasn't seen him in years, they both thought they'd never meet again, but she goes straight into his arms like no time has passed. What a reunion.
When Rose informs The Doctor of Harriet Jones's sacrifice, he's completely taken aback. Really, Doctor, how could you expect anything less?
The little montage of everyone who's died over the last four series coming back to haunt the Doctor in one last "The Reason You Suck" Speech from Davros.
The Doctor has done a lot of sucky things and there are more than enough reasons for him to be called out on them. But it's hard to think of a single one of the people in those flashbacks who didn't deserve to be remembered as so much more than just a senseless sacrifice, or as weapons who died to clear a path for the Doctor. They died because they chose to fight and what they thought of him, in the end, doesn't matter. They were heroes, damn it.
And that's why people like Davros are the villains — because they'll never understand what being a hero means. Davros, being the Whoniverse version of Hitler, is a charismatic speaker, and you can tell from the Doctor's expression during that sequence because he's struggling with what Davros is saying while knowing deep down that he's wrong, all because the Doctor tends to blame himself anyway and Davros is playing off that.
Made even more painful when his own allies start pointing it out.
Rory Williams: Do you know what—you know what's dangerous about you? It's not that you make people take risks, it's that you make them want to impress you. You- you make it so they don't wanna... let you down. You have no idea how dangerous you make people to themselves when you're around.
A little later.
Martha: Oh my god... he found you [Rose]!
The Doctor (2.0) trying to make Donna accept how special she is, and her steadfast refusal to believe him:
Doctor: No, but you are, you...Oh... you really don't believe that, do you? I can see, Donna... what you're thinking. All that attitude, all that lip, 'cos all this time... you think you're not worth it. Donna: Stop it! Doctor: Shouting at the world 'cos no-one's listening. Well... why should they? Donna: Doctor, stop it!
How hurt she sounds, like she wants to believe him but she can't. Dammit Ms Tate, why must you be so awesome?
Donna's begging not to be mindwiped.
That scene was made even worse by the realization that just a little earlier, she saved all of reality, finally moving past her idea that she wasn't important.
Wilfred Mott's response to what's happened, especially "I'll look up at the sky, and think of you" pretty much steals the show.
Plus while this is all happening, the Song of the Ood is playing.
What makes it even worse is re-watching Series 4 from the beginning and picking up on all the clues left about Donna's ultimate fate, and Donna's statement as far back as "Partners in Crime" that she'd never forget the time she had with the Doctor. As of "The End of Time" (her final appearance since it has been said that no RTD-era companions will appear again, with the possible likely exception of Jack Harkness), all hope that she may at least remember the wonderful life she had and everything she accomplished, is gone. She ends up, at least, Happily Married and Wealthy Ever After (the latter thanks to the Doctor) but it is still horribly tragic and everyone that knows the Doctor will have to tread carefully around her for the rest of her life.
Even worse is the alternate interpretation of Donna's end, the her mind wipe is actually Mind Rape as she makes it clear she knows what will happen to her and still begs the Doctor not to take her memories. He does so against her will.
At the very end of "Journey's End", when the Doctor brings Amnesia!Donna back home, and gives this speech to her mother and Wilfred:
The Doctor: I just want you to know that there are worlds out there, safe in the sky, because of her. That there are people, living in the light, singing songs of Donna Noble. A thousand million lightyears away. They will never forget her...while she can never remember. And for one moment, one shining moment, she was the most important woman in the whole wide universe. Donna's Mother: She still is. She's my daughter.
Don't forget the Doctor's next line, "Well maybe you should tell her that once in a while." He was able to completely shut down Sylvia right there, letting her know that Donna doesn't feel particularly loved by her own mother, which might explain her general feeling of worthlessness. All Jacqueline King does is raise an eyebrow, but she's able to cut through a whole range of emotion.
And when The Doctor says goodbye to her, she barely acknowledges it because she really doesn't remember.
The look on the original Doctor's face when Rose kissed the Meta-Crisis. Just that look of complete loss and defeat...oh, Lord.
The ending of "The Next Doctor", which is one of the most touching examples of the Doctor being a Woobie:
Jackson Lake: All those bright and shining companions! ...But not anymore? The Doctor: No. Jackson Lake: If I may ask, why not? The Doctor: They leave. Because they should, or they find someone else. And some of them, some of them... forget me. I suppose, in the end... They break my heart.
Not since the Master died was he this close to tears.
Plus the fact that he's trying to justify it, not to Jackson, but to himself- the first thing he says is "because they should," and he's trying to convince himself they're better off living their own lives, no matter how much he misses them.
And earlier in the episode, where he's explaining how Jackson Lake became the Doctor.
Doctor: I'm sorry, I am so sorry, but... That's an awful lot of luggage for one man...
It's even worse once you realize he's not just talking about the suitcases.
There's also the part where the Cyberking is walking over all of Victorian London and there's a small exchange of dialogue.
Doctor: Jackson, you've got your son. You've got a reason to live.
Jackson: And you haven't?
Doctor: *doesn't say anything*
Apparently according to "Flesh and Stone", the events of this episode never existed. Which isn't so bad for Jackson and his family and a hole bunch of other people, but what about Rosita.. Well, until it was most likely restored when the universe was rebooted in The Big Bang, possibly.
Basically all of "Waters of Mars". Everything from the scene in the airlock when the Doctor tells Adelaide that she and her entire crew are going to die, pretty much. Though Steffi's death scene stands out. She puts on a film of her children...
In the scene where the crew is trying to escape and the Doctor is walking back to the TARDIS (his face lit up to look like a skeleton and horribly depressing music playing in the background, no less). It was even worse when one character had a drop of water hit him, making him have to stay behind. And the Doctor's reaction when he hears "One drop." It was just so sad.
The Doctor defies the laws set down by the Time Lords, and uses the TARDIS to take the remaining three crew members home. Adelaide questions the Doctor on his contradictory actions, but he rebukes by declaring himself Time Lord Victorious, who now believes he has the power to change time to whatever he wants. Adelaide Brooke's answer? Walks into her home, and kills herself, correcting the timeline. The sheer shock on the Doctor's face, and the memories flashing through his mind.
What makes it worse is why the Doctor's so horrified. In Trying To Set Right What Once Went Wrong, he made it worse. Adelaide's granddaughter was originally motivated in life by not knowing how her grandmother died. Thanks to the Doctor's meddling, it's now not knowing why her grandmother committed suicide. His arrogance turned a mystery into a tragedy.
The Time Lord Victorious speech was enough to cue hysterical tears. That arrogance with which he struts out of the TARDIS, the smug security that he can do this now, he can dictate the flow of the universe to his whim and it just looks so good and right on him... but it's so wrong. The thin line that the Doctor can cross... and he crosses it, and it's heartbreaking.
Adelaide: The future of the human race! No one should have that kind of power. Doctor:Tough.
Let's face it, the biggest tear jerker of all is realizing that by calling himself the Time Lord Victorious, the Doctor has becomethe Master.
Poor Adelaide did everything she could, she kept trying to get through to The Doctor that he needed to stop. That he'd gone to far and just needed to stop. But nothing she said got through, and she died miserable while The Doctor would have to live with what he'd caused her to do to stop him.
Still, there is one good little gem at the heart of the mess- before, nobody knew why the base exploded. Now, Adelaide will be remembered as a hero.
Looking back on Ten's run, it's clear that in a variety of ways his entire character arc was building up to this moment, starting with what he did to Harriet Jones. And his A God Am I speech implies heavily that all this is one of the psychological results of what he did during the Time War. Come "Day of the Doctor," we learn that Gallifrey didn't fall, that the Doctor instead locked it in stasis in a pocket universe, and that he was forced to forget this fact so that he would have his immense regret as motivation to spend the next four hundred years thinking of a way around destroying it. Basically, the Time Lord Victorious—and all the anguish which led up to that terrible, terrible moment—is based entirely on a lie. He became the sort of man who could do this only because he mistakenly thought he already was.
A few scenes from "The End of Time", Part One qualify.
The Doctor and Wilf sit in a cafe and talk about dying. The Doctor tells Wilf that when he regenerates, it's still like dying, because everything that is him dies and a new man gets up and walks away.
In the same scene, Wilf asks the Doctor to fix Donna, who still can't remember being his companion. The Doctor says no, and tells Wilf that he's been traveling by himself. He says that he thought it would be better by himself, but he did the wrong thing and it all messed up, and he cuts off and breaks down crying.
There are actual tears visible in his eyes. He just barely stops himself from bawling like a baby! GAH!
"I don't want to go." says the Doctor, alone again after a heartbreaking series of good-byes.
It's even worse when you realize he became an actor specifically to play the Doctor. When he says, "I don't want to go," that's... Davies, you heartless bastard.
This one somehow becomes even worse with hindsight. At first, there were some who criticized Ten's final words as being needlessly melodramatic and out-of-character...and then The Time of the Doctor happened and we all collectively learned that Eleven was supposed to be the Doctor's final life. That was why Ten didn't want to go: he knew his song was one life away from ending forever.
"What year is it?" "Boy, you must have had a lot to drink! January 1st, 2005."
"I'll bet you're going to have a really great year."
In the Italian dub he says "a fantastic year". How much more tear-inducing would the scene have been if they had used that version of the line?
Wilf begging the Doctor to take the gun and not die. The moment, the exact moment, the Doctor hears the knocking, after the Hope Spot. The entirety of Donna's wedding.
"Borrowed a quid off a really lovely man. Geoffrey Noble, his name was."
"This song is ending, but the story never ends."
The Doctor's book-signing with Miss Redfern's great-granddaughter.
Doctor: Was she happy? In the end? Verity: Yes, she was. Were you?
The truly heartbreaking moment is the look on his face as she asks him. He tries to smile, but his lip trembles, and it's just...
Then there's Jack. Notable because neither of them speak a single word to each other aloud, when there's clearly so much that needs to be said. The mock-casuality of his bringing together two people who have seen him at his worst, and a brief salute... For now, it'll have to do.
It was far more effective without words. After "Children of Earth", we know Jack is devastated and can't forgive himself. Then he gets that note, looks up, sees the Doctor... and then we realize that, no matter what happened, the Doctor has forgiven Jack. Only then do we start to see the Jack we're used to.
The number of cast and crew members who have publicly stated "I cried when I read the script" is literally in the dozens.
Wilf begging the Doctor to take the gun and save himself, when the Master told the Doctor to step out of the way.
"We will sing to you, Doctor. The Universe will sing you to your sleep."
What made it even more tragic is the similarity of those lines to what Horatio says to Hamlet at his death ("Goodnight, sweet prince/And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest."). For the death of the Tenth Doctor, already desperately sad, to evoke that most tragic of play endings...too much altogether.
Especially considering the movie with David Tennant as Hamlet. Don't watch them within the same week at the least.
Four versions of that last line were shot, increasing the emotion each time. They went for number three as four was even more tear-jerking to the point that Tennant felt it out of character.
And the saddest part? Ten was saying just what we felt. We didn't want him to go either.
The final words were sad, the goodbyes were sad, but there was a sort of hollow stabbing sadness when you hear Wilf telling the Doctor not to die for him, because you know and the Doctor knows and in all likelihood Wilf knows that no matter how badly he wishes he could just walk away, he's already decided he can't.
When Ten regenerated, through the sadness, I couldn't help but think of the words of Sarah Jane:
"Some things are worth getting your heart broken for".
Ten's actions. To simplify, one of the last things he does is saving Luke. Pulling him from in front of a speeding vehicle, doing what he's done for hundreds of years. Helping. Even with his final breath. And then his last action, his very last action, struggling to reach the TARDIS and getting it in flight... just... gah.
The music for that scene, "Vale Decem", is in no way helpful. The lyrics are in Latin, and not terribly good Latin at that, but a rudimentary understanding of the language makes it even more heartbreaking. Especially when you realize that one line can be reasonably translated as "You are not alone."
The castrato voice building in emotion and reaching impossibly high notes for a voice... Erg...
Ten's catchphrase was "Allons-y!", which is French for "Let's go!". His last words were "I don't want to go."
Eleven's first words being so cheerful. Because of what the Doctor said regeneration meant to him in "The End of Time Part 1", about it being like dying with a new man getting up in his place. Of course, this was probably intentional on the writers' part. Bastards.
During the climax of "The End of Time Part 2", the Doctor is in turmoil weighing whether to shoot The Master, or Rassilon, while simultaneously grappling with the idea that he will have to kill again. Then, for a moment, he shares a sad, knowing look with the mysterious Time Lady standing in the ranks of the revived Time Lords. It's never said who this is, and when asked about it later the Doctor merely looks away into the distance and refuses to talk, but all we know is that she has a very, very personal connection to the Doctor. Whoever she is, that one glance they shared inspired the Doctor to Take a Third Option and remember his pacifism. Fans who interpret her as being the Doctor's mother see this as an I Miss Mom moment.
The entire radiation scene. The Doctor's Rage Against Fate speech hits you just how serious regeneration is to the Doctor, or at least to Ten. How he protests against the unfairness of it all, until he finally accepts his fate. And of course, that self-sacrifice is exactly what makes him who he is. The Doctor, the last of the Time Lords dying to save one little human? Of course he would. And finally when the chamber floods with energy and this great man who has stood tall against angels and demons is curled in the fetal position in silence.
Going back to the visitations, the Sarah Jane Adventures episode "Death of the Doctor" reveals something that we didn't see there: the Doctor didn't just visit the companions of his tenth incarnation. He tells Jo Grant that he went to visit every single one of his companions from all of his lives. One can only imagine how tragic scenes with Susan, Romana, Adric, or hell, any of the others must have been. It's not made any better by Sarah Jane telling us how a number of them are doing great things with their lives, it just goes to show what great effect the Doctor had on so many individuals, which is the true meaning of his reward—seeing them safe and happy and being magnificent. As Miss Sarah Jane Smith once told the Doctor, he has the biggest family in the whole wide world...
In the whole wide universe, and other universes too.
Perhaps even worse when you realise that there are some companions he can't see. Take Susan. He's the last Time Lord. Susan's dead.
Given RTD's writing about a memorial off on some distant planet erected by a lone figure walking away, perhaps the Doctor just had a silent visit to some sort of grave or monument he had for all those he lost.
And yet there's a sweet sadness in hearing that even after hundreds of years and hundreds of adventures, he still managed to go back and visit even his very first human companions, Ian and Barbara, now happily married decades later.
Another "End of Time" part's one and two, but a little different than the prior scenes. The final scenes with the Master, just for how badly screwed over he was by the Time Lords. "Get out of the way!" Oh, and if you look closely in that scene when the Doctor points the gun at him (and in the interrogation scene to boot), there's a point where he's on the verge of tears. Made it even worse.
The other "Get out of the way" is also a tear-jerker. The Master thinks everything he's doing is right, that it's what the Time Lords wanted, but it wasn't. He has no way to vent and he knows he's going to die soon and he has to kill the person he's trusted until about five minutes ago and he completely loses control of everything.
That look on the Master's face when Rassilon sneers, "You're a disease." He finally realizes he means less than nothing to the Time Lords; his entire life, everything he's done and all he's suffered has been for nothing.
Going from the forced confidence of "you never would, you coward" to John Simm's tiny little head shake of denial moments later.
Looking at that line from a different perspective, it almost sounds like he's begging the Doctor to kill him.
The "you could be so beautiful" scene, when the Doctor is trying to convince the Master they don't need to rule the universe, just see it. It's not Tennant's impassioned pleas, it's the tears in Simm's eyes and the crack in his voice, like he wants to believe, but can't conceive of a life without the drums.
Semi-relevant fact: The Master's sacrifice was originally intended to be a fitting and redeeming end for Roger Delgado's Master in his would-be last story, only Roger Delgado died in a tragic car crash down a ravine before it could be filmed. The producers had to scrap the story completely. Now, it got its spiritual fruition.
Throughout the last twenty minutes or so of Part 2. The Doctor screaming at Wilf about how it wasn't fair that Wilf could die, while the Doctor had to travel the stars with people that he grew attached to, and then had to let them go. Then...the goodbyes...the goodbyes...especially Rose.
And when he collects himself, "I've lived too long", it sounds so much like a suicide.
A man is about to die a horrible, radiation-related death after being haunted by it for months, and watching the people he had to wipe out come back for a second shot thereby making his choice irrelevant, then having to send someone who helped him (possibly his own mother) back into a time lock to die in an inescapable war... Not to mention that after he just survived the unsurvivable, he's now dying because a lovely old man got himself stuck in a booth... And people are calling this wangst?
One could look at that rant from a different angle. Since partway through Series Two, the Doctor's life has been pushed in a certain direction because of all these prophecies dictating his fate- the loss of Rose, the return of the Master, Donna losing her memories, and now his own death. Imagine how that must feel, to not have any real choice in your life because it's already been plotted out for you. At the heart of the matter, that's what Ten is really angry at- that the choice has been made for him, like so many before it. So he screams at the universe because it doesn't have the right to choose for him- but he still goes back to the booth. He still saves Wilf. Because that's what he does. Because he's the Doctor. And in that moment, he actually makes it his own choice- rather than dying because someone told him he was going to, he makes it clear he could leave, but he isn't going to because he will not let Wilf die- and that's when he takes his destiny back into his own hands.
A very interesting point when you realize it doesn't even end there. Eleven is forced to deal with the impending explosion of the TARDIS, his very complicated rescue from the Pandorica, the precise moment of his death, and now The Question itself all in the form of vague prophecy. You even get one more rage against the universe when Eleven declares he can still do anything he wants because he has all the time in the world, and "time has never laid a glove on me!" A fury quickly punished when he discovers that the Brig has just passed away. Damn you, Time. Damn you.
All it can take for the waterworks to start up was one sound. The sound of rapping on a glass door, to a count of four. Tap tap tap tap.
This is all summed up pretty well in the Sarah Jane Adventures episode "The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith", when she and the Doctor say their goodbyes.
Doctor: Don't forget me, Sarah Jane. Sarah Jane: No one's ever going to forget you.
While we're on Sarah Jane, she was by far the most heart-breaking goodbye in "The End Of Time". Of all the people he went to see, only she had seen a regeneration before. When the Doctor sees Rose, she's yet to meet the Ninth Doctor. While Luke was all excited that the Doctor was here, you could tell she knew what was happening to him and what it meant and why he couldn't speak to her.
And worse, with the 2011 death of Elisabeth Sladen hitting the fandom, that scene isn't just Sarah Jane saying goodbye to the Doctor. That was her last scene in the series that made her famous. And David Tennant, the ultimate Ascended Fanboy who grew up as a massive fan of hers then got to play the Doctor alongside her, is practically saying goodbye to her for us. GAAAAHHHHH.
She might not have seen a regeneration before but, from the way she clings miserably to her husband and doesn't even try to talk to her old friend, you can tell Martha knows exactly what she's seeing.
The Doctor stumbling and pressing himself as hard as he can through the snow, toward the TARDIS so he can regenerate. Knowing what he said to Wilf before about it before, this is a man walking to his death. And knowing he has to, because it's the only way he can still live. But yet...
As one of the few viewers unsympathetic to Ten's attitude towards regeneration, that actually makes it worse. Think about poor Wilfred Mott, an innocent old man who must live the remainder of his life watching his granddaughter live as a shadow of what she could have been and believing he killed the man who changed his life, all the while said man goes adventuring with The Last Centurion and The Girl Who Waited. Poor Wilf.
When it's all said and done, from what we know, this incarnation lived only 9 years. Not counting Nine, whose age is a complete mystery, this Doctor was the shortest lived ever by decades, three years spent on Volag-Noc raising a robot bird. His angst and unwillingness to regenerate makes so much sense, and his line about living too long more heartbreaking.
You can just feel his rage and anger about having to die, especially after having cheated it several times (most notably in "The Stolen Earth"). Compared to the end of Nine and most other Doctors before him, he very much feared death because there was still so much left undone and he was full of guilt and regret, but ultimately had to accept it in the end. It's comparable to what many real-life people go through when they are dying, and it only makes things so much sadder.
Even if you are one of those people who believe the Doctor has completely lost track of his age, it is still pretty sad when you realize how many times the Doctor has had to go through this, and how he knows exactly what happens when he becomes a new Doctor.
Eleventh Doctor episodes
"The Eleventh Hour": Even though you could see it coming from a mile away, young Amelia Pond waiting with her suitcase.
You just knew he and the TARDIS were in no state to make it back in time. Poor little girl.
"Why did you say five minutes?!"
The last few minutes of "The Beast Below". Practically everything after The Reveal, but mostly so Amy's "Very old, and very kind. And the last of his kind" speeches. Both of them.
"Nobody talk to me! Nobody human has anything to say to me today!" When The Doctor realises that to save an entire nation of stupid, ignorant people, he has to brain-kill the last of a very old and noble race to end its incessant suffering. And you can see the fury and anguish in his face; every last ounce of it.
When the Tranquil Fury started coming out in the Doctor's voice, and then when he exploded... Oh, God, that was the worst. That and:
And then I'll find a new name. Because I won't be the Doctor anymore.
It says something when he calls this "the worst thing [he]'ll ever do". That's coming from someone who had to kill his own entire race.
Adding to all this: the twist from the Series 7 episode "The Name of the Doctor," revealing that the Doctor has had a previous, unmentioned regeneration that he never speaks of because he doesn't consider him a part of himself, or deserving of the name Doctor. The Doctor is not just making an idle comment in this episode; he is threatening to repeat himself, and revert back into what was clearly a dark and horrible time that he looks back on with disgust. He really is on the verge of changing his name.
"It came because it couldn't stand to watch your children cry. What if you were really old, and really kind and alone? Your whole race dead, no future. What couldn't you do then? If you were that old, and that kind, and the very last of your kind....(looks straight at the Doctor) you couldn't just stand there and watch children cry." Oh, Amy. That's exactly what the Doctor needed to hear. He doesn't realise just how good and kind a person he is because of all the dreadful things that he's had to do.
It's worse the second time through, when you know it's coming, and Amy fires off this little piece of foreshadowing:
Amy: So this is how it works, Doctor: You never interfere in the affairs of other peoples or planets... unless there's children crying?
The poem—oh dear god that ending poem. We'd originally heard one that used the Star-Whale as a threat to scare a child, but at the end, after everyone has realized the Star-Whale is actually benevolent and generous and had never wanted to harm anyone, we get a CMOT & CMOH all in one:
In bed above, we're deep asleep, while greater love lies further deep This dream must end, this world must know: we all depend on the Beast Below.
The biggest thing, I think, is how much we needed this episode. After the phenomenally depressing end of series four, the way the specials spent pretty much the whole time depressing us and don't even get me started on Torchwood: Children of Earth... We needed to believe that a happy ending was possible and to be reminded that sometimes, kindness and taking a risk in the name of it, wins out.
This line: "But when they cry silently, it's because they can't stop. Every parent knows that." Oh, Doctor... and the way he instantly changes the subject after that.
"Victory of the Daleks". Think about it. Here is the Doctor, who had to kill every single one of the Time Lords and Daleks in the Time War, facing down the new Daleks. Fridge Horror strikes when you realize, oh Lord, that sacrifice he made is for nothing! The Daleks are still here, and his people's gone...
Well not quite for nothing, he still had to kill the Time Lords on their own (as of "End of Time p2")... but yes, still pretty tragic.
It gets worse when you consider that the "new" Daleks are actually original-line Daleks from Skaro, instead of the hybrid ones that have been in the new seasons on and off. Not only is the death of his own race now very slightly less important, but now he has to deal with pepperpots that are very likely going to prove to be even more repugnant than some of the ones he's faced in recent seasons.
From the Doctor's reaction to the Time Lords' return in "End of Time", and the fact that thousands of Daleks survived the Time War, but only one other Time Lord... well, maybe the Doctor wasn't aiming for the Daleks after all.
The Doctor's expression towards the end. The day is saved, but the Daleks have escaped... and he just looks so out of it and sort of staggers backwards, horrified...
"Flesh and Stone". The Doctor having to leave Father Octavian to be killed by a Weeping Angel... then he walks off screen without a word, and all you hear is the crack. Made worse in that the story at that point had already built up a decent and likeable character in Father Ocatvian and his men.
Come on. The character was basically a four-in-one of Cool Old Guy, The Brigadier, Officer and a Gentleman and a Badass Preacher. He did the best job anyone in his situation could dealing with the Angels while trying to deal with River and the Doctor at the same time, and it was a cruel way for him to go. What really tears people up were his final words to the Doctor before he looks away (paraphrased).
Father Octavian: I die in the knowledge that my courage did not desert me at the end. For that I thank God, and bless the path that leads you away to safety. The Doctor:(<pause) I wish I could have got to know you better (Octavian smiles) Father Octavian: I think, sir... you knew me at my best. The Doctor: Ready? Father Octavian: (peacefully) Content. CRACK
The Doctor and Amy committing suicide together after Rory dies, in "Amy's Choice".
Amy: Because if this is real life, then I don't want it, I don't want it.
The very second Rory died. Amy's small voice when she asks Rory to come back, how she asks the Doctor to save him, and he just looks like a lost little boy when he says he can't. And then Amy says the most horrible thing, and he just stays silent, almost as if he wonders himself.
Amy: Save him. You save everyone, you always do. It's what you do. The Doctor: Not always. ...I'm sorry. Amy: Then what is the point of you?
Doubles also as an Ironic Echo and Call Back to "Dalek", when the Ninth Doctor used the same words to mock the Dalek by questioning why it bothered to go on living when it's unable to kill anymore. Amy now throws the same question right back at him, questioning why the Doctor continues on when he knows he can't save everyone?
After that, when Amy gets up from the floor, there's a tiny clip where the Doctor goes to help her, but he doesn't touch her, doesn't seem to really dare...
The Doctor says he knows who is behind the dream/alternate realities because "there's only one person in the universe who hates me as much as you do". We later find out that the person behind it is the Doctor himself meaning... Oh, Doctor.
Then we get to the TARDIS hologram in "Let's Kill Hitler," who first takes the Doctor's form, causing him to scream "give me someone I like!"
Made WAY worse after watching The Doctor's Wife, and you realize that he is so desperate for forgiveness that he burned up chunks of his TARDIS to leave the universe. All this time, it seemed like Eleven had finally gotten over the Time War. Turns out, it's actually getting worse.
Lets just say that the tragic events dreamed in this episode, i.e. Rory's death, Amy committing suicide in desperation to be with him, and the Doctor being unable to protect his friends are all made so very much more tragic by mid Season 7 when they come true in the real world during the events of "The Angels Take Manhattan", where Rory and Amy are killed despite the Doctor's best efforts. Even things like the Ponds' happiness about the arrival of their baby makes this far harder to watch in hindsight now that not only did they have their baby taken from them, and never got to raise her, but Amy was later made infertile by the process.
This last bit gets a little better if you take PS, which was never filmed but eventually released in a storyboarded form and narrated by Arthur Darvill, as canon; Amy and Rory eventually adopt a child, who is still alive today and gets to start a relationship with his (younger than him) grandfather Brian.
"The Hungry Earth": The Doctor tries to pull Amy out of the hole in the ground but fails. Why is it a Tear Jerker? The look on the Doctor's face. That, and when you remember that the Doctor's lost so many companions and friends over the years...It just makes you want to hug him, the poor Time Lord!
Restac's reaction to finding out about Alaya's death. Yes, she's a trigger-happy, militaristic racist whose first reaction to anything not going her way is to kill things; and yes, Alaya was completely insane and was intentionally trying to start a genocidal war. But she was Restac's sister, and she loved her. It's the one and only time we've ever seen a Silurian completely and utterly break down, and it's gut-wrenching. Those tiny, broken little whimpers and the fact that she didn't even care about the fact that she was sobbing in front of humans... Ambrose, you monster.
In a way, the fact that Restac's first question in every situation is "Where's my sister?" Their entire civilization is at risk; but she can't focus on that when her sister is in danger. Turns out she was right to worry, which is a tearjerker for the human race in and of itself.
The Doctor yelling at Ambrose, summing her up in a way that's a well-deserved kick in the gut: "You were so! Much! Less! ...than the best of humanity."
And then, later on, urging her to raise her son Elliot to be "the best of humanity, the way you couldn't be." He may understand why she did what she did, but that doesn't make it okay.
Elliot having to say goodbye to his grandpa.
And, for all Ambrose might be, the look on her face when her son finds out she murdered Alaya and backs away from her in disgust. She crossed a moral event horizon because she was afraid for him and he's horrified by it.
Rory's death and subsequent disappearance from all of history. Especially his confusion in that he had earlier seen himself and Amy from the future, waving to themselves in the past from a hillside.. When the episode ends, we see older!Amy on the hillside again, waving to her younger self... but this time she's all alone, and only briefly imagines she can see someone else there with her.
Rory: I don't understand... we were on the hill... I'm sorry.
In that vein, Amy's screaming and crying to go back for him, and then her struggling and failing to remember him.
Seeing Amy, who was normally so strong and fierce, completely breaking down into screaming and sobbing. The fact that both she and the Doctor know she'll be erased from time too if she goes back and that she just doesn't care because she can't stand to live without him... gaaahhh. The Doctor's reaction is heartbreaking too, over the last few episodes we saw him really grow to like and respect Rory, and he's practically on the verge of tears. He knows that if he doesn't take command of the situation and restrain Amy then he'll lose her too, even though he's devastated by Rory's death as well. The acting of the three leads makes that scene so damn effective.
It makes "Amy's Choice" about a hundred times worse.
Later, When van Gogh tells Amy he is sorry that she is sad and says he feels she's lost someone. Amy confusedly tells him she's not sad and hasn't lost anyone. Then Vincent points out that she's crying... She didn't even notice.
Van Gogh being shown his works in a museum and getting told what a great painter he was...and Amy learning that he still committed suicide.
Even worse if you work out the Fridge Logic as to why events still turned out that way. Consider that most creative year of Van Gogh's life was very likely spurred on by that visit to the future, and the praise he received. Now consider that he still had to return to a life where he was ridiculed and mocked, and the psychological effect of knowing that your destiny is to become a world-renowned artist, when you can't get even a shred of respect from the people around you.
Actually, the real tearjerker is that he killed himself despite the Doctor showing him the future. Because Vincent suffered from Manic Depression, and sometime the disease wins, and there is nothing you, your loved ones or your timetraveling alien from the future can do to stop it.
Every minute of the last 15 minutes of Vincent and the Doctor were tear jerkers. The look on Amy's face when she realizes that Van Gogh still killed himself, and again when she sees the painting that he painted for her.
Vincent crying with joy to see his own paintings in the museum. Bill Nighy's character being hugged by his idol. The Doctor telling Amy that the good things don't always soften the bad things, but the bad things don't make the good things less important. And the music helped. Even with all the emotionally charged bits that have been featured on the show before and after, it's the last five minutes or so of "Vincent and the Doctor" that bring out the waterworks.
Really, if you know Van Gogh's history it gets a bit worse, the first scene with Van Gogh is him painting the last painting he ever would, with a rustling in field reminiscent of the Krafayis, reminding him of what he'd done.
It gets even worse when you consider that he probably killed himself because the final painting he drew of the TARDIS exploding is what pushed him over into full-fledged terror and insanity. This, plus the fact that he knows it means that the two people who showed him understanding and respect are dying along with it. He's not just manic depressive. He's also heartbroken.
The last little exchange in front of Van Gogh's "Sunflowers" painting:
Amy: If we had gotten married, our children would have had VERY red hair. (pause) The ultimate ginger. The Doctor: The ultimate ginge! Amy (quietly): Brighter than sunflowers.
The second Amy turns and starts walking toward the painting, and the music swells, you just know that it's the painting before it even shows it... Sobbing without fail each time.
If you want to feel better (or worse), 60 Minutes did a story on new a theory about Van Gogh's death: a wealthy kid accidentally shot him but Van Gogh claimed he did it to himself because he didn't want to get the kid in trouble. Unfortunately there's still the possibility that he wanted to die anyway - by that point the only positive interaction he had with people was telling a waitress what he wanted for breakfast.
And then there's "The Pandorica Opens".
Everything about Rory in that episode, from his realising Amy doesn't remember him, to the moment when she does and he realises he's not the real Rory, but an Auton programmed well enough to believe his own facade. No matter how he tries to convince himself he is who he thought he was, and no matter how Amy begs for him to stay, the programming gets enough of a hold that he ends up shooting her anyway. The last scene of the episode has him clutching Amy's dead body while every star in the unvierse goes supernova. And just to make it worse, the Doctor is meanwhile being sealed away in the Pandorica, beyond anybody's reach, unable to save a damned thing.
It's probably not considered typical to cry at the phrase "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue".
Amy's entire speech at her wedding reception. Especially the part where she starts realising why the Doctor told her the story about the "brand new, ancient blue box. Ohhhh, clever, very clever."
The Doctor's speech to Amy. "You won't need your imaginary friend anymore..."
Rory, sweet, gentle, stupid, good Rory says, with a look of utter bewilderment "How could we forget the Doctor?". Just the look on his face and his tone, like he was just remembering the most important thing in the world and simultaneously mourning the fact that he forgot it in the first place.
The TARDIS. "The Big Bang". Think about it. Yes, the mysterious evil voice probably made sure the TARDIS would explode on the date of Amy and Rory's wedding day. However, it didn't specify that it would have to be on Earth. The TARDIS, exploding over and over again, keeping the Earth warm after all the stars ceased existing.
Not to mention River Song trapped inside that loop trying to escape the exploding TARDIS, yet failing to do so every single time. The clincher is the end of each one:
River: I'm sorry, my love.
From "A Christmas Carol", the poor Sky Shark. She only attacked out of hunger.
The passengers on the stranded ship singing "Silent Night", all together, alone in the fog, in one last attempt to stabilize the clouds.
Later on in that episode, the moment when Kazran, confronted with his younger self mistaking him for his abusive father, finally breaks down. Michael Gambon, you beauty.
Not to mention a callback to previously in the episode when the Doctor believed Kazran was capable of redemption because "you didn't hit the boy." That look in his eyes when it hits him that he's that close to becoming the man he despised...
The part where Abigail, now that everyone knows that she only has a day to live, says to Kazran, "We've had so many Christmas Eves, Kazran. I think it's time for Christmas Day." Dammit Katherine Jenkins.
Not to mention every freaking time she sings in that episode. Of course it turns into Fridge Horror when you realize the word "Silence" is very common in the last song... Steven Moffat, you clever, terrifying man.
"Night and the Doctor"—"Good Night." Amy figures that companions are small parts of the Doctor's life, and he replies that "You are enormous parts of my life. And you are all I ever remember.” With all the fantastic things the Doctor has seen, he remembers his companions first and foremost. And considering what's happened to most of them...
"The Impossible Astronaut." River explains to Rory that not only are she and the Doctor meeting out of order, but in exactly reverse order: Every time she meets him, he knows her less and less. She fears the day when she meets him and he has no clue who she is, full-heartedly believing that it would kill her. Even more heart-wrenching when you consider that we already know she's right.
Also bound to throw a wrench in your heart is that it's probably gonna hurt just as bad for the Doctor when he meets her for, from her perspective, the first time.
Also from this episode, right near the beginning: The Doctor is killed mid-regeneration. Taken from outright horrifying to tear-inducing in that it was his future self, but still, damn. Way to kick the new season off, guys.
In "Death of the Doctor" (taking place between Season 5 and Season 6 of Doctor Who), Sarah Jane Smith says "With friends like these, he's never going to die, is he?". Cue the first few minutes of Season 6... Sure, the Doctor didn't actually die, but still.
Even more tear-jerking given that, as we now know from the end of "Closing Time", that it will be River that kills him.
Also the fact that River is trusting her father with her greatest fear, and he doesn't know who she is.
"Day of the Moon" River, who meets the Doctor in exact reverse order, kisses the Doctor for his first time, her last time, and afterwards finds out that this was, in fact, the first/last time, and that from here on, every time she meets the Doctor, he'll be less and less in love with her.
Doctor: You know what they say, there's a first time for everything! [leaves] River: [in shock] And a last time...
Amy: What's the matter with you? Rory: You... called me stupid. Amy: I always call you stupid. Rory: No... but... my face. [Amy looks at the transmitter, and realizes] I wasn't sure who you were talking about... You know, me or... Amy: Him? Rory: Well you did say "dropped out of the sky." Amy: It's a figure of speech, moron!
How about the end of "Day of the Moon", where we see the little girl who's actually Melody Pond/River Song regenerating? Seriously, the look on her face and the little laugh? That got me teary-eyed.
The exchange between the three leads at the end of "Curse of the Black Spot", when they're left with a choice of either leaving Rory on the ship or risking his death by drowning since the ship is keeping him alive howeverwhatwaythatworks, is heartwrenching. He opts to leave telling them that all they have to do is resucitate him when they get back. And he wants the person who does it to be Amy, not the Doctor, for one specific reason. "Because I know you'll never give up."
It's even more meaningful when you remember Rory's a nurse. The inaccuracy of the whole thing aside, he knows the odds, but he still trusts her completely. And he's right. For everyone who has ever wondered why Rory was willing to wait 2000 years for a girl that a number of people don't think deserved him? That whole scene is your answer. Don't even get started on the look on the Doctor's face the whole time.
Doctor: "Come on, come on, Rory, not like this, not today!"
The Doctor's goodbye to the TARDIS in human form in "The Doctor's Wife". He's just so vulnerable. His lip's trembling, his eyes are full of tears...
Doctor: Please... I don't want you to... Please.
Look how many times Rory has died so far, and he never got this sad. It's then you realise it's his more-or-less best friend of 700 years. The look in his eyes... gah! *sobs*
Made even worse by what she said before returning to being incapable of communicating- "this is the time we talked". She exists outside of linear time as we understand it, and experiences everything at once- meaning, he's never going to get a chance to speak to her as a person ever again.
Don't forget it might well be the last time we as the audience get to see her talking, and (because the ep's almost over) even that's ending. A tearjerker on a meta level, too.
The last thing the TARDIS said to him was the one thing she was never able to tell him all those years ago when they stole each other:
TARDIS: Hello, Doctor. It's so very nice to meet you.
If you listen very very closely, the TARDIS whispers something before she fades:
TARDIS:I love you.
The TARDIS's thoughts on her sisters' graveyard: "I'm thinking all of my sisters are dead, that they were devoured, and that we are looking at their corpses." Ouch.
The random snippets of the Time Lord distress signals we hear when The Doctor tries to fix Nephew's communicator.
Unknown Time Lord: [obviously frightened] Help me! Send a signal to the High Council of the Time Lords of Gallifrey! I'm still alive! I don't know where I am!
There was an extremely sad moment before the Doctor realised who the TARDIS was; when he's looking for the other Time Lords that he heard, and finds the cupboard full of distress signals and realises that was all he was hearing.
Doctor: I really thought I had some friends there...
The worst Tear Jerker in this one is, when Amy starts protesting about her and Rory being sent back to the TARDIS and saying that the Doctor was simply seeking redemption from any surviving Time Lords. The Doctor's response is heartbreaking, both in terms of character building and in delivery.
Amy: You want to be forgiven. The Doctor: [quietly] Don't we all?
Also remember when the Doctor described the Corsair as "one of the good (Time Lords)." We all know that the Doctor loathes himself; now one of the reasons he's so happy is that there may be just one Time Lord out there that's still good.
The scene of Rory and Amy getting separated and Rory waiting for hours in the corner, just sitting all curled up and continuously calling her name. Maybe the rest wasn't as sad since by then she'd realized it wasn't real, but that initial shot of him sitting down the hallway, clearly just desperate for a response from her… it's just so heartbreakingly sweet when they show how devoted he is to her.
Aaaand then of course we're treated to Rory's room full of crazy, the realization that he's probably been repeatedly Mind Raped for decades, and his dead body when she's pulled away again and he thinks she's abandoned him. The body alone is enough of a tear jerker. The room scrawled with threatening grafitti that may or may not have been done by Rory himself after he finally snapped? Is probably one of the most horrifying scenes in the entire fifty years of Doctor Who.
The last thoughts in Rory's head were the words on the walls—Kill Amy, Hate Amy, Die Amy. Imagine finding the person you love most in the world's dead body surrounded by that and being unable to do anything.
And then somewhere in the middle of all that scrawl are the words help me.
The sheer heartwarming happiness on Smith's face when the lever flips down at the end of the episode and he starts to cheer a bit and move happily around the control room.
In The Rebel Flesh, where Ganger Jennifer is reminiscing over her childhood memories. Except they're not really hers.
Ganger Jennifer: I'm not a monster... I am me... me! me! me!
In The Almost People, when it hits home to Ganger Jimmy that the man he wants dead is the father of the child he considers to be his son. And then when Original!Jimmy dies and gives him permission to go be a father to the boy (doubles up as Heartwarming Moment).
A little My God, What Have I Done? moment, turns out the only reason Jennifer ran into Ganger Jennifer (and was killed) is because she was running away from the newly forming Ganger Doctor, who as we know wouldn't have harmed her. But she saw him, got scared and ran away. No doubt both The Doctor and his Ganger realized this at some point.
Rory having to let Ganger Amy go.
These two lines:
Ten's voice coming out of Ganger!Doctor's mouth: Hello, I'm the Doctor! Ganger!Doctor:Noooo! Let it go, we... we've moved on!
It gets so bad that when the Ganger!Doctor starts screaming as if he were in pain. The real Doctor gives him a hug while encouraging him to try and stabilize.
To be honest, Amy demeaning and deriding the Ganger!Doctor or at least who she thinks is the Ganger!Doctor throughout the episode was pretty harsh.
While he wasn't perfect (both of him?) the death's of Buzzer and his Ganger were a bit depressing as well.
The eventual death of Ganger!Doctor. It was quick and appeared to be painless, but that didn't make it any easier to watch.
In A Good Man Goes To War as the world is falling apart around his ears, The Doctor comes across a girl whom he met when she was little. A girl who has joined the army and risked her life, just so she could meet him again. And he has no idea who she is :
Made all the worse when you consider how easily that girl could have been Amy. What if he never had come back for her in Eleventh Hour? She would just be another person The Doctor left behind without even realizing.
Oh, nice to meet you, Lorna! She's a sympathetic character, maybe she'll be the companion after Amy and Rory le-OH SWEET MERCY MOFFAT WHY?
The reason why the Doctor doesn't remember Lorna is that he hasn't met her yet!
When the Doctor turns around, looking utterly hopeless (and possibly ashamed?) and asks "Who was she?"
The Doctor knew full well this was someone he hadn't met yet from his own perspective, and as she was dying he realized he was going to meet her later on knowing she would die there for him... and he lied simply because he couldn't stand to break the heart of a dying woman.
AAAUGH this scene. "They're always brave," was tearjerking enough to begin with, but when 11 repeated it, almost in a whisper... Brr.
Yet another one from A Good Man Goes To War that only becomes one after the reveal at the end of the episode. River happily tells Rory about her birthday celebrations with the Doctor. Later in the episode, it's revealed she's his daughter, lost in time and meeting him in the wrong order. She was telling her father all about a day with her boyfriend, only to discover Rory had no idea why she was so happy to talk to him.
Amy telling Rory through a door that their child is gone. He then opens the door to reveal he has her.
...followed by Rory's own tears at being a father, protesting that he was going to try to "be cool." And then Amy tells him he is anyway.
The Doctor declares that Melody is tired, and comes up with a little cradle. A very old cradle. "Where did you get a cradle?" asks Amy. After some awkward, painful moments, he says it was his before walking away. ''*sniff*'
Why can't it be both his and Susan's? It could have been made for the Doctor but his children/grandchildren also slept in it.
Yet another one for "A Good Man Goes To War": River's "The Reason You Suck" Speech / What the Hell, Hero? given to the Doctor becomes this when you realize she was calling him out for what was done to her. River is essentially walking proof of what happens when the Doctor makes people scared.
The absolute worst example in "A Good Man Goes To War" is when the version of Melody that Amy is protecting during the final battle with the Monks is a flesh avatar. As the realisation slowly dawns on the Doctor sealed away in the control room, Melody liquifies in Amy's arms. Amy then gives off the most piteous and distraught cry for Rory imaginable. When the Doctor bursts into the hangar to try and warn Amy about Melody, he's interrupted by Rory.
Rory (choked): Yeah, we know.
And in "Let's Kill Hitler" we find out that Amy and Rory's childhood friend Mels is actually Melody/River Song. Meaning that the Doctor failed to keep his promise to Amy, and they never get to raise their child at ALL.
The Doctor being unable to use the TARDIS' voice interface in the guise of Rose, Martha, or Donna, due to the guilt he feels over what happened with all of them.
The interface finally takes on the form of Amelia Pond. Not current!Amy; the Doctor knows too well he's messing up her life like he did her predecessors'.
The look on Melody's face when the Teselecta transforms into River.
Speaking of "Let's Kill Hitler", the climax of this episode gives us River Song's Heroic Sacrifice. The second one, in fact.
River: Just tell me. The Doctor… is he worth it? Amy: Yes! Yes, he is!
A bit Fridge, but heart breaking: Melody's interactions with the TARDIS. Her (own) first actions were to basically take everyone hostage and shoot the being that is, in a sense, her mother. And then there's the Doctor screaming at the voice interface of his companion for seven centuries, over the faces of his much more transient friends. Poor TARDIS.
In "Night Terrors", the look on Rory's face when he sees Amy being turned in to a doll.
At the climax Alex realizes that the reason George is so scared of everything is that he was afraid that he was unwanted. He responds by rushing to George through the crowd of Creepy Doll monsters and embracing him.
Alex: Whatever you are, whatever you do, you're my son.
Which was followed up by a single word, a single word.
"The Girl Who Waited". The title alone says you're not leaving with a dry eye.
Older Amy's death in particular. First we have her begging Rory to let her go, because she will fight to live if he doesn't, then her staring at the hologram of the Earth and speaking about her husband as she dies.
Oh god. Older Amy's last words every time.
Amy: Show me Earth. Show me home. Did I ever tell you about this boy I met there? He pretended to be in a band…
When Rory finally snaps, yelling "I DON'T WANT TO TRAVEL WITH YOU!"
And then, when they make it back to the TARDIS: "You're turning me into you!"
It gets worse when you remember that that was exactly what Davros said to the Doctor.
When Older Amy says that she hates the Doctor, and has never hated anyone as much.
When Older Amy and Doctor lock eyes from across the Gallery. The penny drops, and both the viewers and Older Amy realize exactly what's about to happen. Older Amy throws aside her weapons and sprints for the TARDIS door... only to have it closed in her face.
The Doctor himself isn't unaffected by this either mumbling to himself over and over that, "she's not real, she's not real" in an attempt to justify what he's about to do to her in his own mind.
"You're turning me into you!" That's what the Doctor has always done, and that's why he knows who the Dream Lord is. "There's only one being in the universe who hates me as much as you do."
"If you love me, don't let me in."
Old Amy: Give her the days... Tell Amy... Your Amy... I'm giving her the days. The days with you. Days to come... Days I can't have. Take them, please... I'm giving you my days.
Rory, on the other side of the door, isn't saying anything...he's just whispering 'I'm sorry,' over and over again.
Earlier on, Young Amy's description of love:
"You know when sometimes you meet someone so beautiful and then you actually talk to them, and five minutes later they’re as dull as a brick? Then there’s other people, you meet them and think: “Not bad, they’re OK”. Then you get to know them… and their face just sort of becomes them. Like their personality’s written all over it. And they just turn into something so beautiful. Rory is the most beautiful man I have ever met."
Also earlier, when Older Amy sees her husband for the first time in 36 years, and then she picks up her lipstick. She's about to put it on… Only to remember she's old now, stopping completely.
The God Complex provides several. Namely; Rita's death, the Tragic Monster, the Doctor making Amy lose her faith in him, realising just what has happened to him, then him leaving Amy and Rory behind and the reasons he gives. Doubles as something of a Trauma Conga Line.
The Minotaur's death speech, which Doctor translates. It describes an ancient being, soaked in the blood of the innocent, drifting through space in an endless shifting maze and how that creature would consider death to be a gift. As the Doctor walks away, the Minotaur reveals it wasn't describing itself.
The stage directions for the final scene are utterly heartbreaking, especially in their description of the Doctor:
And now all is quiet aside from the grind of the engines. The TARDIS has never seemed so big and empty. The Doctor steadies himself against the desk as the loss of Amy crashes into him like a wave. A sob is getting through. He is so old, so sad, and so alone.
There's also Howie, who mentions worrying about how his disappearance might be affecting his mother. It's also revealed that his greatest fear is a room full of Alpha Bitches who tormented him for his stuttering, and that he had just successfully finished a long rehabilitation process to stop said stuttering. Naturally, he dies, making all that for naught.
Rory's reaction to the portraits listing off those who already died in the hotel was a mix of sweet and sad. When he says he had forgotten that not all victories are about saving the universe, he just sounds so very tired.
One of the portraits was for a Sontaran. It's especially sad when you remember that all Sontaran's fondest dream is to die gloriously in the field of battle, facing his enemy without fear. That poor guy was instead scared to death, and then eaten alive...
And, speaking of Rory, another bit of Tear Jerker hidden in his awesome. Rory was immune to the effects of the Hell Hotel because he had no faith! Imagine, for a second, all the things that bring you comfort, like religious belief or belief in other people, he finds no comfort in! Even the Doctor has faith in his companions, despite all the hellish things that have destroyed his faith in everything else, so get a hanky ready when you realize the kind of nightmarish things Rory has suffered to deny him the smallest solace in belief of something outside himself.....
A minor blink-and-you'll-miss-it one, but when Rory comes out of the house again, he's got three champagne glasses.
Closing Time is a fairly heartwarming episode that serves to show that people still believe in the Doctor, even when he doesn't believe in himself, but it's very horrifically contrasted by the ending which shows Madame Kovarian and the Silence come for River Song and force her into the astronaut suit and place her in Lake Silencio for the moment that we all knew was coming. To see River so helpless in this scene is what really makes it such a tragic moment.
Not to mention the moments where we see the Doctor borrow some stationery and is given a Stetson hat from Craig as a gift. He doesn't know their significance (yet), but we do ... Seeing him unknowingly fulfilling his fate is agonizing.
The thing is, it's NOT unknowingly, and he likely DOES know the significance. He specifically stated his next stop was America, and Wordof God is there is a two-hundred-year gap between God Complex and Closing Time (which is why the future Doctor who died in The Impossible Astronaut was 1103 years old instead of 909). This means visiting Craig was his last trip before going to die and he knows it.
And then there's the reason why The Doctor was going to visit Craig and Sophie, thought all his centuries he has had many companions and friends, but Craig has earned a special place in the Doctor's heart, he is one of the few beings the Doctor has explicitly called his "mate."
"Petrichor. For the girl who's tired of waiting."
"I'm the Doctor. I was here to help. And you're very very welcome."
While technically not part of the show, this fanmade trailer for The Wedding of River Song was pretty tear-jerking, especially at the end when everything goes quiet and The Doctor hangs his head low as the First Doctor's famous "one day" speech echoes in the background.
The Doctor finding out about The Brigadier's death. The Doctor feels so confident, there is a happy tone, then he hears the Brigadier died in his sleep. That was one of the saddest moments of the 11th Doctor's time.
Worse? The Doctor was calling up the Brigadier to invite him to just hang out and have a laugh, ouch...
In "The Wedding of River Song" when the doctor learns of the timey-wimey distress beacon one of the things he says is:
The Doctor: That would mean nothing to anyone.
Then River points out how much all of existence would miss him if he died.
In the DVD short "Last Night" the Doctor encounters his future self with River, who mentions that he's taking her to the Singing Towers of Darrillium. The present Doctor is with a younger River at the time, who returns to the room after their future selves depart. She later jokingly mentions that the Doctor will be the death of her. His face after each encounter is what does it.
It's a smaller one, but in "Good Night," when Amy and the Doctor are discussing the effect time being rewritten has on memory, the Doctor mentions Rory spending two thousand years as a Roman. Amy replies that Rory says he barely remembers it.
The Doctor: Ah, but sometimes you catch him just staring.
From "The Doctor, the Widow, and the Wardrobe," the Doctor's analysis of Madge's difficulties in having Christmas with her kids after her husband has been reported missing.
"What's the point in their being happy, when they're going to be sad later? And the answer is, of course, because they're going to be sad later."
When The Doctor is trying to help Madge land the ship telling her to think of home and her memories of Reg to guide their flight home. Things he claims he can no longer do himself, like spending time with family or crying when happy.
The end, where after telling Madge that he has no family or friends to spend Christmas with... he surprises Amy and Rory on their doorstep. Even though they knew he wasn't dead, there's the fact that they always set a plate out for him at dinner in hopes he'll show up. The wonder on the Doctor's face when he realizes that, even if he's the last Time Lord, he still has so many loved ones out there, and perhaps none more so than these two companions. After blaming himself for ruining Amy's life, after letting them think he was dead because he thought they were better off without him, they still cared. And they always, always wanted him to return.
Hurts even more when you realize that, after Ten lost everyone he loved in increasingly brutal and horrible ways, Eleven seemed determined to distance himself to prevent having to feel that pain ever again. How ironic that the first person Eleven meets becomes his mother-in-law. Poor, lonely Eleven, running from friendship because he knows how it always ends, wound up with more family than he's had since he left Gallifrey in the first place.
His ferociously happy expressions earlier, when he's explaining himself to Madge, are seven kinds of heartbreaking.
"Never mind, watch my box do its thing, it's really cool. You'll love it."
The Pond Life omnibus, containing 5 minisodes counting down to the first episode of series 7 are filled with small, but brilliantly funny moments... until the last one, where it flashbacks to Amy and Rory arguing as he leaves their home, leaving her in tears. The effect is magnified when you find outwhy.
The truth about Oswin in Asylum of the Daleks. The first and probably only time you'll ever hear a Dalek cry.
Just the sound of the Dalek's cry will summon tears. The Daleks usually speak in loud voices full of hatred and fury, and even in their more mellow moments their voices have some trace of anger or extreme annoyance. When the Dalek cries though, it's a heartwrenching, pitiful, garbled noise. There is a lot of impact in seeing such a long-lasting and hated enemy make such a sad sound, even if this Dalek used to be human.
It isn't just that the Dalek is crying. It's the moment you hear a Dalek's electronically reverberated voice speaking with the inflections of a sad human.
Also the revelations as to just why Rory and Amy split up and were divorcing. It turns out that what was done to Amy in Demon's Run left her unable to have any more children, and she knew that Rory wanted children more than anything, so she thought he would be better off without her and broke up with him.
"Amy, basic fact of our relationship is that I love you more than you love me." Oh, Rory...
The start of the episode also contains some hefty fridge horror flavoured tearjerker. The Doctor goes on what is obviously (to him) a trap, right on Skaro and right in the middle of a brand new and obscenely powerful Dalek empire (a species which despite his efforts and sacrifices in the Classic Series, the Time war, "The Parting of the Ways", "Doomsday", and "Journey's End" has only been made stronger by his efforts to fight them), and after the events of the previous season he seems to be nothing but a burnt out, disillusioned and utterly self hating wreck, even more so due to his lack of companions.
This is only compounded by his words to Amy and Rory when they are all abducted, which show he has zero hope of even saving them, let alone himself, and he seems almost grateful to die now
"Dinosaurs on a Spaceship": the completely unnecessary death of the triceratops (nicknamed Tricey) and the Doctor's reaction to it.
Hell everyone's reaction, from Riddell whom Amy earlier accused of as being a "poacher of defenseless creatures" taking off his hat in silent mourning. To Brian changing his demeanor completely from neutral observer, to folding his arms defiantly and glaring angrily at Solomon.
The Doctor's speech to Brian about what happened to his companions in "The Power of Three".
While it was a relatively funny yet suspenseful episode, The Power of Three was a huge Fridge Sadness - It was Amy and Rory's penultimate episode, and it's done very brilliantly - While we get to see them with their Doctor in their usual adventure of the week, we also get to see them in their daily lives and how they're considering ending their adventures with the Doctor. No wonder why I found myself crying at the end of the episode.
"Angels Take Manhattan". Two instances; the first is when Amy and Rory decide to commit suicide together to cause a paradox (Doubles as a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming). The second is when Rory is sent back in time to attain his true death by the surviving Angel, with Amy pleading to let the Doctor allow her to as well, also doubling as Heartwarming with the closing words by Amy.
If there is one thing the Doctor can't stand, it is to watch his companions die. It is why he leaves them because he knows he will outlive them otherwise - he admits as much in the school reunion episode.. Seeing the Doctor absolutely devastated was really the finishing blow to an already devastatingly tearjerking scene.
Amy, Rory, The Doctor, and River watching Rory's future self die.
A third instance being when the Doctor goes back to get the page that he ripped out of the book in the beginning of the episode and he reads the message that Amy left for him.
When Amy makes up her mind. She grasps River's hand while staring at the Weeping Angel, and then emotionally breaks the Doctor and us:
Amy:Melody... You look after him. And, you be a good girl and you look after him... The Doctor: (choked up) You are creating a fixed time. I will never be able to see you again! Amy: I'll be fine... (sobs) I'll be with him. The Doctor: Amy, just come back, to the TARDIS. Come along, Pond — please. Amy: (through tears) Raggedy Man... (turns to face him) Goodbye! (The Doctor wordlessly looks over to Rory's gravestone, and breaks down at seeing Amelia's name)
The Doctor's either going to have to tell Brian what happened, or he's going to spend the rest of his life waiting for them to come home.
At least Brian can know what happened. What about everyone else who knew them? Amy has parents too, and what about Rory's mother? Is she still alive? Will the Doctor go and explain everything to them, or have they just disappeared?
Afterword: By Amelia Williams. All of it.
Amy: Hello old friend, and here we are. You and me, on the last page. By the time you read these words, Rory and I will be long gone. So know that we lived well, and we’re very happy. And above all else, know that we will love you, always. Sometimes I do worry about you, though. I think, once we’re gone, you won’t be coming back here for a while, and you might be alone, which you should never be. Don’t be alone, Doctor. And do one more thing for me. There’s a little girl waiting in a garden. She’s going to wait a long while, so she’s going to need a lot of hope. Go to her. Tell her a story. Tell her that if she’s patient, the days are coming that she’ll never forget. Tell her she’ll go to sea and fight pirates. She’ll fall in love with a man who’ll wait two thousand years to keep her safe. Tell her she’ll give hope to the greatest painter who ever lived, and save a whale in outer space. Tell her, this is the story of Amelia Pond. And this is how it ends.
The missing scene "P.S.", where Brian finds out what happened to Amy and Rory. Sad, for more than just the obvious reasons, yet touching as well.
Brian finding out that the man who delivered the letter is his own grandson. Granted, he was adopted, but it's good to see Amy and Rory finally got what they wanted: another child.
As tearjerking as this extra scene was, it somehow managed to become a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming when Brian hugged his new grandson, meaning he still has a family.
The first half of The Snowmen is just heartbreaking. #11 had always been able to keep his leftover angst from 9 and 10 buried and under control because of the Ponds. Seeing him not only regress but get worse without them is just... gah.
The Doctor's first scene—he scuttles on past with a definite "don't bother me" in his body language, turns around, looks at the snowman and... takes out Amy's glasses.
Seeing the new TARDIS interior, awesome though it was, just drove home how long the Doctor had been miserable and alone after Angels Take Manhattan.
It makes sense for him to have changed it, too - the interior changed right after his regeneration, and every memory in that console room is with Amy and Rory. No wonder he changed it, the current "desktop theme" would be a constant reminder...
As of "The Name of the Doctor," we know that by the time the Doctor met Clara River had long since died. So in the time between "The Angels Take Manhattan" and "The Snowmen" the Doctor lost not only the Ponds, but also his wife. Oh, ''Doctor...''
Technically, River has been dead since her first episode pair. She died in the Library at the end of their first meeting.
When The Doctor and Clara are in the TARDIS and he already plans for her to travel with him, and gives her a key to the TARDIS. Then, the ice comes to snatch her and they fall off the cloud, leading to her death.
Fridge Brilliance: Clara begins to tear up when the Doctor gives her the key to the TARDIS, and she doesn't know why. Perhaps it was a subliminal memory from Clara-Prime, who wasn't confirmed to have received the key likely because the Doctor became more concerned trying to solve her mystery than actually taking her on as a companion. Clara is bestowed the highest honour she could get from the Doctor... only to promptly die right after.
"It's not raining. It's crying. The only force on Earth that could drown the snow. A whole family crying on Christmas Eve."
The Bells of Saint John: The reveal that Miss Kizlet was taken to work for the Great Intelligence when she was just a little girl, and her parents left her alone for a few minutes and presumably came back to find her gone...
Take into consideration Miss Kizlet's age. In her fifties, most likely? Well, that would make her a little girl living in London when The Great Intelligence attacked the Underground. The Second Doctor saved the city, but one little girl fell into the wrong hands.
It's REALLY sold by the delivery of her last lines. "Where are my mommy and daddy? They said they wouldn't be long. Will they be here soon?"
A blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment from the same episode. When the first Spoonhead, a little girl from a book cover, comes down the stairs to attack Clara. While the Spoonhead is descending down the stairs, we get a close up of the book she's on the cover on. Who wrote the book? Amelia Williams.
In The Rings of Akhaten, the scene where the Doctor shows the Old God all of his memories highlights just how much he has been through, seen, and lost in his 1200 years. Matt Smith gives one of his best, most heartbreaking performances here, and the music supplements it perfectly.
As the Old God consumes items of sentimental value, it can be assumed that the Doctor gave all of his memories of his companions and allies to the Old God. Though it's possible they returned once the Old God died, hopefully.
What actually makes that idea worse? By the end of the episode, The Doctor does appear to have retained all his memories. But he doesn't appear happy about it at all.
Clara at her mother's grave, crying onto the book that was passed down to her and making her mother's inscription run.
Merry's entire story. She's a queen who has to sing a very long lullaby to the Old God to keep him from waking up and going on a destructive rampage. If she messes up, she has to be sacrificed to the Old God. Well, Merry does mess up and is about to be sacrificed, when the Doctor and Clara save the day. To top it off, Merry appears to be around eight or nine years old.
The Doctor's speech, delivered beautifully by Matt Smith, so full of anguish and loss and regret:
The Doctor: 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 MAD... MAN. I've watched universes freeze and creations burn. I have seen things you wouldn’t believe. I have lost things you will 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!
Cold War: Skaldak going through a breakdown while confinement when he thinks his entire race is extinct, mourning for his daughter. For that moment, he isn't a monster, a maniac, or an alien invader-he's an old soldier mourning his family, having lost all purpose in his life.
Hide: Emma screaming in pain trying to keep the portal open. When an empath—someone who can feel other people's emotions as if they were their own—is screaming in pain, you know they're hurting.
"Every lonely monster needs a companion." It's who says it that makes it heartbreaking.
Seeing the TARDIS crippled, helpless and in pain, and the salvagers callously pulling off bits and pieces of her. They're hurting her and she can't stop them, and even the Doctor can't force them to stop because he has to find Clara and he needs them to help him do it.
It gets even worse. As the salvager is carelessly yanking her console apart, there's a soft voiceover in the background of Doctors and Companions, all the way back to Susan, talking lovingly about the TARDIS. It makes you wonder if it's just happening in the show, or if the TARDIS herself is crying and trying to hold onto all the old memories..
An immortal, sentient timeship with all the power of our dear Sexy, and as she's being pulled apart, she can only manage the tiniest of sparks from a bit of exposed wire—but she makes them count.
When the salvagers steal one of her components, she seals off the room in a very obvious ultimatum—put it back, or you don't leave. His response is to order his partner to blow a hole in the wall. When he looks back, the door is back, and he smirks. He scared her. She was already hurt and in pain, and he effectively brandished a knife in her face and made her cringe back.
The entire episode is like watching an old friend being tortured. It's almost as bad as the Paradox Machine, and that was enough to make fans sick.
By the end of the episode she's so scared and in so much pain that the Doctor compares her to a wounded animal, snarling at anyone who gets close. She doesn't even recognize the Doctor anymore.
Seeing the Doctor fighting back tears because he doesn't know how to save her. It looks like he's trying to find the words to say goodbye, while at the same time not able to even comprehend the idea of a universe without his best friend.
She's always been there for me...taken care of me... and now it's my turn and... I don't know what to do...!"
From the same episode:
I brought you here, to keep you safe, but it happened again. You died again!
The Crimson Horror
Seeing The Doctor afflicted with the Crimson Horror. You can just read his face, and know that he is going "I'd rather be regenerating than this."
Ada. She was so alone, treated like a freak, and all she wanted was just one friend... and then learning the truth about her scars, her mother threatening to shoot her just because the Doctor cared about her...
Her heartbroken crying when she discovers her 'monster' is gone. She was never cruel, she was never motivated by anything but a desire to care for the poor creature, and now she's all alone again.
The Name of the Doctor
When the Doctor has to hear from Clara that he has to go to Trenzalore, he just starts to quietly cry, in a vulnerable moment you never see from the Eleventh, all wrapped up in his jokes and eccentricity.
Made worse by the revelation that Trenzalore is the place where he will die. Not now, but someday. As he tells Clara, it's not something he can change, not something he can outrun, but a fundamental fact of his own timeline, he will always die there. And we have no idea how long he's been aware of this information, perhaps he knew even before River mentioned it to him. Given that it's the one place in the universe he has purposefully avoided going on, he may have been carrying this information from his very first incarnation!
The Doctor saying goodbye to ghost River, and giving her one final kiss.
When she vanishes, his face falters for a moment, realizing she really is truly gone.
Two words: "Goodbye, sweetie."
Vastra and Jenny. Jenny is killed by the Whisper Men, but revived by Strax. To get her wife back, a desperate Vastra threatens her Sontaran comrade. Later, when the Great Intelligence re-writes the Doctor's timeline, Jenny herself is written out and Strax loses all memory of being Vastra's comrade and instead tries to kill her.
When she thinks she's lost Jenny, Vastra doesn't just break down; she shatters. The sheer number of times that Vastra thought Jenny was gone forever during this episode was gut-wrenching, and seeing someone normally so cool and in-control slowly start to crack under the agony of losing the one person in her life she loves more than anything... damn, Moffat.
Even worse with Fridge Horror; who had the idea to use the trance state? Vastra. Imagine how that must've felt for her, not only to have Jenny die, but to have her die because she couldn't defend herself, because of an idea that was Vastra's to begin with.
Even worse when you remember that Jenny knew something was wrong—entire minutes went by as she grew more and more certain that something was in the room with them. And then as she tried to say something, Vastra ignored her. If Strax hadn't been able to revive Jenny, she would have had to live with that knowledge for the rest of her life.
When the Great Intelligence first confronts the Paternoster Gang, the look on Vastra's face is terrifying and at the same time tearjerking. She is afraid and furious and a hair's breadth from cracking. Hearing the Great Intelligence sneer at Vastra that he killed Jenny just to get their attention, call her a 'pet' and threaten her again while Vastra is, for the first time we've seen, utterly and completely powerless to protect her...
That moment of horrible realization when the rewrite caught up to Jenny.
"...Jenny? Jenny! No, oh god, please no..."
Hearing River's anguish over the way she parted from the Doctor in her timeline. "He left me like an old book on a shelf. He never even said goodbye."
And then, finally, the Doctor gives her the peace she needs.
How can we forget Clara'sHeroic Sacrifice to save the Doctor, followed by the Doctor jumping into his own memories moments later?
It gets worse. It was still the genocide. The Doctor is just so ashamed he refuses to acknowledge that the past generation's existence out of bitterness.
The Doctor's tomb is his dead and decrepit TARDIS.
"No, please, stop! My life, my whole life is burning." Oh Doctor!
Some more Fridge Horror... as much as he hates constantly putting his friends in danger when he's alive, the Doctor can't even catch a break and find peace in death since his timeline is still a threat to the entire universe.
The Day of the Doctor: Due to its focus on the darkest day of the Time War and the Doctor's greatest regret, multiple tearjerkers were given.
The two conversations about about how many children were on Gallifrey, both between the Moment and the War Doctor and between the Three Doctors.
In the first conversation it is shown that for all his stoic, grizzled and badass exterior and demeanour, the War Doctor is utterly disgusted at what must be done to end the war, having lost all desire to live past the end of the war, and when asked how many children he will kill, he freezes up in pure horror and sadness.
The Moment: How many children on Gallifrey right now? The War Doctor: Don't know. The Moment: One day, you will count them. One terrible night.
Later when he asks his future regenerations this question Eleven desperately tries to deflect the issue before Ten reveals the number is 2.47 billion. Ten has the number burned into his memory, Eleven has purposefully forgotten to try to ease the pain, causing Ten to furiously deride him for forgetting while the War Doctor sees how much pain he will feel for centuries to come after ending the war.
Ten: You've forgotten!? 400 years, is that all it takes!? Eleven: I've moved on. Ten: Where!? Where can you be now that you can forget something like that!? Eleven: Spoilers. Ten: No no no no! For once, I would like to know where I'm going! Eleven: No. You really wouldn't.
Seconded, as while the audience has known for the past seasons how destructive and terrible the Doctor's solution to ending the Time War was, it is never stated as poignantly as in this episode.
Ten and Eleven's last exchange:
Tenth Doctor: I think we need a new destination. Because, I don't want to go. Eleventh Doctor: (with a smile) He always says that.
The kicker: a snippet of "Vale Decem" plays as he leaves.
The fact that even though, yes, the Doctor successfully found a third way out of the Time War, his past selves ultimately won't remember it and thus preserving the timeline. In particular, the War Doctor as he goes into the Ninth.
The look on Ten's face when the War Doctor says "Bad Wolf". He realizes Rose must have played some part in these events and knows those two words will haunt him forever. It's more subtle (several centuries later and all), but Eleven isn't exactly unfazed himself.
The Doctor's price for ending the Time War using The Moment.
The Moment: Then that's your punishment. If you do this, if you kill them all then that's the consequence. You. Live.
It's established that he won't remember that he didn't, and that he will still have to live with it.
War Doctor: Go back! Go back to your lives. Go and be the Doctor I could never be. Make it worthwhile. 10th Doctor: All those years, burying you in my memory. 11th Doctor: Pretending you didn't exist, keeping you a secret even from myself. 10th Doctor: Pretending you weren't the Doctor, when you were the Doctor more than anybody else. 11th Doctor: Because you were the Doctor on the day it wasn't possible to get it right.
The War Doctor quietly thanking them for being with him makes the moment all the more tragic.
Tenth Doctor: What we do today is not out of fear or hatred, it is done because there is no other way. Eleventh Doctor: And it is done in the name of many lives we are failing to save.
Clara begins to cry when all three Doctors prepare to burn down Gallifrey. She protests, silently, and tries to convince herself it has to be done. "Nothing," she says, when the Doctor asks. But it's not nothing. It never is. It's not just having to witness the Doctor having to make that choice again — twice! — but the fact that her Doctor specifically, the one she has grown to know so well that she could see just from looking in his eyes how hurt he is, is willing to do it all over again.
Clara: You told me you wiped out your own people, I just... I never pictured you doing it, that's all... (later, when the Moment shows them the reality of the war on Gallifrey with terrified civilians and children running from the carnage and soldiers desperately trying to protect them) Clara:(horrified) These are the people you're gonna burn?
The return of Tom Baker after an absence of thirty-two years.
The fact that the Doctor will never remember being able to save Gallifrey instead of destroying it until he reaches his current point in his timeline. Meaning that every Doctor from the War Doctor to, until that point, the Eleventh, will be guilt ridden when they don't need to be.
The very fact that, thanks to the events of the upcoming Christmas Special, Eleven is never going to live to find Gallifrey. On the bright side, the Doctor's incarnations are all the same man, so it'll be a man who behaves a bit more seriously with shades of his previous incarnation still very much intact. So Eleven will live to see Gallifrey, though he'll change into Twelve.
Poor Osgood gets two good tearjerking scenes. First, when she's chased by a Zygon and cornered. Her first instinct was curl up into a ball and beg for The Doctor to swoop in and pull a Big Damn Heroes, she managed to get out of that problem on her own, but still! Later, her second bout of despair is just as bad, she just stands rigged with fear as the building is about to go up and pleads that the Doctor come and save them.
The Time of the Doctor: Right before Eleven regenerates, he takes off his signature bowtie and lets it drop to the ground. If it was hard to believe it before, it was impossible to deny it anymore. The Eleventh Doctor is no more.
After years of concocting messed-up metaphors, Eleven finally comes up with one that works ... and it's "like tears in the rain". Which is a beautifully-tragic Call Back to "The Snowmen", when a literal rain of tears let Eleven know that the first version of Clara he'd ever met face-to-face had died; now, it's Clara who's losing the first Doctor she'd ever met.
Clara's final words to Eleven: "Please don't change..." And then he does. It almost brings to mind Sarah Jane begging the Third Doctor not to die, so long ago.
Before he regenerates, The Doctor sees a vision of young Amelia. And then he sees Amy, his companion, as he knew her in life, smiling sadly at him. The first face his face saw.
Eleven: Amelia! Clara: Who? Eleven: The first face this face ever saw...
This exchange from the beginning of the regeneration scene:
Eleven: Any moment now...he's a-comin'. Clara: Who's coming? Eleven: The Doctor. Clara: But you...you are the Doctor. Eleven: [breaking down] Yep. And I always will be.
The reveal of what happened to Tasha Lem.
Tasha: Three days ago the Daleks attacked the mainframe itself. I died in this room screaming your name. Oh... I died.
Eleven's final speech before his regeneration:
Eleven: We all change. When you think about it, we are different people all through our lives. And that's okay, that's good, You gotta keep moving so long as you remember all the people you used to be. I will not forget one line of this. Not one day, I swear. I will always remember when the Doctor was me.
As he says this Matt Smith is looking directly into the camera, giving the illusion that he's breaking the fourth wall and speaking directly to the fans. It's widely believed by most fans that Matt actually wrote those lines himself, which means if that's been the case (having the actor write the last line), it makes Eleven's departure more heartbreaking...
A meta tearjerker applies here too. During the table read-through of the script, Matt broke down when he got to this line.
And Steven Moffat immediately gets up of his chair to hug Matt. This man is hated by much of the fandom, but that simple image shows he has a heart of gold.
Even more, "Infinite Potential", a more emotional bit of the awakening song from "Rings of Akhaten", plays near the very end of his speech. If you think about it the original lyrics perfectly fit a regeneration: "Rest now, your hardship is over", followed by "Live, wake up!".
The episode even makes you feel bad for the disembodied, ruined head of a Cyberman (Who was affectionately named 'Handles.') After spending centuries at the Doctor's side, he died quietly before the sunrise after giving one final reminder to his companion.
The Doctor's reaction to this. He thanks Handles in a very muted voice, laying it back down on the cushion the Doctor set out for it. And as if the writers weren't done punching the viewers in the gut, the Doctor's child-like self is still present even after he has visibly aged into an old man after several centuries. He shakes Handles like a little child does when his toys break, begging it to still work.
The Doctor: Handles... (shakes it) Handles... (shakes it again) Thank you, mate. Thank you for everything...
Not helping matters at all are that Handles' last words were reminding the Doctor to patch the phone through the TARDIS control console, something the Doctor had asked him to remind him of at a random time centuries beforehand.
And all this, for what technically rates as one of the Doctor's longest-running companions ever, for all that Handles only appears in one program. Indeed, Handles may well have served as a substitute companion and Tardis for Eleven-in-exile.
The relationship between the Doctor and Barnable. It resembles his relationship with Amy, specifically in his early days when he first meets Amelia, right down to Barnable promising he'd wait for the Doctor to come back. Sadly it is heavily implied Barnable died in the war, or may have even simply died of old age, given the length of time that has passed, as an elderly and dying Doctor constantly wonders if the person who had just entered his presence was Barnable. When a young man the audience is led to believe is Barnable enters we find out he isn't, yet the Doctor still refers to him as such, therefore refusing to acknowledge the boy's death. The impact may have led to the Doctor eventually resigning himself to his fate.
It's not even that The Doctor is refusing to acknowledge the boy's death. It's that The Doctor's clearly suffering from senility and legitimately doesn't know if it's Barnable or not. In addition, Clara needing to help The Doctor with the Christmas cracker is incredibly heartbreaking as well.
The fact that despite everything the Doctor did, and the fact that he survived the war, the planet Trenzalore (and Christmas in particular) was left as nothing more than a cold, dead graveyard.
However, there were people there to rebuild when the Doctor finally left, and the Time Lords changed history by giving him a new regeneration cycle, implying that Trenzalore's fate changed as well - that his long vigil was not in vain.
Clara's Gran talking about when she first met her husband, who died long ago.
The elderly Doctor saying goodbye to Clara before heading out to face the Daleks:
The Doctor: You're going to stay here. Promise me you will. I'll be keeping you safe. One last victory. Allow me that. Give me that, my impossible girl. Thank you. And goodbye.
"And now it's time for one last bow, like all your other selves. Eleven's hour is over now, the clock is striking Twelve's."
Eleven using some of his last moments to call up Clara in the future and beg her to stay with him even though he's changed now, assuring her that however scared she is now, the man with her is even more scared.
Twelfth Doctor episodes
In "Deep Breath", The Doctor begging Clara to see that he's still the same person after Eleven calls her and asks her not to leave him.
Clara's absolutely stunned and heartbroken reaction to the Doctor seemingly abandoning her to the Half-Man and his robots. Throughout the entire interrogation that follows while she attempts to put on a brave face, she is clearly-and even admits to-being absolutely terrified.
The many parallels being drawn between the Half-Man and the Doctor himself. Both are incredibly old, both of them have changed so many times that there's nothing of who they were originally in them (physically, at least), and both believing in some kind of "Promised Land" (the 51st Century for the Half-Man from whence he originally came and Gallifrey for the Doctor) and the Half-Man's stubborn insistence that he will eventually reach it versus the Doctor certain he will never find his. The Doctor illustrating his first point about the Half-Man having nothing of his original self in him is highlighted when he holds up a silver tray to him so he can see his reflection only for the Doctor to see his own staring back at him.
If you look closely, you'll see the exact moment when the Doctor realizes the implications of his own words could ring true for himself, and it scares him.
It's also kinda sad, because his previous self spent his last centuries saying that his true goal now is to finally go home once he found out that "Gallifrey falls no more". It's like all those hundreds of years defending home when it was so close sucked all the optimism out of him once he regenerated.
The Doctor talking in his sleep, when Clara assumes he's translating for the lost, disoriented tyrannosaur. He's actually talking for the lost, disoriented Twelve.
Twelve: Just see me, just see me...
The Twelfth Doctor's final plea for Clara to look and recognize him for who he really is, he just sounds so hurt.
Twelve: You can't see me can you? You look at me and you can't see me. Do you have any idea what that's like? I'm not on the phone, I'm right here. Standing in front of you. Please just...just see me.
After Clara wanting to change the Doctor back and Vastra leaves disdainfully, Clara's hurt-puppy-dog eyes and simple "what have I done wrong?"
The T-Rex's death. The Twelfth Doctor takes it hardest because not only was he the responsible for bringing her to Victorian London, he promised to take her home, and then she was killed.
"Into the Dalek" is very similar thematically to the Ninth Doctor episode "Dalek". However, it is arguably worse because of the way the episode proceeds. Unlike the Ninth Doctor episode which is mostly about the sheer depths of the Ninth Doctor's self loathing and his hatred of the Daleks, Into the Dalek builds hope throughout the episode. The episode builds up the idea that perhaps the Doctor will finally know real peace, that maybe even monstrous Daleks can be reformed. The episode humanizes the titular Dalek to a greater degree than the Ninth Doctor episode. For once, it seems like the Doctor will have a meaningful victory over the Daleks. Maybe the Daleks are capable of realizing the value of life. The Doctor loses miserably. For a moment it seems like the Dalek will reform, that finally it sees how beautiful the universe is. And then the Dalek sees the Doctor's hatred, and it surpasses anything the Dalek has ever known. The Doctor's hatred is so great that the Dalek turns on its own kind. Nine's rage pales in comparison to Twelve's quiet regret.
Another from 'Into the Dalek': Clara just very callously mocked a former soldier who possibly has PTSD over his former career. Pink's reaction to the 'crying' remark clinches it. At least Clara seems to realize something's off, and her attitude towards him appears to become Fridge Horror for her by the end of the episode, with everything she's experienced over the course of the story. Double Fridge Horror, for the viewer: Clara may have been reminiscing the Eleventh Doctor, whom she has said on record to have consoled whenever he had flashbacks regarding the Time War. So what may have been fond (if somewhat sour, considering the Doctor's 180 in personality in his next regeneration) reminiscence to Clara ended up being very hurtful to Pink. Cue Verbal Backspacing.
He didn't get stuck with UNIT by choice and was initially none too pleased to get stuck with a paramilitary organization, often very displeased when they opted to solve a problem with firepower (See, for example, every Silurian episode ever) it was only after he got them to know as people over time that he started tolerating them, and that they became the important long-term friends we know them as - Had the circumstances been slightly different (or the Doctor simply been in a slightly better mood at the time) they same might have happened with Journey. And do not forget how she repayed his rescue by pointing a gun at him in the beginning of the episode.
When the Doctor hears "Rusty" explain what motivated his Heel-Face Turn, you can hear the desperate need in The Doctor's voice as he says, "Dalek, you'd better not be lying to me." He knows the Daleks are fully capable of deception, and some part of him desperately wants to believe that this Dalek may even be reformed, even as he has trouble trying to accept it. It goes downhill from there, even if "Rusty" wasn't lying.
Clara slapping the hell out of The Doctor. Lord knows, he had it coming, and calling The Doctor on cold, callous, or smug behavior is the role of The Companions. But it's just such a change in the dynamic between Clara and The Doctor. It wasn't like when River slapped Eleven in "The Impossible Astronaut", which was played for laughs, or even when Clara slapped Mr. Clever in "Nightmare in Silver" to snap The Doctor back to himself. This was full on outrage at the Doctor's behavior, and well justified, and he was almost being a Smug Snake, almost gloating about "He was right all along" that Daleks couldn't be reformed.
"Robot of Sherwood", The Doctor's horror as Robin kidnaps Clara to escape the Sheriff.
Just about all of the Doctor's behavior throughout the episode. Twelve spends the entire adventure positive that their is no real Robin Hood. Whereas Nine, Ten and Eleven would have been beside themselves with glee upon meeting such an historical wonder, Twelve simply investigates the situation with detached aloofness.
Clara: When did you stop believing in everything?
Doctor: When did you start believing in impossible heroes?
Clara: (looks up at him sadly) Don’t you know?
After The Doctor takes a sample of Alan A-Dale's blood he offhandedly mentions he's got six months to live. Alan looks to be about the same age as Clara...
In "Listen" when finally get to see a glimpse of the Doctor's childhood. We see him crying himself to sleep, while hiding in a barn. Two caretakers (maybe his parents, we're not told) come out to look for him. A woman tells a man that the young Doctor doesn't want to join the army, he wants to go to the Academy. The man scoffs "Well, he's not going to the Academy, is he, that boy? He'll never make Time Lord." When Madame DePompadour said the Doctor was a lonely little boy she meant it.
That barn turns out to be the same barn where the War Doctor hid to activate the Moment.
When the Doctor puts a young Danny instantly to sleep with his mental powers, he offhandedly refers to it as "dad skills." Sometimes you forget that the Doctor had (well, has, now) a family on Gallifrey that he hasn't seen in centuries.
Clara's speech to the young First Doctor can very easily tug at the heart strings:
Clara: Listen. This is just a dream. But very clever people can hear dreams. So please just listen. I know you’re afraid, but being afraid is all right. Because didn’t anybody ever tell you, fear is a superpower? Fear can make you faster, and cleverer and stronger. And one day, you’re going to come back to this barn and on that day you are going to be very afraid indeed. But that’s OK. Because if you’re very wise and very strong, fear doesn’t have to make you cruel or cowardly, fear can you make you kind. It doesn’t matter if there’s nothing under the bed or in the dark so long as you know it’s OK to be afraid of it. So listen. If you listen to nothing else listen to this. You’re always going to be afraid, even if you learn to hide it. Fear is like a companion. A constant companion always there. But that’s ok, as fear can bring is together. Fear can be bring you home. I’m going to leave you something just so you’ll always remember. Fear makes companions of us all.
Psi's attemptedHeroic Sacrifice in "Time Heist" ends on a very painful note when he mentions the accidental erasure of his memories of his family. Good thing he lives to see his memories restored.
Psi: Every thief and villain in one big cocktail. I am so guilty! Every famous burglar in history is hiding in this bank right now in one body. Come and feast! Clara? For what it's worth, and it might not be worth much, when your whole life flashes in front of you, you see people you love and people missing you. Well, I see no one.
Also, Psi's earlier speculation about why he'd erased his memories in the first place, so his interrogators wouldn't learn whom he'd been close to. His "I guess I must have loved them" is so matter-of-fact as to rate as Fridge Heartbreaking: he's sacrificed his feelings for whomever he forgot, along with his memories. And we never actually learn if getting his memories back will restore the love he'd felt...
Clara's massive What the Hell, Hero? speech to the Doctor at the end of "Kill The Moon". She's absolutely furious and immensely hurt with him for pretty much abandoning her because he believed that he had no right to decide for humanity whether or not the creature inside the moon egg should live or not and the Doctor is completely stunned by this because he believed he was doing the right thing for humanity while Clara sees it as an incredibly risky, patronizing gesture on his part. It ends with Clara telling the Doctor to leave, to fly off and leave her alone, to just go away and she later tells Danny that she's through with him completely. Whatever happens next, it's fairly clear their relationship has been pretty significantly, if not irrevocably, damaged.
The Doctor's very straight and unpleasant description of which people he was able to spare from the Foretold and which he had to let die in "Mummy on the Orient Express" alarmingly makes it sound like triage. Quite scary when Danny made all those comments about the Doctor displaying the mannerisms of an officer, and the fact the Doctor did live through a war of his own.
Clara: So, when you lied to Maisie, when you made me lie to Maisie-
Doctor: I couldn't risk Gus finding out my plan and stopping me.
Clara: So you were pretending to be heartless.
Doctor: ...Would you like to think that about me? Would that make it easier? I didn't know if I could save her. I couldn't save Quell, I couldn't save Moorhouse. There was a good chance that she'd die too. At which point, I would have just moved onto the next, and the next, until I beat it. Sometimes the only choices you have are bad ones. But you still have to choose.
Perkins' Refusal of the Call. It's one of the few times the Doctor asks for someone to join and he just doesn't accept. Mainly because he's so smart, he deduces that travelling with the Doctor changes people.
"In The Forest Of The Night": OK, so the Earth's genuinely doomed this time - even the Doctor can't fight nature. But he can at least save Clara, Danny and their class of schoolchildren. So they all head back to the TARDIS...where Clara quietly pulls the Doctor aside and tells him he can't save those kids: they'll just want their Earth and their parents for the rest of their lives. And Danny's not going to leave them. And she doesn't want to be the last of the humans. The only reason she brought everyone back to the TARDIS was so the Doctor could get there without feeling guilty, and then fly off.
Especially when you notice that the scene is a precise role reversal of the typical "Doctor tricks companion to get them to safety while he does something potentially suicidal on his own" routine we have seen s many times in episodes like "Parting of the Ways", "Timelash", or, performed on Clara herself, in "Time of the Doctor". Not only because he deserves it so much that smeone finally pulls something like that for him, but also because reversals of common scene types between the Doctor and his companions were pretty common in series 7 (She drags him, she holds his hand to comfort him, she talks even faster...) In the context of how occasionally rocky their bond has been after the regeneration, the recurrence of that motif says alot...
He finally calls earth "his world" when he thinks he is about to lose it. Beyond showing just how much he's gotten attached to our little blue dot and its inhabitants, but also because of the implication that he is now free to admit that he feels more at home on another planet than his native one without guilt, since he no longer needs to give Gallifrey the Never Speak Ill of the Dead treatment.
He also echoes Clara's guilt-tripping speech from "kill the moon" while doing so. This time, she accepts that he "can't fight physics" and doesn't always know what will happen, and even asks him to leave her to her fate, meanwhile, the Doctor doesn't even bother with pretending he's an outsider whom this doesn't concern - You can really see how, despite their frequent conflicts throughout this season, seeing each other's rougher edges has ultimately strenghtened their bonds. The scene is fairly subdued as far as the dialogue goes, but the actor's performances realy sell it, especially Capaldi's - He conveys so much with just his expression and tone of voice.
The Doctor's quiet, defeated reaction at the prospect that all the future earths he has visited and the many spread-out humans he interacted with practically every other episode might be erased.
The opening parts of the episode might as well be called "Breaking Clara". She finally musters up the courage to be honest with her boyfriend about everything, then a mundane tragedy hits while everything seems to be going fine. The Clara we see after that is very clearly suffering from Survivor Guilt and is starting to obsess about undoing what she sees as her greatest ever failure. Given what we know of her fear of death and how depressed she was over the death of her mother, having her boyfriend die in a simple traffic accident is a definite and final Break the Cutie moment for her. The erratic behaviour she starts afterward (trying to forcefully blackmail the Doctor to help her) might be a bit off-putting, but she's very visibly grieving and not thinking straight while doing so. Oh, Clara...
When Clara believes that she has destroyed all of the TARDIS keys, saying tearfully that she'd do it again. Then, learning it was all a dream scenario and a Secret Test of Character, and that she (thankfully) failed, breaking the Doctor's trust and letting him down in the process.
She believes that she's fully lost The Doctor's trust and the right to travel with him when she mistakes his "Go to Hell" as a dismissal rather than him suggesting a course of action for reuniting her with Danny Pink.
Danny himself, as he sits there with a tablet, preparing to Delete his emotions to spare himself the pain of losing Clara to his own death. The audience knowledge of what this will really do veers sharply off into Nightmare Fuel territory.
Or Danny reuniting with the boy he killed while serving in the army.
Not outright tear-jerking, but the Doctor's horrified and disbelieving expression when he finally learns at the end who Missy really is. Damn !
He's already been feeling massive guilt about not being able to bring Gallifrey back; now he's found out that someone was able to escape, but that person accuses him of leaving them to die, and is manipulating humans to turn them into Cybermen to take over the world, and is his old friend-turned-enemy who he last saw sacrificing himself to save his life.
"Death in Heaven"
The Doctor's rather apt description of his relationship with the Master:
I had a friend once. We ran together, when I was little. And I thought we were the same, but when we grew up, we weren’t.
the Brigadier returning as a Cyberman and hanging around for one last salute. It's half the moment itself, half really missing Nicholas Courtney.
When Clara speaks to the Doctor about how she's going to delete Danny's emotions, it gives the implication she's going to commit suicide..
The Doctor's reaction to when he realizes he has to delete Danny's emotions in order to figure out how to stupid Missy's plan. The pained look on his expression....
Osgood's death, especially since she was Genre Savvy enough to try and avoid it. And Missy did it for no other reason than to Kick the Dog to the Doctor.
The Doctor finally asks why Missy is creating a Cybermen army and killing everyone close to him just For the Evulz. Her response is it's all for him. She wants the friend back she had when she was a child, so she created the army to give to the Doctor so he would be corrupted by the power and prove that they were Not So Different enough that they could become friends again.
When the Doctor is about to kill Missy, you can tell he's seriously heartbroken, especially when he says You Win.
It's worse when you look at Missy's expression too, especially considering she did all of this for the Doctor....
A lot of the chat between Clara and the Doctor right at the end in the cafe is nothing short of depressing as it unfolds. What makes it worse is how they're lying to each other: The Doctor says he found Galifrey and is going home, when he didn't. Clara says she's back with Danny, but she isn't. And they share one last hug, and you can tell from their faces that it's painful for them to lie about it.
The saddest part is that it's all based on a misunderstanding. Clara is leaving the Doctor because she needs to help find the boy's family, but he thinks she's leaving because her and Danny are settling down. So as not to make her feel bad, he tells her he's found Gallifrey and is returning home, prompting her in turn to tell him that he is right - she is settling down with Danny. You can just see the emotion on both their faces as they hug for the final time. They both look so broken and tired.
Most can see it coming, but the reveal that Missy lied about the coordinates- it's less the lie, and more the moment that comes after; the Doctor's heartbreaking reaction to it. What makes it so heartbreaking is on how it builds up. Once the Doctor realizes that Missy lied, he calmly walks to the console, keeps his composure, and then begins to repeatedly slam his fists into it before slumping into the ground, with his head buried in his right arm.
The Doctor's reaction to being told that it's his birthday. A birthday celebration is a privileged we take for granted, and he hasn't had it for 1800 years.
Danny Pink ended up dying three times in the space of two episodes. The first time he was run down by a car , the second time was when Clara activated his inhibitor ''killing'' his emotions. The third time he sends himself and an Army of Cybermen into the Sky to destroy a threat that would have turned the whole human race into Cybermen.
When Clara is being interrogated by Cybermen, a third Cyberman joins them. Clara tells the newcomer that as "The Doctor" she's really good at lying. The Cyberman lowers his head, and agrees with her. Of course it's actually Danny, who knows this all too well.
There's something heartbreakingly adorable about watching a Cyberman lower his head like that.
Types of Moments
The regeneration scenes, if done well enough, are double-whammy combinations of tears of sadness (the death of a Doctor) and tears of joy (the birth of a new Doctor). The better examples are the First Doctor regenerating into the Second ("Ah, yes! Thank you. It's good. Keep warm"), the Fifth regenerating into the Sixth ("Feels different this time..."), the Eighth regenerating into The Warrior ("Physician heal thyself") and the Ninth regenerating into the Tenth ("You were fantastic, absolutely fantastic. And you know what? So was I!")
In spite of how quickly the actual regeneration came and went, Eleven's proper, final death really counts, all the way from when he tells Clara he's still regenerating to when he takes off his bowtie for the final time.
While they might pale in comparison with those who would come later, the loss of Katarina and Sara. The first companions the Doctor ever lost.
Adric's stands out.
Jack's despite his being revived later.
Amy and Rory, never seen the Doctor cry so much.
A few non-violent companion exits also count. "The Green Death" and "Warriors' Gate" come to mind. Especially "Warriors' Gate". The fact that the Doctor spends the next two stories wandering around like a lost old widower does not help.
Just try watching Leela's departure, knowing the Time War is coming.
Tegan departing in tears, because she's just so tired and so sick of all the death and pain, the Doctor begging her, "Please, don't leave, not like this...."
Donna's departure is a huge Tear Jerker.
Hell, just the Fridge Horror of how young the Doctor really is is a real downer. First died of old age at 450, and Eleventh is about 1100 (give or take a few decades). That means that right now he's barely past the point where his second incarnation should be dying of old age. He's sacrificed millennia of his life for the sake of protecting the universe. To make things worse, he hasn't seen any of his family since his first incarnation.
Actually, his second, third and fifth incarnation saw her again in "The Five Doctors". But still, that's likely over half a millennia ago from the point of view of the Eleventh.
The Doctor often lies, and does so unfailingly on topics he's not sure of, like his own age; add to this Word of God has confirmed the Doctor is far older than he states. Still, the concept of the Doctor losing track of his age is a Tear Jerker in and of itself. Because of the life he chose he can't even have such a simple luxury as celebrating a birthday- all the time travel means he doesn't even know when it is, let alone the precise number. Not to mention anyone who would know is long dead.
If one adds up all the mentions of his age from the series, then First aged to 450, Second and Third aged between 100 and 200, Fourth through Seventh lived between 50 and 70 years. This adds up to being 1009 when Eight was "born". Think about that: it took six lives to live the span he should have lived in 2 1/2. The fridge horror above still applies. This is continued in the new series, where, while Nine's age is a total mystery with no credible indications whatsoever, Tenth lived 6 years! Which is probably why he freaked out so much about "dying". It has taken him until his Eleventh life to return to Second/Third's standard. This is somewhat balanced out by Eight, who lived about a 1000 years by himself, including the novels.
Nine is probably the most tragic. In "Rose," he looks at himself in the mirror and makes comments about his face and ears that imply he hasn't really seen them yet which would mean this is very, very early in his incarnation. At the end of the episode, Rose Tyler joins him as a companion and stays with him on the TARDIS until "The Parting of the Ways" where he dies. That means that Rose was with the Ninth Doctor for practically his whole life. Given Rose doesn't noticeably age that much by the time Nine regenerates into Ten, it's a good bet Nine didn't live very long at all, possibly even a year or less.
Actually, Nine lived about 100 years offscreen, as the War Doctor in "Day of the Doctor" states that he's 800 but Nine's age is states as 900. That small moment between him leaving and returning in "Rose" was about a century's worth of adventures for him. But that is a Tearjerker in itself; Rose was the first living face he ever saw, and he came back for her even after a whole century.
It's not necessarily 100 years. The Doctor does not know his own age so it could be any amount of time.
A special award for breaking hearts has to go to composer Murray Gold. Just go listen to "Doomsday", or "This is Gallifrey: Our Childhood, Our Home". You'll understand.
Donna's flashback music that plays both in "Turn Left" and "Journey's End"
The music from the time of the Eleventh Doctor is often especially heartbreaking. The tracks "Melody Pond", "36 Years" and "Forgiven" are of particular note.
And then there's "Together - Or Not At All" and "Goodbye, Pond". Otherwise known as the tracks that bid farewell to Rory and Amy.
The Eleventh Doctor's regeneration theme, "Infinite Potential" is guaranteed to bring on the waterworks.
The very, very end of "Voyage of the Damned". It's an incredibly death-filled and tragic episode, with all of the deaths being heroic sacrifices. And just when you think your heart's been broken enough, a screen displays "In memory of Verity Lambert OBE, 1935-2007". Cue the waterworks. It happens again with "The Waters of Mars", which is dedicated in the memory of Barry Letts. Damnit, producers, stop dedicating the really tragic episodes to people!
Considering how Sarah Jane is more or less The Quintessential Companion, you can't possibly imagine how badly the fandom needed series 6 to start and help ease the hurt. And then Moffat gave us an episode that kills the Doctor in the first ten minutes.
Although it would have been nice if they'd done an on-screen caption for Nicholas Courtney as well. It was rather upsetting that they didn't. Instead, "The Wedding of River Song" has the Doctor's telephone call during which he learns of the Brig's death — and "The Power of Three" took the extra step of introducing the Brig's daughter the following season.
It's always a Tear Jerker for Whovians when an actor who played the Doctor, one of his companions, or some other popular character on the show has died. The very first such death was Roger Delgado's, the original Master, who was killed in a car crash in 1973, cutting his time as the Master tragically short. The tragedy was too much for Pertwee, and he asked to be let go the next year.
Second Doctor Patrick Troughton's death was a massiveTear Jerker — against his doctors' wishes (heh), he traveled stateside to a sci-fi convention for his birthday, gave multiple interviews with fans and attended numerous panels, and was in such high spirits that the strain on his smoke-and-alcohol-riddled heart killed him after one night. It gets worse from there — the next day was his birthday celebration (his actual birthday having been several days before), and the con had planned a massive celebration for him, including a screening of his favorite serial ("The Dominators") and a torch-passing ceremony for him to inaugurate incoming Doctor Sylvester McCoy.
2011 was an exceptionally sad year, as we lost both Nicholas Courtney and Elisabeth Sladen within two months of each other. Both had 2 of the longest periods of any actor as a regular on the show, both managed to transcend even these impressive runs, appearing again and again as these characters to the point where they were regarded as 2 of the most iconic characters in the series' entire history, both had acted together in these roles less than a year earlier on The Sarah Jane Adventures, and both died of cancer.
2012 was almost as bad, with the loss of Caroline John and Mary Tamm, two of the series' greatest one-season wonders, and both players of incredibly brilliant women who are exceptionally good at telling the Doctor where to stick it—Liz Shaw and Romana I, respectively.
Other such deaths have included William Hartnell (1975), Ian Marter (1986), Jacqueline Hill (1993), Jon Pertwee (1996), Michael Craze (1998), and Anthony Ainley (2004).
2014 saw the sudden demise of Kate O'Mara as the Rani, in a similar vein of Delgado's death- she passed just before she was going to do another story after many years waiting for her chance to star in a Big Finish audio and finally reprise the role. She had left instructions for someone new to take up the torch, which means the return of the Rani in a new incarnation is essentially a tribute to O'Mara in itself.
A very special and tearjerking moment occurs in the docudrama An Adventure in Space and Time centered around William Hartnell (portrayed by David Bradley) and his experience in the show. The final scene before the epilogue has Hartnell on the set of the TARDIS on his final day from the show after his sacking, where he seemingly has a vision of the legacy he, the First and original Doctor, has started. What does Hartnell see? Matt Smith, the Eleventh and then-current Doctor, giving him a smile, and Hartnell smiling in return.
Anyone for "Death in Blackpool"? Lucie tells the Doctor she's staying on Earth and gives him back the parabolic diverter—by extention rejecting his offer to come back to her if ever she calls.
Lucie: You're the Doctor. You're brilliant. And it was great, I mean really bleedin' great. And ... Well ... that's how I want to remember it. That's how I want to remember you. Doctor: So I'm just a memory now. Lucie: Yeah. The best memory I've got. The Doctor rises, walks to the TARDIS, and leaves without another word.
The entirety of "Lucie Miller". The whole damn thing is one long case of Kick the Dog for everyone involved, but especially poor Lucie herself. She contracts a plague while on holiday with Alex in Thailand, that leaves her blind in one eye and dependent on leg braces to walk. Interwoven through the episode is a kind of Apocalyptic Log she's recording for the Doctor, and it's absolutely heartbreaking. Sheridan Smith deserves some kind of award for that one.
It went From Bad to Worse in "To the Death". Both she and Alex die, while the Doctor's helpless to save them and has to actually watch. Unsurprisingly, he hits some Heroic BSOD, and by the end of the audio is completely broken. Listening to him rewind and replay Lucie's log is just heartbreaking.
He doesn't just replay it. He mimics having a conversation with her, pausing the recording each time she comments about what he might say in this hypothetical situation, and quoting the dialogue himself. It's a conversation about accepting Lucie back aboard the TARDIS as his companion.
He has a Harsher in Hindsight with her, too: in her first episode, she says that her middle name is for her to know, and him to find out. He never does.
The Monk himself may warrant a mention as well what with his monologue to Tamsin after the Daleks have killed her and everything is crashing around his ears. "You see, I was the one who brought the Dalek plague to Earth. Simple, really. I just materialised my TARDIS, popped the vial out through the door, closed the door, went forward three years and rematerialised when the plague had burnt itself out. When it had ... done its work. And you ... were none the wiser, my dear. You were none the wiser. I thought I could lie to you and forgive myself. I was wrong."
There was once an absolutely heartbreaking DWM strip with the Doctor landing on a planet with his grandchildren John and Gillian and discovering all creativity had faded. Following the traces, he finds a tyrant obsessed with being the single holder of the beings that provide the planet's inhabitants with imagination and creativity. Defeating him easily, he releases all of the tiny beings and leaves a hero having reformed the bad guy and returned happiness with no blood, no darkness, no evil. Then it's revealed that the entire story was a dream of the Eighth Doctor, who briefly laments that not all stories can end like that, and hoping for the day he'll be able to live in an Universe where such endings are possible.
And then you recall that he still has yet to go into the Time War...
"The World Shapers," written by Grant Morrison for DWM: The Sixth Doctor, Peri, and Frobisher need the assistance of the Doctor's former companion Jamie, so they travel back to Scotland to get him. Except the TARDIS overshoots their destination by forty years, and in the interim Jamie has become an old man and the village crank. The Doctor takes him on board the TARDIS anyway, and later on in the story Jamie sacrifices himself in order to stop the Cybermen from ever existing. And then we find out that Jamie's sacrifice was in vain, as some Time Lords show up and refuse to stop the Cybermen—you see, the Time Lords don't mind the Cybermen killing innocents over millions of years, since (unlike the Daleks) the Cybermen will apparently one day Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence. Given what we later find out about the Time Lords in "The End of Time", you get both a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment and a Shoot the Shaggy Dog moment all rolled into one.
In the incredible Tenth Doctor IDW comic "The Forgotten", toward the end, the TARDIS is projecting an image shapeshifting into the Doctor's various companions. It manifests as Adric and grabs a canister of Nitro-Nine, then runs toward an attacking Clockwork Robot. The following dialogue ensues:
The Doctor: ADRIC! NO! Adric: Doctor! Get out of here! I've got this! The Doctor: No! I'm not going to let you die again, Adric! I can dismantle the droid- we could use it as a timing device! Adric: Don't worry, Doctor. The calculations are right this time. The timer's not real. It's not a pointless death. I'm not real, after all... (Adric explodes alongside the robot) The Doctor: Adric. Not again. Not like this.
And at the end, the Doctor requests to see one more companion before he leaves the Dream World.
The Doctor: WAIT! Before you go, I may never get a chance to come back here... and there's one companion I'd really like to see again. One last time. It- it's been hard. These years of travelling. Always alone, except for scattered moments of companionship. Please, you know who I want- who I need to see. Martha: Of course, Doctor. Susan:Grandfather? The Doctor:Susan. Oh, Susan. It's so good to see you again. Look, I know you're not real, but bear with me, okay? All these years I travelled, I never regretted leaving a companion as much as I did with you. But you were young and in love- you needed to make your own way- not follow a doddery old fool around. And by the time I realised that I needed to say this- to apologise- you were taken away from me. Everyone was taken away from me. Susan:Grandfather, I always loved you. And I know that in your heart of hearts you made the right decision. But now it's time for you to move on, time for you to be left behind and start a new life. Look to the light, Grandfather. Ignore the darkness ahead. Goodbye.
The 50th anniversary comic "Hunters of the Burning Stone" has a particularly sad moment when after rescuing Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright, the first human companions The Doctor met. The Eleventh Doctor tries to explain that he's the same man they met, but since they never learned of his regenerations, they don't believe him. When he takes them to the TARDIS, they recognize it and knock on the door expecting there Doctor to come out. It's only for one panel but, the sad look on The Doctor's face as they call to him while he's standing right next to them is heartbreaking.
There's a somewhat unexpected Tear Jerker at the end of the Doctor Who novel The Glamour Chase: Rory was talking about how unfair it was that Shell Shock sufferers of older times didn't get proper treatment or understanding, the Doctor spontaneously hugs him, telling him how important that compassion is... Then on the very next page he makes a throwaway comment about going to Rio and we realize what's going to happen to Rory next...
The book Slipback (based on the radio programme from the 80s) was divided into two parts. The first part did not feature the Doctor or his companion at all and told a bizarre story of a starship captain whose hypochondria was so severe that his body could actually physically create diseases. It ends with the captain manifesting the most deadly communicable disease in the universe. His long-suffering first-mate realizes that if he doesn't stop him, the captain will infect (and therefore kill) everybody on the planet they're heading towards, as well as anyone leaving that planet for somewhere else — resulting in, potentially, a galaxy-wide pandemic. To stop this from happening, the first-mate kills the captain and sets his body on fire, then, realizing that he's probably already infected himself, leaps into the fire as well. In describing the final moments of the first-mate's life, the final sentence says, "He died the way he had lived, in confusion and pain, not really understanding anything."
The novels have always been darker, but the writers for the Eighth Doctor Adventures simply seem bent on destroying their hero. The Eighth Doctor is thrown in prison, tortured, emotionally abused and Catch 22'd to levels that would drive most people insane, and the better novels note the fact that yes, there are sequels. By time of the first "Gallifrey" arc his fear of confinement has reached phobia levels.
The Indestructible Man. The Doctor is shot and Jamie and Zoe are separated and spend months stranded on a dystopian Earth, each thinking the other is dead. Madness, grief and suicide attempts galore. Jamie's breakdown is particularly bad — when he finally meets the Doctor again, he believes he's an impostor and threatens to kill him.
In Illegal Alien, Ace is locked in a cell by the Nazis and talks to a man for a few minutes in the cell next to her. As the Nazis take him away to torture him to death, he tells her his name: Sid Napley. What's so bad about this is that he WAS innocent, but the Nazis tortured him anyway.
The Cybermen kidnapping loads of people, including children and the elderly and converting them into Cybermen is horrible. They even convert a goddamn baby.
''The Shroud of Sorrow" is just a heartbreaking book, which is a given since the Doctor goes up against an alien that feeds on sadness and despair and picks the day after Kennedy was shot to feed on the earth. The entire thing culminates in one of the saddest scenes in Doctor Who's history where the Doctor attends the funeral for The Brigadier. Over and over, in all his incarnations to date... Excuse me, I have something in my eye...
Behind the scenes
The fact that David Tennant had to be locked in the car while they were filming Billie's crying scenes because he wouldn't be able to keep himself from hugging her.
Remember the Seventh Doctor's final speech at the end of 'Survival'? When the cast and crew were all aware that this may be the last we see of Doctor Who? Sylvester Mc Coy recorded it on the show's 26th anniversary.
The fact that so many early episodes of Doctor Who are lost (most likely forever) may be the saddest thing in the entire franchise.
The situation's even worse for the Second Doctor. Patrick Troughton helped ensure the series' longevity, proving the show could survive with another actor as the Doctor and that the regeneration explanation would work. Only two serials from Troughton's entire first two years have survived with all of their episodes intact. Most of the rest- Gone. Troughton spent most of his time as the Doctor with Jamie, one of the longest lasting and most popular companions of the entire series. Two-thirds of Jamie's adventures- Gone. Also in that time there was a season-long companion who was popular in her own right, Victoria. Nearly all of her adventures- Gone.
Tom Baker's and Lalla Ward''s ill-fated romance. Their 16 month long marriage ended in divorce, and by all accounts they have never seen each other since. Especially when other past companions Elisabeth Sladen, Louise Jameson, John Leeson, and Mary Tamm still get on with Tom very well, Lalla and Tom can't even bear to record DVD commentaries together.
Possibly rectified now, as it was announced in late 2013 that the two had agreed to come back and record new editions of Big Finish Audio together.
Colin Baker's never-ending enthusiasm for the show, despite all he had to put up with. When he finally got to play the role of his dreams, most of his own suggestions for the role were trashed (despite many of them being quite good), most of the stories were badly written and considered to be overly violent, and the show was placed on hiatus for 18 months. When a new season was finally produced, Michael Grade (who happened to be shagging Colin's wife at the time), pinned the blame for the show's troubles on Colin, even though none of them were his fault, and had him sacked from the role. Even after all that, Colin remains enthusiastic about his time as the Doctor, still finds it in his heart to appear at conventions, and is said to be 'the nicest actor to play the Doctor'.
And the fact that after Nicholas Courtney's passing he was voted the new head of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society... and he apparently won with more votes than any of the other nominees combined! The fans just love him that much.
Considering that Grade is the only BBC controller who never got knighted... one wonders if Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II didn't decide to do a subtle good deed for Colin. He certainly earned that, at least.
The crushing loss of Nicholas Courtney's death from cancer was followed in a matter of weeks by the devastating loss of Elisabeth Sladen, also to cancer. Doctors change their faces, Companions come and go, but The Brigadier and Sarah Jane were always there, and now... they're not. How are we supposed to deal with this??
And then in 2012 two more companions died - this time Caroline John and Mary Tamm, also both to the disease. The fact that four members of the 'Doctor Who family' have died in the space of a year and a half is tragic.
Karen and Arthur leaving the show. Some of you might not think it fits here, but while they were taping "The Angels Take Manhattan," Karen was unable to read the scripts for two weeks straight without breaking down. And during the shots in Central Park, those crowds that gathered to watch, who probably saw her crying and didn't know why...
The official confirmation that 2013's Christmas special will be the final episode to feature Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor. The eventuality of him leaving the role is always something we've accepted, but the fact that this news comes right in the aftermath of "The Name of the Doctor" as well as the fact that we won't be seeing any more Who until November (meaning it's likely the Anniversary and Christmas specials are the last we'll ever see of him) makes it downright agonizing that we have this knowledge of the end that is yet to come.
Part of what makes this such a tearjerker is how it just came out of the blue; just about a month prior it was confirmed that Matt was staying around for another season, but because of a leaked email from BBC Worldwide discussing making series 8 an uninterrupted season unlike 6 and 7 to allow fans to get a full feel of the next Doctor, BBC was forced to admit that the rumours were true. While some fans are eager to speculate on his replacement, others just aren't quite ready to let go yet. And then there's the fact that he leaves on Christmas. Now that just ain't fair.
Just around after "The Day of the Doctor" had aired worldwide simultaneously, the BBC put up a teaser for this Christmas... the Doctor finds himself on Trenzalore, unknowingly having willingly traveled to the mysterious planet himself. Presumably, based off of the very hopeful ending of "The Day", in the search for the lost Gallifrey, a mission he so eagerly set out on. It's such a Mood Whiplash for those who had seen it, especially since fans are still dizzy with excitement over the 50th Anniversary special! A majority of the comments from Youtube and Facebook have fans bemoaning the fact that the BBC would like to remind you, he has one episode left. And it was a month or so away... then Eleven was gone.
The sudden tragic death of Roger Delgado due to a car accident in 1974. What makes it even sadder is that it was one of the reasons Jon Pertwee decided to leave the show. Pertwee was good friends with Delgado in real life and felt that the show just wasn't the same without him.