- "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!
- "School Reunion".
- The Doctor and Sarah finally reuniting.
(Sarah spots the TARDIS while investigating and has a mini-panic attack; she turns to see the Doctor facing her)
Sarah: It's you. Oh, Doctor Oh, my God, it's you, isn't it? ...You've regenerated.
The Doctor: Yeah. Half a dozen times since we last met.
Sarah: You look... incredible...!
The Doctor: So do you.
Sarah: (meekly flattered, but nods in disagreement) Hmh... I got old. (nods yes in acceptance) ...What are you doing here?
The Doctor: Well, UFO sighting, school gets record results. I couldn't resist. What about you?
Sarah: The same.
(They share a giddy, but awkward laugh)
Sarah: (tears up) I thought you'd died. I waited for you and you didn't come back, and I thought you must have died!
The Doctor: I lived. Everyone else died.
Sarah:What do you mean?
The Doctor: Everyone died, Sarah.
- "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.
- "I'm sorry... I'm so sorry.
- 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.
- "Fear Her".
- 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*
- "I did my duty… for Queen and country." That episode has an unfair amount of Tear Jerker scenes.
- Yvonne Hartman's Heroic Sacrifice after being turned into a Cyberman, especially with that one black tear sliding down her "face". Whatever she 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.
- 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?
- 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...
- Jessica Hynes's acting in her last scene — all that quiet devastation and disgust with the Doctor — is heartbreaking. Made worse by the fact that the Doctor hardly even acknowledges what a mess he's made of her life and so many others. At least he had the decency to ask after her in The End of Time.
Nurse Redfern: Can you change back?
The Doctor: Yes.
Nurse Redfern: Will you?
The Doctor: No.
- 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.
- 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.
It was raining when we met. Sally Sparrow:
It's the same rain.
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!"
- "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" is guaranteed to make everyone cry at some point.
- Bannakaffalatta's Heroic Sacrifice.
- Astrid's flickering, translucent figure crying out "I'm falling," and just everything The Doctor says after that is so heartbreaking. Then The Doctor scattering the late Astrid's atoms so that she'll always be able to travel the universe,
"You're not falling, you're flying."
- The Doctor's goodbye to Mr. Copper, it's basically "I travel alone"
- 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!" Followed by a kick of frustration and a heartbreaking expression.
- 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.
- Planet of the Ood
- 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
- Cue Inelegant Blubbering
- 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!
- The aforementioned #1 itself:
The Doctor: Donna, I've been a father before.
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.
- And the fact that, after seeing "The End of Time", you realize that he was forced to kill his own children.
- 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.
- Martha's Hath friend sacrificing himself to save her. Cue seemingly never-ending crying scene.
- 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.
- 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 everyone by 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.
- "Labour camps. That's just what they called them the last time." And you can hear Wilf's heart is breaking along with the audience's. Oh man...
- 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.
'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.
- 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.
- 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?
- Mickey making an offhand comment about his Pete's World grandmother passing away, which was the prime reason he stayed in that alternate universe, meaning he's now dealt with the loss of two versions of his gran, and even if he had saved his original from breaking her neck by tripping on a torn carpet over a staircase, it wouldn't have bought her many more years alive.
- 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 Doctor leaving Rose with his meta-crisis clone, who can say all the things he just can't. You can tell he's absolutely crushed when he sees his clone kiss Rose and do all the things he has to miss out on.
- 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 fact that this is the first series finale since the revival series began not to end on a positive note. It is unrelentingly sad, with the final shot of the episode focused on a brokenhearted Doctor all alone in his TARDIS, sopping wet in with rain like a drenched dog, a very mopey face, and no twist ending cliffhanger.
- In fact, this episode was supposed to have one with the Cybermen suddenly popping up in the TARDIS, but the Christmas special that followed it underwent a rewrite that caused the planned ending to be retconned, and because Doctor Who Magazine writer Benjamin Cook personally told Russell T. Davies himself that the twist ending was too inappropriate, being very jarring after the cascade of sad events playing out in the episode's closing scenes.
- 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.
The future of the human race! No one should have that kind of power. Doctor: Tough.
- By calling himself the Time Lord Victorious, the Doctor has become the 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. And two people who were meant to die at the base are spared the fate of death, living on to tell her tale.
- 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.