Doctor Who

10 Worst Episodes of Doctor Who

The Doctor and his companion travel across time and space encountering incredible friends and foes.

Written by Sophie and last updated on jun 22, 2024.

PS: The following content contains spoilers!

PPS: I will admit that parts of this page was written with the help of AI - it makes my work so much easier to not start from a blank page!

Doctor Who - S1E4

#8 - 73 Yards (Season 1 - Episode 4)

In episode 73 Yards of Doctor Who, the TARDIS lands on the rugged Welsh coast, setting the stage for a thrilling adventure. The Doctor and Ruby find themselves drawn into a mysterious journey filled with twists and turns. As they step into a rain-lashed pub, they discover that the locals are gripped by fear as ancient legends seem to be coming to life around them. The eerie atmosphere sets the scene for a tale that will keep viewers on the edge of their seats.

This episode of Doctor Who has left fans buzzing with excitement and anticipation. With a mix of suspense, mystery, and deep emotional moments, "73 Yards" promises to unravel stories and threads that may hold the key to future plot developments. Viewers are in for a rollercoaster ride of unexpected revelations and poignant character moments as the Doctor and Ruby navigate through the unfolding events in this Welsh village.

Fans have praised "73 Yards" as a standout episode in the series, with some calling it the best of the season so far. The return of beloved characters like Kate Lethbridge Stewart and the focus on the companion's personal growth have struck a chord with audiences. For newcomers to Doctor Who, this episode serves as a captivating introduction to the show's signature time-traveling adventures and diverse storytelling. As the plot thickens and the stakes rise, viewers can expect a blend of excitement, nostalgia, and sheer entertainment in this gripping installment.

The episode was rated 7.75 from 548 votes.

Doctor Who - S1E7

#7 - The Legend of Ruby Sunday (1) (Season 1 - Episode 7)


In the episode "The Legend of Ruby Sunday (1)" from Doctor Who, the Doctor and UNIT dive into Ruby's mysterious past, only to uncover chilling secrets from Christmas Eve through the enigmatic Time Window. As the plot thickens, the sinister Triad Technology emerges, unleashing unimaginable evil upon our beloved characters. Whovians, get ready to be on the edge of your seats!

Fans are raving about this episode, calling it a triumphant return for the Doctor, complete with thrilling moments, self-questioning, and clever puzzle-solving. Ncuti's portrayal of the Doctor is gaining praise, with viewers excited to see him evolve into his own unique version of the iconic character. The two-episode arc promises to keep audiences hooked and eagerly anticipating the next installment.

While some viewers found the first half of the episode to be exposition-heavy, setting the stage for the unfolding drama, the second half delivers a pulse-pounding escalation leading to a major cliffhanger. With hints of Classic Who nostalgia and a sense of chaos and excitement building up, fans are thrilled to see the storylines intertwining and expanding beyond individual episodes. Stay tuned for more action, mysteries, and surprises in this captivating Doctor Who adventure!

The episode was rated 7.67 from 341 votes.

Doctor Who - S1E3

#6 - Boom (Season 1 - Episode 3)

In the episode "Boom" of Doctor Who, the Doctor finds himself in the midst of a harrowing war on Kastarion 3. The tension is palpable as he inadvertently steps on a landmine, leading to a race against time to save not only himself but also Ruby and the entire planet. The gripping narrative keeps viewers on the edge of their seats, reminiscent of classic episodes that fans have come to love.

With Moffat at the helm, this episode delivers a rollercoaster of emotions and unexpected twists. While some viewers found the ending to be rushed, the overall impact and depth of the storyline shine through. The character development of Ruby, particularly her quest to uncover her birth parents, adds an intriguing layer to the narrative, keeping audiences invested in her journey alongside the Doctor.

Despite minor critiques about certain plot elements, the heart of the episode lies in the Doctor's predicament and the moral dilemmas faced by the characters. Moffat's masterful storytelling brings a sense of nostalgia for longtime fans while showcasing the show's ability to evolve and captivate audiences in the new era. "Boom" serves as a testament to the enduring appeal of Doctor Who, blending impactful storytelling with memorable characters and thought-provoking themes.

The episode was rated 7.38 from 564 votes.

Doctor Who - S1E6

#5 - Rogue (Season 1 - Episode 6)


In the episode "Rogue" of Doctor Who, the Doctor and Ruby find themselves in the midst of a gripping mystery in 1813. As guests at a duchess's party are being ruthlessly murdered, a mysterious bounty hunter known as Rogue enters the scene, poised to alter the Doctor's life forever. With elements reminiscent of classic Doctor Who episodes and a touch of Tom Baker style, this installment delivers a thrilling adventure that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats.

The absence of a TARDIS arrival scene sets a unique tone, plunging us directly into the opulent world of the 19th century alongside the Doctor and Ruby. The attention to detail in costumes and sets, combined with solid VFX, creates a visually stunning episode that captures the essence of the time period. Indira Varma's portrayal of the Duchess adds depth to the narrative, while Ncuti Gatwa shines as the Doctor, showcasing a sexier and softer side, much to the delight of fans.

American actor Jonathan Groff's portrayal of the enigmatic Rogue adds a layer of charm and mystery to the story, reminiscent of Captain Jack. The dynamic between Rogue and the Doctor, coupled with Ruby's comedic escapades in 1813, keeps the episode engaging from start to finish. With a nod to previous works by MCU writers Kate Herron and Briony Redman, the inclusion of shapeshifters and queer romance adds a fresh twist to the storyline, culminating in a stylish and exciting conclusion that leaves viewers eagerly anticipating the next installment.

The episode was rated 7.18 from 445 votes.

Doctor Who - S1E5

#4 - Dot and Bubble (Season 1 - Episode 5)

In the episode "Dot and Bubble" of Doctor Who, the world of Finetime initially appears idyllic, but a sinister terror lurks beneath the surface, preying on its unsuspecting citizens. As the Doctor and Ruby delve into the dark secrets of this seemingly perfect society, they must race against time to reveal the truth before it's too late.

Viewers were captivated by the smart, funny, and thrilling narrative that took unexpected dark turns in the final moments. Despite the Doctor and Ruby taking on minor supporting roles, Callie Cooke delivered a standout performance as the lead character, adding depth and intrigue to the storyline. The episode's execution earned a solid 10/10 rating from fans.

The episode's bold storytelling choices, including its refusal to provide a conventional happy ending, garnered praise for its willingness to push boundaries and explore complex themes. With standout performances and a narrative that delved into the depths of privilege and societal illusions, "Dot and Bubble" proved to be a gripping and thought-provoking installment in the Doctor Who series.

The episode was rated 7.09 from 493 votes.

Doctor Who - S1E8

#3 - Empire of Death (2) (Season 1 - Episode 8)


In the gripping episode "Empire of Death (2)" from Doctor Who, viewers are taken on a rollercoaster ride of emotions as the Doctor faces his ageless enemy, with devastation looming over creation. As the stakes reach their peak, one woman emerges as a potential savior in the face of overwhelming odds. The episode delivers a mix of deep moments, good structure, and satisfying character development, despite some aspects that may leave viewers scratching their heads.

While some fans may have speculated about potential twists and reveals involving Ruby's mother and Mrs. Flood, the episode takes a surprising turn by not delving into those storylines. This decision, though unexpected, adds a layer of unpredictability to the narrative, keeping viewers on their toes. The resolution of Ruby's mystery may not please everyone, but it fits well with the show's themes and leaves room for interpretation, creating new questions while providing a convincing explanation for past events.

Amidst the stellar performances of the cast, the episode showcases classic Doctor Who elements, including moments of deus ex machina and lingering mysteries that set the stage for future episodes. While not without flaws, the finale manages to tie up loose ends while leaving room for speculation and excitement for what's to come. With strong visuals and dedicated performances, "Empire of Death (2)" offers a mix of nostalgia and fresh storytelling, making it a worthwhile addition to the Doctor Who universe.

The episode was rated 6.83 from 86 votes.

Doctor Who - S1E2

#2 - The Devil's Chord (Season 1 - Episode 2)

In "The Devil's Chord" episode of Doctor Who, the Doctor and Ruby find themselves in a unique encounter with none other than The Beatles. However, their joy is short-lived as they uncover the sinister plans of the all-powerful Maestro, who is manipulating history itself. London transforms into a battlefield where the fate of humanity hangs in the balance, setting the stage for a high-stakes showdown.

Throughout this episode, the dynamic presence of Jinkx Monsoon electrifies the screen, showcasing a stellar performance that has left fans in awe. Viewers are taken on a rollercoaster of emotions as the plot delves into themes of art, crisis of language, and the intricate web of time and space that the Doctor navigates with unparalleled wit and wisdom. The intricate storytelling weaves a tapestry of intrigue, leaving subtle hints that promise to unravel into greater revelations as the series progresses.

While some viewers found the musical number at the end to be a divisive addition, the overall consensus leans towards this episode being a standout installment in the Doctor Who universe. With nods to classic Doctor Who storytelling and a twist that breaks the fourth wall, "The Devil's Chord" offers a blend of drama, mystery, and unexpected charm that captivates audiences. Jinkx Monsoon's portrayal shines brightly, leaving a lasting impression and igniting anticipation for their future endeavors in television and film.

The episode was rated 6.47 from 630 votes.

Doctor Who - S1E1

#1 - Space Babies (Season 1 - Episode 1)


In the Doctor Who episode "Space Babies," Ruby embarks on a thrilling adventure to the far future with the Doctor, uncovering his incredible secrets along the way. Their journey leads them to a baby farm unlike anything they've ever seen, where babies are in charge. However, a looming threat in the form of a terrifying bogeyman puts them to the test. The blend of futuristic elements and familiar Doctor Who lore creates an intriguing backdrop for this escapade.

The episode cleverly weaves in references that hint at deeper connections between Ruby and past characters like Rose, adding layers of mystery and nostalgia for fans. The exploration of serious themes such as abortion and child care within a children's story setting, complete with monsters made of bogey, showcases the show's ability to tackle complex topics in a whimsical yet thought-provoking manner. Despite the familiar Doctor Who formula of landing on troubled space stations, the narrative keeps viewers engaged with smart storytelling and moments of genuine fright and fun.

"Space Babies" captivates with its mix of humor, suspense, and sci-fi wonder, offering a unique viewing experience that only Doctor Who can deliver. While some viewers may find certain aspects a bit talky or the ending lacking, the episode shines in its ability to deepen the mystery surrounding Ruby and keep audiences hooked for more cosmic adventures. With a touch of familiarity and a dash of the unexpected, this installment from Season 14 earns a solid rating of 8/10, promising more excitement and revelations to come in the Doctor's timeless journey through time and space.

The episode was rated 5.92 from 701 votes.

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