Christopher Eccleston was born on February 16, 1964. In honor of today being his birthday, let’s talk about three of his best episodes of “Doctor Who.” While the actor only appeared as the Ninth Doctor for one series, he certainly left an impression on the minds of several of the show’s fans, as he’s a favorite of many. While some of his episodes certainly weren’t winners (the two-parter that was “Aliens of London” /”World War Three,” for example), he also starred in plenty of great ones.
There are only three episodes on this list and while Nine’s final episode, “The Parting of the Ways,” isn’t one of them, it was a close contender for the final spot. Be sure to come back in April to check out a list of David Tennant’s best installments (his birthday is April 18!). Without further ado, let’s get on to the list of Eccleston’s *fantastic* episodes!
“Father’s Day” is the eighth episode featuring the Ninth Doctor. A lot of fans say that this episode is the one that made them realize how much they really liked the show. The episode’s set-up is great: When The Doctor agrees to take Rose Tyler back to the day that her father (played by Shaun Dingwall) dies, a tear in space and time is created when Rose can’t stand by and watch her father die. The episode is then executed perfectly. It packs an emotional punch and is both very well-written (Paul Cornell is credited as the writer) and acted. Both Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper do a great job with the very emotional scenes that they’re given. “Father’s Day” is not only one of Eccleston’s finest episodes; it’s also one of the best episodes of the show in general.
“The Empty Child”/”The Doctor Dances”
This is kind of cheating, since these are technically two separate episodes, but it’s very hard to look at one part without the other! The two-part installment of “The Empty Child”/”The Doctor Dances” was the first contribution to be made by writer Steven Moffat, who would later run the show. It’s easy to see why these episodes are generally regarded in such a positive light: both of the two parts include moments which are creepy (“Are You My Mummy?”), different moments which are funny (“I’m looking for a blonde in a Union Jack. A specific one, mind you, I didn’t just wake up this morning with a craving”), and still other moments which pull at the heart strings (“Yes, I am your mummy. I will always be your mummy.”). The two-parter is a great follow up to “Father’s Day” and is certainly a fan-favorite to most “Who” admirers.
“Dalek,” Nine’s sixth episode, was (arguably) the first truly all-around strong episode of The Ninth Doctor’s run. The episode is a milestone because it’s the first of the new series to include a Dalek. It introduced new viewers to the species and provided some much-needed information about the Doctor’s past. This episode also showcased Eccleston’s acting ability, particularly in the first scene he shares with the Dalek, when he comes to terms with the fact that the Dalek race isn’t extinct as he’d previously thought. “Dalek” also brings the relationship of The Doctor and Rose Tyler to the forefront, as the Dalek states that The Doctor wouldn’t save “the woman that he loved.”