The Weep in Space

Who's Top Ten Tear-Jerkers



Doctor Who's most emotional on-screen moments. And before you ask, no, Earthshock's not in there.


10. Journey's End

Donna Noble pleads with the Doctor in Journey's End

Wonderful Donna Noble: a fiery, passionate vigour matched only by her hair colour. So cruelly robbed of her desire to travel with the Time Lord (thanks to a meta-crisis or something or other), and the memories, knowledge and confidence that went with it. It's the precise point at which she begs him not to undo her experience that we allow a few drops of duct juice to trickle from our peepers.


9. Tomb of the Cyberman - Episode 3

Tomb of the Cybermen

Amidst all the shonky B movie tropes and questionable race ethics, the story simmers down to this beautiful two-hander between new TARDIS tenant, Victoria, and the Doctor. The often playful and occasionally shady Troughton opening up in such a gently paternal manner always catches us off guard, eliciting a genuine tug of the heartstrings.


8. Vincent & The Doctor

Vincent Van Gogh views his own work in Vincent and the Doctor

Richard Curtis' touchingly light tale was surprisingly heavy in its depiction of depression's sometimes tragic troughs. Thankfully, it's the high here that gets us all of a quiver, as the titular artist is taken to the future to witness his works' revered status in art history. Saturated with overwhelming joy, Van Gogh's reaction elicits a genuine spine-tingling burst of bravura that sets off the waterworks. Mystifyingly, even the soundtrack choice of mawkish schmindie band, Athlete, only serves to make the scene stronger.


The Dalek Invasion of Earth

7. The Dalek Invasion of Earth – Flashpoint

See ya' Suse! Nah, it's not the TTFN talk that gets us all moist in the tear tracts, lovely though that is. It's Billy Grump Gruff's wordless forced decision-making for his beloved grand-daughter; the silent realisation before all the speechifying that he's got to do this for her good, if not his own. But then he knocks it out of the park with the speech anyway. Blub.


6. School Reunion

The Doctor embraces Sarah-Jane in School Reunion

We know what you're thinking – School Reunion instead of Hand of Fear? Are we insane? Maybe, although we'd argue that Reunion serves as the perfect companion piece to Hand, by finally addressing the unspoken impotence of that previous chaste parting. Lis Sladen perfectly nails the balance between regret and fulfilment, with an embrace that expels all resentment, immediately replacing it with genuine warm affection. Thirty years of hurt, and we've only just stopped weeping. Then the bloody tin dog trundles into frame, and we start all over again.


5. Father's Day

Rose tells her father the truth in Father's Day

Paul Cornell's script is derided by some fans as a contrived plot-drive through a sob-strainer, but we're of the opinion that, frankly, those fans can just sod right off. Rose's tumultuous journey to watch her Dad's death and the emotional fallout of his inevitable fate is a crushing watch, and the first time we fully realised that RTD's era was firmly one of character drama over, say, block-transfer calculations and suchlike. Call it soap all you will, but the moment Pete Tyler holds his daughter's head, asks who he is to her and she tearfully replies, "My Daddy" has us in sub-atomic bits every frigging time. Not since Peri's bikini scene had watching Doctor Who called for that many tissues.


4. The Family of Blood

The Doctor pays his respects on Remembrance Day with Martha adjusting his Poppy in The Family Of Blood

The man Cornell again, this time with his poignant war analogy. Gut-wrenching images of the schoolboys nervously taking up arms to reluctantly slaughter marauding scarecrows had already dropped like bombs, reminding us of the horrific reality of the 1st World War's impossibly young serviceman. However, it was the episode's closing scene that had us blinking back the big weeps. Sporting poppies, The Doctor and Martha attend a Great War Remembrance Ceremony, to respect the fallen and veteran servicemen, including the now-aged Tim Latimer, to whom they pay silent tribute. An understated, and consequently powerful piece of television.


3. The Green Death – Part 6

The Doctor says goodbye in The Green Death - part 6

The Doctor's a bit of a tragic sod, isn't he? For all the camaraderie and close-knit friendship of his "UNIT family", his ultimate detachment and perma-loneliness were never explicitly stated until his beloved Jo flies the coop. There are few more sombre sights than the sad, dejected Doc' knocking back a stiff one before clambering into Bessie (arguably not the greatest message the show's ever transmitted) and driving off into the sunset as the grimly ironic "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" fades into the background. What's that? Something in my eye, that's all. Yes, that something is a tear. Happy now?


The Doctor and Rose say goodbye in Doomsday

2. Doomsday

Polarising fan reactions be damned, this bloody broke us. Not just the Bad Wolf Bay blubfest (where Billie's burbled, "I love you," makes us crumble just thinking about it), but where David Tennant's wide-eyed puppy chops mournfully strokes the wall to Murray Gold's desperately haunting opening bass bars of Doomsday - it broke our hearts as much as it did The Doctor's.


1. The Parting of the Ways

The Doctor as computer image in The Parting of the Ways

No, not the regeneration - although traumatic enough in its own right, there's always a new guy just around the corner to get curious about, and take your mind off the loss. We're talking about, of course, the hologram scene. The Doctor's stoic but compassionate speech to his companion is a stirring affirmation of everything their relationship had built towards: a loving, trustworthy companionship with Rose as wide-eyed adventurer, and the Time Lord, her protector. Eccleston's fuss-free instructions speak volumes about his true feelings towards her without ever having to, but then does so anyway with that unexpected direct address heel turn. With his moving advisory to, "Have a fantastic life," we found ourselves bawling like smacked infants in a world that had just run out of chocolate. Frankly, we've still not recovered. Fantastic.


Miles Hamer



The Weep in Space
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