Doctor Who: Season 5 Stories Ranked and Reviewed

I was sceptical going into this season – my favourite Doctor and show-runner had left, and the show was effectively a blank slate. My fears were completely unfounded, it turned out, as Smith and Moffat knocked it out of the park. How would I rank the episodes in season 5?

Check out some of my other Doctor Who lists below:

10 – Victory of the Daleks

Rating: D

Oh look, Gatiss has provided the worst episode of the season, what a surprise (said nobody ever).

The actual episode concept is cool, but the new Dalek design and the ending where love saves the day was just insulting to watch.

9 – The Beast Below

Rating: C-

After the explosive season opening, this episode seemed to be a huge step down in quality.

I think this is the only episode that Moffat has publicly apologised for, and (without going into too many spoilers) I can understand why.

8 – The Vampires of Venice

Rating: C+

The concept of this episode is what lets it down, because the actual execution is pretty good.

It just felt a bit weird bringing Rory along to this random story, and having weird fish / vampire thingys around Venice can’t have been thought through for more than a few seconds.

7 – The Hungry Earth / Cold Blood

Rating: B-

Surprisingly, Chibnall actually made a pretty good episode of Doctor Who (don’t worry, it’s all downhill from here).

The Silurian are a great villain to bring back from the Classic Era, and getting to explore one of their underground bases was fascinating to watch. There are some strange Chibnall-isms here (why does he always need a countdown?) but pretty good story on the whole.

6 – The Time of Angels / Flesh and Stone

Rating: B-

I have a mate that swears this is one of the best stories of Who, but I don’t share that sentiment.

It’s still an incredible fun and scary story, but actually seeing the angels move kind of takes away from their fear factor.

5 – The Lodger

Rating: B

I’ve seen a lot of people hate on the James Cordon filler episodes, but I think this one is just a bit of mindless fun.

Smith and Cordon have some great chemistry, and it’s always fun trying to see the Doctor try to blend in to the modern day.

4 – The Pandorica Opens / The Big Bang

Rating: A-

An amazing finale that is incredibly satisfying, but the timey-whimey nature of the plot can be a little too hard to follow at times. Remember when we had a proper season arc that led to a great finale? Ah, those were the days.

3 – Vincent and the Doctor

Rating: A

The most surprisingly good filler episode we’ve ever had, “Vincent and the Doctor” is what historical episodes should aspire to be.

You really feel for Vincent with his mental condition and the horrifying invisible monster chasing him (which is a fantastic metaphor for his depression), and the final scene in the gallery is some proper feel-good stuff.

2 – Amy’s Choice

Rating: A

The most underrated episode ever?

Toby Jones as the Dreamlord gives an incredibly chilling and maleficent performance, and the high-concept sci-fi with dream-swapping and body-snatching is some of the best we’ve ever had. This is just one of those episodes that makes you say “wow” when the credits roll.

1 – The Eleventh Hour

Rating: A

Easily the best Doctor introduction in the show’s history, “The Eleventh Hour” perfectly sets up the fairytale tone of the show, as well as Matt Smith’s eccentric and youthful incarnation of the famous Time Lord.

That final speech where the Doctor reveals his true self and tells the aliens to “basically … run” still gives me goosebumps to this day.

Season Rating: A

Unbelievably good introduction to the new era of Who, and easily the 2nd best season we’ve had to this day. Let’s have a look at the stats:

  • 4 As (40%)
  • 3 Bs (30%)
  • 2 Cs (20%)
  • 1 D (10%)

One Gatiss misfire, but other than that a really good season of television. Moffat really hit the nail on the head with his first season, it’s a shame he could never really replicate it.

Next time I’ll look at season 6, where things start to go downhill slightly. Until then, check out my others lists below:

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