Doctor Who has a knack for grandiose emotion, and not just from the fans on Tumblr. The Doctor and his companions have mastered the art of speech making in times of trouble, inspiring acts of courage while breaking hearts at the same time, especially since the 2005 reboot. Whether the Doctor is facing down “certain” death or victory, you can be sure that he’s going to have things to say about it.
While many Whovians associate David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor with grandstanding, all four of the NuWho Doctors have had their moments, so check out this list of great Doctor Who speeches, and sound off in the comments if your favorite was left out.
This was the speech that rebooted the series and gave new fans a taste of what was to come. Rose wasn’t sure who this man was, and neither were viewers. While the Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) was only around for a season, he still made an impact. As he talked about feeling the turn of the Earth and told Rose that they were hurtling through space together, both she and the audience knew that adventure as on the horizon.
The Doctor Dances
The Doctor has seen an extraordinary amount of loss in his time, so when there is a caveat-free happy ending, it is a beautiful moment. When he cures the epidemic of the empty children without any casualties, Nine is filled with a joy that he doesn’t often get to experience. He did his job in the best way possible, and that is cause for plenty of dancing.
The Satan Pit
Whether or not you are on board with the love story between Ten and Rose (Billie Piper), there is no denying the intense connection that the two had. When the crew of a deep space ship is faced with rampaging Ood and a looming black hole, the Doctor is faced with one of his greatest foes yet: Satan, himself. However, even in the face of all that, the Doctor clings to his ultimate truth: Rose is there with him and she will never let him down.
The Family of Blood
Despite spending most of this season three two-parter as a mortal man, the Doctor still managed to make an impression on those around him. As the Family hunts for him in human form, the Doctor is completely unaware of his true form, thinking that he is instead John Smith, a mild-mannered teacher. However, through the tireless efforts of Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) and Tim the schoolboy, Smith is faced with the reality that he is actually a powerful alien. While he is unsure of what kind of man he could possibly be, Tim convinces him that while the Doctor wields great power, he is truly wonderful.
Forest of the Dead
While River Song (Alex Kingston) eventually became a divisive character, no one can deny the emotional impact of her dealings with the Tenth Doctor in The Library. After her sacrifice, his quick thinking ends up saving her, albeit in an unconventional way. However, it is her speech about “running with the Doctor” that perfectly sums up being a companion. While he may not know her yet, River knows better than anyone the joys and sorrows of time travel.
The Waters of Mars
At the end of Tennant’s run, there was an undercurrent of darkness to the Doctor. This was a man who had lost too much, seen too much, and perhaps had too much power. When he was trying to change the past and meddle with the rules of time, his ego gets completely out of control, claiming that the rules of time are at his disposal. The episode’s tragic ending proved that while he is outside of the rules of time, he doesn’t control them, no matter how much he tries.
The Big Bang
A lot of season 5 is about the persistent power of memory, and as he faces being erased from the fabric of time, the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith), is more weary than we have ever seen him as he sits with a slumbering young Amelia Pond. As he sadly states that “we’re all just stories in the end, just make it a good one,” he really gets to the central conflict of the show: nothing lasts forever. Companions leave, enemies die, with only the Doctor remaining the same. While the story may hold true, that doesn’t make the sorrow any less.
The Pandorica Opens
During “The Big Bang,” Eleven is at the end of his rope. While he is usually the most wanted man in all of space and time, that title takes on a whole new meaning when all of his enemies surround him at the fabled Pandorica. However, instead of resorting to easy violence that would have had ended in bloodshed, the Doctor uses the greatest tool in his arsenal: his wit.
The Rings of Akhetan
Eleven was never the same after losing the Ponds. The sadness that had always been lurking beneath his kooky and smiling visage was now written all over his face, and the weight of the world took more of a toll. When the Doctor is faced with a living planet demanding a sacrifice, the Doctor finds the weight of his memories almost too much to bear. We get a depth of sorrow that wasn’t always apparent in Matt Smith’s Doctor, and it’s truly heartbreaking to see.
While she may have started out as a companion for Eleven, Clara Oswald truly came into her own during her tenure with Twelve. While Twelve gave an inspiring speech about the nature of fear in the same episode, it is Clara’s speech to the young Doctor that truly stands out. Her actions truly epitomize what it means to be the Doctor’s companion: helping the Doctor in any way that you can, while also becoming a better, braver version of yourself.
This was the season eight episode that really proved to viewers that Peter Capaldi was born to play the Doctor. Despite being trapped inside the Tardis, the Doctor is still “the man who stops the monsters.” However, viewers still see a Doctor that is able to relinquish some of his power, passing off some of his Doctorly duties to his companion, Clara (Jenna Coleman) while he is stuck. It further establishes their bond as partners, while also proving that while this may be a harsher Doctor than any of the new iterations, he still has the same twin hearts.
The Zygon Inversion
It always takes a little time to adjust to a new Doctor, but Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor has acquitted himself well to life in the Tardis. Earlier this season, Twelve was faced with an impending war between a Zygon splinter group and the human race. In a particularly timely speech, the Doctor perfectly lays out the consequences of war in an eloquent and devastating way. With a few vivid sentences, he reveals a heart that has seen more war than one person should while also showing us that he is willing to do anything to avoid more.