William Hartnell Doctor Who Episodes
Neither did anyone involved in the show, and that's what's so magic about this era of Doctor Who. When you watch Hartnell's episodes, you're witnessing the Who mythology being created before your eyes.
Even the direction of the show was unclear: originally the show was devised as an educational programme with a historical focus, but people like Terry Nation pushed it towards being more of a sci fi adventure.
Below are the five original Doctor adventures you must own!
William Hartnell DVDs and Videos
The First Doctor Top Five Episodes
Doctor Who: The Beginning (An Unearthly Child / The Daleks / The Edge of Destruction) (Stories 1 - 3)
The adventure that not only introduced the genocidal pepperpots to the world, but made the first series of Doctor Who a smash hit and secured the show's future. The TARDIS lands on the planet Skaro during the war between the peaceful Thals and the dreaded Daleks. The crew of the TARDIS are forced to join in the fight after their ship is sabotaged - by The Doctor. It's one of the many great things about this classic adventure, as we see what a complex and ambiguous The Doctor actually is. This adventure gives a depth to The Doctor's character that would be explored by ten other actors over the next fifty years.
This DVD contains the second of our recommended stories:
Two concerned schoolteachers follow a young girl to learn more about her mysterious family life. Her "home" is a small police box in a junkyard. But when they open the doors, they meet the girl's grandfather and protector: The Doctor.
Imagine what it would have been like to watch this when it was first broadcast. To watch the doors of the TARDIS swing open and join a confused nation in exclaiming, "but it's bigger on the inside!". The pilot episode lays out a huge amount of the Who universe, introducing him as a time-travelling alien. He demonstrates this by whisking the teachers - Barbara and Ian, The Doctor's first real companions - away on an adventure to the year 100,000 BC.
Doctor Who: The Dalek Invasion of Earth (Story 10)
The second appearance of The Doctor's arch enemies, the Daleks, this is probably the adventure that popularised hiding behind the sofa. It is terrifying: the entire human race enslaved; London as a ghost town; signs saying "It is forbidden to dump bodies in the river"; and the unforgettable sight of a Dalek slowly emerging from the Thames. This is an adventure that will haunt you forever.
Doctor Who - The Tenth Planet [VHS]
Two landmarks for the price of one in this story, which contains the first appearance of the Cybermen. It was also the episode where the producers found a novel solution to the problem of William Hartnell wanting to quit the show: they revealed The Doctor's ability to regenerate, and regenerated him into Patrick Troughton. The bad news is that the final episode of this story has been lost forever, although the remaining episodes are on DVD. The good news? Plans have been announced to recreate the episode using animation.
Doctor Who: The Aztecs - Special Edition (Story 006)
Of the historical adventures, this is one of the finest with an incredible performance by Hartnell. The story is not driven by aliens or monsters, but the mechanics and morality of time travel as Barbara attempts to convince the Aztecs to stop making human sacrifices, while The Doctor tells her it's impossible to change the course of history. Few other adventures over the next 50 years were based so much on concepts and emotions.
The Five Patrick Troughton Doctor Who Adventures You Must Own!
One of the great flashes of inspiration, and one of the keys to Doctor Who's lasting success, was the idea of Regeneration. With the ageing Hartnoll retiring from the role, the show's producers needed a way to explain the appearance of a new actor. Hence the ability of Timelords to regenerate; in this instance, regenerating into the second Doctor, Patrick Troughton.
The real genius of regeneration is that it's not just the Doctor's body that's affected, but also his mind, and the joy of a Regeneration is to see what kind of man the Doctor will become. Hartnoll's stern, manipulative grandfather was gone; Troughton was the "cosmic hobo", a good-natured uncle who could be scatty and forgetful at times. It paved the way for future Doctors like Tom Baker, David Tennant and Matt Smith, who focused on the Doctor's likeability and his affection for humans.
There were some terrible decisions made at BBC in the 60s as well though. The master tapes for many of Troughton's episodes were destroyed in the 70s, so a lot of the second Doctor's adventures are lost forever. Some have survived though, so here is a guide to the remaining adventures of one of the truly great Doctors.
Doctor Who: The Tomb of the Cybermen (Story 37) - Special Edition
Having caused his regeneration in The Tenth Planet, the Doctor finds himself battling Cybermen again in this classic adventure. A team of archaeologists on the planet Telos have uncovered a tomb full of the things, except it's not a tomb but a suspended animation chamber filled with functioning Cybermen ready to wage war. It's a cracking story with excellent writing and visuals that pay homage to Fritz Lang's movie Metropolis.
Doctor Who: The War Games (Story 50)
The final Troughton adventure and it's got a plot that rivals any classic Star Trek episode: an alien superbeing is kidnapping soldiers from all of Earth's previous wars and forcing them to recreate battles so that he can raise an army from the survivors. It's also the first story to explore the Timelords and Gallifrey, ending with Troughton exiled on earth, ready to regenerate into Jon Pertwee.
Doctor Who: The Mind Robber (Story 45)
Following a catastrophic accident, the TARDIS arrives in a strange, blank world populated by fictional characters. This is a world where stories come to life and the Doctor must outwit The Master (no, not that one, a different Master) if he and his companions are to escape. It's a terrifically fun adventure, slightly psychedelic and shows off just how creative the writers of the show were.
Doctor Who: The Invasion (Story 46)
One of the stories affected by the junking of tapes, the restored version of this adventure uses animation to flesh out the episodes where only the audio track has survived. The story sees The Doctor attempting to foil an alien plan to take over the world - something that happens every week in Nu Who but was a novelty for the second Doctor. The brigadier makes his second appearance in this episode and UNIT are introduced for the first time. It's often praised for its excellent direction by Douglas Camfield.
Doctor Who: The Krotons (Story 47)
Who is famous for some very dodgy monster costumes and the Krotons rate fairly highly on that list, essentially being just large tin cans. But the story is good fun with shades of the original The Daleks adventure, with the Doctor attempting to rally a pacifist race of aliens who are under attack from the aforementioned tin cans.
Jon Pertwee Doctor Who Adventures You Will Want To Own!
This was a Doctor with elements of other TV characters like The Saint, although modern audiences might find themselves thinking of Austin Powers.
Pertwee was a far more physical Doctor than his predecessors, the first one to really engage in that popular Timelord pastime of running down corridors (often pursued by Daleks). His companions got a little sexier too, with the TARDIS being brightened up by the presence of Liz Shaw and blonde bombshell Jo Grant.
Towards the end of his tenure, Jon Pertwee joined forces with perhaps the most beloved companion of all time: Elisabeth Sladen's wonderful Sarah Jane Smith.
Meanwhile, the Who universe continued to expand. Stranded on earth at the beginning, Pertwee's Doctor finds himself working closely with The Brigadier and UNIT, while the mythology of the Timelords is expanded upon with the introduction of Gallifrey and perhaps The Doctor's most deadliest enemy: The Master.
Here are five of the finest adventures from a beloved era:
Doctor Who: Spearhead from Space (Story 51) - Special Edition
Evil mannequins featured in two of the big Doctor Who reboots. Christopher Eccleston faced down the Autons when the show relaunched in 2005, but they were introduced in this story, the first adventure of the Third Doctor. The Autons are aliens with the power to control plastic, leading to a genuinely creepy army of shop dummies attempting to take over England. A great story, a great introduction and a nice demonstration of how Doctor Who can make mundane things seem scary and exciting.
Dr. Who - The Mind of Evil [VHS]
Roger Delgado's portrayal of The Master is what secured the characters place in Who history. Maniacal and scheming, but also quite funny and charming, he seemed such a natural counterpoint to The Doctor that you wonder why he didn't appear sooner. Here, he is on top form, attempting to manipulate a nuclear war on Earth while running rings around The Doctor.
Doctor Who: The Three Doctors (Story 65) - Special Edition
The first of the anniversary episodes and sadly the only one with all of the Doctors to date, The Three Doctors contributes a huge amount to Who history. The legendary Timelord Omega is attacking Gallifrey and, in an act of desperation, The Doctor enlists his previous incarnations to fight the menace. A sickly William Hartnoll is only able to contribute by video screen, but Pertwee and Troughton have great fun together, and the dialogue between the three is wonderful.
Doctor Who: The Time Warrior (Story 70)
Introducing both the Sontarans and intrepid reporter Sarah Jane Smith, this in itself is a nice historical adventure. A rogue Sontaran has crash landed in medieval times, where he plans an escape that involves teaming up with a local warlord while kidnapping scientists from the 20th century
Doctor Who: Planet of the Spiders (Story 74)
OK, so perhaps the spiders are not so terrifying these days, but back then they drew huge complaints from concerned parents whose children were having nightmares. It ends with a regeneration, and what a regeneration it is..
The Five Tom Baker Doctor Who Adventures You Must Own!
Tom Baker's Doctor was, as the current Doctor once described himself, "a madman in a box". With eager eyes, a wide grin, a ridiculous scarf and a bag of jelly babies, he was as funny and likeable as the Second Doctor, but with a keen intelligence and an ability to find a solution when all hope seemed to be lost.
This era sees some of Doctor Who's finest writing as well, with an editorial team that included the legendary Douglas Adams. It is universally beloved and immensely enjoyable; even when the costumes look dodgy and there's too much running down corridors, the very presence of Tom Baker makes every episode a classic.
Picking a top five is difficult, but let's give it a go.
Doctor Who: Genesis of the Daleks (Story 78)
The Doctor is called upon by The Timelords to put an end to the galatic menace once and for all: by travelling back to the moment when the Daleks were first created and stopping it. This is one of the greatest Doctor Who stories ever and absolute heaven for Whovians as we see the origins of these fearsome adversaries and meet their creators, the horrific Davros.
Doctor Who: City of Death (Story 105)
The only full episode written by Douglas Adams, this is a wonderful timey-wimey adventure that would inform later stories like "Blink". Filmed in the very sci-fi location of, er, Paris, it's a terrific story that gives Baker a chance to really show off what's so great and engaging about him.
Doctor Who: New Beginnings (The Keeper of Traken / Logopolis / Castrovalva) (Stories 115 - 117)
A Doctor regeneration is now a national news event, with the new Doctor appearing in all the papers months before the old Doctor meets his event. In the 70s, this wasn't the case and the nation's heart broke when Tom Baker fell from a tower at the end and regenerated into Peter Davidson. But there's a lot more to this story than the regeneration, with an unusually desperate and frustrated Master running around on a planet at the edge of the universe, where monks keep the universe in balance by performing complex equations.
Doctor Who: The Talons of Weng-Chiang (Special Edition) (Story 91)
A superb Sherlock Holmes pastiche, this sees the Doctor on the trail of a mysterious kidnapper in Victorian London. The title character of this episode is, by modern standards, immensely racist with some very British actors playing Chinese characters. If you can forgive that though, you'll get a cracking detective story, with a deerstalker-wearing, scenery-chewing Tom Baker relishing his role as the great detective.
Doctor Who: Pyramids of Mars (Story 82)
A firm fan favourite, Pyramids Of Mars allows Doctor Who to have the best of both worlds: the nice period setting of a country manor in 1911, which is linked by an ancient Egyptian relic to a more sci-fi setting on Mars. It's a very tight, tidy adventure with The Doctor showing a lot more focus than normal, much to the relief of Sarah Jane Smith.
Dr Who - Peter Davison Best Episodes
Davison travelled with a number of companions, from Peri, who everyone fancied, to Adric, who everyone hated. The Fifth Doctor was a little more impatient than previous incarnations, a little quicker to anger, a vastly intelligent mind that got annoyed by stupid humans who couldn't keep up.
Even if the Fifth Doctor is not the most beloved, the era itself is something special, with ferociously good writing and stories that weren't afraid of being a bit complex. Here are the top five that you need to see:
Doctor Who: The Caves of Androzani (Special Edition) (Story 136)
A recent poll named this as the best Doctor Who story of all time. And what a story it is; an intelligent, cynical political drama where the lines between good and evil are forever being blurred. The Doctor and Peri arrive on Androzani and find they've been fatally poisoned. In order to survive, they have to negotiate some kind of peace between ruthless industrialist Morgus and deformed rebel leader Sharaz Jek. It's hands-down the best Doctor Who script ever, and Davidson plays it to perfection.
Doctor Who: Resurrection Of The Daleks (Special Edition) (Story 134)
The Daleks had actually faded into the background of Doctor Who a little during Tom Baker's era. This adventure saw them return with a bang in what is a remarkably violent tale. The Daleks, aided by their creator Davros, are kidnapping important historical figures in an attempt to rebuild their empire. Notable for being the last appearance of Tegan, the razor-tongued Australian companion who joined the TARDIS during the Baker era.
Doctor Who: The Black Guardian Trilogy (Mawdryn Undead / Terminus / Enlightenment) (Stories 126 - 128)
Mawdryn Undead is one of the Black Guardian stories that formed a large chunk of Davison's stay, this episode is notable for introducing Turlough, the alien schoolboy who starts as a traitor before being saved by The Doctor. Turlough is one of the most complicated characters to ever step inside the TARDIS, forever battling with his own true nature. His presence shows just how adventurous the writers of this season were when it came to tackling serious drama.
Doctor Who: Earthshock (Story 122)
There is a particular reason that Who fans love this episode, and they're not proud of it. First of all, let's point out that it's a really good Cybermen story, with those naughty guys in tinfoil hijacking a space cruiser and preparing to crash it into the Earth. There's some great dialogue between The Doctor and Cyberleader. But the reason Who fans love it? Adric, one of the least popular companions ever, gets killed at the end. Told you we're not proud of it.
Doctor Who: The Five Doctors (Story 130)
Another anniversary episode, this one cheats slightly. William Hartnell was unavailable on account of being dead at that point, so another actor, Richard Hurndall, fills in for him. Tom Baker had no such excuse, but chose to stay away for his own reasons, so his appearance is limited to some unused footage from an episode of Shada. It's a great Gallifrey story in its own right, building up Timelord history and explaining the legend of Rassilon. Just to make fans love it that little bit more, it's got both Daleks and Cybermen thrown in, as well as some help from The Master.
The Five Colin Baker Doctor Who Adventures You Must Own!
From dressing like a deranged jester to attempting to strangle his companions, Colin Baker pushed the boundaries of the character of The Doctor. His series is, it has to be admitted, wildly inconsistent, and yet you can't help but wonder what would have happened if his unhinged, aggressive Doctor was allowed to develop a little further.
We'll never know. The suits at BBC hated the Sixth Doctor, and pulled the plug on the show so violently that Colin didn't even appear in his regeneration scene. Almost 30 years later, he's still famously bitter about the experience but he's left behind a legacy of some of the most interesting Doctor Who adventures in the show's history.
Here is a small selection of Colin Baker stories that you should watch while making your own mind up about his contribution:
Doctor Who: The Trial of a Time Lord (Stories 144 - 147)
There are many flaws in this adventure, most famously the casting of fading pop idol Bonnie Langford as The Doctor's Companion. But it attempts to do something that's never been attempted before, which is to tell one season-long story. The Doctor is put on trial by The Timelords and a number of his travels are submitted as evidence, allowing mini-adventures like Mindwarp, Terror Of The Vervoids and The Mysterious Planet to be told. The prosecuting counsel is a Timelord known as The Valeyard, who has a shocking secret that still haunts modern Doctor Who stories.
Doctor Who: Vengeance on Varos (Special Edition) (Story 139)
Although this is a classic, it was one of the reasons that BBC execs took such a dislike to Colin Baker's Who. One of the darkest adventures ever, this strangely prophetic tale sees a world dominated by TV. Viewers are hooked up to an endless stream of garbage, and they get to vote on what happens, including being able to torture or kill the people on their screens. Remember, this was nearly 20 years before Simon Cowell got on TV.
Doctor Who: Revelation of the Daleks (Story 143)
Another great Dalek story, this actually sees the Doctor caught between two warring factions of the genocidal pepperpots, with Davros leading one side and the Dalek Emperor leading the other. The intrigue and politics are allowed to build nicely in a story that's excellently directed by Graeme Harper, who also made Caves Of Androzani and returned to the director's chair for many of David Tennant's episodes.
Doctor Who: Mark of the Rani -Story 140
The Rani is a character that should be an important part of the Whoniverse, but isn't. A sexy, intelligent renegade Timelady with elements of both The Master and River Song, The Rani perhaps suffered from appearing in some of the weaker Who episodes. This isn't one of them, and the chemistry here between Kate O'Mara's Rani and Anthony Ainley's Master is superb.
Doctor Who: Attack of the Cybermen (Story 138)
A ripping Cybermen yarn which at times resembles a kind of tinfoil-clad Night Of The Living Dead. At one point, the Cybermen actually break into the TARDIS, which is a rare event in Who world
Sylvester McCoy Episodes To Watch!
Colin Baker's time in the TARDIS had done irreparable damage to the Doctor Who brand, the BBC had begun tinkering with the format and broadcast slots, and after 25 years on the air the show was starting to look tired. Oh, and Bonnie Langford was still the companion.
McCoy can hold his head up proud though. He was a terrific Doctor in his own right, with just the right air of mystery, intelligence and alien-ness, and he probably would have been beloved if he had arrived ten years earlier. The eighth Doctor got off to a shaky start in terms of stories, but was beginning to rediscover some of its previous form.
It wasn't to be though. McCoy is one of the most overlooked Doctors in the show's history. He didn't even get a proper regeneration scene, and had to settle for being shot by gangsters at the start of the Doctor Who TV movie a few years later. Does he deserve to remembered? Yes, and here are five reasons why:
Doctor Who: The Curse of Fenric (Story 158)
Although this has many scifi elements, it's really an old-fashioned English ghost story in the style of MR James. The Doctor and Ace arrive in World War II where codebreakers are using a supercomputer to decrypt Nazi cyphers. But in their spare time they're also decoding some ancient Norse ruins, which warn of a great evil known as Fenric. He's a vampire (sorry, haemovore) with the ability to control humans, making them his 'wolves'. A spooky story that was possibly too intelligent for a tea-time kids show, but is a real pleasure on DVD.
Doctor Who: Ghost Light (Story 157)
...whereas Ghost Light continues to baffle even modern audiences who rewatch on DVD. What on earth is Ghost Light about? It has a non-linear plot and at times is even a little abstract, making it challenging viewing. But it's oh so rewarding, especially when you watch it a second time and pick up on some details you missed on the first viewing. If your favourite recent episode is Blink, you'll love Ghost Light.
Doctor Who: Survival (Story 159)
The final episode of classic Doctor Who, and the final episode of what is sometimes known as "the Ace trilogy", where the Doctor's companion is seen to really grow and develop in way that's directly related to her adventures in time and space. Survival pits The Doctor against The Master on a planet where violence is mandatory. It's a very confident episode that will leave you wondering why McCoy wasn't given just one more season.
Doctor Who: Remembrance of the Daleks (Story 152)
A terrific Dalek episode that builds on the idea of a Dalek civil war, this sees The Doctor return to the original scrapyard where Ian and Barbara first discovered the TARDIS back in 1963. There are some nice political overtones to this as well.
Doctor Who: The Greatest Show in the Galaxy (Story 155)
Although this perhaps doesn't have the standout writing of the previous shows, it looks glorious and starts to hint at the visual ambitions of the creative talents behind Doctor Who. No extras dressed in tin foil running around an abandoned quarry; this episode tries to create a really visual sense of The Doctor's universe that would later be developed by Russell T Davies.
Doctor Who The Movie
Paul McGann as The Eighth Doctor
It was made as an attempt to re-launch The Doctor and is a feature-length episode which is a stand-alone film. It changes so much of the basis of the Doctor Who story that on one level it is quite enjoyable if you suspend everything you know about Dr Who and just enjoy the experience!
Doctor Who: The Movie (Two-Disc Special Edition) (Story 160)
Christopher Eccleston As Doctor Who
The Complete First Series (2006)
Eccleston's Ninth Doctor was bruised and battle-weary. As the series went on, we learned more about the offstage drama that had occurred while the show was off air. The biggest war in history - the Time War between the Timelords and Daleks - had been fought and left The Doctor as the only survivor, having destroyed both his nemeses and his own people.
Entrusted with the task of healing of wounded soul was former teen pop icon Billie Piper. Her role as Rose Tyler was a revelation, showing her impressive acting skills in delivering humour and pathos.
Eccleston was critical to making the reboot of Doctor Who a success , but sadly the Ninth Doctor's adventure came to an end after just one series. Here are the five stories that make it a series worth revisiting:
Doctor Who: The Complete First Series
So, The Doctor wasn't quite the only survivor of The Time War. A millionaire with a penchant for alien artefacts recovers a broken Dalek, and an act of compassion by Rose restores it to full power, leading to a breathless underground shootout and The Doctor forced to face his own morality. It's a superb mix of emotion and things being exterminated, a true modern classic.
2) The Empty Child / The Doctor Dances
Steven Moffat's first contribution to the new series is one of his best, a deeply creepy tale of Blitz-era London under assault from malfunctioning nanobots. An excellent story with terrifying baddies is what you expect from Moffat; he also throws in an uplifting ending and the first appearance of pansexual swashbuckler Captain Jack Harkness.
"Hello. I'm The Doctor. Run for your life." With that, The Doctor was reborn. This season opener sees The Doctor facing down the Autons once more, but really its a celebration of his return to TV screens. Even now, there's still a thrill that comes from watching the TARDIS doors swing open once more.
4) Bad Wolf/The Parting Of The Ways
It starts as a satire on reality TV and ends in one of the Doctor's most dramatic battles ever, with Eccleston showing us a passionate, snarling, angry Doctor the likes of which we've never seen before. A fantastic way for him to bow out of the role, which he does at the end of the story, allowing us a quick glimpse of David Tennant right at the end.
5) Father's Day
RTD was often criticised for shows in his era being too emotional. This is one of the most emotional of all, but it works wonderfully with some great digressions about the nature of time. Rose succumbs to the temptation of using the TARDIS to prevent her father's death. At first she's overjoyed, but soon she learns that only a Timelord knows how to meddle with time.
David Tennant's Doctor Who Specials
Tennant's Doctor was the most popular in the show's 50 year history, a smash hit in its native UK and helping to bring the sci fi show to American audiences.
David Tennant started and ended his Doctor Who career with hour-long special episodes. "The Christmas Invasion" begins with the Doctor, still recovering from his recent regeneration, unconscious for most of the episode while Rose (Billie Piper) battles against the hoards of Sygorax who are trying to take over the world while the Doctor is indisposed.
It's memorable for the excellent "What kind of man am I?" scene at the end, where in just a few moments David Tennant explains exactly what his tenth Doctor is going to be like. It's available as part of the Doctor Who S2 box set.
Tennant's time in the TARDIS came to an end in 2008 with a series of five hour-long specials. The doctor who david tennant specials are available in a single set on DVD.
Doctor Who: The Complete Specials (The Next Doctor / Planet of the Dead / The Waters of Mars / The End of Time Parts 1 and 2) [Blu-ray]
It all begins with the very cute The Next Doctor, a fun steampunk adventure when The Doctor, still grieving the loss of his most recent companion, arrives in Victorian London to discover the presence of Cybermen. Except the Cybermen are already being battled by a man called The Doctor, played by Neil Morrissey.
While they attempt to unravel the mystery of the two doctors, they stumble upon a plot involving kidnapped children and the construction of the largest Cyberman in the universe.
It was followed up by Planet Of The Dead, where David Tennant teamed up with a Michelle Ryan, previously seen in The Bionic Woman. Ryan plays a very sexy, rich cat burglar who has just pulled off the theft of the century and is escaping on a London bus. But when The Doctor climbs aboard, you know this is no ordinary bus trip. They are transported to a desert world with no tools, no water and a horde of hungry aliens ready to chow down on them.
The Waters of Mars is very different from the previous specials. Set in the future, this extremely dark tale sees early human settlers on Mars discover a lethal virus in underground water deposits which turns them into violent zombies. Genuinely scary throughout, this episode ends with The Tenth Doctor facing some of the most difficult choices of his career.
For Tennant's swansong, The End of Time pt 1 & 2, he faced off against his oldest enemy, The Master. The Master, played with comic malevolence by John Simm, has somehow turned the entire human race into clones of himself and is using his power to release Gallifrey from the Time War. But the Timelords have turned mad and dangerous, leaving The Doctor to destroy his own people... again. It's an emotional goodbye that had even the hardcore Whovians shedding a little tear.
The doctor who david tennant specials alone will help you see why Tennant became such a superstar. Want more? Every single one of Tennant's episodes is available in a single box set. Go on, treat yourself.
Matt Smith As Doctor Who
The real excitement of the Matt Smith era though has not been The Doctor himself, but the man behind the scenes, Steven Moffat. Moffat has an incredible track record in TV writing that includes some of the best recent episodes like Blink and The Empty Child. He wheels out the big guns for his era in charge of the show, giving humour, excitement, adventure, and the unusual decision to give The Doctor a newly-wed couple as companions: Amy and Rory Pond.
Smith had some big shoes to fill, given how beloved David Tennant was. He's shown himself to be more than up to the task though, and Doctor Who is enjoying a golden age the likes of which haven't been seen since the heyday of Tom Baker.
He's still piloting the TARDIS - with the odd driving lesson from River Song - but let's look at his best adventures to date:
1) The Eleventh Hour
Moffat had been waiting his whole life for this moment: The Doctor, done his way. And he didn't disappoint, with an electrifying opening episode. After a crash-landing and a difficult regeneration, the Doctor finds the Earth is about to be destroyed in order to capture an escaped prisoner. And all The Doctor has to help prevent this catastrophe is the feisty Amy Pond, and a Post Office. Which is shut. One of the most enjoyable Who stories ever.
2) The Doctor's Wife
Classic Who could boast of Douglas Adams, but Nu Who now has another writing legend on its script team in the shape of Neil Gaiman. His first Who story is everything you'd expect from Gaiman, and so much more. The TARDIS is lured to the domain of a creature that feasts on Timelords, and the TARDIS itself has its soul captured in the body of a human woman. After almost 1,000 years, the TARDIS finally gets to tell The Doctor how it feels about him, and the results are unforgettable.
3) The Angels Take Manhattan
More emotion in this glorious Moffat-penned adventure of a whole army of Weeping Angels seizing control of 30s New York. Rory is abducted by the Angels and The Doctor and Amy must rescue him from a city that's under siege. The ending is utterly heartbreaking, and it also features the best use of the Statue of Liberty since Planet Of The Apes.
4) The Impossible Astronaut/Day Of The Moon
Moffat may have invented one of The Doctor's most terrifying adversaries with the Weeping Angels, but he wasn't content to stop there. The Silence are, if anything, even scarier. Weird, mouthless creatures in black suits, they feast on humans, shape world events and have a power that means they can never be stopped: if you stop looking at them, you forget they exist.
5) A Christmas Carol
Maybe the most retold story in history, it's surprising that Doctor Who had never done a version of a Christmas Carol before. But Matt Smith gets the job of unlocking Scrooge's heart at Christmas Eve, or risk losing Amy and Rory forever.
These and all the other great stories can be found in the following DVDs
Doctor Who: The Complete Fifth Series
Doctor Who: The Complete Sixth Series
Doctor Who: Series Seven - Part One
Who Played Your Favorite Doctor Who?
Which Actor Played "Your" Doctor Who?