30 Days of Summer Break Doctor Who: Day 2: Favorite Episode
The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit
To me, this episode has everything a good episode of Doctor Who needs - humor, mystery, excitement, genuine terror, interesting guest characters, a creative idea, and a hint of philosophy. It has some of the best acting Tennant and Piper did in the whole series, and it is the episode the reminds me why I loved the relationship between the Doctor and Rose (when Journey’s End makes me doubt it). Can Matt Jones write more?
Its one of the most overtly sci-fi episodes of DW - and I tend to like the historical ones more - but it shows all the best elements of sci-fi. It perfectly captures the terrible enormity of space and time: when it looks like the TARDIS is lost, we really feel the isolation of those few people standing on the edge of the universe. When the Doctor watches the Scarlet system disappear into the black hole, you can see the weight he always carries, being the only witness to the ending of so much.
Also, Ida is one of my favorite guest characters, and her scenes with the Doctor, talking about the urge to jump, are brilliant. Only Doctor Who would be capable of genuine deep thoughts on the nature of faith and curiosity in the middle of a kid’s adventure show.
We also see in this episode how much Rose has grown. She can act alone, taking charge of a dangerous situation and encouraging everyone around her to be the best they can be. She is more worried about the Doctor than she is about herself. And she is incredibly brave when she is entirely out of her depth.
The stuff of legend, indeed.