There are so many great scenes in this series. Happy scenes, sad scenes, beautiful scenes, poignant scenes, action scenes. Ten seasons in, there’s plenty to choose from.
Yet… there’s one that I am particularly fond of. It might be surprising, considering I didn’t even hold Eccleston’s Doctor in the same competition as Smith’s and Tenant’s, but it’s from his season, the one that kicked off the rest of the revived series.
It’s from the episode, “The Doctor Dances,” and can be summed up in two words. Just two words, shouted so joyously:
It’s right at the height of this episode’s climax, where the fate of the world is coming down to the answer to one question, “Are you my mummy?” Fortunately, the answer is yes, and a little boy’s life is saved, with the Doctor standing by, watching closely, quietly urging a little miracle to take place. When it’s done, the tension reaches its peak as the Doctor approaches, begging, pleading, for just one day like this. He reaches, and reveals the glorious event, and he is exultant. Then he works his techno-magic and saves a small population, all the while screaming, in such pure, simple joy, “Everybody lives! Just this once! Everybody lives!” The normal people, the soldiers serving their country, the brave medical personnel who saved lives, a doctor who refused to abandon his patients even at risk to himself… they’re all alive. And the Doctor couldn’t be happier.
I think that’s the only scene like it yet in the entire series: one where everybody lives.
The rest of the series proves how much horror and pain and death the Doctor witnesses in his long, long life. He, himself, has shed so much blood in defense of others, he has made incomprehensible sacrifices, and lost so very much, and his dearest desire has always been to save people. It’s a heavy burden to bear for so long, and with no end in sight. Yet here, he is given a most precious gift to remember forever.
It’s that simple joy of his, which we so rarely see, and which, so soon after the destruction of his people, must have been like a balm to his soul, that is what makes this my favorite scene. Not just because everyone lives, but because it is the happiest we ever see the Doctor.
What’s better than such undiluted joy, eh?
Heh, and it’s topped off with a woman asking her doctor about how, when last she looked, she had only one leg, and now she has two. And the doctor replies, “Is it possible you miscounted?” LOL!