Favorite showrunner-written episode

As we end the 1st series of RTD’s return, what is your favorite episode written by each showrunner?

RTD, Moffat, and Chibnall

I’d also like to include ones from Classic but that title wasn’t quite around then, was it? But people like JNT were in-charge, though I don’t know if JNT directly wrote any episodes?

So this is mainly Revival focused but please do include any classic writers who were high-up in production!

I haven’t solidified my absolute favorite from each yet so I’ll share that later down the line :slight_smile:

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The showrunner position is a fairly modern concept. During the Classic Who days, the position was essentially split into the Producer and the Story/Script Editor positions. Producers didn’t really contribute to the writing, but there are several stories written completely or in part by the Story Editor. I guess we could equal them to the showrunners of the 21st century.

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Hmmmm tricky - these guys are prolific! I think I have to go with:

RTD: Turn Left
Moffat: The Eleventh Hour or Husbands of River Song
Chibnall: The Power of Three

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Oh for RTD I have to be predictable and go with Midnight. It is just a fantastic piece of television.

Moffat is so much more difficult, his writing appeals to me so much more, but The Day of the Doctor man. Wow. 11 years later I still get goosebumps by “You might say I’ve been doing this all my life!” and “No sir. All Thirteen!”.
And John Flipping Hurt!
He must have had such enormous pressure on his shoulders to pull off the 50th, and he just surpassed it in every single way!

Chris Chibnall, well I did a review where I praised The Power of the Doctor to the sky and I will absolutely double down on that choice.
“And yes, I would like to go in the TARDIS”.
Tegan and Ace shooting at Cybermen with machine guns in UNIT HQ.
“Last I saw you, you were half cat”.
“I’m sorry, did you say her ?”
Brave Heart!
2nd Doctor’s Recorder
Ace jumping off the roof with a parachute while being shot at and landing horizontally in the TARDIS midair with a continuous shot following her into our beloved Type 40.
Come on! It’s a pure love fest!

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My favourite from RTD is easily Midnight, incredible episode through and through and just hits me in a sweet spot narratively and tonally.

Heaven Sent is a masterpiece and probably the best episode of the revival. The Shepherd’s Boy sequence is my favourite scene in all of Doctor Who.

Chibnall’s a bit trickier because I’m really not a fan of any of his episodes; if I had to choose, The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood is pretty good but very much on the lower end of season five. If we allow other shows, Fragments from Torchwood is his best episode (where was this amazing character development when he was running the show?)

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You forget that Pertwee-era producer Barry Letts had a hand in writing the last four Pertwee finales along with Robert Sloman

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RTD: Midnight, hands down

Moffat: Heaven Sent

Chibnall: Is it cheating if I say Fragments from Torchwood? If so, probably The Power of the Doctor. Seeing Paul McGann on my screen in 2022 gave me such joy!

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That’s right, good catch!

Anyway, I totally forgot to answer the question!

RTD is definitely Midnight (boring answer, but the only correct one).

Moffat is Heaven Sent. Could be Day of the Doctor (but it has problems) or The Eleventh Hour (such a great start to his era). But it’s Heaven Sent.

Chibnall: I have a soft spot for Eve of the Daleks, so that’s my pick.

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Very similar answers for me.

RTD: Gotta be Midnight (TBH I generally like him pretty well as a showrunner but very few of his episodes are standouts for me, and Midnight is definitely the biggest exception to that)

Moffat: Heaven Sent is the definite winner for me, but it’s also part of a 3-parter where Moffat didn’t write the first episode, so to pick one where the story is fully his, The Husbands of River Song.

Chibnall: Is saying Flux cheating? If so, then Eve of the Daleks

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Midnight is the easy (and obviously most popular) choice for RTD.

I think many round here will be familiar with my lack of enthusiasm for Heaven Sent (it does need a rewatch to be fair) so I’m going to plump for The Day of the Doctor.

Chibnall - hmmmm. The Power of the Doctor maybe but I also think The Woman Who Fell to Earth is a really good Doctor introduction, particularly one which had a HUGE job to do.

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It seems the basic consensus is:

RTD: Midnight
Moffat: Heaven Sent
Chibnall: Power of the Doctor

Interesting to see that there are such defined picks for these three, they seem to crop up a lot.

Shocked nobodies brought up The Waters of Mars , that’d be my second pick for RTD

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Waters of Mars is definitely top 3 for RTD.

And The Woman Who Fell to Earth would be my runner-up for Chibnall.

I’m not counting Chibnall’s pre-showrunner scripts, because then I would have to do the same for Moffat and all of his best scripts would be from his pre-showrunner days (Blink, Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead, The Empty Child / The Doctor Dances).

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RTD - Turn Left (shout out to Day Five as well though it’s very close)
Moffat - Heaven Sent
Chibnall - Fragments

(is Torchwood cheating?)

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RTD: So many good ones. But probably Midnight or Waters of Mars
Moffat: Blink. If it needs to be during his run I would say Eleventh Hour or The Day of the Doctor
Chibnall - Power of Three. If it needs to be during his run: Eve of the Daleks or Fugitive of the Judoon

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RTD: Utopia

Moffat: The Time of Angels

Chibnall: The Haunting of Villa Diodati

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Chibnall didn’t write Haunting, that was Maxine Alderton

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Alright, here goes with my own take:

RTD - I concur with Midnight! Such a phenomenal script and episode. Runner-ups would be The Waters of Mars and Wild Blue Yonder.

Moffat - I think pre-showrunner days count! I’d have to go for Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead. That’s been one of my all-time favorites for so long. I think it nails the ending particularly! Runner-ups would be Blink and Heaven Sent.

Chibnall - I think he was really on a roll with Flux and the 2022 Specials. Today I’ll choose Flux, because I really enjoy the ride! It doesn’t all come together perfectly, but it’s got some of the best original villains in Swarm and Azure, great parts with Sontarans and Weeping Angels, and it just made me love Doctor Who again. It’s especially impressive it even exists! Runner-ups would be Eve of the Daleks and The Power of the Doctor.

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Oh oops I was thinking era that’s my bad, favourite written by Chibnall is probably Eve of the Daleks

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I’m really surprised nobody has mentioned this one as far as I can tell, but World Enough and Time seems worth mentioning. Sure, Moffat isn’t the sole credited writer but his fingerprints are all over it and it’s a fantastic episode.

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Russell- turn left

Moffat - Eleventh hour

Chibnal - The hungry earth/cold blood

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