Top Ten Scariest New Who Episodes

before the flood ghostsHAPPY HALLOWEEN!

I’ve done a number of Halloween-themed before, and they usually involve books – reviews, book tags, top ten lists, et cetera. I really wanted to write something Halloweenish today, but I wanted to avoid writing about scary books yet again… and then I remembered that there’s a new Doctor Who episode tonight! (Which I’ve already watched. OH MY GOD THAT WAS SO MUCH FUN.)

So, I made a list of the top ten scariest New Who episodes. (I haven’t seen enough Classic Who serials to make a top ten list! I should fix that.) Keep in mind that this list is highly subjective – I think these episodes are the creepiest, but you may not agree!

…so in the comments section, be sure to make a top ten list of your own! It’s always interesting to see what terrifies one person and makes another laugh or roll their eyes. For example, I am kind of a wimp and refuse to see horror movies.


10. “Blink”

IMO, this is the ONLY good episode about the Weeping Angels! This was the first episode with them, so the writers couldn’t retcon their powers into a ridiculous mess – so the plot is good! And creepy! AND SAD. At the same time, though, this episode just isn’t that scary. It gave me chills, but didn’t keep me up at night or anything.

9. “Human Nature / Family of Blood”

…OK, the scarecrow things were cheesy, but the aliens disguised as humans? Yikes. I LOVE the pacing of this episode, too – the suspense is JUST RIGHT! This is, I think, one of David Tennant’s very best performances on this show.

8. “The Impossible Astronaut / Day of the Moon”


7. “Flatline”

This was my favorite episode of series eight! I love everything about this episode – the aliens (and their 2D/3D powers), the supporting characters, the cinematography, the Doctor’s beautiful monologue at the end. I’ve only seen it once, though – I need to watch it again!

6. “Asylum of the Daleks”

On one hand, I kind of hate this episode – sexist plotlines? Biphobic jokes? UM. NO. On the other hand, I reallyyyyyy love the hauntingly beautiful mood of this story! I love the plot twists, and I love the scene where Amy stumbles into the Dalek Asylum, and I love it when Eleven realizes who Oswin Oswald really is.

tenth doctor donna noble 35. “Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead”

These episodes vie with #1 on this list for the title of “Engie’s favorite Doctor Who episode.” I’ve seen this one sooooo many times, and although the scary factor is somewhat diminished after rewatching it so many times, I still enjoy it.

4. “The Waters of Mars”

I have to admit, the first thing I thought of last month when it was announced that there IS water on Mars was this episode. EURGH. OUTER SPACE ZOMBIES. Zombie stories freak me out.

3. “Midnight”

Sometimes, what you don’t (or can’t) see is what is truly terrifying. I LOVE SEEING THIS NARRATIVE TECHNIQUE IN STORIES OMGGGG. IT CREATES SOOO MUCH SUSPENSE. I spent the entire episode going “!!!!!” and “??????” and “?!?!?!”

2. “The God Complex”

…so, you may have noticed that several of the other episodes mentioned here are of the “members of a group are slowly but surely being picked off one by one” variety. I LOVE THIS TROPE EVEN THOUGH IT IS OVERUSED. And this is definitely my favorite example of it on Doctor Who! I loved the explanation at the end, too – although this show sometimes features supernatural elements, I love it when that which seems supernatural is actually shown to have a completely plausible, scientific explanation for its existence.

1. “The Empty Child / The Doctor Dances”

Like #5 on this list, I’ve seen these episodes SO. MANY. TIMES. But I love them! I love the zombie-ish stuff, and the little boy never fails to make chills run up my spine. And OH MY GOD THAT SCENE WHERE THE DOCTOR TURNS INTO ONE OF THE GAS MASK CREATURES. The cinematography here is really good, too – so many scenes are shot in deep shadow, making everything just a little bit creepier.


Now it’s YOUR turn: What episodes – from Classic Who, New Who, or both – did you find terrifying? And why?!

About nevillegirl

Elizabeth. University of Iowa class of 2019. Triple majoring in English & Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies. Twenty-one-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, aspiring writer, and lesbian. Passionate about feminism, mental health, comic books, and cats.
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11 Responses to Top Ten Scariest New Who Episodes

  1. matttblack42 says:

    Ditto on all of these except Asylum of the Daleks and Flatline. I liked those episodes and all, but I don’t remember either of them giving me the heebie-jeebies.

    My top five scariest episodes would probably be:

    5) The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit. (I loved how the computer system kept saying these bizarre evil things throughout the first section.)
    4) Empty Child/Doctor Dances.
    3) Midnight.
    2) Listen. (The atmosphere!)
    1) Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead.

    Also, would you happen to know the name of the soundtrack playing in FotD, when Donna first meets Miss Evangelista at the playground? I have no idea how to describe the music.

  2. YES OMG. These all were so freaky. I never actually found “Blink” to be that scary, more so intriguing, but the Weeping Angels in general are just ack. Them and the Silence. EEK. The zombie-things in Water of Mars did freak me out a lot, tbh. THEIR FACES WERE BLOODY TERRIFYING. Urgh. And really, the storytelling thing with Midnight and the whole fact that it was never solved was sooo creepy. AMAZING LIST!

  3. moosha23 says:

    I agree with most of them! The first weeping angels episode was gold, even though it didn’t really have the Doctor in it the idea of the weeping angels and what they could do scared me so much. The last part especially when it’s hinted that all sorts of gargoyles were weeping angels still has me slightly creeped out by gargoyles (notre dame the movie did not help one bit with this one).
    The Silence in the Library one is one of my favourite scary episodes in Doctor Who ever. The whole idea of carnivorous shadows, and of Donna turning into one of those computer face things was so scary.
    My scariest “monster” from way back when the 2005 series was picking up was the stretched out skin of the Lady (I think that’s what she’s called). The titanic episode though! That was beautiful! Ah, memories.

    • nevillegirl says:

      Ehehe, yeah, I feel that that episode is both overhyped AND underappreciated, if that makes any sense? Like, I feel like everyone is like “OMG WEEPING ANGELS” but from a plot/pacing point of view… like, as a writer, I REALLY admire that episode? It has perfect pacing, and just the right amount of suspense – and twists, like the scene with the gargoyles! 🙂

      Ehehe, Lady Cassandra?

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