The Seven Most Ludicrous Moments Of 21st Century Doctor Who

Shine on, you crazy diamond.

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Doctor Who is a show where literally anything can happen — and, during the course of the show’s history, chances are it has. Once the main character got impersonated by a cactus. It’s just that kind of show.

With its 50th anniversary special airing next weekend, now’s an excellent time to pull out the photo album and relive some of the more embarrassing moments that have happened on the show, since it returned to TV screens in 2005.

That Time Someone Got Eaten By A Wheelie Bin And Turned Into A Giant Ken Doll

Series 1, episode 1: ‘Rose’ (2005)

In the very first episode of the rebooted show, the London Eye turns out to be a giant transmitting dish, and all the plastic in London comes to life. Store-window dummies turn on late-night shoppers in a montage of screaming crowds. A lot of things explode. And amidst all this chaos and destruction, a dude called Mickey gets himself quietly eaten by a wheelie bin.

With the aid of the very best special effects 2005 had to offer, the bin swallows Mickey whole, replacing him with a plastic clone that bears an uncanny resemblance to a life-sized brunette Ken doll. Nobody, including his girlfriend, notices anything different. The clone proceeds to karate chop an entire pizza restaurant with his giant plastic paddle hands until someone finally realises this isn’t the real Mickey, and pulls off his head.

1. size ken doll

That Time A Dalek Downloaded The Entire Internet With A Plunger

Series 1, episode 6: ‘Dalek’ (2005)

There’s a Dalek chained in the basement of a bunker, even though all the Daleks are supposed to be dead (rule one of Doctor Who: the Daleks are never all dead). The gentle touch of a fair maiden awakes the creature from its eternal slumber, and it goes about fucking shit up.

Before all this, however, the Dalek first needs to read up on humanity, just in case we’ve developed a resistance to egg whisks since it last tried to destroy everything. It proceeds to approach a computer and download the entire internet.

2. the whole internet

This episode was set in 2012 so we’re not even talking Geocities and shitty flash games; that Dalek downloaded all of Tumblr and Facebook and whatever it is they keep on Google+. All of it. The way to do this, in case you want to try it at home, is to put a plunger straight through a computer’s screen, shattering it and electrocuting you. This will prompt the download to commence.

That Time A Dude Had Sexy Times With A Paving Stone

Series 2, episode 10: ‘Love And Monsters’ (2006)

The monster in the 2006 episode ‘Love and Monsters’ is called the Abzorbaloff and, as the name suggest, it absorbs people. Their faces get embossed into his skin, and they become like giant sentient pimples. The upshot of this is that his victims end up literally talking out of his butt.


If this sounds like the deluded ramblings of a nine-year-old, that’s only because it is: a nine-year-old boy called William Grantham designed the monster for a Blue Peter competition in 2005, and won.

Our protagonist for this romp is called Elton, and his girlfriend gets tragically absorbed into the aforementioned alien butt. In one of the most questionably effective rescues in history, The Doctor saves Elton’s girlfriend by embedding her face (and soul) in a slab of concrete. Instead of being dead, she’s now a sentient paving stone! Hurrah!

3. sentient paving stone

As if that wasn’t bad enough Elton says that he and the paving stone are very happy together and that they “even have a bit of a love life.” Yep. That happened.

wat tennant face

That Time They Put A Dalek In A Suit

Series 3, episode 4: ‘Daleks In Manhattan’ (2007)

4. human dalek

Those pesky Daleks are wreaking havoc in old timey New York, and it turns out that the Empire State Building is nothing more than a Dalek-built lightening rod. Everyone lives in a slum in Central Park (because of The Depression?), and the sewers are populated by pig slaves (because of reasons?).

And then, one of the Daleks opens up his pepperpot and swallows a whole human, engulfing him in some kind of giant alien scrotum. Their DNA is combined, producing a Human Dalek that basically looks like a business man with some human genitalia on his face. The worst part of this generally pretty terrible two-part story is that Andrew Garfield was in it. What a waste.

That Time A Giant Cyberman Invaded Victorian London, Godzilla-Style

Series 4, episode 5: ‘The Next Doctor’ (2008)

In Victorian London, there’s a factory turning people into Cybermen. On Christmas Eve, this cyber factory – manned by Oliver Twist-style slave-orphans – morphs like a giant Transformer into a single Cyberman, which towers over the city. It then goes around stomping on everything and burning stuff down like a pretty lame Mechagodzilla.

The Doctor thwarts it using a hot air balloon. No one talks about how Victorian London getting burned down by a robot might affect the future.

never apply logic to who

That Time Everyone In The World Was John Simm

Series 4, episode 17: ‘The End Of Time’ (2009)

The Doctor’s arch-nemesis, The Master, tries to take over the world by turning everyone in the world into him. Via “science”, all the people on earth literally become The Master.

6. the master race

The most ridiculous part of all this is that actor John Simm had to play the role of every single person. I think we’ll all agree that asking an accomplished actor to spend several days of his time grinning manically in fifty different costumes is an unreasonable request. No wonder John Simm refused to come back.

That Time A Space Viking Was Eaten Alive By Carnivorous Skulls

Series 6, episdoe 13: ‘The Wedding Of River Song’ (2011)

7. space viking

In order to save the universe, The Doctor challenges a space Viking with an eye patch to a game of chess. He throws the match on the condition that his opponent take him to see a blue guy who’s meant to be dead (it’s complicated), and so the space Viking leads The Doctor into some catacombs to find aforementioned blue guy.

The walls of the catacombs are lined with the skulls of long dead monks which are apparently still alive because religion made them immortal? The floor opens up and Mr Viking falls into a pit filled with angry carnivorous skulls that look a lot like the ones in Muppet Treasure Island. They eat him.

None of this has any significant bearing on the rest of the episode.

WHY moffat

Alexandra Neill is a writer from Newcastle. She tweets here and blogs here.