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I can't believe it's here already: Matt Smith's final episode of Doctor Who"The Time of the Doctor," airs tomorrow. Across almost four years and 43 episodes, Smith has helped bring Who even further into the mainstream of pop-culture consciousness, and while I don't intend to open a can of worms, I think it's fair to say that he's successfully filled the shoes vacated by David Tennant. (As for whether showrunner Steven Moffat has kept the show on track after taking over for Russell T. Davies, well, that's another story.) Thus, in celebration of Smith's last hour as the Eleventh Doctor, I've compiled my picks for his 11 best episodes. 

A couple notes before we begin: Obviously, these sorts of superlatives are extremely subjective. For example, I tend to think the Moffat-era finales are very convoluted and full of false stakes, so you won't find them here. And even though I have my favorites among the episodes named below, it seemed more sensible to arrange them in chronological order; in that way, this list is more of a retrospective journey through Smith's time on the show than anything else. But as always, I await your suggestions for what should have (or have not) made the cut. 

In the meantime, here we go. Or, geronimo! 


"The Eleventh Hour" (Season 5, Episode 1)


All these years later, this might still be my favorite episode of the Matt Smith era. Everyone involved did a masterful job of introducing a brand-new set of characters and a whole new story. Although Smith would later evolve into a more assured Doctor, the enthusiasm and charm he brought to Eleven in this first hour certainly eased the transition away from Tennant. The episodic story with the Atraxi was hit-or-miss, but that stuff didn't matter as much as building up the rapport between Smith, Karen Gillan's Amy, and Arthur Darvill's Rory. A great way to kick off a new era. 


"The Time of Angels" and "Flesh and Stone" (Season 5, Episodes 4 and 5)


Ah, remember when Doctor Who still did satisfying and thrilling two-part episodes? This double shot made great use of the Weeping Angels and of River Song in a time when they weren't yet overused, and Smith was really good at directing traffic between those two Moffat toys and a distressed (and later lusty) Amy. 


"Vincent and the Doctor" (Season 5, Episode 10)


Sure, this one is probably worth praising more specifically for Tony Curran's great turn as Vincent van Gogh and for Karen Gillan's work as Amy—especially since the show was finally starting to figure out what the character could be outside of the Girl Who Waited and/or the Girl Who Wants to Do the Doctor—but then again, "Vincent and the Doctor" is worth praising in general. Richard Curtis's script created a lovely story about death, loss, and depression couched in an appealing gimmick with one of the world's most famous artists. Though Smith served more of a supporting role here, his work in the final few scenes—particularly once he and Amy realized that their time with van Gogh didn't prevent him from committing suicide—added a sort of necessary sense of emotional maturity to his version of the Doctor.  


"The Lodger" (Season 5, Episode 11)


Craig! I'm probably in the minority, but watching the Doctor try to adapt to a human life, integrating himself into Craig's inner circle of one, filling in for him at the call center, etc. was a nice change of pace for a show with typical LIFE AND DEATH stakes all the time. Obviously things get much more grim in the second half of the episode, but the story of the secret second floor worked because the first part successfully introduced us to Craig, Sophie, and the Doctor's temporary life in the apartment building. It was cool to see Smith in those early moments, especially in the comedic exchanges between the Doctor and and James Corden's Craig. 


"The Impossible Astronaut" (Season 6, Episode 1)


The second part of the Season 6 opener wasn't quite up to snuff, and in general, the season's overarching story about who killed the Doctor tapered off, but "The Impossible Astronaut"? Pretty great. Shooting for the first time in the U.S. and working with a particularly intriguing time period injected a little extra energy into the proceedings. The Doctor's death was a shocking development, and Smith did a fine job, however briefly, of playing the character in two different points of his life. Bonus points for the cowboy hat. 


"The Doctor's Wife" (Season 6, Episode 4)


Timey-wimey stories are cool and all, but I really love it when Doctor Who takes advantage of its you-can-literally-do-anything premise to try episodes like this one. "The Doctor's Wife" smartly personified the TARDIS and "her" relationship with the Doctor, taking what had long been relegated to subtext ("The relationship between the Doctor and the TARDIS is like a marriage!") and brought above the fold. My favorite Matt Smith is the playful, kind of awkward Matt Smith, and Suranne Jones' performance as the human version of the TARDIS brought that out in spades. What a fine way to explore decades of history. 


"The God Complex" (Season 6, Episode 11)


Based on conversations with the diehard Doctor Who fans in my life, I feel like this one might be a controversial choice. But amid a run of episodes that got lost within its own narrative, "The God Complex" was a really great palate cleanser powered by a strong episodic story and some good character stuff. It's kind of too easy to explore "The Doctor is dangerous to those around him!" stories, but "The God Complex" did it really, really well. The "mad man in a box" utterance is one of the more notable lines from Eleven's run on the show, and for that alone, "The God Complex" belongs in any worthwhile Smith-era Who conversation. Plus: Minotaur!   


"The Asylum of the Daleks" (Season 7, Episode 1) 


As a season premiere, the beginning of the end for one story, and the beginning of the beginning for another, "The Asylum of the Daleks" had a lot of ground to cover, but the episode managed to make it all work. Clara's surprising introduction was a highlight here, as was the really wonderful production design of the Dalek parliament. And yet, it's hard to beat that late-episode sequence when the Doctor realized that Clara had wiped him out of the Daleks' collective memory. Moffat has probably had too much fun with integrating the show's title into actual storylines, but Smith's delivery of "you're never going to stop asking" was simply lovely. 


"The Angels Take Manhattan" (Season 7, Episode 5)


Amy and Rory's final episode makes my brain hurt when I really think about it for more than a few minutes, but above all, it was tremendously satisfying on an emotional and character level. The last 10 minutes delivered numerous gut-punches, and really required Smith to be at the top of his game. He was. It's because of the cast's great performances that this episode even remotely holds up.


"The Day of the Doctor" (the 50th Anniversary Special)


I couldn't not, really. Last month's celebratory blowout brought multiple Doctors together and generally lived up to expectations. It was hard not to divert most of the attention to all the historical references, John Hurt's work, and the returning performers, but Smith, as he always has, did a wonderful job of playing off of the jam-packed cast and bringing depth and wonder to a character that will be difficult to bid farewell. The scenes between Smith, Tennant, and Hurt were about as good as Who gets for me. 


What are YOUR favorite episodes from Matt Smith's tenure as the Doctor? 


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 12/5/2015

Season 9 : Episode 12

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Matt Smith is my doctor, I started watching back on PBS (with Baker (4)), I missed eccleston but caught Tennant in season2 (of his era). I finally caught some reruns on internet and loved ecc (9). I am the only one of my group that didn't love Tennant :(. That has always saddened me, but Matt (11) gave me a reason to not care which was my fav, he was awesome! He is my doctor then ecc then baker then Tennant.
Matt Smith made me care so much for such a stupid show! He made me forget about analyzing plots and facts...it was awesome to me as a viewer to catch myself being listing the story (which unfortunately for Matt - any role he takes will be me watching the doctor act. :(. ).
Fav eps:
PandoricaOpens/BigBang
TheGirlWhoWaited
DoctorsWife
WeddingRiverSong
EleventhHour
Damn gonna miss smith and ponds (river too).
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I really wanted to see how the TARDIS actually looked like before it landed on Earth and took the form of a public phone box. They really ignored this scene from the pilot episode from 1965.
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Certainly an innovative decision to shoot a third pilot episode two seasons into production.
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I'd definitely have to agree on The God Complex. It's one of my all-time favorites. And that season really was one of the better ones for Smith.
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Thank you, Steven Moffat, for finally wrapping up questions you came up with season you started running the show.

Doubt it was really all planed from the get-go, but very glad you bother with it. Hell, you even ignored BBC's stupid directive that the Doctor was actually immortal by coming back to the original twelve regeneration, and came up with an explanation to how he would reboot his cycle (yes, it's was contrived, but since it had to do done, and nobody would have come up with anything less contrived... no problem accepting it.)

Reminded me a whole lot of The Christmas Invasion... Anyway, I blasted for years about all the plot-holes he left behind; and, although a whole lot of them are still out there (so now that the 'crack-in-wall' is - temporarily? - closed, does that mean humanity will remember there's aliens out there?), but will give credits were credits is definitely due. Kudos, sir; keep up the good work on New Year,
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Goodbye raggedy man. Good episode. Not great but I liked the ending. Even though the 10th is my doctor I think Matt did a good job and will be missed. The clock strikes twelve,,,
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I loved Vincent and the Doctor and The Doctor's Wife.
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Dinosaurs on a Spaceship being a brilliant title also was a great episode.

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The final Matt Smith episode will not be memtioned by many fans as being one of the better ones, it is just a very dissapointment, Matt deserved better.
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The day of the doctor and the asylum of the daleks
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Day of the Doctor had to make all of us geek out a bit, especially at the end, when you see all doctors standing together.

Pretty darn cool!

Kinda wish there wouldn't have been such a grudge from Christopher Eccleston. He would have brought some really fun energies to the mix.

Oh well.
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Admittedly I haven't seen all of Season 5 yet, but my favorite 11th Doctor episodes so far are:

1. The Doctor's Wife
2. Time of the Angels/Flesh and Stone
3. A Good Man Goes to War
4. Amy's Choice
5. Dinosaurs on a Spaceship
6. The Girl Who Waited
7. Day of the Doctor
8. The God Complex
9. Cold War
10. The Wedding of River Song
11. Journey to the Center of the TARDIS
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Vincent and the Doctor by far !
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Who can pick an episode or two or ten when Matt Smith's farewell is nearly upon us!I'm really gonna miss his portrayal of 'The Doctor'!
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My list would have to include the following:
1. The Doctor's Wife
2. A Good Man Goes to War
3. The Rings of Akhaten.
4. Let's Kill Hitler
5. The Pandorica Opens
6. The Beast Below
7. Nightmare in Silver

Granted, some of the episodes may have not been the best but they were saved by Smith's performance. Rings of Akhaten for instance had that great speech by Smith at the end. Those are some of my favorite moments for Smith, when he gets to have these grand monologues like there or in The Pandorica Opens.
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The speech is one of my favorite moments of Smith's era.
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I would take out The Impossible Astronaut and add The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang. I recently re-watched The 11th Hour, and I agree that it may be Matt Smith's best. This past season left a lot to be desired, but Smith was always teriffic. He was the perfect choice to replace my Doctor, David Tennant.
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I have to agree with everyone who said " A good man goes to war" should have been there.
It was the best episode of season 6 imo.

And while Tennant is my favourite, i do think Matt Smith has done an equally great job with his Doctor.
Thats really what worries me most with the new Doctor.
Its gonna be really hard to take over after, not one but two great Doctors.
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" A Good Man Goes To War" and "The Girl Who Waited" are definitely on my favourite list!
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"A Good Man Goes to War" (Season 6, Episode 7)
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I'd add The Snowmen and The Name of the Doctor to that wonderful list.
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My favorites are "Amy's Choice", both Craig episodes, and "A Good Man Goes to War".
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The Girl Who Waited was my favorite. It was a great story of paradox and the perils within.
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I really can't choose my favorite Matt Smith episode, the dramatic ones made my heart sink but that was always balanced out by the more light hearted adventures. I would nearly say "A Christmas Carol" was my favorite, it had everything a Matt Smith episode always had and more...
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Good Man Goes To War... nuff said :)
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My second favorite behind The Girl Who Waited.
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We are now in mourning that no one can replace Matt Smith, wherein I remember this exact situation with David Tennant, and how surprised I was when he not only filled his shoes superbly, but brought a wonderful new depth- especially with his dynamic with River Song. Their arc was my favorite, and it's brilliant tie in with the Ponds, in ways much better than with 10 and Rose.
We're all curious how he'll go out, I'm just hoping that bringing back all the fav villains won't seem like a tired premise. We love you Matt, already miss you! <3
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A Good Man Goes to War should be in there somewhere.
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I Agree. Demons Run when a good man goes to war... One of my favorite episodes, and it wasn't listed.
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To those who are counting the minutes until Smith exits, may I remind you that we are here to remember his best episodes. It's okay to disagree, and it's okay to not like him, but let's remember to be civil. Some of us love him and are mourning. We want to remember the best.

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I was loathe to read this article, not because I wasn't interested, but because I'm still in happy denial of Smith's disappearance from the show. I agreed with all of your choices. It's hard for me to choose one (that's not already on your list), but if I did, it would be the show about New London. Smith showed a depth of character far older than his years, old enough to be the doctor's age. When he raged against the inhumanity of the humans, it was hard to watch. His anger was palpable from the television screen. It was simply sublime.
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Matt Smith was OK, but I felt Tenent could still portray the Doctor's Warmth better than Matt Smith, Smith's got the manic side of the doctor down but that's about it, I'm hoping the Capaldi Doctor will Be a bit more restrained.
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Same argument still rages over James Bond. Certain actors/writers bring their own flavor but the character is essentially the same. Everyone has their favorite but Smith's exit ends another top notch run in my book!
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That was a really good analogy.
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While I disagree, Smith is my doctor and always will be, I enjoyed Tenent so much. He was a lively sprite of a doctor and was always incredibly fun to watch.
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Vincent and the Doctor is still my favourite of the Matt Smith episodes. Also think that The Angels Take Manhatten is terribly written and emotionally unsatisfying in every way, but to each their own.
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Doctor who really a great character even i enjoyed watching episodes of Doctor who, also this 10 Stunning Stills from Doctor Who makes me like Shocked. The 11 episode is also amazing.
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I'd replace The God Complex with Hide, the ghost story with Dougray Scott. I thought it was a charming episode.
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Definitly. The whole setup, the horror story that turned out to be a love story and Clara talking to her TARDIS-self, trying to convince the TARDIS to go into the pocket universe. Oh and "I am the doctor and I am afraid." Loved this episode, one of the very best of the Clara-episodes.
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The best for me still remains the first one, not for the quality (although it was good), but for the fact that I was watching it with 3500 people and the audience was enthusiastic all the way. Still remember the yelling when he came flying in, hanging on the Tardis.
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Pretty nice choices, Cory, but i would replace The God Complex with The Girl Who Waited, which was much more interesting is you ask me.

I can't help but notice that there are no season finales in here and no episodes from season 7B (The Day of the Doctor being a special episode). I kind of agree with this because in all of the Doctor Who finales from the Moffat era (maybe from the Davies era too) the "giant magic reset button" is used by the writers and that really annoys me and takes the fun and gravity of the episode. You know that whatever happens that button is gonna be pushed.

As for the episodes from 7B, Bells of Saint John was pretty good, reintroducing Clara in the Who Universe whilst tackling an interesting subject as the danger of the internet, of technology in general. But I don't think i can replace it with one of the episode in top 11.
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Staff
Yeah, I thought 7B was kind of awful. Though The Snowmen and Bells were the two best. Downward spiral from there.
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I'm chocked not to see A Good Man Goes to War in the list, it was a great resolution of a long story arc with a lot of great moments and THE River Song scene is the eleventh defining moment. Plus the end teaser was genius.

Then there are The Impossible Astronaut & Day of The Moon with the introduction of the silence, the creepiest of all baddies in my opinion.
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That one was in the top 15. Like I said, some of the plot-heavy episodes aren't really my bag. But that is one of the better ones.
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Yeah, they give me goosebumps when I think of them. TBH the weeping angels do as well.
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The Doctor's Wife also contained one of the best lines in Doctor Who history:
Doctor: You never took me where I wanted to go!
Wife: But I always took you where you needed to be!
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I loved it when she referred to Amy as "Orangey".
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That's a good one. The episode also had one of the funniest lines I've heard on Doctor Who. (Amy at 0:15).



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This seems about right
I know those finales are usually a bit (a lot) WTF, but I consider 'The Wedding of River Song' to be one of my favourites
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Good to see some of my favorites on here: The Doctor's Wife, Vincent and the Doctor, and The Lodger. Matt Smith has been a wonderful Eleventh Doctor, but I agree that Steven Moffat can get a little crazy, especially in finales. His strength is in the great variety of ideas he can throw together, which is awesome in standalone episodes, but disorienting and annoying in finales, when we want to see things wrapped up, not meet myriads of new characters. Also, does everything always have to be so epic? The universe will end unless the Doctor saves it today! I definitely prefer the ones that slow down a little, and wish more writers would take on the challenge of a true historical episode.

Here's hoping for a great finale for Matt Smith and a lot of great stuff to come from Doctor Who!
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My favorite Eleventh episodes in no particular order The Eleventh Hour, The Snowman, The Lodger, The Doctor's Wife, Asylum of the Daleks, The Impossible Astronaut.

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worst doctor ever
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I could not possibly disagree more. But I honor your opinion and hope that the new doctor will be more to your liking.
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oh hush you
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