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This Is The Best Doctor Who Scene According To Fans

The mysterious time traveler called the Doctor first appeared on TV screens in 1963, and today, fans are still watching the new adventures of the Gallifreyan Time Lord in 2022. Over the course of the long history of "Doctor Who," the show has offered many memorable moments. But when it comes to determining the best scene ever from the long-running series, fans have very strong opinions. In fact, numerous Reddit threads exist in which fans debate the most moving and powerful bits the show has ever produced. 

If you pore over these many threads, you start to see some patterns. Final moments get a lot of love, as the last acts in which the Doctor knows he or she's about to die and regenerate. Clever bits of dialogue are also much admired, like the scene in which Peter Capaldi's Doctor gives a speech about the horrors of war in "The Zygon Inversion," or Matt Smith's "I am talking" speech in "The Pandorica Opens." Scenes in which the Doctor shows his affection for the human race, or for his companions, are also popular. Portions from the episodes "Heaven Sent," "The Rings of Akhaten," and the 50th anniversary special, "The Day of the Doctor" — including the bit in which three Doctors are trying to get out of a prison cell — are contenders as well.  

But one moment does seem to stand out to Redditors as the true best scene of the series, as it's always mentioned, and even those who like other scenes better often put this one among their top choices.

The scene is from a Matt Smith episode called Vincent and the Doctor

The entire episode "Vincent and the Doctor," written by Richard Curtis, is generally seen as one of the high notes of the show's long run (via IMDb). The Mary Sue called it "the greatest TV episode of the decade," Slant magazine called it "a masterpiece of an episode," and on Reddit, one user said it was "the most tragically sad and beautiful episode in television history." 

The main scene that makes it so well-regarded takes place at the end. The Doctor has defeated a monster no one but Vincent Van Gogh (Tony Curran) can see, but it's clear that the inner demons Van Gogh faces aren't so easily subdued. At Amy's (Karen Gillan) urging, the Doctor (Matt Smith) takes the painter to modern-day Paris to experience his works on display at an exhibit inside the Musée d'Orsay. 

He even has art historian named Dr. Henry Black (Bill Nighy) wax eloquent prose about how important Van Gogh is to history. "To my mind, that strange wild man who roamed the fields of Provence was not only the world's greatest artist, but also one of the greatest men who ever lived," Black says, reducing the artist to tears of joy. Van Gogh also hugs and thanks Black, who does a double take and then shakes his head.

Fans thought the scene was brilliant and a tear-jerker

Redditors get similarly emotional when thinking about that scene. In one thread, in a response to a comment in which u/MattGBrad said, "Vincent and the Doctor truly realized the potential of Doctor Who as a format," u/Sonzaisuru said, "I still cry when Vincent, Amy, and the Doctor go to the exhibit and show him how his work endures. Tony Curran was amazing." In another thread, u/Sweet_n_Savory89 said, "Bro I watched that yesterday. Even with years in between the first time and second, it's still difficult seeing Gogh cry." In yet another thread, u/Raptor_Boe69 said, "Vincent Van Gogh one breaks me, it is one of the few moments in the show that truly brings me to tears."

But while so many fans love this particular moment, they do note that picking a favorite scene from "Doctor Who" is, as u/Regresso_Da_Depresso put it, "the hardest choice ever." With so many years of episode to choose from (minus 1989-2005, the era fans call "The Wilderness Years" because the show wasn't on TV) and 13 different Doctors (not counting the War Doctor played by John Hurt and various other minor incarnations), we can see why this might seem like a difficult list to pare down. Also, with "Doctor Who" still on the air — and the show getting Russell T. Davies back as showrunner in 2023 – fans can probably expect more memorable moments to come.