10 Heartbreaking ‘Doctor Who’ Deaths

Reinette and the Doctor, The Girl In The Fireplace

Reinette, Madame De Pompadour, The Girl In The Fireplace

A precursor to the Amy Pond story about a girl who knew the Doctor as a child, and then met him as an adult, but the story of Reinette does not end well for the Doctor. He promises her a trip to the stars, but overshoots, and returns as her body is being taken out of the palace at Versailles.

Harriet Jones, Prime Minister, The Stolen Earth

They say comedy equals tragedy plus time. In which case tragedy must equal comedy plus Daleks.

Rory Williams, Amy’s Choice

What? I know he’s alive really. I know. And he dies a lot, Rory. But somehow every time he does it makes Amy say things that are just so… *deep, shuddering sigh* Look let’s just move on to the next one, shall we?

Idris, The Doctor’s Wife

Ah the chance of true eternal personal companionship that dies on the face of the Doctor when Idris dies. Poor the Doctor, to have his hopes of Time Lords dashed, and then to meet the living soul of his trusty time machine, only to have it all taken away. No wonder he tends towards being brisk and chipper in that brittle manner of his.

Adric, Earthshock

Still an iconic moment in the show because it was the first time a companion died while battling a foe. And he did a heroic job of it too.

River Song, Silence In The Library

Let’s just say this doesn’t get any less upsetting now we’ve seen where River comes from and how her relationship with the Eleventh Doctor pans out.

John Smith, The Family of Blood

The nearest thing we are likely to see to the Doctor getting exactly what he most desires, a life in which he is no longer alone, and no longer burdened by the responsibility to save everyone from everything. The John Smith love story, and the projected future that he could have had, is the most beautiful, and genuinely disturbing moments in the history of Doctor Who.

Astrid Peth, Voyage of the Damned

Ladies, admit it, which of you has dreamed of David Tennant looking deep into your eyes and saying “you’re not falling, you’re flying” like this?

Adelaide Brooke, The Waters of Mars

One of the least dramatic of Whovian deaths, in that we don’t see it happen, but one of the most devastating in the effect it has on the Tenth Doctor. Prior to Adelaide taking her own life, he was convinced he’d got one up on the Universe, cock-sure that he could change the laws of time. But he realised, once she had taken her own life rather than accept his assistance, that this train of thought could only lead towards disaster. And the end of his time in the TARDIS.

The Doctor, The Wedding of River Song

Saving the best ’til last. Knowing full well there’s no way the Doctor could be really dead didn’t stop anyone from feeling twisted up by this plot. When the entire Universe demands that you die, and really properly die this time, none of this silly regenerating business, there are two things you can do. Run away, or face the music. Typically the Doctor does both. And by exhausting all possibilities, finally convinces River Song that she has to be the one to pull the trigger. It’s a fixed point in time, there’s no getting around it, and yet he HAS to get around it, so…HOW?

People were twisted into tiny knots by the end of all this.

Which of your most heartbreaking Who deaths would you add to this list? Tell us here:

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 15 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME, Guardian and MSN. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Radio 2.

He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage.

Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic

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