Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll
be counting down our picks for the top 10 heartbreaking goodbyes in “Doctor Who”! For this list, we’ve gathered an emotionally
charged ensemble of famous farewells from the long-running BBC sci-fi series. We start with one of the first major departures
from the show, as William Hartnell’s Doctor makes the difficult decision to leave his
granddaughter behind. Susan was an ever-present in the TARDIS from
the very first episode of “Doctor Who”, until the 1964 serial “The Dalek Invasion
of Earth” – where she meets and falls in love with a resistance fighter from the
future, David Campbell. Susan seems set to leave Campbell as the story
ends, but the Doctor intervenes for her greater good. Although Handles’ on-screen time is severely
limited, he’s actually one of the Doctor’s longest-serving companions – given his continuous
(but unseen) role on Trenzalore. So, when the reconfigured Cyberman head finally
shuts down for good, Eleven’s understandably devastated – and the feeling’s definitely
mutual. Of course, the drama also unfolds as part
of the build-up to Matt Smith’s imminent regeneration, so this entire episode is heaped
with heartbreak. To another single-episode character, and another
with a closer-than-most link to the Doctor. Jenny takes the title role in “The Doctor’s
Daughter”, created as the Time Lord’s DNA is passed through a Progenation Machine
on Messaline. Ten takes time to warm to her, but eventually
accepts her, and for the briefest of moments the future seems very bright indeed. But then disaster strikes, and the Doctor’s
happiness quickly disintegrates. And while we know that this isn’t the end
of Jenny, he thinks it is. Often remembered as one of the most popular
and recognisable companions from the show’s classic era, Sarah Jane travelled with the
Doctor’s Third and Fourth incarnations. So, when she eventually leaves, it really
feels as though the Doctor is losing a friend. With Tom Baker bound for Gallifrey, Sarah’s
send-off is more understated than most, but this scene is all the more powerful for the
things that aren’t said. And
the pair’s parting words provide a perfectly poignant reflection on their time together. To a scene triggered by tragedy, as the Fifth
Doctor loses yet another companion under sorrowful circumstances. With Tegan still traumatised by Adric’s
explosive death in “Earthshock” – which almost made this list in its own right – here
we see her voluntarily walk away from the TARDIS. For Tegan, the initial thrill of time travel
has well and truly worn off, and she’s sick of the suffering and devastation that seems
to follow the Doctor through space. So she leaves, leaving him feeling lonelier
than ever. Where to start with River? Thanks to her criss-crossing timeline, she’s
been at the centre of her fair share of gut-wrenching goodbyes. But we’ll focus on her reappearance to Eleven,
which comes sometime after she sacrifices herself to stop Ten sacrificing himself in
“Forest of the Dead”. It seems a final final meeting between the
two, in River’s chronology at least, and this scene serves as definitive proof of the
incomparable link between both characters. She fades, but she’s not forgotten. There’s rarely a dry eye whenever a regeneration
comes around. Christopher Eccleston’s was fantastically
moving, while Matt Smith mustered some real words of wisdom in his final scenes. But nothing beats David Tennant’s closing
moments in the TARDIS. Having just taken a sentimental journey to
revisit everyone he’s ever known, he enters the blue box for one last hurrah. And as the epic soundtrack surges, his last
ever lines are immeasurably sad. As Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor cut a cheeky
kind of character most of the time, whenever he did suffer it seemed to hurt twice as much. But nothing impacted Eleven quite as horribly
as the sudden departure of Amy Pond. He, Amy, Rory and River appear to have defeated
the Angels once again, only for one statue to ruin everything. And as Amy agonises over the inevitable prospect
of leaving, it becomes clear that the Doctor is powerless to change her mind. And he’s devastated when she goes. David Tennant had a habit of creating all
kinds of heartbreak whenever he said goodbye to a companion, and Martha’s heart-on-sleeve
ending also deserves a mention… But Donna’s departure was just plain soul-crushing. Moments beforehand, she was harnessing Time
Lord knowledge and saving the entire universe. But then her memory gets wiped, and she can’t
even recall who the Doctor is. They travelled galaxies together to get to
this point, but when Ten goes to leave, Donna’s indifference is all too much to bear. We finish with the Daleks and the Cybermen
headed for the Void, and the stage seems set for Ten and Rose to save the world and continue
their travels. But this adventure ends in untold anguish,
as Rose winds up in a parallel universe, separated forever from the Doctor she loves. And when Ten transmits his image to Bad Wolf
Bay for one final face-to-face, the untimely loss of power leaves us feeling even worse. A tear-to-eye triumph of a scene, it’s a
definitive moment in “Doctor Who” history.