Doctor Who came into my life because of the toys. Sure I had seen the old TV show with Tom Baker supporting that fedora and ridiculously long scarf. To be honest with you, since it was always on PBS, I thought it was some makeshift Sci-Fi show the local broadcasters put on. However, I did once watch an episode with the Cybermen and that scared the hell out of the little kid I once was. When Doctor Who was re-launched back in 2005 and then began to run on the Sci-Fi Channel I was interested but 26 seasons (yes you read that right) of backstory seemed like way too much to take in. In February of 2008, I went to the International Toy Fair in New York City. While walking the aisles I turned the corner to discover Underground Toys and their Doctor Who line. I never realized how rich with characters, monsters, and aliens the series was. Each and every figure was a tiny work of art. More importantly, it made me want to know what each of their backstories was. When I got home Doctor Who went to the top of the Netflix queue and I have been a fan ever since. So much so that I even watched Torchwood, an excellent spin-off series.
The toys, which used to appear at retailers like Toys R Us, are a little bit harder to come by than one would think. Thankfully the internet is ripe with Doctor Who sites and Underground Toys sells them on their site. The cornucopia of shopping for Doctor Who toys is Comic Book shows. Doctor Who is not as mainstream in the U.S. as Star Wars and Star Trek so finding them at reasonable prices is always easy. If you truly want to stock up on Doctor Who toys the best place is the San Diego Comic-Con. There are numerous dealers with nothing but Doctor Who toys and exclusives. They always have deals. Sure some of the rarer figures will be pricey but if you want a Dalek or a Cyberman you’ll get one for about 10 bucks.
Now let’s get to that list. The following are ten must-have action figures from the new Doctor Who series. To go one step further I have supplied the episode to watch for that character as well. Think of the figures as bullet points and characters to look for as you discover the entire series. There is only one stipulation in this top 10 list; these figures are from the 2005 relaunch of the series and on. With the boom of action figures for Doctor Who, there are already waves upon waves of all the other Doctors and the beings they have encountered.
10. The Weeping/Screaming Angels
Episode: Blink (Season 3, Episode 10)
One of the best episodes as the Doctor and Martha Jones are trapped in time without the Tardis. They leave messages on DVDs (Easter Eggs) for people to help them get back to where they belong. The Weeping Angels are such a simplistic villain yet their horror is very real as we, through the Doctor, witness the harsh reality of being stuck in time.
9. Clockwork Man Black
Episode: The Girl in the Fireplace (Season 2, Episode 4)
Variant: Also comes in Blue
Breakdown: While the Doctor and Rose explore a damaged spaceship in the 51st Century they come across these bizarre machines that are repairing the ship. What they also discover are windows to 18th century France where the Clockwork Men are hunting Madame de Pompadour. The Doctor must protect her but each window closes leaving Pompadour exposed for years at a time. The final moment as to why the Clockwork Men are hunting her is nothing but sheer brilliance.
8. Vashta Nerada
Episode: Silence in Library (Season 4, Episode 8)
Breakdown: “Silence in the Library” is one of the best Doctor Who episodes under producer Russell T. Davies’ watch. The Vashta Nerada brings a horror element that is rarely seen in Doctor Who. The fear of becoming one of them is very real for the characters. The figure embodies that creepiness as well. As for the episode, it marks a turning point for the Doctor where he actually meets one of his companions from his own future.
7. Face of Boe
Episode: Gridlock (Season 3, Episode 3), New Earth (Season 2, Episode 1)
Breakdown: Boe is one of the oddest figures and characters in the entire series. Both Boe and the Doctor know each other very well but the true origin of that relationship is revealed by Captain Jack Harkness. His appearance in “Gridlock” is the perfect bookend to the Tennant’s Doctor’s second episode with Rose in “New Earth” where we saw Boe for just a few moments.
6. Doctor in Spacesuit
Episode: The Satan Pit (Season 3, Episode 9) and The Waters of Mars (Season 5, Episode 2)
Variant: Figure with Elevator
Breakdown: The Doctor in his orange spacesuit easily falls onto this list. It is a great reminder that though at times he may seem omnipotent he does occasionally need something like a space suit to go outside. In “The Satan Pit” the Doctor accepts an invitation from an entity claiming to be nothing but the Ultimate Evil. Evil later goes so far as to call the Doctor “the killer of his own kind”. There are many science fiction shows that deal with our heroes encountering evil in its purest or original form. Leave it to Doctor Who to take it up a notch. The same space suit can be seen again in “The Waters of Mars”.
5. Captain Jack Harkness in Trenchcoat with Revolver
Episode: 1st appearance: The Empty Child (Season 1, Episode 9)
Variants: Captain Jack Harkness (British Captain’s Uniform), Captain Jack Harkness with the Doctor's Severed Hand in a Jar, Jack Harkness and the Empty Child
Breakdown: Captain Jack Harkness first appeared in "The Empty Child" two-part episode. Captain Jack was at the heart of the Doctor and Rose’s problems in London during the Blitz. Captain Jack would appear 11 times on the Doctor Who series encompassing both Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant’s terms as the Doctor. Captain Jack eventually spun off into his own series called Torchwood. Both series have interconnected with one another from time to time completing many of Captain Jack’s adventures. The Doctor Who figures of Captain Jack are far superior to the Torchwood ones making any of these Captain Jacks a must have.
Episode: Modern appearance: The Stolen Earth (Season 4, Episode 12)
Breakdown: There are villains and then there are villains. Bad to the bone, or what’s left of him, Davros is the mastermind behind everything foul in season 4. However, the Davros character stretches way back into the Doctor Who lore. All great toy lines, as well as series, need a villain and Davros fits the bill to a T. Outside of being a megalomaniac bent on conquering the universe. Davros also created one of the Doctor’s greatest enemies, the Daleks.
Episode: Modern appearance: Rise of the Cybermen (Season 2, Episode 5)
Variants: San Diego Comic Con Cyberman (damaged), Cyberman with Gun arm
Breakdown: Star Trek may have the Borg but they are pale carbon copies to the Cybermen. Unrelenting and cold they seek to upgrade humanity and move it into cyberspace. The Doctor believed them to be long dead but when crossing over to a parallel world he encountered a new version of the Cybermen. Since then they have appeared in numerous incarnations and even once sided with the Daleks. This is the Stormtrooper of your Doctor Who collection. You simply must have one.
2. Gold Dalek - Mutant Reveal
Episode: Modern appearance: Dalek (Season 1, Episode 6)
Variants: There are numerous Dalek action figures
Breakdown: In “Dalek” the Doctor and Rose land inside a billionaire's alien museum where they discover the last Dalek. The Doctor, also being the last of his kind, is torn between his hatred for the creature and a kinship that develops with his long time enemy. The Gold Dalek is from this episode and features a mutant Dalek within. Again, like the Cyberman, a Dalek is a must have.
1. Doctor Who - Long Coat Tennant
Episode: The Christmas Invasion (Season 2, Episode 0)
Variants: There are various versions of the Doctor without the jacket as well
Breakdown: Who else did you think would be the number one Doctor Who figure? There are many different Doctors with and without glasses. This one is perfect and the centerpiece to any great Doctor Who collection.