Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy
26

TV News

Digital Spy's best TV episodes of 2013: 5-1

By and Catriona Wightman
Digital Spy has already unveiled its picks for the top 25 TV shows of 2013, but now it's time to get specific - what were the single greatest episodes of television this year?

Here are the DS TV team's picks for the 10 finest small-screen outings - catch up with yesterday's 10-6 and then read on to learn what we've chosen as 5-1...

5. Doctor Who – 'The Day of the Doctor'
With months - nay, years - of anticipation looming over it and almost 13m viewers watching BBC One live on the night - plus countless more in cinemas and at home across the globe - living up to the hype felt like an impossible task for Doctor Who's 50th anniversary special.

Yet somehow, Steven Moffat's spectacular 'The Day of the Doctor' just about managed it - Matt Smith is as assured and brilliant and inventive a lead actor as we could've hoped for on such an occasion, while his predecessor David Tennant also gave his all, with a perfect recreation of his much-loved and much-missed tenth Doctor.

This 75-minute blockbuster looked as good as Doctor Who ever has, but beyond the bells and whistles was a storyline that perfectly encompassed and paid tribute to all that's brilliant about the new series, but also paved the way for the future. 'The Day of the Doctor' was a wonderful birthday present for TV's longest running sci-fi series.


4. Educating Yorkshire - 'Musharaf'
The best episodes of non-scripted television are those that feel scripted. The final instalment of always-entertaining documentary Educating Yorkshire fell into that category, and became one of the most talked-about moments in television this year.

Focusing on Musharaf – a really nice young guy who was fighting to do well in his English GCSE despite having a speech impediment - not only was it an advertisement for hard-working, lovely teenagers, but it must also have boosted the morale of teachers thanks to the fantastic Mr Burton. The moment when he tried playing music to help Mushy – after seeing it on The King's Speech - was truly moving, and felt like a movie itself.

We just about lost it then, but we properly dissolved into embarrassing levels of tears when Musharaf delivered a speech to the rest of his year group at their leaving ceremony (and had everyone else in buckets as well.) Truly uplifting, truly touching and truly magical. What an episode of television that was.


3. Broadchurch - series one finale
Chris Chibnall's whodunnit united the nation like no other piece of television this year - in an age of boxsets and Netflix, the gradual unravelling of the Broadchurch mystery made old clichés about 'watercooler television' feel relevant again.

So expectations for the finale were high, with a series best of 10.47m viewers tuning in to find out who killed Danny Latimer. And yes, alright, most of us - including almost 50% of Digital Spy readers - had already guessed that mild-mannered house husband Joe Miller (Matthew Gravelle) was the guilty party, but as the episode unfolded, we were too busy being blown away by Olivia Colman's mind-blowingly good performance to care.

Special mention too for that surprise second series revival - a final twist just when we thought the show was done toying with us.


2. Game of Thrones - 'The Rains of Castamere'
George RR Martin's 'A Song of Ice and Fire' novels are packed full of twists and shock character exits, but the two major talking points for fans have always been the death of Ned Stark - which of course become an iconic TV moment in 2011 - and the Red Wedding - which was brought to gloriously horrible life in June 2013, leaving the internet quaking in its wake.

Love it or loathe it, 'The Rains of Castamere' will go down in television history as one of the most stark (no pun intended) pieces of television in recent memory - shocking not only in that it offs two major characters but also in its sheer viciousness. Richard Madden's sad, empty expression - with Robb unable to comprehend what has just happened to his bride and unborn child - will linger long in the memory, but as Catelyn, Michelle Fairley steals the show with a performance that's simply stunning to watch.


1. Breaking Bad - 'Ozymandias'
Sometimes there's an episode of television that keeps you gripped from beginning to end; that feels like a work of art; that stops you in your tracks. There's no doubt that 'Ozymandias' was one of those special moments.

This was the episode where Walter White really and truly began to lose and his empire began to crumble – just like the king in the Percy Bysshe Shelley poem of the same name. From the devastating murder of Hank to the desperate and unusually selfless phone call to Skyler towards the end of the instalment, everything about this episode was utterly compelling and full of tension.

Walt loses everything, from his money to his son, and the closing moments – as he rides away to his new identity – could easily have been the end of the series (and may even, controversially, have been a better end.) 'Ozymandias' was one of those slices of television where everything, from the storytelling to the writing to the acting to the production, comes together for a truly magnificent hour of entertainment.


Which were your favourite TV episodes of 2013? Share your picks below!

You May Like

Comments

Loading...