With apologies to Elton, goodbye sometimes really is the hardest word – and even when it comes to bidding farewell to beloved fictional characters, it can be a real wrench to see them go.
And in no TV show is that pain better represented than Doctor Who, a series that leaves a litter of former Time Lords, companions and other characters in its wake over its constantly-regenerating 55-plus years of broadcasting.
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So when one fan-run Twitter account asked fans to share a few of their more wrenching goodbyes, there were more than a few contenders…especially when it came to the era of David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor
— Mrbunny (@FluffiesForLife) July 9, 2019
Noothing beat Dr Donna… pic.twitter.com/FksAiFHOIs
— Diego Perez (@diegoperezsv74) July 8, 2019
Saying goodbye to my hero & inspiration was the saddest TV moment of my life pic.twitter.com/sTyZy2xKy7
— Kieran Bugg (@KezyBugg1998) July 8, 2019
Though of course, the more recent years of Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi brought back some pretty emotional goodbyes too.
— ᏝᏋᏇᎥᏕ (@SalamiSandwich4) July 8, 2019
— Sheila Friend (@Slfriend79) July 8, 2019
— ChildishSometimes (@ChildishSometi1) July 8, 2019
— Chris Hughes ???? I reject your reality (@ChrisHughes1984) July 8, 2019
— Comix Môn (@ComixMon) July 8, 2019
— Mara Cimetta (@MaraCimetta) July 9, 2019
Interestingly, while overall there were plenty of votes for Karen Gillan’s departure as Amy Pond or the final farewells of Doctors David Tennant, Peter Capaldi and Matt Smith (more than we’ve included here), there was also a lot of love for some goodbyes in the classic series.
Jon Pertwee’s sad final moments with companion Jo Grant (Katy Manning) in The Green Death were particularly noted, for one example, while goodbyes to various other Doctors and companions were remembered misty-eyed.
Hands down Jo and the Doctor in The Green Death. Such a beautiful and sad goodbye pic.twitter.com/9STeGSQKUi
— Doctor Who Brasil (@doctorwhobrasil) July 9, 2019
Doctor 3 saying goodbye to Jo
Or 4 saying goodbye to Sarah
Mind you 1 saying goodbye to Susan is fairly upsetting.
5 to Adric?
2 to Zoe and Jaimie?
7 to the Brig when he thought he was dead?
— Chris Boot (@iolanthe81) July 9, 2019
I won’t forget you, you know. pic.twitter.com/rE8N3G12kZ
— Rowan Thorne (@rowan_thorne) July 8, 2019
— William Tusing (@wbtusing) July 9, 2019
William Hartnell: “One day, I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then, there must me no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs, and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine. Goodbye, Susan, goodbye, my dear.
— The Acoustic Devil (@DevilAcoustic) July 8, 2019
“There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea's asleep and the rivers dream, people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on, Ace, we've got work to do.” pic.twitter.com/dabziFgISc
— John Player (@JohnPlayerNo6) July 8, 2019
Of course, in Doctor Who nobody’s ever really gone – time machines help with reunions, after all – but even if it was just au revoir, it’s good to see just how much of an impact these characters made on the viewers. Anyone got any tissues?
Doctor Who returns to BBC1 in 2020