Huge kudos to Steven Moffat's Doctor Who episode 'The Girl In the Fireplace', which made me shed a manly tear.
Even with the fabbo D. Tennant in the title role, I hadn't been able to get into the new series much more than the last, and I still don't like the direction/lighting/music*. But this one pushed all the right buttons for me: emotional without being soapy, witty without being just jokey, and lots of lovely visual flourishes (I will always be a sucker for horses in space stations). For me, this does what SF does best: takes a bizarre concept (a spacestation with time windows into 18th century Paris, allowing the hero to visit a woman at various points in her life) and work through the real emotional implications. Won't talk about the end, but it had me blubbing since.... D. Tennant in Casanova.
Hmm. Maybe it's just the big sleeves.
Still, it's the first Who episode I've seen that I would happily rank up there with the best episodes of Buffy or The West Wing. Cracking acting by gorgeous lovely Sophia M as well, which kept the whole thing humming with saucy energy. Too too often in British telefantasy, half the actors get confused and think they're in a pantomime. Christopher Ecclestone said something in one interview about running through fight scenes in Who with a big grin on his face, so 'the kids would know it was going to be all right', which made me want to roll up a newspaper and bop it sharply across his nose.
NOTE: There's a downloadable commentary with Steven M. and Mickey Thing over at the bbc site which is well worth a listen.
* Actually I'm not sure that it's any of these. I think it just puts me off straight away because of the slighly harsh-looking digital video thing, whereas I'm almost always going to prefer film/graded DV. I'm at the very limits of my technical knowledge here, and there's a lot of reverse snobbery about graded DV (that 'filmised' look that GW has). There's no point slapping it on everything of course, but I can't help feeling Who would look just that bit cooler if they scuffed up the film a bit.
If anyone's reading who a) actually knows anything about the technical details and b) is now angry with me for being wrong, do say so. I'd love to know some actual facts about this.