Saturday, November 16, 2013

Legacy Character Study: The 10th Doctor

The first regeneration of the revived series.

Let's take a look at this near-instant fan favorite.
Character Conception
David Tennant, a huge Doctor Who fan, voiced several characters in Big Finish audio plays as well as Scream of the Shalka, the unofficial 9th Doctor adventure before being cast as the 10th Doctor.

Secret Origin
After channeling the Time Vortex out of Rose Tyler, the Doctor was once again forced to regenerate in order to survive. Once again, the regeneration was a tricky one, and the Doctor was quite upset that he wasn't ginger.

This Doctor demonstrated the ability to expel poisons from his body (although he needed specific enzymes and chemicals to trigger the process) as well as the ability to channel and expel radiation through specific body parts (he lost his shoe in the process, sadly).

Rose Tyler
Rose was instrumental in helping the Doctor recuperate after his regeneration, providing him with a place to recuperate after his regeneration. She was unfortunately stuck in a parallel dimension after helping defeat the Cybermen and the Daleks, where I'm sure she'd never be seen again....

Mickey Smith
Mickey actually traveled with the Doctor in the TARDIS this time around. He often felt like a third wheel, and took off to a parallel universe to help destroy the newly-created Cyberman menace. I'm sure he'd never be seen again....

Sarah-Jane Smith
Sarah-Jane ran into the Doctor again while they were both investigating a suspicious school. They got to say a proper good-bye, and the Doctor left her a replacement K-9 as a parting gift. Sarah-Jane then left for he spin-off, The Sarah-Jane Adventures. And I'm sure she would never be seen again...

Martha Jones
Training to be a doctor herself, Martha Jones was street smart as well as book smart. Her time in the TARDIS was sadly overshadowed by the Doctor's sorrow at losing Rose, and she left to work for UNIT. She gained a fiancee that she later dumped for Mickey Smith.

Captain Jack Harkness
Captain Jack, after being stuck as an immortal in the future, time-jumped to the past. After his Vortex Manipulator broke, he worked for Torchwood while waiting a few hundred years for the 20th Century to show up. After the Battle for Canary Wharf, he reformed the organization to be smaller and more in line with the Doctor's own ideals. He ran into the Doctor again and... well, I'll explain that later.

Donna Noble
After being zapped into the TARDIS (by what I assume is supposed to be science), she sought out the Doctor for a year after he revealed that her fiancee was working for an evil spider-lady. She was the sassiest companion yet; she took no guff and wasn't afraid to give the Doctor a piece of her mind. For some strange reason, she kept being told that there was something on her back....

Not-Quite Companions
(Either one-shots, or they never traveled in the TARDIS)

Astrid Peth
A stewardess on a space-cruise-ship from Sto, she sacrificed her life to help prevent Starship Titanic (not that one) from crashing into the Earth.

River Song
A strange woman with a green sonic screwdriver who apparently knew a future Doctor, though 10 was meeting her for the first time. She sacrificed her life to end the threat of the Vashta Nerada in the Library. According to the Doctor, she knew his real name, but that remains to be seen, as it was whispered into his ear.

Lady Christina de Sousa
A cat burglar, she wanted to travel with the Doctor, but was denied the honor. The Doctor was having... troubles at that point.

Wilfred Mott
Donna's grandfather; he first met the Doctor when he beamed down to Earth from the Starship Titanic. He later saw Donna off on her travels, and was there with the 10th Doctor when he met his end, but I'm jumping the gun.

Jackson Lake and Rosita
A man from Victorian times who, through personal trauma, came to believe that he was the Doctor. He took a companion named Rosita and, though he came to realize that he wasn't the Doctor, helped the real one defeat the Cyberman invasion of London.

Notable Enemies
The Doctor would enter a parallel universe where the Cybermen were created on Earth as a way of prolonging lives that got out of hand. They would later find a way to break through to the "prime" reality (at least the reality that the show normally takes place in).

The Daleks returned, thanks to the Cult of Skaro, the only four Daleks allowed to think creatively in order to come up with plans to rule the universe. The Cult would keep returning to attempt to bring back the Dalek race. They eventually returned in full force thanks to an unexpected return....

The Master
The Master hid from the Time War at the end of time, before stealing the Doctor's TARDIS. Limited in where and when he could go, he went back to modern London and became Prime Minister in a landslide. He turned the Earth into a hellhole using a paradox machine. After the machine's destruction, the Earth reverted to the state it was in a year previously.

The Ood (a lobotomized slave race) would be saved from their unintentional evil by the Doctor and turn out to be instrumental in saving the universe from the Time War.

Notable Traits
We're getting into fan-theory territory, but when 9's last words were about how fantastic he was, I think that he finally began to accept what he did. He hadn't forgiven himself yet, as evidenced by 10's unofficial catchphrase of "I'm so sorry," but he could at least live with the decision.

9 spent his whole life angry at himself, 10 took it upon himself to try and make up for what he had done, rather than dwell on it. This, I think, is why the Daleks seemed to be the only thing that could bring out the fury that 9 would often express.

Overall, 10 was more cheerful than 9, and resembled his past selves more. Although, he wasn't as merciful as he used to be, operating under a "One Chance" rule with his enemies. He was very forgiving to everyone but himself, and had a hard time accepting his own failure. He was a bit of a looker, so he often found himself as the target of romantic attraction, and even developed mutual attraction to Rose.

10 was technically a pacifist. He would never use a weapon against another, but that doesn't mean he wouldn't let an enemy die.  He would sometimes be more focused on how interesting or cool the situation he'd be in was, rather than scared. He used his sonic screwdriver more and more often, which would often lead to great frustration when he couldn't save the day with it.


Dang it, internet, stop with all the feels.
Notable Character History
After regenerating, the Doctor halted a global invasion by the Sycorax on Christmas (setting the stage for his Christmases to come). He lost his hand in a duel, though. The fleeing ship was then shot down by Harriet Jones, who had become Prime Minister. In retaliation for this, 10 whispered the words "Don't you think she looks tired?" into her aide's ear, leading to the media to question her mental health, resulting in her being outed from office and replaced with someone worse down the line. In one fell swoop, the Doctor eliminated "the Architect of Britain's Golden Age."

From there, he had many, many, many adventures. The important ones were as follows: 
  • He took Rose to New New York, to help her acclimate to his new body. There, he ran into the good ol' Face of Boe again. (Literally, a giant face in a jar.)  
  • He took Rose back to Victorian Scotland, where he saved the Queen from a "werewolf." He was subsequently banished from the UK, and the Queen founded the Torchwood institute to save the UK from such threats.  
  • He ran into Sarah-Jane again, and they defeated a shape-shifting aline race who had infiltrated a school. He picked up Mickey Smith during this time.  
  • He saved Madame du Pompadour from clockwork robots that were attempting to harvest her body parts.  
  • He fell though a hole in reality to an alternate universe where Rose's dead dad, Pete, was still alive and a successful business man. (They dubbed it "Pete's World.") After subduing the Cyberman menace, Mickey stayed behind to replace his Pete's World freedom fighter self.  
  • He ventured to a planet on the edge of a black hole, where he defeated a demon from the previous universe before the Big Bang who had been dominating the Ood that human explorers had been using.  
  • He arrived back on Earth to find "ghosts" everywhere. They turned out to be Cybermen escaping from Pete's World through dimensions. At the same time, the Daleks returned from the void they were cast into, thanks to Torchwood. At the Torchwood HQ at Canary wharf, the two forces fought each other, before being cast back into the void. Rose was almost cast in as well, but was saved by a dimension-hopping Mickey. Rose and Mickey stayed in Pete's World, and the Doctor was able to transmit a farewell message into their world. Then...  
  • Donna Noble was teleported into the TARDIS, and very confused about it. The Doctor defeated her evil husband who was in league with evil spider aliens, and the two parted ways.  
  • The Doctor met up with Martha Jones, and she traveled with him after he saved the hospital she worked at from an alien police force that teleported it to the moon.  
  • Back at a post-apocalyptic New New York, the Doctor saved the city from an evil highway system of death and met up with the dying Face of Boe, who delivered his final message to the Doctor: "You are not alone."  
  • The Daleks attempted to convert 1920's New York into Daleks, and Dalek Caan (the last remaining Cultist of Skaro) escaped with an emergency temporal shift.  
  • The Doctor used a Chameleon Arch (a pocket watch that rewrites DNA and memories) to hide out in early-20th Century England as a teacher from evil aliens.  
  • The Doctor met the Weeping Angels, which will be elaborated upon next time.  
  • While the TARDIS was refueling using the time rift in Cardiff, Captain Jack grabbed on to the outside, which sent the TARDIS to the end of history. (He located the TARDIS by using the Doctor's severed hand in a jar as a detector.) There, the Doctor helped elderly Professor Yana build a ship to take the remaining humans to "Utopia." "Yana" turned out to be the Master, hiding with a Chameleon Arch. (You Are Not Alone) He stole the TARDIS, went back in time, and used cell phones to hypnotize the world into making him Prime Minister of the UK using a rhythm of four drumbeat that he constantly hears in his head. He used the humans from the end of time and turned them into cyborg balls of death. He turned the TARDIS into a paradox machine, and took over Earth. After a year, Martha Jones got the people of the world to project a psychic signal to free the Doctor and overpower the Master. The machine was destroyed, and the world went back in time a year. Martha left to work for UNIT, and Jack went back to Torchwood, revealing in passing that he had once been known as "the Face of Boe."
  • After an adventure on the unfortunately-named Starship Titanic, the Doctor met back up with Donna; they were both investigating "Adipose Industries," who were turning human fat into baby aliens. Donna let slip that the bees were disappearing, which will be important. Also, Rose appeared in the crowd, looking for the Doctor. She continued to make appearances on video screens yelling "Doctor"....  
  • The Doctor caused the volcano of Pompeii to erupt in order to save the world from the Pyroviles. (But he did save a family, including a man who bears a striking resemblance to his 12th incarnation.)  
  • He saved the Ood (who kept calling them the DoctorDonna) from slavery.  
  • He helped Martha save the Earth from the Sontarans, who were trying to convert the Earth into a clone-growing world.  
  • He had a female clone made against his will, who later went off to explore the universe.  
  • He went to the universe's biggest library, which he saved from living shadows with the mysterious Professor River Song. She apparently knew a future Doctor, and the Doctor saved her after she sacrificed her life by uploading her consciousness into a computer system.  
  • Throughout the season, references would be made to "missing" or "lost" planets, and Donna would be told that she had something on her back....  
  • The "something" on her back was a beetle that changed the past to prevent Donna from meeting the Doctor, resulting in an alternate timeline where he died. Without the Doctor to save them all, the various disasters 10 prevented either happened or were barely reverted. Rose, who came back from Pete's World, helped Donna set the timeline straight and gave her a message: "Bad Wolf."  
  • The Earth was then stolen. Poof, gone. The Doctor followed Earth to the space time pocket where it and other planets were being kept by the Daleks. The Daleks, cloned from and led by led by Davros, proceeded to try and exterminate all humans, before using the planetary engine to destroy all history ever.  As it turns out, Dalek Caan temporally shifted into the Time War and saved Davros, but went mad after exposure to the Time Vortex. Rose, Martha, Torchwood, Sarah-Jane, and others all teamed up to fight the Daleks. (Wilfred Mott even fired a paintball at a Dalek, referencing his role in one of the Dr. Who films.) The Doctor was shot by a Dalek, but managed to heal himself and force his remaining regeneration energy into his hand. 
  • The hand later bonded with Donna, creating a human Doctor and giving Donna all of the Doctor's knowledge. The combined force of this ultimate alliance was enough to defeat the Daleks once and for all. Rose and the human Doctor went off to Pete's World to spend their days together, and the Doctor was forced to wipe Donna's mind of their time together to prevent her mind from burning. 
  • He ran into Jackson Lake, who thought he was the Doctor, and defeated the Cyberman invasion again.  
  • He saved a bus of humans from being killed on a faraway planet, and was told by a psychic woman that "He will knock four times."  
  • The Doctor arrived at Bowie Base, which history says ended up with everyone  there dead. In a fit of madness, he chose to defy history, dubbing himself "Time Lord Victorious" With time and space at his command, he saved everyone he could, only to have the leader of the mission kill herself to protect the timeline. At this point, the Doctor realized the full impact of his actions.  
  • The Master, who had been killed after his attempted takeover of Earth, came back. But he came back wrong. He was hungry and could shoot lightning. He was abducted by a rich billionaire and told to fix an immortality machine. Instead, he rigged it to turn the world into copies of him, save for a select few. 
    Meanwhile, a now married Donna Temple-Noble (which translates to "Lady Time Lord") celebrates Christmas while her grandfather Wilfred gets messages to find the Doctor, and he does. After the Master turns the world into him, they all concentrate on the drumbeat. 
    Back in the Time War, a reincarnated Rassilon formed a plan to escape their destruction. He caused the beat in the Master's head in the past, and the "Master Race" focused on the drumbeat of four to create a link to Gallifrey. Using a Gallifreyan diamond to strengthen the link, the Master rigged the machine to bring back Gallifrey itself. The now-evil Time Lords, led by Rassilon, attempted to destroy reality to ascend to godhood. Wilfred gave the Doctor a gun and the Doctor shot the diamond, sending the Time Lords back to the Time War. The Doctor expressed glee at surviving the events, but Wilfred knocked four times on the radiation booth he was in. To save Wilfred's life, the Doctor absorbed all the radiation instead, killing him slowly. 
    In that time, the Doctor began going around the universe to visit everyone he knew in his 10th life one last time, and regenerated with such force (likely caused by the prolonged regeneration) that the TARDIS would take some time to recover.  
Alternate Versions
Meta-Crisis Doctor, aka "Handy"

Created using Donna's DNA and 10's hand as a template, this was an angry, human Doctor clone. Because the Doctor loved Rose, so did Handy. Handy and Rose would get their happily ever after in Pete's World, and the Doctor would go on alone.
Next time, we get a clean slate for the Doctor.
Kind of. See you then!

Technically, his 7th incarnation was 953... but let's not nitpick. Too late.


  1. Not too bad, but you missed the part where he met 5.

    1. Well, overall, I decided that a 5-minute team up that wasn't shown anywhere but the UK but is still technically canon was one of the things that could be over looked, but yeah, it probably deserved a mention. I might go back and add the events of Time Crash someday.