Friday, November 8, 2013

Legacy Character Study: The 9th Doctor

And so, the show was once again renewed, against all odds. Let's take a look at the first Doctor of the modern Doctor Who series.

The first fantastic Doctor of the Revived Series.
Character Conception
Russell T. Davies went up against three other ideas for remaking/rebooting the show. One was fantasy-based, one was a Gothic horror, one would make the Doctor the audience-viewpoint character instead of the companions. Davies' pitch for the show cut out the Time Lords, Gallifrey, and all the back story, except for "the good bits" in order to keep new viewers from getting too confused, but he kept the old series in continuity to respect what came before.

Eccleston was the choice of 9th Doctor from the very beginning, though false rumors claimed that Slartibartfast Davy Jones Bill Nighy had been offered the role first.

In another reality, this was a Doctor crossover.
Secret Origin
Who knows? We never see the 8th Doctor regenerate into the 9th. All we glean from the Doctor is that the Daleks gained the secret of time travel and used it to wage the Last Great Time War against the Time Lords. The Doctor apparently had to destroy both sides forever in order to end the war. Who knows what happened? But the Doctor was never the same after that, as evidenced by his 9th persona.

This Doctor demonstrated immense perception of time to he degree that he could time his movements to pass through rapidly spinning fan blades unharmed.

Rose Tyler
A teenage mall worker, Rose Tyler was all that other stuff that companions tend to be, but only more so. Basically, Rose was everything a companion should be. Curious, not opposed to doing a lot of running, and would disagree with the Doctor at times, but still defer to his better judgement when it was the right thing to do. Although, she did take initiative on saving the day at times, and even the universe, once. She and the Doctor became fast friends.

Adam Mitchell
Adam was the exact opposite of Rose; he was everything a companion shouldn't be. He was greedy, selfish, and the first thing he did in the future was try to send information to himself in the past for profit. He was kicked out after one adventure in the TARDIS, forever condemned to lay low for the rest of his life to hide the data port in his head that revealed itself with the snap of fingers. Anyone's fingers. Uh oh.

Captain Jack Harkness
Ah, the dashing Captain Jack. The face that launched a thousand fanfics.

A time traveling conman from the future, the good Captain was an omnisexual charmer. He would be left by the Doctor in the future after being secretly brought back to life permanently by Rose, later ending up in the spin-off show Torchwood.

Mickey "The Idiot" Smith
The Doctor showed a strange animosity towards Rose's boyfriend, probably because Mickey was an easy target. He got angry at the Doctor quickly, and vice versa. The two had a knack for getting on each other's nerves. Mickey would end up breaking up with Rose, but the two remained close.

Notable Enemies
The Daleks would return in full force, after the Doctor thought he had killed every last one.

The Slitheen
The Slitheen (a large family of Raxacoricofallapatorians) attempted to destroy the Earth to turn it into radioactive rocket fuel. I only metion them because they and the Daleks were the most recurring villains of the 9th Doctor's one-season run.

Notable Traits
8 was innocent. 8 was kind. And then the Time War happened. Who knows what happened to him, but 8 had to change to survive, literally and figuratively. 8 became a bitter, hateful person when he changed into 9. The Doctor had to hate himself for what he did to end the Time War. Because if he at any point approved of the genocide of two separate races, he wouldn't be the Doctor anymore.

This Doctor wasn't all angry, though. He showed genuine compassion for others; he just left none for himself. He also seemed to be aware of Earth celebrities' secret lives, though this would seem to be the first time he'd been to contemporary Earth.

Notable Character History
After saving Rose Tyler from an invasion of Autons, trying to find a new home after the loss of their planet in the Time War, 9 took her to the far future (where they watched the Earth's final moments), and the past (where they battled "ghosts" with Charles Dickens).

Should have brought flowers.
Then they went back to Rose's hometime, but a year after she left. Her mother sent out a missing persons report, her boyfriend was arrested and released when no evidence of kidnapping turned up, and then Rose just came back, unable to tell people where she had been.

Suddenly, aliens faked an alien invasion (by fake aliens) to gain access to the world's nukes and blow up the Earth. The Doctor stopped them, and sent Harriet Jones, an investigator, on her way to becoming "the architect of Britain's Golden Age."

Over in 2012, the Doctor met the first Dalek he had seen since the Time War, and defeated it by giving it humanity. Adam Mitchell, a worker for Harry Van Statten, the guy who salvaged the Dalek, joined up with the Doctor, only to get kicked out after his first adventure, where he got a hole in his head that he attempted to use to steal information from the future. During that adventure, the Doctor defeated an alien intelligence that had been controlling humanity through its pop culture.

After causing and fixing a time paradox, the Doctor and Rose went back to World War 2. There, they met Captain Jack Harkness, a suave, former Time Agent conman. They defeated nanogenes that were reconfiguring humans into "gas-mask zombies," and the three went on their way, going back to London, where they defeated another Slitheen scheme.

Suddenly, the Doctor, Captain Jack, and Rose wake up in the future, where they're participating in reality shows for some reason. Turns out that they had been abducted from the TARDIS by a transmat beam to defeat the evil menace that started controlling humanity through TV in the absence of the alien who had previously doing that. Doubly bad, because the human race should have been flourishing in the future, not floundering.  Turns out that the Daleks were behind it, having reconstituted themselves after the Time War by altering human beings. The Doctor found a way to defeat them, but it would kill all the humans that were around the area.

The Doctor sent Rose home in the TARDIS, but the words that had been following them throughout time and space, Bad Wolf, appeared to her, signaling her need to help the Doctor. She and Mickey broke into the TARDIS, and she and Mickey opened the link to the Eye of Harmony with a big yellow truck. She absorbed all of time and became the physical manifestation of the Time Vortex.

Using her power, she restored Captain Jack to life (permanently), defeated the Daleks, and sent the Bad Wolf message back in time. Rose began to burn up from containing all of time inside her, so the Doctor sacrificed his life to drain the energy out of her. Naturally, this was done by kissing her. Inside the TARDIS, Rose recovered quickly, and managed to have a final moment with the 9th Doctor.

9th Doctor: "You were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. And you know what? So was I."

In a flash of light, 9 turned into a younger man with sticky-uppy hair who was very upset at not being ginger.

Alternate Versions
Due to the show's efforts to get back on the air,  there were actually three 9th Doctors.

The first one was created by current showrunner Steven Moffat for the official parody called "Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death," the title of which is comprised of the most common words in Doctor Who titles.

"The Master is madder than Mad Jack McMad, the winner of last year's Mr Madman competition."
Played by Rowan Atkinson, it's kind of unclear if he's supposed to be the 8th Doctor or not... he looks like 8, but acts more like 7. If you haven't seen this parody, go watch it. You can already see several of Moffat's ideas taking shape, like non-linear events.

The second 9th Doctor was the first "official" 9th Doctor, played by Richard E. Grant in "Scream of the Shalka." Which was animated.

In Flash, no less.
It was supposed to officially continue Doctor Who, but only one special was ever made, and the show was rebooted a few years later into the revived series we've come to know and love.

And the third 9th Doctor was Eccleston.

Next time, the not-a-ginger-Doctor. See you then.

You give the worst gifts, Doctor.


  1. He should have stayed on long enough to show the between Eighth, John Hurt and Ninth regenerations.

    1. Hey, spoilers, now.
      But yes, I do wish he'd come back for a regeneration scene. At the very least, they could CGI one up for us.
      Can you imagine, in the future, when they can perfectly replicate any actor in CGI, a 20-Doctor team Up?

    2. I'm still waiting for that 100th anniversary special myself.