Changing of the guard (Doctor Who)

I have been a fan of the Doctor Who series for quite a number of years now and have seen most of the incarnations of the character and the evolution over time. The reintroduction of the series in 2005 with Christopher Eccleston saw the doctor evolve even further. He started off as an outcast stealing a time machine and running away from his people, this evolved into the outcast until ultimately he became the destroyer not only of the race he had a hand in creating (in attempts to stop, and subsequent inaction) of the Daleks but also of his own people; A people he once stood over as Lord President.

Eccelstons Doctor was well and truly conflicted after his time spent in the war (revealed in the 7th season due to him breaking his vow when he took the name The Doctor) But throughout the reboot of the series the character has been becoming slightly more darker as reflected in his interactions with the antagonists, the punishments he inflicts on the defeated culminating in Tennants doctor becoming an egotistical almost self proclaimed god in the events of the waters of mars and his eventual demise in the end of time his character still shone through. He could have chosen to walk away and let Wilf die continuing his second regeneration in that form but he chose to sacrifice that version of himself for another.

Matt Smiths doctor was considerably harder to place, he still had the ego present at the end of Tennants run (the don’t play games with me, don’t ever ever think you are capable of that ~ The Impossible Astronaut) which further developed through his run but was mostly buried by his quirky craziness. It is possible that as he knew he was the final possible version of himself without the intervention of the Time Lords he was just out to have as much fun as he could with whatever time he had left.

Like everyone else going into the 50th anniversary special I had my own thoughts and theories around it, in part confirmed with the fact that Billie Piper was not playing Rose but I liked how it was done tying in a few different elements that had been introduced in earlier seasons and we finally got to see what transpired in the time war between the Daleks and the Time Lords; In a way Eccelston did have a right to feel shame and Tennant seeking forgiveness as the Time Lords used all of their forbidden weapons in their battle against the Daleks and effectively being considered just as bad by the rest of the universe.

Overall it was a good representation of the choices that are often made in war, most of the time not easy choices or necessarily pretty however I will admit to wet eyes when the moment asked the war doctor how many children were on Gallifrey as he would be burning them all, and again the anger in Tennant addressing Smith in is 400 years all it takes to forget when his answer was no idea vs Tennants knowing the actual number of children he was responsible for ending the lives of.

But in the end, he wasn’t the one that used the moment per say; The moment used him. The most powerful weapon in all of creation and in possession of a conciseness whilst it was capable of destroying them it was also capable of bridging three separate points  of the doctors timestream together and to reach the point where he realized that he still had a choice and didn’t have to do it.  Effectively it can be viewed a couple of ways; The reboot technically hadn’t happened as the doctor was still within the time war itself about to make his choice in his choice to use the moment it showed him what he would become if he actually did that now he could have chosen not to and not become them, or he could have become them the man who regrets and the man who forgets but instead by bridging over 400 years of his timestream it allowed his tardis enough time to perform the necessary calculations for another solution to be possible.

But like was seen in the Fires of Pompeii, something that is fixed will always find a way to happen so the doctors remaining timeline up to Smith’s era was preserved in order for him to become the one who chooses to change his mind and not destroy them all in fire allowing for the alternate solution to be possible; And in so doing so it allowed for the intervention of his fellow Time Lords at his final death to grant him a new cycle of regenerations (and ensuring the possibility that the show can continue for another 13 actors). In the lead up to the 50th special and the Christmas special there were a lot of fan made videos with different elements of the show throughout the years, the video I came across the other day has elements of them all (with the exception of the Christmas special) and I thought it was really well done.

As always with the introduction of a new take on a character I am apprehensive of what Capaldi’s era will bring, but I look forward to seeing how it unfolds.

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