In Too Deep Into Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor
Hello and welcome to In Too Deep Into Doctor Who, where I over-analyse each of the Doctors to find out which is best.
The way this is going to run is very simple: I take ten categories and give each Doctor points 1 to 10 along the way. Now some of this may seem familiar since I will be repeating myself, but I plan to have this be a be all and end all look at my favourite fictional character. So join me each week as work out which of the Doctors in my absolute favourite.
While it’s tempting to say that Six was the Bipolar Doctor, I’d argue that it fits Nine much better. He has periods of great joy and happiness, where he grins ear to ear and runs around saving the day. His joy is infectious and great. But, at the same time, there is that hidden sadness just beneath the surface. He’s clearly a man that has been hurt by the world around him and is trying his best to hide it the best he can. It’s a shame we see so little of him, because he’s such a great character. 10/10.
When I first saw this costume, I hated it. It didn’t look like the Doctor, he just looked like some sort of thug. However, if clothes make the man, the man also helps justify the clothes. It really works in this instance since it’s a good visual metaphor for the darkness inside of the Doctor. It shows how he’s done some terrible things and isn’t the same man. All black is a risky choice (one banned when Colin Baker requested it, since there were fears it’d be too similar to the Master), but it works for this Doctor rather well. 7/10.
The Story: The Autons are back, and they’re menacing one Rose Tyler. Fortunately a strange man is there to save her, a man whose constant companion is death. It’s a great story filled with great characters and good build-up. Who can forget Christopher Eccleston’s brilliant speech about how the Earth rotates? Sure it may not be factually true, but it’s still great nonetheless. And who doesn’t love the Autons? 8/10.
The Doctor’s Introduction: â€œRun!â€ What more needs to be said than that one small, fantastic word? The Doctor in a syllable. But not only that, we have a great introduction to the character. Honestly every line of dialogue he says could be quoted here, but that’d take far too long. Let it be known that everything he said is just beautiful. 10/10.
Overall: Rose is the best way to start off the revamp of the series. Homage to the old, spiced up for the new, everything about it is simply great. It’s everything a new watcher needs to know about Doctor Who in a nutshell. 9/10.
Final Verdict: 27/30 aka 9/10
Rose Tyler: In an almost reverse of what’s come before, this first series is Rose’s best. She’s competent, funny, an interesting character and ultimately a good companion. The love story between her and the Doctor isn’t overdone, so it’s still good to watch. Overall a good benchmark for a companion. 7/10.
Adam Mitchell: The show didn’t give him a fair shot, so I shouldn’t either. He was set up to fail, which is a little bit sad when you think about it. But he got to make a comeback in the 50th anniversary comic, which helps redeem him. And as a plot device he ain’t terrible. It’s a shame we don’t see more him. 5/10.
Jack Harkness: Like Steven Taylor but way more badass. Seriously I love this character and the actor playing him. He has a very believable character arc of shifting from coward to hero, which works well into the overall theme of the Doctor. Plus he gets a badass final line to the Daleks. 10/10.
Final Tally: 22/30, aka 7.3/10
Honourable Mentions: Dalek gets a mention for making the Daleks genuinely scary again, while Father’s Day gets a mention for being really quite sad. However both are topped by an episode that really shows off Christopher Eccleston’s skills.
Story: The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances. It’s Blitz London during WW2 and a mysterious object has crash-landed. Not only that there are strange gas mask wearing children walking around asking for their mummy. Honestly the creepy hearing of ‘Are you my mummy’ is enough to make anyone shiver. It’s a great horror story set in wartime that introduces the fabulous Captain Jack Harkness to us. 9/10.
Monster: The gas mask zombies… brr. They are just so unbelievably terrifying. It’s a simple horror concept, but a brilliant one nonetheless. If they touch you you become them. How brilliant is that? Zombies that can kill you by touch alone. I said it before with the Third Doctor how creepy I found it, and I continue to say it here. Just a brilliant concept. 10/10
Nostalgia Factor: I was unsure about this new Doctor Who while I was watching it. I had enjoyed the first few episodes, and felt slightly reassured later when we had Dalek. But this is the episode where I feel in love with the Ninth Doctor. He was such a fantastic Doctor, full of life and energy while hiding a hint of sadness. It’s this episode that makes me miss him most of all. 10/10.
Best Moment: â€œEverybody lives. Just this once Rose, everybody lives!â€ Who can watch that scene with a stony face? Answer: No one. It’s such a brilliant moment full of joy and happiness. It practically bursts out of the screen. For a rather sad and moody Doctor it was nice to see him genuinely happy for once. 10/10.
Ranking: If I had only twelve episodes of Doctor Who to watch, and I had to rank those twelve from best to worse, this would be number six, giving it a score of 5/10.
Final Verdict: 44/10 aka 8.8/10
Dishonourable Mentions: The Long Game is an okay episode that suffers from a third wheel only there to prove a point, while Boom Town is an interesting philosophical discussion that isn’t that fun to watch as a kid.
Story: Aliens in London/World War Three mostly works. The story between Rose and her Mother is good, the Doctor in it is as fantastic as usual… but my god the Slitheen were just a truly terrible idea. The first big New Who monster… whose most memorable quality was that they farted a lot. Good story though, just didn’t work as well as they liked. 5/10.
Monster: The Slitheen suck. They just… suck. After having seen all of Doctor Who these still rank up there as one of the worst monsters ever created. The fact that they honestly thought these things would be popular and catch on make them as bad as the Quarks in my book. Worse actually, since a lot of skill went into making these monsters… but ultimately just a bad idea all round. 2/10.
Guilty Pleasure Factor: Christopher Eccleston really steals the shows in this story. Like everything he does is just fantastic. I recommend people to watch it solely for how good he is in it, but that’s about it really. 5/10.
Worst Moment: â€œDo you mind not farting while I’m saving the world.â€ The first cliffhanger for the new series… and it’s just rubbish. Really, really rubbish. It’s a real shame, but that’s how the dice drops. Thankfully the next cliffhanger did a much better job of the ‘hero surrounded by monsters’ idea. Plus they put the trailer at the end of the episode, spoiling the cliffhanger. 2/10.
Ranking: Ranking these twelve episodes from favourite to less favourite, this one comes in at number four, giving it a score of 7/10.
Final Verdict: 21/50 aka 4.2/10.
Best Speech/Moment (Television only)
Now we get into the era where the Doctor made a lot of speeches. Choosing just one is hard. When confronting Rose he says â€œDo you know like we were sayin’? About the Earth revolving? [walks towards Rose] It’s like when you’re a kid. The first time they tell you that the world’s turning and you just can’t quite believe it ’cause everything looks like it’s standin’ still. [looks at Rose] I can feel it. [takes Rose’s hand] The turn of the Earth. The ground beneath our feet is spinnin’ at 1,000 miles an hour and the entire planet is hurtling around the sun at 67,000 miles an hour, and I can feel it. We’re fallin’ through space, you and me, clinging to the skin of this tiny little world, and if we let go… [lets go of Rose’s hand] That’s who I am.â€ A powerful introduction to the character and who he is. Likewise speaking of good introductions, we have this one:
- â€œThe Doctor: They’re made of plastic. Living plastic creatures. They’re being controlled by a relay device on the roof. Which would be a great big problem if â€” [he pulls a bleeping bomb out of his coat] â€” I didn’t have this. So I’m gonna go upstairs and blow it up. And I might well die in the process. But don’t worry about me, no. You go home, go on! Go and have your lovely beans on toast. [suddenly serious] Don’t tell anyone about this, ‘cos if you do, you’ll get them killed. [closes the door, then opens it again] I’m the Doctor, by the way. What’s your name?
- Rose: Rose.
- The Doctor: Nice to meet you, Rose. [holds up the bomb, shaking it slightly while grinning.] Run for your life!â€
- Another good introduction to the character, showing both his manic and his energy. However it does appear to be a bit out of place for a character like the Doctor, so we won’t count it. But to me there is one moment where the Ninth Doctor shines above all else, when the Daleks have Rose and are issuing an ultimatum:
- â€œDalek: We have your associate. You will obey or she will be exterminated!
- The Doctor: No.
- [The Daleks glance at each other in confusion.]
- Dalek: Explain yourself.
- The Doctor: I said no.
- Dalek: What is the meaning of this negative?
- The Doctor: It means no.
- Dalek: But she will be destroyed!
- The Doctor: No! ‘Cause this is what I’m gonna do: I’m gonna rescue her! I’m gonna save Rose Tyler from the middle of the Dalek fleet, and then I’m gonna save the Earth, and then, just to finish off, I’m gonna wipe every last stinking Dalek out of the sky!
- Dalek: But you have no weapons! No defenses! No plan!
- The Doctor: Yeah! And doesn’t that scare you to death? [speaking to Rose] Rose?
- Rose: Yes, Doctor?
- The Doctor: I’m coming to get you.â€
- It’s a great moment where the Doctor steps up and becomes a badass. I’ve talked about it before in other blogs, but it really is the way the Doctor stands up to the Daleks without any fear that makes it such a great speech. 10/10.
While the Eighth Doctor may have had the biggest expanded universe in the shortest screen time, the Ninth Doctor is the reverse. To date he has appeared in seven books, a handful of comic books, one audio play… and that’s about it. He has no expanded universe to speak of. He is essentially the ‘black sheep’ of the Doctor Who line-up. Everyone is having far too much fun playing around with Ten to give anything to Nine, mostly due to the fact that he has to be partnered with Rose for the story to make sense canonically (except one story, that takes place in the gap where the Doctor disappears and reappears in his first episode). This isn’t helped by the fact that Christopher Eccleston only did one series and, while it did give him a fantastic character story, kinda left without making much of an impression. I love the character… but there really isn’t that much there to play with. 3/10.
The Story: Bad Wolf is a surprisingly dark story when you look back at it, biting satire that has sadly become dated so many years on. But The Parting of the Ways still has so many good moments (â€œLive a fantastic lifeâ€, â€œCoward, any dayâ€, â€œNul points!â€ etc.) in it that it stands out even to this day. Plus you can’t go wrong with the Daleks. 8/10.
The Final Moments: Oh Christopher Eccleston, you left far too soon. But boy was the Doctor’s final speech just fantastic. A message of hope and support to his companion when she needs him most, a huge smile on his face. This is how regeneration should be done: Not an end, a new beginning. 10/10.
Overall: Much of the first season was about the Doctor’s acceptance of the Time War and his eventual release of the guilt, so with his story arc over it only makes sense he regenerates. Likewise he dies, once again, saving a companion. It all ties together really well. 8/10.
Final Verdict: 26/30 aka 8.7/10
Doctor Who needed a miracle to get back on the air… and this was exactly the miracle it needed. I often recommend to people that this is where they start if they want to get into Doctor Who, and it’s not hard to see why. Great Doctor, good companion, fantastic mix of stories and ultimately an all-round good show. 10/10.
Final Verdict: 78/100
So there you have it. My look at this Doctor. If you disagree with anything, or have anything to add, feel free to leave a comment. Tune in next week for my take on the next Doctor on the list. Till next time.