So, where was I…? Oh yeah – somewhere, the 8th Doctor regenerated – as I said before, possibly during (or as a consequence of) the events of the Time War. But as we have no proof, however vague, let’s assume he was just bored to death by the advent of Big Brother in his absence from the screen and had to regenerate. Perhaps a foolish mistake for an experienced Time Traveller, but maybe a small gesture towards the dungheap of Reality TV… We’ll never know for sure. But just when Star Trek fans had started to think they could claim the longest-running series title… here’s the Oodcast Guide to what happened next: Doctors 9, 10 and 11.
Emerging from the swirling mists of time and onto a North London housing estate to pick up a cockney sparra and whisk her off around the universe, the Ninth incarnation of the Doctor looked for all the world like he’d just wandered out of the bookies after he backed a winner at 100/1 odds. His northern accent did nothing to move away from the stereotype. He was also hairless – a new image for the TARDIS’ designated driver.
In terms of companion, there was the cockney shop-girl, the unemployed Coronation Street actor/dull milksop character… oh, and the omnisexual, immortal cabaret performer.
But this ninth chap was energetic, fun-loving and naturally rather nosey – and although intelligent, quick-witted and very knowledgeable when it came to technological workings, he preferred to stick with the sonic screwdriver and a well-chosen pun in the face of danger. A little like the fourth Doctor, he was often jolly and cheerful when in company or confronting trouble, but melancholy and serious when alone.
During his time, he beat back a fresh invasion attempt by shop window dummies, discovered and then half-defeated the last remaining Dalek, Victorian ghosts, Rose’s should-be-dead dad and a Reaper who wants to make him dead again, children in gas masks, the bloke from Spaced and his hungry ceiling, and (if you were in any doubt as to whether it had anything for the kids) the green aliens distinguishable from other green aliens because they make that funny farting noise a lot… the Slitheen…
A brave and loyal friend, particularly to Rose, he regenerated having kissed her – not as a punishment, but because in doing so, he inhaled the Time Vortex’s energy – and re-emerged younger, skinnier, and in his Sunday best…
The Doctor’s ninth regeneration was a traumatic one, with the poor lamb needing a sleep once it was complete. And while he slept, the world nearly fell to an invasion by the family from the children’s classic Funny Bones. Happily, he woke up in time to beat the Big Skeleton using just a sword and a Satsuma.
And so began the era of the heartthrob Doctor. Good looking, eccentrically suave, sometimes cheeky and with a good mopey face when required, this Doctor was a sort of mixture of the third and fifth incarnations – with the former’s all-action style and enthusiasm for running about; and the youthful wisdom, naivety and touch of sadness like the latter.
Persuading companions to join him was simple (if they were female), and he travelled with the cockney shop girl, a cockney Doctor, and just for a change, a cockney temp… But he also encountered old friends in Sarah and the little tin doggy, was reunited with the Cabaret star and kept a civil face on for the shop-girl’s family and friends.
As for adventures, there were plenty… From cat nurses, werewolves and spiky queens to clockwork Frenchmen, deadly stone angels, interplanetary witches, small girls who could teach animators a thing or two about bringing things to life, northern comedians, robot Santas with Tuba guns, literally huge demons, face-stealing televisions, scarecrows, hungry shadows, fish people (who are all halfway through eating a glass), Aliens hidden under Roman volcanoes, walking diet pills, giant wasps, antsy headmasters and some older foes in a returning Davros, Cybermen, Daleks, Sontarans, Macra and the Master.
He should, of course, be best remembered for meeting the Ood. Without whom we would not have a podcast…
This Doctor’s end was long, drawn out, and I’m not really sure what did for him in the end. Perhaps it was the numbing inevitability. Nope, I remember. He regenerated having absorbed far more radiation than he should have) in order to save Bernard Cribbins so he could carry on with his plan to narrate a new series of the Wombles – at least, that’s what Bernard should be doing. A noble deed either way.
His reluctant firework display over, he went back to his childhood… Isn’t 903 too old for a mid-life crisis?
Whether you see him as an old head on young shoulders, or simply a bent shoe coincidentally on the same coat hanger as a tweed jacket, the Eleventh incarnation is an exhilarating bundle of energy and floppy fringes. The Time Lord equivalent of Hugh Grant crossed with a Rugrat.
Old school in many ways, he is quick-tempered yet compassionate and bears more than a passing resemblance in manner to the second doctor. He’s the first to deploy sweeping the hair out of his eyes as a method of charming enemies, the second to pull off the bowtie and braces combination (it’s a classy man who can pull off the “Bobby Ball”), and the third to raid a hospital changing room for clothes.
Just a few months in, he’s already faced the threats of Daleks, Silurians, even deadlier deadly stone angels, a space snake with huge teeth, Star Whales, Smilers and gun-toting monarchs, vampirical fish women, a Dream Lord, a pilotless spaceship, a small stone prison and a paradox… Oh, and of course he faced an alien turkey in the crypt of a French church while visiting Vincent Van Gogh.
He also appears to be quite good at football, but I don’t think we need to go into that.