The Doctor, the Master, and the Boundaries of Friendship

“Time Lords are friends with each other, dear.  Everything else is cradle-snatching.” – Missy to the Doctor

The Doctor is a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey, in the constellation of Kasterborous.  All Time Lords possess the ability to regenerate, meaning when they are near death they are born again in a new body with a new personality while retaining their memories.  Barring accidents or being killed again during regeneration, a Time Lord is essentially immortal.  No matter how much I watch Doctor Who, I can’t fully comprehend that sort of life.  I am a finite being so I can’t fathom traversing all of time and space for millennia.  I love thinking about it!  I love speculating about it!  But I’ll never – no matter how long I ponder – fully understand what such a life would be like.  As a result, I can never fully understand the Doctor’s relationship with the Master.  The Master is another Time Lord, the Doctor’s childhood best friend who grew up to become one of their greatest enemies. 

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David Tennant is the Fourteenth Doctor: Thoughts and Theories Part 1

When Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor regenerated I had no idea what would happen next.  I knew Ncuti Gatwa was cast as the next Doctor.  But I also knew David Tennant and Catherine Tate were returning for a trilogy of specials for Doctor Who’s 60th Anniversary next November.  Whose face would I see when the regeneration energy faded??  In all my time watching Doctor Who, there’s never been a regeneration mystery like this!  Jodie Whittaker smiled into the rising sun, arms wide…and then there was David Tennant!  The announcement posted on the BBC’s Doctor Who site immediately after the episode aired made if official-official, “As Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor regenerated on Sunday 23rd October, it was none other than David Tennant who appeared as the Fourteenth Doctor.”  They included a statement from Russell T Davies as well, “If you thought the appearance of David Tennant was a shock, we’ve got plenty more surprises on the way!  The path to Ncuti’s Fifteenth Doctor is laden with mystery, horror, robots, puppets, danger and fun!  And how is it connected to the return of the wonderful Donna Noble?  How, what, why?  We’re giving you a year to speculate, and then all hell lets loose!”[1]

So, David Tennant is the Fourteenth Doctor.  Ncuti Gatwa is the Fifteenth Doctor.  And Russell T Davies has invited us to a year of speculation (hence my “Part 1”).  How fun :D.  Let’s get started!

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Regeneration Speculation: Could Jodie Whittaker Really Regenerate into David Tennant?

Soon (I can’t be more specific as the BBC still hasn’t released a date and time), Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor will regenerate in “The Power of the Doctor,” her final special airing as part of the BBC’s Centenary Celebration.  Months ago Ncuti Gatwa was announced as the Fourteenth Doctor with Russell T Davies returning as the Doctor Who showrunner.  Just seven days later David Tennant and Catherine Tate’s return was also announced as part of a trio of specials for Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary.  Speculation began immediately.  Was this a missing Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble adventure?  Was this an alternate universe?  Or could it be possible – could it really be possible – Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor would regenerate into David Tennant’s Tenth (or Fourteenth?) Doctor before then regenerating into Ncuti Gatwa’s Doctor?  The latter two theories were first born from David Tennant wearing a suit and coat he never wore as the Tenth Doctor.  With weeks (or days??) until “The Power of the Doctor” airs, I figured it’d be fun to write a li’l speculative piece about all this :D.

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And Lo, Jodie Whittaker Begat Ncuti Gatwa: Feelings on the Thirteenth Doctor’s Impending Regeneration

This fall, in a 90 minute special airing in October as part of the BBC’s Centenary Celebration, the Thirteenth Doctor will regenerate as the Fourteenth Doctor comes into being.[1]  After all the speculation as to who would follow Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor in the TARDIS, the BBC announced Sex Education’s Ncuti Gatwa was cast as the Doctor’s fourteenth regeneration[2] (well, you know, fourteenth not counting the Fugitive Doctor, the War Doctor, the Morbius Doctors, and every incarnation of the Doctor we’ve met and/or seen alluded to with the Timeless Child).  Naturally, there’ve been many pieces reporting the announcement and compiling quotes from Ncuti Gatwa, returning showrunner Russell T Davies, Jodie Whittaker, Chris Chibnall, and everyone else in the orbit of Doctor Who willing to comment on the news.  This piece isn’t that.  Others have written it (and have done a better job than I could (that’s not my strength as a writer)).  Instead, I want to talk about feelings (much more my forte!) about this impending regeneration when our ever-changing Doctor will change once again.

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The Third Doctor and the Shadow of the Division: A Timeless Child Reflection

One of the unique things about a show/story/character as long running as Doctor Who is its potential to fold back on itself, to tell a story that opens a new path for future narratives while also inviting you to return to older stories and see them in a new way.  As I explored last week, Chris Chibnall’s addition of the Timeless Child to the world of Doctor Who certainly does that.  This week, as I’ve been filling my time between Doctor Who: Flux “Chapter One: The Halloween Apocalypse” and Doctor Who: Flux “Chapter Two: War of the Sontarans,” I’ve been continuing my journey through all 695 episodes of Classic Doctor Who.  As I’m moving through the Third Doctor’s era (which I ADORE), I’ve been thinking of the Timeless Child.  Specifically I’ve been thinking of how seamlessly it brings together a few plot points which felt a bit disconnected to me.

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And Lo, Davies Begat Moffat Who Begat Chibnall Who Begat…Davies?! – Considering Russell T Davies Return to Doctor Who

The world of Doctor Who has some big news!  Russell T Davies, who brought Doctor Who back to television in 2005 and served as showrunner during Christopher Eccleston’s time as the Ninth Doctor as well as David Tennant’s tenure as the Tenth Doctor, will be returning to helm the show once more.  On July 29th it was announced Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall – having completed their “‘three series and out’ pact” – would be “handing back the TARDIS keys” after Series Thirteen (a six-part event serial) this fall and a trio of event specials through 2022, ending with a feature length special as part of the BBC’s Centenary Celebrations.[1]  Often, a hallowed air surrounds discussions of Russell T Davies time as Doctor Who showrunner amongst fans (with David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor being the most widely favored of the modern Doctors) so people have understandably been freaking out all day.  Well I’ve got thoughts and feelings, too!  So let’s chat about the potential future of Doctor Who shall we?

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