A couple weeks ago, we explored Doctor Who and I tried to convinced all my readers that Rose is, in fact, the best companion the Doctor had ever had. This week, we’re going back into the Doctor Who-niverse but this time, we’re going to discuss the man himself: the Doctor. But which Doctor? There are so many… It was close, but in the end, we all have to pick our favourite. And, in my humble opinion, the best Doctor was (drumroll please) the tenth doctor. Eleven was brilliant and jubilant and nine has this amazing charisma, but the Tenth Doctor will always have a special place in my heart. This article is dedicated to everyone who can’t help but smile when they think of the greatest Doctor to ever grace the BBC, a.k.a. the tenth Doctor.
15. Ten always seems to have everything figured out before anyone else.
One of my favourite things about Ten is the fact that he always knows what’s going on. He always solves the mystery before anyone else and by the time everyone else has finally caught on, he is already 50% done saving the day. Ten is just so clever and he pieces everything together in a way that really feels so honouring to classic sci-fi themes. Sci-fi is all about convoluted plots and overly complicated evil plans that our hero quickly figures out and saves the world from at the last moment; and I think that Ten perfectly embodies this. He instantly knew that those diet pills weren’t all they were cracked up to be, he knew that that evil spider monster lady had some ulterior motives, and he knew that that library wasn’t as deserted as it appeared to be. Don’t try to pull one over on the Doctor because he was already figured out and undid your evil plan before it even started taking action.
14. The best episodes happen when Ten is the doctor.
The episode with the weeping angels (which still gives me nightmares by the way,) the one with the werewolf queen, the one with the killer bees, the episode where Cassandra decides to steal Rose’s body, the one where the girl traps kids in her drawings, the episode where they travel to Pompeii, the one with the library (which has justified my previously irrational fear of the dark), and basically any episode that features Rose or Donna…it seems that all of the best episodes in the series happened when David TENnant was the Doctor. That could just be a coincidence, however I like to think that these amazing episodes were made so brilliant because they all featured the greatest version of the Doctor the series had ever seen.
13. He captured the essence of Nine perfectly.
Rose didn’t understand what was happening when he was regenerating and even though he was exhausted, learning how to control and navigate his new body, and probably in a considerable amount of pain, Ten made sure to embody as many of Nine’s traits as he could, at least in the beginning, as to make the transition between his old and new self as smooth as possible for Rose. He understood the fact that the concept of regeneration is weird and possibly frightening to humans (I wouldn’t know, but if I see a human in the next couple minutes, I will ask them) and he took as many steps and precautions as he could to make the change less scary/intense for Rose, which makes him a stand up guy in my books.
12. His battle winning speeches are both inspiring and hilarious.
One of the greatest things about Ten is the fact that he always has a sci-fi style heroic speech for his enemies. Some are hilarious, some are terrifying, but all get the point across: I am the Doctor. You have crossed me and put my friends at risk. That was a mistake. You’re going to pay for it…most likely with your lives. (Add in Lion King reference, if necessary.) Seriously though, wasn’t that first speech after he woke up the greatest speech of all? If you anger the Doctor enough that he start monologuing at you, you better watch out. Because the moment he stops talking, you and your entire army are going to die within seconds. It will probably take your army longer to understand how screwed they are then it will take them to die.
11. Ten-Rose for life.
No, I’m not over ‘Doomsday’ and that fourth season twist did not make it better. Ten-Rose is the ship of dreams. My OTP used to be Ron and Hermione, but Ten-Rose took over the moment Rose whispered into Ten’s ear and he shot up to come to her rescue. They were such a good team and Ten’s cleverness perfectly meshes with Rose’s ability to instantly figure out how to escape any given situation. Their chemistry was unparalleled and their split was universes of unfair. Seriously. I am still heartbroken. I called my mom because I was crying so hard. The only other thing to make me cry so hard was when I watched Titanic for the first time. Why must women named Rose hurt me like this?
10. He brings whimsy and fun to the series.
Though Nine did have moments of sheer hilarity and brilliant jokes, I truly feel that Ten’s arrival was when the revival series really took off. The ‘first’ season was great but I think that the whimsy which sci-fi is known for wasn’t really there until David joined the cast. Sci-fi is brilliant because it’s able to balance wonder, comedy, horror, romance, and the beauty of the human imagination seamlessly. Ten’s ability to switch from the charming interstellar explorer to the harbinger of justice gives the series that little sparkle it was missing in it’s previous season. Ten’s unbridled emotions allows him to express his love and joy for all that’s good in the universe and those around him which brings a certain childlike whimsy to the show that makes the happy episodes far more amusing and underlines the horror of the more scary episodes.
9. Ten does not stop until he wins.
One of the more terrifying things about Ten is the fact that he can so easily switch from happy go lucky Doctor to sole seeker of justice in the universe and once he makes that switch, there is no turning back. He will not see clearly until the villains have been defeated and justice has been restored. Though this can be terrifying as someone existing within the Doctor Who-niverse, as an outsider, it can be fascinating to watch. Rose usually brings him down and reminds him of his ‘humanity’; however once she’s gone there really isn’t anything stopping him from his anger and revenge driven way of making things right again. From a writing standpoint, the ability to have a character be both the wide eyed idealist and the cruel bringer of fear and justice, yet have them still remain identifiable as one character is amazing, to say the least.
8. He fought for every one of his companions’ lives.
If Ten was your Doctor, you can feel safe knowing that, if it was possible for you to live, you were going to make it home and if you died than there would have been no way for anyone to have saved you. It doesn’t matter if you had been traveling with him for weeks or were merely someone who was just along for the episode, Ten is determined to do everything in his power, his amazing power, to make sure that you would make it. And anyone who prevented you from making it home would feel the swift merciless pain that comes with crossing the Doctor. The fact that the Doctor was so protective of the lives of those that trusted him is something that I had always admired. If you traveled with the Doctor, even for a short amount of time, he would do anything to make sure you got to where you needed to go.
7. His translation from silly to serious captures your attention.
Few actors can pull of the ‘silly to serious with the blink of an eye’ transition. Even fewer can do so with the grace and ease that David does in his role of the tenth Doctor. His ability to switch from silly to serious with no notice is what makes him so amazing and terrifying as a Doctor. Nine existed mostly in the serious with nods to silly and Eleven existed almost entirely in the realm of silly; making Ten a brilliant branch between the two of them. But Ten perfectly nails the ability to go from giggling and silly with Rose to deducing evil plans and saving the entire universe and this ability is one of the things that makes Ten so special and so brilliant.
6. David just “is” the Doctor.
There are some people that were just born to play certain roles. Benedict Cumberbatch (you have no idea how difficult it was for me to convince myself to spell his name properly) was born to play Sherlock. Anne Hathaway is the perfect Princess Mia. No one would have made a better Lizzie McGuire than Hilary Duff. And David Tennant was meant to be the Doctor. I don’t know how to explain it. David just ‘is’ the Doctor. There is something about him that is just so perfect for this role and he just slips into it so perfectly. David brings this charisma and joy to the role that makes the show so much better. The seasons with Ten were, arguably, the greatest seasons of the show and it was a sad day when the Tenth Doctor had to take his bow.
5. Ten is the master of the last second twist.
One of the greatest thing about Ten’s episodes is that there is always some last second twist which makes everything work out perfectly. Some people claim that this is a product of lazy writing or convenient plot devices but I think perfect coincidences and loopholes are a hallmarks of Sci-fi itself. Every single time you hold your breath because you think ‘This is it. The Doctor has finally lost and all is not well for these characters” is when Ten unveils some super secret device, word, or idea which he has been holding onto for the past 20 minutes which, miraculously, solves all of the problems the characters are currently facing and allows for everyone to escape without harm while the audience cheers on and everyone can breathe a much deserved sigh of relief.
4. The Cassandra-Ten body snatch scene is the greatest thing that has ever happened.
Though many opinions, favourites, and preferences within Doctor Who, or any fandom in all honesty, is highly debatable, no one better try to fight me on this: the best episode in the entire series is the one in which Cassandra decides to posses Rose and then ends up bouncing back and forth between Ten and Rose as they try to escape from the sick people monsters chasing them in the sinister future hospital run by cat nun ladies (honestly, don’t question it. It would take longer than the length of the actual episode for me to explain to you what went on in that hospital.) David acting as if Cassandra had possessed him was probably the greatest moment in television history and I hope that that clip plays at my funeral.
3. Ten’s reactions are the best part of the series.
Ten just knows how to react to things. Whether it’s joy, rage, confusion, fear, or sheer unbridled anger; he always had the perfect reaction for any given situation. The best example of his brilliant range of emotions is exhibited at the end of the ‘Doomsday’ series. I’m sorry but you knew we were going to have to talk about it eventually. He goes from joking with Rose on the beach (in a failed attempt to make the reality of their situation less terrifying for her,) to soul crushingly heartbroken when he is torn from her as she is trapped in that parallel universe, and then (finally) to absolute shocked confusion when he realizes that he is not alone in the TARDIS. Every reaction was brilliantly done and the comedy injected at the end did a good job at softening the blow of that awful beach scene.
2. Ten was always willing to sacrifice himself so that the ‘good’ guys would win.
After losing Rose (again I am sorry,) Ten had nothing to keep him going other than the task of solving whatever situation he ended up in. No matter how many times you save the universe, it will always end up broken again and the Doctor has taken on the awful and thankless job of ‘baby sitting the universe’ as we can never seem to go more than a week without winding up in some sort of trouble again. No matter how many times everything falls apart, the Doctor is always there to piece things back together and Ten is the greatest because he never gives up. Even if he knows that he is extremely likely to die, he will do everything he can to make sure that the good guys win and survive before he goes willingly to his death, yet again. Regardless of how broken Ten is, he never releases the idea that good must triumph over evil and he travels the universe making sure that the balance stays in the favour of the good.
1. He can be absolutely terrifying…when he needs to be.
Ten is a big teddy bear and he puts a smile on my face every episode, without fail. However, I would never be dumb enough to get on his bad side. I saw what he did to that spider ladies children. When Ten goes into rage mode, there is no stopping him until he’s achieved what he came to do. The easiest way to incite his rage is to either bring up Rose or threaten the lives of innocent people. When you threaten to commit genocide to an entire race of innocent people, Ten will teach you just how painful being ripped to shreds and killed truly is. Do not be fooled by his teddy bear exterior, Ten will end you if you threaten the balance of good and evil (good being in the lead) in the universe.