Doctor Who: The 10 Best Alternative Universe Doctors

Categories: Doctor Who

Speaking of alternate universe too awesome to exist... sigh
There are 11 Doctors, right? We all know that. Well, they've already announced Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth debuting this Christmas, so OK, there are 12 Doctors. Then again, we know that John Hurt is playing some incarnation of The Doctor in the 50th anniversary special, and that makes 13 Doctors. Does the Meta-Crisis Tenth Doctor count because that would make 14? Jeez, how many Doctors are there?

Actually, the number could be as high as 58, if not higher.

Depending on how deep you're willing to look into the expanded universe of Doctor Who there are many Doctors who may or may not exist in the Whoniverse as we know it. Which of these are true incarnations of the legendary Time Lord and which are not? Who can say, but today we look at ten of the best Doctors Who Aren't in hopes of unraveling the mystery.

See also: Doctor Who: An Alternative History of 11 American Doctors

Dr. Who: In 1965 the first of two movies starring Peter Cushing as a version of The Doctor, Doctor Who and the Daleks, was released. This version of The Doctor is both totally human and explicitly named Dr. Who unlike his BBC counterpart. The Tardis is his personal invention, and he travels through space and time battling the Daleks over the course of the two films. He greatly resembles the First Doctor in appearance and nature.

There are several theories onto the relationship of Dr. Who to The Doctor. The most prevalent is that the films exist in the Whoniverse itself, and were based on memoirs published by the First Doctor's companion Barbara Wright. Another is that Dr. Who is actually a fictional creation of The Doctor himself, designed by the First Doctor to throw an enemy known as the Five O'Clock Shadow off his track.

Bayldon Doctor: The Doctor Who Unbound audio story series fielded a fantastic set of stories involving alternative universe versions of the hero. In "Auld Mortality" we meet the first of them, played by Geoffrey Bayldon who had also been considered for the role of The Doctor twice in the '60s.

This Doctor wasn't the renegade who fled Gallifrey in a stolen Tardis. Instead, he was a science fiction author who was among the most beloved on the planet. He took little interest in the outside universe, even remarking that someone should do something about the ever-expanding Thalek Empire. He uses a possibility generator to research his novels, and eventually to enlist Hannibal's army in overthrowing a corrupting Gallifreyan councilman. He eventually does succumb to the lure of the stars, and steals away with his granddaughter.

Greenpeace Doctor: In 1989 there was a musical stage version of Doctor Who dubbed "The Ultimate Adventure" written by longtime show writer Terrance Dicks. It featured three new companions, Jason, Crystal, and Zog, and saw them taking on a tag team of Cybermen and Daleks.

Jon Pertwee reprised his role as the Third Doctor to lead the production; however, he fell ill and was replaced in two shows by his understudy, David Banks. It's interesting to note that Banks sported his own unique costume rather than Pertwee's, giving rise to yet another alternative universe Doctor. Banks wore a Greenpeace shirt (Hence the nickname) underneath beige coat and pants under a brown fedora hat. He returned to the role of Karl in the play when Pertwee recovered.

Piece continues on next page.

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The Doctor may or may not be the Other even by implication.

The strong implication is that they are genetically identical and that the Doctor is a clone/reincarnation/avatar of the Other, depending on what you believe about the nature of the Other. On
ce you dig down into the history of Gallifrey a bit and learn the distinction between "Gallifreyan" and "Time Lord" (and draw on some sources of questionable canonicity even from authors intimately connected with the series, much like Marc Platt's /Lungbarrow/) there's a weaker implication that the proper relationship is "avatar", precisely like that between Vishnu and Krishna. 

The Other was part of the founding Triumvirate credited with modern Gallifreyan society; between them, they created all the technology and possibly some of the biology (like the Rassilon Imprimatur) that make the Time Lords distinct from their origins as Gallifrey's native population, including TARDISes. Most of the credit usually goes to Rassilon and Omega, with only a few obscure mentions like the holiday "Otherstide" acknowledging their third and mostly-silent partner. Rassilon and Omega have both appeared in the show; the Other never has, or at least not explicitly. However, Susan is actually the Other's granddaughter, the last (or one of the last) child born on Gallifrey before the curse of the Pythia made natural conception and childbirth impossible and the Looms were created as a workaround to generate new Time Lord children. The Doctor simply adopted her as his own granddaughter when they fled Gallifrey together.

SPOILERS BELOW for Lungbarrow, several other questionable-canonicity stories, and maybe the current TV series.
Rassilon, Omega, and the Other are presented as essentially mortal gods from outside our space/time -- "gods" because they are able to create astonishing devices and perform amazing feats like creating black holes made-to-spec and balancing them against on-demand triggered supernovas for near-infinite energy sources, "mortal" because both Rassilon and Omega do some nasty things in the name of dodging death. Rassilon does some crazy shit in his quest for immortality, possibly becoming a vampire per references to "perpetual bodily regeneration" -- and, by some accounts, creating the regenerative process for Time Lords as a byproduct of his studies of vampires -- and may even have caused the Time Lock and perpetuation of the Time War rather than allow any outcome that would cause his death. The Other abandoned him rather than assist him in atrocities, an the Doctor has repeatedly defeated him, banished, him, and so on -- but never quite, it seems, permanently. Omega ends up a lonely lunatic living semi-eternally in an antimatter dimension, kept alive as a disembodied being of pure will by sheer force of that will. The Other... just kind of disappears, possibly in an act of suicide that distributes his genetic material into the Time Lords' gene pool in an infinite-monkeys-with-infinite-artificial-wombs last gambit.

However, some interpretations of the novel /Human Nature/, which was adapted into canon as the "Human Nature / The Family of Blood" two-parter, suggests that the Other is actually a Victorian-era human who invented a time machine, learned amazing stuff on his human travels, and ended up on primitive Gallifrey at the right time to join up with Rassilon and Omega. Proponents of this theory tend to punch the air every time the Doctor makes reference to being half- (or any part-) human. In this interpretation, "avatar" is off the table and "clone" is the best relationship-label, although even that is slightly misleading since the DNA of Time Lords is not identical to either humans' or Gallifreyans', having been artificially altered to allow for regeneration.

However, even if the Doctor is the Other, the Other is definitely not the Doctor. Or at least, he never used that name and didn't always keep... to that ethos. *ahem*

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