Doctor Who: How The Ninth Doctor Became Smaller on the Inside
I was rewatching "The Day of The Doctor" the other day and I've come to a very sad conclusion about it. Though I adore what John Hurt did with The War Doctor, the fact is that his very existence has firmly placed the Ninth Doctor in the unenviable position of the smallest Doctor of them all.
Allow me to explain.
First of all, this is no judgment of the quality of Eccleston's adventures. He's still solidly in my top five Doctors, and I doubt the show as it exists now would be here today without him. I love the Ninth Doctor.
That said, he has not only the smallest number of adventures of any Doctor, with the introduction of the War Doctor he has lost a lot of what made him seem so huge and powerful in the first place. Steven Moffatt has stated in interviews that the 50th anniversary was originally conceived with Eccleston's return in mind, but that the actor's refusal to do so led to the creation of the lost incarnation played by Hurt.
That means that the long-held assumption that Nine fought at least partly in the Time War is debunked, and though of course he is still the same man there's just something more missing from it because of that. He didn't witness the horrors so often described. His predecessor did.
Because of what we saw of the young War Doctor in "The Night of The Doctor", we know that nestled somewhere between there and "Day" there exists decades, maybe centuries of combat, daring escapes, losses, triumphs, and other wonders until the little grizzled man steals the Moment to end it all. All those wonders are essentially stolen from Nine now.
Speaking of "Night of The Doctor", what about the Eighth Doctor? How can Nine be smaller than McGann and his single television movie? That is a good point, and it pushed Nine even further back.
True, Eight has been on screen only twice for a grand total of less than two hours. However, the amazing thing about the first eight Doctors is that there now exists the massive, ever-expanding universe of books, audio plays, and comics. Sure, you can take Eight's movie as the primary canon of the character, and I would certainly advise that.
However, if you want to dig you can discover a narrative more vast and amazing than you could have imagined. There are more than 50 audio adventures starring McGann, with an individual episode count being well over 100. If you get bored with that, there are nearly 80 novels starring him in the dark years between 1996 and the relaunch of the series in 2005. Also, you have comics.
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