Doctor Who: How The Ninth Doctor Became Smaller on the Inside

Categories: Doctor Who
It's not just McGann, either. Every one of the classic Doctors has a library of tales that stretches nearly infinitely in every direction and they are still adding more. Doctor Who has reached a mass and a velocity that it's unlikely anyone starting now could ever catch up to experience it all.

Except when you're talking about the Ninth Doctor.

He has 13 television episodes, four comic stories from Doctor Who Magazine, an annual, and six novels. You can literally wrap up everything ever done by Eccleston's Doctor for less than $200, and it's only that high because you'll probably have to drop $50 or more on the comic collection because Panini Comics apparently hates money and keeps letting trades go out of print.

There are no audio stories. Big Finish isn't allowed to mess with anything after 2005. More importantly, there aren't even any gaps to have those stories anyway.

We can infer that there are a few tales that occur between the regeneration of the War Doctor and "Rose", but there can't be all that many because the further you put Nine from the events of the Time War the less we buy how it's left him a shell-shocked survivor. There's a compelling fan theory that when the Tardis takes off in "Rose" and then almost immediately returns to tell Rose that it's a time machine that there may actually years worth of lonely wandering in what feels like seconds to Mickey and Rose. If that's true, there maybe some hope for the Ninth Doctor to fly again.

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I doubt it, though. Even though Ten and Eleven are technically in the same boat as Nine in that they are as limited in the expanded universe currently, they have two things going for them. The first is sheer time. Both David Tennant and Matt Smith enjoyed three full seasons each, with the former also getting a nice big chunk of time at the end that leaves plenty of leeway for, well, anything. In that time, there are a lot more comics and novels, and even a series of audio dramas produced by the BBC. You can wander pretty far along the edges of Ten and Eleven without running out of adventures.

The second is more painfully obvious. I don't think that any fan has any fear that we've definitely seen the last of Ten and Eleven. The tenth anniversary of the relaunch series is next March, and if Moffat and his team aren't quietly planning something then I'll eat my fez. Even aside from a television outing, Smith and Tennant have such deep, undying loves for the franchise that it's inconceivable that they're fully done with Doctor Who. What form their future contributions will take, whether it's an expansion of the Big Finish license to include them or perhaps animated specials, I don't know. What I do know is that they feel the weight of the role too heavily to ever not be The Doctor on occasion.

Nine... not so much. He, and he alone, has signed off on infinity as far as I can tell. He's still one of my very favorites, but he's become smaller than The Doctor should ever be.

Jef has a new story, a tale of headless strippers and The Rolling Stones, available now in Broken Mirrors, Fractured Minds. You can also connect with him on Facebook.

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Nine will always be my favorite to be honest, while I was heavily annoyed at the Day Of The Doctor excluding him, to me his pain is still extremely believable and marks him as the darkest of them all. The War Doctor was nice, but in all honesty he did not exactly bear the weight of the pain of what happened. He was literally given a regeneration specifically altered to be a warrior, he didn't have to grow into it. Even his mentality was given a free ride by being altered by Eight. Nine on the other hand...he was the punishment of the Doctor. He was the one who regenerated with the agony of the Time War, he was the one who literally showed the effects of the conflict, and that effect was the Doctor turned into a full fledged soldier. Even in the comics, Nine is referred to as "The Soldier." In many ways Ecclestons Doctor  was saddled with much more than Hurt's was, because he was the one who was forced to live with the pain. 

The War Doctor did all he could with the belief that he would die at the end and be free, thus removing his emotions from consequence...Nine did not have that luxury. Nine had to suffer, had to count the children constantly. The War Doctors punishment...was Nine. Not only that, but it IS stated that Nine a LONG stretch of time before he met Rose, making him the only Doctor to not actively want a companion. He just stumbled onto one by sheer accident. When you looked at Nine, you beheld a man who barely knew what it was to be the Doctor anymore because he was the one who had to shoulder the sins of the past while his past lives got off scot-free.

Not only that, but Nine forever remains as the one...who saved The Doctor. What I mean by that, is he was damaged and nearly forgot what it was to be his past self. He was the only Doctor whose humor and quirkiness was just a shield for the agony within. However, with some help from Rose and his own inner strength, by the end of Nine's series he realizes that regardless of his past he could be, and WAS the Doctor still. He exorcised the demons of his past, which is why by comparison Ten was far more pacifistic, kind, and merciful. Even Ten's big dark moment with the Family Of Blood loses its bite when you realize he let them live for so long before without hurting them. If it had been Nine he would have brutally broken them BEFORE eventually locking them in immortality. 

Nine was the Oncoming Storm. Nine was the one who came the closest to being just like a Dalek in both mentality and actions. Nine was the Doctor who didn't CARE about the idea of dying which is why he was known as the one who walked before death in his first episode. For christ sake, HIS incarnation was known for frequenting only the most violent and tragic parts of humanities history. Nine was the one who was perfectly fine with dropping a missile on his head to kill an enemy, but hesitated only because Rose happened to be there. More than all of that...Nine was the one who ensured that the Doctor would not die. Nine ensured that the spirit of the Doctor would not succumb to any pain, and it was NINE who rose above the flames and ashes still ready to protect.

Dalek Emperor- "What are you Doctor? Coward or killer?"

Ninth Doctor- *Slowly looks down at his hands...then releases the kill switch.* "Coward...any day."

Nine was absolutely fantastic, and even with the creation of the War Doctor, he still stands solidly and proudly at the top of my list.

Ashley Dianne Smith
Ashley Dianne Smith

I do completely agree that with the introduction of The War Doctor, the mysterious years of Nine before "Rose" dissipated, but I don't think it takes anything away from him as an important doctor. Nine re-launched a franchise and gave it new life. He was my first doctor, as with many newer generation Doctor Who fans, and because of that will always hold a special place in my heart.

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