Doctor Who: 5 Reasons the Tenth Doctor Wasn't All That Great
Now, don't get me wrong. I love the Tenth Doctor. I love all the Doctors. What I'm addressing today is the fact that on any given list of favorite Doctors Ten is nearly always tops. His only real competition for the number one spot in popular opinion is Tom Baker, who managed to be everyone's favorite Doctor for more than three decades. Not a bad piece of work for our Ten.
But that acclaim has always baffled me, especially as I go back and rewatch the series in anticipation for August 23. Ten is good, but is he really great? I don't think so because...
He Treats His Companions as Disposable
Ten is a hardcore serial monogamist. In three seasons he forms three intense attachments to three different women, none of whom survive as primary companion past their 13th episode. He leaves one in alternate dimension, breaks the heart of another, and erases himself from the memory of third.
Ten is almost callously toxic to the women he meets and travels with. Those first few runs are always magical and amazing, but by mid-season he always seems like he's trying to find a way to get out of the relationship. Compared to the much healthier way Eleven interacts with the Pond family Ten can just be mean. And also...
He is Very Pompous
This isn't easy to catch on initial viewings. Doesn't Nine refer to humanity as "stupid apes" and isn't one of Eleven's most annoying traits the way he goes on about how clever he is? Yep, but it's not what Ten says, but what he does.
In almost every situation it almost never occurs to him that anyone else has anything worthwhile to contribute to the solution. He hands out tasks all the time, but he rarely solicits advice from his companions. Even when he does get helpful advice he's most likely to react with the sort of excitement I show my five-year-old upon presenting me with the same picture of a house and tree she's painted a hundred times before. Not since Six has any Doctor ever been so impossibly full of themselves. Which is ironic because...
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