Doctor Who has been around for over fifty years, give or take a few years where they weren’t actually on the air, and when they did that TV movie, and when they were only radio plays and comic books and novels, and well, it’s still been around for a while. Thirteen doctors so far, as we all may know.
But ask any fan of the show, and they’ll probably have THEIR doctor. The one they started with, or the one who stuck most with them, who is the one they will always argue for being the best. For those of us in the US, you’re pretty likely to encounter either fans of the Fourth Doctor, or Nine through Twelve, mostly because they’re the ones we’ve seen the most of. Unless you’re one of those nerds who actually watched the older seasons and realized that, holy shit, there are other Doctors who are actually kind of awesome. Like the poor fellow who had the unenviable task of trying to revive the series after cancellation, and who, until 2013, only had a fairly forgettable movie as his only on-screen appearance. In 2013? He appeared, gloriously, in The Night of the Doctor, totally surprising the hell out of yours truly who wasn’t expecting it at all.
I’m a doctor. But probably not the one you were expecting.
The Eighth Doctor would go on to radio glory, featuring in Big Finish’s Doctor Who radio plays and finally getting his own run of Eighth Doctor series, currently publishing The Time War. Yes, this is the doctor who saw the beginning of the war; the one doctor who was probably the least suited to deal with it. And it’s no wonder he gave up and allowed himself to regenerate; although he was always, always railing against the very idea of giving up hope, it was clear at the end that the war to end the universe was not one he had the spirit to fight after losing companions. (Notably, not one of them left happily, or even alive. So far.) But he did have one of my other favorite bad ass companions, Lucie bleedin’ Miller, who went out in a blaze of glory kicking Dalek ass.
If I have to pick my favorite of the classic Doctors, Eighth is definitely my favorite, followed by Seven. Yeah, the movie is a bit crap, and it was made for an American audience that they assumed wouldn’t know a damn thing about the original show, but Paul McGann was not too shabby. And he’s probably going to be playing the Eighth Doctor until the day he dies, just like (most) of the other actors. But he’s playing one of the best, who just never really got his due on screen.
I mean, there could be worse fates.
Physician, heal thyself.