Run to today’s History of The Doctor, featuring The Ninth Doctor.
“Run!” With this simple word the Doctor was introduced to a new generation of fans. With the introduction of a new Doctor, played by Christopher Eccleston, no one was sure what to make of the new Doctor Who. After the failed reboot in 1996, some wondered if the Doctor would be able to make it on TV, but just as the Ninth Doctor bound into Rose’s life, he also found his way into the hearts of fans, and revived the thought dead series.
Nine did not get a whole lot of time to shine, as Eccleston only spent one season in the role of the Doctor, but he engaged in one of the most interesting season wide stories of the revived show. Throughout the season the Doctor would battle old enemies such as the Daleks and the Nestene Conscience, while new enemies such as the Cassandra, the last full blooded human and the Slitheen family were introduced. Despite the enemies in each episode, often the Ninth Doctor’s worst enemy was himself and his own past.
Due to his regeneration (from the War Doctor it seems) during the Time War, the Ninth Doctor seems to have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Often through Ecclestons run, despite the generally cheery nature of the Ninth Doctor he would have extremely violent outbursts, as seen in the episode “Dalek.”
The Ninth Doctor had two notable companions, both of who became recurring characters in the series. His initial companion was Rose Tyler. She was an average English young adult, who worked retail. Despite her mild mannered origins, her spirit and cheer caused her to, unknowingly, help the Doctor move past some of the trauma he experienced during the Time War. The second companion was Captain Jack Harkness, a Time Agent and con man from the 51st century. (Jack also starred in the Doctor Who spin off Torchwood.) While the Doctor and Jack initially rivaled, due to Jack hitting on Rose, by the end of the season they had developed a friendship, and were shown working well together in tough situations. Jack would also live on the be the Face of Boe that appeared in the second episode of the season. (Now I know there are some naysayers on this one, but really go back and watch the finale of series three, and then tell me that was explicit.)
The majority of series one of the new Doctor Who was episodic, though each episode was loosely tied together by the Bad Wolf storyline. At some point in nearly every episode of the season “bad wolf” was either written somewhere or said by someone. This was actually a trail of “bread crumbs” that Rose Tyler had left for herself to follow through time after she absorbed the Time Vortex and became the Bad Wolf in the finale of the season. The Doctor had abandoned her and the Tardis on Earth, so she had opened up the heart of the Tardis in order to save to him from the Daleks. Besides saving the Doctor, Bad Wolf also revived the recently killed Jack Harkness causing him to become immortal.
Verily, Rose’s body could not contain the power of the time vortex, so if she would have stayed the Bad Wolf it would have killed her. In order to prevent this, the Doctor absorbed the Time Vortex into himself, and was able to save Rose, though it triggered his regeneration. As the Doctor prepared to become a new person, he told Rose that she was fantastic and so was he.
Eccleston’s run as the Ninth Doctor, although short lived, generated enough interest that the BBC continued the revived series of Doctor Who, and regardless of what you think of him, we have him to thank for all of the amazing television we have seen since. In the end, Eccleston provided a very human look into the psyche of the Doctor and by Gallifrey, it was fantastic.
[At the end of each article, I will recommend at least one episode that you should watch for each Doctor. This is besides the first and last episode of each Doctor if they are available]
Episode for the Ninth Doctor: “Dalek” Series 1 (2005)