Defending the Doctor
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“I don’t want to go.”
For a while, I’ve seen people have so much trouble accepting this as the 10th doctor’s final words before his regeneration. thatguywiththeglasses.com has quite a few reviewers who are huge fans of the series, both old and new and I’m trying to wrap my brain around the whole negative feedback this has received.
First of all, it looks more like it’s singling out one specific doctor, when one really has to look at the whole character in general.
The Doctor, wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey et al, has shown various sides of his personality and different preferences/interests after each regeneration, the main one being choice of clothing (though I am glad he finally abandoned the ?? motif from the last 3 doctor forms he’s taken from the classic series (seriously, I never quite got the ? pattern).
You have to look at his character as a whole, not just one specific doctor, or be all nitpicky about why such and such actor didn’t do such a good job of playing the doctor. All actors brought their own uniqueness to the doctor that each version slightly differs from the previous, but at the core of it all, you have similar traits:
– He’s very intelligent
– He’s able to always be one step ahead of everyone else
– He values life as much as he values time itself
– He’s a bit narcissistic
– He can “McGuyver” his way through anything (though later using his sonic screwdriver)
If you’ve been paying very close attention to the last 3 doctors (9, 10, 11), each doctor has a subtle theme associated with his pending regeneration that when it culminates itself, the torch gets passed on.
Doctor 9 was Bad Wolf, and Doctor 11 looks to be the Silence, but has since thwarted their attempts to kill him twice.
When it came to Doctor 10, the subtle theme was the absolute concept of death, a death where no time lord can regenerate from, no death that he can escape from. It’s a death that is final and absolute that the Doctor himself cannot bring himself to understand nor accept.
When Doctor 2 was forced to regenerate into Doctor 3, he didn’t take it like a man, he whined and begged for mercy from the other time lords. The same could be said of Doctor 10, he couldn’t accept that this prophecy that he will die and not regenerate is the scariest thing he’s ever had to deal with. A time lord has always accepted death knowing that he’ll regenerate into a new form, but when faced with a death without regeneration, what does that make of him? Taking away the one true thing that gives him purpose and meaning as a time lord, immortal to live and watch over all of existence for eternity. And that was going to be robbed from him.
Saying that he doesn’t want to go means that he doesn’t want to die, and when he sees his hand spout the energy, he shows confusion and concern, unsure whether this means he will regenerate, or he’ll “explode” into energy that will disperse throughout the universe. The TARDIS itself breaking apart was also symbolic of the potential for being an absolute death.
When the Doctor finally does regenerate, he’s overwhelmed with happiness and child-like wonder that he has a much better understanding of life and death than he ever has. Each regeneration brings with him a new understanding and wisdom which he uses to its peak. It is this understanding that allows him to accept his absolute death when it comes, yet still somehow manage to cheat it through different means.
That’s my take on the 10th Doctor’s regeneration, as I saw it as another variable in his character progression since the first doctor.
Also take note that each doctor looks younger than the previous version, which I believe will have Doctor 12 have an actor younger than Matt Smith (as far as I know).
Also, I have a theory that the 12th Doctor will be the final one (think numbers on a clock 1 to 12 ;)).