Characters: Doctor Who Doctors
Splendid fellows — all of you.
A Time Lord
from the planet Gallifrey, the Doctor (not his real name) is the main character of this long-running show
. Like all Time Lords, he has a life span measured in centuries, some degree of psychic ability, and the ability to regenerate when near death. Unlike other Time Lords, he became terrified by the Gallifreyan way of life when he was young, stole an antique TARDIS, skipped town and "never stopped running".
The Doctor remains the same person
throughout his lives, but different incarnations have different personalities. Showrunners
tend to cast each Doctor as a subversion of the previous one in both attitude and appearance. Hence, the original stubborn old git became clownish, suave, loopy, kind, peremptory, manipulative, romantic, harsh, hyperactive, and adorkable. The current series adds a bit more Character Development
than the classic series, and has its own sub-folder of associated tropes.
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- Admiring the Abomination: Many Doctors do this at least once in a while, but it's a particular specialty of Ten's.
- Alien Non-Interference Clause: An extremely flexible and hazily-defined one, in contrast to the way his people absolutely refused to get involved. He tries to stick to "meet new people, stop threat of the week, then fly off saying I Was Just Passing Through" - and disapproves of the Monk trying to "improve" history.
- Allergic To Routine
- Always Save The Companion: So far, three out of ten regenerations have been the Doctor trading his life for his companion's.
- Anti-Hero: Regardless of the incarnation, he's a selfish and vain old man who tries to do good in spite of himself.
- Awesome Anachronistic Apparel: The Ninth Doctor was the only one to dress appropriately for the era he was broadcast in. As soon as the plot took him into the past, though, he refused to take off his leather jacket and became Trope Namer for Changed My Jumper. All other Doctors dress in more old-fashioned things, and all except Two and Five have a serious thing for waistcoats.
- Of course, as a time-traveler, this is actually justified. Everything is anachronistic apparel to him.
- Badass: All regenerations of the Doctor are both fearless and completely over the top.
- Badass Grandpa: He actually is (or was) a Grandfather.
- Badass Pacifist: To an extent. The Doctor usually tries not to resort to violence in any case, but instead prefers to use his wits to solve his problems. All expect one.
- Bavarian Fire Drill: In the New Series the Impersonation Gambit is used more often, thanks to the Doctor's psychic paper.
- Been There Shaped History: The Doctor got there before Forrest Gump, and on a far grander scale. He's met nearly every famous historical character (at nearly every important event in history) and generally has an anecdote or two about them. Churchill has his phone number.
- Berserk Button: DON'T hurt or kidnap his companions. Or try to destroy the Earth; we're his favourite aliens. Or enslave people (especially in the Brainwashed variety).
- Beware the Nice Ones
- Beware the Silly Ones
- Bizarre Alien Biology: Partly because he's Gallifreyan, and partly because of whatever else Rassilon added when he created the Time Lord race out of the Gallifreyan elite houses. The Doctor can do things like counteract cyanide poisoning given a bunch of weird ingredients, and absorb radiation and expel it through his foot. Oh — and he has two hearts.
- He also can survive exposure to hard-vacuum for several minutes with no ill effects and can make use of a respiratory bypass to forgo the need to breathe for just as long.
- Born Lucky
- A Time Lord and his TARDIS
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer
- But Now I Must Go: The Doctor has a habit of bringing your world down around you and then vanishing prior to rebuilding. This was deconstructed in "Bad Wolf", though the Doctor didn't learn his lesson (he leaves Jack stranded in the future to do the job for him).
- Catch Phrase: "Of COURSE!"; "I'll explain...later." and of course, "Run!"
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: Distress signals always get the Doctor's attention.
Amy Pond: You "never interfere in the affairs of other peoples or planets," unless there's children crying.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: All the incarnations of Doctor will at the very least have shades of this.
- One was prone to making some humorous (and rather weird) observations.
- Two's was mostly a case of Obfuscating Stupidity, though he was genuinely a bit dotty at times.
- Three would frequently speak to the Master (a murderer who attempts to conquer the planet on a regular week-to-week basis) as though he were having a chat with a good friend, even during jail cell visits.
- Four was as manic as his hair, offered jelly babies to to pretty much everyone, and tended towards behaving like he was on a sugar bender most of the time.
- Five wore a stick of celery on his lapel, and would often change his mind about where he wanted to go mid-stride and turn and dash in that direction without telling his companions.
- Six truly believed his coat was fashionable and was reality-defying blind about his own lack of tact and subtlety.
- Seven was daring and bold to the point that he casually walked between two men sword-fighting to the death, even tipping his hat as the two men stared at him in disbelief.
- Eight was prone to making non sequitur observations in the middle of serious conversations and could be ridiculously Literal-Minded.
- Nine actually believed being a tourist meant doing all sorts of crazy stuff you can do, just for the hell of it, and had a habit of generally ignoring Human customs.
- Ten would have random and over the top geeky fits over how wonderful humans are, sometimes randomly hugging them just for the hell of it.
- Eleven is obsessed with bow ties and fezzes, believing them to be fashionable, even after women have been willing to destroy the latter to prove otherwise.
- Eleven will also openly refer to himself as a madman.
- Cool Old Guy: Strictly speaking, all of them are chronologically, but some regenerations don't even resemble the part. However, some of the younger looking regenerations like Eleven do embrace the concept.
- Defector from Decadence: The circumstances behind him leaving Gallifrey (other than a desire to see the world) are unclear, but he was always critical of the stagnation of Time Lord society.
- Dissonant Serenity / Tranquil Fury: When sufficiently angered, the Doctor is quite capable of raining fire down on his enemies with a look of utmost calm.
- Distressed Dude: He gets tied up, handcuffed and so on almost as often as the companions, if not more.
- Doesn't Like Guns: No version of the Doctor has been exactly gun-happy, though some accepted them as a last resort.
- One was seen with a gun once or twice, though he preferred to immediately give it back to whoever was trying to shove one into his hands.
- Two has held and handled guns quite a few times during his run, sometimes using them as convenient yet empty threats. He didn't evince any obvious distaste for guns in general, but he never did actually fire one. He also built a heat ray and used it to great effect against Ice Warriors.
- Three would much rather karate chop a poor sucker than shoot him.
- Four would pick up a gun if the situation called for it, and rather enjoyed himself with the things. (His aim, however, left much to be desired.)
- Five actually blew away a couple of enemies, though only if there was no other option left.
- Subverted by Six, who was more willing to pick up a gun than the others would a Sonic Screwdriver. The best example of this is in "Attack Of The Cybermen". Six generally wasn't averse to murder.
- Seven would never use a gun himself, but didn't mind when others used similar weapons like rocket launchers or ballistic explosives if the situation demanded it.
- Eight used a gun several times. In his one televised adventure, it was at himself. Other times, he simply refuses to acknowledge them as guns, because "I don't use guns."
- Nine held a gun twice: whether he would actually have shot is debatable. Then again, he also switched Jack Harkness' gun for a banana at one point. He also demanded information at gunpoint and, when his victim protested, said "I'm not gonna shoot you," and gave him the gun. Then continued demanding information, which the victim gave him.
- As far as Ten was concerned: Swords, explosives, pet robots with lasers, flooding rivers, taping over electronic villains, erupting volcanoes, electrocution through a piece of the TARDIS, Fates Worse Than Death, throwing entire planets into black holes, fatally accurate satsumas and death by church organ? Perfectly legitimate methods of combat. Guns? NEVER. However, Ten did pick up a gun on his last day, when he realized that the Time Lords were returning. And he pointed it at Rassilon. He ended up firing the gun, though not at a person.
- Eleven admits that he still "has a thing" against guns, but isn't quite as obsessed with avoiding them if using one can save lives. Early on, he used a gun to activate an anti-gravity thingy when being chased by Weeping Angels. He also admits that he likes using River as a back-up gun wielder, since she doesn't share his hangups, and he realizes full well how hypocritical that is. When his Berserk Button gets pushed hard enough, he can go into a violent rage and become very willing to point a gun at someone's head — a fact that genuinely terrifies him.
- The Dreaded: As the series progressed, it has became the norm that any villain who actually recognizes who this strange individual calling himself "Doctor" actually was, immediately browns their trousers. A number of times the Doctor himself calls attention to his identity for that effect.
- This effect seems to be especially prevalent with the Daleks, who are supposed to be ''physically incapable of feeling any emotion'', fear included.
- Both Ten and Eleven managed to weaponise the word "Run", and were able to turn entire armies around at the very mention of their name. This status comes back to bite Eleven hard in Series 6, where it's revealed that in the Gamma Forest, "Doctor" does not mean "Helper of the weak and sick" like on Earth, but "Warrior", due to his sheer badassery.
- Notable in that the Doctor does not think this is a good thing, and the whole affair inspires him to wipe his "dreaded" status from the universe and start over again without all the baggage of being a known quantity feared and exalted in equal measure.
- Drives Like Crazy: In River Song's second appearance, she teases that he deliberately shuts off the TARDIS's stabilizers and drives with the parking brake on. Word of Moffat has it that she was just joking, though.
- Four once managed to land just in time for a cliff to explode on top of him and his companion. Peri at one point complains that Six caused three electrical fires and a power failure, nearly collided with a storm of asteroids, got lost in the TARDIS corridors twice, wiped the memory banks of the flight computer, jettisoned three quarters of the storage hold and burned her cold dinner — and Six dismisses the TARDIS manual even when it could save his life. Eleven says he threw the book into outer space. Ten outright admits he failed the TARDIS driving test. (You can tell.)
- However, the TARDIS is meant to have six pilots, which explains why he's always running round the console and fiddling with seemingly random parts. When we do see six people piloting the TARDIS at once, they're able to do it smoothly without any prior training.
- It has been hinted in the revival that many of the times the TARDIS made an unexpected stop or landed at the wrong time and place are due to the TARDIS itself taking the Doctor to where he needs to be.
Doctor: You didn't always take me where I wanted to go!
Idris/TARDIS: No, but I've always taken you where you needed to go.
- Eccentric Mentor
- Era-Specific Personality: The Doctor changes personalities in every regeneration.
- Eternal Hero: He's always there to save the day, anywhere and anywhen he is needed.
- Though sometimes he isn't, a fact explicitly pointed out in the former incident.
- Expy: When the show began, the Doctor hovered somewhere between Anti-Hero and Anti-Villain, and Steven Moffat described the first Doctor as a senile old man. At some point, the first story editor David Whitaker realized that since he has to carry the show, he needs to be more of a cut and dry hero. Who did they turn to? Sherlock Holmes. It becomes clear with Moffat penning versions of Doctor Who and Sherlock, since both come across as Insufferable Geniuses who both tend to say "Shut up, I'm thinking." Companions in general tend to fit the Watson role pretty well.
- Famed in Story: Erratically, since he tends to hop around space and time and is not actually universally known — but happens on many occasions.
- It's later been revealed that countless races across the universe do get the word "Doctor" intrinsically ingrained in their languages due to him, denoting either a "Healer" or "Great Warrior".
- By "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship" and "The Angels Take Manhattan", the Doctor has taken to removing all traces of his identity.
- Fan of the Past: The Doctor is rather fond of Earth history.
- The Fettered: Despite being a self-proclaimed "madman with a box" who thinks keep-out-signs are for other people, he is very much this. Bad things happen when he starts breaking his personal rules.
"Good men don't need rules. Now is not the time to find out why I have so many."
- Gentleman Adventurer: Even once he starts to think of fighting the bad guys as a job, his main objective has always been to see as much of the universe as he can.
- Go-to Alias: "John Smith", as well as several non-English variations on the word "who". The First Doctor once introduced himself as Dr. Caligari and the Tenth Doctor used former companion Jamie McCrimmon's name while pretending to be Scottish.
- A God Am I: An immortal, omniscient alien with a time machine? ....Just get down on your knees and pray that he's never, ever in this mood around you.
- A God I Am Not: His usual mode. He usually doesn't expect people to recognise him, let alone view him as a hero or (horrors!) see him as a being of nigh-invincible power; he's just someone who happened to be passing by who could and did help.
- Guile Hero: Almost every incarnation of the Doctor prefers to use brains over brawn.
- The Hero: Only lacking trait is that he's not the Jack of All Stats.
- Heroes Love Dogs: Tin ones, in particular. Ten and Eleven still have nostalgia for K-9 and other robot dogs.
- Kindhearted Cat Lover: A few incarnations of the Doctor have shown a fondness for cats, particularly Six, Nine, and Ten (though Ten was initially wary of them).
- Hot Dad: Several of his incarnations.
- Human Aliens: Though Ten and Eleven have argued humans are Time Lord aliens.
Amy: You look human.
Eleven: No; you look Time Lord. We were first.
- Humble Hero: Might seem odd, but it's true. He'd just as soon leave any credit for what he does to someone else, is very aware the universe doesn't revolve around him and doesn't think it should, has dismissed any offers of power to him with some variation on "I wouldn't be very good at it", and can't seem to see that he's powerful enough that whole races devoted to the subjugation of the universe have banded together to try to destroy him.
- Iconic Item: The Sonic Screwdriver and the TARDIS, of course. The new series adds Psychic Paper to the Doctor's toolbox.
- Immortality Hurts: It would seem that regeneration never gets any less painful or disorienting. Each one is a miniature "death", of sorts, as the Doctor's brain is rewired with a new personality.
- Immortal Immaturity: There's no point in being grown-up if you can't be childish sometimes.
- In Harm's Way: Nothing keeps the Doctor from adventure.
- Indy Ploy: Combines with Xanatos Speed Chess.
- Inexplicably Awesome: Personified.
- The Insomniac: As has been established since the early days of the series, the Doctor needs very little sleep. The mini-episodes "Night And The Doctor" offer a glimpse into the things he gets up to when his companions are asleep.
- Jumped at the Call: He didn't just jump, he stole a TARDIS and went looking for it. Or did she steal him?
- Klingons Love Shakespeare: The Doctor loves a Spot of Tea and (depending on the incarnation) sweets like jelly babies or jammy dodgers.
- Knight Errant
- Knight In Sour Armour
- Large Ham: Comes with the World of Ham the series is set in. All Doctors are hammy in their own way, some considerably more than others.
- Like an Old Married Couple: With the TARDIS. Because they totally are. And with other regenerations of himself: very few of them actually get along, and Two and Three in particular spend every moment bickering.
- Limited Wardrobe: The first four and Seventh Doctors usually based their outfits around variations on a theme, though the Fifth and Sixth Doctors all played the trope straight with completely unchanging apparel. The Eighth Doctor only had one adventure, so the wardrobe was limited to that story. (He's moved on to more modern clothing as of late 2012 in Big Finish.) The Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Doctors of the new series return to the original method, with certain items (the leather jacket, long brown coat and tweed jacket with bowtie respectively) typically remaining in place.
- As a side-note, the Fifth and Sixth Doctors did get to change their outfits once or twice during their run for an episode or two. For the Fifth, it was disguises and costuming. The Sixth had variations, including a light vest that almost didn't melt one's eyes. Still, their wardrobes mostly went unchanged during their tenure.
- The colour of the Eleventh Doctor's bowtie has been noted to change depending if the story is set in the present or past (blue), or if it's in the future (red). It's also been dark gray or purple before. His braces/suspenders always match his bowtie, as well.
- Due to cold weather while shooting episodes, Eleven ended up wearing a much longer and heavier jacket for a few episodes.
- Living Forever Is Awesome: The classic Doctors very much enjoy their incredibly long life span. One, for instance, stole the TARDIS because he wanted to see everything and knew he would have the time to do so. (In Two's last serial and periodically since, it's implied he was running away from something very bad.) Then the Last Great Time War happened: The Doctor was never the same again and this trope became part of a Stepford Smiler mask.
- Loss of Identity: Every regeneration must deal with this and discover his new persona. How much it affects him seems to vary: the Seventh Doctor called it a "purely perceptual" change, while the Third and Tenth considered it death. It also tends to vary depending on which side of the regeneration he is; the Third and Tenth Doctors expressed these sentiments just before regenerating, while the Seventh expressed his sentiment after.
- Magnetic Hero
- Master of Unlocking: And locking, at that, thanks to the sonic screwdriver.
- Mr. Exposition
- Mr. Fixit: Even once jokingly called himself "the maintenance man of the universe"
- Mr. Smith: Whenever the Doctor needs a name he simply uses the bland pseudonym "John Smith".
- Mysterious Past: The franchise has been around for almost fifty years and we still do not know the Doctor's real name or why he no longer uses it.
- We didn't learn the name of the Doctor's species until the end of Patrick Troughton's run and we didn't learn the name of his home planet until Jon Pertwee took the reins.
- We know he once had a family and even children, but "lost them long ago". Given how we never get any indication that (apart from Susan) they're still alive even before the Time War, it's possible this was one of the reasons the First Doctor so readily Jumped at the Call.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Look up for The Dreaded.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: The Doctor is a psychic alien time-traveling slider.
- No Name Given / Everyone Calls Him : The Doctor does have a name, but it's never been revealed. (The Expanded Universe, which is not canon to the TV series, gives a few variations. One is a mathematical equation, another is said to be be inpronouncible by humans.)
- Steven Moffat believes there is "a terrible secret" behind why he never gives his true name, to even those he loves.
- Made into a major plot-point in the series finale of Series 6.
Doctor: Silence will fall when the Question is answered.
Dorium: Silence must fall when the Question is answered.
Doctor: What is the Question?
Dorium: Doctor Who?! Doctor Who?! Doctor WHO?!
- Obfuscating Stupidity / Obfuscating Insanity: He can go from a Cloud Cuckoo Lander to an Anti-Hero in the snap of a finger.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: And quite justified too.
- Omniglot: He even speaks baby. ...And horse.
- One Myth To Rule Them All: The show posits that hundreds upon hundreds of myths are based on him and his adventures.
River Song: I hate good wizards in fairy tales; they always turn out to be him.
- Papa Wolf: Towards both his companions individually and the entire human race.
- Percussive Maintenance: When something goes wrong with the TARDIS' flight — hitting, kicking, he's even got a special mallet. When Adric tried to "think like the Doctor" to solve a flight problem, his solution was to smack the console. It worked.
- Psychic Powers: The Doctor has some degree of psychic ability, though the details are fuzzy and mostly left up to the writers.
- What we've seen so far is touch-telepathy requiring he put his hands on either side of a person's head. Sometimes he also puts his forehead against their foreheads. And in the case of the latter, sometimes he does it really hard.
- Plus, the Doctors are able to mind-meld with each other through "Contact!" (and, when necessary, with others via head-butt).
- Historically, his telepathic mojo has seen the most use when dealing with other Time Lords or other Sufficiently Advanced Aliens. He seems to have only recently become adept enough to mind-meld with ordinary humans and the like. When encountering time-displaced versions of himself, he can do a mind meld without physical contact.
- Really 700 Years Old: Claims to be 1200 as of series 7. The Seventh Doctor claimed to be 953. Romana once called Four out on lying about his age directly, in "The Ribos Operation". According to the TARDIS, he's been pushing rather than pulling the TARDIS police box doors open for 700 years, which contradicts the Ninth Doctor's earlier comment of "900 years of phone box travel" (as in, when the TARDIS' chameleon circuit broke). Twenty Of Your Earth Minutes can be in full effect, and Word Of God is that the Doctor has more or less forgotten his actual age by the Tenth incarnation. Apparently, he has a fondness for the number 900 so he's simply decided to tick years off from that, seeing as how it shouldn't be too far off from his actual age. What matters is that he's old. Very old.
- Rummage Sale Reject: Even the ones in suits succumb to this.
- Science Hero: The Doctors often use their scientific knowledge to save the day.
- Seen It All: By his Eleventh incarnation. An extended scene from "Flesh and Stone" has him claim that he's probably been to every star in the universe twice and the reason he needs to travel with companions is because of their wide-eyed reaction to the wonders of the universe, which he's begun to stop noticing.
- Shrouded in Myth
- Smart People Play Chess: The Time Lords invented the game (as seen with the Game of Rassilon), and Four and Eleven in particular have a fondness for playing chess.
- Smug Super: Not as bad as some cases, but not exactly quiet about his brilliance, either.
- Spell My Name with a "The": It would seem that Time Lords who are on the outs with Gallifrey — renegades, as it were — have lost their names along with their home. Other example include the Master (of course), the Rani, and the mentioned-but-not-seen Corsair.
- Super Senses: All Time Lord senses are supposedly vastly superior to human senses; in practice, though, this is largely plot-driven.
- Super Strength: Occasionally he does things like punch through a stone wall or break a rock with his bare hands or something to remind you of this, though there's rarely dialogue devoted to it.
- Symbol Motif Clothing: The Doctor began wearing question marks when John Nathan-Turner took over as showrunner. It started with Five's and Six's collars, as well as Six' suspenders, and culminated in a pullover vest and umbrella for Seven.
- When Four regenerates and Five is taking off Four's attire, particularly unravelling the massive scarf, you can see question marks on his collar, too.
- Technical Pacifist: The Doctor really puts the "Technical" in Technical Pacifist. Although he has used firearms on occasions, for the most part he is just very good at engineering situations which result in the destruction of his current adversary (sometimes on a genocidal scale) if they fail to heed his warnings. He also sometimes outsources violence and killing to companions who don't share his hangups, notably Leela, Jack and River.
- Trickster Archetype: Manifested one way or another in every incarnation.
- Walking Disaster Area
- We Do The Impossible: The Doctor flies in a time machine that can go anywhere and anywhen in the universe, has saved the Earth more times than he can count, saved the universe and all of reality itself repeatedly. He defeats intergalactic races of pure evil on a daily basis, thinks crippling dictatorships is a rather average outing, and can do all of this with a kettle, a piece of string, and a screwdriver.
The Doctor: Ah, the security protocols are still live. There's no way to override them; it's impossible!
River Song: How impossible?
The Doctor: Two minutes.
- The Wonka: The Captain of a spaceship who gives strange orders and does strange things but usually tend to work.
- You Can't Go Home Again
2005 revival Doctors (general)
- Adorkable: It came and went with Classic Doctors, but it's become permanent in the new series.
- The Ninth Doctor, easily the most serious of all the Doctors, head-bopped to Soft Cell in "The End of the World" and had two uncomfortable first attempts at dancing in "The Doctor Dances". Also the moments of slightly awkward, raw emotional honesty ("I could save the world but lose you."; "You just assume I'm... You just assume I don't... 'dance'.") and the sweet, childlike glee and fanboyish squee he's capable of.
"Just this morning you were all tiny and small and made of clay! Now you can expand!"
- Berserk Button: He HATES Daleks. How much depends on the Doctor: Ten was more willing to forgive, while Nine and Eleven hate them with a passion. Whereas Eleven tries to negotiate/scare them into fleeing (granted, after attacking a tea-bearing Dalek with a spanner), Nine flies into a rage and stays that way, literally foaming at the mouth.
- Bi the Way: Word Of God from both Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat has stated that gender doesn't much matter to the Doctor or to Time Lords in general. Neil Gaiman later confirmed that Time Lords sometimes change sex when they regenerate, which gives some cultural context for the idea. Nine and Eleven (who both happily kiss their male companions) are a bit more obvious about it than Ten.
- Big Damn Kiss: Started with Nine's final episode.
- Cartwright Curse: If he offers you the chance to come with him after an adventure, you're (relatively) safe. If he makes the offer when you're still in the middle of one, you have a very good chance of being a Mauve Shirt. It started with Lynda Moss and is still going strong, as Rory pointed out in "The God Complex".
- Catch Phrase: "Run!". Nine, Ten, and Eleven all have used this on multiple occasions.
- The Ninth Doctor's first line in the revived series was actually "Run!"
- The Tenth Doctor often gave this suggestion to his opponents.
Doctor: But in fairness, I'll give you one bit of free advice... Run!
- The Eleventh invokes this when facing the Atraxi;
Doctor: I'm the Doctor. Basically... Run!
- Creepy Good: The Seventh Doctor was already plenty creepy in the classic series, and the new series adds quite a few more notable moments. Nine scared the bumps off an entire army of Daleks, Ten became intensely scary during "The Waters Of Mars", and Eleven's extremely secretive nature terrifies his companions at times.
- Death Seeker: All three revival Doctors have been more inclined to self-sacrifice than their predecessors (Nine admitted that he didn't actually choose to survive the end of the Time War). Neither Ten nor Eleven appreciates an outside force telling them Your Days Are Numbered, but they're still pretty cavalier about their own survival.
- Hurting Hero
- Jade-Colored Glasses
Doctor: I'm 907. After a while, you just can't see it.
Amy: See what?!
Doctor: Everything — I look at a star, there's just a big ball of burning gas, and I know how it began and I know how it ends... and I was probably there both times. After a while, everything is just stuff. That's the problem— you make all of space and time your backyard, and what do you have? A back-yard. But you — you can see it. And when you see it, I see it.
- Just Friends: To his companions from Martha onwards. Rose, not quite as much. And River, depending on how much you count her as a "companion".
- Word of Actor states that Amy Pond is the thing the Doctor loves most in the Universe, so River is up for debate- she felt for him, but the question of his feelings for her are unclear, as any time he gives any hint he has feelings for her is when lives are at stake, be it River's or someone else's.
- The Knights Who Say Squee: Though Classic Series Doctors loved to name-drop, they were much more low-key about meeting famous people. Nine had his first big Squee when he met Charles Dickens; Ten went into major squee mode when he met Captain Adelaide (though it was very much Played for Drama) and Eleven was reduced to actual incoherent squee noises when he finally realised who River Song was. Eleven also really enjoys watching Amy squee over befriending Vincent Van Gogh.
- Last of His Kind
- Living Legend/Memetic Badass: Known and feared across all of time and space. Not for nothing did the Daleks nickname him "The Oncoming Storm".
- Notable in that by this point, he's come to realize this and openly use it against his enemies as a way to attempt ending conflicts without actual fighting; ie: make enemy realize he's The Doctor —> enemy runs away/gives up/puts up far less resistance. Subverted with much of Eleven's run- who is on the fast track of learning how much this can bite him in the ass.
- Living Relic
- Made of Iron: Ten and Eleven seem to possess some great durability, as they are able to withstand attacks to their bodies and not regenerate because of it. For example, Ten was hit by one of the Master's electro beams and was able to go on, while Eleven was hit with a Dalek beam and survived.
- Manic Pixie Dream Guy: He's a madman in a magical box who takes those he meets out of their hum-drum existences to see the wonders of the universe, changing their lives forever.
- Mr. Fanservice
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: He knows if there's a mole on his back! And he can regrow limbs in the first phase of his regeneration cycle, or whatever! And he can relate his entire life story by head-butting you. This is more common in the new series, where writers have toyed around with the implications of regeneration.
- Phrase Catcher: Everyone seems to ask "Doctor Who?"
- Precursor Killer
- Running Gag:
- Every time the Doctor regenerates, he's disappointed that he's not ginger.
- The Doctor's relationship with Queen Elizabeth I, as referenced in "The Shakespeare Code", "The End of Time", "The Beast Below", "Amy's Choice" and "The Wedding of River Song". Particular attention is drawn to her nickname, and how she "cannot use it anymore". (Interestingly, people always think of the nickname "The Virgin Queen", which points to an obvious conclusion, but the nickname the Doctor actually cites is the much less specific "Good Queen Bess".)
- Sad Clown
- Stepford Smiler
- Super Cell Reception: Some Doctors occasionally use the Sonic Screwdriver or other alien tech to give a phone Universal Roaming, allowing it to make a call from anywhere, anywhen to anywhere, anywhen. Without any special dialling code or anything. Possibly justified if they were modified to relay from the TARDIS, which is a sentient, telepathic time machine... in a phone box. Only interference either from Satan or the nearby black hole in "The Impossible Planet" is able to put it out of range.
- Survivor Guilt: The Ninth Doctor left the Time War with a Thousand Yard Stare. The Tenth and Eleventh also suffer this on occasion, the Tenth in particular after the loss of Rose and River Song but it most likely hits him harder as Eleven, and the Eleventh after Rory dies in Season 5 and especially after both Rory AND Amy die (so to speak) in Season 7.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Bananas have been popular with Nine ("Bananas are good!"), Ten ("I think I just invented the Banana Daiquiri!") and Eleven, and all three use the fruit to distract overly gun-happy people with. (This was notably also a favourite tactic of the Eighth Doctor in the novels, before the revival series started. He'd run up to a guard, wielding a banana, and yell "bangbangbangbangbang!" while his companion stole the confused guard's gun.)
- Where I Was Born And Razed: Ended the Time War by destroying everything, including his own homeworld of Gallifrey.
Doctor: I was the only one who could end it. And I tried, I did, I tried everything...
One day, I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine.
An eccentric, somewhat grumpy, happily smug old professor-type with an air of mystery about him and a severe case of Hair-Trigger Temper
. Soon became a warmer, more avuncular character to his companions, but remained an authority figure. At any point in his Character Development
, One is a merry Trickster Archetype
, who loves manipulating people and playing games with their lives. As he was never intended to be the "first" (or plural) Doctor, there is novelty in watching him develop into the
Doctor as he's known today.
- Accidental Proposal: The hot cocoa incident.
- Bad Liar
- Badass Cape: He didn't wear them very often, but One had a thing for long, dramatic capes.
- Badass Grandpa: About as much as any other Doctor. Perhaps the only one to fight a Roman Assassin with his bare hands, while enjoying the whole fight immensely.
- Bavarian Fire Drill: Does a masterful one in "The Reign Of Terror", giant hat and all.
- Beware the Nice Ones: As his status as a Grumpy Old Man slowly faded away, this trope slowly replaced it in some situations. In particular, the Doctor's fight against the Celestial Toymaker is a major representation of this trope as the Doctor literally talks the world surrounding the TARDIS into oblivion with just three words and a number (Go to move 1,023!).
- Brilliant, but Lazy: His old teacher Borusa tells the Fourth Doctor that he was a nightmare to teach during the academy days.
- Character Development: The first time we ever see the Doctor, he's arrogant, selfish, and prefers to take the easy (even cowardly) way out if it saves him. His evolution over the first handful of serials is an important point in the script.
- Consummate Liar: Not a very good one, though.
- Cool Old Guy
- Distinguished Gentleman's Pipe: An example of Early Installment Weirdness, the Doctor smoked a pipe in the first story. It got him in trouble with the local caveman tribe, so perhaps that explains why he dropped the habit.
- Famous Last Words: "Keep warm."
- Grumpy Old Man: Began with this trope firmly in mind, but slowly became more of a grumpy Badass Grandpa, depending on the adventure. This was certainly the case in "The Five Doctors".
- Hair-Trigger Temper
- High-Class Glass: All the better to peer at aliens◊ with. Eleven still has it.
- Iconic Item: His prized ring. Arguably, also his cane. When he regenerated, his ring fell off and his second incarnation found it was too big for him. The Doctor doesn't wear the ring again until he discovers it fell into the TARDIS console in his seventh incarnation. In the Expanded Universe novels, he eventually gives it to Joan Redfern. As for the cane, The Doctor doesn't need it post-regeneration, but later on, Three and Seven have both used stylized canes.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Started out with the emphasis heavily on the former, but showed more of the latter as time passed.
- Line-of-Sight Name: He seems to mentally file the name away when Ian suggests it in "An Unearthly Child."
- Murder Tropes: The First Doctor had absolutely no problem with the idea of bashing someone's head in with a rock or having his companions Thrown Out The Airlock if they got too obnoxious. He never goes through with it, though, thanks to Ian and Barbara being two of the most level-headed companions he'd ever have, and not putting up with his antics.
- Neutral No Longer: He starts out rather unheroic, but after a few adventures with Ian and Barbara, he begins to actually suggest doing heroic deeds rather than being forced into it.
- Nice Hat: Wore one on a few occasions, including his very first adventure.
- Smart People Wear Glasses: Seen most prominently in "The Sensorites", in which he uses both regular glasses and a monocle.
- The Other Darrin: Mentioned above, replaced post-mortem by the late Richard Hurndall for the 20th Anniversary special.
- Unscrupulous Hero: He's devoted to his grandaughter and is disgusted by villains like the Daleks but aside from that his morals are loose at best, with his flaws ranging from pride and paranoia to outright moral cowardice in trying to abandon Barbara to die on Skaro rather than risk further exposure to radiation. By the conclusion of the first three stories he gets over this.
- Verbal Tic: "Hmmm?" and "eh?". This came about because Hartnell suffered from arteriosclerosis, which affected his ability to remember lines, and this allowed the producers to use lines where Hartnell got his lines wrong (re-shooting and dubbing dialogue was not usually an option).
There are some corners of the universe which have bred the most terrible things. Things that act against everything we believe in. They must be fought!
The clown with the mop-top haircut. Loved annoying everyone he met, and made an art form of out of gleefully insulting his friends and enemies alike. He liked to play the recorder (the musical instrument), and he carried a massive number of useful things in the pockets of his coat, including the now famous sonic screwdriver. (The Tenth Doctor would confirm that, as many fans had long suspected, the Doctor's pockets are bigger on the inside
.) A more easy-going and rational figure than his predecessor, but still very much an anti-authority maverick. As he became very close to his companions, he has arguably had the most lasting influence on later Doctors — largely because he was just plain fun.
- All There in the Manual: Immediately after "The War Games", an Expanded Universe range of comics was released about the Doctor spending a lot more time in his second body before becoming Three. Following many years of fan speculation as to the comics' canonicity, the BBC finally officially declared that "Season 6B" makes sense and that the later multi-Doctor episodes fit in there.
- Awesome Anachronistic Apparel
- Badass Uncle
- Beware the Nice Ones: Not as much as Five or Ten, but still capable of steering an enemy's space fleet into the sun or sparking a massive Dalek civil war when he deemed it necessary.
- Bowties Are Cool
- Butterfly Of Transformation: Uses it to explain his transformation.
- Catch Phrase: "When I say run, run."
- Character Tics: Wringing his hands together.
- Crazy-Prepared: Always seemed to have some sort of situation-suitable item in those pockets of his.
- Cuddle Bug: Has his arms around his companions more often than not.
- Dressing as the Enemy
- Failed a Spot Check: He does this quite often. Notably in "The Dominators", when he clearly pointed out that the newly formed volcano was erupting, but didn't notice that the volcano was erupting.
Jamie: C'mon! The whole place is going to blow up!
Second Doctor No, it's quite all right, Jamie. The planet is quite safe. There's only going to be a localized volcanic eruption. It'll only affect the island.
Jamie: Maybe so, but we happen to be on the island.
- Famous Last Words: "You can't do this to me! No! No no no no no no no...."
- Future Me Scares Me: Absolutely can't stand Three, and has a lot of fun insulting old "fancy pants" every chance he gets. Two and Six arguing is also a sight to behold.
- Heterosexual Life Partners: The Doctor and Jamie were together for all but one serial and for more episodes than any other companion.
- Gainax Ending: His regeneration into Three. He was basically executed by the Time Lords, but the timeline is all screwed up, and it's very possible that what we saw on screen wasn't even his regeneration.
- Gosh Darnit To Heck: "Oh, my giddy aunt!" and variations.
- Harmless Lady Disguise: Harmless lady with a gun concealed in her robes. (It's not like it was even loaded, though.)
- Herr Doktor: Or as he liked to call himself, Doktor von Wer.
- Hobo: More like a WHO-bo.
- Iconic Item: His recorder (the musical instrument), though it was used less and less over time. Loses one in The Three Doctors as a necessary sacrifice, but gets a replacement.
- Idiot Hair: There's always this one bit of his hair that loves to stick up.
- Master Actor: The main selling point of his identity tricks is his ability to act like the person he is trying to portray, arousing little to no suspicion of a fallacy even without a donned disguise.
- Master of Disguise: The Second Doctor had an interesting fondness for disguises and clever identity lies, which he usually backed up with some persona-appropriate accent.
- Nice Hat: In addition to wearing a very tall stovepipe hat in his first three stories, the Doctor would sometimes note when he saw an interesting piece of headgear, "I would like a hat like that." It was something of an early catchphrase, discarded (like the hat) after a few serials.
- No Sense of Personal Space: Usually when he's frightened at something.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Absolutely loved it. His main tactic for any situation.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: As seen in "The Name Of The Doctor", he had a mostly off-screen adventure with the Eighth Doctor.
- Protect This House: The "base under siege" episodes. When the Second Doctor isn't being mercurial, he's busy doing this.
- Screw Politeness, I'm A Senior!
- Security Cling: All the time. Given and received.
- Shot at Dawn: In "The War Games". Don't worry, he was saved.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: He was so good at this that he successfully did it to himself in "The Three Doctors".
- Summon Bigger Fish: His eventual undoing.
- Trojan Prisoner
- Trope Codifier: Having defined most of the Doctor's chief characteristics, Second's role influenced several of the later Doctors, especially the Seventh and Eleventh.
- Wig, Dress, Accent
You know, Jo, I sometimes think that military intelligence is a contradiction in terms.
The suave Edwardian
gentleman. Spent a great deal of time stuck on Earth in the 20th Century, as he'd been exiled from Gallifrey (and his TARDIS rendered inoperative), and often got into adventures with his friends at UNIT, especially The Brigadier
. A more action-oriented Doctor, known for his "Venusian Karate/Aikido" and his fast cars, Bessie and the Whomobile
. He revealed much of his Bizarre Alien Biology
(notably the two hearts) and was the first Doctor to be broadcast in color. As this Doctor's tenure was largely confined to present-day London, he also inaugurated the grand old Doctor Who
tradition of everyday objects trying to kill you. It was also this incarnation that formally introduced his greatest individual Arch-Enemy
, The Master, who's present for many of Three's episodes.
You may be a doctor, but I'm the Doctor. The definite article, you might say.
The Bohemian, famous for a very, very long scarf. Somewhat crazy-eyed and very alien. In reaction to his long exile as the Third Doctor, the Fourth Doctor is marked by his strong wanderlust and deep-seated resentment toward authority figures, particularly UNIT and his fellow Time Lords. Naturally, this resulted in Four's leash being yanked by every authority figure in the known universe, including the show's embodiment of God. The longest-serving Doctor to date (at least in real-world time) and probably the best known of all his incarnations. If you don't know who Tom Baker is, close your eyes and think of Doctor Who
. That's him. (Or possibly David Tennant
— see below.) Joined the cast of Big Finish
a good decade after the others: for his Big Finish
tropes, see here
. Often considered the best, or one of the best Doctors, and the one that most longtime fans of the show grew up watching.
- Accent Upon The Wrong Syllable: He tended to draw out his vowels a fair bit.
- Action Hero: In his earlier adventures, Four would have little problem leaping into action, such as in "The Sontaran Experiment", but nearly all of his later adventures feature the Doctor more willing to give the monster-of-the-week a jelly baby than engage in fisticuffs. Keeping in mind that he was in the role for seven years, going from being forty to almost fifty during this time, this gradual slowing down does begin to make a bit more sense.
- The fact that Tom Baker also slipped and cracked his collarbone during the location filming for "The Sontaran Experiment" had something to do with it as well; for several weeks afterwards, Baker couldn't leap into those kinds of action sequences, so they either had find ways to stage those scenes with a stunt double without making it painfully obvious it was a stunt double, or the writers had to find a way to avoid action-hero scenes.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Much more so than even Eight and Eleven.
- Badass Baritone: Has the deepest voice of any Doctor.
- Badass Longcoat
- Beware the Nice Ones: The friendly and childlike Fourth Doctor is also the Doctor who took place in the longest and most brutal fight in the show's history, when he spent an episode and a half playing cat-and-mouse with his opponent in "The Deadly Assassin".
- "The Pirate Planet" is notable for featuring the Fourth exploding into a rage far more violently than he ever had before or after, and perhaps even more so than any other Doctor. If you manage to even piss Four off, you're seriously screwed.
- Plus, he seemed to have nothing against Leela murdering random attackers, as long as she kept quiet about it.
- Beware the Silly Ones: On a few occasions, its even acknowledged he is Obfuscating Stupidity.
"No-one could be as mad as he seems."
- Bourgeois Bohemian: Perhaps as a reaction to his previous self being mired on Earth, Four is hell-bent on hitting the dusty trail.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Loves to put up his feet, draw his hat over his eyes and doze off. Especially while UNIT is talking to him.
- Catch Phrase: "Would you like a jelly baby?"
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Is loopier than all other Doctors. Combined. Eventually learns to weaponise this, combined with his Time Lord Academy training: his learned resistance to mind-reading and his inherent loopiness make him able to mask his thoughts better than any other Time Lord.
- Cheshire Cat Grin
- Compelling Voice
- Compensating for Something: According to Romana.
- Cuteness Proximity: With K-9, whom he insisted on treating like a real puppy.
- Dissonant Serenity: All the time.
The Doctor: [very happily] Gentlemen, I've got news for you. This lighthouse is under attack and by morning we might all be dead!
- Distressed Dude: Seriously, HOW MANY times has this Doctor been captured, kidnapped, tied up, locked up, drugged, knocked out, imprisoned, tortured, etc.? Sometimes it happens to him more often than his own companions! The Fourth Doctor is just as bad as the Third.
- Duck Season, Rabbit Season: Thanks to his Nerves of Steel and constant Dissonant Serenity, when someone's trying to brand the Doctor's face with a red-hot iron and counting down from ten, Four helpfully joins in the countdown — confusing his captor and making him lose track.
- Einstein Hair
- Expanded Universe: Tom Baker was the first Doctor to ever record audio stories (starting with "Doctor Who And The Pescatons", and all the way up to his current Big Finish audios). He and Lalla Ward (Romana) also appeared, in-character, in a series of ads for Prime computers — which drew on their Romance on the Set, showing a very odd and very non-canon glimpse of the Doctor and Romana being romantic with each other.
- Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong: In one rather bizarre example, his brain became the nest of a pregnant space shrimp.
- Famous Last Words
"It's the end... but the moment has been prepared for."
- Fantastic Voyage Plot: At one point, he has himself and Leela cloned and shrunk down so he can be injected into his own brain, fight the pregnant monster that's nesting inside it, make sure Leela's clone dies inside his head and absorb her corpse into his bloodstream to gain her natural immunity to the thing.
- Fedora Of Asskicking: Although not worn as often as his scarf.
- Finger Poke of Doom: All it takes is nerve-pinching the Fourth Doctor into oblivion, and he's down for the count. Amusingly, this is exact opposite of Venusian akido.
- Genius Sweet Tooth
- He Who Fights Monsters: Famously struggled with this in "Genesis of the Daleks".
- Heroes Love Dogs
- Heroic Sacrifice: Plummeted off a satellite tower after saving most of the universe from The Master.
- Hot-Blooded Sideburns
- Iconic Item: The scarf. Always the scarf. And Jelly Babies.
- To a lesser extent, his Nice Fedora plays a part, especially when combined with his iconic curly hair.
- Invincible Hero: By the 14th season, the Doctor has essentially morphed into Don Equis. He tried being frightened once — just to see what it was like.
- It's All About Me: Wasted no opportunity in letting the world know how brilliant, marvellous, wonderful and all around amazing he is. Four genuinely considers himself the greatest genius he's ever met, and acts entirely superior to everyone around him. Some of his companions put up with it. Romana, who had much better grades than him at the Academy, doesn't.
- Large Ham: Even his eyes are hammy.
- Man Child: Willing to go anywhere, do anything to avoid taking orders again.
- Murder Tropes: Four was more willing than most regenerations to commit murder, and didn't mind turning a blind eye to Leela's killings. At one point, he murders a villain by filling the room with deadly chemicals; later on, he kills a guy by strapping a bomb to his chest and merrily laughing when he blows up. "Genesis Of The Daleks" has the Doctor trying to decide whether or not he has the right to commit genocide.
- Nerves of Steel: Has a habit of striking up casual conversation with whatever's trying to kill him. At one point, he greets someone who's strangling him with a very friendly "oh, hello!".
- Nice Hat
- No Indoor Voice
- No Social Skills
- Obfuscating Insanity
- Obfuscating Stupidity: All the time.
- Our Presidents Are Different: Through a twist of fate, he finds himself elected President of Gallifrey — and promptly turns into a President Evil. (Actually, it's part of The Infiltration to fool some Sontaran marauders.)
- Rail Roading: Constantly railroaded, most frequently by the Time Lords, and sometimes by other factions. He hates it.
- Raygun Gothic: The secondary TARDIS console room he decides to use instead of the main one for a while, near the end of his run with Sarah Jane and for many of his adventures with Leela.
- Rebellious Spirit: Moreso than any other Doctor, he chafes at following orders, whether they be from his fellow Time Lords or the White Guardian. His first instinct at being in any kind of office is to put his feet on someone's desk.
- Scarf of Asskicking
- Sharp Dressed Man: Believe it or not, he's usually dressed in a very dashing Renaissance-style white shirt, classy trousers, knee-high boots and a crimson ascot. It's just hidden underneath a collection of dorky waistcoats, a giant coat and several layers of scarf.
- Ship Tease: With both incarnations of Romana. He had a Kissing Discretion Shot (and a lot of innuendo) with the first in a (non-canon) Christmas special. Tom Baker married the second one.
- Smart People Play Chess: In Talons of Weng-Chang, Magnus Greel and Four casually shuffle around chess pieces while Greel delivers his evil speech. Four wins, of course.
- Sword Fight: Got into a rather magnificent and very long fencing duel at the climax of "The Androids Of Tara". He keeps the scarf on.
- Torture Porn: "The Deadly Assassin" starts with him being subjected to an Agony Beam and proceeds to take it Up to Eleven. By the end of the adventure, he's lost half his wardrobe (and ripped the other half), he's bleeding heavily from several places, and he nearly drowns during a gratuitous mud wrestling / strangling match in a pond.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Jelly Babies, of course. Ginger beer was his favorite drink, but it didn't come up nearly as often.
- Trickster Mentor: To Leela. He very much enjoyed intimidating her, placing her in Fish out of Water situations and playfully calling her "Savage" (as well as other nicknames like "Mouse").
- Trope Codifier: 99% of what's known about Time Lord Society comes from this Doctor's era. Being by far the longest-serving Doctor, Four also codified much of the Doctor's character, and the series as a whole.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Dives headfirst into this trope with the first Romana, who's sent over to become his assistant without him asking for it.
Romana: My name is Romanadvoratrelundar.
The Doctor: ...I'm so sorry about that. Is there anything we can do?
Fifth Doctor: When was the last time you smelt a flower, watched a sunset, ate a well-prepared meal?
Cyberleader: These things are irrelevant.
Fifth Doctor: For some people, small, beautiful events is what life is all about!
cricketer; vulnerable but highly noble, especially in his Heroic Sacrifice
. Though somewhat young (29 when he was cast; he'd be the youngest Doctor until Matt Smith
), Davison was already a well-known actor, having played a vet on All Creatures Great and Small
. Notable for Doctor Who
becoming more of an ensemble show, with up to four companions traveling with him at once — a record David Tennant would later break. Ironically enough for this gentle and non-combative Doctor, his stories tended to have high body counts
. So far the only classic Doctor who's shown up in New Who. For his Big Finish
character tropes, see here
- Action Survivor: By comparison with the other Doctors, anyway.
- Adorkable: Especially just after his regeneration, when he first tries on his cricketer's outfit and mimes with a cricket bat.
- Awesome Anachronistic Apparel
- Badass Longcoat
- Beware the Nice Ones: Looking at the Fifth Doctor, you wouldn't suspect it, would you? Well, the Fifth is also the Doctor who whipped out a gun and shot a dying Cyberman in the chest. Repeatedly. He shot Omega, and he's the one who stood there and watched the Master burn to death.
- Bishie Sparkle: In his opening sequence.
- Captain Obvious
- Catch Phrase: "Brave heart, (insert character name)." (Especially Tegan, though other companions are similarly cheered up.) He's also shown to be fond of "Sorry, must dash!" when confronted by the usual contingents of armed guards.
- Chekhov's Skill: The Fifth Doctor's love of cricket would come in handy more than once.
- Crazy-Prepared: Wore a stick of celery on his lapel in the slim chance that he would run across gasses in the Praxis range which he was allergic to.
- Distressed Dude: He's captured somehow at least once an adventure. Some days, he's brainwashed. Other days, he's chained up and shot at. He's most frequently physically weakened, and only very (very) rarely manages to stay upright for an entire episode. On a particularly bizarre occasion, Five was nearly mindwiped and replaced with an Evil Knockoff. Man, this Doctor just did not know how to stay out of trouble.
- Again, this was likely a conscious move away from Four's infallibility. Tom Baker would never have stood for being held prisoner for more than a scene, if that.
- A whole lot of cliffhangers from this era often have the Fifth Doctor in some sort of danger — this occurs so often, these cliffhangers are called "the Davison Cliffhangers".
- Dull Surprise: This Doctor has a tendency to stare, slack-jawed, at things and events a lot. Perhaps directly related to his tendency to have Heroic BSODs.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: His regeneration was easily the most spectacular from the original series.
- Face Death with Dignity
- Famous Last Words:
- Grumpy Old Man: Davison attempted to do "old man in a young man's body" at times, but the scripts didn't let him.
- Heroic BSOD: Suffered from more than his fair share, compared to the other Doctors. Particularly when Adric died.
- Heroic Sacrifice
- Hot Scientist
- Iconic Item: The lapel-mounted celery and Purely Aesthetic Glasses. The latter, however, is not used nearly as often, but Ten takes notice to them. The roll-up hat can count as well, depending on the fan you ask.
- Some still will insist that it's his sneakers that really complete the outfit, being a modern piece of clothing in an otherwise period costume.
- Really his entire ensemble is this, to the point where even the Tenth Doctor refers to it as his "Crickety Cricket stuff". Ten notes that he merrily copied the "Brainy Specs" and trainers look from Five.
- Kill 'em All: This trope seemed to follow the Fifth like the plague — at least a third of his stories ended with a massive body count. His last story had two survivors, and neither was him. He got better, of course.
- Magnetic Hero: Travels with lots of companions at the same time, setting the series' record with four companions at once. (Ten eventually beat him with six at once, but that was only very briefly).
- Never Live It Down: In-universe, his "Brainy Specs". He doesn't even need them, he just thinks they make him look clever.
- Nice Guy: Five, when you boil it down, is a nice guy in a not-very-nice universe.
- No Hugging, No Kissing: This is definitely one of the more chaste and hands-off Doctors, by decree from above. Although it doesn't stop some fans (and Davison himself!) from noticing he's more than willing to throw his hands onto Adric.
- OOC Is Serious Business: In his final story, the Doctor indulges in some Fourth Doctor-style banter with his captors. The key difference here is that, unlike Four, Five isn't in total control — he's sweating under the collar and playing a brinkmanship game, desperate not to get everyone killed.
- Purely Aesthetic Glasses: Occasionally. Peter Davison actually admitted he stopped wearing what were later called the "brainy specs" after a while because of ribbing from certain members of the cast. He put them back on for the "Time Crash" mini-episode with David Tennant.
- Quintessential British Gentleman: And extremely at home in The Edwardian Era.
- A Real Man Is a Killer: Five is, in one sense, the noblest of the Doctors, but also the least effective because of it.
- Team Dad: The writers were obviously eager to explore new stories now that Tom Baker's star power had abated. Five retreats into the background, while his companions help drive events.
- Technical Pacifist: It's technically not murder if your enemy may have Joker Immunity.
- Too Good For This Sinful Galaxy
- Torture Porn: His final serial.
- Tragic Hero: Often the writing itself conspires to make for a downbeat ending, with the Doctor being willfully blind to dangers, having a companion who isn't very adept at adventuring, and lacking previous Doctors' nigh-omnipotence to get him out of jams.
A darker and grittier
(and certainly more unstable) Doctor, whose default emotions were righteous indignation or smug self-satisfaction. Wore a multicoloured coat and wasn't averse to fisticuffs or murder to get out of a desperate fix. Alas, viewers weren't exactly fond of the idea of a periodically-evil Doctor. During his first season, the show got in trouble for being too violent. Baker became the only actor to be fired from the role, thanks to Executive Meddling
; the fallout was so acrimonious that he didn't reprise the role for a regeneration, so they Dropped a Bridge on Him
. However, Colin Baker
is actually a wonderful guy
, and is currently still redeeming the character fantastically in Big Finish Doctor Who
, to the point of being voted "favourite audio Doctor" by the fans. For his Big Finish
character tropes, see here
- '80s Hair
- Aborted Arc: A multi-year arc was planned in which the Sixth Doctor would mellow out, but politics at the BBC intervened. This was later taken up (after a fashion) by the Big Finish audios, where regular companion Dr. Evelyn Smythe puts up with exactly zero of his ego-trips and gives him a much-needed reality check.
- Anti-Hero: Colin Baker later said he based his Doctor on Mr. Darcy.
- Big Fun: The most portly Doctor thus far, though that isn't saying much.
- Bond One-Liner: Fond of them. There's a particularly grim one in "Vengeance on Varos", and it began to attract executive mumblings about whether Doctor Who was going too far. After two guards accidentally fall into an acid bath that was meant for the Doctor...
Sixth Doctor: "Forgive me if I don't join you."
- Can't Argue with Elves: The Sixth Doctor isn't quite this bad, but he is articulate and abrasive. Do not argue with him. You will lose.
- Cheshire Cat Grin: He does one in his opening credits.
- Combat Pragmatist: Extremely so. When faced with a multitude of buttons, a gun and a few seconds to spare, his default solution is to shoot the entire control panel and short-circuit the system.
- Defector from Decadence: His experiences in this incarnation kill any shred of respect he still had for Time Lord society. After that, he only misses Gallifrey once there's no going back.
"In all my traveling throughout the universe I have battled against evil, against power-mad conspirators. I should have stayed here. The oldest civilization: decadent, degenerate, and rotten to the core!"
- Doctor Jerk
- Interestingly, the first of his Doctor Who Magazine comics was developed before his first episodes even aired, so the writers had nothing yet to go on... and wrote him with a kind, fairly normal personality. It somehow stuck, and his comics incarnation is really just a nice chap, with only the occasional flash of hostility.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Hits his head on the TARDIS console. (Although the later novels include a bit of Fix Fic for the scene.)
- Famous Last Words: "Carrot juice, carrot juice, carrot juice..."
- Future Me Scares Me: The Valeyard.
- Grumpy Old Man: The actor may not visually fit the role, but the Sixth Doctor himself easily fits the role in personality.
- Hurricane of Euphemisms: Especially when frustrated or angry.
- Hypocritical Humor: This Doctor is much more of a "do as I say, not as I do" sort of fellow.
- I Hate Past Me: Towards Five and Two.
- Iconic Item: That technicolor nightmare coat, the cat badge and the umbrella. Sure enough, his regeneration into Seven inevitably culminates with the new incarnation questioning the former's bizarre tastes and pitching the coat for something more sophisticated.
- Impossibly Tacky Clothes: Famously. It's like a clown vomited in his closet. Colin Baker actually wanted to dress in black velvet for the part, which John Nathan Turner shot down immediately; legend has it that Turner then turned down the first several versions of the design because they still retained some vestiges of good taste.
- Insufferable Genius: Oh, boy. Described by many as a "raging egotist"... but he really was as good as he described himself.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The genuine heart of gold still existed in this Doctor... it was just buried under a whole lot of ego. And bluster. But mostly ego. Ironically, the Sixth Doctor may well have had the largest heart of gold of any of them, hidden way deep down underneath the ego.
- Knight Errant: Self-described in "The Twin Dilemma."
Sixth Doctor: I'm a knight errant, not an errant fool!
- Murder Tropes: Although previous regenerations had no problem with letting villains die horrible deaths or blowing up inhabited enemy shapeships, Six straight up grabbed someone (who very definitely did not have Joker Immunity) and murdered him using a cyanide rag. It did not go over very well with the fans.
- Nerves of Steel
- No Indoor Voice
- The Other Darrin: Done for a grand total of 3 seconds during the regeneration process, as Colin Baker didn't return to portray the Doctor for a fraction of an episode. The Sixth Doctor's Dick Sargent to Colin Baker's Dick York was Sylvester McCoy, who simply wore a curly blond wig while sparkly special effects covered his face. It didn't work.
- Colin Baker jokingly insists that since he never actually regenerated, he's still the Doctor and all the later ones are mere pretenders to the part.
- Promoted Fanboy: Colin Baker had been a fan of the franchise since the first episode was aired and leapt at the chance to even be in the story, much less portray the Doctor himself. He's also the president of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society.
- Regeneration By Falling Over
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Depending on the writer, the Sixth Doctor tends to go from "being smart" to "sounding like he not only swallowed a thesaurus, but all of the grammar teachers in England." This is also played up in some of his Expanded Universe appearances.
- Tsundere: The harsh version.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: His relationship with Peri at first; It does take them a few episodes to get along without unleashing a hurricane of insults on each other.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Only used against the Sixth Doctor in terms of his attitude rather than his actions or history.
- Xanatos Speed Chess Player: Once Six actually figures out what the hell is going on, his quick thinking and planning is pretty much this in curly blond hair and a multicoloured coat. That does, of course, depend on the Sixth Doctor actually being involved enough in the main story to realize what's going on —- one example left him clueless until the final 20 minutes of the story.
- You Look Familiar: Colin Baker appeared prominently in "Arc of Infinity" as a different Time Lord (a chief of security named Maxil, who shoots the Fifth Doctor) before he was cast as the Sixth Doctor. He likes to joke that he got the part by shooting the incumbent.
You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies.
Began as a sort of bumbling goof, but became a very manipulative and enigmatic figure when the show got a little Darker and Edgier
(after back-pedalling away from it) in its last two seasons. He turned into a borderline Knight Templar
, fond of The Plan
, and a bit of a Knight Templar Parent
to his companion Ace. These qualities came even more to the fore in the many, many Expanded Universe Doctor Who New Adventures
novels he starred in. Hinted at numerous times to be much more than a "mere" Time Lord — a Story Arc
which didn't quite pan out as such
. What little made it into the show, however, added a few clues regarding his escape from Gallifrey, which appears to have included nicking the Hand of Omega as he went. Played the spoons
(the musical instrument). For his Big Finish
tropes, click here
- Aborted Arc: The so-called Cartmel Master Plan, whereby it would be revealed that Rassilon and Omega co-founded Time Lord society with a mysterious third individual known only as "The Other"; The Doctor would turn out to be the reincarnation of this person, in an attempt to return mystique to the character. Shades of this plan are seen in both "Remembrance of the Daleks" and "Silver Nemesis", both of which show that he knows how to operate Artifacts of Doom from Gallifrey's ancient past, and there was a plan for the Master to accuse him of being more than just a Time Lord. The cancellation of the show scuppered all this. Bits of it made it into the (non-canon) webcast "Death Comes To Time", and the episodes that were never filmed were eventually recorded as audios by Big Finish (though so far without the Cartmel Master Plan).
- Batman Gambit: Often directly related to his status as Chessmaster.
- Book Ends: Both the start and the end of the life of the Seventh Doctor were really ignoble: hitting his head on the TARDIS console and being killed by malpractice (to be fair, she had no warning about his Bizarre Alien Biology) committed by the woman who would become his next companion.
- Bothering by the Book: In "The Happiness Patrol", he brings a fascist dictatorship to its knees within just a few hours, simply by following its laws to the letter.
- Celibate Hero: No Hugging, No Kissing was generally in place for the classic Doctors, but Seven displayed celibacy to the point that in a few Expanded Universe stories, his companions know he's Not Himself just from the fact alone that he suddenly fancies someone. Bernice Summerfield summarises that she's "never known the Doctor to have any concern for the trouser department."
- Cheshire Cat Grin: It always looks like he's up to something.
- The Chessmaster: With varying success, often requiring the liberal use of Xanatos Speed Chess when things go awry. In the Doctor Who New Adventures, Seven's abilities are given real room to flex and are usually far more impressive.
- Creepy Good: This Doctor could get scary. His life lessons to Ace in "Ghost Light" are downright terrifying.
- The Determinator: In the 1996 movie, he wakes up several times on the operating table, despite being heavily sedated, in order to attempt to warn everyone of what's happening.
- Famous Last Words: "AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"
- Fun Personified: He starts out as this just after regenerating. His later stories turn him into a very dark Magnificent Bastard instead, although still with plenty of juggling, spoon dancing and hat tricks.
- Future Me Scares Me: He finds out that in some future regeneration, in an Alternate Universe where the Arthurian legend is real, he'll become Merlin. Because of this, he has to spend an entire episode picking apart clues left to him by his future self.
- Iconic Item: His straw hat, question mark handled umbrella (which he pretty much used as a third arm), and question mark covered sweater-vest.
- Malaproper: In his first few stories.
- Medical Horror: His final moments. Heavily sedated, Strapped to an Operating Table, and begging the sweet human doctor to stop shoving a camera probe into his arteries.
- My Card: Handed out in "Remembrance of the Daleks"...out of thin air, at that. Sylvester McCoy had a small background with stunts and parlour tricks
- Nerves of Steel
- Nice Hat: Which actually belonged to Sylvester McCoy. Seven liked to roll it up and down his sleeve.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Nothing about his appearance or demeanor suggests that he is a threat.
- Papa Wolf: When it comes to Ace, he's got this trope down pat. Particularly in the Expanded Universe.
- The Power of Rock: The power of blues, showtunes and spoons.
- Quintessential British Gentleman
- Rebellious Spirit: Extremely.
- Scenery Porn: His TARDIS eventually becomes a lush drawing room full of books, candles and Steampunk gadgets.
- Shipper on Deck: He's extremely entertained by Ancelyn and Brigadier Bambera.
- Slapstick: Especially in his early stories.
- Strapped to an Operating Table: While heavily sedated, and trying to explain to nice Dr. Grace that he's not human and could she please take that camera out of his arteries. She doesn't listen, and he dies.
- Take That Me: The Big Finish branch of the Expanded Universe has given the Seventh Doctor a few unintentional (on the Doctor's part) jabs at his rather lackluster death in the TV Movie. The best jab, by far, was "I refuse to die to elevator music!" when trying to escape a depressurizing airlock playing opera at him. Guess what he died to.
- Talking the Monster to Death: Seven loves doing this. It's in a good half of his stories.
- Talking Your Way Out: Seven's great love — his words are far and away more effective than any physical threat.
- Trickster Mentor: Became this in his second season, as focus shifted to his companion Ace. As a result, Ace became the most fleshed-out companion, whilst the Doctor became ever more mysterious.
- Trrrilling Rrrs: McCoy was actually the first Doctor to not speak with a Received Pronunciation accent. He's very Scottish.
- Unflinching Walk: He calmly walked out of a building that then promptly exploded and appeared not to notice. (The pyrotechnicians had over-rigged the charge and McCoy thought he caught a bit of it, but he kept going as there was only one take they could do.)
- Weapon of Choice: His brain (and, technically, words). This is the first Doctor to talk at a Dalek and make him self-destruct.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Seven tends to keep his eye on the big picture, and while he won't directly kill anyone, he's been known to leave — or nearly leave — psychological scars, especially in Ace. He gets called out on it. Hard.
- Worst Aid: Bullets? Not a problem. Paramedics mistaking your alien heart rates for fibrillation? That's another matter.
I love humans. Always seeing patterns in things that aren't there.
From the Made-For-TV Movie
. From the little we saw of him, the Eighth Doctor was a romantic, a bouncy, chatty, passionate figure who reveled in life and living and — uniquely among the Doctors — seemed to enjoy giving people hints about their futures. Notably, he was the Doctor who shattered the No Hugging, No Kissing
policy forever, happily snogging his companions just because he wanted to. He also claimed to be half-human for no reason, which was subsequently ignored entirely in the main Whoniverse
canon because it was much too silly. Got fleshed out considerably in three separate timelines: the Expanded Universe
novels, the Doctor Who Magazine
comics and the Big Finish
radio series. You can see his novels
character tropes here
, and his Big Finish
character tropes here
Time travel is like visiting Paris. You can't just read the guidebook, you've gotta throw yourself in! Eat the food, use the wrong verbs, get charged double and end up kissing complete strangers - or is that just me?
Riddled with Survivor Guilt
from the Time War, the Ninth Doctor was dark and moody at times
, but also at times lovably affable and showing great affection and empathy for people. He was prone to mood swings, vacillating between Nice Guy
within the breadth of the same conversation. Most normally-dressed Doctor, with close cropped hair and beat-up leather jacket. A much more street-smart Doctor than previous versions, even outright stating that he doesn't "do domestic". Made a Heroic Sacrifice
the Fifth would be proud of, and was generally fantastic
. Not counting Eight, Nine has had the shortest tenure on the series out of all the Doctors.
- Adventure Rebuff: Rose. Mickey and Adam in a shorter version.
- Always Save the Girl: Protecting Rose is an instinct even stronger than his hatred of Daleks, or wanting to protect the entire planet. Initially seems to be limited to girls when he leaves Jack behind (which Jack later quite vocally complains about), but it turns out that the TARDIS also fundamentally disagreed with Jack after he Came Back Wrong.
- The Atoner
- Back-to-Back Badasses: With Rose on the Series 1 box art.
- Badass Armfold: Nine loves a good brood. Played for hilarity when he stood under a reality television Death Ray and dared the producers to dust him.
- Badass Boast: "Do you know what they call me in the ancient legends of the Dalek homeworld? 'The Oncoming Storm'. You may have removed all your emotions, but I bet that deep down in your DNA there's one spark left, and that's fear. Doesn't it just burn when you face me?"
- Bi the Way: Very encouraging about Jack's flirting with him, and actively flirts back. Didn't seem to mind being kissed by him, either.
Jack *referring to Rose being affectionate with Mickey* Aw, sweet. Look at these two... How come I never get any of that?
Ninth Doctor: Buy me a drink first.
Jack: Such hard work.
Ninth Doctor: *smiling* But worth it!
- Big Damn Kiss: With Jack and with Rose. Both are tremendously sweet and emotional.
- Blood Knight: Due to his traumatic experiences during the Time War, though Rose manages to get through to him and soothe his trauma a bit.
- Break the Cutie: Broken after The Last Great Time War, when the Doctor causes the death of his entire race and spends his entire Ninth incarnation trying to get over it.
- Byronic Hero: Subverted, inverted, averted, and played straight, depending on the episode.
- Catch Phrase: "Fantastic!"
- Changed My Jumper: Trope Namer.
- Character Development: Thanks to Rose, he softens and becomes much less rude and angry toward the end of his life.
- Chewing the Scenery: His rant about the end of the Time War to the Dalek in "Dalek", the episode that sees him literally foaming at the mouth:
Ninth Doctor: I watched it happen. I MADE IT HAPPEN!
- Death Glare: He could make you feel very sorry indeed, doesn't matter if you're a villain or a misbehaving Companion.
- Death Seeker: The Ninth has subtle shades of this in his first few appearances; after the Time War, he seems almost gleeful at the prospect of mortal danger.
- Unless he dies in a dungeon... in Cardiff.
- His first reaction to a distant scream is to run towards it:
Doctor: That's more like it!
- Distressed Dude: For being in only 13 episodes, he got captured and cornered quite often. Plus, he was shackled and shirtless in a scene in "Dalek".
- Doesn't Like Guns: But has an in-depth knowledge about them and will (try to) use the most powerful BFG he can find if Daleks are involved or someone harmed Rose. And he won't forbid others to use them, if the enemy really is a threat.
- The Dreaded: To the point where in his presence, even the Daleks took a step back to try to get away from him.
Daleks: But you have no weapons! No backup! No plan?!
Doctor: Yeah... and doesn't that scare you to death?!
- Establishing Character Moment: One word. "RUN!" While taking Rose's hand- the action is as important as the word.
- Everybody Lives: Trope Namer.
- Face Death with Dignity: When he closes his eyes, ready for the Daleks to "ex-ter-minate" him.
- Briefly holds off his Regeneration so he can first comfort Rose and explain to her what's going to happen to him.
- Famous Last Words: "You were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. And you know what? So was I."
- Guile Hero: Definitely qualifies as this.
Doctor: No. Cause this is what I'm going to do. I'm going to rescue her. I'm going to save Rose Tyler from the middle of the Dalek fleet. And then I'm going to save the Earth. And then I'm going to wipe every last stinking Dalek out of the sky!
Daleks: But you have no weapons! No defenses! No Plan!
- He Who Fights Monsters: A double genocide under his belt.
- Hell-Bent for Leather
- Hidden Depths: In the first few episodes, he is very aloof and stand offish with Rose, then he slowly reveals what happened in the Time War to her and why he's sometimes a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
- Humans Are Morons: In the episode "Rose" and a few instances whenever he's angry at them, or simply agitated as Rose noted, he'd call humans "stupid apes". Ten, however, sheds this trait for Rose's sake.
- Iconic Item: His leather jumper.
- It's All My Fault: There's hardly an episode where he doesn't end up apologizing to someone for getting them killed, failing to save somebody else, or just snapping at someone he likes. It gets especially egregious in "The Unquiet Dead". He'll even apologize first if the other party in a quarrel is the one who first messed up. Though he expects the same kind of owning up to your mistakes from everyone else, and heaven help you if you don't.
Ninth Doctor: "You can be born in the 20th century and die in the 19th, and it's all my fault. I brought you here."
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Nice as he is, he got really picky with who he let into the TARDIS.
- As the people he didn't like initially or let in only reluctantly were all guys Rose had become interested in, this could also be seen as a mild case of Clingy Jealous Guy. Note that he was perfectly okay with Jack as soon as the man started flirting with them both, instead of threatening to seduce Rose into leaving.
- He also has a tendency to shift between varying levels of Nice Guy and Jerk Ass depending on his level of respect for the party in question. For instance, he is generally a nice guy to Rose except for the time she cocked up history in "Father's Day" and most people he meets by default, but if the party in question is antagonistic or smug from the get go, his Jerk Ass side comes out, hence why he has zero patience for Jackie Tyler. Finally, in a variation, if he's dealing with someone who thinks they are smarter than than they really are (or someone he's trying to piss off on purpose), he shifts into being a really pleasant sounding smartass.
- Knight in Sour Armor: Starts out as this, until the universe decides to show mercy for once.
Ninth Doctor: "Look, if I forgot some kid called Mickey, it's because I'm busy trying to save the life of every stupid ape blundering about on top of this planet, all right?!"
- Living Forever Is Awesome: Averted; it's just part of his Stepford Smiler act. He puts on a show of how great it is to travel all over the place and have adventures and save people forever when he's a borderline Death Seeker.
- Love Triangle: With Jack and Rose. Jack and Rose are both in love with the Doctor, and also fancy each other. The Doctor cares about Rose in his own way, but the show leaves it ambiguous whether it's deep friendship or romantic love, and the Doctor Cannot Spit It Out either way. All three pairings get sweet and emotional kissing scenes.
- Madden Into Misanthropy: As a result of the Time War and his own actions, he's very reluctant to accept potential companions.
- Morality Chain: Needs one when faced with Daleks (at least the first time).
- No Indoor Voice
- Noodle Incident: The exact circumstances of his regeneration are this.
- Not So Different: To the Daleks.
: You would make a good Dalek.
- As well as when the Dalek pushes his Berserk Button too far, causing the Doctor to electrocute him.
Dalek: We are the same!
Doctor: We're not the same! I'm not- No. Wait. Maybe we are! Yeah ok, you've got a point! Cause I know what should happen. I know what you deserve!
- Also with Margaret the Slitheen: "Only a killer would know that."
- Oop North: "Lots of planets have a North!", and the Trope Namer for the quote.
- Outrun the Fireball: The trailer for the revived series had a specially created scene shot where the Doctor is seen casually running around a corner... then a few seconds later comes a massive fireball.
- Papa Wolf: Best summed in one single sentence.
Doctor: Rose... I'm coming to get you!
- Rousing Speech: To inspire individual people. Usually in the form of a quiet, understated Dare to Be Badass or, if that doesn't work, scathing Reverse Psychology (for example in "The Long Game"). It has more impact than usual because the Ninth Doctor can be quite cynical about humanity as a whole, so you know it's not just general idealistic gushing.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: Though after their first few days traveling together, Rose is usually the one more vocal with the denial. Complete with Everyone Can See It (Even the Daleks!) and Shipper on Deck (Jack: "You two are so sweet. [...] Continue with what you were... doing.")
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Is trying very hard to cope with his own actions during the Time War.
- Stepford Smiler: Half the time, that lovely smile of his is a put-on meant to make others feel at ease. This means that someone is in a lot of trouble when he decides not to bother.
- Particularly noticable when he's about to regenerate:
"That's right. I sang a song and the Daleks ran away."
- Stuff Blowing Up: Blows up a department store, causes the last pure human to combust, bombs Downing Street (well, okay, that last one was Mickey, but the Doctor gave him the code to do so), allows a medium to blow up a house on top of the Rift, overheats the Mighty Jagrafess, and was at Krakatoa (offscreen). The Ninth Doctor loves explosions...
Rose: It's practically how he communicates.
- Survivor Guilt
- Thousand Yard Stare: After something particularly horrific has happened or when he's talking about the Time War and his Survivor Guilt over the whole thing he'll often have a vacant, far-away, haunted expression.
- Tranquil Fury: Very good at this, when he's angry he becomes very calm.
- The trailer for series 1 had him running down a corridor with the look of utmost serenity. Then around the corner, came the massive fireball...
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Only appeared in one series consisting of thirteen episodes.
- When He Smiles: Generally rough and angular features, though handsome. But all the flaws just disappear with that truly glorious smile.
- "World of Cardboard" Speech: At the end of "Bad Wolf" - though it's also for Rose's benefit.
You need to get yourself a better dictionary. When you do, look up "genocide". You'll find a little picture of me there, and the caption'll read "Over my dead body"!Beware the Nice Ones
personified, the Tenth Doctor was rather manic: prone to speaking very quickly, peppering his speech with pop culture references and foreign words, and going off on long rambling tangents. Despite his bubbly personality, he could and did subject villains to a Fate Worse Than Death
if they passed up the one chance at redemption he always offered them. He hated
his past self for his actions in the Time War, and would become very cold whenever he was confronted with it. An accidental and often reluctant Chick Magnet
, something that also applies to his actor. Considered by many fans as either the greatest or the second greatest Doctor.
- Adorkable: Just look at his picture.
- Ambiguous Innocence: Certainly seems more innocent than his previous incarnation, but is later revealed to be a little on the Cute and Psycho side.
- His more child-like nature also winds up being the cause of a lot of his suffering throughout his run on the show.
- Apologises a Lot: Particularly when he realizes that someone's about to die.
- Ascended Fanboy: Both meta and canon, as in "Time Crash" he gushes to the fifth Doctor that he had modeled his regeneration after him.
- Back-to-Back Badasses: Done with a clone of himself and Jackson Lake on two separate occasions.
- Badass Boast: "You're in the biggest library in the universe. Look me up!"
- Badass Grandpa: Got turned into one (appearance wise) briefly by The Master
- Badass Longcoat: Given to him by Janis Joplin.
- Badass Minds Think Alike: With the two mentioned above, neither really coordinated their activities with him all that much but since they had his memories, it wasn't all that hard to figure out how to work in sync on the fly.
- Badass Normal: During his stint as John Smith.
- Beware the Nice Ones: The Family of Blood found this out the hard way....
- Bi the Way: It doesn't come up as often with Ten as with Eight, Nine and Eleven, but he has his moments:
Yeah, well, you can kiss me later. You too, Frank, if you want.
- Big Damn Kiss: Practically his signature move. However, Russell T Davies typically included some kind of excuse for him to do so, in order to keep the fans happy. To date: Cassandra in Rose's body (she kissed him), Reinette (she kissed him), Martha (to distract aliens with his DNA on her), Joan (he wasn't himself), Astrid (she kissed him, and then he kissed her into stardust to thank her), Donna (she kissed him, because he would die unless he was "shocked"), Rose (it was his half-human clone) and Lady Christina (she kissed him).
- Borrowed Catchphrase: Borrows his previous incarnation's catchphrase "Fantastic!" at the end of "The Christmas Invasion" to subtly remind Rose that he's still the same person she first met.
- Amusingly, a Deleted Scene would have had him unable to articulate it, which he claimed was cause he no longer had the teeth.
- Invokes one of the Master's catchphrases during "Waters of Mars";
Doctor: The laws of time are mine and they will obey me!
- Bound and Gagged: The End of Time.
- Break the Cutie: Good lord. Notable moments include almost being murdered in "Midnight", being forced to become a father very suddenly and almost immediately having his new daughter die in his arms, seeing another version of himself commit genocide on the Daleks all over again, saying goodbye to Donna, and all of "The Waters Of Mars". Also, series 3 has about one moment of absolute screaming agony for him per episode on average.
- And refering to his status as a father, remember not only has he lost the cloned daughter; his children and granddaughter Susan, his children from when he was the first Doctor, are likely dead because of the Time War.
- Byronic Hero: He develops into this as the show progresses. Not surprising after all the times he got broken and losing his companions.
- Can Not Spit It Out: Is absolutely incapable of telling Rose how he feels about her. His half-Donna clone whispers it into her ear, but we never hear it.
- "Tell Rose, tell her... Oh, she knows."
- "And I suppose... Since it's my last chance to say it... Rose Tyler, I—"
- "Does it really need saying?"
- Cartwright Curse: Chick Magnet...of Doom!
- Catch Phrase: "Brilliant!", "Allons-y!", "Molto bene!"
- Character Development: He starts off as a kind, cheerful, adventure-loving chap with a motormouth. None of this goes away completely, and is still very prevalent in his character. However, as more and more people start to die around him, and as he loses Rose, pushes Martha away inadvertently, and is eventually forced to wipe Donna's memories, he slowly and subtly starts to develop a darker side. He gains an almost obsessive desire for saving people and preventing death at any cost to him. By The Waters of Mars he is showing A God Am I tendencies and, tellingly, uses some of the exact same lines The Master uses, although Capt. Adelaide Brooke's suicide pushes him back from the edge a bit.
- Character Tics: Glasses on, glasses off, glasses on, glasses off... Played With in "Doomsday", when his new glasses actually do something. Also shifts his jaw a lot.
- Check And Mate
- Chekhov's Hand: Who knew that after getting his hand cut off in '05, we'd see the Doctor's severed hand again all the way at the end of Series 4 in '08...?
- Chewing the Scenery: "The Laws of Time are mine and THEY WILL OBEY ME!"
- Chick Magnet: Yes. And hates it after a while. He even temporarily stops taking on companions because they keep falling in love with him, or having their lives ruined by him, or both. Effortlessly and very accidentally seduces anyone he meets, ranging from Cassandra to the freaking Madame de Pompadour. Implies that he's shagged Queen Elizabeth I.
- Contrived Coincidence: Another meta-example: the guy named David Tennant gets to play the Tenth Doctor.
- Crazy Awesome: In-universe, as Donna lampshades in "Fires of Pompeii".
Donna: You fought her off. With a Water Pistol. I bloody love you!
- Death Seeker: He catches a bit of this after his separation from Rose. Especially in series 4, where he regularly attempts heroic sacrifices and puts his life in danger. Ironically, at the very end of his life, he realizes that this is exactly the opposite of what he wanted all along.
- Disorganized Outline Speech: Twice.
- Distressed Dude: Not as frequent as his predecessors, but still continuing the tradition.
- Ditzy Genius
- Does Not Like Spam: "Don't let me eat pears; I HATE pears!"
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: The Doctor is (or course) completely fine with Jack's sexuality, but displays a whole lot of Fantastic Racism about Jack's Immortality. When they finally talk about it, the dialogue intentionally sounds more like it's about sexuality than about immortality. He explains that Jack had become a Fact of the Timeline, all the while claiming that it's just wrong and admitting that he honestly finds it hard to look at Jack now. Jack takes it as sounding prejudiced, and Ten notes that he hadn't looked at it that way yet, explaining that as a Time Lord, it's literally an instinctive reaction and he can't help it.
- Don't Make Me Destroy You
- Dying Alone
- Even the Guys Want Him
- Expressive Hair
- Famous Last Words: "I don't wanna go."
- Fantastic Racism: Shades of it towards his clone Jenny,though it had underlying emotional issues as well, since she reminds him of the pain of losing his family and entire race as well. He later accepts her as his "daughter" later in the episode especially when she "dies".
- Fascinating Eyebrow: His left eyebrow is particularly acrobatic...to the point where someone made a parody tribute about it
- Fingertip Drug Analysis: Often skips the fingertips and licks the "evidence" directly. This comes back to bite him when, at one point, the "evidence" turns out to be dust made of corpses.
- Flat "What." / Big "WHAT?!": It's almost a Catch Phrase.
- Geek Physique: Of the skinny variety.
- Gibbering Genius: Especially when things get stressful.
- A God Am I: In "The Waters of Mars", he has a five-minute period where he decides that, as the last Time Lord, he now decides all the laws of time. It is terrifying and awesome in equal measure.
- Godzilla Threshold: Tied directly to his hatred of guns in that he tries to avoid them if at all possible. You know he feels this trope is met when he either tolerates others using guns or he himself picks one up.
- Good Is Not Soft: If Shepard is not the go to character for this trope then it's probably this guy.
- Good Thing You Were In The First Fifteen Hours Of Your Regeneration Cycle
- He Who Fights Monsters: The Technical Pacifist Doctor has killed very many Cybermen and Daleks. He has annihilated entire fleets of enemy spacecrafts and, presumably, his own people, as well as the various monsters of the week. He seems to swing back and forth on the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism quite frequently. In one case, the Doctor was attacked by creatures who wanted to steal his immortality. They got their immortality all right. Getting the Doctor personally angry is, in his own words, "not a good place to stand." As Donna says in "The Runaway Bride", "I think sometimes you need somebody to stop you". Since he became the Last of His Kind, the influence of a companion ideally should serve to keep him from becoming too monstrous.
- Heel Realization: Has perfected being a Technical Pacifist, and eventually — eventually — realizes that this can be much worse than directly killing people.
I've taken lives. And I got worse, I got clever. Manipulated people into taking their own. Sometimes I think a Time Lord lives too long.
- Heroes Want Redheads: "Loves a redhead, our naughty Doctor... Has he told you about Elizabeth I? Well, she thought she was the first."
- Heroic Sacrifice: Ten has done this many times, with one standing above the rest. It's when he chooses to let himself get blasted by 500,000 rads of radiation to save Wilfred Mott, resulting in his regeneration, knowing very well he doesn't want to trigger it.
- Hot Scientist
- Hot-Blooded Sideburns
- I Hate Past Me: The Tenth Doctor finds his previous incarnation — the hate-filled soldier who fought in the Time War — abhorrent; this affects how he responds to Jenny and Clone!Doctor.
- I Was Quite A Fashion Victim: His response to Five's celery stalk corsage.
- Iconic Item: His "brainy specs" (briefly replaced with 3-D glasses at one point) and his dapper suits, always worn with a pair of Chuck Taylors and a longcoat on the go.
- I'm Mr. Future Pop Culture Reference: "I Am Spartacus" joke in "The Fires of Pompeii", among others.
- Innocently Insensitive: As part of his new Motor Mouth, the Doctor now tends to say what's on his mind as soon as it enters it, making him quite rude at times. He often recognizes this mid sentence. "Am I being rude again?"
- Keet: Provided he's in a good mood rather than being angry or angsty, the only box on the Keet checklist he can't tick is "short" (he's 6'1" according to IMDB).
- Kill 'em All: Same problem as the Fifth. Quite a lot of them are Heroic Sacrifices, too.
- Leitmotif: "Song for Ten" - a bittersweet Christmas ballad - was an original song composed for the Christmas Invasion and used as incidental music throughout the Tenth Doctor's run.
- Let's Get Dangerous: He usually comes off as a scatterbrained goofball until things really start to get serious or one of his Berserk Buttons is pressed, at which point Beware the Nice Ones comes into full effect.
- Manly Tears: Ten wasn't afraid to cry — losing Rose hit him especially hard, and the impending end of his life (even with the chance he'd just regenerate into a new man) had him on the verge of tears with sheer terror.
- Martyr Without a Cause: On many occasions.
- Master of the Mixed Message: Yes. Just ask Rose. As a result of the whole Rose thing, he's extremely clear to both Martha and Donna that they should not fall in love with him, and that they'll be kicked out of the TARDIS if they do... but of course, this never works out as neatly as he plans it. Jack and Martha both lament that the Doctor keeps making them fall in love with him, then acts completely oblivious to it.
- Messianic Archetype: Evokes a lot of Christian imagery, and re-enacts multiple Bible scenes, especially whenever he's on New Earth. Seems to be aware of it in "Voyage Of The Damned", when he commands the robotic angels to carry him up to the control room.
- Mind Rape: Both given and received. What he was forced to do to Donna continues to haunt him.
- Morality Chain: It's outright stated that he needs his Companions in order not to act cruelly or give in to his god complex and become The Unfettered. Only Donna seems to realise this and (eventually) successfully fulfill this role by frequently asking What the Hell, Hero?.
- Motor Mouth: Often, especially when he gets excited.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Possibly due to holding back his regeneration for so long in order to say goodbye, he suffers a particularly violent regeneration that nearly destroys the TARDIS and damages the sonic screwdriver. This ends up severely screwing over his next regeneration.
- He also could have done himself a favour and not accidentally aimed the regeneration burnoff directly at the console.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Was usually thrilled to meet new and bizarre monsters, often calling them "beautiful". Queen Vicky had a problem with this, and banished him and Rose from the kingdom for treating deadly aliens threats as fun and games.
- Not Himself: Has been possessed, brainwashed, DNA-altered, cloned and generally displaced more than any other Whoniverse character.
- Not So Different: The Tenth Doctor and The Master often are depicted as opposite sides of the same coin. Particularly noticable in Waters of Mars when the Doctor flat-out becomes him for a brief moment;
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Occasionally he'd mess up a vowel (Tennant's native accent is Scottish, demonstrated for fun in the werewolf episode), and in "Smith And Jones" Davies gave him the phrase "Judoon platoon on the moon" just to mess with him.
- Oral Fixation Fixation: Oh yes.
- Perma Stubble: He always has a 5 o'clock shadow, which makes it look like he shaves before going to bed.
- Lampshaded when he meets the Fifth Doctor in Time Crash;
Tenth Doctor: Check out this bone structure, Doctor, because one day you're gonna be shaving it!
- Pop Cultured Badass: Extremely. His very first Rousing Speech is from The Lion King. He gets a Jerk Ass Standard '50s Father to shut up by quoting Mary Poppins. The list goes on.
- Preemptive Apology: So often that it's a Catch Phrase: "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."
- Pretty Boy: Lampshaded in "Silence in the Library", though it takes him a bit to catch on.
River: Pretty boy! With me, I said.
Doctor:...Oh, I'm pretty boy?
Donna: Yes! Ooh, that came out a bit quick.
- Promoted Fanboy: David Tennant, a child during the era of the Fourth and Fifth Doctors, decided to become an actor at age three largely because of Doctor Who.
- Cranked Up to Eleven when he was fortunate enough to perform opposite his favorite Doctor (Five) and say so in character.
- Taken Up to Eleven Million when he acted opposite Davison's daughter, proposed to her (making him Five's eventual son-in-law), and now has a child with her. Currently the undisputed champion of Promoted Fanboy.
- Prophecy Twist: "He will knock four times."
- Resuscitate The Dog: His Heroic Sacrifice had strong overtones of this.
- Rousing Speech: Good at these. Tends to occasionally get lost a bit on the way though.
- She's Not My Girlfriend: A running gag with Donna. For once, it's absolutely true, and they really are just best friends. (Which is why, when he needs a "shock" to save his life, her snogging him does the trick quite well. They never speak of it again.)
- Shipper on Deck: Usually tells Jack Harkness to stop flirting with everyone, but eventually plays wingman to hook Jack up with Midshipman Alonso Frame.
- Shirtless Scene: In "The Stolen Earth/Journey's End". (Actually a naked scene, but we only get to see his upper half.)
- Slasher Smile: Briefly adopts one when the goes off the deep end during "Waters of Mars".
- Sociopathic Hero: Turned into this briefly during "The Waters Of Mars", being heroic (if arguably so) and disturbing in equal measure. Also, while this is ordinarily a Badass subtrope, it's done so as an utterly disturbing deconstruction.
Doctor: I'm so old now. I used to have so much mercy...
- Specs of Awesome
- Stepford Smiler:
The Doctor: Oh, I'm always all right.
Donna: Is "all right" special Time Lord code for... not really all right at all?
- Sword Fight: Right after regenerating, the Doctor takes on the leader of an alien invasion force in a Christmas invasion.
- Trademark Favorite Food: According to Eleven, it's bacon. Eleven gags when reintroduced to it, and is hinted to have gone vegan.
- Tranquil Fury: And No Indoor Voice. He's loud when he's in a good mood and quiet when he's pissed off.
- Trauma Conga Line: Ten's entire career could be described this way—which is saying a LOT considering the Doctor in general.
- Truly Single Parent: To Jenny, a daughter-clone harvested from his cells in "The Doctor's Daughter". Is not happy about being forced into parenthood at gunpoint.
- Almost-single parent to The Doctor Clone, who is technically the offspring of him and Donna.
- Unkempt Beauty: He'd be a Sharp Dressed Man if he did his tie up, stopped wearing trainers, shaved properly, neatened his hair, pressed his suit and stopped fiddling with his buttons. All of these were deliberate choices by David Tennant who insisted on the trainers and requested a suit that wrinkled and had lots of buttons to play with.
- Verbal Tic: "Welllll..."
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Donna. This has become Tennant and Tate's standard whenever they work together.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Breaks his own rules in "The Waters of Mars" by saving the people whose death would have inspired the human race to spread out into space. Is called out on it in the most horrific way possible: The key person who was supposed to die fully understands what happened, and quietly walks off to kill herself. Which leads to the Doctor having a nervous breakdown.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: Appears tired of his existence and actively suicidal at times (especially during Series 3), but also desperately runs from "death" when his time seems to be up.
- Wicked Cultured: Acknowledged in "Fires of Pompeii" when he easily wins a verbal sparring match with Lucius Petrus Dextrus, who notes that the Doctor clearly shows himself to be a man of learning.
- You Can't Fight Fate: Invoked countless times over the course of his six years. As soon as he thought he'd finally triumphed over it, someone knocks four times...
- You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry
There's something you better understand about me, because it's important and one day your life may depend on it: I am
definitely a madman with a box!
The current Doctor, and also the youngest Doctor to date: only 26 when cast, three years younger than previous record-holder Peter Davison
. Frequently tripping over his own tangled thoughts, words and limbs, Eleven is definitely a lot more alien
than many other incarnations. On the one hand, he happily enjoys his unexpected youth, hopping and skipping all over the place, and is usually very friendly and personable. On the other hand, he can be extremely tense, guarded and secretive, and very liable to snap into Tranquil Fury
mode if you annoy him. Has a distinct air of an old man in a young man's body.
- Absent-Minded Professor: This Doctor tends to be very flighty at times. Most notably in "The Lodger", when he has to pretend to be a normal human while being a bit distracted by having to save the universe. His rather out of date clothes also evoke this.
- Accidental Marriage: The Marilyn Monroe incident.
- Accidental Pervert: Best shown by his reaction to finding a woman in the changing room, while he was looking for Cybermats.
Doctor: Sorry madam... try that dress in red!
- Accidental Proposal: Accidentally asks River to marry him on two separate occasions.
- Adorkable: Is extremely awkward, and equally endearing because of it.
- Affectionate Gesture to the Head: Very fond of kissing his companions' foreheads, much like Three used to do with Jo. Also sometimes very fond of kissing them square on the mouth when he's really excited, much like Eight used to do — regardless of their gender. Or sexuality. Or marital status.
- Allergic To Routine: Linear time doesn't agree with him, and he actively hates having to wait for things in chronological order, or having to bother remembering the natural order of centuries when talking to humans. In "The Power of Three", we see that just sitting still on a planet for a few days annoys him more than anything, leading him to manically rush off, paint Amy and Rory's fence, kick-up a football five million times (or so he claims) and cut the grass... in about an hour.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: He's on about the same level as Eight, and gets pulled off-topic very often.
Doctor: Ooh, now, what's this? Now, I love this, a big flashy lighty thing! That's what brought me here. Big flashy lighty things have got me written all over them. Not actually. Give me time. And a crayon.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: The Doctor's Sherlock Scan in "The Eleventh Hour", "A Christmas Carol" and "Let's Kill Hitler".
- Baby Talk: The Doctor speaks everything, and that includes Baby.
- Back-to-Back Badasses: With River.
- Badass: Just look below at all the subcategories he qualifies for!
- Badass Army: Can assemble an impressive one.
- Badass Boast: Eleven seems quite fond of these.
- In "The Eleventh Hour":
- In "The Time of Angels":
Doctor: There's one thing you never put in a trap if you're smart. If you value your continued existence, if you have any plans about seeing tomorrow there's one thing you never ever put in a trap: Me.
- In "The Pandorica Opens":
Look at me! No plan, no backup, no weapons worth a damn. Oh, and something else I don't have. Anything. To. Lose!
So, if you're sitting up there in your silly little spaceship with all your silly little guns, and you've got any plans on taking the Pandorica, tonight, just remember who's standing in your way. Remember every black day I ever stopped you, and then, AAAAAND THEN
... do the smart
thing. Let somebody else try first.
- In "The Doctor's Wife".
- In "A Good Man Goes to War"
Doctor: Good men don't need rules. Today is not the day to find out why I have so many.
- In "The Rings Of Akhaten":
Doctor: I walked away from the last great Time War. I marked the passing of the Time Lords. I saw the birth of the universe and I watched as time ran out, moment by moment, until nothing remained. No time. No space. Just me.
- Badass Bookworm: Reading is one of his favorite hobbies, and he dislikes being disturbed while doing so.
- Badass Family: By the end of "The Wedding of River Song", he's married to River, and Amy and Rory are his in laws.
- Badass Longcoat: Starts wearing an awesome, suitably long, green coat as of "Let's Kill Hitler".
- Battle Couple: With River
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Apparently he's the inspiration for the Easter Island statues.
- Berserk Button:
- Don't threaten or hurt anyone the Doctor's taken a liking to. For example:
- The Last Great Time War is also still a major Berserk Button. In "A Town Called Mercy", the Doctor flies into a violent rage and tries to have a man who did what he had to do in a bloody war, killed by throwing him out of the town at gunpoint into the jaws of an enemy. Only Amy pulling What the Hell, Hero? makes the Doctor stop.
- Betty and Veronica: The Veronica to Rory's Betty for Amy's affections, though not intentionally.
- Beware the Nice Ones: While the Eleventh is generally a silly and giddy character, you still don't want to piss him off.
- Beware the Silly Ones: He can be quite the goofball, but at the end of the day he's still the same One-Man Army that's saved the universe an endless number of times. He is also much more casual about killing off villains than 9 or 10 were.
- Bi the Way: Eleven is the first Doctor to actively snog a male companion on the show. (Not that it was scripted or anything.) Steven Moffat has even explicitly stated that the Doctor doesn't care about words like "gay" or "straight", and has some trouble grasping what they mean.
- A great throwaway example of this shows up in "Let's Kill Hitler" when he tells Mels that he danced with everyone at Rory and Amy's wedding, not seeming to understand why the men were "a bit shy."
- Big Damn Kiss: After over 700 years of deep mutual love, he finally gets to kiss the TARDIS. Who promptly bites him on the ear.
- He shares some very Big Damn Kisses with River Song as well. And he snogs Rory Williams out of sheer joy at one point. With Amy Pond having forced him into a kiss early on, he's now made out with the whole family — River and all three of her parents.
- Clara wasted no time in getting in on the action. The Doctor didn't quite agree with the idea.
- He dips and kisses Jenny Flint after she saves his life. Lesbian, married Jenny Flint. It earns him a hard slap to the face.
- Borrowed Catchphrase: Borrows one of the Master's in "Closing Time", when he realises the "deactivated" Cybermat is attempting to reboot itself again. Borrows it once again in "The Bells of Saint John" when he's reversing Clara's upload into the data-cloud.
Doctor: Oh no you don't!
- Bowties Are Cool: The Trope Namer.
The Doctor: Oi! Eyes on the tie. Look at me. I wear it and I don't care. Trust me?
The Doctor: That's why it's cool.
- Brutal Honesty: Bluntly tells Amelia in "Flesh and Stone" that she's dying of Weeping Angel infestation, and Oswin in "Asylum of the Daleks" that she was a Dalek the whole time.
- Buffy Speak: "Big flashy lighty thing", "blue boringers", "uppy-downy stuff in a big blue box", among others.
- The Cast Showoff: The football match in "The Lodger" highlights that Matt Smith was headed to be a professional footballer before he had a career-ending injury.
- Catch Phrase: Eleven loves catchphrases, and has a lot of fun inventing new ones.
- "Bowties are cool". Morphs into: "It's an X. I wear an X now. Xs are cool." Or just: Xs are cool.
- The occasional utterance of "It's a thing...", usually referring to one of his many Indy Ploys.
- "It's an X. Love an X."
- "Come along Pond(s)!" and variations such as "Come along, Bitey!" — to a Cybermat.
- Much like Ten's Preemptive Apology, Eleven's "Trust me" crops up now and again.
- "Imagine X... but don't, because it's nothing like that."
- A preemptive "Shut up!"
- "That's new!"
- Character Development: After his Ponds are gone, Eleven becomes much more careful and protective of people around him, and starts acting much older. He's still a complete Man Child in season 7, but one who extensively prepares, calculates and calls for backup when needed.
- Character Tics: The Eleventh has many noticable ones, such as spinning a whole 270 degrees right in order to turn to simply left, note dashing a few steps beyond someone (often a few steps up a flight of stairs) when he approaches them, walking or standing with his arms straight down, generally flailing, doing entirely unrelated stuff with his hands while he's kissing someone, holding up both his index fingers when he explains things (often while spinning), slouching smugly in a chair when he's talking to a villain, crossing his hearts, shifting his jaw when he's upset, and scratching his face when he's utterly perplexed.
- Check And Mate
- Chick Magnet: In a completely different way than Ten: half of the time he appears to be completely oblivious to people hitting on him.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: To the point where he nearly has a meltdown in "Closing Time" since he desperately wants to leave and not investigate the strange things that are happening.
Doctor: Not noticing, just going! Not noticing, just going! Not noticing, just going!
- Constantly Curious: Eleven is a real "try anything once" kind of person, and happily throws himself into any kind of new situation.
- Consummate Liar: "Rule one: the Doctor lies." He doesn't lie about lying, though.
- Contrived Coincidence: A meta example. Matt Smith is listed as Matt Smith (XI) on the IMDb.
- Cool Old Guy: Despite how young he looks, he's about a thousand years old. Doesn't stop him from being insanely hyper and completely nuts.
Doctor: Don't let the cool gear fool you, I am getting on a bit.
- Covert Pervert: If "The Angels Take Manhattan" is anything to go by. "Yowza!" indeed. Eleven generally loves "a bad girl", and delights in flirting with River.
- Cuddle Bug: Loves kissing his companions on their foreheads and giving them random hugs. Defaults to a Security Cling and backrubs when he has to deliver bad news. Is also the first Doctor since Eight to snog a companion for absolutely no reason (although that wasn't actually in the script — Matt Smith just has No Sense of Personal Space).
- Cultured Badass: Loves playing the piano and generally being part of classical culture.
- The Dandy: Sticks to a Limited Wardrobe when he's still with his Ponds, but goes full-on dandy after they leave. His series 7 outfits are inspired by Victorian, Edwardian and Teddy Boy fashion, with plenty of waistcoats, top hats, bowler hats, watch chains and gorgeous coats.
- Dating Catwoman: Gets Happily Married to a self-professed psychopath raised to assassinate him.
- Deadpan Snarker: Happy chap, but quite capable of dropping the snark when the situation calls for it.
- Dissimile: Used so often it's a Catch Phrase.
Doctor: It's fine, we're entering conceptual space. Imagine a banana, or Ithaca. Well, actually, don't, because it's not curved or like a banana. Forget the banana.
- Distressed Dude: By the end of "The Pandorica Opens" Eleven is shoved inside the Pandorica by the enemy alliance and bolted inside.
- Ditzy Genius: He's a Hollywood Hacking Gadgeteer Genius with Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny! disorder.
- The Dreaded: When he's involved, basically run! Horribly deconstructed in Series 6, where this reputation comes back to kick him in the ass, causing him to work on defying it in series 7 by slowly erasing himself from every database in the universe.
- Dysfunctional Family: Series 6 has that awkward moment when you get shot by your wife in front of your wife who then tries to shoot your wife. While your best friend is off to the side, pregnant with your wife. That's all the same wife, by the way. Oh, and he's kissed all three of his wife's parents.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: Loves stuff that spins. Has a habit of spinning around a little when he goes from one topic to the next. Tends to turn a full 270 degrees to simply go left. As of late 2012, the top of his TARDIS console spins constantly.
- Failed a Spot Check: With some frequency. A notable one after Rory very unexpectedly comes back from being erased from the universe.
The Doctor: Hush, Rory. Thinking. Why leave a Cyberman on guard unless it's a Cyberthing in the box but why would they lock up one of their own? Okay, no, not a Cyberthing. But what? What? Oh! Missing something obvious, Rory. Something big. Something right slap in front of me. I can feel it.
Rory: Yeah. I think you probably are.
The Doctor: I'll get it in a minute.
- Faking the Dead: In the Series 6 finale. However, River tells Rory and Amy what really happened by the end of the episode.
- Fate Worse Than Death: Can dish them out just as well as Ten, though (so far) not as frequently. Just ask the Weeping Angels or Colonel Run Away.
- Fisher King: A non-magical example. In "The Snowmen" we see that after the loss of Amy and Rory the Doctor has remodeled the TARDIS interior with a darker colour scheme, the decoration has become more spartan and sterile and he's not bothering to turn on the lights. It has nothing to do with his depression, seriously!
- Four Temperament Ensemble: Amy is sanguine, River is choleric, the Doctor is melancholic and Rory is phlegmatic. When he has Canton with him, Canton is the leukine.
- Friend to All Children: Maybe because he's such a kid himself, but Eleven is definitely this. Also, he speaks Baby.
- Fun Personified: Really tries to be this, although much of it is a Stepford Smiler façade. Is especially fun and nice and happy towards Amy after Rory's first death, to the point where she gets suspicious of it.
- Future Me Scares Me: Pretty much every time he runs into a future version of himself, it's absolutely terrifying for him. Seeing himself on his way to take River to the Singing Towers was bad enough; having to watch himself burned to a living husk with his hand fused to his face in "Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS" completely horrified him.
- Genre Savvy: Very. Also subverted, in that he gives a detailed description of the inhabitant of the Pandorica... not realising that he is also describing himself.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar
Rory: ...Yours is bigger than mine.
Eleventh Doctor: Let's not go there.
- Gibbering Genius: In a slightly different way than Ten. Whereas Ten loves to talk about the inner mechanisms of things and bounce ideas off of his companions, Eleven's preferred method is to let his mouth run completely wild with questions and tangents until he arrives at an answer, while his companions shut. up.
- Good Is Not Nice: Even more lovable than he looks—until you get him angry. Then you run. Just run.
- Guile Hero: Sometimes played in combination with his Trickster Mentor tendencies, sometimes not... this aspect of him becomes much more apparent in later episodes.
- Happily Married: To the TARDIS. And to River Song, provided he's already done the whole wedding bit. Their encounters before he's reached that part are a little bit... discordant. But even during their marriage, they're very scared of each other — the Doctor doesn't want to confront the fact that she'll die someday, and River doesn't know that his aversion to injury and to seeing people age was caused by her death.
- He Who Fights Monsters: When his dark side manifests itself as a separate person, it's quite dark indeed.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Mentions his love for gingers a few times, but, like Ten, mostly just wants to be one. When a manifestation of his dark thoughts and dreams shows up, it's quite clear that he's at least thought about Amy.
- Heroic BSOD: Does not take the deaths of his two best friends well.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He drives the Pandorica back to the source of the explosion in order to reset the universe back to the way it was. Of course, he is brought back.
- I Am Your Opponent: When a Dalek feigns ignorance of him, he furiously attacks it with a spanner!
- Iconic Item: Quite obviously bowties, but also has a liking for fezzes and Stetsons. His fez obsession was bad enough to warrant Amy to snatch one off his head and let River use it for target practice.
- Indy Ploy: His absolute favourite way to solve stuff. At least among the revival doctors, he's by far the most likely to admit he has no idea what's going on and that half the things he says are basically thinking out loud.
Lily: What's happening?
The Doctor: No idea. Do what I do: hold tight, and pretend it's a plan!
- Innocent Fanservice Guy: Has his moments.
- Internal Homage: Matt Smith saw "The Tomb of the Cybermen" and asked for a similar costume as the Second Doctor, who was the first one to wear a bowtie. Eleven takes quite a bit of inspiration from Two in general.
- Jerkass Façade: When humans around him seem to be confused or losing hope, he sometimes employs Reverse Psychology and openly dismisses them as useless or unimportant. But his real intention is to encourage them to "prove him wrong".
- Keet: Bounces, hops, skips, flails, stumbles a lot and sometimes runs like a girl.
- Lantern Jaw of Justice
[Feeling his face after regenerating]
"Ears? Yes. Eyes: two. Nose... eh, I've had worse.
- Like an Old Married Couple: With River Song. Because they are. Especially frustrating for him because Everyone Can See It, Amy asks him right away if River is supposed to be his secret space wife, and River completely refuses to tell him what they'll be to each other in the future because of "spoilers!"
Eleventh Doctor: Hi, honey, I'm home!
River: And what sort of time do you call this?!
- Love Triangle: Amy thinks she's in one with Rory and the Doctor. The Doctor tries to explain that he's 907, she's human, and Rory would really just like to marry her now. Provided that she's not actively trying to kiss him again, he's actually quite amused by it and tries to get Rory to see it all as a nice joke.
- Man Child
- Manly Tears: Eleven is more prone to silently crying than any other incarnation, always completely Played for Drama. He sometimes cries without even noticing — at the end of "The Doctor, The Widow And The Wardrobe" when he's reunited with his human family, and in "The Rings Of Akhaten" when he gives a magnificent Badass Boast while allowing an Eldritch Abomination to Mind Rape him. Both "Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS" and "The Name Of The Doctor" have him breaking down in tears when he has to explain rather horrifying things to Clara.
- The Masochism Tango: Once he figures out River's identity, they get along very well and happily date. But even during their marriage, they're very scared of each other — the Doctor doesn't want to confront the fact that she'll die someday, and River doesn't know that his aversion to injury and to seeing people age was caused by her death. Encounters where either of them is too young (due to their messed-up Timey Wimey Ball) tend to go... even less spectacularly, and involve a lot of snarking, yelling and lying at best and a lot of handcuffing, punching and assassinating on a bad day.
- Master of the Mixed Message: Not much better than his immediate predecessor, as Amy points out in the DVD-only "Meanwhile In The TARDIS Part 2".
Amy: Oh, come on. You turn up in the middle of the night, get me out of bed in my nightie — which you then don't let me change out of for ages — and then take me for a spin in your time machine. No, no, you're right. No mixed signals there. That is just a signal. Like a great big Bat Signal in the sky. Get your coat, love, the Doctor is in!
- The Matchmaker / Shipper on Deck: Between his efforts to ensure that Amy and Rory's relationship remains on track and his obvious efforts and glee when Craig and Sophie finally hook up, Eleven seems to like playing matchmaker.
- He does it again in "A Christmas Carol". With some unfortunate unforeseen consequences.
- Metaphorgotten: At least he notices when he's not making very much sense.
- The Midlands
- Moment Killer: "The Lodger". Almost all of it.
- Money To Throw Away: The Doctor very hastily attempting to pay rent.
"That's probably a lot. It looks like a lot doesn't it? I can never tell."
- Motor Mouth: Constantly asks himself questions and tries to analyse situations by rapid-fire deduction, then stumbles over his own thoughts and keeps himself talking with more questions until he reaches an answer, which in turn leads to more questions.
- Nice Hat:
River: What in the name of sanity have you got on your head?!
[Amy throws the hat and River shoots it]
- The fez returns a few more times. Apparently whenever Amy and River aren't around to take it off him, one of his first priorities is to obtain a fez. He even demanded one from the Secret Service.
- He also wears a spiffy top hat at the end of "The Big Bang", and the same outfit a few more times in "Night And The Doctor". And then there was the time he dressed up as Marlene Dietrich, top hat included.
- Stetsons are cool, too.
- He manages to acquire a pirate hat, briefly, in "The Curse of the Black Spot".
- Serious mourning requires top hats.
- Series 7 sees him acquiring a bowler hat simply by being in the vicinity of Dame Diana Rigg.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Way to revive the Daleks, Doctor. Victory indeed.
- At the end of "A Good Man Goes to War," River implies that his whole career is made of this, raising more enemies against himself and his loved ones with every new display of fearsomeness. This theme continues in "Asylum Of The Daleks".
- Again in "The Girl Who Waited" where he doesn't bother to check that there's a plague on the planet they land, and his attempts to save Amy just end up with creating a second, older and bitter Amy. Rory calls him out on this. Hard.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Maybe not to the extent of Ten, but his first reaction upon being surrounded by pale creepy girls with fangs who cast no reflections is one of utter glee. Also, "Dinosaurs! On a spaceship!"
- No Sense of Personal Space: Particularly when it comes to Craig. When surrounded by a legion of very scary Cybermen, the Doctor's first instinct is to distract Craig... by wrapping himself around him and trying to kiss him. It doesn't work. He also mercilessly teases Rory — pinching his cheeks, slapping his face and randomly kissing him on the mouth when he's excited. (Rory is not amused.) He does, however, realise that he needs to ask for Rory's permission whenever he wants to give Amy a Security Cling hug.
- Obfuscating Insanity: Tied directly into his Cloud Cuckoo Lander status.
Sorry. Checking all the water in this area. [leans in close]
There's an escaped fish [taps nose]
- One-Man Army: Mentioned as early as "The Time Of Angels":
Father Octavian: You promised me an army, Doctor Song.
River: I promised you the equivalent of an army. This is the Doctor.
- One of the Kids: He's amazing with children, and really loves playing with them. "The Doctor, The Widow And The Wardrobe" had him remodeling an entire house into a playground paradise just to give two kids a happy Christmas. Other episodes show him hanging out in toy shops and goofing around with handpuppets just for the sheer heck of it. And he spends his time at Amy's and Rory's house playing Wii sports. He gets along extremely well with babies, too.
- Best exemplified in "A Christmas Carol" when the psychic paper fails to say that the Doctor is "universally recognised as a mature and responsible adult" because that lie is just too big.
- Papa Wolf: Several times for humanity as a whole.
- Pop Cultured Badass: Not so much as Ten, but still references Earth pop culture a lot. He's also totally willing to throw himself into new things, gleefully enjoying things like Wii tennis, remote-control helicopters and rap music.
- Promoted Fanboy: Averted; he's pretty much the first Doctor since Davison who didn't grow up watching Doctor Who. Helps that he was only seven when "Survival" was broadcast. Once he got cast, though, he watched the classic series and called up Steven Moffat to spend twenty minutes raving about "Tomb of the Cybermen". Then asked to wear a bow tie.
- Reality Warper: Uses his ability to influence the past (and subsequently the present) very freely, particularly in "The Big Bang" and in "A Christmas Carol". Gets called out on it in the latter episode.
- Robo Ship: The Doctor and the TARDIS. Pretty much confirmed in-universe as of The Doctor's Wife.
- Running Gag: He so desperately wants a fez, as he mentions and wears one in "A Christmas Carol", and he demands one from the Secret Service in "The Impossible Astronaut". Even when he survives the second Big Bang and begins his rewind in "The Big Bang", one of his first thoughts is his desire to buy a new fez. Hats in general are a running theme.
- Security Cling: The Eleventh Doctor and Amy have a variation. Because Amy's story is one traumatic Break the Cutie moment after another, the Doctor develops a habit of clinging tightly to her and rubbing her back while delivering each new piece of bad news. Asking permission from Rory every time, of course.
- Sherlock Scan: Eleven does this occasionally, most notably in "The Beast Below" and "A Christmas Carol". Not surprising, considering the executive producer is Sherlock co-creator Steven Moffat. Later parodied in "The Snowmen", when he pretends to be Sherlock Holmes.
- Shirtless Scene: In "The Eleventh Hour". Almost a case of Innocent Fanservice Guy, as Eleven only turned around and told Amy and Rory to look away if it bothered them. (Rory did. Amy did not.)
- Shower Scene: To add to the Shirtless Scene above, Eleven gets a shower scene, complete with shower singing and three minutes in nothing but a towel in "The Lodger". The Third Doctor had a similar gratuitous Shower Scene (with just a bit more nudity, in fact) in his first episode.
- Skewed Priorities: Best shown in "Asylum of the Daleks", where he's clearly more worried about Amy and Rory's marital problems than the fact he happens to be slap-dab in the middle of the Parliament of the Daleks and is surrounded by an Army of The Ages. He explains that he thinks best when he's multitasking.
- Smart People Wear Glasses: Acquires Amy's reading glasses mid-way through Series 7, a few hundred years into this regeneration. One of the very few Doctors to actually need them — the First Doctor had similar glasses, but preferred to use a monocle at times (which Eleven is also seen using).
- Socially Awkward Hero: More scatterbrained than most previous incarnations (though still not quite as much as Four), and quite socially awkward as a result. Occasionally on purpose, because he really doesn't want to deal with Amy all the time.
"RORY! SHE'S HAVING AN EMOTION!"
- Squee: Makes actual squee noises when River Song finally reveals who she is. Then takes another long look at her and makes a few more.
- Stay in the TARDIS: The Eleventh Doctor seems particularly protective of Amy and is frequently given to ordering her to stay in the TARDIS. Naturally, she rarely listens.
- Does this even more so with Clara; justified in that he's seen her die twice now, even besides the fact that he lost Amy and Rory. However, Clara is slightly more willing to obey his commands to stay where she is, much to his shock.
- Stepford Smiler: It's been more and more obvious ever since "Amy's Choice", and got focused on especially in season 6. Justified by the fact that he was approaching the date of his death, and knew it. Matt Smith's thoughts on him make it even more clear:
That’s what interests me about The Doctor because, actually, look at the blood on the man’s hands. 900 years, countless very selfish choices, and he’s literally blown planets up. His own race, you know, that’s all on his hands. Which is why I think he has to make silly jokes and wear a fez. Because if he didn’t, he’d hang himself.
- Summon Bigger Fish: Eleven becomes intensely protective of his humans after a few centuries, and as a result, is much quicker than any previous Doctor in calling UNIT for help and happily working together with them.
- Talkative Loon: You thought Ten was bad!
- Tangled Family Tree: Try to draw a tree for the Doctor, Amy, Rory, River and the TARDIS (and, if you like, Henry VIII and his daughter Elizabeth I) and you'll end up with a nice big squiggle.
- Team Dad: He even refers to Amy and Rory as "the kids", never mind that they eventually become his parents-in-law.
- The Thing That Would Not Leave: As a lodger, he proves to be a handful. Justified in that he's very busy saving the universe, and can only do so out of that specific house.
- Torture Porn: "Journey To The Centre Of The TARDIS" had him burned alive, with his hand fused to his face, stumbling around mad with pain. That timeline got reset, but the very next episode, "The Crimson Horror", upped the ante by having him shackled up as a "monster" and almost completely paralysed, for weeks.
- Trademark Favourite Food: He seems to have a fondness for jammy dodgers, used memorably in "Victory of the Daleks". Mentioned again in "The Impossible Astronaut" when he asks the Secret Service for some, and in "Night Terrors" when he asks if there's any whilst making tea. He leaves a whole plate of them for Clara in "The Bells of Saint John".
- Tragic Bromance: With Amy and Rory.
- Tragic Keepsake: Amy Pond's reading glasses, the only thing of hers left behind when she deliberately lets a Weeping Angel whisk her to past New York to be with Rory.
- Tranquil Fury: The more tranquil, the more furious.
- Trickster Mentor: Likes to dole out Secret Tests of Character.
- Tsundere: Sweet version towards River in "The Time of Angels" and especially near the end of "Flesh and Stone." Probably justified as when he's angriest is when he's worried about Amy.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Has this trope perfected at times. Is very calm about running into himself on occasion.
- Viking Funeral: His last testament instructs Rory and Amy to perform one. A Time Lord's remains are way too valuable to leave unattended on a hapless planet. Subverted when the Doctor is revealed to still be alive, and protected from the fire.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Rory, where half of their interaction revolves around trying to out-snark the other.
- Waistcoat of Style: Takes to wearing them under his Badass Longcoat in the second half of series 7.
- You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry
John Hurt's Doctor
John Hurt's Doctor
What I did, I did without choice...in the name of peace, and sanity.
This is the Doctor's greatest secret, a missing version of himself he refuses to acknowledge. This incarnation's placement in the Doctor's lives is unknown. Apparently, this Doctor did something so disgraceful that his future incarnations refused to call him "The Doctor" as he went against his name.
- Awful Truth: He is possibly the reason that the Doctor hides his name.
- Beard of Sorrow: More then likely, given his possible atoning nature.
- Dark Secret: One of the friggin' biggest of the entire series and easily the Doctor's darkest.
- The Dreaded: If you believe, as many now do, that this is who Eleven sees in the room at the Hell Hotel in The God Complex.
- Foreshadowing: In "The Beast Below", the Eleventh Doctor states that if he killed the Space Whale, he'd no longer be able to call himself the Doctor. This incarnation performed a similar act.
- Iconic Item: Judging by his first appearance, and on set photos, he wears the Ninth Doctor's black leather jacket on top of the Eighth Doctor's Victorian clothes, which appear worn down and used.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Whatever he did, he claims he did it for peace and sanity.
- I Hate Past Me / Future Me Scares Me: The other incarnations simply refuse to speak about him, as he did something so heinous, they cannot forgive him.
- UnPerson: To the point they don't even consider him as being worthy of the name, "Doctor".
- Moral Event Horizon: In-Universe, the other Doctors see him as having crossed it and refuse to acknowledge him.
- My Greatest Failure: A personal incarnation of it.
- Necessarily Evil: How he considers himself.
- No Name Given: Is referred to simply as "The Doctor" in the episode he debuted and credits without being given a numbered regeneration.
- Noodle Incident: Whatever he did, he did it in the name of peace and sanity.
- The Nth Doctor: An unidentified one. Since most of the Doctors have regenerated on-screen, it can be inferred that he is either the actual first or the actual ninth (the latter commonly being accepted as the more sensible one, given the course of events that led to it). He may even be a future regeneration, such as the Valeyard. Or possibly another manifestation of the Doctor (as with the Dream Lord), caused by guilt from whatever he did in the past.
- Odd Name Out: He's not considered a "Doctor" to all the other incarnations.
- Rummage Sale Reject: Wears a old scarf, striped shirt, waistcoat and chain, and black leather jacket. It appears that it's a combination of the Eighth and Ninth's wardrobe, as the jacket is identical to the latter's.
- Walking Spoiler: For a very good reason.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Very heavily implied.
- Wham Shot: Is in one of the greatest of the series, in "The Name of the Doctor".
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Looks weary and beaten down, and if he scares the others, has to have done something big.