Characters: Doctor Who Revival Series Doctors
Incarnations of the Time Lord known as the Doctor introduced after the revival of Doctor Who
in 2005, posted in regeneration order.
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Revival series Doctors (general)
- Adorkable: It came and went with Classic Doctors, but it's become permanent after Eccleston.
- Always a Bigger Fish: Eleven learns that he's known as "The Predator of the Daleks", by the Daleks themselves.
- The Atoner: Previously, the Doctor saved planets for the fun of it, as well as out of a hazy sense of justice. Prior to "Day of the Doctor", the Doctor was driven to make up for every single death he supposedly caused during the Time War. (See "Deus Angst Machina" below)
- 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. War? They're dead the second he runs into them... or they run into him. Twelve is closer to Ten: he hates them just as much as his previous selves, but some part of him wants to believe that they can be redeemed.
- Big Damn Kiss: Started with Nine's final episode, and has been repeated many times over since then. Ten usually had it happen to him unexpectedly. Eleven actively loves kissing people left and right.
- 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.
- The idea was carried over from the Eighth Doctor Adventures, in which the Eighth Doctor is blatantly bisexual and spends a lot of time kissing his companions regardless of their gender. Scream of the Shalka, which was supposed to be an official continuation of the classic series, had a different Ninth Doctor and the Master as a couple (though it's subtle enough that Paul Cornell needed to confirm it via Word of Gay). Although Eccleston's Ninth Doctor essentially overrides Grant's, the road was paved for massive amounts of Ho Yay between the Tenth Doctor and John Simm's Master. (It should be noted that Cornell also intended as unspoken back-story for the Shalka Doctor that he recently lost a wife back on Gallifrey, hence his sour disposition and reluctance to engage emotionally with the android Master or the new companion until right when the serial was about over, so it was easy to miss the nuances.)
- 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 in the middle of one, you have a very good chance of being a Mauve Shirt.
Rory: Every time the Doctor gets pally with someone, I feel the urge to notify their next of kin.
- Catch Phrase: "Run!". Nine, Ten, and Eleven all have used this on multiple occasions.
- The Cowl: On the one hand, the Doctor is a hero who protects children and saves the day. But equally, he does it by being even scarier than the monsters. This process began a bit with the Seventh Doctor's New Adventures novels and was cemented by Nine's "Oncoming Storm" speech.
- Crazy Sane: As noted in Stepford Smiler below, Matt Smith believes the Doctor, especially the Eleventh, tends to act absolutely bonkers simply as a defense mechanism to stop himself from going really off the deep end.
- Creepy Good: The Seventh Doctor was already plenty creepy in the classic series, Eight's eerily tranquil moments of anger followed by frothing outbursts in the Big Finish audios made him go from creepy to chilling, and War, Nine, Ten, and Eleven add quite a few more notable moments. War's very presence on a battlefield made a whole Dalek platoon abort a mass extermination to find him because they knew they were toast if they ignored him (they still got wiped out when the War Doctor brutally ran them down with his TARDIS), 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. But Twelve, dear God, Twelve... he scares himself with his own inner darkness and starts questioning if he's good at all.
- Death Seeker: The first four revival Doctors have been more inclined to self-sacrifice than their predecessors (War had no intention of living through the Time War but the Moment judged that he would live; 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.
- 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.
- Ten 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. Toward the very end of his life, though, he became very attached to this regeneration and goes to questionable lengths to keep it. Probably because Word of God confirmed that Ten only lasted nine years in-universe. note
- Defeat Equals Explosion: In a sense, Time Lord regeneration has been weaponized — a far cry from the kaleidescope dirt naps of previous Doctors. The new regeneration effect is a massive buildup and release of energy. War's regeneration was the first to erupt with a flood of energy spouting from his arms and head. When Nine died, he warned Rose to keep at a safe distance, and Ten's expelled radiation and energy blasts caused the TARDIS console room to explode. Eleven receives a power-up from Gallifreyan benefactors, giving him enough juice to blast a Dalek fleet to smithereens.
- Deus Angst Machina: The War Doctor, when presented with a chance to undo the time lock on Gallifrey and Take a Third Option, is given pause once he considers how many lives he saved because of his guilt over killing his people. He elects to save them anyway — but the parting of the Doctors will erase each of their memories. This means that once the War Doctor regenerates, he will damn the Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Doctors to centuries of guilt for a genocide they think they caused. "I'll have to live with that."
- Fallen Angel: The War Doctor and, to some extent, the 10th Doctor. More to the point, the popularity of handsome, beatific David Tennant coupled with his Doctor's frequent about-faces in morality contributed, in an odd way, to his Hazy Feel Turn later on down the line.
- Falling into the Cockpit: These Doctors have a bad habit of regenerating while the TARDIS is still in mid-flight. Ten's landing was particularly rocky, bouncing around the streets of Rose's tower block like a pinball. Eleven nearly pitched himself out through the front door, flailed around while the ship hurtled across London's skyline, managed to claw his way back into the console room, fell through the console room and into the TARDIS' upturned swimming pool, and finally landed in someone's garden... sideways. Poor Twelve is struck by an inopportune senior moment when glancing at the controls, causing the TARDIS to become swallowed by a dinosaur(!).
- The War Doctor regenerated mid-flight as well, though we don't see the outcome of that one.
- Fisher King: A non-magical example. The War Doctor and his TARDIS become shabby from lack of upkeep, with a dingy, bare-bones TARDIS console cobbled together from scrap, and restoring the original roundels to signal a return to his scientific roots. Nothing too fancy, not even a whole lot of order to where things are placed. In his Ninth and Tenth incarnations, the Doctor begins to flesh out the console room into a coral layout, but it arguably gets a lot less inviting as he sulks from postwar trauma, looking shabbier than ever, with exposed wiring, rusty rails, and mechanical groans. Mind you, the Tenth does not appreciate people calling attention to it (he hits the roof when Wilfred criticizes his housekeeping, and again when War is aghast to see Ten has "let this place go a bit" and Eleven dismisses it all as his counterpart's "grunge phase"). The 11th Doctor finds himself with a new lease on life, and the TARDIS changes into a brightly-lit rumpus room to reflect this frivolity.
- 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!
- But then Twelve comes along following the revelation he has saved Gallifrey and decides the TARDIS needs some elegance and warmth again. He changes the time rotor lighting to an inviting amber and sets up all sorts of shelves and furniture, making the room far more attractive and pleasant. It's now cozy and padded, taking the best bits from every console room of the series.
- The Fog of Ages: His age was always uncertain in the classic era, largely due to Who's lax attitude to continuity. For the new series they fixed on 900 years, give or take a few, until Eleven jumped several centuries during his life.
War Doctor: How old are you now?
Eleventh Doctor: I don't know...I lose track. Twelve hundred and something unless I'm lying. I can't remember if I'm lying about my age, that's how old I am.
- Friend to All Children: Every Doctor has a soft spot for children, especially 11. The one thing that haunts the War Doctor is how many children will die if he activates the Moment. Come Twelve's time, though he may be the most abrasive and aloof regeneration of the revival series thus far, even he can still connect with them, as seen in "Listen." Generally speaking, this seems to be the one trait that transcends every shift in personality.
- Going Native: The groundwork was already there in the classic series, but post-Time War Earth really is the closest thing to a home he's got. Ten came close to outright saying this in "Voyage of the Damned"; Twelve basically did say it in "In the Forest of the Night", referring to Earth as his planet.
- Heel Realization: Has perfected being a Technical Pacifist, but eventually realizes this can be much more insidious than simply killing people.
- Twelve in particular has begun questioning his morality, wondering aloud whether he is a 'good man'.
- The Homeward Journey: Since the epilogue of "Day of the Doctor", his primary mission is finding Gallifrey and freeing its people for good. It's not going too well.
- Hurting Hero: The Time War left very deep emotional scars. In one line of dialog Moffat manages to say everything you need to know about the New Doctor, and it's not even the Doctor who's talking: ("The Empty Child")
"Before this war I was a father and a grandfather. Now I’m neither. But I’m still a Doctor."
- Insecure Love Interest: More often than not.
- Internal Homage: So far, each of the revival series Doctors have inherited traits from and taken inspiration from a particular classic series Doctor:
- The War Doctor homages Hartnell's First Doctor: a curmudgeonly, critical old man who is exasperated by his younger companions, but who has a hidden heart of gold underneath. 1 and War both remarked they were "wearing a bit thin", with One stubbornly putting off regeneration, but War was actually happy about running out his natural body clock.
- Although Eccleston is quoted as having watched the Fourth Doctor serial "The Talons of Weng-Chiang" to prepare for his role, some consider the Ninth Doctor to be a refinement of Colin Baker's controversial Sixth Doctor: an impatient, sharp-tongued fellow who gradually cools as the audience grows to trust him. Indeed, the 9th Doctor's sojourns to Satellite 5 ("The Long Game", "Bad Wolf") are essentially a modernized retelling of "Vengeance on Varos" and other politically themed Who stories from the Eighties. In "The Unquiet Dead", he meets and inspires a famed fiction writer from the 19th century, just like Six did in "Timelash". In his sixth adventure, Nine is duped by a distress signal sent from a captive Dalek, similar to the Sixth Doctor's plight in Big Finish's Jubilee. Even Colin Baker himself has commented that the Ninth is the sort of Doctor he wished he'd been allowed to play. Colin also said he wished he'd been allowed to dress like Eccleston's Doctor; a dignified black ensemble rather than a eye-melting rainbow suit.
- The Tenth Doctor is most similar to Davison's Fifth Doctor, whom David Tennant grew up watching. Both Doctors are the most emotional and human, deadly-accurate with a cricket ball, have bad luck with commuter planes, put glasses on when focusing, broke their sonic screwdrivers, inexplicably wear trainers to accompany their formal wardrobes, semi-frequently encounter the Master, and face tragic endings to their lives. (Most of these traits are lampshaded when the Doctors meet up.) Davies' "Utopia" also owes a debt to "Frontios", in which the TARDIS “drifts too far into the future” and discovers a colony of humans struggling to survive on the outer rim. Other obvious homages include "Black Orchid"/"The Unicorn and the Wasp" (Merchant Ivory whodunnits) and "Mawdryn Undead"/"School Reunion" (both set at a boarding school and showcasing a semi-retired companion).
- The Eleventh Doctor greatly resembles Patrick Troughton, the Second Doctor, right down to the bow tie and awkward, clownish demeanor. Matt Smith's favorite classic Doctor serial is the Second Doctor's Tomb of the Cybermen. Additionally, the names of their primary companions sound similar (Two had Scottish Jamie and English Zoe, while Eleven had Scottish Amy and English Rory). Both the Second and the Eleventh Doctors battled against the Great Intelligence. And then there's his final episode, "Time of the Doctor", a.k.a. the longest "Base Under Siege" ever.
- Twelve draws most of his inspiration from Jon Pertwee's Third Doctor. This incarnation has even less patience for flatfooted military types than he used to, tangles with dinosaurs, and brooks no disrespect from mortals. His interaction with others seems to flit between gentlemanly charm and sledgehammer-like arrogance (see his banter with Robin Hood and Psi for the best examples), and he's inherited Three's Deadpan Snarker tendencies as well. Clara's blossoming romance with Danny Pink adds to the homage; Twelve meddles with Clara's love life much like Three gloomily looked on as Jo and Cliff sealed the deal or interrupting Jo's planned nights out with Captain Yates. Externally, he wears costumes with jewelry and red inner lining. The most blatant sign of this homage is the fact that Twelve's primary antagonist in his first season is a Delgado/Ainley-inspired new regeneration of the Master.
- Capaldi's Doctor is somewhat of an homage to the First Doctor, symbolizing a "reboot" of the character's bimillenial lifespan. (The Eleventh Doctor expired once his regeneration cycle was up, whereupon he was given a fresh set of lives by the Time Lords.) This incarnation can no longer be defined as the War Doctor, or the Last of the Time Lords, or the "Oncoming Storm." He's starting from square one: aged, runaway Time Lord in a TARDIS he doesn't know how to fly, with a companion who teaches at Coal Hill School. With the addition of ex-soldier Danny Pink and absentee student Courtney, he has a complete set. (Barbara, Ian, and Susan, respectively.)
- Just Friends: To his companions from Martha onwards. Rose, not quite as much. River is also an exception (given that they're married), if you count her as a "companion".
- The Knights Who Say Squee: Though Classic Series Doctors loved to name-drop, they were much more low-key about meeting famous people. In "The Unquiet Dead", Nine is practically beside himself upon discovering the horse and carriage he's just hopped into and demanded to "Follow that hearse!" belongs to none other than Charles Dickens. His fanboy squeeing even causes him to briefly forget that he's supposed to be rescuing Rose! Ten boasts of snogging France's most famous mistress, is excited by the prospect of seeing William Shakespeare perform live for a crowd, and went into major histrionics when he met Captain Adelaide (though it was very much Played for Drama); Eleven was reduced to actual incoherent squee noises when he finally realised who Melody Pond grew up to be. Eleven also really enjoys watching Amy squee over befriending Vincent van Gogh.
- Unlike previous Doctors, Ten is fascinated by the whole idea of meeting past and future incarnations of himself, and follows them about like a bad smell. ("Time Crash", "The Next Doctor") Gloriously reversed in the 50th anniversary special: He's already in a foul mood when Eleven turns up, making wisecracks at his torrid love life.
- Last of His Kind: For centuries, the Doctor thought the others were destroyed in the Time War, and sealed in a time lock for good measure.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: With the exception of The War Doctor, all of their Famous Last Words can also be taken as the actor expressing their thoughts on leaving the role behind on a meta level.
- Living Forever Is Awesome: There is more of this in the original series Doctors but the revival Doctors feel it on their better days. The Doctor experiences a lot of heartbreak, but still feels that life is worth living so long as there's something left to see in the Universe. Besides, if he were dead, who would protect the Earth?
- Living Legend: Known and feared across all of time and space. It's no small thing that the Daleks refer to him in their ancient legends as "The Oncoming Storm" and "The Predator of the Daleks".
- 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. Eleven found himself on the fast track of learning how much this bit him in the ass.
- Living Relic: As the Last of His Kind.
- 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 weakened Dalek beam and survived.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: 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: Goes shirtless — or naked — with some frequency.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: He knows if there's a mole on his back and the color of his kidneys! 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 revival series, where writers have toyed around with the implications of regeneration.
- Phrase Catcher: Everyone seems to ask "Doctor Who?". It was used in the classic series as well (in episode 1, even) but became more important after Eccleston and Tennant.
- Popularity Power: The Doctor and his TARDIS seem to grow in power as ratings increase. On two occasions, the Tenth Doctor saved the day thanks to hundreds, if not thousands of people chanting his name ("Last of the Time Lords", "The Next Doctor"), and the TARDIS is now a registered tow truck for planets.
- Precursor Killers: After the Time War since he killed everyone in it. Then a temporal paradox makes him a Precusor savior that thinks himself to be a killer.
- Really 700 Years Old: A Running Gag from the First Doctor onward is that the Doctor is so old that he has trouble calculating his age- and the writers haven't the faintest clue, either.
- The War Doctor billed himself as 800 at the end of his life- either how old he thought he was in general or an approximation how long he fought the Time War and the age of his incarnation. His memory got screwed up after regenerating.
- The Ninth Doctor locks on to 900 exactly at some point following the Laser-Guided Amnesia his predecessor received at the end of his life, this Doctor's estimate coincidentally starting with 9 like his incarnation's billing. The 100 year differential possibly happened during the time between when he left Rose on Earth after she at first chose not to go with him, before coming back to tell her the TARDIS can travel through time.
- After regenerating again, the Tenth Doctor begins to count up his age from there, apparently 906 in the end. This would make sense if you went by his tenure (2005-2010; 6 years), but he apparently lived longer than six years because a comment he makes in the animated special "The Infinite Quest" reveals he spent about 3 more years living on Volag-Noc, which he apparently did not factor into his age.
- Once he regenerated again, Eleven lived for a year and gave his age as 907, adding on to what Ten believed he was. Then Eleven spent around 200 years running from the attempt on his life and stopped running at age 1103. Somehow, Eleven kept track of his age on Trenzalore even when growing senile- the siege lasted 900 years according to "Tales of Trenzalore".
- Twelve stated he was over two thousand, logically adding on to the 1100 or so previously stated by Eleven.
- The joke became a meta example when Peter Capaldi put down his age in-character as the Doctor as 2055, for a charity sponsored event. He filled out a Gallifreyan-styled report card. It displays his real age at the time he was cast as the Doctor, with the Doctor's 2000 years estimate tacked on.
- Running Gag: A few.
- Ten and Eleven are both disappointed they're not ginger post-regeneration.
- On a similar note, the Doctors get self-deprecating over some part of their new bodies post-regeneration (Nine his ears, Ten his teeth, Eleven his chin and hair, Twelve his kidneys(!) and eyebrows).
- The Doctor's relationship with Queen Elizabeth I, as referenced in "The Shakespeare Code", "The End of Time", "The Beast Below", "Amy's Choice", "The Wedding of River Song", and "The Name of the Doctor". 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: Ten and Eleven, in particular, keep up a bit of an act. The act is dropped with Twelve, however, who no longer hides behind silliness.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Often combined with Screw Destiny and Take a Third Option. Perhaps the most magnificent example occurs in the 50th anniversary special, when the War, Tenth and Eleventh Doctors call the War Council of Gallifrey and assure them that they'll do everything they can to save the planet and its commoners, without so much as firing a shot. While the members of the council admire the bravery and resolve of the Doctors, they question the technical feasibility of the idea, and especially the reasoning. Cue the following lines from the Tenth and Eleventh Doctor:
: Because the alternative is burning
- Shipping Torpedo: The trope is played for laughs whenever Captain Jack Harkness is around, given that Jack is a Lovable Sex Maniac and an Extreme Omnisexual. It became a Running Gag that the Doctor (both Nine and Ten) would torpedo Jack's attempts at flirting with, well, everyone.
- Stepford Smiler: A constant with each of the new Doctors. Eleven went so far as to manifest his subconscious, who proceeded to mock his new TARDIS decor, cockamamie outfit and mid-life crisis.
- 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. 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 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.
- Terror Hero: The War Doctor simply had to appear on a battlefield to get his enemies running scared in "The Day of the Doctor". And not long after he had regenerated, the Ninth Doctor held onto that threatening presence in "Rose". It made the Nestene Conciousness freak out because it knew what the Doctor was like during the Time War, which only just ended. The Doctor, fresh out of that war, was stewing with anger and wrath that magnified his menacing qualities even further. Later on, the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors both used their reputation to scare off the Vashta Nerada in "Forest of the Dead" and the Atraxi in "The Eleventh Hour" respectively. Finally, in "Deep Breath", the Twelfth Doctor could terrify an emotion-lacking android into acknowledging the human feelings it had acquired by defeating its own logic, or merely freak out a vagabond by acting crazy and just on the sheer scare factor of his scowling face!
- 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 favorite 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: By the end of the Time War, the conflict had become so unmanageable that the only way out was to destroy everything, either via Rassilon's plan to collapse time into itself—thereby elevating the Time Lords to incorporeal gods—or trapping the planet inside a moment in time, effectively ziploc-bagging the war in perpetuity. The Doctor opted for the latter, leaving him the last Time Lord still alive. Rassilon managed to Fling a Light into the Future in an attempt to revive their homeworld, but as that would also bring back the nightmarish hordes still fighting the war, the Doctor (with help from the Master) put the kibosh on that pretty quick. Thankfully, while the war is still sealed off, Gallifrey survives, somewhere outside the universe; the Daleks destroyed themselves in their own crossfire.
You weren't there. In the final days of the war. You never saw what was born. But if the time lock's broken then everything
is coming through. Not just the Daleks, but the Skaro Degradations, the Horde of Travesties, the Nightmare Child. The Could-Have-Been King with his army of Meanwhiles and Neverweres. The war turned into hell! And that's what you’ve opened. Right above the Earth
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: Nu Who's Doctor appears tired of his lonely, blood-soaked existence and actively suicidal at times (especially Ten), but also desperately runs from "death" when his time seems to be up. Part of it is the Doctor's not-entirely-false suspicion that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and that Time Lords are too powerful and dangerous to be trusted with immortality.
- You Shall Not Pass: Many, many notable episodes. The Ninth Doctor held off the Dalek Emperor and his half-crazed legion of hybrids until he was literally the last man standing. (Cap. Jack went out like a champ, but was soon brought back via the time vortex.) The Tenth Doctor held his own war-mongering President at gunpoint rather than allow him to set foot on Earth. Eleven once shook fists at all of the Doctor's accumulated enemies and dared them to try and take the Pandorica away from him; and then he did it again on Trenzalore.
Also officially referred to as the Other Doctor.
The world-weary and at times anachronistic
knight - the Doctor's greatest secret. The War Doctor was a "lost" incarnation of the Doctor who existed between his Eighth and Ninth previously known incarnations. He was the incarnation who fought in the Last Great Time War, and lost his right to be called "the Doctor" for it. He renounced the promises behind his name and spent an enormous period of his life in battle, doing the exact opposite of a healer's work. He evidently knew how to survive the war quite well, since he aged to the point he went from a young, firey warrior, to an exhausted and curmudgeonly old man, complete with a scruffy beard.
While he regains his title at the end of "The Day of the Doctor
", he still doesn't count in the Doctor incarnation numbering as he was never an "incumbent" Doctor, but added retroactively.
Although he isn't the first of the revival series Doctors to chronologically appear (Nine being the original first in the bunch), he was introduced as a means of linking that silent gap between the Eighth and Ninth Doctors when Christopher Eccleston chose not to return for the 50th anniversary of the show. And so the War Doctor hails from a time before the 2005 reboot, even if his story was told eight years later... and for good reason. The Doctor didn't
want to bring him up.
- Affectionate Nickname: The Eleventh later refers to him as "Captain Grumpy".
- Anti-Hero: Type II/III
- Anti-Villain: Even the Doctor agrees this incarnation has crossed the line, even if it had to be done. As we learn more about him, however, this is subverted: he is really a Pragmatic Hero, and he gets better in the end.
- Apologetic Attacker: In Engines of War he apologises to a Time Lord before knocking them out.
- Armour Piercing Question: Courtesy of the Moment;
How many children
on Gallifrey, right now?
- The Atoner: He ends up undoing the destruction of his own race, even if he doesn't remember it.
- Awful Truth: He's the one who ended the Time War, by murdering everyone involved. The Doctor has unsurprisingly hidden this incarnation's existence from all of space and time.
- Badass: This Doctor was designed to be a fighter rather than a healer, so it's a given.
- Badass Bandolier: Has a bandolier strapped across his left shoulder, with his version of the Sonic Screwdriver stored in it. Picked it up from the woman that the Eighth Doctor failed to save at the end of his life.
- Badass Grandpa: Hurt is the oldest actor to ever play the role, and is still a quite convincing ass-kicker.
- Batman Grabs a Gun: WD in a nutshell: A time so desperate, so bleak and so bad that the Doctor had to abandon his moral code and commit the worst mistakes of his life.
- Battle Cry: "Gallifrey stands!"
- Beard of Sorrow: His scruffy beard adds to his world-weary appearance. He is the only Doctor with a full-time beard.note
- Big Bad: Subverted, despite advertisement making him out as a villain, he's still a decent man, just thrust into an impossible situation. On the other hand, his decision on whether to destroy Gallifrey or not is the driving force of the 50th anniversary special.
- Bittersweet Ending: In "Day of the Doctor", he gets to end the Time War by saving Gallifrey rather than burning it. But since it involved a Temporal Paradox, his Ninth and Tenth incarnations only remember trying to destroy it, and shun him as a monster that destroyed their own species. However, his Eleventh incarnation retains the memories of the truth as the Doctor with the dominant timeline, and vindicates his younger self.
- Black Sheep: The Doctor who was disowned for deviating from the principles his other lives have followed.
- Book Ends: "Doctor no more."/"Doctor again."
- Bowdlerise: He is also officially referred to as the "Other Doctor", presumably because they don't want "War" in big letters on the merchandise.
- Came Back Strong: The 8th Doctor chose to come back as The Unfettered, who wouldn't run away from the Time War like he had been doing.
- Car Fu: Mows down a mob of Daleks in his TARDIS, proving how sturdy the old girl actually is.
- Catch Phrase: "No more," or maybe, in the end, "Gallifrey Stands!"
- Lampshaded by the Moment (appearing as a Rose facsimile), who struts around parroting this line until the War Doc loses his temper at her for stepping on his gravitas.
- Celebrity Paradox: John Hurt actually exists as an actor in the Whoniverse, his role in Alien first being briefly mentioned in Torchwood. The Twelfth Doctor is actually a bit offended when he hears there's a horror movie simply called "Alien".
- Cliffhanger: His unexplained appearance serves as the final scene of series 7.
- Composite Character: Has Eight's fob and waistcoat, Nine's leather duds, and Ten's faux-hawk hairstyle. His personality also evokes the spirit of the Classic Doctors, particularly the First Doctor, whose dialogue he borrows (his TARDIS even sports the classic "round things"). Lastly, his advanced age can double as a reference to the 9-year hiatus between the TV movie and "Rose", encompassing all of the 'auxiliary' Doctors from print and audio.
- Cool Old Guy/Grumpy Old Man: Swings between these, the latter mostly directed at his more childish older selves.
- Covered in Mud: Centuries of warfare have taken a beating on his jacket, and walking miles through a desert hasn't done it any favors, either. Likewise, the exterior of his TARDIS is covered in soot, scorch-marks and even bits of the blue paint have rubbed off to reveal plain wood underneath.
- Dare to Be Badass:
- The Sisterhood of Karn's sales pitch forms one and the Doctor later regrets taking the dare. ("Coward, any day.")
- Though having said that, he still retains the Doctor's conscience and overall personality, and the only major change between himself and the other incarnations is that he's more inclined to confront an issue head on than try and outmaneuver it. He's the only Doctor "who doesn't run".
- Clara's oddly understated Rousing Speech to him and the Tenth and Eleventh Doctor convince him that he still has it in him to end the Time War by other means, in line with his Science Hero and pacifist convictions.
- Dark Is Not Evil: The gruffest, least goofily clad incarnation of the Doctor, dressed in predominantly black, dark brown and dark green colours. On the inside, he's a compassionate, caring and at times downright sweet fellow, is absolutely sick of the Time War and all the suffering it has brought, and is quietly horrified at the thought that he might be forced to annihilate even his own people in order to end the war.
- Dark Messiah: The Doctor, having no particular allegiance to any side in the war (Time Lord or otherwise), aims solely to make the collateral killing stop — by any means necessary. In "Dalek" and "The End of Time", we learn this involved nuking Gallifrey and everyone in orbit.
- Dark Secret: He was the greatest, most terrible secret in the Doctor's past.
Eleven: He is my secret.
- Deadpan Snarker/The Eeyore: Repeatedly snarks at Ten and Eleven for their childishness and being afraid to "grow up", their tendency to brandish sonic screwdrivers like "a water pistol" and the strange frequency of people starting to snog his later incarnations.
- Designated Villain: In-Universe. The Tenth and Eleventh Doctors later realise they were wrong to erase all evidence of him and deny his existence, since he genuinely didn't have any other choice but to end the Time War by the means he did, "on the day it wasn't possible to get it right".
- Despair Event Horizon: The Eighth Doctor's reason for becoming the War Doctor. The Universe was on the verge of ripping itself apart from the Time War, the Time Lords had become as bad as the Daleks, and his newest prospective companion elected to die instead of being saved when she found out he was one of them. The Eighth Doctor could no longer save anyone, so when presented with a choice of regenerations, elected not to come back as a "Doctor" at all.
- Doesn't Like Guns: Played with. The War Doctor's introduction involves him asking a Gallifreyan soldier for his weapon in an apparent Establishing Character Moment, but he only uses it to blast NO MORE in a wall. Likewise his disdain for his future incarnations using their sonic screwdrivers as weapons implies this, but his Badass Bandolier only carries his own sonic screwdriver. Given that the Doctor's most dangerous weapon has always been his mind, it's likely he doesn't feel the need.
- Doomed Moral Victor: He eventually chooses to save Gallifrey rather than burn it. He, Nine and Ten don't get to remember they changed the past, though, and continue to live with their former guilt. Only Eleven and on know the truth.
- Downer Ending: His existence lets us know just how well the story of the Eighth Doctor ended.
- The Dreaded: When the Doctor sees him, he keeps imploring Clara they leave immediately. Lampshaded when Ten and Eleven respond to him questioning their maturity by looking at him. The only word he can come up with to describe those looks? "Dread."
- The 50th Anniversary reveals he's basically this on steroids compared to the other Doctors. Ten and Eleven give him a look he can only describe as dread, and a group of Daleks in the middle of exterminating Gallifreyan civilians drop everything and immediately make a bee-line for him, with their voices in utter panic.
- Dying as Yourself: "But for now, for this moment, I am the Doctor again. Thank you."
- Establishing Character Moment: Most Doctors when faced with a group of Daleks would run or try to reason with them. This Doctor plows his TARDIS right through them, tearing them to shreds.
- This comes shortly after landing in the middle of the fall of Arcadia, where his first act is to nonchalantly ask a soldier for his gun, before proceeding to shoot the words "NO MORE" into the wall.
- Fallen Hero: His later incarnations feel this way about him.
- Famous Last Words: "I hope the ears are a bit less conspicuous this time."
- Tempting Fate with that one. Nine winds up with the biggest ears of anyone, plus Pertwee's old nose.
- Final Solution: Attempted genocide on both the Daleks and the Time Lords to end the Time War once and for all.
- Foil: To every other Doctor, but particularly Ten and Eleven. Where they are both "young" excitable Sad Clowns, War is "older", weary, and doesn't bother to compensate his angst with glib. Whereas they are prone to bursts of anger amongst a generally pacifist attitude, War is quicker to use violence, but isn't nearly as angry.
- In "The Beast Below", the Eleventh Doctor states that if he lobotomized the Space Whale, he'd no longer be able to call himself the Doctor, hinting at this "non-Doctor" incarnation.
- "Doctor" coming to mean "great warrior" in "A Good Man Goes to War" hinted at shades of this incarnation.
- All references to the Time War, like the Nestene Consciousness freaking out when it meets the Ninth Doctor in "Rose".
- Future Me Scares Me: The War Doctor went back and forth on this verdict, from immediately changing his mind about using the Moment because he's sick of Ten and Eleven and wants nothing to do with them, to (eventual) pride for these fine lads and worry over erasing them from history if he doesn't stay on track.
- Genocide Dilemma: Was forced to choose between killing everyone involved in the Time War or letting the other Time Lords kill all of reality.
- Godzilla Threshold:
- Was prepared to kill billions to prevent Rassilon from destroying all of reality. Then locked the rest of the Time War away, to prevent all of reality from becoming a living hell.
Tenth Doctor: You weren't there. In the final days of the war. You never saw what was born. But if the time lock's broken then everything is coming through. Not just the Daleks, but the Skaro Degradations. The Horde of Travesties. The Nightmare Child. The Could-Have-Been King with his army of Meanwhiles and Neverweres. The war turned into hell!
- The Time War is shown in The Night of the Doctor as the reason why the Eighth Doctor elected to regenerate into an incarnation capable of such actions in the first place.
Eighth Doctor: Make me a warrior now.
- Gone Horribly Right: The Eighth Doctor, when presented with his pick of regenerations, specifically asked to come back as a warrior instead of a lovable coward for once. The Doctor turns out to be an exceptional warrior, murdering billions before the Time War's end.
- Good Is Not Nice: He's every bit as nice and caring as the other incarnations of the Doctor, but his lonely, weary and all-around depressing experiences during the Time War have made him very introverted and shut-in, at least at first glance. On the last day of the Time War, he decides that the most pragmatic solution to the war would be to activate the Moment and end it all. Despite his apparent determination to do so, his heart and ethics tell him otherwise and he's seen constantly hesitating whether to go ahead with the plan.
- Go Out with a Smile: He's absolutely delighted when he realizes the exertion of The Day's events killed him, because it means he can finally leave the War behind him. Or so he believes.
- Guttural Growler: One of the most 'gravelly'-sounding incarnations.
Ten: Still, loving the posh, gravelly thing, it's very convincing.
Eleven: Huh. Brave words, Dick Van Dyke.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: In the trailer for "The Day of the Doctor," the War Doctor states that "Great men are forged in fire. It is the privilege of lesser men to light the flame." The episode proper reveals that he's counting himself as the "lesser man" and his future selves as the great ones.
- Iconic Item: He wears a dark leather jacket on top of a worn down set of Victorian clothes similar to Eight's. He has a unique Sonic Screwdriver that glows an eerie red. His bandolier was the first item he picked up during his first moments of life, and is also similar to the satchel from Eight's new costume in "Dark Eyes".
- I Did What I Had to Do: Claims he killed everyone in the Time War and then locked them away "without choice", for "peace and sanity."
- Eleven actually agrees with him.
- I Hate Past Me:
- Intergenerational Friendship: Forges one with Clara after she talks with him about the Eleventh Doctor's confessions to her about the haunting memories of the Time War. He also has a bit of an intergenerational friendship with his Tenth and Eleventh incarnations, once they forgive him and he warms up to them.
- Ironic Echo: In "The Day of the Doctor" towards the 10th and 11th Doctors.
War Doctor: I'm looking for the Doctor...
Tenth Doctor: ...Well, you've certainly come to the right place.
- It Has Been an Honor: He says this once he leaves the company of Doctors Ten and Eleven.
War Doctor: Well, gentlemen, it has been an honor... and a privilege.
- It's a Wonderful Plot:
- I Was Quite a Looker: When the War Doctor peers at his reflection for the first time, the face which greets him is a young (and clean-shaven) John Hurt's. Given it tooka thousand years for Eleven to grow old, this implies the War Doctor lasted a very long time.
- Knuckle Cracking: Seen doing this pose on the promotional cover for the 50th in SFX Magazine issue #241.
- Loners Are Freaks: The only Doctor not to take a companion onscreen. Of course he was fighting a war at the time, and could no longer afford the luxury of a companion, or for that matter, risk someone's life travelling with him, but it does contribute to his overall image in the eyes of Ten, Eleven, and the fandom writ-large. He even abandoned his TARDIS in the end (though he retrieves it when he gets a chance to have redemption), opting instead to lug the Moment by hand across an endless expanse. (The Moment suggests he wanted to perform the shameful act away from prying eyes, specifically the TARDIS'.) Unbeknownst to him, he merely traded one sassy piece of technology for another... The Moment tries to help him regain hope by opening portals to two later incarnations and a companion, in order to bring them all together and give the poor War Doctor some friends who could cheer him up and prevent him from going ahead with his last desperate plan.
- The one time he's known to have taken a companion so far, in Engines of War, it was a Dalek hunter nicknamed "Cinder", and he did so in order to give the Time Lords vital enemy information on the Daleks, but things didn't go so well. She suffered the fate of a Mauve Shirt and got killed off by Karlax, a disgruntled Time Lord who had a grudge towards the Doctor- the Doctor made sure that there would be a Karmic Death coming his way via Dalek extermination.
- Loophole Abuse: Steven Moffat created the War Doctor to deal with the issue of which Doctor fought in the Time War and the regeneration between Doctors Eight and Nine, without disrupting the numbering by saying he is an incarnation who does not call himself the Doctor full-time.
- Other writers also had trouble trying to frame Eight or Nine in the Time War because the Eighth Doctor started off far away from a warlike personality, and the Ninth Doctor was introduced as though he had just regenerated, making him feel too new to have been in the Time War. Because of this, Big Finish slowly pushed Eight into darker depths of misery and anger to lead him toward the Time War, but he was never made into a fully-fledged warrior. Moffat decided to have the Eighth Doctor logically perish in despair and become the War Doctor to strike back at the villains who broke him.
- Moffat also upheld the Ninth Doctor's characterization by giving him a feasible reason to hate his past through the War Doctor, remembering an apparent double genocide was his fault. The idea Gallifrey was lost carried over to Ten and Eleven until Eleven learned he had saved Gallifrey as the War Doctor and could finally put an end to his guilt.
- Morton's Fork: He had the options to: let the Daleks wipe out the Time Lords and destroy all of existence, let the Time Lords wipe out the Daleks and destroy all existence... or wipe out both sides and save all of existence? The War Doctor chose to do the latter... at least until he got a second chance to pick a better option.
- My Future Self and Me: With Ten and Eleven.
- My Greatest Failure: Was forced into ending the Time War by murdering billions upon billions in fire. His future incarnations have been haunted by it ever since.
Eleventh Doctor: My name, my real name, that is not the point. The name I chose is "the Doctor." The name you choose, it's like a promise you make. He's the one who broke the promise.
- My Greatest Second Chance: Thanks to the Eleventh Doctor, who had 400 self-flagellating years to think of a way out: Just as his sonic screwdriver still contains data from the War Doctor's old version, Eleven reckons they can enlist the help of the First Doctor — and his twelve successors — to crunch the numbers necessary to move Gallifrey into a pocket dimension.
- My Revenge Is Mercy: As Nine would hint at, he had no desire to live past the end of the war. The Moment itself decided living on would be his 'punishment'.
- Necessarily Evil: Turned himself into a warrior who killed billions "in the name of peace and sanity". His later incarnations deeply regret he chose to walk down this path.
- Neutral No Longer: His previous incarnation refused to fight in the Time War proper, instead doing all he could to save those caught in the crossfire. After a series of losses and tragedies, he finally elects to regenerate into a "warrior" and wade into the fray.
- No Name Given: Is referred to simply as "The Doctor" in the episode he debuted, without being given a numbered regeneration. In "The Night of the Doctor" he's credited as "the War Doctor". Then in "The Day of the Doctor" he is once again credited simply as "The Doctor," as part of a long list of people credited as such, listed between Paul McGann (the Eighth Doctor) and Christopher Eccleston (the Ninth Doctor).
- Not So Above It All: Ironically, despite being The Dreaded to his other incarnations, the Time Lords and half the Dalek Empire, this Doctor is still not above trading petty insults with his future selves, deadpan snarkery, or a Catch Phrase.
- Not-So-Imaginary Friend: The Moment tags along behind the War Doctor during his story. Since she inhabits his head, she can't be seen or heard by others — although Ten registers an Eye Take when War Doctor blows a kiss to the "Bad Wolf girl".
- Odd Name Out: He's the one non-Doctor among the Doctor's many lives. "Doctor no more" are literally his first words after regenerating. Even when his Doctor-ness is restored at the end of "The Day of the Doctor," he doesn't get a numbered name like his fellow Doctors do, and is instead referred to as "The War Doctor." (Steven Moffat has stated that the numbers stay in place as they were, and that the Doctor himself doesn't usually use numbers to refer to his incarnations anyway.)
- OOC Is Serious Business: In "The Name of the Doctor", the rest of the Doctor's "ghosts" are effectively Palette Swaps of the same running figure, one that ignores Clara and Eleven. Then this guy shows up. He's not running. He's looking back over a field of ruins. And he knows they're there.
- Perpetual Frowner: He's fighting a war. There's very little for him to be happy about.
- Pragmatic Hero: What he really is. He is a good man put in a dreadful situation of having to destroy his planet... which he desperately wants to escape, and when convinced of having a better variant, he grabs it immediately.
- Redemption Equals Death: As if on cue, he starts to regenerate shortly after helping to preserve Gallifrey. Job done, he returns to the old school TARDIS and suddenly remembers his own advanced age. ("Wearing a bit thin.")
- Redemption Quest: The Moment kind of forcibly sends him on one in order to dissuade him from using it. It works spectacularly.
- Retraux: His TARDIS desktop theme is a return to the roundels associated with 1-7, plus the coral struts and console associated with 9-10. It's unclear whether this was the control room of the 8th Doctor at the time of his regeneration or whether the War Doctor jettisoned the extra space commonly associated with 8 in keeping with his more bare bones, down to basics style.
- Rummage Sale Reject: Wears an outfit that evokes both Eighth and Ninth's wardrobe: an old scarf, striped shirt, a raggedy waistcoat and chain, along with a dark leather jacket similar to his next incarnation's, with faded, beaten up trousers, a rugged leather belt, worn down stirrups, and combat boots, almost like an old lawman. The scarf may be a throwback to the Fourth Doctor, and his messy, battle-damaged clothes hearken back to the Second Doctor's unkempt style. He also nicked his bandolier off the lifeless Cass and uses it to house his Sonic Screwdriver.
- Save the Villain: In "Engines of War" he saves the Time Lord Karlax even though they were trying to kill him. Averted later, however: when Karlax tries to kill him and kills Cinder instead, the Doctor dematerialises the TARDIS around Karlax, leaving him surrounded by Daleks.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Immensely so. His entire existence had been brought about by the Time War and Eighth's embittered decision to join it, despite his original plans. On the last day of the war, he seems to have lost all hope for ever saving Gallifrey, so he hatches a plan to eradicate both his people and the Daleks with the Moment. His repeated proclamations of "No More" are less a sign of anger at how things are going, and more of a general resignation on his part. He feels like he's betrayed everything he stood for as the Doctor and that his attempts to help defend Gallifrey and win the war in favor of his people were all for nothing to begin with. Luckily, the Moment decides to pose as the weary Doctor's conscience and tries its best to renew some of his lost hope.
- Sinister Silhouette: He first appears as a shadowy figure with his back to the camera.
- Small Role, Big Impact: By far the Doctor with the least outings of them all in any medium, but the biggest weight to carry. This is the one Doctor who sets the guilt-laden tone for the rest up to Eleven. We can infer he's been around for an enormous length of time beyond what is visibly shown, but he's only made one full TV appearance, planted at the very end of his story. And he doesn't spend his life running around the universe visiting planets at will. He involves himself in the Time War and keeps fighting until he's quite old and out of steam. But the door has been left wide open for others to fill in the gaps.
- The Snark Knight/Meta Guy: Spends much of his introduction to Ten and Eleven comedically snarking at the more recent stylistic indulgences of the series since its revival in 2005.
- Take a Third Option: After having four hundred years to reflect on this decision, his Eleventh incarnation convinces him to simply bluff the destruction of Gallifrey by shunting it into a Pocket Dimension, where it'd be safe.
- That Mysterious Thing: When he first appears in "The Name of the Doctor", it's never explained what horrible act he committed to lose his right to be called the Doctor (although admittedly, the bulk of the fanbase guessed he was the one who ended the Time War). He himself also used to be the Doctor's greatest, and totally undefined, secret. The truths are later revealed in what led to his birth and the anniversary special.
Clara: What is it? What's his biggest secret?
Jenny: We don't know. It's a secret.
- This Is Unforgivable!: Eleven states his actions were so unforgivable he refuses to acknowledge this incarnation as the Doctor.
- Thousand-Yard Stare: He appears haunted by his dishonorable actions.
- Tragic Hero: The War Doctor doesn't get to remember saving Gallifrey in "Day of the Doctor", so he, Nine, and Ten continue to despise him. He's still grateful to have been "The Doctor" again.
- Tragic Keepsake: His bandolier is taken from a woman named Cass, whom the Eighth Doctor tried to save but failed, leading to his regeneration.
- Tricked Out Time: How he, Ten and Eleven save Gallifrey. This time around, the Doctors make Gallifrey vanish into a Pocket Dimension. But as the attacking Daleks all get caught in their own crossfire, Gallifrey still appears to blow up. And as the past and future Doctors coming together causes a Temporal Paradox, the Ninth and Tenth Doctors retain no memory of these revised events.
- The Unfettered: What happens when the Doctor abandons his own self-imposed rules.
Eighth Doctor: I don't suppose there's any need for a "Doctor" anymore...
- Unperson: The Doctor has removed nearly all signs of his existence, to the point not even River, who made it a point to acquaint herself with all his faces, is aware of this incarnation (as far as we know), and Clara only sees him after traveling through the Doctor's entire timeline. However, when the Tenth and Eleventh actually get to know him and understand his anguish, this trope slowly morphs into...
- Vindicated by History: In-Universe. The Tenth and Eleventh Doctor eventually come to forgive him and apologise for how they thought of him, realising it was wrong to deny his existence.
Tenth Doctor: All these years burying you in my memory...
Eleventh Doctor: Pretending you didn't exist, a secret even from myself...
Tenth Doctor: Pretending you weren't the Doctor, when you were the Doctor more than anybody else!
Eleventh Doctor: You were the Doctor on the day it wasn't possible to get it right!
- Waistcoat of Style: An old, worn one.
- Walking Spoiler: Knowing almost anything about him gives away The Reveal of his existence in "The Name of the Doctor".
- We Hardly Knew Ye: John Hurt made only three appearances as the War Doctor, never signing on for a full tenure, just guest appearances to commemorate the 50th. One was a brief cliffhanger, while another was a CGI illusion to visualize a young Hurt as the War Doctor in his prime when the Eighth Doctor first regenerated into him. His only full appearance is in "The Day of the Doctor", and since Hurt wasn't going to stick around, his Doctor was given a regeneration sequence to stitch up the missing transition to the Ninth Doctor and close the book on the War Doctor. Luckily, the rest of his uncharted lifetime became open season for writers.
- Wham Shot: Just as the day seems to be saved at the end of "The Name of the Doctor", the scene cuts to him in shadow, a Doctor no one has ever heard of before.
- When He Smiles: He's grumpy, sour, and snarky, but not devoid of the humor and optimistic joy that are fundamental to who the Doctor is as a person.
- Who Writes This Crap?!: The War Doctor is not shy in his opinions of his successors, in what could be taken as meta commentary on elements added to the show since its revival in 2005; jabs at elements such as the younger, sexier casting choices ("...am I having a midlife crisis?"), or the Revival Doctors' habit of pointing their sonic screwdrivers like Dirty Harry ("Those are scientific instruments, not water pistols!").
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Was forced into ending the Time War by killing billions. The alternatives were allowing space and time to become a living hell, or letting the Time Lord Council destroy all of reality.
- Would Hurt a Child: Though he deliberated about it for some time, he ultimately accepted that destroying Gallifrey would take all 2.47 billion child inhabitants with it and decided to go through with it anyway. That is, until his future self realises he can Take a Third Option.
- You Are Not Alone: The Tenth and Eleventh Doctors both join hands on the Moment's trigger, to spare their counterpart the burden of making this decision alone.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Along with reassuring him that he shouldn't be left alone with his suffering and moral dilemma, the Tenth and Eleventh Doctor and Clara give him a tender pep talk about why he isn't a heartless monster, or a villain, but still the Doctor. The Tenth and Eleventh Doctor waste no time in admitting that they judged him too harshly and treated him like a pariah in their memories, but have changed their opinions on him once they actually witnessed the enormity of what he had to face. They apologise to him and assure him that he is the Doctor, like all the other incarnations, and was just unfortunate to get the short end of the stick.
"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?"
The brooding, but very sassy veteran. Riddled with Survivor Guilt
from his memories of the Time War, the Ninth Doctor was dark and moody at times
, and his eagerness to take on "tourists" was diminished. His short temper made it harder to relate to people, and he reacted like a scorched cat whenever they let him down, yet all of it masked great affection and empathy for others. Prone to mood swings, switching between a clown and Jerkass
within the breadth of the same conversation. Most normally dressed Doctor, with close-cropped hair, a wristwatch, Timberlands, 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
. Apart from the War Doctor, 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.
- Ambiguously Bi: 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!
- The Atoner: For the Time War.
- Back-to-Back Badasses: With Rose on the Series 1 box art.
- Badass Armfold: 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?"
- Berserk Button: Suffering from PTSD and survivor's guilt, the Ninth Doctor goes into a fit of rage whenever confronted about The Time War.
- Beware the Quiet Ones: As Neil Gaiman noted, this Doctor is the one to stand completely still and quiet when all others are running in a panic. He would much rather sit in the background, be unnoticed, and still ends up being the center of attention and plotting out how to deal with the crisis.
- 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 supposedly causes the death of his entire race and spends his entire Ninth incarnation trying to get over it.
- Broken Ace: As noted above, due to the events of the Time War. His guilt becomes even more apparent with the revelation his previous incarnation was the War Doctor.
- Byronic Hero: Zigzagged depending on the episode.
- The Call Knows Where You Live: Barring a quick pop to the Slitheen's homeworld to deposit an egg, all of his adventures take place on/within orbit of Earth, suggesting that he's in hiding. Jabe is the first alien to mark him as a Time Lord. (To his great relief, she expresses sympathy rather than blame for his role in the war.) Unfortunately, he's not the only survivor to drift over to Earth: Autons are making mischief in present-day London, having been displaced by the war; a lone Dalek crash-lands in Utah, and the Emperor is secretly puppeteering Earth's civilization in 200,000 AD; plus many, many more.
- The Call Put Me On Hold: From his perspective to Rose. When Rose initially declines to travel with him, the Doctor ends up gallivanting off on solo adventures for a full century (The Doctor was 800 when his wartime persona regenerated, and Nine stated he was 900 years old after leaving Rose behind; logically, he would've been travelling on his own 100 years) before finally figuring out he didn't tell Rose the TARDIS could travel through time, then returns for her. To Rose, he's only gone for a few seconds.
- The Cameo: He briefly appears in the climax of "The Day of the Doctor", along with the other incarnations of the character.
- Also as one of the many incarnations running past at the end of "The Name of the Doctor" though like the other images, he runs so fast and blurs while he runs, and is onscreen for barely more than a second, one would likely only recognize him by the jacket alone.
- He also made a really obscure cameo on a BBC children's show where a boy had won a contest by designing a sculpture of a Dalek. Nine, fresh from the Time War, naturally blew it up.
- The Call Put Me On Hold: Inverted. When Rose initially declines to travel with him, the Doctor ends up gallivanting off on solo adventures for a full century (The Doctor was 800 when his wartime persona regenerated, and Nine stated he was 900 years old after leaving Rose behind; logically, he would've been travelling on his own 100 years) before finally figuring out he didn't tell Rose the TARDIS could travel through time, then returns for her. To Rose, he's only gone for a few seconds.
- Catch Phrase: "Fantastic!"
- Changed My Jumper: Trope Namer. While Rose has to change into a period dress, he goes out in his leather jacket.
- 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!
- Darker and Edgier: Compared to Eight's depiction, given his guilt and ruthlessness. And with respect to the War Doctor, a lot more prone to resentment and anger.
- Dark Is Not Evil: The Doctor's various incarnations are known for funny hairdos, colourful outfits and quirky personalities. By contrast, the Ninth has a very short military-style crew cut, and a black leather jacket. He's still a good guy.
- Deadpan Snarker: "I'm the Doctor. If there's one thing I'm going to do it's talk."
- Death Seeker: The Ninth initially comes across as having a major death wish, often running towards the sounds of danger with almost manic delight, (although dying in a Cardiff dungeon would be going too far). Rose helps him overcome this and most of his Survivor Guilt by the end of his incarnation.
- Death Glare: He could make you feel very sorry indeed, doesn't matter if you're a villain or a misbehaving Companion.
- Destructive Saviour: See Stuff Blowing Up for why the Ninth Doctor favors explosions to deal with big problems.
- 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.
- Dramatic Irony: The regret and guilt over destroying his own home planet of Gallifrey defined him to his core, while in fact he did no such thing.
- The Dreaded: To the point where in his presence, with their guns trained directly at him, even Daleks squeak backwards a bit to keep their distance.
- Establishing Character Moment: One word. "RUN!" While taking Rose's hand- the action is as important as the word.
- Everybody Lives: Trope Namer. It's a rare occasion where he can save the day without anyone dying. "Just this once Rose, EVERYBODY LIVES!"
- Face Death with Dignity: ‘That’s okay, I hope it’s a good death’ his hologram says about facing an enemy that cannot be defeated. Back in reality, he closes his eyes, ready for the Daleks to "ex-ter-minate" him.
- Famous Last Words: "You were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. And you know what? So was I."
- Friend to All Children: Seemed perfectly at home with the orphans in "The Empty Child", chatting and joking over dinner.
- Subverted in one scene during "Aliens of London" where he fights with a kid over the remote for Jackie's TV.
- Foil: Nine serves as a foil to Eight, being more aloof and merciless.
- A God I Am Not: "Don't worship me, I'd make a very bad God. Wouldn't get a day off, for starters."
- Go-Karting with Bowser: Margaret Blaine might be a war-profiteering genocidal maniac, and Nine may be her jailer. But still, they're both alien tourists and all they've got is each other's company; may as well go sightseeing! ("Boom Town")
- Go Out with a Smile: Notably enough, the Ninth was the first Doctor to express outright satisfaction with his life before regenerating.
- Guile Hero: Definitely qualifies as this.
: 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! Doctor
: Yeah... and doesn't that scare you to death!
- Hell-Bent for Leather: Wore a leather jacket, inspired by marine gear.
- He Who Fights Monsters: A supposed double genocide under his belt.
- Hidden Depths: In the first few episodes, he is very aloof and stand offish with Rose, then he slowly reveals what supposedly happened in the Time War to her and why he's sometimes a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
- History Repeats: Not long after snuffing out his homeworld, the Doctor miserably found himself with his finger on the trigger again. His showdown with the Daleks above Earth is a mini-reenactment of the last day of the Time War. This time, however, he can't bring himself to destroy Earth, even if it means the Daleks prevail.
- 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".
- Hypocritical Humor: The Doctor turns out to be a Fan Hater when it comes to reality TV.
- Iconic Item: His leather jacket.
- As lampshaded by Jack, the Ninth Doctor's iconic jacket is actually that of a Kriegsmarine Captain from the Second World War, but we never get to hear the story behind how he (or his previous incarnation) got their hands on it.
- 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."
- Moreover he has this attitude to the end of the Time War.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Not at beloved yet, but he does tell Rose to live a "good life" when sending her back to her own time.
- 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?!
- Leitmotif: "The Doctor's Theme" mostly serves as Nine's leitmotif, but has also been used for Ten and occasionally Eleven.
- 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.
- In "Bad Wolf"/"The Parting of the Ways", within minutes of being separated from Rose, the Doctor invites a sweet young lady by the name of Lynda to travel with him in the TARDIS. Again, the show leaves the Doctor's feelings in the matter ambiguous, but when Rose finds out she doesn't look at all pleased at the prospect of a potential rival.
- Madden Into Misanthropy: As a result of the Time War and his own actions, he's very reluctant to accept potential companions and is extremely unforgiving of both companion mistakes and the actions of his enemies.
- Morality Chain: Needs one when faced with Daleks (at least the first time).
- No Indoor Voice: Even when he's being quiet, he's still a bit shouty.
- Noodle Incident: He apparently had an offscreen adventure on the Titanic, witnessed the Kennedy Assassination and the eruption of Krakatoa, while later implying to Jack that this incarnation also destroyed the weapons factories of Villengard. It's unclear where these events fall in his timeline; whether they took place before he met Rose, during his time with her, or even potentially at the end of "Rose", in the brief seconds (for Rose at least) between the TARDIS leaving and coming back moments later. This is confirmed in the Expanded Universe, see Offscreen Moment of Awesome. There's also the matter of his penultimate adventure, where he, Rose, and Jack visited Feudal Era Kyoto and ended up chased back to the TARDIS, after which the Game Station intercepts them mid-flight and kickstarts the events of "Bad Wolf"/"The Parting of The Ways".
- 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.
: 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
! [Slasher Smile] Doctor
- Also with Margaret the Slitheen: "Only a killer would know that."
- Averted at the end of his life, when the Dalek Emperor taunts him that he could easily wipe out the entire Dalek fleet at the cost of sacrificing the entire Earth, exactly like the choice he faced at the end of the Time War;
Dalek Emperor: I want to see you become like me. Hail, the Doctor, "The Great Exterminator!"
Doctor: I'll do it!
Dalek Emperor: Then prove yourself, Doctor. What are you, coward or killer?
[tries, but cannot bring himself to push the lever]
Doctor: ... Coward, any day.
- Not What It Looks Like: You don't often see 19 year olds knocking about with middle aged guys. To experience anything new at this point in his life is a marvel and in 900 years of time travel the Doctor has never been slapped by somebody’s mother! Then again he has never faced anything as frightening as Jackie Tyler before ('Stitch that mate!').
- Obi-Wan Moment: The Doctor still hasn't quite got the hang of this personal stuff, so instead of a tearful farewell, he tricks Rose into the TARDIS and spirits her off to safety against her will. His holographic recording is a nice substitute for a Force ghost.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Confirmed through the ebook "The Beast of Babylon" that the Doctor had adventures between the seconds he dematerializes then comes back seconds later in Rose. It's heavily implied all the pictures Rose sees of this incarnation during that episode took place in that gap, and The War Doctor reveals in "Day of the Doctor" that he's only 400 years younger than the 1200 year old Eleventh Doctor; meaning that the 900 year old Ninth Doctor had about a century's worth of adventures before he regenerated into the Tenth Doctor.
- Oh, Crap: He get an epic one when he realizes that the "Metaltron" in Van Stratten's vault is a Dalek. Oh, and they're locked alone in the room.
Doctor: (desperately trying to open the door) Let me out!
- 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!
- Rebel Relaxation: Nine loves a good brood.
- 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:
- Stepford Snarker: When he gets snarky about humanity, it's often a sign that he's very upset and trying hard not to show it. Rose even lampshades this in "The Doctor Dances".
- Stuff Blowing Up: Despite having a single series of only thirteen episodes, he caused a lot of explosions in his short run. 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, destroyed the weapons factory at Villengard (offscreen), visited Krakatoa (offscreen), and watched Kennedy's assassination (offscreen). As Rose so accurately lampshades in "The Doctor Dances", one of his defining traits is that he really loves to blow thing up.
Rose: First day I met him, he blew my job up! That's practically how he communicates.
- Surrounded by Idiots: Isn't hesitant to let his feelings about humans be known to all present.
- Survivor Guilt: Tons of it; The Last of His Kind and he's the reason why.
- 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.
- Coupled with a Heroic BSOD when he thinks Rose was killed in "Bad Wolf", causing him to completely shut down for at least half an hour. When he finally recovers his wits, the personnel of Satellite 5 barely know what's hit them.
- Time Master: Each Doctor displays their mastery over time in a new way. The 9th focused his energies to walk through spinning rotary blades, completely unharmed. ("The End of the World")
- Took a Level in Kindness: Due to the Time War, he starts off very angry and bitter. He eventually softens and puts some of the guilt of the Time War behind him by the end of his life, something the Tenth Doctor later acknowledges was due to Rose's influence. Could also be considered to have taken a level from the War Doctor, his previous incarnation who fought in the Time War.
- 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. And very fleetingly as the War Doctor regenerated. Big Finish doesn't have rights to produce audios for him and expand on this small margin of stories (yet).
- He is also one of the least touched upon Doctors, having a sparse collection of stories to his name in comics and novels alike, most of which were only written while the BBC billed him as the incumbent Doctor. After his run ended, the BBC shifted their attention to the next incarnations of the Doctor, and it was rare for the Ninth Doctor to appear in stories due to character trademarks which prevented his Doctor from being explored in other mediums. He showed up every now and then, but didn't enjoy the wide range of focus that his successors got. It wasn't until 2015, the tenth anniversary of the revival series, that his Doctor saw new life in a range of Titan comics- fittingly so, since Nine was the one who kick-started the return of Doctor Who to television.
- When She Smiles: Generally rough and angular features, though handsome. But all the flaws just disappear with that truly glorious smile.
- Who Shot JFK?: Nine was present at Dallas, adding fuel to the Slenderman-type conspiracies about him on the internet.
- "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, and casually toyed with the fates of anyone who dared to cross him. A definite base breaker
, only an actor like David Tennant (or someone of approximate charm) could play him effectively. He despised
his past selves for their role in the Time War, and was at his coldest whenever confronted with it. An accidental and often reluctant Chick Magnet
, something that also applies to his actor.
- The Ace: Steven Moffat describes him as "genuinely cool", in contrast to the Eleventh Doctor.
- Ace Pilot: He manages to take control of the Titanic as well as the Vinvocci's spacecraft, and pilots both through perilous environments to safety, despite having no experience in either vehicle before.
- Accidental Marriage: An elaborate ploy to unmask an Elizabeth I impostor, Columbo-style, ended with him proposing marriage to the actual Queen. The spirited Liz actually accepts, and, before Ten can duck into his TARDIS and split, ropes him into a wedding ceremony. No wonder she wants his head in "The Shakespeare Code".
- Adorkable: At the best of times, most certainly. See the start of "Doomsday" for a good example.
- Ambiguously Bi: It doesn't come up as often with Ten as with Eight, Nine and Eleven, but he has his moments:
Doctor: [to Martha] Yeah, well, you can kiss me later. You too, Frank, if you want.
- 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 in-character, 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: Plenty.
I'm the Doctor, I'm 904 years old, I'm from the planet Gallifrey in the constellation of Kasterborous. I'm the Oncoming Storm, the Bringer of Darkness and you are basically just a rabbit, aren't you? Ok, carry on... just a general warning
- Crosses over into Blasphemous Boast at one point: "I'm the Doctor. If you don't like it; if you want to take it to a higher authority... there isn't one. It ends with me!"
- Badass Grandpa: Got turned into one (appearance wise) briefly by The Master, and lived to a ripe old (by human standards) age in one possible timeline where he raised a family.
- Badass Longcoat: Given to him by Janis Joplin. Also, his bathrobe in "The Christmas Invasion." (Saving the world in pajamas alone just won't do.)
- Badass Normal: During his stint as John Smith.
- Batman Grabs a Gun: "The End of Time," against Rassilon.
- Beware the Nice Ones: The Family of Blood found this out the hard way.... So did the Sycorax leader, the Abzorbaloff, the Wire, the Cybermen, the Racnoss children, the Carrionites, and the Weeping Angels, the Daleks and the Sontarans, with varying degrees of deadness or worse-than-deadness.
- 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).
- Bitter Sweet Ending: Like Five before him, his regeneration into the next Doctor. Everything wound up fine, but he died crying, scared, and alone.
- 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 the Master's catchphrase during "Waters of Mars" (seemingly without realizing it), even Milking the Giant Cow as he says it.
- 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 referring 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 supposedly dead because of the Time War.
- Break the Haughty: Beneath the cheery, manic exterior, the Tenth Doctor's big flaw was his arrogance and hubris. Every so often — such as the ending of "The Waters of Mars" where he declares himself the Time Lord Victorious and decides that he and only he gets to decide the laws of time — he lets his arrogance and hubris get away from him. If he does, expect something to happen not long after to brutally put him back in his place — such as the ending of "The Waters of Mars" where Adelaide, sickened by the Doctor's A God Am I mindset, commits suicide just to prove him wrong.
- Broken Ace: In contrast to his serious, grief-stricken predecessor he comes off as being very confident and perfect at everything, but on the inside he is every bit as self-loathsome.
- Bully Hunter: He definitely gives the guests bullying Morvin and Foon Van Hoff in Voyage of the Damned a lesson.
- Byronic Hero: He develops into this as the show progresses. Not surprising after all the times he got broken and losing his companions.
- Call Forward: A rather blatant example in The Day of the Doctor. His final words of that episode?
10th Doctor: Trenzalore?...We need a new destination because...I don't want to go.
- 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!
- Cast from Lifespan: He gave up 10 years worth of regenerative energy to refuel the TARDIS and escape Pete's world. Also, if his references to his age are to be taken at face value (at least relative to each other), then this incarnation lasts only six years, including the extra regeneration he burned up.
- Catch Phrase:
- 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: With some frequency.
- Chekhov's Gun: 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...?
- Chick Magnet: There's a reason Martha compared Ten in a tuxedo to James Bond. 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 most people he meets, ranging from Cassandra to Madame de Pompadour. He also slept with and married Queen Elizabeth I, leading her to want his head on a spike after he left to save the day after the ceremony and never came back for her. Even Donna ended up bearing his offspring, albeit in a roundabout fashion. ("Journey's End")
"I’m the Doctor and I’ve just snogged Madame de Pompadour!"
- Cloning Blues: Doctor!Blue, aka the biological meta-crisis, was the by-product of the Doctor's regeneration energy forming a feedback loop with his severed hand, allowing Ten to keep his face. The clone has all of the post-war angst of the 9th Doctor combined with Donna's hot temper, making him too dangerous to let run loose. This BTW counted as one of the 13 regenerations in his first cycle.
- Complexity Addiction: He admitted in "Day of the Doctor" than his gadgets tend to have tons of extraneous features, like an eReader for not-yet-published comic books.
- Contrived Coincidence: Another meta-example: the guy named David Tennant (his stage name, picked years before Doctor Who) 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!
- Cultured Badass: 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.
- Death by Irony: Ten inadvertently triggers his demise in his very first story, when he blithely unseats Harriet Jones. This sets in motion a series of events leading to his regeneration.
- Despite The Plan: The remnant of the darker Doctors inside him (particularly Seven) favors bold, decisive action that ends with saving the day and everyone cheering. The only problem is, being that he's also carrying around bits of the 5th Doctor, he isn't any good at it, and takes it unbearably hard when innocents die on his watch. He managed to get nearly everyone in his rescue party (barring a con man and a Billy Zane-type slimeball) killed onboard the Titanic; in "Midnight", all of the Doctor's strengths are turned against him, and his refusal to leave behind even one person nearly ends up killing everyone; and in "Waters of Mars", he crowns himself the new emperor of time, only to shockingly discover that he hasn't changed history one iota.
- Did Not Get the Girl: Rose. Despite being clearly in love with her and it being heavily implied that she was the real reason he wasted an entire regeneration not to change his face, at the end of "Journey's End" he leaves her with the half-human Clone!Doctor, who would be able to grow old with her and give her the life he never could.
- Disorganized Outline Speech: Twice.
- Distressed Dude: Not as frequent as his predecessors, but still continuing the tradition.
- Ditzy Genius: Really, really ditzy.
- Doesn't Like Guns: Loathes them, fighting without them for his entire tenure as the Doctor. The only time this specific incarnation actually grabbed a gun was when he found out that the Time Lords were returning.
- Does Not Like Spam: "Don't let me eat pears; I HATE pears!"
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: The Doctor is (of 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: He always told villains exactly what was in for them if they didn't make a Heel-Face Turn.
- Dying Alone: Vale Decem.
- Establishing Character Moment: In his introductory episode, not 10 minutes after a quirky monologue about how he never knows what sort of man he is when he first regenerates, in the course of not even fifteen seconds, the Tenth goes from making a light-hearted joke to deftly sending the Villain of the Week plunging to his death without even turning around.
- Even the Guys Want Him: In addition to being a Chick Magnet.
- Expressive Hair: Ten's hair has been known for reflecting his mood. During "The Day of the Doctor" his hair is the flattest we've ever seen it, indicating his sadness, but when the War Doctor mentions Rose it has returned to its usual gravity-defying state.
- Famous Last Words: "I don't wanna go." It's the words he says last both times.
- 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. Ptooey.
- Finishing Each Other's Sentences: As he warms to the Eleventh Doctor, the pair of them start talking and moving in unison.
- Flat "What."/Big "WHAT?!": His tendency to utter these in increasing confusion occurs so often, it's almost a Catch Phrase.
- Foil: Unlike Nine, Ten wore his emotions on his sleeve and involved himself in conflicts much more readily.
- Future Me Scares Me: Ten was most impressed with dashing, cliff-jawed Jackson Lake when it looked like he might be the Nth Doctor. Pencil-necked Eleven... not so much. The pair immediately start sniping at each other like kids, with the War Doctor standing by as the aggravated parent.
- He showed real contempt when the Eleventh Doctor admitted he'd "forgotten" the exact number of incinerated children on Gallifrey. Ten has it pegged down to the decimal. Unlike the happy reunion with the Fifth Doctor, this incarnation is from a less-innocent era.
- Ultimately Subverted with the two of them, however, as they get quite a few moments of camaraderie between them, and are in almost perfect sync with each other by the end of their adventure together. They part on good terms and seem to get along swimmingly so long as they stay off the topic of the Time War.
- Gadgeteer Genius: More than any other Doctor, the Tenth absolutely loves jerry-rigging new devices out of whatever junk is lying around the ship (including building his very own proton pack).
- Geek Physiques: Of the skinny variety. "Little bit thinner. That's weird; give me time, I'll get used to it."
- Gibbering Genius: Especially when things get stressful.
- A God Am I:
- Beneath the over-caffeinated exterior, Ten was one of the more hubristic Doctors, all too aware of his superiority over other races. At his worst, the Doctor deemed himself — and only himself — fit to decide which lives were more important than others. Thankfully, his companions always talked him down in the end.
Of all the people to survive, he's not the one
you would have chosen is he? But if you could choose
, Doctor; if you could decide who lives and who dies... that'd make you a monster.
- 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 Can Heal: In this case "In The First Fifteen Hours Of Your Regeneration Cycle" because the Doctor can regrow a hand that was cleanly cut off.
- Guile Hero: He is often knowledgeable about all his enemies' habits and weaknesses, and will play them at his fingertips. A particularly good example is when he teases and tricks the Sontaran in "Poison Sky".
- Happily Married: To Queen Elizabeth I, apparently, until he crossed her.
- Heel Realization: Toward the end of his life, the 10th Doctor suspected there'd be ramifications for his many underhanded moves over the years. This turned out to be the case.
Doctor: 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."
- He also wanted to be a redhead, a ginger to be exact, and was disappointed when he was told he wasn't.
- 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-Blooded: Oh so much. He's passionate in nearly everything he does. When he's excited, he can reach Keet levels.
- Hot Blooded Sideburns: He's very excited when he discovers them just after regenerating.
- Hot Scientist: Promotional material likes to play up his sex appeal as well.
- How Dare You Die on Me!: He insisted, then outright begged the Master not die on him - an usual case in that the Master really could have fixed himself in a second and "died" purely out of spite.
- Hypocrite: Upon regenerating from the Ninth Doctor:
The Doctor:To save my own life, I changed my body. Every single cell, but I’m still me.
- When discussing the prospect of his own regeneration.
The Doctor:Even then, even if I change, it feels like dying. Everything I am dies. Some new man goes sauntering away... and I'm dead.
- 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.
- Idiot Hair: Which naturally looks like that without gel or anything, though he fusses with it a lot as well.
- 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.
- Immortality Immorality: He realized how detached he was becoming as early as "School Reunion", and often commented that he'd lived too long to relate to people. On the other hand, he wasn't about to regenerate again if he could help it: cloning himself, running away from his responsibilities to the Ood, and even toying with leaving Wilf to die instead of him.
11th Doctor: Number Ten once regenerated and kept the same face - I had vanity issues at the time.
- I'm Mr. Future Pop Culture Reference: "I Am Spartacus" joke in "The Fires of Pompeii", among others.
- Improbable Aiming Skills/Super Reflexes: Somehow able to calculate the geometries and physics of flying objects very quickly, saving a runaway baby carriage with a well-timed cricket ball. Also a hint that Mr. "John Smith" isn't all that he seems. (Tellingly, when Ten drops the mask at the end of "The Family of Blood", he effortlessly snatches his pocketwatch out of the air with one hand.)
- 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?"
- Ironic Echo: His Famous Last Words, "I don't want to go!", compared to his oft-quoted catchphrase, "Allons-y! (Let's go!)"
- I Was Quite a Fashion Victim: His response to Five's celery stalk corsage. Eleven echoes this sentiment, only this time it's at Ten's "sand shoes."
Ten: They're not sand shoes!
War Doctor: [scoffs] Yes, they are.
- 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.
- Knight Templar: 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".
- Klingon Promotion: With supposedly no Time Lords left to govern time and space, he sometimes took it on himself to decide the proper path of history.
For a long time now, I thought I was just a survivor, but I'm not. I'm the winner. That's who I am. The Time Lord victorious
- 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.
- Like a Son to Me: He develops this relationship with Wilfred Mott, seeking out his counsel despite being 10 times older than the salty WWII veteran. For this reason, a mysterious Time Lady referred to as "The Woman" appears to Wilf to explain that the Doctor needs his help. Out of all the people in the world, she picks the closest thing to a father figure the Doctor has. (Claire Bloom's "Woman" character is hinted to be the Doctor's matriarchal figure, with Wilf playing the patriarchal role.)
- Loners Are Freaks: This Doctor traveled by himself for long stretches, having grown weary of heartbreak over his loved ones leaving him. Whenever left alone with his enemies, he tends to stop playing Mr. Nice Guy and threatens to just waste them all.
- Loss of Identity: The Tenth Doctor carried a lot of baggage — unsure of "what kind of man" he was on any given day — and he perhaps never sorted it out. The artificial intelligence embedded inside the Moment summed him up best as, "the man who regrets." This is also why he dreaded regenerating; while some previous Doctors treated it as no big deal, Ten considered it to be dying.
The Doctor: Even then, even if I change, it feels like dying. Everything I am dies. Some new man goes sauntering away... and I'm dead.
- Loved I Not Honor More: For all his reliance on Rose for stability, he seemed determined to shake her. Unwilling to tear her away from her family, he sealed Rose away in an alternate universe with no hope of return. In "Journey's End", Doctor!Blue was deemed too dangerous to be left to his own devices. The genuine Doctor decided to pair him off with Rose, believing she was the only remedy for him. Ten then departed again, presumably for good.
- 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.
- Meet Cute: A much-delayed one with his spouse, River Song. Being that she's from a future point in his timeline, River's already infatuated with him; however, Ten reacts to this strange woman's meddling with barely-masked irritation.
River: Good God, you're hard work young!
- 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.
- My God, What Have I Done?: At the end of "The Waters of Mars."
- Necktie Headband: A memorable reverie in 16th century France. There's a reason they call it the House of Bourbon.
Doctor: I think I just invented the banana daiquiri a couple of centuries early.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
- One of the first things he does after regenerating is overthrow Harriet Jones, changing history to screw Britain out of its promised "Golden Age" and leading directly to the ascension of Prime Ministers Harry Saxon and Brian Green.
- 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 favor 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 alien threats as fun and games.
- It also almost gets him lynched in "Midnight."
- 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 noticeable in Waters of Mars when the Doctor flat-out becomes him for a brief moment:
Doctor: The laws of time are mine and THEY WILL OBEY ME!
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Occasionally he'd mess up a vowel (Tennant's native accent is Scottish, demonstrated for fun in "Tooth and Claw"), and in "Smith And Jones" Davies gave him the phrase "Judoon platoon upon the moon" just to mess with him.
- Oral Fixation: Oh yes.
- Other Me Annoys Me: Ten is highly disturbed by the Metacrisis Doctor's willingness to succumb to his darker impulses when facing the Daleks in "Journey's End", likening him to the Ninth Doctor as someone born in blood and battle. Part of the reason he chose to leave the clone with Rose was so she can make him into a better man, as she had for him.
- He was very irritated by Eleven's constant teasing in "Day of the Doctor" and kept telling him to shut up.
- 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.
- Ten is a fan of eighties pop culture in particular, owing to the nostalgia wave going on at the time. He happily references Ghostbusters while hunting for the undead (while wearing 3-D glasses, no less), cites Back to the Future as a means of explaining the grandfather paradox to Martha, and calls the Master "Skeletor".
- 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! [Disturbed] Ooh, that came out a bit quick...
- Invoked by the Eleventh Doctor in "The Time of the Doctor", in regards to the Metacrisis regeneration.
Eleventh Doctor: Well number Ten once regenerated and kept the same face... I had vanity issues at the time.
- Pride Before a Fall: The Tenth Doctor's Fatal Flaw. A charismatic Doctor, surrounded by often adoring companions, most of his problems arise from being a little too comfortable in the role of "the hero", leading him to become a little too arrogant to admit the possibility of him failing. This eventually comes to a head in "The Waters of Mars", where he briefly declares himself a God, with near-disastrous consequences.
- Prophecy Twist: "He will knock four times."
- Psychotic Smirk: Briefly adopts one when he goes off the deep end during "Waters of Mars".
- Rasputinian Death: Ten could take a good deal of punishment. His last adventure ended with him falling several stories into a glass canopy (peeling himself off the floor a la Wile E. Coyote), then getting bombarded with lethal radiation. He staggered on for a few more hours, finally collapsing in a icy street. He very nearly froze solid until the Ood sang a song to guide him to the safety of his TARDIS...where he promptly regenerated.
- Recycled In Space: In one Dead Ringers sketch, he is referred to as "Jarvis Cocker IN SPACE!"
- 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.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: The Tenth Doctor did marry Queen Elizabeth I, and as such, was technically the King of England at one point in time. One wonders how the Doctor being King of England works out, because never dying does create certain problems for the chain of succession, and the entire purpose of a monarchy. Though Elizabeth dying probably means the Doctor is no longer King.
- Say My Name: The Tenth Doctor loves to scream MAAAAAARFAAAAA!’ and 'DONNAAAAAAAAA!'. It calls to mind another hammy thespian who's known for shouting ‘HAAAAACE!’
- Screw the Rules, I Make Them!:
- A Shared Suffering:
- The Trope Namer. The Doctor considered his test tube daughter, Jenny, a mockery of the Time Lord race with no grasp of his culture or what they've lost. (Worse yet, she's a solider, making her doubly devilish in Ten's eyes.) However, he quickly felt remorse for the harsh things he'd said.
- This was also his motive for sparing the Master's life, against the protests of his companions and his own better judgment. Lucy Saxon vetoed him by shooting his captive in the gut, whereupon the Master decided to forego regeneration out of pure spite.
How 'bout that? I win.
- 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.
- Short-Lived Big Impact: In-universe example. Because of Russell T. Davies' decision to have one year pass per season, as opposed to Steven Moffat's century-spanning time skips and the large jumps in the Doctor's age from the classic series, the Tenth Doctor is canonically the Doctor with the shortest lifetime, but fit several of the most important and far-reaching events of his entire life within those few years.
- Shirtless Scene: In "The Stolen Earth/Journey's End". (Actually a naked scene, but we only get to see his upper half.)
- Smite Me, O Mighty Smiter: The only Doctor thus far to dare Time itself to try and stop him — which he thought Time could not do, seeing as he controls the last TARDIS and is the last temporal "law"-maker in the universe.
- Sociopathic Hero: Turned into this briefly during "The Waters Of Mars", being heroic (if arguably so) and disturbing in equal measure.
Doctor: I'm so old now. I used to have so much mercy...
- Specs of Awesome: Both the brainy specs and his "Doomsday" glasses.
- 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?
- Sugar and Ice Personality: These warring sides of his psyche came to the fore in Series 4 onward, particularly the specials.
- Sword Fight: Right after regenerating, the Doctor takes on the leader of an alien invasion force in a Christmas invasion.
- Technical Pacifist: Eventually confessing to Wilf that he "got clever". The trope already came back to bite him on day one of his tenure, when he deposed Harriet Jones for her (arguably entirely justified) war crime, broke the Web of Time (she was supposed to be Prime Minister for three terms), and made way for the very nasty Prime Ministers Harold Saxon and Brian Green instead.
- That Man Is Dead: Inverted in "Family of Blood". The Doctor tells Joan that he shares all of the feelings "Smith" had. Joan, for her part, sees only an unfeeling bastard standing in the doorway, not her true love.
- Trademark Favorite Food: According to Eleven, it's bacon. Eleven gags when reintroduced to it.
- 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". He's not happy about being forced into parenthood at gunpoint.
- Almost-single parent to the 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.
- In the rather short time they got to know each other, Ten and Eleven got on rather well most of the time, even when they endlessly took shots at each other.
What are you doing here? I'm busy! Eleven:
Oh, "busy"? I see, is that what we're calling it, eh?
Eh? [bows before the two Queen Elizabeths]
Helloooo, ladies. Ten: Don't start... Eleven:
Listen, what you get up to in the privacy of your own regeneration is your business. Ten:
One of them is a Zygon
. Eleven: [Disgusted]
Eurgh... [Quickly backpedals] I'm not judging you.
- 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.
- Later invokes this in "The Day of the Doctor" towards Eleven when he learns his future regeneration forgot how many children there were on Gallifrey.
- You Can't Fight Fate: Invoked countless times over the course of his run. As soon as he thought he'd finally triumphed over it, someone knocks four times...
- You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry: Especially at the end of "The Family of Blood".
"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 fairy tale wizard who sorts out problems with a wave of his magic wand. Had a distinct air of an old professor in a young man's body, trying in vain to blend in with his younger, more sociable companions. Frequently tripping over his own tangled thoughts, words and limbs, Eleven was definitely a lot more alien
than many other incarnations. He seemed overjoyed at his unexpected youth, hopping and skipping all over the place regardless of the seriousness of the situation. Like his predecessor, however, scratch the surface and you would find a secretive old man who was very liable to snap into Tranquil Fury
mode if you hurt him. Matt Smith
was the youngest Doctor to date: only 26 when cast, three years younger than previous record-holder Peter Davison
- 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. A particularly good example is in "The Eleventh Hour" where he tries to be cool, and fails epically.
The Doctor: Who da man?
(Complete silence from Amy and Rory)
The Doctor: Oh it's... I'm never saying that again, fine!
- 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. When he sees Amy’s life in the dullest village known to man he wonders what they do to stave off the self-harm.
- Given the Doctor's odium toward spending even a day in one place, we can surmise that his time on Trenzalore wasn't very pleasant at all.
- Ambiguously Bi: 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."
- An Arm and a Leg: He apparently acquires a wooden leg on Trenzalore.
- Armor-Piercing Question: When pressed, Eleven claims he never bothered to count how many children supposedly died at his hands during the Time War. Ten neatly reveals this to be a lie ("2.47 billion") and, when Eleven still insists he doesn't remember, can only look on with horror and revulsion.
10th Doctor: 400 years? Is that all it takes?!
11th Doctor: [coldly] I moved on.
10th Doctor: [voice cracks] WHERE? Where could you be now, that you forget something like that?!
- Attending Your Own Funeral: A variant. The Doctor visits his own grave on the fields of Trenzalore.
- 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.
- Attention Whore: The one time nobody's paying attention to him, he gets annoyed.
Doctor: I'm being extremely clever up here and there's no one to stand around looking impressed. What's the point in having you all?
- 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 Beard: Grows two during the premiere and finale of season six after being locked up for months. He shaves soon after being released.
- Badass Boast: Eleven seems quite fond of these.
- In "The Eleventh Hour":
- In "The Time of Angels":
The 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 the same episode:
The Doctor: You gave me hope and then took it away. That's enough to make anyone dangerous. God knows what it will do to me. Basically... RUN!
- In "A Good Man Goes to War":
The Doctor: Good men don't need rules. Today is not the day to find out why I have so many.
- In "The Wedding of River Song":
Imagine you were dying and a long way from home and in terrible pain. And just when you think it couldn't get any worse, you look up and see the face of the devil himself
... Hello, Dalek.
- In "The Rings of Akhaten":
The 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! I've walked in universes where the laws of physics were devised by the mind of a MAD... MAN. I've watched universes freeze and creations burn. I have seen things you wouldn't believe. I have lost things you'll never understand! And I know things. Secrets that must never be told. Knowledge that must never be spoken. Knowledge that will make parasite gods BLAZE! SO COME OOOOON THEN! TAKE IT! TAKE IT ALL, BABY! HAVE IT! YOU HAVE IT ALL!
- And the boast to top them all, "The Day of the Doctor":
- His response to Tasha Lem, who reveals a breakaway sect of the Papal Mainframe once sent a hitman (River) to kill him. Eleven scoffs, "Totally married her."
- Just as he starts his regeneration in "The Time of the Doctor", he delivers the boast to silence all the others.
You are dying, Doctor. The Doctor: Yes, I'm dying. You've been trying to kill me for centuries, and here I am, dying of old age
. If you want something done, do it yourself
. Dalek Cruiser:
You will die, and the Time Lords will never return. The Doctor:
You still can't work up the courage to shoot me, can you? You're still worried I've got something up my sleeve! Well, you knock yourselves out, boys. I've got nothing this time.
(Crack opens in the sky and golden regeneration energy flies into the Doctor's mouth.
) Dalek Cruiser: You will die now, Doctor. This is the end of you. Dalek Cruiser:
The rules of regeneration are known. You have expended all your lives. The Doctor:
Sorry? What did you say? Did you mention the rules?
Now, listen... bit of advice. Tell me the truth, if you think you know it. Lay down the law, if you're feeling brave. But, Daleks, Never. Ever! TELL ME THE RULES! Dalek Cruiser: EMERGENCY! EMERGENCY! THE DOCTOR IS REGENERATING! THE DOCTOR IS REGENERATING! The Doctor:
Oh look at this, regeneration number 13! We're breaking some serious science here boys! I'll tell ya what! It's gonna be a whopper!! Dalek Cruiser: EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE THE DOCTOR! The Doctor:
You think you can stop me now Daleks?! IF YOU WANT MY LIFE, COME. AND. GET IT!
(starts regenerating, destroying all the Daleks
) Haha! LOVE FROM GALLIFREY, BOYS!
- 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 Fingersnap: By this point, he only needs to snap his fingers to open the doors of the TARDIS. (He could presumably use this to summon it too, as seen in some of the DW comics.)
- Badass Grandpa: Being over 1000 years old, he's technically always this (and in a literal sense to boot). But becomes a more exemplified example during his several hundred years guarding the town of Christmas. He needs a cane to get around, but he's still got the fire.
- Badass Longcoat: Starts wearing an awesome, suitably long, green coat as of "Let's Kill Hitler". He then starts wearing a purple one as a permanent part of his new outfit in Series 7.
- 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.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: A rare case where the hypotenuse to be is concerned with the happiness of both cathetus, since he really does like Rory despite their frequent squabbling.
- 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.
- 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.
- Big Entrance: With some frequency, notably through a chimney in "The Christmas Carol":
Doctor: Ah. Yes. Blimey. Sorry. Christmas Eve on a rooftop, saw a chimney, my whole brain just went: "What the hell!"
- Big "Shut Up!": Does this a lot. To villains, to his companions, even to inanimate objects.
- Bizarre Taste in Food: The Eleventh Doctor's taste for fish sticks dipped in custard. The first time he tried them post-regeneration trauma was playing havoc with his taste buds, but he's also seen enjoying them in later episodes, such as "The Power of Three".
- Book Ends: Not to this incarnation, but to his whole life. As he ages in "The Time of the Doctor," he starts to look less like Eleven and more like Hartnell's original incarnation. When he finally regenerates, he's regenerated into an eccentric older man with no idea how to pilot the very TARDIS he's owned as long as the viewers have known him.
- For a proper bookend, towards the end of his introductory episode, he puts on a bowtie and at literally, the final seconds of his life, he undoes it and let it drop to the floor.
- Borrowed Catchphrase:
- He also likes to use Tenth's phrase of describing things as "Timey Wimey". Which is lampshaded by the Tenth Doctor when they meet in "The Day of the Doctor".
War Doctor (in disbelief): Timey Wimey?
Doctor: Oh no you don't!
- Bowties Are Cool: The Trope Namer. In his first season, he tends to wear blue bowties in the past, and red ones when visiting the future.
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:
- Buffy Speak: "Big flashy lighty thing", "blue boringers", "uppy-downy stuff in a big blue box", among others. The War Doctor mocks him for it extensively and — correctly — surmises it's Eleven's way of trying to forget how harsh everything around him can be.
- The Cameo: In "Deep Breath".
- 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 one exception to this is in "The Bells of Saint John". "Monks are not 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!"
- (when answering the phone) "Hello, the TARDIS!"
- 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 series 7, but one who extensively prepares, calculates and calls for backup when needed.
- Character Tics: The Eleventh has many noticeable ones, such as spinning a whole 270 degrees right in order to simply turn 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.
Are you capable of speaking without flapping your hands about? Eleven: [gesturing emphatically]
- Check and Mate: Loves making these speeches.
- Chick Magnet: In a completely different way than Ten: half of the time he appears to be completely oblivious to people hitting on him.
- 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!
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: He's seriously loopy.
- Comforting Comforter: After having rescued her from an attack by the episode's antagonists, he gently tucks an exhausted and sleeping Clara into bed and leaves her a plate of jammy dodgers in "The Bells of Saint John".
- Companion Cube: In "The Time of the Doctor", he adopts a severed Cyberman head (without any organic bits) as a companion, which he dubs "Handles". It ends up keeping him company for the first few centuries of the Siege of Trenzalore, before eventually "dying" of mechanical failure.
- 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. note
- 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.
- Matt Smith has said he tends to play the Eleventh Doctor as thinking he's a lot cooler than he actually is.
- Covert Pervert: Paired with a grand helping of guilt, seen as early as "Amy's Choice" (as pointed out by the Dream Lord), in "The Angels Take Manhattan" ("Yowza!" indeed) and "Nightmare in Silver" (where he has some moral issues with how much he's been accidentally noticing Clara's skirts). Eleven generally loves "a bad girl", and delights in flirting with River.
- Creepy Good: Eleven can get tremendously frightening, and is prone to very violent outbursts when he's angry.
- 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 companions for absolutely no reason (although in Rory's case, 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.
- Determinator: The Siege of Trenzalore. Multiple enemy fleets parked in orbit vs a small village and the Doctor, becoming a siege that lasts for centuries. Despite being in his supposedly final incarnation and having a way out once the TARDIS returns three hundred years into the battle, he still does not run.
- Dissimile: Used so often it's a Catch Phrase.
Doctor: It's fine, we're entering conceptual space. Imagine a banana, or anything curved. 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.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Eleven looking for food at young Amelia's house and hating everything is very reminiscent of Tigger's introduction story in Winnie-the-Pooh
- The Dreaded: When he's involved, basically run! In Series 6 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.
- Dying as Yourself: Although he lives long enough to die of old age, the regeneration energy coursing through him briefly resets his appearance during his final moments.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: In "The Time of the Doctor", he uses his regeneration energy to take out the Daleks. Let's face it. Eleven wouldn't have gone out any other way.
- 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, one of whom is his other wife.
- Amy Pond is his mother-in-law twice over. First because he married her daughter, River Song. Second, because Amy married Henry VIII, the father of the Doctor's other wife, Elizabeth I.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Despite having gone through more personal tragedy than most other regenerations, not to mention his continued trauma from the Time War and over a millennium's worth of self loathing, Eleven has possibly the happiest ending of any regeneration, having saved his Companion and the town he had been defending for centuries, made peace with some of his most bitter enemies, and in his last moments witnessed that not only had he truly saved his people but that the Time Lords were finally showing him gratitude for all he had done by changing history to save him, granting him a brand new regeneration cycle and aiding him in defeating the Daleks once again.
- Eleventh Hour Superpower: After being granted a new regeneration cycle by the Time Lords in "The Time of the Doctor", his regeneration proves to be so violent that he's able to use it as a weapon to destroy the Dalek fleet in orbit of Trenzalore.
- Enemy Without: When his dark side manifests itself as a separate person, it's quite dark indeed.
- 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.
- Exiled to the Couch: Ended up spending a month living with otters while sulking after an argument with River. ("The Caretaker")
- Face Death with Dignity: In contrast to his predecessor, Eleven goes into his regeneration completely prepared for it, having already spent long enough in this body to grow old. He's content to deliver one last speech before taking off his signature bowtie and going out with one last, sad smile at Clara.
- 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.
- Famous Last Words: "I will always remember when the Doctor was me."
- Fate Worse Than Death: Can dish them out just as well as Ten, though not as frequently. Just ask the Weeping Angels or Colonel Run Away.
- Final Speech: He's clearly a different man from before he set foot on Trenzalore, and delivers a haunting Roy Batty speech at the end (which could also be read as Matt Smith letting the fans know not to worry about him, that he will always treasure his time as the Doctor)— though not without one final, wild hand gesticulation for old-times' sake.
It all just disappears, doesn't it? Everything you are. Like breath on a mirror... We all change when you think about it. We're all different people, all through our lives. And that's OK; that's good, you gotta keep moving, so long as you remember all the people that you used to be. I will not forget one line of this. Not one day
, I swear. I will always remember when the Doctor was me.
- Foil: Is a dorky, spastic, alien oddball, as opposed to Ten, who beyond being more traditionally cool, was more in tune with "human" tastes and attitudes.
- Foreseeing My Death: By series 7, he has a pretty good idea how, when and where his life will one day permanently end (that is, when the Doctor will finally die, because this is — or was — his final life). When he learns he's finally going there, he starts crying. As if that wasn't traumatising enough yet, he's then forced to become intimately acquainted with his own corpse. By saving Gallifrey in "The Day of the Doctor", however, he enables the Time Lords to change history and grant him a new regeneration cycle in "The Time of the Doctor".
- 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. It's implied that he's fond of children primarily out of recompense of killing all 2.47 billion children on Gallifrey at the end of the Time War... or so he used to believe.
- Best seen in "The Time of the Doctor", where the children of Christmas simply adore him as both their friend and protector. Even in his last days, Eleven can still be found carving them wooden toys.
- 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: 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.
- Inverted when he is overjoyed to meet The Curator and discover that he's still kicking around after Trenzalore.
- In "Deep Breath", the Eleventh and Twelfth Doctor indirectly converse over Clara's phone. Eleven is, shall we say, nonplussed to discover that he's gone gray again. He actually groans.
- The Gadfly: Matt Smith saw "The Tomb of the Cybermen" and asked for a similar costume as the Second Doctor, the first incarnation to wear a bowtie. Eleven takes quite a bit of inspiration from Two in general: dotty old man, weird and hyperkinetic body language, willing to chat happily with everyone and everything including babies and animals, takes great pleasure in being very annoying.
- Gadgeteer Genius: His knowledge of the "non-technological" technology of Lamasteen allowed him to build a functioning scanner out of shopping carts, coat-hangars and junk in "The Lodger" and he accidentally invented the Quadro-cycle in "The Bells of St John".
- Genre Savvy: Very but it varies. He once gives a detailed description of the inhabitant of the Pandorica... not realising that he is also describing himself.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
- Multiple instances.
[Rory shows the Doctor a flashlight he brought along]
[The Doctor brings out a huge ultraviolet lamp]
Rory: ...Yours is bigger than mine.
Eleventh Doctor: Let's not go there.
- And in "Amy's Choice":
Eleventh Doctor: I don't know but I can't feel my feet... and other parts.
Rory: I think all my parts are basically fine.
Eleventh Doctor: Stop competing.
- In "Let's Kill Hitler", after the newly-regenerated River Song invades his personal space, he self-consciously covers his crotch behind his hands when she leaves the room.
- 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.
- Gilded Cage: Trenzalore becomes this in "Time of the Doctor." He can't awaken the Time Lords from their slumber without setting off another Time War. And he can't abandon Christmas without the town being destroyed. Nothing's stopping him from leaving, and he makes glib proclamations about beaming out any day now — which of course will never happen.
- Going Native: In the town of Christmas — the very long, Orbis-style version of the trope.
- Good Is Not Soft: Even more lovable than he looks—until you get him angry. Then you run. Just run.
- Go Out with a Smile: Like Nine before him. The last thing he does in life is stretch his hand towards a weeping Clara and utter a gentle "Hey..." with a comforting smile on his face.
Doctor: We all change, when you think about it. We’re all different people, all through our lives. And that’s okay.
- 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 River Song, provided he's already done the whole wedding bit — and even sometimes before that. Also, to the TARDIS, in a way.
- Help Yourself In The Future: His phone call to Clara, during Twelve's regeneration trauma, helping her come to terms with losing him, while at the same time helping her understand that she hasn't lost him, he's still right there in front of her, at least as frightened as she is and needing her friendship more than ever.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Mentions his love for gingers a few times, but, like Ten, mostly just wants to be one.
- Heroic BSOD: Does not take the deaths of his two best friends well. Even though he knows they had a long and happy life together, this does little to lessen the blow and he effectively quits saving the universe for a long time afterwards.
- 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, thus wiping himself from existence. Of course, he's brought back.
- Knew the first time he went to Trenzalore could mean "the fall of the Eleventh", but went anyway to save his friends.
- The second time he goes to Trenzalore, he chooses to remain for untold centuries on the planet, spending the rest of that incarnation - indeed his supposed last - protecting the people from harm and not dooming the Time Lords to eternity trapped in another universe. When Clara suggests that he could just leave, he refuses to do so, making it clear that he'd rather die first, something he very nearly does from extreme old age!
- Heroic Willpower: When the heavily-upgraded Cybermen attempt to use The Virus to turn the Doctor into their new Cyber-controller, he's not only able to resist the transformation long enough to trap the Cyberman personality into a temporary stalemate while he figures out his next move, but demonstrates the ability to lock off specific parts of his memory to prevent "Mr Clever" gaining access to Time Lord secrets.
- I Am Your Opponent: When a Dalek feigns ignorance of him, he furiously attacks it with a spanner!
- I Will Fight Some More Forever: This Doctor proved time and again that he won't run from the Daleks under any circumstances, even when totally unarmed and utterly outnumbered. Even when reduced to a wispy old man in a bell tower, waving his cane in defiance.
- 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.
- Anticipating his regeneration into Twelve, he showily removes his bowtie. (This causes poor Clara to completely lose it.) As it currently stands, the 12th Doctor is going for a tieless, scarf-less garb.
- Indy Ploy: His absolute favorite 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.
- While helping a mother pilot a tree-starship:
Lily: What's happening?
The Doctor: No idea. Do what I do: hold tight, and pretend it's a plan!
Amy: There's a plan?
The Doctor: Don't know, haven't finished talking yet!
- At the very end, he's now resigned to this as his only way out.
The Doctor: It's okay, Barnable, don't worry. I... [taps nose] have got a plan. Off you pop.
The Doctor: I haven't got a plan, but people love it when I say that.
Clara: Doctor, what're you gonna do?
The Doctor: I don't know. Talk very fast, hope something good happens, take the credit. Seemingly how it works. Not this time, though. This is it.
- 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. This is also owing to Matt Smith's physicality as an actor.
Are you capable
of speaking without flapping your hands about? Eleventh Doctor
: [exaggerated shrug]
Yes! [claps emphatically]
- Lantern Jaw of Justice
The Doctor: [feeling his face after regenerating]
Ears? Yes. Eyes: two. Nose... eh, I've had worse.
- Leitmotif: Has a very prominent (and very awesome) one called "I Am The Doctor" which has been stated by composer Murray Gold to be the most well known out of all the Doctor's Leitmotifs. It has also had dozens of variants since its introduction, the most notable one being "The Majestic Tale (Of a Mad Man in a Box)".
- 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 Before First Sight: With Clara. The first time he became aware of her, or rather one of her echoes, he could neither see nor touch her, since she was sort of a Dalek at the time, but her voice over the intercom was enough to impress him with her intelligence and willpower, not to mention do a whole lot of flirting.
- Love Triangle: Unwittingly gets stuck in one with Amy and Rory. With the memories of the whole debacle with Rose and Mickey still fresh in his mind, 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: Eleven plays the age card less than previous Doctors did during an argument, and seems to even forget his decrepitude at times. The War Doctor isn't amused: a senile git of a man, Eleven has retreated from his grim past into a world of childlike frivolity. This changes once he saves Gallifrey in "Day of the Doctor": He pointedly chooses to stay behind and age into an old man on Trenzalore, as if unconsciously deciding to 'grow up.'
- 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.
- 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".
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: Matt Smith uses his regular voice to play the Doctor.
- A Million Is a Statistic: Averted. Eleven spent his past incarnation remembering and regretting the deaths of more than 2 billion innocent Gallifreyan children in the Time War to remind himself why he was protecting others. The "four knocks" prophecy changed him and he resisted regeneration. Then when he regenerated from Ten, he was faced with permanent death twice, first through an assassination attempt and then a future where he died in battle because he couldn't regenerate anymore. He also lost his companions to the Weeping Angels, and it broke him to the point he retired to Victorian London. After 200, maybe 300 years as this incarnation, thinking about death tore away at him, and he blanked out the memory until its impact was gone.
- Moment Killer: "The Lodger". Almost all of it.
- Money to Throw Away: The Doctor very hastily attempting to pay rent.
Doctor: 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.
- Naked People Are Funny: He has no nudity taboo, and really doesn't care that other people do.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Invoked by River Song in "A Good Man Goes To War", when she tells him his name became known as "Mighty Warrior" to the Gamma Forest.
River: The man who can turn an army around at the mention of his name.
- Nice Hat:
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
- Way to revive the Daleks, Doc. 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.
- The Nicknamer: Particularly towards his prior incarnations. Ten, ever the adult, responded by bestowing upon him the name "Chinny."
Eleventh Doctor: Yes! Brilliant! I demand to be incarcerated in the Tower of London along with my co-conspirators Sandshoes and Grandad.
War Doctor: Grandad?
Tenth Doctor: They're not sandshoes!
War Doctor: Yes they are.
- 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, Except Yes: An extension of his tendency for Dissimile.
- 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.
- No Social Skills: This incarnation is pretty clueless about human social customs, although he tends to wisen up easily when the situation is grave.
- 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]
- Older Than They Look: Certainly goes without saying for a Doctor, but explicitly special note goes to Eleven. He was the longest-serving Doctor of all (in-universe, not on-screen), having Regenerated from the Tenth at somewhere around 905-7, and Regenerating into Twelve at over two-thousand. This means that not-only was he the Doctor for longer than any other one Doctor, he was the Doctor longer than all the other Doctors combined.
- One-Man Army:
Father Octavian: You promised me an army, Doctor Song.
River: I promised you the equivalent of an army. This is the Doctor.
- In "The Time of the Doctor", for the most part, the Siege of Trenzalore has the Doctor acting as this for centuries.
- 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.
- This is painfully justified by one terrible truth: Eleven can't stand the sound of children crying. And for one reason above all others. He was traumatized by the apparent deaths of 2.47 billion children on Gallifrey when he ended the Time War. Ten, being the hero type, used it to bolster his resolve to protect the universe. Come 200 years later, Eleven was tired of being the hero and despised talk of death, facing his own mortality and losing Amy and Rory. He grieved so badly he decided to erase the statistic from his head just so it wouldn't haunt him. Luckily, he ended up saving all those children instead.
- And in the end, he spent centuries more defending the village of Christmas so that generations of children could live on, becoming their guardian who loved every one of them. And they loved him back. 300 years into his stay, he had acquired hundreds of crayon drawings (one which explicitly said "I LOVE YOU") and a puppet show in his honour.
- Out of Continues: The 10th Doctor dipped into his own reserve when he created the meta-crisis Doctor. With the emergence of the hitherto-unknown War Doctor, that makes thirteen. Then the Time Lords give him a new regeneration cycle in his final regular appearance.
- Papa Wolf: Several times for humanity as a whole.
- Platonic Life Partners: With the exception of River Song, this trope applies to his companions in general.
- Plot-Relevant Age-Up: He puts the 10th to shame on this one.
- Phone Call From The Dead: Not long before his demise on Trenzalore, he telephones Clara in the near future to express his fear over regenerating and begs her, essentially, not to abandon him in his time of need. Twelve recollects making that call, and when Eleven hears his voice, he moans at becoming an older man again.
- 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.
- Protectorate: Willing to defend his closest friends (especially Clara) and beings in need with great determination.
- 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.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one to the Daleks in "Victory Of The Daleks", but it's revealed that was what they wanted:
The Doctor: You are everything I despise. The worst thing in all creation. I've defeated you. Time and time again, I've defeated you. I sent you back into the Void. I saved the whole of reality from you. I am the Doctor, and you are the Daleks!
- 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.
Clara: Someday, you could just walk past a fez.
The Doctor: Ha! Never going to happen!
- Sad Clown: A major reason for why he's so cheery and wacky at face value is his effort to forget or supress the constant reminders of his Dark and Troubled Past. When the Eleventh gets sad, or worse yet, angry, you really start doubting whether he's just the manchild that he pretends to be, and not a man on the run from his grief and feelings of guilt. When he loses the Ponds, he goes into such a major depression that the happiest expression you can get out of him is a melancholic, shy smile. He eventually recovers some of his old jokey habits when he gets better, but he's definitely a somewhat changed man by then...
- 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.
- He's very affectionate and comforting to Clara, even in moments where she probably isn't as affraid as he thinks she is. A minor reversal of the trope occurs between him and her in "The Day of the Doctor". After their bond has strengthened between "The Name of the Doctor" and "The Day of the Doctor", Clara has grown to become the Doctor's confidant, to the point that when a Time Lord painting of Gallifrey's destruction is revealed, all of his sorrow, fear, and regret about his actions resurfaces, resulting in his slowly grabbing Clara's hand for support. The slight motion is enough to notify Clara that the Doctor isn't doing so well.
- 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:
- 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.
Doctor: 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 Kitchen:
- 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; 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 became more and more obvious ever since "Amy's Choice", and got focused on especially in series 6. He was approaching the date of his death, and knew it. Matt Smith's thoughts on him make it even more clear:
Matt Smith: 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 hes 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.
- Lampshaded in the 50th Anniversary Special. As the three Doctors bicker with each other in the Tower of London, Eleven chuckles that the jail sounds exactly like the inside of his own head.
- Stupid Sexy Friend: Has a bit of a problem with this late in his life when it comes to Clara. Though his mild crush on her is subverted by the fact that the attraction is more circumstance and personality-related than looks-related. His following incarnation off-handedly admits that it was a mistake on his part and that he'll definitely stick to a Better as Friends relationship when it comes to the two of them.
- 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!
- 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.
- Theme Aging: He began his Regeneration at just over 900 years old, and Regenerated into Twelve around the age of 2000, meaning Eleven spent eleven centuries as Eleven.
- 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 Favorite 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". Matt Smith admitted that jammy dodgers actually are his favorite food.
- There's also fish fingers and custard. Amy uses it as a sort of Trust Password in "The Impossible Astronaut", and the TARDIS voice interface uses it to rally him in "Let's Kill Hitler".
- During "The Time of the Doctor", after being "reset" by his new regeneration cycle, the Eleventh Doctor is shown to have whipped up some fish fingers and custard, before he got around to changing his face into that of the Twelfth Doctor. It wound up being his last meal.
- Tragic Bromance: With Amy and Rory.
- Tragic Dream: He discovers that Gallifrey is still out there somewhere and is inspired to search for it... but this incarnation of the Doctor never gets home. He ends up in close proximity - literally feet away - to it for centuries, but he can't let it out or he'll start the Time War again.
- 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.
- Transformation Sequence: Due to being granted a new regeneration cycle, the Eleventh Doctor apparently had time to use the "reset" to break in his new body, before getting around to changing his hands and face into those of the Twelfth Doctor.
- 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.
- He also ends up in this relationship with Ten and the War Doctor in the 50th anniversary special.
- Waistcoat of Style: Takes to wearing them under his Badass Longcoat in the second half of series 7.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Gets this from Ten when he admits he forgot how many children there were on Gallifrey when he took out the Time Lords. Clara also calls him out on his willful glossing over of the events of the Time War and his fatalism about not being able to change anything about it, despite how often he opens up to her about his traumas in private. She then gives him a mild, but determined Dare to Be Badass speech. Eleventh caves in, takes the Tenth's and Clara's words at heart and decides that saving Gallifrey might still be worth a shot, despite how narrowly possible it appears.
- You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry: Eleven keeps his darker emotions very carefully restrained... most of the time. Just as his warnings have increased in multitude, so has his wrath. And this wrath hits its threshold when he faces his final battle.
not a good man! And I’m not a bad man. [...] Do you know what I am? I... am... an idiot! With a box, and a screwdriver. Passing through, helping out, learning."
The straightforward and cynical old Scot. Although still Adorkable
, he is less goofy
and values a pragmatic approach. Twelve exploits his full age and experience
as a Time Lord rather than hiding from it, and can be dangerous and difficult as a result. Because he is a bit blunt and insensitive at times, he occasionally outdoes his predecessor's alien mannerisms
. Unlike some past incarnations, he Hates Being Touched
and has no interest in flirting with anyone. Even a simple hug makes him squeamish.
- Absent-Minded Professor: Twelve really is that bad at remembering things. First names "aren't his area", he misses a coffee date with Clara (by 3 weeks) because he got distracted, he's got severe prosopagnosia, and he can't remember how old Clara is supposed to be.
You're not a young woman anymore. Clara:
Yes I am. Doctor:
Well, you don't look it Clara:
look it. Doctor:
That's right, keep your spirits up
- Last Christmas shows that he genuinely can't tell what age Clara is, and that he apparently always sees her as a twenty-something woman, even in a dream scene in which she has aged considerably as he has wound up some decades into her future.
- He's not sure in Listen whether he wrote the text that started off the episode, even after Clara points out it's in his handwriting.
- Ace Pilot: Compared with the notoriously frantic piloting of previous incarnations - particularly Ten and Eleven - the Twelfth Doctor pilots the TARDIS in a nonchalant, businesslike manner. He's so good that we see him successfully experiment with things like piloting it without the safeties on or navigating it via direct input into its telepathic circuits.
- Adorkable: Underneath the angry looking eyebrows, the Doctor is still as endearingly awkward as ever.
- Amnesiac Hero: After regenerating, he temporarily forgets how to fly the TARDIS, what any of his friends even look like, and that he used to have an English accent.
- Anti-Hero: He's not a particularly nice or empathetic man, and likes neither of those qualities.
- The Doctor has to check with Clara if he's a "good man" during "Into the Dalek".
- Clara, Courtney, and Lundvik debate this in "Kill the Moon", bringing up that the Doctor treats Clara like a pet half the time and leaves her craving a glass of wine.
- Apologetic Attacker: "I've got the horrible feeling I'm going to have to kill you."
- Arbitrary Skepticism: Despite everything he's seen and done prior to "Robot of Sherwood," he's very insistent that Robin Hood is just a legend, even while talking to Robin Hood.
- Armchair Military & Boomerang Bigot: As Danny observes in "The Caretaker", this Doctor's hatred of soldiers is ridiculous, considering he's a "commander".
Danny: I’m the one who carries you out of the fire. He’s the one who lights it.
- Defiantly proclaims he's not an officer in "Death in Heaven", and that he only needs friends that act on their own convictions/feelings, not mindless armies.
- Armor-Piercing Question: A rare self-aimed one: whether or not he's a good man. He asks Clara if she thinks he is, and she stammers and demurs.
- The Atoner: His introverted and relatively unboastful personality is an attempt to be less manipulative and vain than he occasionally became in previous incarnations.
Doctor: I've made many mistakes, and it's about time I did something about that.
- Badass Boast:
- Even in a muddled state, this incarnation still boasts about his awesomeness.
- Held up by a would-be TARDIS hijacker, Twelve scoffs, "You'd starve to death trying to find the light switch".
- He gives one in "Flatline" similar to one that Eleven gave in "The Eleventh Hour".
The Doctor: I tried to talk, I want you to remember that. I tried to reach out, I tried to understand you, but I think that you understand us perfectly. And I think that you just don't care! And I don't know whether you are here to invade, infiltrate or just replace us. I don't suppose it really matters now, you are monsters! That is the role you seem determined to play, so it seems that I must play mine! The man that stops the monsters!
- Badass Longcoat: A navy coat with red lining, evoking the Third Doctor's costume minus the 1970s frills.
- Batman Gambit: In "Deep Breath", pretends to abandon Clara so her Cry Cute breakdown will cause the Monster of the Week to go on a Motive Rant.
Doctor: Hello, hello, rubbish robots from the dawn of time. Thank you for all the gratuitous information. Five foot one and crying. You never stood a chance.
- Beneath the Mask:
- Madame Vastra and others suggest that this incarnation more truly reflects who the Doctor is: the caustic but adorkable old man that the Doctor previously hid behind young, attractive faces.
- Twelve's jaded, emotionally distant cynic surface also proves to hide a much mellower, kinder and even humbler man on the inside.
- A running theme throughout his first series is his uncertainty at who he really is anymore. He's genuinely terrified that Clara doesn't like him anymore.
- Beyond the Impossible: With two revelations — first, the War Doctor; second, that the aborted regeneration by the Tenth Doctor counted — it was revealed that the Eleventh Doctor should've been the last one. Luckily, the Time Lord High Council can grant new regeneration cycles. And Clara was able to convince them to do so.
- Big Damn Heroes:
- Joins the other 12 Doctors to save Gallifrey in "The Day of the Doctor".
- He saves Clara from the Half-Face Man just in time. It's implied he had the plan all along, but neglected to tell Clara about it.
- Big Damn Kiss: It took four decades, but he becomes the first Doctor seen to be snogged into incoherence by the Master. One episode later, once he realises how broken she is, he very gently grants her a second kiss.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: His eyebrows have their own fan club, thanks to a ten-second appearance in "The Day of the Doctor".
- Referenced in "Deep Breath," when he gets a look at his face and rants to a homeless man how his eyebrows look cross independently from the rest of his face. In Doctor Who Legacy, his secondary skill is called "Attack Eyebrows".
- Big "Shut Up!": Fond of these. Even when no one is talking and used so often, it might as well be another catchphrase.
- Brave Scot: A subtle version. Though Twelve is colder and more calculating than his previous two regenerations, he's still the same daring, ballsy madman he's always been, and this time he has the Scottish brogue to match.
- Break the Haughty: In "Robot of Sherwood", where his attempts to one up Robin Hood lead to him getting captured without his Sonic Screwdriver and Clara utterly fed up with him.
- Brutal Honesty: Ruthlessly and relentlessly, though he's just as capable of lying as previous incarnations. He just feels more guilty about it when he does.
- Catch Phrase:
- "Question!", followed by a question.
- Telling people who aren't saying anything to shut up when he's coming to a conclusion.
- Asking whether random things, or people, have developed a fault.
- He uses "shut up!" so often it might as well be one.
- Calling people pudding brains.
- Changed My Jumper: Changes his dress shirt with great frequency. He doesn't like to wear his vest without his white shirt. And he has also been seen several times wearing an actual jumper in lieu of a shirt, with an apparent fondness for a black jumper over a white shirt with holes that resemble stars.
- Probably best exemplified when he thinks all he needs to blend in on Earth is to wear a brown coat over his regular getup. Clara is not amused.
- In "Mummy on the Orient Express", he's wearing an outfit that is very similar to the First Doctor's outfit, minus the tweed.
- He wears his Third Doctor-esque suit thrice in series 8: the end of "Deep Breath", "Into The Dalek" and "Mummy on the Orient Express".
- Character Development: Throughout the previous two regenerations, the Doctor was a Stepford Smiler, hiding all his doubts and guilt beneath jokes and a younger exterior. His experiences as Ten and Eleven (and the experience of Clara finding out some of his secrets, but reacting in a supporting and accepting way) have cracked this facade, culminating in a version of himself who's not afraid to show his age and experience. While this makes him the most serious of his incarnations so far, ironically, this shows him at his most vulnerable, as he's letting it all out.
- In addition, his previous incarnation's pacifist attitude has faded and he is more willing to kill and fight dirty when he has to (or, at least, so it seems).
- The Doctor's conversation with Half-Face Man in "Deep Breath" does a good job at lampshading the Doctor's shifts in attitude towards the universe since meeting Clara, and all the events that followed. In contrast to his impotent raging at the unfairness of life in "End of Time" ("...and this is my reward!") and his cold, simmered-out surmise that "the universe doesn't care" how much work he puts into it in "The Snowmen", he now tells us that he long since stopped "expect[ing] to reach the promised land" or any sort of gratefulness or reward, but presents this not as a reason to give up on the world, but as a reason why it would be wiser not to cross him as he has nothing to lose or gain but the relative safety of the humans below. He's already endured (and destroyed) so much for their sake that nothing that he and Half-Face Man could do to each other would make a difference.
- At the end of series 8, he finally seems to have come close to accepting himself and to an extent, overcoming his self-doubts. Interesting in that while many of his previous companions tried to help with this in both spectacular and commonplace ways, it was the contrast with the distinctly more anti-heroic Clara (whom he is very attached to even though she shares many of his character flaws) and the similarly smart, quirky and rebellious, but notably more evil Mistress that brought him to the realization that his very real imperfections don't have to make him a bad person.
- Character Tics:
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: During his regeneration trauma, he flirts with a giant dinosaur, initially thinks everyone but him has regenerated, and buys smelly clothes off a hobo.
- Comforting Comforter: During the epilogue of "Mummy on the Orient Express", he takes Clara to a beach on an alien world and tucks her in comfortably with several blankets, so she could have a calm nap while he waits for her to wake up. He doesn't show his sweet and gentle side often, but when he does, he's really kind and nice, even if he'd never openly admit it.
- The Comically Serious: Comes with being a very gritty and serious Doctor.
- Contemplate Our Navels: Now that the Doctor's finally stopped running away from the Time War, he is devoting more time to self-reflection. Who is he? (An idiot with a box and a screwdriver.) What is he really afraid of? (Being alone.) What does he think of himself? (Dictatorial, manipulative, likes to think he's clever.) Why does he despise soldiers? (They take orders, he prefers to give them.)
- Cool People Rebel Against Authority: This Doctor doesn't listen to anybody or anything. He openly dismisses any authority by way of using his own. Best exemplified when he immediately bonds with Courtney, the local troublemaker at Coal Hill School. Might lend credence to the theories that Twelve is something of a cheeky teenager pretending to be an old jaded man.
- Cultured Badass: As if his outfit didn't make it obvious enough, Twelve quickly establishes himself as one by renovating the TARDIS: bookshelves, furniture, a fireplace, and a warmer color scheme — all similar to the Eighth Doctor's console room.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Clad in darker attire, he's rather stoic, introverted and doesn't care much about human relationships, but he's fond of dry-witted joking and does pay genuine respect to his companion and the people he considers his friends.
- Darker and Edgier: He's a "darker" man than the Eleventh Doctor, to the point Clara can't tell if the Doctor is still the good man she was quite insistent he was in his previous incarnation.
- Deadpan Snarker: Sometimes combined with Gentleman Snarker.
- Defrosting Time Lord: He comes across as grumpy a lot, even to Clara. However, over the course of several adventures and after a few misunderstandings, Clara manages to mellow him out (somewhat). By the end of Series 8, he's become a more kinder and considerate man, even if his introversion and alienness often get the better of him. In a more interesting turn of events, he's oddly sweet and nice to children right from the get go, even though he maintains a "grumpy, disinterested grandfather" facade in front of them.
- Determined Expression: For his brief moment in "The Day of the Doctor", he gives a determined Kubrick Stare.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: With his vacant stares, late-night dementia ("Who invented this room?! There's only a bed in it!"), and vagueness with names ("The green one" for Vastra and "the not green one" for Jenny — or is it vice versa?), Twelve is initially more reminiscent of an Alzheimer's-riddled senior than the newly-hatched goofballs of "Robot", "The Christmas Invasion", or "The Eleventh Hour". It's equal parts funny and troubling.
- Driving Question: "Am I a good man?". The Twelfth Doctor seems to be having something of an identity crisis now that he's escaped death once more, and even received a new regeneration cycle into the bargain. The fact that he survived against all odds and narrowly won for the sake of much grief and loss of people he loved had apparently made him question his life up until this incarnation. Hence his recurring doubts about who he really is at heart, and what he should stand for. By the end of Series 8, though, he finally seems to be finding his footing. note
- Dr. Jerk: Despite his namesake, he's much less empathetic than previous incarnations.
- E = MC Hammer: Twelve's preferred spot in the TARDIS is in front of a chalkboard, jotting down bizarre equations. It follows that his companion would be a teacher.
- Fantastic Racism: This Doctor really doesn't like Daleks. However when he's confronted with a Dalek that appears to have changed its moral compass from evil to good, he seems to be actively hoping that he's at last found a Dalek that has permanently changed of its own initiative; when he finds out it hasn't (it was just an internal radiation leak affecting the brain chemistry) he feels validated in his beliefs that a good Dalek is impossible (which earns him a slap from Clara because he's enjoying it a little too much).
- Foil: Is just as strange and alien as Eleven, but with much more intensity and much less empathy.
- For Science!: Twelve seeks to prove a monster's existence in "Listen" not out of altruism or necessity, but scientific curiosity. Or if Clara's to be believed, a need to prove that he's not afraid.
- Friend to All Children: In a completely different way than Eleven. Eleven would often act like a child and join in their fun and games. Twelve is more an encouraging big brother figure, and takes on the youngest solo companion to date: Courtney, who's only 15.
- Friendship Moment:
- Plenty of them with his companion.
- He and the Master have a long-overdue talk about their friendship and their need for each other. It really helps Twelve understand what he is in relation to her, and he thanks her for it with a very sweet kiss on the lips. Even so, the Doctor disagrees with the Master deeply and is trying to be kind more out of pity than anything else.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Perhaps in response to criticisms that Eleven was using the sonic screwdriver too often and for too many things, Twelve uses it sparingly and comes up with clunky-looking, cobbled-together gadgets whenever he needs to do anything more complex than popping a lock. These devices still have a few kinks to work out, and they often break after one use or don't work as planned.
- Genre Savvy: He's fully aware Clara is his Morality Chain, and goes out of his way to praise her when she censures his behavior.
The Doctor: Do I really not pay you?
Clara: You couldn't afford me.
- Gentleman and a Scholar: His bookish-minded redecoration of the TARDIS control room, general seriousness and sternness and Third Doctor-like aloof, aristocratic outward persona that hides an occasional sweet side, certainly point to this trope. In a subversion, he's definitely on the cloudcuckoolander side of "gentleman".
- Girly Run: Seems to be a recurring thing with characters played by Peter Capaldi (Malcolm Tucker immediately comes to mind), but Twelve tends to run in a manner that seems designed to 1) keep his posture as straight as possible and 2) be entirely unsuited to the act of running itself.
- Good Is Not Nice: Twelve is not particulary polite or affable, as his recent predecessors were. He's very no-nonsense, often to a fault. But he'll do everything in his power to help you or save you, and won't make much of a fuss about it.
- Cruel to Be Kind: Sometimes, he acts strict and stern to others in order to snap them back to their senses when he needs them to be brave. This extends to his companion. Even after he offers Clara help in "Dark Water", he is initially feigning annoyance in front of her, so she'll stop sobbing and pick up her courage. As he notes, he needs her to be strong, because both of them will have to work together to their fullest if they want to save Danny.
- Got Volunteered: Kate informs the Doctor that, in the event of a worldwide alien "incursion", U.N. protocol automatically and unilaterally promotes him to President of Earth. His word is law — literally, in this case. The Doctor gets a private jet (which gets shot down), some joint chiefs (dunces), and a wall of flatscreens to keep him up-to-date on events (such as Missy escaping and disintegrating the guards).
- Grandpa, What Massive Hotness You Have: In "Listen", Clara comments that his accent is a panty-peeler in her eyes. Cue an implied facepalm from the Doctor.
- Grumpy Bear: The Doctor is a little more curmudgeonly in this incarnation. He argues with everybody, from his companions to authority figures. He even gets into a snarking match with Robin Hood.
- Grumpy Old Man: When Twelve first gets a chance to see his reflection he notes how his face is "all covered in lines" and is all "frowning".
- Guile Hero: Lampshaded by Clara in "Flatline"
Clara: Rule number one about being the Doctor, use your enemy's power against them.
- Hates Being Touched: Hugging is not in this Doctor's wheelhouse. He has absolutely no idea what to do with his hands. Clara seems to perversely enjoy tackle-hugging him into submission as he writhes around the console room, clawing and fidgeting out of her grasp. In "Dark Water", when Missy kisses him, he freezes completely up in shock.
- Eventually subverted, however. Apparently, the real reason he doesn't like hugs is not so much grouchiness but that "it's just a way to hide your face", in keeping with the whole Beneath the Mask theme he has going on... he's still somewhat awkward, but c'mon, Missy is his arch-enemy...
- Heroic Self-Deprecation:
- When confronted with "The Architect" who wants him to rob the bank, Twelve immediately hates him. Because he's pompous, manipulative, and overbearing. That's how the Doctor finds out he was the Architect in the first place.
- Calls himself explicitly "an idiot" in later episodes and is often willing to break the ice and admit he feels ashamed for some of his decisions and actions.
- He Who Fights Monsters: The Doctor — who has killed very many Cybermen and Daleks and orchestrated the deaths of others — is now 2000 years old and getting meaner every year. Just as Rusty the Dalek had an epiphany ("Life prevails") the Doctor learned over the years that evil/bad/nasty/vile things also frequently triumph.
- History Repeats: The Twelfth Doctor and the First Doctor both started out on Doctor Who as relatively aged Doctors, have school teachers from Coal Hill School as companions, and don’t know how to fly the TARDIS.
- And both Hartnell and Capaldi were 55 when starting as the Doctor.
- Like the Sixth Doctor, he's also the "darker" successor of the Doctor played by the youngest actor in the role at the time. The actors for both have also appeared in the show in other roles prior to becoming the Doctor.
- Both Capaldi's and Pertwee's Doctors follow on from the Time Lords interfering in the regeneration cycle, are significantly older in appearance than their companions, display remarkable rudeness, have an emotional reaction to their new eyebrows and favour dark clothing with red for spot colour - Twelve's suit and Three's signature opera cloak.
- Also, a relatively young incarnation enters a brutal, devastating centuries-long war which ages him into an old man. He regenerates after the war into a middle-aged incarnation who is rather rude and bitter, but still a very good person at heart. Question: Are we talking about The War and Ninth Doctors or the Eleventh and Twelfth?
- Like Seven, he's a pragmatic person looking at the bigger picture, while his companion has gained increased prominence in story importance and screentime.
- Hugh Mann: His idea of blending into North London is wearing an orange coat in the same cut and length as his blue one, and hanging placards reading "GO AWAY HUMANS" instead of the modest Keep Out sign he intended. ("The Caretaker")
- Humans Through Alien Eyes: He's the most alien out of all the revival series Doctors.
- Humble Hero: For all his pragmatism, he utilises this trope almost suicidally at one point. He effectively takes the bullet for Maisie Pitt in "Mummy on the Orient Express", despite it looking like he was willing to let her die at first. Luckily, once he diverts the threat's attention to him instead of Maisie, he succeeds in stopping it once and for all.
- Hurting Hero: Twelve grimly accepts the constant death that surrounds his adventures and that there are some people he just can't save, and instead focuses on the people that he does have a chance of saving. This however gives the people he encounters in his adventures the impression he's heartless.
"We can’t mourn. People with guns to their heads, they cannot mourn. We do not have time to mourn."
- Iconic Item: His chalkboard.
- Icy Blue Eyes: Made all the more prominent by his stare.
- If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: Stops Clara from killing the Master/Mistress in the finale episode of Series 8. He understands her anger and thinks she's justified, but he doesn't want his beloved companion to become a killer (especially after all the awful experiences she's already been through). The Master keeps twisting the blade by mocking the Doctor, gloating that "he wanted to save Clara's poor little soul".
- I Have No Idea What I'm Doing: He starts his life deciding that the TARDIS is probably crashing before asking Clara how to fly it.
- I'm Not a Hero, I'm...: Twelve is extremely prickly about this, insisting that he's "just passing the time" and isn't interested in heroism. Also, though he brags from time to time, he's much less pompous and vocal about his own exploits than any previous incarnation of the Doctor, hinting at a newly gained bit of maturity.
- Improbable Weapon User: He doesn't need a sword to duel Robin Hood... he's got a spoon.
- Indy Ploy: Seems somewhat fond of them so far, even counting on others to participate.
- When trapped inside a Dalek, he calls on Clara to do "something clever".
- From "Time Heist":
Saibra: That's your plan? A "thing" will happen?
- Innocently Insensitive: This incarnation's tendency towards No Social Skills and alienness frequently leads to this.
- He often slips up in interactions with others, by seemingly not realising where the boundary between being sarcastic and being rude to people lies.
- The way he treats Danny in "The Caretaker" suggests that he was teasing him and making jabs at him in what he considered a playful way, but to Danny, Clara and everyone else, it just seems like he's being a jerk for no logical reason. The Doctor later begrudgingly backpedals on this, even if he doesn't directly apologise until he tries (and fails) to do it in the finale episode. That he keeps nicknaming Danny "P.E." even as he's dying doesn't help...
- While his decision to avoid helping solve the problem in "Kill the Moon" is ultimately based on good intentions, he doesn't realise until the very end that he scared and insulted his companion and guest and acted in a way that might seem very haughty and patronising towards humanity. The latter is a particularly sad take on this, as he was convinced he's doing humans a favour by honouring their free will and independent decision-making.
- Insult of Endearment: Mockingly calls humans "pudding brains" on lots of occassions, but he does it in a cheeky way instead of being mean-spirited.
- Insufferable Genius: Every Doctor is an insufferable genius, but Twelve has to take the cake.
The Doctor: I hate being wrong in public. Everyone forget that happened.
- Intelligence Equals Isolation: This Doctor is basically not nice to anyone at all unless their name is Clara Oswald. He makes an effort to be warm, but impertinence and ignorance severely test his temper.
- Internal Homage: His clothing and serious demeanour call to mind the Third Doctor.
- I Was Quite a Fashion Victim: He opts not to go for the scarf look again, and finds bow ties embarrassing. However, First Doctor-esque ribbon ties are okay for a special occasion.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: This Doctor is grumpy, abrasive, rude, egotistical, and rather apathetic. He is also very devoted to his companions and friends, still thinks humans are very important (being very explicit about it while alone with the Half-faced Man in "Deep Breath"), and ultimately tries to be the best man he can be. And he does question his own actions surprisingly often.
- Kleptomaniac Hero: In "Listen", when he steals a security guard's cup of coffee.
- Knight in Sour Armor: Might be a bit too aloof to others at times, but as he notes in his introductory episode, people are never small to him. He might snark at you without remorse, but he'll always treat you with respect and will do his best to help those in need. And though he vocally doubts and even dismisses it at one point, he likes to keep up hope for the Daleks being curable of their evil and obsession with destruction. ("If I could turn one Dalek, I could turn them all...")
- Kubrick Stare: Fond of these, using them in The Day of the Doctor, during the Series 8 trailer, and in the opening credits.
- Lean and Mean: The angular outfit accentuates his round head and skinny body, giving the appearance of a "stick insect" according to Clara.
- Leitmotif: Has a currently unnamed one which is similar to "I Am The Doctor".
- Man Child: Twelve is rude to almost everyone around him, but sometimes shows a more caring side, and when alone he spends most of his time brooding. In essence, he is a rebellious teenager in the body of a grown man.
- Merlin and Nimue: The Doctor unconsciously groomed Clara to replace him as the TARDIS' resident sociopath, to his later regret; "You let me down."
- Morality Chain: Clara is his, more than usual.
- In fact, Clara is fearful of the Doctor travelling alone. In "Listen", his increasing paranoia terrifies her.
- Inverted in "Dark Water" and in the epilogue of "Flatline", where it falls to him to be hers, bringing the motif of role reversals in their relationship arc full circle.
- My Greatest Failure: Is unwilling to discuss what might have driven him to be more open about his personality. In later episodes of Series 8, he is visibly distraught when he realises Clara might have picked up some bad habits from him, and looks decidedly embarassed when Danny rightfully chews him out over his previous behaviour to him.
- Nice Shoes: He wears Loake-style Brogue boots.
- The Nicknamer: He takes to addressing people he's met as "that one" (in Clara's case, the "asking questions one"), or by their appearance ("This is Gun Girl. She's got a gun and she's a girl"). It's unclear whether this is due to his wafer-thin attention span, or if he really cares that little, as shown with "P.E. Teacher" (a.k.a. Danny Pink).
- No Social Skills: While most Doctors fail to grasp social norms they at least have a jovial and friendly attitude to make up for that. Twelve, however, outright seems to consider common courtesies and pleasantries superfluous and a waste of time, so he comes off as more egotistic, callous, and arrogant than his predecessors. It eventually drives Clara away for a brief period.
- Not Distracted by the Sexy: Unlike the Eleventh, who was a bit of a boyish Covert Pervert at times, the Twelfth Doctor has almost zero interest in romance or fancying anyone, to the point that he comes across as asexual. Since his most common interactions are with Clara, one would expect him to acknowledge her femininity and attractiveness occassionally, but his remarks about her appearance always sound completely (and hilariously) clueless. On one ocassion, he apparently can't even tell that she looks to be of a different age than her pupil or him. His friendship with Clara becomes firmly a matter of respect and intellect, not attraction.
- Not So Above It All: A Darker and Edgier Doctor he might be, but he's still the Doctor. Best exemplified when he's seen reading a "Where's Wally?" book in an attempt to connect with a young child, only to be told it's not a "Where's Wally?" book. This ticks off the Doctor, because he apparently thought you could find Wally in literally every book.
- Not So Different: His enemies regularly point out he's just as bad as them.
- Not So Stoic: Underneath the gruff exterior, he's actually the same jovial and kind-hearted fellow he's always been. He just doesn't show it much.
- Oh, Crap: Has a big one when Missy reveals herself to be the Master in "Dark Water".
- OOC Is Serious Business:
- Happens to him in the finale two-parter of Series 8, where he gets to show more of his mellow and vulnerable side. In a moment of grief and anger, after realising the Master had cruelly given him false hope, he calmly walks over to the TARDIS console and then explodes in a fit of pent-up rage, smashing the console with his fists while bursting into tears. Only several scenes after that, we see him and Clara meeting some time later, preparing to part ways. When she hugs him, he overcomes his usual attitudes and returns her hug for the very first time.
- As much as he tries to avoid hugs, he overcomes himself and gives Clara a very kind one before they part ways for a few months) at the end of "Death in Heaven". Earlier in that same episode, though he hates the Master, he surprises her by kissing her and explaining that he nevertheless understands the reasons that drive her to tempt him to do evil. During their later adventure in "Last Christmas", he also begrudgingly accepts Clara giving him a tiny kiss.
- Perpetual Frowner: His brow is constantly furrowed into an unhappy-looking expression.
Doctor: Look at the eyebrows! These are attack eyebrows! You could take bottle tops off with these! They're cross!
- The Power of Friendship: He politely asks Clara to remain his friend if she wants to, and states that he has regrets over previously thinking about the two of them on occasion as something more than just very good friends. The friendship goes well, even with the occasional tension, until Clara has a breakdown and calls it all off after the events of "Kill the Moon". They eventually get back together and try to pick up the pieces of their friendship. While the tension between them doesn't get entirely resolved until the finale of Series 8, they are much kinder to each other after their initial falling out.
- The Power Of Trust: Subverted in "Kill The Moon", where he 'takes the training wheels off' to show Clara she is much stronger willed than she thinks she is. Clara instead tears into the Doctor for ignoring their friendship when she needed him. He did so just to prove a point and that insulted her and her belief that he doesn't look down on humans as a whole.
- Pragmatic Hero: While still trying to do good and help people, he shows a greater willingness to be ruthless and cut his losses in order to complete his goals. If he thinks a bit of collateral damage is unavoidable, he won't go out of his way to prevent it, but rather try to see if there is some way he can use said damage to his advantage anyway.
- Pretend Prejudice: Despite claiming he really hates soldiers, he's decent to quite a few.
- In "Mummy on the Orient Express", the Doctor seems pleased to finally give a semi-immortal soldier who just can't stop fighting peace.
- In "Death in Heaven" he gives the Brigadier the one thing he never got from the Doctor's previous selves: a salute.
- Puny Earthlings:
- "Pudding brains", indeed! He's not particularly nice to the humans he meets, but it is possible for them to eventually gain his respect and praise.
- His solution to the "Tell Courtney she's special" problem is a novelty: When he eventually caves in to Clara's insistence, he doesn't say "Courtney, you're special.". Instead, he says 'Wanna be the first woman on the Moon? That'll be special!'.
- Reaching Towards The Audience: His pose for showcasing his official outfit.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Delivers a pretty heartbreaking one to Clara after she fails her Secret Test of Character. Doesn't mean that he hates her, though. He follows it up immediately with an offer to help, as he sees she's been hurt and needs to get a grip on herself.
- Scottish English: Twelve keeps Capaldi's Scottish accent. At first, during regeneration trauma, he believes that everyone else has gone English (!) while his accent remained unchanged. He's later pleasantly surprised to discover he's Scottish.
Doctor: I've gone Scottish? Oh. Oooohhhhh no, that's good! I'm Scottish. I'm Scottish. I am Scottish. I can complain about things, I can really complain about things now!
- Screw Politeness Im A Senior: The Doctor seems to be enjoying playing up the "forgetful old man" angle just a wee bit.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Twelve favors a rather stylish suit that evokes the Third Doctor without the frills, with a rotation of dress shirts. Sometimes he's wearing the matching vest with his red-lined jacket, sometimes not. ("I was hoping for minimalism — but I think I just came out with magician.") Notably among Doctors he does not sport any kind of neckwear (scarf or tie) at all. The only other Doctors to eschew those items were Five and Nine.
- Sherlock Scan: Takes after Eleven's habit, giving one in "Mummy on the Orient Express".
- Shout-Out: To Malcolm Tucker. When he flashes the Psychic Paper to the 3W curator in "Dark Water", the man asks why there's so much swearing on it. Twelve replies that he has some "pent up" issues he's working on. Tucker was famous for reinventing the swear word on The Thick of It and In the Loop. The "Shuttity up!" lines in other episodes also reference this.
- Slobs Versus Snobs: There is a deliberate class conflict going on between the working class Danny and the "upper class" Doctor. Although this might well just be all in Danny's head/his bad first impression, given that the Doctor is actually pretty anti-authoritarian and (equally mistakenly) seems to think that there is instead Nerds vs. Jocks going on.
- Stable Time Loop: He gives the final push for the salvation of Gallifrey, making it possible for the Time Lords to later allow his existence.
- The Stoic: While Eleven was a hyperactive Sad Clown, Twelve keeps his sense of humor and emotions hidden behind a calm, serious and introverted exterior.
- Strange Syntax Speaker: Known to tag when he's asking or answering a question.
"Question: why do we talk out loud even when we know we're alone?"
"Conjecture: because we know we're not."
- Tempting Fate: His predecessor vowed to never forget one day as being that particular Doctor as part of his Famous Last Words. As soon as he regenerates into Twelve, he temporarily forgets how to fly the TARDIS.
- Thinking Out Loud: Discussed Trope. Twelve theorizes the reason people think aloud is because their subconscious realizes that they're not, in fact, alone and that there's something hiding with them.
- This Banana Is Armed: Better not laugh at an old guy who can send you to the cleaners with a spoon. Robin Hood learned the hard way.
- Thousand-Yard Stare: His post-regeneration empty-eyed stare at Clara after regenerating in "The Time of the Doctor".
- Tranquil Fury: Just acts quietly disappointed in Clara when she betrays his trust in "Dark Water", only to start yelling at the end.
Doctor: You betrayed me. You betrayed my trust. You betrayed our friendship. You betrayed everything that I've ever stood for. YOU LET ME DOWN!
- Twerp Sweating: Gets very fatherly when he finds out Danny is dating Clara.
Danny: I just need to do exactly one thing for you. Doctor, am I right?
Clara: What? What one thing?
Danny: I need to be good enough for you. That's why he's angry. Just in case I'm not.
- Undying Loyalty: For Clara. He explicitly calls her his friend in "Death in Heaven" and she states it as well in that same episode (though not in his presence). Even after she attempts to threaten him in "Deep Water" into saving Danny, he still wants to help her.
- Violent Glaswegian: In "The Caretaker". Decked out in janitor's overalls and insulting humanity left and right, he's like a Time Lord version of Groundskeeper Willie from The Simpsons.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Clara. Though they constantly tease each other, and even get into arguments about conflicting values on occasion, they still care very deeply for one another. The kind and tender moments between them really shine through. The finale of Series 8, when both come face to face with one awful tragedy after another, brings out the best in them as friends. They even both outright declare in front of other people that they are friends, unconditionally, and will never betray each other. (This is particularly heartwarming in light of them both failing each other in their weaker moments in some earlier episodes.)
- Wham Shot: His cameo in "The Day of the Doctor".
- What the Hell, Hero?: Gets called out a lot on his Anti-Hero tendencies.
- Clara gives him an Armor-Piercing Slap in "Into The Dalek" for being happy that the "good" Dalek going on a killing spree reinforces his belief there are no good Daleks.
- Clara shouts him out at the end of "Kill the Moon", for not being her friend when she needed him and for acting patronising towards humanity, just to prove a point. The Doctor is at first baffled by this reaction, but soon realises what he did wrong, despite his good intentions.
- The Doctor returns the favor in "Dark Water", telling Clara she betrayed him and everything their friendship stood for by trying to threaten him into saving Danny by changing time. Of course this is subverted when he adds that he wouldn't let that single thing change how he viewed her.
- Danny gives him crap for being a Boomerang Bigot, as a "commander" who hates soldiers, in "The Caretaker", and later in "Death in Heaven". In the latter case, the Doctor is more willing to admit that it was wrong for him to act that way, but he shows embarassment at most.
- When He Smiles: For all his frowning, whenever his cocky grin shows up he's rather hilarious. When Clara decides to keep travelling with him at the end of "Mummy on the Orient Express", his face melts into an expression of genuine, unfiltered happiness. He's honestly delighted that his companion changed her mind and will keep travelling with him.
- You Look Familiar: Capaldi previously played John Frobisher in Torchwood: Children of Earth, and Caecilius in "The Fires of Pompeii". Even the Doctor acknowledges it.
Doctor: Have you seen this face before? [...] It's funny, because I'm sure I have.
- You Remind Me of X: Unflatteringly tells Clara she reminds him of an old teacher of his (possibly the much-hated Borusa).