The 10 Doctors is a Doctor WhoFan Webcomic by Rich Morris. The comic is especially notable for featuring almost every villain, companion and side character of the entire TV series. The references come thick and fast, so if you don't know the difference between a Renegade Dalek and an Imperial Dalek, be forewarned — but not discouraged.To briefly summarise — the Tenth Doctor, in a bad mood following "The Runaway Bride", has gone to a luxurious world called the Eye of Orion to cheer himself up... only to gradually find eight of his previous selves having all arrived at the same time along with their companions. While they begin to investigate what's going on and why they've been brought together, the Eighth Doctor (the odd one out) is on Gallifrey, investigating mysterious goings-on which seem to involve the recently-disappeared Daleks. And then things get complicated...The story is 247 pages long (plus a few extras along the way) and was posted from March 10, 2007 until May 27, 2009... so in a sense, it could be considered the "official" unofficial Doctor Who 45th-Anniversary Special.It can be read online, or downloaded in PDF format.For other works by this author, see Rich's ComixBlog and Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic.
The 10 Doctors provides examples of the following tropes:
Two: If I lose, I and everything I ever did gets stamped out of existence, plunging all into chaos and allowing you the opportunity to restructure it to your own liking, turning it all into your own, massive playroom with all living things as your toys to entertain you for all eternity. After shutting down Omega's Gate and trapping him in his own anti-space, of course. Toymaker: And if you win... you want your freedom. That is all? Two: That's all I need. Miss a turn.
The first thing Five says to Four is "So you've decided to join us this time, have you?" Tom Baker, of course, has consistently refused to reprise his role as the Fourth Doctor in any of the multi-Doctor episodes (unless you count "Dimensions in Time", and even then he just spoke some lines into a microphone).
At one point, Seven mentions he thinks it would be better if they all worked on solving the mystery alone, as "too many bakers spoil a crust". Four looks vaguely alarmed, and Six demands to know what he's talking about.
Three and Six depart for Gallifrey together, and Six mentions that saving the planet from themselves would be "the ultimate adventure, you might say." Both Jon Pertwee and Colin Baker played their respective incarnations of the Doctor in the 1989 stage play The Ultimate Adventure.
Peri asks Six if he and Maxil are related, and Six scoffs at this notion. Of course, both characters were played by the same actor. Six later asks "Could you picture me as a stranger, Miss Brown?" in reference to BBV's video series The Stranger, in which Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant played the Stranger and Miss Brown.
Six tells Four "It's a wonder I got more than seven years out of you."
Most of the Doctors bicker, but Two and Three are definitely the worst. (Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee enjoyed pretending to hate each other at fan conventions.)
Ten calls Four an "arrogant overbearing smartass" during their goodbyes, probably referring to the end of Tom Baker's tenure when he became incredibly difficult to work with on-set.
Ten is especially glad to see Five, referencing how David Tennant became an actor entirely in the hopes that he might get to play the Doctor, after his adoration of Five's episodes in his childhood. Keep in mind that The 10 Doctors was written well before "Time Crash".
However, the end was uploaded after "Time Crash", and in said end Ten says he hopes to see Five again, and Five responds with this gem...
In one of the appendixes, the Doctors are shown singing Christmas Carols with all of their Companions. In Four's panel, he's seen kissing Romana. Tom Baker (the Fourth Doctor) married Lalla Ward (Romana).
Arc Words: In Page 54, there's a throwback to the "Bad Wolf" storyline in the second panel, which focuses on Nine.
Ascended Meme: From one fan work to another! During a scene where Two needs assistance performing a TARDIS function that requires two Time Lords, he uses willpower to create a "temporary manifestation" of a future incarnation. As he doesn't want it to be "that unhelpful, smug buffoon" (Three), he modifies the projection to be "different enough from me, but not yet him." The result, who stays for the remainder of the story, is the Second-and-a-Halfth Doctor (Tony Garner) from the Who fan film Devious, which has inexplicably been in Development Hell since 1996.
Balance Between Order and Chaos: When the Guardians reveal that, while Davros is the Champion of Order and the Master is the Champion of Chaos, the Doctor effectively sets himself up as the Champion of Happy Medium.
Big Bad: At some point during the story this may seem like the Master, the Cybermen, the Renegade Daleks, the Imperial Daleks, Omega, the Toymaker, the Rani, the Valeyard, the War Chief, Dalek Ahn, Dalek Tor, or the Sontarans. But nope, it's actually the Black and White Guardians. Or it could be the Meddling Monk, who appears at the end to try and stop the Time War but unalterably changes the Doctor. Of course, this status could be unjustified.
Big Damn Heroes: It turns out this was Nine's entire job for most of the story — he skipped ahead in time and zapped back and forth to play the hero throughout. Four also performs a great one.
While dangling from a ship by his trademark scarf, Four reflects that one of these days, that plan is going to fail him. And it did, in "Logopolis".
The Dalek / Cybermen "negotiations" play out almost exactly as they do in "Doomsday", and Romana mentions "jiggery-pokery class" at the Academy.
Cartoony Eyes: The characters switch between these and relatively realistic ones, depending on whether or not they're in the background or foreground. Most notable with Five, whose Cartoony Eyes are dots.
Combat Pragmatist: Leela. She stabs the Valeyard with a knife, and attempted to stab him again while he was regenerating, only to be held back by the Doctor. A non-continuity strip has her repeatedly stab him, killing off each regeneration one by one. After drawing it, Rich found it too violent and replaced it.
Continuity Lockout: Masterfully averted. While the story is at parts a lot easier to understand (and definitely a lot easier to predict) if you have a huge memory of all things Doctor Who, the continuity references don't actually get in the way of the plotline, and plenty of positive reviews have come from readers with only a smattering of Whovian knowledge. Even for the more obscure characters, a quick wikipedia search will have all the relevant information in the first few lines.
Drax is doing a tech raid on the very same Dalek ship that Nine is trapped on. He rescues Nine and K-9, and ends up being completely crucial to the plot.
Dr. Grace Holloway is working at the very same hospital that Sarah Jane and Jamie take Romana II to, meaning that Grace also gets caught up in the plot. Even more coincidentally, it's the same hospital that then-future companion Martha Jones works at, so at the end of the story, Romana II points the Tenth Doctor in its direction after having felt an alien presence there, thus leading directly to "Smith and Jones".
Creator Cameo: Rich, his wife, and their daughter appear briefly as Muggles watching Five's fighter buzz a city.
Crisis Crossover: Of the Doctor Who fanfic variety, anyway. A lot of aliens, companions, allies, and villains from both classic and new Doctor Who an appearance. Notable with a ridiculously huge battle over the skies of Earth that includes Ice Warriors, Draconians, Sontarans, Movellans, Rutans, Renegade Daleks, Imperial Daleks, (several incarnations of) the Doctor, the Master, etc.
Development Gag: Maxil takes a TARDIS over to the Renegade Dalek ship to apprehend Six, reflecting Colin Baker's idea to have Maxil arrest Six during "Trial of a Time Lord". (And if you recall, Baker played both characters at different times on the show.)
Did Not Do the Bloody Research: Averted. On one page, an enraged Nine calls his other selves "tossers". Rich is actually Canadian, but he also knew full well how rude the word is in the UK.
Rich: I knew how rude the word was, having English parents and relatives. The scene is one of ultimate despair for the 9th Doctor and all his previous incarnations are playing into the hands of the enemy. It seemed that he was the Doctor who would snap and get rude at such a time.
Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: Having been trapped in the Toymaker's pocket universe, Two tricks the Toymaker into a game of Crazy Eights, then wins freedom by cheating using the Toymaker's own rules. Omega is not pleased.
Foregone Conclusion: Given what we know about when the Doctors and companions came from and when this story is set, a reader can safely assume that Susan, Jo, Sarah Jane, K9 Mks. II and IV, Romana, Tegan, Turlough, Peri, Rose, Jack, the Brigadier, and the Doctors will all survive. It's more unclear with Jamie, Zoe, Leela, K9 Mk. I, Nyssa, Glitz, Mel, Ace, and Grace, but they survive anyway.
A Form You Are Comfortable With: The Guardians say that their appearances change with the needs of their desired champions. In the story proper, both Guardians manifest as attractive humanoid women in order to toy with Ten's need for meaningful companionship, and in a flashback, the White Guardian manifests to Davros as a military officer. It's also mentioned that their appearances as doddery old men in "The Ribos Operation" and "The Armageddon Factor" played off of Four's need for an authority figure.
Doctors One through Eight also feel this way about Nine, wondering just what could have happened to make him into such a hard-edged, bitter, cynical person. Of course what none of them know is that he carries the guilt of having to effectively destroy the Time Lord race at the end of his Eighth incarnation at the close of the Last Great Time War.
Gag Boobs: Peri, just like usual. She's even referred to as "the one with the boobs".
Gambit Pileup: At first it looks like the story is a plot by the Sontarans to get the various alien races of the galaxy to attack the Daleks and begin the Time War, only to find out it's really a plan by the Master and his cloned Sontaran army. Which is then revealed to be a plot by the Valeyard to cause all-out war and let him take over Gallifrey. Which is then revealed to be a plot by Omega to cause the universe to be destroyed and then reshaped in his image. Which is in turn a plot by the Guardians of Time to force the Tenth Doctor to choose between eternal entropy or eternal order. Which the Ninth Doctor stops via a plan of his own involving nine duplicates of himself meeting up and causing the Clock Roaches to eat the Big Bads. Whew. And that's not counting the roles the Rani, Davros, Dalek Ahn, the Toymaker, the War Chief, and Mortimus (the Meddling Monk) play in all this.
Gambit Roulette: As mentioned above, there's a number of tables going at once, but special mention must be made of Omega, who piggybacked onto a bunch of other people's plans in an effort to destroy One so that he and the actions of his successors would be removed from all time.
Groin Attack: The Rani deals with Glitz the same way she did the Master.
Have We Met Yet?: Happens quite a bit, and it's inevitable with all the time traveling and multiple incarnations of the same fellow gallivanting about, but it's especially notable with this gem:
Mel: (via radio) Doctor! How are you? It's me, Mel! Five: Mel? I don't know a "Mel".
Hoist by His Own Petard: The Valeyard, believing only Daleks or Time Lords have the potential to be the supreme beings but both unable to reach it (with the Time Lords being too pacifistic and stopping the Daleks all the time), creates Time Daleks out of Leela's several half-human, half-Time Lord children. He then tries to threaten the Time Daleks' mom. You can probably guess what happens next.
Dalek Ahn: EXTERMINATE!
I Choose to Stay: Instead of returning to London, Grace tells Eight that she is going to join Nyssa on Terminus.
Maxil, although it's played with. He kills Damon in cold blood and does many bad things on the Valeyard's orders, convinced that it's all for the greater good. Later, he does lead the Citadel Guards against the Time Daleks after discovering the Valeyard's true plans. After the battle, he admits to Six that he intends to steal a TARDIS and flee Gallifrey for a while to clear his head. But Ten still calls Maxil out for Damon's murder, and says that he knows for a fact that Maxil will eventually suffer for his sins.
The Rani. Putting aside her behaviour on the rest of the show, she kidnaps the companions and gives them to the Cybermen, and later reveals that she had some sort of arrangement with Glitz and Davros to ensure her own safety. She later does work with Seven to defeat the Daleks, but only after she's been betrayed by Davros. By the end of the story, she attends the party on the Eye of Orion, becomes one of Drax's companions, and pretty much gets off scot-free (aside from losing her own TARDIS).
Two: I win, Toymaker. Toymaker: What??? Impossible! You cheated! Two: Oh? Perhaps I did. But the last time we played, you showed me that cheating is still within the laws of your universe. So by breaking the rules, I still obeyed them. Ergo...I still win. QED. Goodbye. Omega: What is this? I WILL DESTROY YOU!
Mind Rape: Part of what the Keeper is doing to his "experiments".
Ms. Fanservice: Peri, of course, has a considerably more revealing neckline than the rest of the female companions.
Ten has the power to stop the entire Time War from ever occurring by giving the Daleks' attack strategies to Eight. He doesn't.
So the entire reason the Time Lords lost the Time War is that the Valeyard, which the Time Lords created in the first place, killed one Time Lord before he could get the Daleks' attack strategies to the Doctor. If this hadn't happened, the war would have been much less destructive, the Time Lords and Gallifrey would still be around, and the events of The End of Time would never have happened. So it's the Time Lords' fault they got into the Time War, which isn't too surprising.
Not So Different: The Daleks scan the Sixth Doctor's energy and conclude he's not at all like the kind and merciful Doctor, but instead their violent mastermind Keeper, the Valeyard. Six decides to roll with it.
The Master has just enough time to realise how screwed he is before Nyssa takes out his fighter.
Two and Two-and-a-Halfimmediately make a panicked break for the TARDIS when Glitz shoots Omega with a stun blast of pure matter.
A funny one happens when Ten realizes he's been paired up with the First Doctor.
One Steve Limit: As it would be very difficult to have ten-er, elev-er, ten and a half characters named "the Doctor" running around, many of the Doctors are referred to by their incarnation.
Order Versus Chaos: It's eventually revealed that the whole thing has been masterminded by the Black and White Guardians, who have decided that the universe can no longer exist in a state of imbalance and want the Doctor to choose whether it falls to absolute order or chaos. Nine and Ten decide that the Guardians aren't doing a lot to help the balance themselves, and feed them both to the Reapers.
The 10 Doctors merge their consciousnesses, experiencing each others' memories past and future. Then, combined into one mighty Doctor, they face off against the Dalek conditioning. Y'know, written down, that sounds stupid.
Sequel Hook: Most plot threads are wrapped up in a rather conclusive manner, except Dalek Ahn escaping. Rich admitted this was a deliberate hook for a possible future story.
Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The Monk wants to prevent the outcome of the Time War, since the only reason Eight's double genocide was necessary in the first place was Damon being murdered by Maxil under the Valeyard's orders due to the Time Lord Council's meddling.
Shown Their Work: Holy crap has he. The author's even pointed out exactly where and when all the Doctors and their companions are coming from.
Summon Bigger Fish: Quite a few villains are defeated or set back by one or other Doctor summoning their arch enemies, but the best example of this trope comes towards the end, when Nine and Ten unleash the Reapers on the Guardians.
Take a Third Option: The Black and White Guardians demand that the Doctor choose between one of them, condemning the universe either to strict, stifling, perfect Order or the mass destruction of perfect Chaos. Have they watched the show?
Taking You with Me: Omega plans to do this to the Doctor if the Toymaker fails. After Glitz hits Omega with a matter laser blast, Omega settles for the Toymaker instead.
Timey-Wimey Ball: Mentioned by name as to how all ten Doctors can be in one place at the same time.
Ten: It's... squishy-squashy... Seven: Wibbly wobbly. Six: Semi-fluid! Five: Gelatinous. Nine: Mushy-gooey. Drax: Higgledy piggledy. Four: Hi-ho the dairy-o! Romana II: Green grow the rushes-o! One: Alright, you lot!
After a bit of exposition, One eventually caves and calls it "timey-wimey".
What Could Have Been: In the complete .pdf, Rich Morris includes an appendix with sketches of how some scenes would have originally played out, including Leela stabbing the Valeyard through the last of his regenerations until he dissolves into a puddle of goo. It's exactly as disturbing as it sounds.
Five: You know, if actual lives weren't involved, this would almost be exhilarating. Four: What, clones, mutants, androids, and blobby things? I don't think any of them count.
Which Me?: To save themselves from confusion, the Doctors refer to each other by incarnation number. That doesn't stop them from occasionally referring to their other selves in the first person, though.
Three: (after hearing someone break open the door) Who was it? Four: (referring to Six) Just me. Six: Just me? Hmph.
Xanatos Speed Chess: Six pretending to be the Keeper to fool the Renegade Daleks. He keeps it up past several interruptions, constantly improvises to keep the upper hand, and eventually gets them to land on Mechanus, where the Mechonoids promptly destroy them.
You Can't Go Home Again: Nine and Ten suffer this trope the hardest, obviously. Still, the disruption to the timeline allows them to successfully travel to Eight's Gallifrey in order to investigate the mystery. They can't stick around, however.
You Just Told Me: A variation. The Supreme Renegade Dalek assumes that Six is the Keeper, but has its suspicions. Six magnificently turns these suspicions back around on the Dalek and invokes a Trust Password to find out who the Keeper is. This explainins how Six (who is pre-"Trial of a Time Lord") is later able to tell Four about the Valeyard.
Dalek: Your appearance has changed! Six: So has yours. Dalek: My identity is not in question! Six: Oh, I think it is. How do I know you aren't one of Davros' children, hmm? Trying to trick me into betraying the true Daleks. Painting up their ugly white carapaces to resemble the true masters of the universe... but they got you wrong, haven't they? Only the special envoy of the Emperor himself wears gold livery like this. Sector Commanders are black— Dalek: I was sent by the Emperor to replace the sector commander who was destroyed in battle. Six: Then prove it! Who is the Keeper and how do you know me?
You're Mad: Ten's reaction to the Keeper's plan. When Eight sees it, he says almost the exact same thing.
Ten: You're barmy! Bonkers! Totally flip-noggan twitters and shakes mad! Valeyard: You think so? We shall see when the universe is firmly under my control. Ten: That won't change the fact that you're a loonie.