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Ninth Doctor
"I'm a Time Lord. I'm the last of the Time Lords. They're all gone. I'm the only survivor. I'm left travelling on my own, 'cos there's no one else."

First appearance: "Rose" (2005)
Regeneration story: "The Parting of the Ways" (2005)

Played by: Christopher Eccleston (2005)
Voiced by: Pete Walsh (2020)

"Do you know like we were sayin'? About the Earth revolving? It's like when you're a kid. The first time they tell you that the world's turning and you just can't quite believe it 'cos everything looks like it's standin' still. I can feel it. The turn of the Earth. The ground beneath our feet is spinnin' at 1,000 miles an hour and the entire planet is hurtling around the sun at 67,000 miles an hour, and I can feel it. We're fallin' through space, you and me, clinging to the skin of this tiny little world, and if we let go... That's who I am."

The brooding, but very sassy veteran and the sole remaining Time Lord in the universe after the Last Great Time War. Riddled with Survivor Guilt from his memories of the Time War, the Ninth Doctor was dark, cynical, 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, and that he was a (reluctant) optimist at his core. Prone to mood swings, switching between a likable clown and Jerkass within the breadth of the same conversation. Perhaps reflecting his less carefree mindset, Nine is the most normally dressed incarnation of the Doctor, with close-cropped hair, a wristwatch, Timberlands, and beat-up leather jacket befitting a much more street-smart Doctor than previous or later versions, one who notes he doesn't "do domestic". As time went on, however, his desire to travel with others would be reignited after meeting a young woman named Rose Tyler, which benefitted greatly to his healing process. After coming face to face with his oldest enemies, the Daleks, and almost being forced into the same Sadistic Choice he was at the end of the Time War, he preformed a Heroic Sacrifice the Fifth would be proud of when he saved Rose at the cost of his own life. Despite his pain and anger, Nine died at peace as a generally fantastic Doctor, transforming into a more energetic figure to reflect his Character Development.

In terms of television, Nine has had the shortest regular tenure out of all the Doctors, with just 13 episodes broadcast in a single season. The only others shorter than his are the Eighth Doctor's three onscreen appearances, and the War Doctor's three, the latter of which (plus Eight's second) were all contained within the Eleventh Doctor's era. Counting Paul McGann and John Hurt's work as the Doctor for Big Finish, Eccleston officially becomes the shortest-tenured actor in the role, dropping behind John Hurt's combined fifteen episodes. It is also probable that in the Doctor's own timeline, the Ninth is also chronologically the shortest lived in terms of time spent between regenerations. The fast, almost realtime pace of the Ninth Doctor's only season and the constant presence of companions left very little room for extended off-screen activities between episodes. Word of God has stated that at the beginning of the series, the Ninth was still fairly new (to stress that he wasn't the one who fought in the Time War), especially since he was just finding out what he looked like.note  Also, the Ninth was the least touched upon Doctor in expanded media for a long time, though luckily Titan Comics and Big Finish are breathing new life into the Ninth Doctor's adventures.

Despite Christopher Eccleston having been reluctant to reprise the role for many years, in a surprise announcement in 2020, Big Finish revealed that they finally managed to get him to do so. Eccleston thus began a whole new era as Nine, the first batch of which was released in May 2021. He is also set to appear in Big Finish's 60 Year Anniversary special, "Once and Future", meaning that a multi-Doctor story featuring Eccleston as Nine is finally going to happen, though perhaps not in the medium most people expected.

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Tropes associated with the television series

  • 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!
  • Anti-Hero: Perhaps the clearest example appears in "The End of the World", where he prevents the escape of Lady Cassandra and impassively watches as her frame of skin bursts apart horribly, coldly ignoring Rose's request to heed the villain's pleas for mercy.
  • Arch-Enemy: The Slitheen family and the Daleks. The former appear in three episodes near the beginning and the end of his era, as well as in expanded universe media. Meanwhile, the latter are the direct representation of his past as the sole survivor of the Last Great Time War and act as the biggest point of focus for his era's examination of the blurry lines between himself and his enemies.
  • The Atoner: For the Time War.
  • Awesome Anachronistic Apparel: Averted, though Captain Jack notes that in World War II, his outfit makes him resemble a U-Boat captain.
  • 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?"
    • This exchange where the Doctor stands up to the Daleks, who have Rose as a prisoner. The Doctor is without any leverage. If the Daleks had boots, they would be shaking in them.
    Dalek: We have your associate. You will obey or she will be exterminated.
    The Doctor: No.
    Dalek: Explain yourself.
    The Doctor: I said no.
    Dalek: What is the meaning of this negative?
    The Doctor: It means no!
    Dalek: But she will be destroyed
    The Doctor: No! 'Cause this is what I'm going to do: I'm going to rescue her! I'm going to save Rose Tyler from the middle of the Dalek fleet, and then I'm going to save the Earth, and then, just to finish off, I'm going to wipe every last stinking Dalek out of the sky!
    Dalek: But you have no weapons! No defences! No plan!
    The Doctor: Yeah! And doesn't that scare you to death?
    The Doctor: Rose?
    Rose: Yes, Doctor?
    The Doctor: I'm coming to get you.
  • Berserk Button: Suffering from PTSD and survivor's guilt, the Ninth Doctor goes into a fit of rage whenever confronted about The Time War.
    • Daleks. His first encounter with one after the Time War is enough to briefly drive him Axe-Crazy.
    • Someone trying to claim they're Just Following Orders. A member of the Game Station staff does this in "Bad Wolf", and his response is Tranquil Fury.
      The Doctor: And with that sentence you just lost the right to even talk to me. So BACK OFF!
  • 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 centre of attention and plotting out how to deal with the crisis.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Despite his reputation for being one of the more prickly and standoffish incarnations, Nine is a very pleasant and approachable individual to be around. It makes it really notable when he drops his friendly behaviour and shows how dark and terrifying his rage can get.
  • Big Damn Kiss: With Jack and with Rose. Both are tremendously sweet and emotional.
  • Big Eater: Implied. In the novel "Winner Takes All", Rose notes that, when she and Jackie finally get Nine to sit down to a meal with them, he eats three sandwiches, two cups of tea, and two cakes. The audio story "Retail Therapy" shows us the Doctor happily gobbling down bacon sandwiches with Rose, as well as gulping a cup of tea down in one go (gargling it with two lumps of sugar). In the comic story "The Lost Dimension", he happily helps himself to a huge slice of lemon cake and slurps down his tea without asking Madame Vastra first (though she doesn't mind in the slightest). Also gets his plate of turkey confiscated while dining with orphans because he took two slices in "The Empty Child". Somewhat justified in that we rarely see any incarnation of the Doctor really slow down enough to eat a meal, and with all that running, he likely works up an appetite. Also, it's karma from a very long time ago as the Third Doctor, when he forbade Jo Grant to eat from a sandwich platter, and immediately afterward ate from it.
  • Black Sheep: Amongst the incarnations of the Doctor, along with the War Doctor. While all other incarnations tend to dress strangely and have weird quirks, the Ninth Doctor is a PTSD-suffering veteran who dresses in a black leather jacket and is prone to violent outbursts. In many ways, he's one of the more "real" incarnations of the Doctor. However, Nine doesn't seem to suffer any significant animosity from his other incarnations, and is recognized as a "true" Doctor by the others, rather than being rejected like the War Doctor.
  • Break the Badass: Discovering a Dalek survivor: he instantly goes from "forget about Van Statten, I'm here to help" to complete and utter panic. Even when he gets over his terror, he spends the episode as truly out of control as we ever see him.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: The Doctor says the word "danced" in a posh Southern English accent instead of his usual Northern accent when replying to Rose's question on whether he "dances":
    Doctor: You just assume that I don't dance.
    Rose: What, are you telling me you do dance?
    Doctor: Nine hundred years old, me. I've been around a bit. I think you can assume at some point I've dahnced.
  • Broken Ace: 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. His guilt becomes even more apparent with the revelation his previous incarnation was the War Doctor.
  • Byronic Hero: Zigzagged depending on the episode. Remember, this is the proceeding incarnation of the Doctor who had recently wiped out his entire home planet, the entire Dalek army, and his own kind (supposedly)to save all of time. This left him haunted, traumatized, and aggressive showing regret for the choice he made that day. However, this is still The Doctor who won't bat an eye to save people's lives.
  • 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 for 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. note 
  • The Cameo:
    • He briefly appears (via Stock Footage, due to Eccelston's refusal to return for the 50th Anniversary Special) in the climax of "The Day of the Doctor", along with the other incarnations of the character. His eyes alone also make a second cameo at the end of the episode, as the War Doctor begins to regenerate. Hurt's eyes fade out, Eccelston's fade in, and the scene ends before the regeneration completes.
    • 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.
    • Eccelston also made an obscure cameo on Blue Peter (Season 46, episode 44, airdate April 4, 2005), where a boy had designed a sculpture of a Dalek out of a compost bin. Nine, fresh from the Time War, naturally vapourised it. With a special Blue Peter badge on his person.
  • Changed My Jumper: Trope Namer. While Rose has to change into a period dress, he goes out in his leather jacket.
  • Character Catchphrase: "Fantastic!"
  • Character Development: Thanks to Rose, he softens and becomes much less rude and angry toward the end of his life, and is unable to go through with committing another double genocide.
  • Character Tics: He tended to do a big, toothy grin and wide eyes, often accompanied with cute little hand gestures, directly lifted from the Fourth Doctor; the key difference being that Four looked genuinely happy and adorable when he did it, even if he was being alien and terrifying, and the Ninth manages to just look alien and terrifying. His genuine smiles are simultaneously both more toned down, and bigger and goofier, such as when he beams one last grin to Rose before regenerating. When being serious, he tends to punctuate his speech with sharp little head-nods to draw emphasis to certain words.
  • 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!
  • Come with Me If You Want to Live: His very first scene saw him invoke this trope to Rose.
    Ninth Doctor: Run!
  • Contrasting Replacement Character: Nine serves as a foil to Eight, being more aloof and merciless. Eight also expressed his optimism and idealism openly, whereas Nine preferred to hide these traits under a veneer of cynicism.
    • Being the first incarnation of NuWho, Nine can also be considered a foil to the First Doctor. While both are grumpy and downright anti-heroic at times, Nine, while professional and quiet when dealing with problems, nearly always had his silly side just under the surface, unlike the sternness One started his era with. (One did mellow out and become very much a comedy character at times in Series 2, before the many losses he experienced made him sterner again.). The First Doctor was written as reflecting the typical old school, conservative British values of a contemporary man of his apparent human age at the time, in terms of attitudes towards race, gender, and other issuesnote . The Ninth Doctor's attitudes reflected the more progressive 21st century.
      • Additionally, the First Doctor was far more paternalistic towards his companions, given he started travelling with his granddaughter Susan. The First Doctor also travelled with a diverse set of companions, starting with his granddaughter, two Earth schoolteachers, a young girl from the 25th century, a space pilot from Earth's relatively distant future, a priestess from Ancient Greece, a space agent from the year 4000, a strange Earth girl from 1966, and a couple of relatively normal humans from Earth also from 1966. Compared to the Ninth Doctor who travelled with just Rose predominately, yet treated her more of an equal rather easily compared the First Doctor initally struggling to accept humans as a species to be respected and protected.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to Eight's depiction, given his guilt and ruthlessness. And with respect to the War Doctor, a lot more Nine is the first doctor of Nu Who. It makes sense to compare him to One.prone to resentment and anger. He also embodies Colin Baker's ideal portrayal of what could have been the Sixth Doctor if he had more freedom to choose his identity, clad in no-nonsense clothes and featuring a darker personality.
  • 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 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.
    • His recording to Rose for Emergency Program One shows he thinks it's okay if he dies and hopes it's a good death. Although this might be referring to the Doctor's welcome proclivity toward Heroic Sacrifice and not that he just wants to die.
  • Death Glare: He could make you feel very sorry indeed, doesn't matter if you're a villain or a misbehaving Companion.
  • Declaration of Protection: Best summed in one single sentence.
    Doctor: Rose... I'm coming to get you!
  • Destructive Saviour: See Stuff Blowing Up for why the Ninth Doctor favours 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: A retroactive case due to a retcon. 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.
    • There was also an incident in "The Doctor Dances" where the Doctor visited a weapons manufacturer before their reactor suddenly went critical and vaporised all of their sonic blasters. This incident made the manufacturers reevaluate their life choices and they spontaneously decided to turn the ruins into a banana grove. Just because the Doctor said: "bananas are good" and because they did not want him to come back.
  • Establishing Character Moment: He comes out of nowhere, grabs Rose's hand, looks like he's having the time of his life, and says "RUN!" Summing up the Doctor in seconds.
  • 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. Finally, when he regenerates, he expresses happiness with the time he had being Nine, welcomes the change of regeneration, and faces it with a wide grin on his face.
  • Forehead of Doom: Nine's forehead is very noticable.
  • Friend to All Children: When it came to children, he generally treated them kindly. He got along well with a group of children in London during the Blitz, joking and enjoying dinner with them. He also showed concern that they lived in such dangerous conditions willingly. He also displayed extreme empathy for Nancy and her struggles to be a teenage mother during the war and hugged her son Jamie with joy upon realising the Nanogenes had turned him back into a regular child. He also cared for a baby Rose Tyler, taking surprise that Jackie deemed him the best man to be trusted with her care. When Blon reverted back into an egg, rather than send her to execution, the Doctor desired to give her to a new family to start a new life, believing the new child had a chance to make things better. However, he could grow irritated with children who misbehaved, finding the boy who graffitied his TARDIS and making him wash it off as punishment, and threatening to “have [him]" should he do it again.
  • The Gadfly: He would often make dry jokes to diffuse the tension of those around him and displayed a certain level of childish joy when it came to toying with people emotionally, such as addressing them by the wrong name or insulting their intelligence. According to Rose, he liked to insult species as a whole when in moments of stress.
  • 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.
  • Good Is Not Nice: More aloof than other incarnations, the Doctor casually informed Rose Tyler of Wilson's death, failed to consider any discomfort the TARDIS translation circuit would cause and treated people, like Mickey Smith, with disrespect if they got on his bad side. He was also willing to allow the Gelth to occupy dead human bodies, likening it to recycling, to Rose's disgust.
    • Adam winds up in a future news station and gets tempted at the prospect of using future knowledge in his relative present to make money. This indirectly endangers the Doctor, who nonetheless escapes unharmed. The Doctor's punishment? Taking Adam back to the present with a future device in his head that opens panels to his brain whenever someone snaps their fingers. He tells Adam, a child genius who's seen the future first-hand, that if he wants to escape being dissected by the government for his future tech, he has to live a dull life.
  • Guile Hero: Definitely qualifies as this.
    Doctor: No. Cause this is what I'm going to do. I'm going to rescue her. I'm going to save Rose Tyler from the middle of the Dalek fleet. And then I'm going to save the Earth. And then I'm going to wipe every last stinking Dalek out of the sky!
    Daleks: But you have no weapons! No defences! No Plan!
    Doctor: Yeah... and doesn't that scare you to death!?.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Wore a leather jacket, inspired by marine gear. Also wears a leather strap wristwatch, a leather belt, and leather boots, as well as being the first Doctor to tote the psychic paper, which comes in a leather wallet. The man has a taste.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: A supposed double genocide under his belt.
  • Hidden Depths: In the first few episodes, he is very aloof and standoffish 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.
  • Hypocritical Humour: The Doctor turns out to be a Fan Hater when it comes to reality TV.
    The Doctor: The human race. Brainless sheep, being fed on a diet of — mind you, have they still got that programme where invokedthree people have to live with a bear?
  • 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.
    • In the comic series "The Forgotten", his item is identified as the Psychic Paper, which is fitting as he is the first incarnation to use it.
  • Important Haircut: His close-cropped, military-style hair is a far cry from the waves and curls of his previous incarnations, symbolizing that he's lost some of the whimsical eccentricities due to the emotional weight he carries from the Time War. Even the War Doctor, who physically fought in the war, styled his hair somewhat. The longest it ever gets is in "Father's Day", when you see it blow in the wind slightly. It could be telling that when Ten emerges from regenerating, he takes note of how much more hair he has.
  • 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: A multifaceted, mercurial individual who's capable of both great warmth and unspeakable fury if instigated, the Ninth Doctor has a brazen, austere and outstandingly straightforward temperament. However, he's always willing to help those in need, has a sharp sense of humour and is incredibly protective of those he warms up to, like Rose Tyler and Captain Jack Harkness.
  • Knight in Sour Armour: 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?!
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": He was a fan of Charles Dickens, reacting with glee when he met the man, both admiring and criticising his work.
  • Leaning on the Furniture: Has a habit of this; whether it be sprawling out and propping himself up on an arm, making himself comfortable in the nearest chair, propping his feet up on the TARDIS console, or leaning in doorways/on the TARDIS. Fits in with his dark, edgy look to imply that he thinks he's cool, and combined with his implied Big Eater tendencies suggests he isn't too hung up on seeming polite.
  • Leitmotif: "The Doctor's Theme" initially serves as the Ninth Doctor's enigmatic leitmotif, hinting at his troubled past; but is later used for the Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth and Thirteenth Doctors, as well as retroactively being used for the First and War Doctors - ultimately retooling Nine's theme into a theme for the Doctor in general. Notable reprises include Ten racing to save River Song's life in "Forest Of The Dead", Twelve making his return to Gallifrey in "Hell Bent", and Thirteen gazing upon her new appearance shortly after regenerating in "Twice Upon a Time".
  • Limited Wardrobe: Utilitarian garb with black shoes, black trousers, a brown/black leather jacket and a jumper (pullover sweater) of varying colours. Lampshaded in "The Unquiet Dead" when Rose complained about having to change into an elaborate dress for the time period while the Doctor only changed into another nearly identical jumper while wearing the same leather jacket.
  • Living Forever Is Awesome: He puts on a show of how great it is to travel all over the place and have adventures and save people forever, but he's not a happy guy.
  • Love Triangle: With Jack and Rose. Jack and Rose are both in love with the Doctor, and also fancy each other. The Doctor truly cares about Rose, but the show leaves it ambiguous whether it's deep friendship or romantic love, and the Doctor Cannot Spit It Out either way. All three pairings get sweet and emotional kissing scenes.
  • Madden Into Misanthropy: As a result of the Time War and his own actions, he's very reluctant to accept potential companions and is extremely unforgiving of both companion mistakes and the actions of his enemies.
  • Malicious Misnaming: As a possible Call-Back to Hartnell's Doctor, Nine initially mistakes Mickey's name for Ricky and refuses to budge when corrected.
  • Mood-Swinger: Can switch from Nice Guy to Jerkass and back on a whim, depending on who he's dealing with.
  • Morality Chain:
  • 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 Distracted by the Sexy: When Jackie Tyler tries to seduce him in "Rose," he curtly refuses her advances.
  • Not So Above It All: While discussing the grave consequences of the human race being fed constant reality television like sheep, he interrupted himself to ask Lynda Moss if they still had the programme "Bear With Me", chuckling about the celebrity edition where the bear got into a bath tub.
  • "Not So Different" Remark:
    • With the Daleks.
      Dalek: You would make a good Dalek.
    • Also when the Dalek pushes his Berserk Button too far, causing the Doctor to electrocute him.
      Dalek: We are the same!
      Doctor: We're not the same! I'm not— No, wait. Maybe we are! You're right, yeah, okay, you've got a point! Cause I know what to do! I know what should happen. I know what you deserve: [Slasher Smile] EXTERMINATE!
    • Also with Margaret the Slitheen, after calmly and accurately deconstructing her claims that a Pet the Dog is evidence of Character Development. Her reply? "Only a killer would know that." He doesn't deny it.
    • 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 that he dematerializes and then comes back later in "Rose". It's heavily implied all the pictures Rose sees of this incarnation during that episode took place in that gap.
  • Oh, Crap!: He gets 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!
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: He is quite frightening in "Dalek". Nine's hatred for the Daleks is extreme even by the standards of the Doctor. Sadistic torture, ordering the Monster of the Week (who was conflicted about what it should do as it was seemingly the Last of Its Kind) to commit suicide, and pulling a gun on the enemy are not usually things we associate with the Doctor, but Nine does all three in this one episode. He earns himself a "Not So Different" Remark from the Dalek (i.e. the famous "You would make a good Dalek!" line) and a What the Hell, Hero? from Rose.
    • In "The Parting of the Ways", when given the chance to rid the universe of the Daleks but also the Earth, Nine considers it but ultimately refuses, showing himself to be a better man than he was the last time he had encountered a Dalek. Seems that Dalek's words had stuck with him.
  • Oop North: He speaks in Eccleston's natural Manchester accent despite being an alien. His explanation: "Lots of planets have a North."
  • 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.
  • Rebel Relaxation: Nine loves a good brood.
  • Rogues Gallery: Autons, the Nestene Consciousness, Cassandra, Gelth, Blon Fel-Fotch Passameer-Day Slitheen, Daleks, the Jagrafess, Reapers, and the Dalek Emperor.
  • 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.
  • Sad Clown: A mercurial individual, he hid his sorrow with a façade of manic energy, sharp, offbeat wit and enthusiastic confidence, but would quickly drop the masquerade when deeply displeased.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Though after their first few days travelling together, Rose is usually the one more vocal with the denial. Complete with Everyone Can See It (Even the Daleks!) and Shipper on Deck (Jack: "You two are so sweet. [...] Continue with what you were... doing.")
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Is trying very hard to cope with his own actions during the Time War.
  • Stepford Smiler:
    • Half the time, that lovely smile of his is a put-on meant to make others feel at ease. This means that someone is in a lot of trouble when he decides not to bother.
    • Particularly noticable when he's about to regenerate:
      Ninth Doctor: That's right. I sang a song and the Daleks ran away.
  • 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 and the Nestene Consciousness in his first adventure, causes the last pure human to "pop" in the next, allows a medium to blow up a house on top of the Rift after that, bombs Downing Street (well, okay, that last one was Mickey, but the Doctor gave him the code to do so), overheats the Mighty Jagrafess, destroyed the weapons factory at Villengard (offscreen), visited Krakatoa (offscreen), and watched Kennedy's assassination (offscreen). The description of the Delta Wave he was going to use on the Dalek Emperor makes it sound as if it would have been pretty explosive, as well. 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.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: He is outwardly bitter and hardened thanks to the trauma of the Time War, but he shows a softer and goofier side to Rose. He can switch between the sugar and ice sides very quickly.
  • Super-Speed Reading: Reads through a book in about two seconds in Rose's flat: "Hmm. Sad ending."
  • 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 in "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. Stand out examples are "The End of the World", "World War III", "The Long Game", "Father's Day", "The Doctor Dances" and "Bad Wolf".
    • 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...
  • Useless Protagonist: An odd variation; while he certainly wasn't outright useless by a long shot, more often than not it was either Rose or a supporting character who was ultimately responsible for defeating the Monster of the Week during his tenure, with the Doctor only unequivocally doing so in "The End of the World" and "The Doctor Dances," albeit Mickey defeats the Slitheen using the Doctor's plan in "World War Three," and it's implied that the Doctor would have saved things in "Father's Day" if Pete hadn't screwed things up, forcing him to save the day via a Heroic Sacrifice.
    • This Doctor, however, seems to prefer to keep a low profile, staying in the shadows and encouraging others to step up and be heroes, which is usually reflected by them saving the day thanks to earlier encouragement by him. This is likely due to him living post Time War, both not wanting to draw attention to himself and figuring out how to be a hero again. Compare his next incarnations and how often they charge into situations, boasting their status.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Only appeared in one series consisting of thirteen episodes. And very fleetingly as the War Doctor regenerated.
    • 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 (March-June 2005; 4 months onscreen). 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.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Rose was horrified that the Doctor would allow the Gelth to use human corpses as vessels for their consciousness in "The Unquiet Dead", and she was right to be worried as the Gelth turned out to be malicious and the Doctor doing this led to at least two deaths.
    • In "World War Three", the Doctor doesn't seem to care that Jackie is in danger, and Rose responds by reminding him she's her mother.
    • In "Dalek", Rose calls the Doctor out on how willing he is to kill a Dalek that happens to have become sympathetic and non-violent, quite literally saying,
      Rose: [The Dalek is] changing. What about you, Doctor? What the hell are you changing into?
  • When He 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.

Tropes associated with other media

    Comic Tropes 

Tropes associated with Doctor Who Magazine

Tropes associated with Titan Comics

  • The Cameo: His first Titan Comic appearance is in "The Fountains of Forever", when the Tenth Doctor is de-aged and experiences retro-regeneration. Nine shows up in Ten's trademark suit and duster before the process reverts itself. He later appears in a similar matter in a handful of Eleventh Doctor comics.
  • Does Not Like Guns: Much more prominent here than it ever was in the series, occasionally leading to him and Jack butting heads. "Weapons of Past Destruction" sees him destroy one in Jack's hand with his sonic screwdriver, bellowing that he's seen enough weapons to last him lifetimes. This is while they're being pursued by entities trying to kill them.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Snaps at Jack and blows a gun up in his hand in "Weapons of Past Destruction", while Jack intends to use it to defend them. Also gets annoyed at Tara for getting him out of the water in "Slaver's Song", when she thinks he's drowning. Immediately begins picking a fight with one of Madame Vastra's crew members after the TARDIS is hauled on board their ship in "The Lost Dimension".
  • In Spite of a Nail: He's entirely absent from the "Four Doctors" crossover, save a cameo at the end, explained by the fact that unlike Ten, Eleven or Twelve, he has no potential future where he turns evil. He's only ever fantastic.
  • Perspective Reversal: Yani fangirls over the Doctor in "Doctormania", in a similar fashion that he himself did to Charles Dickens in "The Unquiet Dead". He's a bit creeped out, but leaves her a heartwarming video message after she throws herself in front of him during a Chumbley attack.
  • Rogues Gallery: Unon, Taggani, Slist Fayflut Marteveerthon Slitheen, Cybermen, the Albion Defence, Sin-Eaters, & Addison Delamar.
  • Super-Strength: A fairly minor example, but the Doctor has little issue grabbing onto the underbelly of a passing spaceship and hanging on as it flies up, being piloted by his impostor.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Comes up every so often. Rose does not appreciate how callous he is towards Yani knocking herself out protecting him, and his actions in "Official Secrets" are enough to make the Brigadier confront him, asking what caused such a newfound military mindset in him.

    Book Tropes 

Tropes associated with BBC New Series Adventures

  • Enemy Mine: In The Monsters Inside, the Doctor and Rose have to work with the Slitheen of the twenty-fifth century against the rival Blathereen family.
  • Handicapped Badass: In Only Human, Chantal infects the Doctor with a virus that temporarily hinders his ability to feel pain or think properly about what she's doing to him, but he is able to regain enough focus to take her by surprise and escape where a human would have remained in a drugged stupor for some time. .
  • Line-of-Sight Name: In Only Human, the Doctor briefly calls himself "Doctor Table" as an alias (and it works).
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: In The Monsters Inside, the Doctor manages to pass on a message to Rose that helps her fake the impression that she's a qualified astrophysicist using code terms that only the two of them would understand.
  • Rogues Gallery: Shade Vassily, the Blathereen family, Quevvils, Darren Pye, Spaceship Remotes, & Chantal Osterberg.
  • Vehicular Turnabout: The Doctor essentially does this in Winner Takes All, save that the 'vehicle' is Rose under the control of alien implants that link her to a computer game.

Tropes associated with the Target novelisations

  • Rage Against the Reflection: According to the novelization of "The Day of the Doctor", he smashed every mirror in the TARDIS shortly after regenerating from the War Doctor, being shell-shocked over his belief that he destroyed Gallifrey and killed scores of children, thus feeling ashamed at the appearance of his own face as a result.

Tropes associated with other books

  • Multiple-Choice Past: Adventures In Lockdown introduced an unpublished Russell T Davies short story called "Doctor Who and The Time War" written before The War Doctor was thought of, where The Eighth Doctor regenerates into The Ninth.

    Audio Tropes 

Tropes associated with Big Finish
Voiced by: Nicholas Briggs (2013; 2017); Jacob Dudman (2020); Christopher Eccleston (2021-present)

In cooperation with licence holders AudioGo, Big Finish made Nine the central character of the Destiny of the Doctor story "Night of the Whisper". In 2017, Big Finish revisited the Ninth Doctor era with The Ninth Doctor Chronicles.

On August 9th 2020 it was announced that Eccleston would be returning to his role as the Ninth Doctor in an audio series for Big Finish, after a fifteen year absence from playing the character. These stories primarily follows Nine in the time relatively early after his regeneration and before he met Rose, with his trauma from the Time War and having been the War Doctor still being quite fresh in his mind. As a result, Nine frequently struggles with some degree of disillusionment over his role as "the Doctor", meaning that the more callous and unforgiving side of his nature that he occasionally showed glimpses off in the TV series rears its head more frequently here. Despite that, his stories also focuses on his attempts to heal and move on from his trauma, and rediscover himself and his more caring sides, as he tries to be the good man who is just trying to help where he can once more.

  • Brief Accent Imitation: The Doctor does an American one in "Night of the Whisper", pretending to be a thug.
  • The Cameo: A lawyer-friendly off-screen one in "The Kingmaker" and, naturally, gets a quip in about the "fantastic" energy degenerating him when the Twelfth Doctor cycles through his previous lives in "The Lost Magic".
  • Character Catchphrase: The Doctor says "Fantastic" twice in "Night of the Whisper". The first time he says it sarcastically, the first time Rose has ever heard him do that. Also allows Adam Mitchell the compliment of being "just a tiny bit fantastic" after he helps the Doctor save the day in "The Other Side".
  • Character Name Alias: The Doctor uses George Dixon as an alias in "Night of the Whisper", and then chastises Rose later on for not knowing the name.
  • Future Me Scares Me: Briefly features in "Flatpack"; the Doctor is disturbed to realise that the CEO of Flatpack is basically his future self, albeit a future self who has succumbed to the drugs that compel customers to remain in Flatpack.
  • Gadgeteer Genius
  • Have We Met Yet?: "Run" sees the Doctor act as the personal assistant to Alpha Centauri, before Alpha became the Federation ambassador to Peladon and met the Third Doctor, taking care not to reveal his name to his future ally.
  • Identical Stranger: Played with - in "The Kingmaker", Stephen Beckett's King Richard III sounds almost exactly like the Ninth Doctor. Given the episode also features a Lawyer-Friendly Cameo from same, it's hard not to think they're doing an incredibly sneaky take on this trope.
  • It Is Dehumanising: When the truth about the Whisper comes out, the Doctor seems to make a point of saying "it", in contrast with MacNeil.
  • Leitmotif: A triumphant, and yet melancholic theme, befitting an incarnation who has just been though hell, and is slowly learning how to be the Doctor again.
  • Oh, Crap!: "Red Darkness" sees the Doctor basically have this moment when he realises that he's facing a hybrid of the Vermine and the Vashta Nerada.
  • Oop North: Briggs relies heavily on this to provide an Eccleston-esque performance. It's at its best during quieter, tense moments, but can slip more into sounding like a Goofy impression at its worst moments.
  • The Other Darrin: He's performed by Nicholas Briggs. Ian McNeice handles the voice of Nine in the Churchill Years.
    • The Original Darrin: Christopher Eccleston eventually returned to the role starting with a new series due to premiere in May 2021.
  • Rogues Gallery: The Whisper, the Compassionate, the Bygone Horde, Glubby Glubs, the Ravagers, Audrey Mohinson, the Cybermen, the Sontarans, the Sea Devils, the Vermine, Jack Frost, and the Vashta Nerada.
  • Spirit Advisor: Basically serves as one in Ravagers; after being temporally displaced by a Time Lord device, the Doctor is able to appear to Audrey Mohinson, who owned the device before the Doctor met her, thus allowing him to learn more about her current plans and give her a couple of tips in turn before he can rematerialise in the present.
  • That Man Is Dead: Essentially invoked in reverse; while he avoids discussing the Time War, his interaction with old companions such as the Brigadier and Liv feature him all-but-explicitly saying that he's working on becoming the Doctor again after he spent so long fighting in the Time War, getting used to no longer being the War Doctor but not yet ready to take on companions like the Doctor did.
  • When It All Began: The 2021 audios feature the Ninth Doctor before meeting Rose, and explore how he discovers who he is as the Doctor in this incarnation after spending so long as the War Doctor. This is his return to normalcy, although he still carries a ton of guilt around with him.
  • I Work Alone: A trait shared with Christopher Eccleston himself. The Ninth Doctor is a solo act and does not readily team up with others, including his other incarnations. A multi-Doctor story with him is very circumstantial.
  • Write Back to the Future: Briefly shows up to deliver a letter he'd kept since his Fifth incarnation, in "The Kingmaker". (Big Finish got away with it at the time using a bit of Writing Around Trademarks - he's just described as a "big-eared Northern chap".)

Alternative Title(s): Ninth Doctor