Incarnations of the Doctor
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Companions and Supporting Cast
Classic Series Companions (K9, Romana) | Revival Series Companions (Rose Tyler, Captain Jack Harkness, River Song, Clara Oswald, Team TARDIS) | Other Supporting Cast (The Paternoster Gang) | UNIT Staff
Immortals and Eldritch Abominations | The Master (John Simms' Master, Missy, Expanded Universe Masters)
Aliens and Monsters
Daleks (Davros) | Cybermen | Robots | The Silence | Silurians | Sontarans | Time Lords | Weeping Angels | Slitheen
The first female incarnation in the TV series.
The cheerful and high-spirited woman with a touch of secrecy. Bright, bubbly, and fun-loving with a serious case of Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!, this Doctor acts like a born adventurer with a slight air of Blithe Spirit who is very much eager to meet new friends. More so than past incarnations, she is a first-rate Gadgeteer Genius, crafting a whopping four improvised inventions in her proper debut episode alone, three of them in a single night. Her lovable lack of fashion sense hearkens back to the colourful and loud ensembles sported by Doctors of the classic era.
However, despite her surface-level warmth and friendliness, she's possibly the most secretive of the revival era incarnations, not even disclosing her species and home planet to her companions until her second season. Ask her about her past, and she'll deftly dance around the question; corner her into telling more about herself, and she'll start getting curt and snippy. She tends to be emotionally distant, probably as a result of this secrecy. She refuses to let her companions in on her inner turmoil and, while she tries not to be, can be quite callous with the emotions of others. She also has a bit of a sadistic streak, relishing encounters with villains and sporting a vicious grin whenever she has the upper hand.
Tropes associated with the television series:
- 13 Is Unlucky: This Doctor has a problem with this.
- The very first thing that happens to her is her TARDIS suffering multiple operations failures (which can be chalked up to her regeneration being held back... again), culminating in her being shaken out of the open door just before the time rotor itself explodes, filling the TARDIS with flame. Then, at the end of her first episode, she gets flung into a second intense cliffhanger: accidentally teleporting herself and her new companions into deep space, without spacesuits.
- It continues in "The Tsuranga Conundrum": A sonic mine knocks out her and her companions for four days when they all wake up on a hospital ship far away from her TARDIS (again), with her having apparently taken the brunt of the damage.
- In "The Witchfinders", she finds herself first not taken seriously because of her gender and then accused of witchcraft and dunked into a river. She bitterly notes that this wouldn't have happened in her previous incarnations when she was a man.
- In "The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos", she discovers to her horror that her attempts at dealing with Tzim-Sha via Cruel Mercy resulted in a Pacifism Backfire instead.
- At the end of Series 12, she has been put through the wringer, but she ends up back in her TARDIS wanting a well deserved rest. Before she can even rest, the Judoon arrest her!
- Absent-Minded Professor: She retains the absent-mindedness of her previous incarnation, tending to forget how many times she did something, forgetting whether she's awarding points or gold stars to her companions and only remembering she was holding an item of interest after asking for its whereabouts in a state of a panic. She has a self-admitted tendency to confuse "meaning to say something" with "actually saying it", showing that she's oblivious to the ongoing need for effective communication with others, above mere intent. Sometimes she even fails to notice her companions' presence or absence, even when they've been missing for some time.
- Adult Fear: She is horrified by the racist attitudes the group encounters in "Rosa", and is constantly fearing for Yaz and Ryan's safety throughout the episode.
- All-Loving Hero: Twelve asked his next incarnation to always remember to be kind in his final moments, and Thirteen is indeed far more personable and invested in her companions' welfare right off the bat, even getting all their names down right away. Also deconstructed, in that she's put too much stock into being outwardly genial, and tries to hide her darker side from them, as well as not telling them about herself or her enemies.
- Ambiguously Gay:
- Yaz's mother assumes that she and Yaz are dating. For bonus points, the Doctor herself isn't sure. Also, she wears a lot of rainbows. A lot. She also has a lot of tender and bonding moments with Yaz that she doesn't have with the other members of Team TARDIS.
- In "Praxeus", the Doctor is taken in by a female scientist who ends up being an Anti-Hero. She claims that she "can't resist a scientist".
- Consistent in that the Doctor has always been primarily interested in women throughout their other incarnations.
- Apologizes a Lot: This Doctor seems to find herself apologising in every episode of her debut series. This trait seems to have faded in her second series, as she apologizes far less frequently.
- From her first episode:The Doctor: I'm sorry you all had to see this. [...] I'm sorry any of this is happening, I'm sorry that thing on the train planted these bombs inside you, and I'm sorry I haven't figured out what's going on yet.
- In "Demons of the Punjab", there's mention of a Noodle Incident involving a "Death Eye Turtle Army", for which the Doctor says she has already apologized profusely.
- She apologises profusely for showing Percy Shelley his death in order to release the Cyberium.
- She even apologises to the TARDIS when she has to hit her with a hammer to get her working properly.
- From her first episode:
- In her first series, Tzim-Sha of the Stenza serves this role, appearing in the first and last episodes.
- Series 12 then tops that by introducing a new incarnation of the Master who's been posing as an ally of hers for years as her new nemesis in the very first episode.
- Series 13 introduces Swarm and Azure, both being nemeses that are from her unknown past with the Division, and among the most deadly enemies she's ever met because they can erode time and turn living beings to ash with barely any effort.
- Armour-Piercing Question: During the Series 12 finale, as the Master proudly displays a destroyed Gallifrey before her, Thirteen mockingly questions if doing this had calmed his rage to any degree. Given his very telling reaction, asking him this showcases the first time the Doctor has completely rendered him silent and unsure in the revival series with only words.
- The Atoner: This is the Doctor's primary motivation in the Series 12 finale. In "The Haunting of Villa Diodati", the Doctor is forced to give Ashad, the Lone Cyberman, the key to conquest he's looking for, to stop him from destroying the Earth in 1816. In "Ascension of the Cybermen" / "The Timeless Children", the Doctor and her friends quickly follow him back to his own time in the distant future, to thwart his plans of wiping out humanity. But despite her best efforts to run damage control, things only continue to spiral further and further out of control over the next two episodes, putting herself and her friends in grave danger, before the Master decides to get involved with his own ambitions. Eventually, to the Doctor's horror, an army of invincible, regenerating Cybermen are created that will raze the universe, so she very nearly makes a permanent Heroic Sacrifice to make up for the consequences of her mistake.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: She is rather scatterbrained, easily distracted, and tends to go off on long, rambling tangents.
- Badass Boast: She doesn't announce her badassness as much as Ten or Eleven, but she has a few good ones.
- In her first episode:"I'm the Doctor. Sorting out fair play throughout the universe. Now get off this planet, while you still have a choice."
- "Revolution of the Daleks" has a good one."I'm the Doctor, the one who stops the Daleks!"
- In her first episode:
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Dons quite the snazzy tuxedo during "Spyfall". It even comes with a bowtie!
- Badass Longcoat: Achieved with a long light-lilac coat with dark lining. (Lilac was chosen in honour of the women's suffrage movement, according to the costume designer in extra material shown in theatres after the episode.) When dressing up for Daniel Barton's party in "Spyfall", she wears a long black tuxedo coat.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: After the events of "The Timeless Children", the Doctor becomes completely obsessed with learning more about her forgotten lives and the time she spent working for the Division. Throughout Series 13, she makes increasingly reckless decisions in the pursuit of answers, like tracking Karvanista down across the universe, or nearly getting herself ripped apart in a time-storm to access some of her blocked memories. In "Village of the Angels", the Doctor finally gets what she wanted, in the most gruesome way possible, when the Weeping Angels kidnap her and petrify her so they can drag her back to the Division against her will, which is followed up in "The Vanquishers" by Swarm and Azure repeatedly destroying and restoring her lost memories until they're finally removed from the picture and she can reclaim her Memory Jar. However, once she has the Memory Jar, and seeing both what she's done and what's happened to her in its pursuit, she gives it to the TARDIS rather than reclaim the memories yet.
- Being Good Sucks: As part of being extremely unlucky, Thirteen often finds herself in crucial moments of history she simply can't interfere with even though there's great suffering around her, history demands that things like the segregation of the Deep South and the bloody massacres that came with the Partition of India must happen.
- This comes to a head in "The Haunting of Villa Diodati" when she is forced to choose between the life of Percy Bysshe Shelley and giving the Lone Cyberman what he wants, thus threatening the future of humanity.
- Berserk Button:
- Reminding her of being an outcast:Remnant: We see what's hidden even from yourself, the outcast, abandoned and unknown.
The Doctor: [snarling] Get out of my head.
- Don't accuse her of hiding behind her title; King James I does it and gets a very icy Death Glare in return.
- After Gallifrey is destroyed again, she hates being reminded of the dead planets she has seen. The Skithra Queen made this mistake and it caused the Doctor to blast her and her subjects with a huge bolt of lightning, with nary an attempt at holding up the principle of Thou Shalt Not Kill that she'd tried her hardest to hold up during the entirety of her debut season.
- Don't call her little.
- The Master is a living Berserk Button for her. Not entirely surprising given he destroyed Gallifrey and showed her the true nature of what she really is. Thirteen is notably colder towards her "best enemy" than her predecessors in the revival series have been and, in "The Timeless Children", she even screams at him and shoves him to the ground in a fit of rage and, while she can't bring herself to kill him personally, has little issue leaving him to die on Gallifrey when Ko Sharmus does a Heroic Sacrifice in her stead. It's ambiguous whether this is due to disappointment that 12's attempts to reform Missy failed, but for now she seems to have given up on trying to reform or reason with the Master as 10 and 12 did.
- If she tries to dispatch an enemy without killing them and it works, only for someone to kill them anyway, she gets very pissed off.
- Reminding her of being an outcast:
- Beware the Nice Ones: Although she is much more personable than her predecessor (as he tells her to be), the Doctor is not a woman to be crossed. Series 12 showcases her more ruthless side, despite her niceness.
- Beware the Silly Ones: This Doctor is quite the cheerful goofball, but she is certainly not someone to be trifled with. She can switch from silly to cold rage on a dime. One instance of this is in "Rosa", where she mainly acts like a goofy annoyance when confronting Krasko initially, but the instant he says that he'll kill her and her friends if he sees them again, she immediately drops her smile, glares, and says in a low, icy tone, "Don't threaten me."
- Break the Cutie: Series 11 had her mostly be super cheerful and not mentioning her past. Series 12 made it clear those two were connected, so it kept bringing said past back, and she became a lot grouchier.
- Broken Bird: Goes back to the broken interior underneath the happy, bouncy exterior type favoured by 10 and 11, although she deals with it by repressing and hiding her flaws rather than rage and Manly Tears. Even before the Trauma Conga Line of series 12, she was trying so hard to be nice and kind but couldn't always manage it, and one of her first lines in the train is relating to being the "private type" that doesn't like personal questions.
- Brutal Honesty: Directly tied to her Good Is Not Nice status. She can be very blunt while talking to people, giving harsh answers or observations to questions or statements pondered. She tells a very sick astronaut he's looking terrible and doesn't reassure him that he'll get better. She also often says harsh, but again, not inaccurate facts about the human race. Also when Yaz goes off on her own adventure, she seems pleasantly surprised that she didn't get herself killed.
- Byronic Hero: On the outside, she doesn't seem to fit this trope well at all, what with her outward cheer, her generally bubbly demeanour, and eagerness to make friends seeming very at odds with the broody, melancholic loner image of the Byronic hero. However, in series 12, she reveals many traits of this character archetype: for all her outward friendliness, she keeps everyone, even her friends, at a distance; she is intensely secretive about her Dark and Troubled Past; her moods become erratic, switching from her typical happiness to moodiness on a dime; she mulls over her past traumas and even retraumatizes herself by going back to the ruins of Gallifrey on a regular basis; and she shows more of the trademark arrogance of Byronic heroes, seeing herself as the only one who can and has to make the hard choices. In "The Haunting of Villa Diodati" (which, incidentally, involved Lord Byron), the Doctor gives a speech demonstrating the latter to her companions:The Doctor: 'Cos sometimes this team structure isn't flat. It's mountainous, with me at the summit, in the stratosphere. Alone. Left to choose. Save the poet, save the universe. Watch people burn now or tomorrow. Sometimes, even I can't win!
- Saying "It'll be fine" or "S/he'll be fine" when all evidence suggests otherwise.
- Early episodes also seem to have Thirteen saying "Let's get a shift on!" when she means press on.
- Like Ten, she uses "Brilliant!" frequently.
- She calls her companions "fam" a lot.
- Celibate Hero: Like her early incarnations, she's not interested in romance, but retains a respect for it, even describing herself as a "romantic", though she dislikes being flirted with.
- Character Tics:
- She'll lean her face forward, with her eyebrows lowered and her upper lip stretched upwards, when she's feeling annoyed, giving an unbelievable explanation, when thinking intensely, when deliberately antagonising an opponent and feeling enraged.
- She'll likewise scrunch her face up when annoyed, trying to hide her hurt feelings, in pain, observing, apologising for an embarrassing stunt she pulled, enquiring from a distance, shocked by an unforeseen action, or disgusted.
- She often stands with her hands on her hips, or behind her back.
- As with previous incarnations, she'll also stand with her hands in her pockets, flicking her coat back as she did so.
- When giving a speech, proclaiming instructions, or vocally analysing her situation, the Doctor will move her hands upwards, with her hands facing her head and with her fingers curled.
- She tends to pull out her sonic screwdriver with a large overhead arc unlike any other Doctors.
- Cheshire Cat Grin: Being a fairly cheerful incarnation of the Doctor, Thirteen is fond of giving all kinds of smiles, but this includes the sorts of smiles that are purely baring her teeth. She displays these kinds of wide, mischievous smiles whenever confronting and taunting her enemies, especially when she's alone with them. Her grin borders on Slasher Smile when facing the Thijarians and the recon Dalek.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: In her debut episode, even though she has lost her TARDIS and is going through the after-effects of her regeneration, causing her to barely remember her own name, she tries to help save her new human friends from a human-hunting alien.The Doctor: [talking about her post-regeneration-induced state of mind] I'll be fine. In the end. Hopefully. Well, I'll have to be because you guys need help. And if there's one thing I'm certain of, when people need help, I never refuse.
- Cloudcuckoolander: The Doctor's sanity has always been up for debate, but even by Doctor standards she's noticeably loopy, which is plain to see in her debut episode:
- She's able to use her sense of smell to calculate the exact timenote she's about to faint. That, or she was using her nose to induce fainting and was expecting it to take longer.The Doctor: Oh, this new nose is so unreliable. [collapses]
- She compliments Grace on the comfiness of her couch after recovering from a jolt that threw her into a wall.
- She stares in delight at a spoon, before melting down handfuls of them to forge her new sonic screwdriver casing on Earth.
- She casually mentions her craving of a fried-egg sandwich while trying to save Karl from Tzim-Sha.
- She is positively giddy when she realizes her attempts to transport herself to her TARDIS instead sent herself and her companions (whom she didn't mean to take) to the barren vacuum of space instead; her companions are naturally terrified.
- She has a strange relationship with logic in general, in one noticeable instance declaring that Jack Robertson can't be President if he's fired Yaz's mum.
- In "It Takes You Away", she determines where the TARDIS has landed by chewing on the nearby soil.
- In "Spyfall", she confuses casino blackjack with a game of Snap.
- In "Praxeus", she thinks Ryan smells like dead bird not because he has a dead bird in his bag, but because he'd changed his shower gel.
- She's able to use her sense of smell to calculate the exact timenote she's about to faint. That, or she was using her nose to induce fainting and was expecting it to take longer.
- Condescending Compassion: Following on from Twelve's paternalism towards Bill (who called him out for it), part of why Thirteen doesn't tell her "fam" much is that she's trying to keep them safe.
- Contrasting Sequel Protagonist:
- Is cheery, goofy, and friendly in contrast to Twelve's more overtly grumpy and prickly-seeming nature. Furthermore, while Twelve's outer severity belied his inner softness and compassion, Thirteen's surface-level geniality hides her darker traits, such as her sadistic streak when confronting villains and her capacity for arrogance and anger. Essentially, both Twelve and Thirteen have Sugar-and-Ice Personalities, but Twelve is outwardly icy and shows his sweeter side around people he is close to, while Thirteen's default state is sweet but can very easily switch to a cold anger on a dime. Additionally, while Twelve doesn't openly address his companions as friends or surrogate family, he allowed himself to grow very close to them, letting them in on his history and emotions. Meanwhile, even though Thirteen enthusiastically calls her companions her best friends or "fam", she holds herself at an arm's length from them and withholds almost all personal information and particularly her negative emotions from them.
- Just like Five, she is a Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold incarnation that starts off with a trio of companions at the beginning of her era who comes across as generally more pleasant and less alienating than her direct predecessor. However, Thirteen is still actively a far more scatterbrained and lively figure than the more sensible and low-key Five ever was. And while just as much as The Chew Toy as her Classic counterpart, Thirteen is able to avoid Five's Failure Hero tendencies with her borderline Chessmaster way of dealing with obstacles and problems.
- Cool People Rebel Against Authority: Like her predecessor, Thirteen doesn't do well with authority, preferring to give orders than take them. Case in point, the hospital staff in "The Tsuranga Conundrum" follow her around the ship, caring about her safety, and she's having none of it.
- Cuckoosnarker: She might be eccentric and a self-proclaimed "nutter" with a 3-second long attention span, but she's still prone to and capable of snarking at people who irritate her.Slade: How would you like a warning for insubordination?
The Doctor: I'd love one! I could add it to my collection.
- Cynicism Catalyst:
- Still tries to be as cheerful as possible, but was very open about how regeneration felt like dying to Grace (first face she saw) and how she wasn't feeling good at that moment, but then Grace died and she closed herself off for the rest of the season.
- The second destruction of Gallifrey causes her to retreat into herself, going on a frenzied manhunt to find the Master. From them on she gets much snippier, often shouting at her companions.
- Damn You, Muscle Memory!: As all of her previous incarnations have been male, she occasionally forgets that she is now a woman, with all of the issues that implies.
- Dark Is Not Evil: In stark contrast to the general Lighter and Softer tone of her era, her TARDIS has very low lighting, like a mix of a crystal-filled cave and a Gothic cathedral.
- Deadpan Snarker: She might be generally cheery and kooky, but if you annoy her, prepare to be snarked at.
- Death Seeker:
- Self-preservation? She doesn't know it. She admits in "The Timeless Children" that she's exhausted, and is okay with making a Heroic Sacrifice.
- As explained below, she willingly put herself in danger in order to find out her hidden past, even if it means her death.
- However, when informed that she's about to die the final death without regeneration, she's horrified.
- Determinator: Although she goes through a Trauma Conga Line in Series 12, she is determined not to let the trauma of her life as the Timeless Child beat her. In fact, she overloads the Matrix by sheer force of will, after a short pep talk from herself.
- Ditzy Genius: She's a brilliant Gadgeteer Genius who is fond of demonstrating her intelligence through teaching her companions fun scientific facts about things like spiders and anti-matter generators, and she has virtually zero social skills and a huge helping of Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!.
- Doesn't Like Guns: As with many of her previous incarnations, she seems to really loathe guns and is furious when Ryan tries to shoot a bunch of robot guards in "The Ghost Monument", making their situation much worse.The Doctor: Now do you see why I don't like guns?!
Ryan: Don't go on about it.
The Doctor: I will go on about it. A lot.
- Endearingly Dorky: As with most Doctors. Her very first scene has her breaking into a huge smile upon seeing her new face and going "Oh, brilliant!" She's upbeat, highly energetic, and talks a mile a minute. She's also exceedingly friendly; for instance, she declares that Yaz is her friend about two minutes after meeting her, and in "The Ghost Monument", she introduces Yaz, Graham, and Ryan as her "new best friends" despite having only met them a few days ago. She's also not very good at small talk due to her tendency to go off on tangents.The Doctor: Never had a flat. I should get one! I'd be good in a flat. I could get a sofa! Imagine me with a sofa! Like, my own sofa. I could get a purple one and sit on it! [beat] Am I being weird?
Ryan: Little bit, yeah.
The Doctor: I'm trying to do small talk. I thought I was doing quite well.
Yaz: Well... needs work.
The Doctor: Maybe I'm nervous... or just socially awkward.
- Establishing Character Moment:
- Her first episode ends with her breaking into a humongous smile when she sees her new face, proclaiming "Oh, brilliant!" in response to it, and falling out of the TARDIS. When she lands in the train and meets her companions, she immediately starts talking a mile a minute to figure out the alien threat attacking the train, remembers Ryan's, Yaz's and Graham's names easily, and declares that she's calling Yasmin "Yaz" because they're friends now. Capaldi's stern, prickly, and professional Doctor this is not.
- During this same scene, when the tentacled thing attacking the train tries to attack more after the Doctor asks it what it is, she says, "Okay, you don't like questions. More the private type, I get that." This Doctor, while seeming open, is indeed one of the more private regenerations of the revival series, and doesn't react well to being asked questions she considers too personal.
- "The Ghost Monument" shows off the darker side that she still has and tries to suppress; forgetting about making Yaz feel better while she's angry, snarling at the remnants to get out of her head, and implying all her talk of hope is more a way to cope than something she truly believes in. Additionally, her outbursts in "The Tsuranga Conundrum" basically foreshadows her ruthless personality in Series 12.
- Extreme Omnivore: She has eaten dirt (and even offered some for her companions to eat, who promptly refused) and human bone dust. Additionally, in "Revolution of the Daleks", she mentions to her Pting neighbor that she had tried to eat the prison bars before.
- Fashionable Asymmetry: She has an earring and an ear cuff on her left ear, connected by a chain.
- Fatal Flaw: Her desire to overall be nice, particularly in front of her companions. She tries so hard to be nice, she feels uncomfortable whenever she is put in a situation where she's not happy. Whenever she has negative emotions, for example her grief after seeing Gallifrey decimated again, she tries to hide them from her companions, resulting in her not coping well with them at all. She feels her inherent kindness is a detriment to her, as she mentions in "Demons of the Punjab", and she often shuts down when faced with hard questions or serious conversations. She claims to be socially awkward, but it's obvious she doesn't handle depressing topics well, as she retreats into herself. Her desperate need to at least appear nice to her companions results in her being emotionally distant from them, as because she buries all her negative emotions and doesn't let them in on her inner turmoil, she isn't able to meaningfully connect with her friends.
- Fingertip Drug Analysis:
- Foil: To Twelve. He started out aloof, abrasive and emotionally troubled, with character development gradually revealing the kind, compassionate person underneath. She started out friendly and upbeat, with character development eroding the mask and revealing the colder, emotionally distant, troubled person underneath.
- Foreshadowing: The show had been building up to the Doctor becoming a woman for quite a while. One of Eleven's opening comments has him exclaim "I'm a girl", followed by a reference in "The Doctor's Wife" to a Time Lord switching genders, an option to choose his next incarnation's gender offered by the Sisterhood of Karn to the Eighth Doctor in the minisode "The Night of the Doctor", then "Dark Water" presents the Master's new regeneration as a woman, then "Hell Bent" includes a male Time Lord who regenerates into a woman, mentioning that her last incarnation was the only time she's been a man. Finally, in "The Doctor Falls", the Master wonders aloud if the future's going to be "all girl", to which the Twelfth Doctor replies "We can only hope." Steven Moffat himself claimed he inserted those inclusions to the lore to tease the audience of the possibility and to set the precedent in case it ever happened (which it did right when he left the show). Funnily enough, his very first Doctor Who writing credit was the Comic Relief special The Curse of Fatal Death, where a Ninth Doctor goes through four regenerations culminating in his thirteenth incarnation a blonde woman!
- Friendly Enemy:
- Played With when interacting with the Master. She is colder to him than Twelve was with Missy, and as stated above, the Master is her Berserk Button for a very good reason, but they do share a bit of playful banter between the threats.
- Also her interactions with other villains has an I Shall Taunt You vibe that the other Doctors lack.
- She is on surprisingly good terms with her fellow prison inmates in "Revolution of the Daleks", even though they are all past foes.
- Functional Addict: Implied. The episode "Ascension of the Cybermen" shows that she has taken to keeping ginger-spiked humbugs on her person, which is significant because ginger affects Time Lords like alcohol.
- Fun Personified: Invoked. She really wants to be a fun figure for her companions, and avoids showing them her darker side for most of Series 11, but after the Master's betrayal and destruction of Gallifrey in Series 12, the cracks begin to show.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Demonstrated in her premiere episode when she makes a new sonic screwdriver in a very short time using remnants of an alien transit pod and components lying around a garage in Sheffield. Later, she uses the same components to make a mid-range teleporter."I'm good at building things, probably."
- She is often seen building things, going as far as saying it's one of her best traits.
- Gender Bender: The Doctor's first female incarnation after thirteen male ones. She has trouble getting used to thinking of herself as a woman.The Doctor: [trying to get the TARDIS to materialise] Come to Daddy! [beat] I mean Mummy!
- Genius Sweet Tooth: She seems to have a fondness for custard creams, and even has a custard cream dispenser in her TARDIS. She also mentions in "Demons of the Punjab" that she likes biscuits, so it doesn't seem to be limited to custard creams.
- Genki Girl: Thirteen is cute and excitable, similar to Eight's Keet tendencies. Many people remarked on Thirteen's adorable reaction to finding out the TARDIS has a custard cream dispenser, as this article from the Radio Times shows.
- Gibbering Genius: In a completely different way than Ten and Eleven, Thirteen asks questions, rattling them off until she reaches a conclusion that often leads to an Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!.
- Good Is Not Nice: Played with. While she is very nice, she also has no filter when talking to people, inadvertently coming off as rude. Especially when talking to antagonistic people such as Jack Robertson or Kane, but she's even rude to people who don't deserve it, calling Tesla a big fat liar and getting mad at Astos when she is healing in a hospital from sonic mine injuries. She is also capable of snapping at her companions too!
- In "The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos", a grieving Graham tells her he'll kill Tzim-Sha if he can; rather than try to console his grief she coldly tells him if he does so it'll mean immediate expulsion from the TARDIS.
- Good Is Not Soft: She's a lot nicer than her predecessor; she believes in Thou Shalt Not Kill, and she regularly offers Last-Second Chances. However, if a villain insists on being evil, she'll take care of business as effectively as any Doctor.
- She is disgusted by the Stenza culture of tricking humans into letting them hunt on Earth, murdering people and taking their teeth as trophies, and capturing targets to be held in stasis forever, all as a rite of passage; and while offering Tzim-Sha the opportunity to leave peacefully if he chooses to change, has already tricked him into absorbing the five DNA bombs his data coil had planted in the witnesses on the train. When he chooses to "win" and activates the bombs, he seals his own fate.
- She is completely unintimidated by Krasko, coldly telling him not to threaten her and deliberately goading him into attacking her just to activate his Restraining Bolt.
- She activates thousands of bombs while a terrorist is standing in the middle of them. She does give him a chance to teleport away, waiting until Graham prompts her to activate the teleport without him.
- She is furious at Becka Savage for being responsible for the murder of 36 women in order to cover up her own involvement with the problems and aliens plaguing Bilehurst Cragg, and she calls King James out for engaging in witch hunts to cover up his own darkness.
- When the recon Dalek predictably rejects the Doctor's offer of mercy, she shows it as much softness as a Dalek ever shows anyone else, frying it in its shell with a microwave oven, and when that doesn't work, roasting it alive with a supernova.
- She sends a message to the Nazis implicating the Master as a British spy, and shorts out his perception filter so they can see his real face. Seeing as this incarnation of the Master is played by the very non-Aryan Sacha Dhawan, he's about to have a seriously bad day. In a similar vein, she gets even more payback on the Master for everything he put her and her friends through, when she reveals his true colors to the Kasaavin so they'll drag him back to their own dimension and deal with him there: a calculated bit of ruthlessness that would make the Eleventh Doctor proud. When it comes to her Arch-Enemy, Thirteen does not screw around.
- The Master brings out her spiteful side generally, thinking that he betrayed her as Missy, because she spits out a "never" when he asks her to hold his hand, almost seductively mocking his rage and making sure to point out she's better than him.The Doctor: All this death finally made you happy?
The Master: Ecstatic!
The Doctor: [sneering] And has it calmed all the rage?
- When the Skithra Queen makes it clear that she will commit mass murder in order to get her hands on Tesla, Thirteen has no issue with hitting the Skithra ship with a massive blast of lightning while the Queen is still on the ship.
- She shows Percy Shelley his death by drowning to get the Cyberium out of him. Understandably he finds this traumatic. Though, she does apologize for this "dirty Time Lord trick".
- Go Through Me: Even though in this incarnation she's a short woman, she constantly puts herself between the enemies and her companions. Given what happened to Bill, the Twelfth Doctor reassuring her she would be safe and accidentally letting her get shot, you can see why this is such a theme.
- Great Detective: She demonstrates astute detective skills and can deduce a person's thought pattern through eye contact.
- Grin of Audacity: She frequently sports a feral and vicious grin when confronting villains in anticipation of handily defeating them.
- Guile Hero: She has a penchant for tricking enemies into causing their own downfall.
- She tricks Tzim-Sha into reabsorbing his own DNA bombs and then detonating them inside him.
- She tricks Krasko into zapping all of his weaponry and tools, including the extra battery for his temporal displacement gun (and the gun itself only had enough energy left for one more zap), into the very distant future.
- She fools the recon Dalek into believing she will take it to the Dalek fleet in exchange for it not hurting Ryan's dad, and then has it Thrown Out the Airlock into the core of a supernova.
- She goads the Master into revealing his plan in "Spyfall" and how he plans on betraying the Kasaavin, records this confession, and plays the recording to the Kasaavin later in the episode, causing the Kasaavin to trap the Master in their dimension as retribution.
- Guilt Complex: She displays it by needlessly torturing herself, like making frequent trips to go see her ruined home planet when she's alone.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: The first blonde Doctor since the Fifth, and like him, this Doctor is one of the warmer, sweeter incarnations, almost always nice, and always kind. But, as with every Doctor, she's no one to be underestimated.
- Hates Being Alone: A reoccurring trait across all Doctors, but especially notable in this incarnation as despite it she refuses to invite her new companions along, knowing that it hasn't ended well in the past. She's visibly upset when she tries to say goodbye to her new friends in "The Woman Who Fell to Earth", and when dropping them back home in "Arachnids in the UK" she looks like she's about to cry several times. She immediately takes up Yaz's offer of tea with her family as an excuse to spend more time with her new friends, and is visibly delighted when the new Team TARDIS convince her to let them stay. In "Can You Hear Me?", after dropping off her companions home until lunch the next day, she considers jumping forward in time to their planned meeting time. Additionally, when she ends up investigating a situation in Aleppo in the 1300s, she spends most of the time talking to herself as if the companions are with her.
- Hates Being Touched:
The Doctor: [when her arm is suddenly being held] I'm the Doctor, and you, madam, are being far too handsy!
- Even though she has a generally warm and outgoing personality, she generally avoids touching others (apart from one awkward hug to Yaz's mom) and shrugs off and/or recoils from the touch of other people. She goes two full seasons without hugging any of her companions.
- She does hug Ryan, Graham, and Jack in the 2021 New Year's Special, but, notably, this is after a decades-long stint in space prison with no physical contact with anyone, and she only hugs Ryan and Graham once it's clear that they've made the decision to leave the TARDIS and end their regular travelling with the Doctor.
- Heroic BSoD: The Doctor is good at these. When there's a big reveal to have, her eyes widen and she gets real quiet... In fact, Series 12 has her face an ongoing one...
- Heroic Sacrifice: She very nearly makes a permanent one in the Series 12 finale. The Master is all set to unleash an army of regenerating Cybermen onto the universe that can never be killed, and the Doctor decides to eliminate the problem in a way that will kill her, the Master and the Cybermen. She's determined to see this suicide mission through to the end, because she feels responsible for the events leading up to this dilemma. But in the end, she can't bring herself to pull the trigger (just as she couldn't in "The Parting of the Ways" and "The Day of the Doctor"), so Ko Sharmus steps in and makes the decision himself.
- Hidden Depths:
- She is chatty and gregarious and seems to always blurt out whatever is running through her brain at any given moment, even when she probably shouldn't. Someone who runs their mouth like that should be incapable of keeping a single secret, right? But this Doctor has mastered the art of, in Donna Noble's words, "talk[ing] all the time" without "say[ing] anything", even moreso than the regeneration Donna was describing! She is actually the most reticent with personal details out of all of the revival era Doctors.
- She is very warm and sociable, and she has a very expressive face. The Stoic she is absolutely not. Despite this, she manages to construct exceedingly heavy-duty emotional walls and refuses to tell anyone about what is troubling her or even admit that she is troubled, preferring instead to deal (badly) with her trauma and despair by herself.
- History Repeats:
- Like Ten, Thirteen is a new, young, bright-eyed Doctor portrayed by an unanticipated, fairly anonymous dark horse actor, and follows on from the tenure of a bitter, middle-aged cynic portrayed by a well-known screen veteran.
- Like Two before her, Thirteen is the first regeneration of a cycle, opening up new directions for the series Two introduced the idea that the Doctor could become someone else, Thirteen is the first female incarnation. (And rather fittingly, their predecessors meet for Twelve's final story.) Also like Two, her predecessor's ring doesn't fit anymore.
- Like Two and Four, Thirteen is a flamboyant, hyperkinetic successor to a cold, dignified Doctor with white hair.
- Like with Eleven, she was introduced during a major shakeup in the production team (including a new showrunner), though this era goes even farther by replacing the show's twelve-year-strong composer. Like Eleven, she faces an antagonist in one of her first episodes who foreshadows a coming Myth Arc and mocks her for not knowing what the Arc Words mean yet. Like Eleven, she is a hyperactive Sad Clown with a Motor Mouth who hides a very prominent dark side from her companions. She also shares his affinity for Nice Hats.
- Like Five, she's played by a typically brown-haired actor who goes blonde for the role, and starts her tenure with three companions.
- Her quite colourful costume, especially when compared to her immediate predecessor, invokes some of the Sixth Doctor's infamous "explosion in a rainbow factory" outfit, though her take on it is decisively more tasteful and subdued.
- Like Seven, she is noted for her manipulative Hoist by His Own Petard tendencies, for example, blackmailing the antagonist in her first episode into leaving Earth by sabotaging his weaponry to blow him up (similar to Seven's actions in "Remembrance of the Daleks", though Seven follows through) if he does not leave. Additionally, like Seven, she's the light-hearted and affable successor to a serious and at times abrasive incarnation, whose kindhearted demeanour gradually begins to fade away in favour of more ruthless and secretive actions, although she is not on Sevens level of being The Chessmaster yet. Finally, Seven and Thirteen are the shortest Doctors, at around 56.
- Like Eight, she is a lighter, softer and happier incarnation, following a darker and more pragmatic and serious incarnation (with a Scottish accent) who was often faced with having to do Dirty Business and Shoot the Dog. She also spends most of her first appearance struggling to even remember that she's the Doctor. And in series 12, the universe conspires once more to Break the Cutie like it did with poor Eight.
- Like Ten, Eleven, and Twelve, her predecessor regenerates inside the TARDIS, which immediately puts her in a dangerous situation when she's done. Like Eleven, the regeneration that created her (which was also staved off so their predecessor could tie up their last loose ends) appears to have caused considerable damage to the TARDIS interior and ironically wipes away the identity of the incarnation before her that resisted the change. She is left in the tattered clothes of her predecessor and gets flung outside of the TARDIS while miles up in the air with a huge drop waiting below. Only one big difference: Eleven manages to hang onto the TARDIS for dear life Thirteen is shaken out, with the TARDIS disappearing soon after!
- Like One, she starts out not actually looking for companions at all until a set is forced on her by circumstances beyond her control.
- Like Three, she's initially stranded on Earth without a working TARDIS, and her attempt to jury-rig a viable means of transport does not go well.
- Her first four episodes map quite well to Nine's: the newly regenerated Doctor appears in a contemporary setting and meets new companions, the companions' first trip is to a wildly alien setting, they go to the past and meet a famous historical figure, and finally the Doctor tries to drop her companions back home only to face another threat that ends up convincing them to stay with her. Also like Nine, she has PTSD over her planet being seemingly destroyed.
- Hoist by Her Own Petard: She wanted to protect her fam from all the monsters and her own darker side, so when everything goes badly wrong and they demand answers, she tells them to stop asking questions and do what they're told.
- Humble Hero: When Yaz asks if dangerous heroics are a normal thing for her, her reply is "I'm just a traveller" who tries to fix things. This is also reflected in how she shows her brilliance while previous incarnations would often show off and brag about how clever they were, Thirteen prefers to just do and only brings up her intelligence more as a statement of fact than an attempt to impress.
Thirteen: Every action has consequences!
- She's strongly against weapons, but explosions are okay. At least, they are as long as they're not used to kill someone. Err, well, someone that can't be rebuilt.
- While the Doctor is usually the first person to scold someone for the consequences of their actions, she doesn't like it very much when Tim Shaw points out that her ploy with the DNA bombs inadvertently gave him the chance to grab even more power for himself.
Tim Shaw: And these are yours, Doctor.
Thirteen: I didn't mean it like that!
- She declares Humans Are Special for confronting their fears, doubts and guilts every day, while she herself is a case study in keeping them all bottled up worse even than Nine, because at least he found someone he could open up to. Then again, she is speaking from an outside perspective.
- She calls out Zellin (and immortals) for "never clearing up after themselves", which are big words coming from someone known for blundering through life and talented at running, though this could be her speaking from experience.
- I Am Who?: Played straight and subverted. She discovers in "The Timeless Children" that she is not what she thought she was, that she is in fact a Single Specimen Species possibly from another universe/dimension who was used as the basis for the Time Lords' ability to regenerate, and that she had numerous incarnations between then and the First Doctor that were wiped from her memory, but she knows nothing about her original self beyond that - their name, their species, why they were found beneath a wormhole to another universe, etc.
- I Shall Taunt You: She likes taunting her enemies, bragging when things don't go their way and pointing out their shortcomings. She compliments a rebuilt Dalek by saying its new look is "junkyard chic" and lords her new coat over the damaged Tzim-Sha. She even mocks an army of Daleks by calling them "obedient little pets" when they come to her TARDIS after she calls for them. However, this taunting doesn't seem to always work, as seen with the Lone Cyberman.
- Iconic Item: The sonic screwdriver, which takes on a unique appearance in this incarnation because it was made from scratch and partly from Earth materials, notably Sheffield steel.
- Improbable Hairstyle: She has blonde hair with dark roots right after regenerating. It's really obvious that Jodie Whittaker is Dyeing for Her Art.
- In the Hood: Her first outfit includes a hooded overcoat.
- Indy Ploy: Much like her eleventh incarnation, she'll run into a situation without a strategy in mind, hoping to come up with a plan in the heat of the moment, claiming to be "good in a tight spot" and to enjoy throwing a "curveball" into the situation, but will take precautions when she knows how dangerous a situation is. She is confident she can take on any threat.
- Irony: An intensely secretive incarnation who closes herself off from her companions, hides her darker side from them, and refuses to let them in on what she's going through... who discovers that her true nature, and much of her past, was hidden from her.
- The Knights Who Say "Squee!":
- Loves to name drop famous friends. Usually with a Noodle Incident tidbit attached.
- She is very happy to meet Nikola Tesla.
- Kubrick Stare: She displays one of these when confronting the baddies in "Demons of the Punjab".
- Lack of Empathy: Full of compassion for sure, and love for humanity, but like Twelve, she finds human emotions (and actually opening up about them) difficult, though notably not for lack of trying. When Graham tells her that he will punish Tim Shaw for killing Grace, his wife and Ryan's grandmother, Thirteen doesn't even try to reassure him or talk him out of it: she simply tells him that he will be banished from the TARDIS if he does so.
- Last of Her Kind: As of "Spyfall" along with the Master, who she discovers to have wiped out the other Time Lords for reasons he refuses to fully explain but which have an apparent connection to a long-hidden Awful Truth the Master discovered. Subverted as of "The Timeless Children", when she discovers she's not actually a Gallifreyan Time Lord, but instead is a Single Specimen Species who served as the basis for the Time Lords' ability to regenerate.
- Last-Second Chance: In several episodes she makes a point of offering these to the villains, even (or especially) when she knows they'll refuse, before finally laying the smackdown. She outright states this to the Skithra Queen in "Nikola Tesla's Night of Terror".
- Lighter and Softer: The 13th's pleased first words and the colourful outfit juxtapose with the moodier 12th. Her early appearances in the Expanded Universe suggest a crafty, playful nature that is at odds with 12's more serious demeanour. The crew also made a conscious decision to move away from the intensive, emotionally brutal arcs favoured by Moffat to a far more episodic structure. However, this changes slightly as time goes on...
- Like an Old Married Couple: While it is a standard of the series, this Doctor really likes conversing with the TARDIS. From the second episode, she calls to her, and has a conversation with her before she even opens her door. She generally treats the TARDIS like a soulmate. She even argues with her on occasion, like when she's not making any sense! Lampshaded by Yaz in "The Halloween Apocalypse".Dan: Who's she talkin' to?Yaz: The TARDIS.Dan: What? It's alive?Yaz: No idea, but they do chat...
- Limited Wardrobe: In "The Woman Who Fell to Earth", she spends at least several days, possibly up to a week, wearing the remains of Twelve's clothing before it is suggested to her that she get some new clothes. She finally settles on what, in her first season, is her most unchanging costume since the Davies era, consisting of a blue T-shirt with a multi-coloured stripe across the chest (in what is a close approximation to the colours of Four's scarf), high-waisted blue trousers, yellow braces, a long fawn overcoat, and hiking boots. In "Rosa", she wears a purple variant of the blue rainbow T-shirt she chose, suggesting the TARDIS wardrobe helpfully created some spares. She sometimes also wears a zip-up hoodie between the T-shirt and overcoat, and wears comically oversized safety goggles (and occasionally a full welding mask) while doing sciencey stuff.
- Living Lie Detector: She's able to tell when she's talking to a bad liar, unearth a truth by studying someone's facial reaction and, occasionally, tell when someone's attempting to deceive her.
- Lonely Among People: She is gregarious and sociable, even if a bit socially awkward, and is eager to make friends. She even has a relatively large group of companions for revival era Doctors. However, she also seems to be one of the loneliest revival era Doctors. Unlike most regenerations who have at least one companion they are able to confide in (Nine had Rose, Ten had Rose and then Donna, Eleven had Amy, and Twelve had Clara), this Doctor is highly reticent with her companions, keeping personal information and her feelings (particularly her negative ones) largely to herself. This becomes a huge issue in series 12, when she has to deal with the second destruction of Gallifrey, the discovery of a past regeneration of herself that she has no memory of, and another encounter with Cybermen that triggers latent trauma from Bill Potts' Cyberconversion, and she refuses to confide any of her inner turmoil from these events in her companions. As a result, she ends up trying (and failing) to cope with her new and old traumas by herself, which results in her lashing out at her companions, with them having no idea why she is acting so moody all of a sudden.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Deconstructed; the Doctor was introduced as a game-changer who brought her companions on an adventure through time and space. Her companions came along because they lusted for adventure and Graham wanted a distraction from grief. However, they begin to distrust and grow agitated with the Doctor's evasive answers about her past and her almost compensatory sense of happiness. Yaz loses a lot of faith in the Doctor when she returns unannounced after 12 months of silence and pretending nothing happened (when the Doctor didn't know that she had disappeared that long).
- Men Don't Cry: Gender Inverted. The first onscreen female Doctor and she mostly deals with the Trauma Conga Line she undergoes in series 12 through repression and dissociation (and when the Master pisses her off just a little too much, just ferally shoves him to the ground), getting far less misty-eyed than her male predecessors. Though she does have visible tears in her eyes when she is about to make a Heroic Sacrifice to stop the Master, and looks as though she just cried a Single Tear after discovering she was the Timeless Child.
- Moral Myopia: As per usual of a Doctor; her Technical Pacifist ways of dealing with evil and Thou Shall Not Kill principle often conflict with each other to the point of hypocrisy outright trying to kill Tzim-Sha is wrong, but inflicting him with his own DNA bombs is fine and by her own admission her moral code is flexible. But nobody else around her whether it be historic figures she meets or even her own companions is allowed that same luxury.
- Mortality Phobia: Played with, much like Ten before her. She's perfectly willing to give up her life on her own terms, but when informed she's about to die the final death, without regeneration, she's horrified.
- Motor Mouth: She has a tendency to talk very quickly, especially when she's excited (which is often). This is deconstructed in "Orphan 55": her constant talking results in her running out of oxygen faster than everyone else.
- My God, What Have I Done?:
- In "The Haunting of Villa Diodati", the Doctor encounters a Cyberman from the future named Ashad who's searching for the ultimate weapon to rule the cosmos. She's forced to make an impossible choice between letting him destroy the Earth in 1816 (which would do unimaginable damage to the history of the universe), or giving him what he wants (which would put the entire world in danger in the distant future), and she reluctantly chooses the latter. In "Ascension of the Cybermen" / "The Timeless Children", she immediately follows him back to his own time, to save the world from him, but Ashad is always one step ahead of her, and he's eventually surpassed by an even greater evil, the Master, who decides to join the fray and hijack Ashad's scheme. When the Doctor realizes the Master is going to unleash an army of regenerating Cybermen onto the world who can never be killed, she looks absolutely horrified, partly because she knows the consequences of her decision led to this sort of monstrosity being possible.
- She's too traumatised and fixated on finding out about the Division to really stop, but she does realise in "Revolution of the Daleks" how much she kept the Fam at arm's length, and is sorry that Ryan is leaving.
- My Greatest Failure: "The Haunting of Villa Diodati" confirms how much regret she feels over letting Bill Potts be converted into a Cyberman, refusing to lose anyone else to that fate. Later interviews with the cast and crew reiterate this fact.The Doctor: One Cyberman, but then thousands. Humans like you changed into empty, soulless shells. No feeling, no control, no way back. I will not lose anyone else to that!
- The Name Is Bond, James Bond: Introduces herself thusly while wearing a tuxedo in preparation for a Black-Tie Infiltration in "Spyfall":"The name's Doctor. The Doctor."
- Nice Girl: She's a genial, goofy, eccentric, and cheerful person who tries to help out wherever she can, even when freshly regenerated with no memory of her own name. This is Played With, however, as she tries so hard to at least appear nice to her companions that she hides the darker elements of her personality, to the point of confronting villains one-on-one without her companions seeing, and she also tells them nothing about her past. Additionally, in series 12, due to going through a Trauma Conga Line, her veneer of niceness starts to crumble due to her grief and her poor coping skills causing her to snap and lash out at her companions.
- Nice Hat: She retains her eleventh incarnation's fondness for fezzes and enjoys wearing plumed headgear.
- No Equal-Opportunity Time Travel: Has to deal with this firsthand when she lands in 17th-century England in "The Witchfinders", as due to being a woman in this regeneration, she's not taken seriously in that time period, and calling herself "Doctor" only arouses suspicion. She even bitterly notes that this wouldn't be a problem if she was male like her previous incarnations.The Doctor: [thoroughly fed up] Honestly, if I were still a bloke, I could get on with the job and not have to waste time defendin' myself!
- No Sense of Personal Space: Keeps her companions at arms length, but gets in the Masters face as much as vice versa.
- No Social Skills: When Graham is talking to her about his fear that the cancer is returning, she's apologetic that she has no idea how to respond.
- Noodle Incident: This Doctor talks about offscreen adventures quite a lot, usually to set up a gag.
- Not So Above It All:
- Despite her sweet personality she still has shades of the Doctor's usual character flaws, as shown in "The Tsuranga Conundrum": vanity, correcting someone who tells her that she takes up a chapter in a history book (after initially denying that it was her at all) that she takes up a whole volume; and selfishness, nearly hijacking a hospital ship full of sick patients to get back to her TARDIS until the ship's personnel points out her extreme selfishness in wanting to do so (though that can be ascribed more to her panic at losing the TARDIS again making her momentarily forget herself), ignoring the patients like she was ignoring her own pain at the time. She also still really hates not being in charge, and defaults to assuming that she knows what's best even if someone else is better equipped to be in charge of the situation at hand. Notably, these traits (particularly the selfishness) only come out when she's bleary with pain and in the midst of a freakout about losing her TARDIS, and disappear when she's called out on it and forces herself to refocus.
- Just like her previous incarnations, she can become abrasively self-righteous to the point of glaring hypocrisy when it comes to her moral code of not killing and not using weapons. She scolds King James I for killing the Morax Queen, even though there was no other option for stopping her. She also reprimands Karl in "The Woman Who Fell to Earth" for pushing Tzim-Sha even though he was trying to kill him and the poor young man was scared out of his mind, yet she saw nothing wrong with inflicting him with his own DNA bombs. She also threatens to expel Graham from the TARDIS when he tells her he wants to kill Tzim-Sha as vengeance for him taking Grace; never mind her attempt of dealing with him non-lethally backfired spectacularly and made him even more dangerous than he previously was.
- She scolds Ryan for using an alien gun against robot soldiers in "The Ghost Monument". Yet in "The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos", she tells him she has no problems using weapons against things that can be rebuilt. Ryan does call her out on this which she justifies by saying she had to lay down some ground rules because he was new ... and to never mention that again because her rules change all the time.
- In "The Haunting of Villa Diodati", she shows the classic arrogance characteristic of most of her previous regenerations after being questioned about her decision to try to save Percy Shelley from dying due to the Cyberium in his brain, regardless of the possibility that the Lone Cyberman might be able to get said Cyberium. She gives a furious speech saying that the math of one life versus billions isn't as simple as the fam seem to think, demands that they try to see if they can make this decision and live with the potential of the future being irrevocably altered, and when they hesitate, she tells them in a simultaneously disgusted, disappointed, and arrogant tone that in the end, their so-called "flat-team structure" is not always the case, as she is left as the only one who can and must make these difficult decisions.
- OOC Is Serious Business:
- In "Resolution", when she realises that the awakened creature is a Dalek, the normally upbeat and chatty Thirteenth Doctor shows how terrified she is by going silent, enough so that Yaz notices and is distinctly disquieted by the implications. Not long after, as she tells her companions about the Daleks, the Doctor's voice briefly drops into a bitter, almost hateful tone as she laments that no matter how many times they seem to be destroyed, the Doctor is never truly rid of the Daleks. This incarnation may not dwell on the horrors of the Time War as her predecessors did, but she still can't shake their lingering anger towards their oldest foe.
- Like her predecessor Twelve, she is absolutely blindsided when her old contact/new friend O turns out to be the Master. She doesn't talk for several minutes and as a trap closes around them she is reduced to screaming in fear.
- Thanks to "Spyfall", she withdraws in "Orphan 55" and everyone is clearly concerned about her Nine-levels of emotional constipation, as well as being eager to get away from her as soon as they hit the resort. She also acts much more frustrated and is considerably snarkier than usual.Thirteen: I'll have a look round then... by myself.
- Oop North: Whittaker gets to use her thick Yorkshire accent, actually quite a rarity for her. But why not lots of planets have a North. Combined with her Blithe Spirit personality, the accent only serves to make Thirteen come across all the bouncier and more hyperactive. Her accent is lampshaded by Dr. Polidori in "The Haunting of Villa Diodati":Mary Shelley: I don't think they're really from the colonies.
Lord Byron: No, she is from somewhere far, far stranger.
Dr. Polidori: [Matter-of-factly] The North.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: At 5'6", Whittaker ties with Sylvester McCoy as the shortest actor to play the role (she's actually a centimetre shorter, making her the shortest Doctor as of her casting). She laments her new short legs several times in her first episode (and given previous post-Time War incarnations were between 5'11½" and 6'1", it's not surprising she has some trouble adjusting). Despite this, "The Ghost Monument" reveals she still knows and uses Three's Venusian Aikido.The Doctor: [after barely making a jump between two cranes] These legs definitely used to be longer!
- Pride: While it's less of a Fatal Flaw than it was with the Tenth Doctor (so far, at least), and Thirteen at least tries to be humble, she still shows a good deal of pride, always assuming that she knows what's best, disliking not being in charge, and permitting no one else the same moral flexibility that the Doctor herself is comfortable with.The Doctor: Yeah. 'Cos sometimes this team structure isn't flat. It's mountainous, with me at the summit in the stratosphere, alone, left to choose.
- Principles Zealot: One of her worst traits is her self-righteous obsession with morality. She shows No Sympathy towards the grieving Graham's desire for revenge against Tzim-Sha and threatens to kick him off Team TARDIS if he kills him, and she complains when Ada Lovelace uses a primitive gun to save her life. She also shames Robertson for shooting the Spider Mother despite the creature already dying a slow, painful death.
- Pop-Cultured Badass: This Doctor loves to name drop famous figures, like Ed Sheeran, loves fiction from Harry Potter to Edith Warton to Mary Shelley, and basically is all about Earth Pop Culture as well as being a worldsaving Ditzy Genius.
- Quest for Identity: She gets involved in the events of "Flux" while in pursuit of the only lead she has on the Division, the shadowy Gallifreyan organisation the Timeless Child used to work for, who blocked off their memories of their previous lives when they left. It becomes apparent as the story unfolds that she's prepared to do almost anything, including risking her own life, to uncover her lost past, and lashes out in anger when denied. However, after realising how far she's gone in her search, and being tortured by Swarm and Azure with the repeated destruction and restoration of her stolen memories, once she manages to reclaim the Memory Jar holding them, she gives it to the TARDIS to keep safe where even she can't find it, until such time as she really asks for it.
- Resurrection Sickness: She describes in brief what regeneration feels like: every cell in your body burning at once. No matter how often one does it, every time you think that this time you won't make it. Then at the very edge of death, you are born. Even after you come through the other side, there is a period of confusion between the old you and the new you while your body continues to fizzle and reformat and readjust. This caused her to have temporary retrograde amnesia. Humans have no idea how painful it is; no wonder Twelve didn't want to go through it again.
- Retroactive Preparation: How she saves her companions from a crashing airplane in "Spyfall", by going back in time after the adventure and setting up the things they'll need to get the plane to straighten out and land safely.
- Revenge: Throughout "Spyfall", the Master tries to kill the Doctor and her friends many, many times (with help from the Kasaavin and the Nazis), and he hunts her down as a fugitive throughout history without her TARDIS. Eventually, she manages to turn the tables on him, and pays him back in full by tossing him to the wolves with his new 'friends'. First she strands him in World War II without his TARDIS, which forces him to have to escape the Nazis and take The Slow Path through the next eight decades until the present day. And then she reveals his intentions to betray the Kasaavin to the Kasaavin themselves, which turns the entire race against him: they swiftly whisk him off to their own dimension, to do who knows what to him.
- Revenge Is Not Justice: The Doctor has a black and white take on morality and forbids revenge killing, however, very few people actually agree with her on this since the enemy hasn't done anything to deserve this kind of clemency. In Arachnids in the UK, she shames Jack Robertson for killing the Spider Mother despite the creature already dying a slow and painful death by suffocation (without mentioning the deaths caused by the Spider Mother and her children). In The Woman Who Fell to Earth and The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos, she shames Graham and Karl for taking revenge despite having legitimate reasons to hate Tim Shaw (he tried to kill Karl and he killed Grace, Graham's wife and Ryan's grandmother). In War of the Sontarans, she shames the General for blowing up the sontarans because they were retreating, however, the Sontaran General pretty much told her that he and his army will return once they restock their supplies and those same Sontarans are the ones who gleefully massacred the British army.
- Rogues Gallery: Tzim-Sha of the Stenza, Krasko, Jack Robertson, the Pting, Morax, the Reconnaissance Scout Dalek, Kasaavin, the Master, Dregs, Skithra, Judoon, Zellin, Ashad the Lone Cyberman, Sontarans, Swarm and Azure, Weeping Angels and Tecteun.
- Rummage Sale Reject: In keeping with the Doctor's typical (lack of) fashion sense, Thirteen looks like she raided the wardrobe of a 1980s British kids' TV show which, when given thought, is entirely appropriate. Plus, this is even further justified as she bought these clothes from a charity shop when Yaz pointed out that she needed to change and the Doctor observed that she herself had no money.
- Running Gag:
- Not that she finds it funny, but she tends to be separated from the TARDIS a lot... usually because of an explosion.
- She also tends to forget her new gender a lot, demonstrated by getting confused when addressed as "madam", being unsure of where she's supposed to go when the group is split up by gender during Yaz's grandmother's pre-wedding festivities, and accidentally calling herself the "Marvellous Apparating Man" before quickly correcting to "Apparating Lady" when appearing in the Alexandria Gallery in the 1830s.
- Sad Clown: Thirteen is generally a cheerful, silly, and dorky sweetheart, but she still has the same grief and loneliness her previous incarnations have had. It seems she would rather be the former in front of people, and keep her sadness to herself.
- She takes letting down her companions very hard, as shown in "The Ghost Monument" when she is unable to find her TARDIS after having promised her friends that she'd be able to get them home.
- "Arachnids in the UK" shows that she feels desperately lonely, as she's on the verge of tears and only barely keeping up a cheerful tone and smile when she drops Yaz, Graham, and Ryan off at home (though she's barely able to look at them for most of the exchange), knowing that she's going to be alone with her TARDIS once more.
- Seemingly driven home by "Spyfall", where it's revealed that she actually hasn't revealed much about her past to Team TARDIS, almost as if she's afraid of letting people get close to her. And when she does open up after prodding from the fam, she only begrudgingly gives them very limited information and still can't bring herself to tell them about the fact that Gallifrey's been destroyed again, this time by the Master.
- This is a big reason why she hates opening up to her companions, she wants to be a fun familial figure to them, and does not want to upset them with harrowing knowledge.
- Sci-Fi Bob Haircut: Albeit without bangs, and a little longer than is usual for the trope, but still short and suited for a woman building things and sciencing solutions.
- Screw Yourself: While she doesn't go that far, after accidentally splitting herself into three during "The Vanquishers", two versions of Thirteen end up in the same room. They repeatedly compliment each others' looks, and one of them even tells her companions that she has a crush on the other Doctor.
- Seen It All: The Doctor doesn't blink an eye at Yoss' pregnancy in "The Tsuranga Conundrum" it's not the first time she's encountered a pregnant man, and it probably won't be the last time.
- Slapstick Knows No Gender: Like her previous male incarnations, she's had her share of comedic pratfalls, including some scenes where she accidentally electrocutes herself in "The Woman Who Fell To Earth", walks right into an invisible wall and bangs her head in "The Haunting of Villa Diodati", and escapes certain death in a very chaotic and undignified manner at the start of "The Halloween Apocalypse".
- Slasher Smile: Is she genuinely kind? Sure! Does she have a smile that shows too many teeth when she's winning against an enemy? Also yes. This is particularly notable in "Spyfall", as when she is telling the Master that she's implicated him to the Nazis as a British double agent, she's grinning in a way that makes her look positively unhinged.
- Smug Super: She relishes in taunting her enemies, and does it very smugly, with the Slasher Smile above intact as she unleashes her snark.
- Snark-to-Snark Combat: When she is grumpy, she gets rather snarky with her companions, especially Graham, Yaz and Dan. They snark right back at her. Not to mention her dynamic with the Master and her Rogues Gallery.
- Socially Awkward Hero: She is friendly and gregarious but is very awkward and has no filter whatsoever. When meeting the family of one of her companions, she finds that she is not good at small talk since she ends up going off on tangents, which makes her come across as weird.Thirteen: Maybe I'm nervous... or just socially awkward.
- Stepford Smiler: She tends to bottle up her negative emotions and hides her inner turmoil with a cheery disposition, to the point of never confiding any of her unhappy feelings with anyone.
Ryan: And the Master? What did he want with you?
- She acts cheerful and peppy on the surface, but, in "The Ghost Monument", for instance, the cloth weapons on Desolation pick up on the fear within her more than anyone else, not just fears from the many lives she's lived but fear of her "own newness". Additionally, later on in that episode, when the TARDIS isn't where she was told it was going to be, her positive attitude up until that point just disappears. She's clearly crushed that her beloved ship and oldest friend isn't there and believes she's broken her promise to her new friends to get them home safe and alive, almost in tears when the TARDIS finally does arrive.
- In "Spyfall, Part 2", she finds out that the founders of Gallifrey have been hiding something huge from everyone and that Gallifrey has been destroyed, again, by the Master. When seeing the Master's message while alone in the TARDIS, she is visibly furious and distraught, angrily tossing away the recording and staring off in a melancholy fashion. But she still tries to put on a cheery face for her companions, even pasting on a false smile after Yaz asks her if they can visit her home planet. Said smile immediately falls off when she turns and walks away from her companions.
- As she continues to go through the Trauma Conga Line that series 12 gives her, she finds it increasingly harder to maintain her cheerful façade.
- In "Orphan 55", she doesn't even attempt to hide her grumpy mood, snapping at everyone in her vicinity.
- By "Nikola Tesla's Night of Terror", she has largely recovered her ability to fake her positivity, but when the Skithra Queen threatens planetary genocide and taunts her by asking if she's ever seen a dead planet, therefore pressing a huge Berserk Button considering the Doctor had just lost Gallifrey a second time, her happy mask slips off and she coldly declares that the only thing that will be left of the Skithra is a trail of blood and other people's brilliance after they die, and then blasts the ship of Skithra with a gigantic bolt of lightning.
- In "Fugitive of the Judoon", Graham notes that she has been flipping between smiles and being "somewhere else" mentally on a frequent basis. When the Fam express concern about the fact that she's been going to Gallifrey alone, she angrily tells them it's because they ask too many questions. At the end of the episode, when Ryan tries to reassure her by saying that they'll be there for her, no matter what she fears might be coming for her, she snaps at him, coldly saying that he barely knows her since she's lived for thousands of years and the Fam have only been travelling with her for an infinitesimal portion of that time.
- In "The Haunting of Villa Diodati", she is furious when the Fam questions her hesitation to sacrifice Percy Shelley to keep the Cyberium out of the Lone Cyberman's hands, telling them about the ramifications of making that decision, saying that this means their present as they know it would be fundamentally changed and thus, if she does make that decision, she would be sacrificing them, and then she puts them on the spot, asking them if they would be comfortable making that choice. When they hesitate, she is simultaneously unsurprised, disappointed, and angry, and she makes a speech about how she is always the only one who can make these choices, putting herself on an isolated metaphorical summit towering over the rest of them. And then, barely ten minutes later, she's back to joking to Graham that the ghosts he saw might have been real, and then telling everyone to keep having hope.
- In "Ascension of the Cybermen", when Yaz, Graham, and Ryan each state a different obvious observation about how her plan failed, she shouts at them in anger that she knows, causing them to silence quickly in alarm.
- In "Revolution of the Daleks", both Ryan and Yaz call her out for her tendency to fit this trope, telling her that it's okay to show her more negative emotions.
The Doctor: (smiling, somewhat strained) It doesn't even matter now.
Ryan: No, no, no. Don't give me that. Right? I see what you're doing. You're trying to avoid the subject.
- Sugar-and-Ice Personality: In reverse to Twelve, who even before Character Development was softer than he looked, Thirteen tries so hard to at least appear nice that when she backslides into no mercy, or cuts herself off from her companions and snaps at them, it comes as more of a shock. She also favours repression, while her last four incarnations went for the Manly Tears.
- Survivor Guilt: Twelve already described his life as a clerical error, but eventually comes round to "one more lifetime won't kill anyone". Thirteen's guilt comes out in rage, both at herself and her companions for "making them reckless".
- Talking to Themself: When she is alone, she sometimes talks to herself like the companions are still there, often to either cheer herself up or keep her brain busy.
- She weaponizes this in "The Timeless Children", where she essentially talks herself out of a Heroic BSoD.
- Thirteen's tendency to ask herself questions pertaining to the alien threat is lampshaded in "War of the Sontarans".General: Are you asking for a response for your musings?
- This trait is taken Up to Eleven in the "Flux" finale, in which there are two Thirteens who are awfully chatty and even flirt with each other.
- Techno Wizard: She reconfigures Ryan's phone into a tracking device in less than five seconds without a sonic screwdriver.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Seems to have made it her code and is really trying to stick to it and be more merciful than her previous post-Time War incarnations this time around:
- In "The Woman Who Fell to Earth", while she does trick Tzim-Sha into absorbing his own DNA bombs and detonating them inside himself, the result isn't as quick as she'd claimed it would be when talking about them to her new friends and she tosses him his teleport and tells him to go home soon afterwards. She also calls out Karl for trying to kill Tzim-Sha by pushing him off the crane, telling him he had no right to do that.
- In "Kerblam!", she begs Charlie to reconsider his plan before it goes too far and gives him until the last possible second to take the opportunity before she has to teleport away and leave him to his fate, only activating the teleport on Graham's prompting. She's visibly upset afterwards.
- She makes a notable exception to this in "Resolution", but seeing as how the opponent was a Dalek, it's understandable, and the Doctor actually checks with her current companions to ensure that she gave her foe a sufficient opportunity to surrender before trying to kill it.
- She also makes an exception to this in "Nikola Tesla's Night of Terror", as she has no issues with striking the Skithra Queen with a massive blast of lightning. It probably didn't help that the Skithra Queen threatened planetary genocide and hit a Berserk Button by asking the Doctor if she had ever seen a dead planet before, considering the Doctor earlier in the series saw her own planet destroyed.
- Thousand-Yard Stare: Thirteen does a lot of these, particularly in series 12:
- In "Demons of the Punjab", she has this stare when walking away and letting Prem be killed knowing that he has to die to preserve the timeline.
- She stares off into the distance while sitting against one of the pillars in her TARDIS after seeing that Gallifrey was indeed destroyed.
- She does this again at the end of the episode after walking away from Yaz, Graham, and Ryan.
- "Fugitive of the Judoon":
- She does this after walking away from the Ruth!Doctor's TARDIS due to now having to deal with one heck of an identity crisis.
- Earlier in the same episode, Graham implies that she has been doing this a lot:Graham: I mean, one minute, you're all smiles, the next minute, you're somewhere else!
- Yet again in the Season 12 finale, when she goes to make a Heroic Sacrifice to stop the Master.
- She does this again in "Revolution of the Daleks," when trying to work through her continued identity crisis after finding out she's the Timeless Child by announcing that she's the Doctor, and she's the one who stops the Daleks.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: In series 11, Thirteen is generally cheerful, sweet, and good-tempered. But in series 12, due to going through one hell of a Trauma Conga Line with the Master coming back and re-destroying Gallifrey, and Thirteen meeting another incarnation of herself that she has no memory of and who doesn't remember her, she becomes more easily irritated, snippier with her companions, and even harsher with villains, reverting back to the "no second chances" dogma that was characteristic of her previous post-Time War incarnations.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Thirteen is unambiguously a flouncy goofball from the start, but also unambiguously sweet and compassionate in contrast to her predecessor's quiet, oftentimes hard outward demeanour. She's also this to the post-Time War Doctors in general, being far more merciful in her first outing in letting Tzim-Sha teleport back home instead of just letting him die as they would have done. This isn't Ten's "No second chances" Doctor at all. It is notable that this character trait is her direct answer to Twelve's final plea to her in the last moments before regeneration "Laugh hard. Run fast. Be kind."
- Trademark Favourite Food: She enjoys biscuits, with custard creams being a particular favourite and tea.
- Tranquil Fury:
- Like her many regenerations before, you do not want to piss this woman off. All it takes is steel in her voice and fire in her eyes to enlighten whoever crosses her as to just why the Doctor is known as "The Oncoming Storm".
- Poor Yaz lightly mentions the Doctor's grumpiness in "Orphan 55" and gets an icy "my mood's fine".
- The anger that has been trickling in all series comes to a head when she screams at her companions in "Ascension of the Cybermen".
- In "Revolution of the Daleks", she demonstrates this crossed with a Thousand-Yard Stare when she declares, "I'm the Doctor. I'm the one who stops the Daleks."
- Trauma Conga Line: Twelve might have died nobly, but Thirteen is suffering the after-effects of all his trauma (especially failing Bill) and gets her own in series 12. It affects her quite badly.
- Verbal Backspace: She'll state a feeling she's having, but then backtrack on that feeling and claim to be feeling the opposite of what she initially felt. She'll also state one thing before backtracking to elaborate on her statement.
- Verbal Tic:
- When surprised, she tends to give a yelp.
- When making a statement, she'll say "right" before elaborating on her statement.
- When speaking in absolutes, she tends to describe a development, or even a person, with "total".
- She'll say things are going to be "fine" to reassure people, or when describing an ongoing situation, usually when all evidence points to the contrary.
- When pressing someone to move or act quickly, she'll say "chop-chop".
- When explaining her intended actions, she'll utter, "but not right now", to show that she's preoccupied with a different situation than the one she was explaining.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Has the same dynamic with Graham that Eleven had with Rory.
- Waistcoat of Style: Sports a polka-dotted waistcoat as a concession to Regency-era dress in "The Haunting of Villa Diodati".
- Wedding Ring Removal: The first thing that happens to her after regenerating is Twelve's ring (worn by Capaldi to cover his wedding band) sliding off her finger, not unlike how the First Doctor's ring didn't fit the Second's finger.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Her companions call her out for being standoffish and not revealing anything about her past in Series 12.
- Womanchild: She is hyperactive and scatterbrained, and has some very childish tendencies as well. She often pouts and pulls childish facial expressions, not unlike her predecessor-but-one.
- While in Yaz's police car in "The Woman Who Fell to Earth":The Doctor: Can we have the lights and siren on?
The Doctor: [pouts]
- When the Kerblam! Man arrives, she yells out and jumps up and down like a kid, shouting "It's the Kerblam! Man!"
- We see her smile melt when she's told she can't ride the conveyor belts at the Kerblam! warehouse, under threat of getting fired.
- While in Yaz's police car in "The Woman Who Fell to Earth":
- Wrench Wench: Arc-welds her own sonic screwdriver out of a bunch of old spoons and scrap electronics.
Tropes associated with Titan Comics
- Older and Wiser: Meeting Ten and Martha, she stops Ten mentioning Rose because she knows how much it hurts Martha.
Tropes associated with the Doctor Who Expanded Universe:
- Adaptational Personality Change: In the books and comics, which were written before Series 11's premiere, Thirteen hugs her companions and speaks frankly about herself, and in the comics, she's told them about being from Gallifrey, having different appearances, and even about Missy. This is a sharp contrast to her characterisation in the show, particularly in Series 12, where she is intensely secretive about her past, Hates Being Touched, and has a visceral reaction to anything regarding the Master.
- Early-Bird Cameo: She has surprise cameos in The Missy Chronicles and the novelization of "The Day of the Doctor", and is included in Clive's files about the Doctor in the novelization of "Rose", all of which were released during the hiatus between "Twice Upon a Time" and "The Woman Who Fell to Earth".
- She also has a cameo in Tom Baker's Doctor Who Meets Scratchman.
- Metalhead: In the VR game The Runaway, she is shown to enjoy listening to heavy metal and even says that it is excellent for cardio.
- Noodle Incident: According to a photograph seen in the "Rose" novelization, the Thirteenth Doctor had some sort of encounter with a giant frog in front of Buckingham Palace prior to March 2005.
- Writing Around Trademarks: Big Finish currently don't have the rights to her eranote , but that doesn't stop a few incarnations of the Master (crispy, Lumiat, and Saxon) from referring to the Doctor with female pronouns.