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Doctor Who Profile: The Ninth Doctor

Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor, Doctor Who

The Ninth Doctor

Portrayed by: Christopher Eccleston

Companion(s): Rose Tyler, Adam Mitchell, Captain Jack Harkness

Tenure: 10 stories, from “Rose” (March 2005) to “Bad Wolf”/”The Parting of the Ways” (June 2005)

Signature look: Leather jacket, buzz cut

Catchphrase: “Fantastic!”

Personality: The Ninth Doctor is a tricky one. He often seems carefree and goofy, but this masks deep pain and rage. He’s fresh from the Time War and when confronted with a Dalek, his façade crumbles and he becomes unrecognizable to his Companion, Rose. The Ninth Doctor hates guns (except when faced with the Daleks) and has a slightly contentious, if light-hearted relationship with gunslinger Captain Jack. He always makes sure to give his adversaries the opportunity to leave peacefully, offering to help them find a non-violent solution to their needs (resources, space, etc.) and his joy at finding non-violent solutions is palpable. Like some of his predecessors, most notably the Fifth Doctor, the Ninth Doctor is somewhat taciturn, very still, and extremely thoughtful.

Best TARDIS team: Rose and Captain Jack

Worst TARDIS team: Rose and Adam

Signature foe: The Daleks

Best Stories: “Dalek” and “The Empty Child”/“The Doctor Dances”. “Father’s Day” is fantastic as well, but that’s much more Rose’s story than the Doctor’s.

Worst Stories:  Oh, the Slitheen. The less said about “Aliens of London”/“World War Three” the better, despite the introduction of the fabulous Harriet Jones. “The Long Game” is not much better either, again despite a delightful guest star turn, this time from Simon Pegg.

Highlights of tenure: Confronting the lone Dalek, geeking out over Dickens, his long talk with Blon Fel-Fotch in “Boom Town”, and choosing cowardice over killing in “The Parting of the Ways”

Lowlights of tenure: Everything involving the Slitheen in “Aliens of London”/“World War Three”.

Regeneration/First Words: In “Rose”, it appears he is seeing his reflection for the first time, so it’s likely he regenerated recently, presumably after Time Locking the Daleks and Time Lords, thereby ending the Time War, but the specifics of the Doctor’s regeneration into this incarnation are still unknown. His first onscreen line is: “Run!”

Death/Final Words: After taking the Time Vortex energy out of Rose and into his body, saving her but dooming himself, the Doctor picks Rose up, carries her back into the TARDIS, and takes off. Knowing what’s about to happen, he does his best to prepare her: “Rose… before I go, I just wanna tell you, you were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. And do you know what? So was I!”

Memorable quotes:

– [re: his accent] “Lots of planets have a north.”   “Rose”

– “The assembled hordes of Genghis Khan couldn’t get through that door, and, believe me, they’ve tried.”  “Rose”

– “Rose, there’s a man alive in the world who wasn’t alive before. An ordinary man – that’s the most important thing in creation! The whole world’s different because he’s alive!”  “Father’s Day”

– “Everybody lives, Rose. Just this once, everybody lives!”   “The Doctor Dances”

Other notes: Christopher Eccleston has a contentious relationship with his time as the Doctor. There was strife between himself and the production team during filming, causing him to leave after only one season, and since then, he usually doesn’t talk much about his tenure on the show, wanting not to be typecast in audiences’ minds as the Doctor. While many fans hoped he might come back for the 50th Anniversary, and apparently he was approached and was somewhat open to the idea, things didn’t work out.


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