Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor #7 Written by Robbie Morrison …
Francine and Clive Jones are the bitterly divorced parents of Martha, Tish, and Leo. Almost nothing is known of their married life or really anything before Martha met the Doctor, other than that Clive has a much younger girlfriend named Annalise. Tish is the head of PR for an experimental scientist who creates a de-aging machine that winds up turning him into a horrific monster, which she helps Martha and the Doctor defeat. Leo has a far more adventure-adjacent life, managing to avoid both the more traumatic events of “The Lazarus Experiment” and the activities aboard the Valient in “The Sound of Drums”/“Last of the Time Lords”. Tish, Francine, and Clive, however, are taken as hostages by the Master and forced to serve him aboard the Valient, where they manage to eventually assist Captain Jack, the Doctor, and Martha in defeating him. They function very much as a unit, hence their singular profile.
Jackie is the single mother of the teenaged Rose when her life is turned upside down by Rose joining the Doctor in the TARDIS. She ends up embroiled in several of the Doctor’s adventures. Despite her (comparatively) lengthy association with the series, we know very little about her outside of her relationship with her daughter.
River Song is an archaeologist, time traveler, and adventurer whose connection to the Doctor is only revealed slowly over time. When we first meet her in “Silence in the Library”, she has known the Doctor for a long time, and though that adventure ends up being their last together from her perspective, it is only the beginning for the Doctor.
It is implied, over the course of her tenure, that River is the Doctor’s lover (and, if you count an alternate timeline ceremony, his wife) as well as the daughter of his longtime companions Amy Pond and Rory Williams. River and the Doctor, both being time travelers, never meet in the right order, so they rely on River’s TARDIS-blue diary to calibrate themselves and avoid “spoilers”.
Doctor Who may be an international phenomenon, but when it comes to specials, particularly multi-Doctor specials, it doesn’t have the best track record. The Three Doctors (1972-73) , which kicked off the 10th season of the show, is fun, but lacks any significant emotional punch. The Five Doctors (1983), the 20th anniversary special, is a bit of a lark but it not only fails to live up to its title (the Fourth Doctor only barely appears, in one looped clip), it wastes most of its special guest stars. Then there’s The Two Doctors (1985), which doesn’t carry the extra burden of being an anniversary special but still fails to leave much of an impression, despite being an entertaining outing. Throw in the modern series’ spotty history with Christmas and Gap Year specials and current showrunner Steven Moffat’s season seven struggles with pacing, payoffs, and character and “The Day of the Doctor” looked to have a lot riding against it, despite the much-touted return of Tenth Doctor David Tennant and Billie Piper, who played fan-favorite Companion Rose Tyler. Fortunately with “The Day of the Doctor”, all of these fears are proven to be unfounded, as Moffat and director Nick Hurran deliver an exciting, emotional special.
In the last five years of Doctor Who, the Daleks have pulled the Earth out of its orbit and dragged it across the galaxy. The Doctor has witnessed the end of the universe, pulled into nonexistence by the explosion of his TARDIS, and saved only by a bold and completely ludicrous plot to reboot everything with a “Big Bang 2.0.”. The Doctor has survived his own death, despite it being a fixed point in time. He has romanced a woman who he cradled in his arms during her infancy, befriended his future mother-in-law when she was a child, and been saved from a villain infecting his entire timeline by a pretty girl willing to do the same. Doctor Who is, to put it gently, completely nuts, a ludicrous hour of television that bends suspension of disbelief until it begs to break.
The Tenth Doctor is one of the more human Doctors. He’s warm, funny, and rather emotional. He can be incredibly short-sighted and dense when it comes to his Companions’ feelings, but he for the most part is highly emotionally intuitive. Still recovering from the Time War, a wrathful anger lurks beneath his friendly façade, but it very rarely comes out. This Doctor is very energetic, finding it difficult to sit still under normal circumstances, and he talks a mile a minute, a distinct contrast from the Ninth Doctor.
Harriet Jones is a public servant representing Flydale North at 10 Downing Street when she becomes swept up in the Doctor and Rose’s attempts to stop the Slitheen. When we later encounter her, she’s risen to Prime Minister and though she’s driven out of office, she continues her work defending the Earth from her home.
Mickey is a fairly nondescript young man when his girlfriend Rose encounters the Doctor. Swept along (and nearly killed by the Autons), he initially reacts with fear and disbelief to the dangers represented by the Doctor. After Rose leaves with the Doctor, disappearing for a year, as far as her mother and the police are concerned, Mickey is suspected of being responsible for her disappearance and this nearly destroys his life. After a few more adventures with the Doctor on Earth, he’s invited aboard the TARDIS, but turns down the Doctor, still fearful, but eventually he invites himself aboard, much to Sarah Jane’s delight, and travels with the Doctor and Rose for a few stories before opting to stay in a parallel universe in which they find themselves. He of course ends up back home before too long, though.
Dr. Martha Jones is a medical student when she encounters the Doctor at her hospital, mid-investigation. What else is a girl to do after her workplace is transferred to the moon but begin time traveling with a charming alien who saves her life? In contrast to Rose, Martha comes from an upper middle class background and is a driven career woman. When given the opportunity to have an adventure or two and be home in time for rounds the next day though, she jumps at the chance.
Captain Adelaide Brooke is the famed commander of Bowie Base One, the first human colony on Mars, famous for mysteriously exploding. Orphaned during the Dalek attacks (the events of “The Stolen Earth”/“Journey’s End”), Adelaide grew up fascinated with space after staring into the eyestalk of a Dalek hovering outside her window who flew back to base and left her alive, rather than killing her as by all accounts, it should have. She dedicated her life to science and exploration, though she also had a family- a daughter and eventually, a granddaughter. When the Doctor stumbles upon Adelaide and her crew, he knows their death will galvanize the planet, particularly Adelaide’s granddaughter, and push the human race out to the stars, making the events on Mars a fixed point in time. Adelaide has a degree in mathematics as well as a doctorate in physics and she has extensive training as an astronaut, having worked for NASA before starting her work at Bowie Base One.
Sarah Jane is a journalist sneaking in to UNIT with her virologist aunt’s credentials when she meets the Doctor. She’s eventually caught, but she leaves an impression and ends up replacing the recently-departed Jo Grant as the Companion. After traveling with the Doctor, he drops her off in the wrong city, if not the wrong time, leaving her behind when faced with a summons to Gallifrey. Sarah runs into the Doctor again much later, allowing her to meet Rose and Mickey and get some much-needed closure.
Pete is one of only a handful of characters on Doctor Who that audiences meet in separate dimensions, including Companions Liz Shaw, the Brig, Mickey Smith, and ally Jackie Tyler (though we only meet her doppelganger very briefly). First introduced as Rose’s father who’d died when she was a baby, a bit of a dreamer and get-rich-quick schemer who, though his heart was in the right place, wasn’t the best husband, the Pete we spend more time with is an incarnation from an Alternate Dimension, affectionately called “Pete’s World” by the Doctor. This version found success with one of his early schemes and is a well-respected, incredibly wealthy executive and inventor. In this timeline, though he and Jackie married, they never had any children, leading to somewhat strained interactions with Rose when he realizes their connection. It turns out that Pete is working under deep cover within the company manufacturing Cybermen in an attempt to bring them down. He teams up with the Doctor, Mickey, and Rose, eventually forming close ties with Rose and marrying Jackie.
While working as a temp at a large security firm in London, Donna meets a coworker to whom she eventually becomes engaged. On her wedding day, as she’s walking down the aisle, she starts glowing, screams, and is teleported into the TARDIS, where she meets the Doctor. She discovers her fiancé had been poisoning her coffee as part of a nefarious scheme and, after saving the day with the Doctor, turns down his offer to travel with him, being too afraid of what that life means. Soon, though, she regrets her decision and refocuses her life on finding the Doctor and getting a second chance, hunting out alien plots and schemes, which is what she’s doing when she comes across the Doctor a second time, foils the Adipose with him, invites herself aboard the TARDIS, and heads out to the stars.
When Ninth Doctor Christopher Eccelston left Doctor Who after only one season, he left behind a set of episodes that were a great reintroduction to the classic series but more than anything, they were a springboard for whoever was going to take over the iconic role next. David Tennant’s Tenth remains one of the most memorable and beloved Doctors in the show’s long history. Bolstered by a robust and often deeply moving performance by Tennant, this five year run produced some of the finest Doctor Who stories in the show’s 50 year run. Here are Ten’s ten best stories:
When we first meet this character in Victorian London, he believes himself to be the Doctor, so we initially learn very little about his background. Throughout the story it’s revealed that Jackson Lake had traveled with his family to London only to see his wife murdered by the Cybermen and child taken to be used as a laborer.
Captain Jack Harkness is human from the 51st century who is a former model turned former Time Agent turned con man when he first meets The Doctor in WWII London. After helping the Doctor and Rose save the day, Jack joins the TARDIS team until his death. Brought back to life (permanently) by a Time Vortex-y Rose, Jack goes on many other adventures (detailed in Torchwood) before running across the Doctor and Martha. Jack leaves the TARDIS a second time (more Torchwood), before returning to help the Doctor and Donna save the universe and leaving the TARDIS for the third and, so far, final time.