Doctor Who Character Guide: The Ninth Doctor (Major Spoilers!)

Starting now, once I start delving into a particular fandom that I’m doing a rewatch of, I’ll also be posting several guides or character studies as we go along. Right now, we are beginning our journey throughout space and time with The Doctor, so I will be posting character guides and studies based on the major characters featured in “Doctor Who” since its revival in 2005. As we have begun our journey with the Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler in the last post, my “Doctor Who” Series 1 Review, let us take a closer look at the Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston), and why he is, for lack of a better word, simply “fantastic”.

Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor is very near and dear to many Whovians as his Doctor kickstarted a whole new era of “Doctor Who”. Sadly, though, as many do get into “Doctor Who” through the later Doctors, particularly through David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor and Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor, Eccelston’s run and his incredible performance here is often overlooked. However, Eccleston did a great job at getting people at the time he was the Doctor to watch the show again, and he did a great job of being the Doctor.

Generally speaking, the Ninth Doctor was more of a man of action, someone who had a playful and jokey side to him, although it was very obvious that he was masking a lot of pain and sorrow behind that jovial mask of his. He was one of those Doctors that was very “alien”, and he never found the need to show off or help fix things in a grand matter. He just did what he believed and thought that he needed to do in order to fix things that weren’t right.

His relationship with his companion, Rose Tyler (Billie Piper), was an amazing one. He showed her the universe, while she became his moral compass.

The Ninth Doctor’s theme song in the series is entitled “The Doctor’s Theme”, which was written by Murray Gold, who has been composing the music for “Doctor Who” since 2005.

Now, with all that out of the way, let’s delve into spoiler territory.


The Ninth Doctor was a Doctor born out of war, out of his time and the difficult decisions and actions he had to do during the Last Great Time War- a great war that was waged between his people, the Time Lords of Gallifrey, and the Daleks (one of the Doctor’s greatest enemies, and a classic Who villain whom they brought back into the consciousness of viewers). Because of this, he showed signs of PTSD, was closed off emotionally, and tried to mask it with a little bit of a jovial attitude, although when triggered, he would react emotionally. This was a Doctor that was honest and didn’t really come up with elaborate plans, didn’t spend time talking about his feelings, and saved the day when it did need saving, but he did it without much fanfare.

In fact, his theme, Murray Gold’s “The Doctor’s Theme”, pretty much sums up who this Doctor is- the tune has strains of deep melancholy, making it very haunting, and it isn’t anything grandiose, but more quiet. Also, this theme is the pattern that was also used for the Tenth Doctor’s theme, “The Doctor’s Theme Series 4”, and parts of it can be heard throughout the entire revived series, which makes sense since he was the beginning of a new era of Doctors.

His crowning moments,  came in “The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances”, when he was overjoyed to see that “just this once, everyone lives”; and in “Bad Wolf/Parting of the Ways” when he willingly sacrificed himself for Rose by absorbing all of the energy in the TARDIS’ Time Vortex, which she had looked into.

In a way, those two incidents allowed him to redeem himself, especially as he felt guilty about what he had done during the events of the Time War.

Conversely, he did have a very dark and turbulent side to him, due to him being the incarnation of the Doctor that came right after the Time War. This was seen in “Dalek”, in which he was ready to kill that lone Dalek, and told the Dalek to die; and in the “Parting of the Ways”/”Bad Wolf”, in which he called out the Daleks, defied them outright, and threw his title as “The Oncoming Storm” to them right at their faces. (In fact, I think that in this modern era of “Doctor Who”, the only Doctor that matches his hatred of the Daleks is the Eleventh Doctor, who really showed no mercy towards them at all. The Tenth Doctor hated them, but wasn’t as outwardly as angry at them as Nine and Eleven were.)

Thankfully though, the Doctor was able to become more human and more compassionate thanks to his companion Rose.

Rose was just an ordinary nineteen year old girl, who, after her first ever adventure with the Ninth Doctor, was given the opportunity to experience the universe. However, along the way, Rose gave the Ninth Doctor someone to care about, reminded him about the greatness of humanity, broke down those emotional walls he had put up for himself, and became his moral guide, and in the end, she unknowingly shaped him to become the hero that he was meant to be.

This is also why it is no surprise that he regenerated into the Tenth Doctor, who loved humanity, life, and strove to give back to Rose, since she had helped him so much.

While I do admit that I do like Rose and Ten (David Tennant) together, I LOVE the relationship that Nine and Rose had with each other. I feel that it was in this series that they both actively changed each other for the better.

I loved the Ninth Doctor for who he was when I first watched it, but this rewatch really made me love and appreciate the Ninth Doctor even more.

So, never count out the Ninth Doctor, because after all, Ten, Eleven and Twelve would have never come to be if it weren’t for this one, the Doctor that ushered in the modern era of “Doctor Who”.

Best Episodes:


The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances

Parting of the Ways/Bad Wolf

Best Quotes:

“Run!” – “Rose”

Rose: Really though, Doctor. Tell me. Who are you?
The Doctor:  Do you know like we were saying? About the Earth revolving? It’s like when you’re a kid. The first time they tell you that the world’s turning
and you just can’t quite believe it because everything looks like it’s standing still. I can feel it. {he grabs her hand} The turn of the Earth. The ground beneath our
feet is spinning at a thousand miles an hour. And the entire planet is hurtling around the sun at sixty-seven thousand miles an hour and I can feel
it. We’re falling through space, you and me. Clinging to the skin of this tiny little world and if we let go… {he drops her hand}. That’s who I am. Now forget
me, Rose Tyler. Go home.- “Rose”

The Doctor: Alright, then. If you want orders, follow this one: Kill yourself.

Dalek: The Daleks must survive!

The Doctor: The Daleks have failed! Now why don’t you finish the job and make the Daleks extinct?! Rid the universe of your filth! Why don’t you just die?!

Dalek: You would make a good Dalek.- “Dalek”

“Fantastic!” (signature catchphrase)

“I like bananas. Bananas are good.”- The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances

“Everybody lives, Rose! Just this once! Everybody lives!”- The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances

“You know what they call me in the ancient legends on the Dalek home world? “The Oncoming Storm”. You might have removed all your emotions, but I reckon right down deep in your DNA there’s one little spark left. And that’s fear. Doesn’t it just burn when you face me?”- Parting of the Ways/Bad Wolf

“Coward. Anyday.” – Parting of the Ways/Bad Wolf

“Rose, before I go, I just want to tell you, you were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. And you know what? So was I.”-Parting of the Ways/Bad Wolf



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