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What if… the 8th Doctor was the War Doctor?

Guest contributor Glenn Reuben examines what might have happened with Paul McGann in the role.

hurt-mcgann-war-white

I’m going to say it, even though it’s probably an unpopular opinion: I didn’t really enjoy The Day of the Doctor. Some of it was good, but it did seem a bit of a run-of-the-mill story in parts, particularly the Zygon subplot. But the main reason for this was because of the creation of the War Doctor. Lovely and brilliant as John Hurt is, having suddenly inserted his character in-between the Eighth and Ninth Doctors seemed to cheat me a little of having an existing Doctor. The War Doctor was ravaged and damaged, certainly, but he was still the Doctor (and cuddlier than some might’ve thought), despite what Steven Moffat said. And then denied. Then confirmed again, 100%. Maybe.

I’ve read the reasons suggesting that Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor should’ve been in the War Doctor’s role in The Day of the Doctor (see Will Stanford’s article here). And yes, some of them seem valid enough. But surely Paul McGann appearing as the Eighth Doctor would’ve been the icing on the cake? And what’s more, it could’ve been achieved with the Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Doctors appearing and still made a compelling and emotional 50th anniversary story. And here’s how it could’ve been done…

“Those are my ghosts, my past. Every good day, every bad day.”

john-hurt-doctor-who-name-of-the-doctor-backLet’s start with the ending of The Name of the Doctor, an ending that relied on the surprise reveal of John Hurt. If we were in the Doctor’s time stream, we would’ve seen events from the Doctor’s past through all of his lives. As the Eleventh Doctor rescues Clara, he sees a figure who, instead of facing away, is standing in the shadows, his hand hovering over a big, red, threatening button:

Clara: Who’s that?
The Doctor: Never mind. Let’s get back.
Clara: Who is he?
The Doctor: He’s me. There’s only me here, that’s the point. Now let’s get back.
Clara: But which one of you is he? I saw all of you. Eleven faces. All of them you. You’re the Eleventh Doctor, so which Doctor is he?
The Doctor: I said he was me. I never said he was the Doctor.
Clara: But I don’t understand.
The Doctor: My name, my real name, that is not the point. The name I chose is the Doctor. The name you choose, it’s like, it’s like a promise you make. He’s the one who broke the promise.  Clara? Clara! He is my secret.
The Eighth Doctor: What I did, I did without choice.
The Doctor: I know.
The Eighth Doctor: In the name of peace and sanity.
The Doctor: But not in the name of the Doctor.

At this point, you could show McGann’s face and have the closing credits end with “Paul McGann” but not as “The Doctor”, just Paul McGann.

The tagline of the episode, as demonstrated in a previous post, is “The Doctor has a secret he will take to the grave, and it is discovered”. Now it’s obviously no secret that he ended the Time War, and most people up until this episode had assumed it was either Eight or Nine that had done the deed, but the fact that an incarnation would no longer be considered the Doctor, and the fact that it could’ve been McGann, is something secretive and extremely un-Doctor-like in of itself. Obviously, it doesn’t come close to his name being revealed, but that was the assumption before the episode anyway. So a McGann reveal would still make logical sense and would’ve perhaps been an even bigger moment in fandom and for the general public.

“Who am I? Who am I? Who… Am… I?!”

paul mcgann doctor who 2013 night of the doctor (2)In addition, let’s not forget the Eighth Doctor’s first words. This is a man who has been dealing with identity crisis since he first regenerated. So let’s pretend that The Night of the Doctor is still present, but actually serves as a pre-credits sequence to The Day of the Doctor. And let’s also pretend that he managed to teleport Cass away in the nick of time from her ship, but couldn’t escape from it himself before it crashed, yet he still survive (I mean, if Eleven can survive crash-landing to Earth in The Doctor, the Witch and the Wardrobe, he can survive Karn-age; sorry for the pun).

The Sisterhood would therefore discover him in a very battered and bruised state (physically from the crash, emotionally from being compared to a Dalek) and, instead of offering him the chance to regenerate, they ask what the point of him is any more. Through various novels and audio dramas, he is a traumatised soul, more so than ever now, and is telling himself “I don’t suppose there’s any need for a Doctor any more…”, which makes for a very dramatic idea for an anniversary story. Thus, the Sisterhood ask him to do what’s right and seek out the Moment:

The Eighth Doctor: She wanted to see the universe.
Ohila: She didn’t miss much, it’s very nearly over.
The Eighth Doctor: I offered her a chance to escape but she wouldn’t listen to me.
Ohila: Then she was wiser than you. She understood there was no escaping in the Time War. You are a part of this, Doctor, whether you like it or not. Seize the Moment and end it for us, for everyone.
The Eighth Doctor: I would rather die.
Ohila: Then how many more will you let join you? If she were here now, what would she say?
The Eighth Doctor: To me, nothing. I’m a Time Lord, everything she despised.
Ohila: She would beg your help, as we beg your help now. The universe stands on the brink. Will you let it fall?
[pause as the Eighth Doctor turns away, deep in thought]
Ohila: Doctor?
The Eighth Doctor: (sarcastically) Doctor? Huh…Doctor Who?

And at that point, Eight disowns the title of the Doctor and decides to make the ultimate self-sacrifice.

“Four minutes? That’s ages!”

With this pre-credits sequence, The Day of the Doctor immediately gains 7 minutes and McGann truly gets a chance to shine for the rest of the episode. Granted, some of his lines would need to change, but the comparison with between the classic and new series Doctors would still remain, albeit slightly more toned down. Besides, we don’t really need a “Grandad” Doctor to re-enforce the idea that Ten and Eleven behave like children, and anyway, pretty much all the Doctors have behaved childishly at various points (including William Hartnell’s First Doctor). Additionally, I wouldn’t have the Moment tied down to be Rose, but have it morph into various companions. That just never made sense to me, even if she was a Bad Wolf personification.

war-doctor-eccleston-regeneration-extendedAnd speaking of Bad Wolf – what of Christopher Eccleston, I don’t hear you ask? Well, instead of not having Nine at all, or having him as the War Doctor, why not do what they did for Ten and give him a new story? He doesn’t necessarily need to come from before Rose, when he is a new man. I actually think a more appropriate place to take him from is just before (coincidentally) Bad Wolf, specifically in Kyoto, 1336, where he, Rose and Jack had narrowly escaped from trouble. Nine could’ve created a distraction, away from Rose and Jack, and been given his own story (my idea involves going to Mondas, seeing every version of the Cybermen, and giving the Master his Harold Saxon alias, but that’s not for here) before going through a portal and ending up in England, 1562 and meeting Ten, and then Eleven. From then on, it’s pretty much business as usual, and you would get a real movie-length story (well, 90 minutes at least).

To cap things off, McGann would leave the gallery in 2013, and it’s then that we see how he is mortally wounded and forced to regenerate into Eccleston, who finds himself in London, 2005 (again, my idea is for elsewhere). That way, Eight, Nine, Ten and Eleven in this story are all taken just before the end of their lives. Hopefully, both McGann and Eccleston would’ve appreciated their characters receiving some extra background.

“Eleven’s hour is over now; the clock is striking twelve’s.”

And what’s more, none of this would damage the 12 regenerations/13 incarnations rule. The Time of the Doctor would become much more dedicated to Eleven, whereas The Day of the Doctor would remain about the Doctor. Moffat would instead let Eleven battle his foes at Trenzalore, be given some Time Lord essence through the crack to help him and generally have a story specific to his incarnation, as the poem says.

I know my idea is imperfect, and perhaps too fan-orientated, but part of me feels sorry for Paul McGann and Christopher Eccleston. But I’m sure they don’t care too much, so I will just carry on, just like the Doctor does. Besides, I wanted the Twelfth Doctor to be Ben Daniels, but you can’t have it all, can you?

Step back in time...

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118 comments
pumadumcook
pumadumcook

I agree completely with this article. I very strongly disagree with Moffat and him just not seeing 8 being the war Doctor. 8 started out cute and cuddly but if you have listened to Big Finish you would know that he isn't always that. It also would have had a much more dramatic effect....imo... to have shown how the war was so terrible that it could change someone like 8 to murder his own people. McGann could have definitely pulled this off. He is a dramatic actor and prefers to do the darker stuff and he has done it quite effectively in the past....just watch, Paper Mask, Afraid of the Dark, Forgotten, Ripper Street, and the last half hour of Nature Boy and you'll see just how strong a dramatic actor he is. Would I have wanted the 8th Doctor...my favorite...to be the bad guy? Well not really but Moffat could have redeemed him in the end. He did that anyway with Hurt's Doctor. I was very disappointed with the 50th story. I didn't think Hurt's performance was all that special or impressive. He was hyped up to be someone who was evil and did such a horrible act that the later Doctors would not speak of it. This was hyped up to be so secretive yet the thing that he did was no secret at all. We all knew the Doctor killed his own people. The only thing that was secret was another incarnation of the Doctor that we didn't know about. This didn't impress me at all. Too me it was just a propaganda move....an excuse to get some big name to sell a show that doesn't need any selling. In the end Hurt did not come off as evil, horrible, and crochety. He was just an old, tired man that you just felt sorry for and he was redeemed in the end. I think getting 8 instead of Hurt would have been much more effective. Obviously Moffat had no plans to feature any pre-nine Doctors in the anniversary....I believe Tom Baker was an after thought after so many fans complaining when he said there were no classic Doctors in the 50th. Hurt's part was written for 9 but he turned it down. Besides I always got the impression that 9 has just regenerated in "Rose" so couldn't have fought much of the Time War. I think it's a real shame and a big mistake that he didn't give it to McGann. McGann should have been first choice but that's just my opinion

RyanKennethLeddy
RyanKennethLeddy

With Torchwood and Sarah Jane adventures gone, fans are forced to wait very long times between getting to enjoy the wonders of the Who-verse. They need to make another show...Like, rebooting Torchwood, pretending miracle day never happens, and bringing in Mickey and Martha to join Torchwood, which would explain their absence from "The Day of the Doctor" since of the Doctor's recent former companions, Mick and Martha are the only ones he can visit. Rose is stuck in Pete's World, he can't ever talk to Donna, and the Ponds are time-locked somewhere. So, if UNIT summoned the Doctor for a urgent matter then why wouldn't Martha (and possibly Mickey) be there considering she still works there from time to time?

Also, would really like to see a show about the Time Agency, revolving around Captain Jack and John... Obviously would be for adults only, but come on? How awesome would that be.

If not Torchwood/Jack related, then how about giving the 8th Doctor his own miniseries? McGann is so brilliant and captivating as the Doctor, yet he hardly got the chance to play him on screen and has yet to be seen by many of the new Who fans. The Series would of course end with his regeneration into the War Doctor.

The8thDoctor
The8thDoctor

The regenerations were counted off to allow the writers to deal with the issue of 13 lives.  It is a shame that 8th and War Doctor incarnations were dumped in the bin to allow that but we live in a throw away society and even a show with 50 years behind it has some rubbish,  ask Jon Nathan Turner  and yet his rubbish doctors are revered and talent like  Paul McGann is treated like a sub-power Doctor.

OnceTheDoctor
OnceTheDoctor

Personally, I think the War Doctor should have been the 8th and I don't see why it wasn't. McGann would have definitely been up for it , I'm sure. Plus he's the Doctor we literally knew nothing about so could have developed him much further. 

PeterThompson
PeterThompson

The one thing that was truly missing from the name of the doctor for me was emotion. We finally see the doctor at the point he ends the time war and the one who's emotional is Clara. I wanted to see conflict - instead of just changing their mind their should have been some going back and forth with the war doctor unsure about what he should do for example mentioning the timelord's plan to destory time and how letting them live would be bad etc. Instead it was rushed.







WhoPotterVian
WhoPotterVian

What if the 1st  Doctor was the War Doctor? That would have been even more interesting. David Bradley as William Hartnell as the Doctor(like in AAISAT) alongside 10 and 11 would have been epic.

aab0289
aab0289

Would have been interesting, especially with people recognising Mcgann with him turning around to the screen with instead of his credit as the doctor, but a question mark as in Doctor Who? Thus he would've been a polar opposite to his 1st story, full of hope & wonder & love. It'd show just how twisted the time war was for him to change so much in 1 incantation. His journey would then raise the question of how did he fall so far from what he stood for. I still love the night of the doctor for it beautifully fits this concept.









craig33
craig33

The eighth doctor should have ended the time war. It would have made so much sense and not had convoluted the timeline. It cant have been Eccleston as he'd just regenerated as seen when he sees his reflection in his debut episode. Moffat says that he couldn't see mcganns 8th doctor fighting in the time war, hovever, the way that moffat had wrote him was that he had changed since the movie and if you've got listened to the big finish adventures getting progressively darker. Then it is easy to imagine that it was paul mcganns doctor that fought and (thought he'd) ended the time war. It would have been great to see him in the scenes with the 10th and 11th doctors and the moment when all 3 tried to save gallifrey. I loved john hurts war doctor and would love to see more of him but I would have preferred mcgann taking the role. Moffat dropped the ball there. Mcganns adventures in audio could have had a massive arc leading to "the moment". But hey, we now have a film legend as a past doctor. Ups and downs eh?

awkward912
awkward912

I'm very flattered that my humble little article has inspired another in this way, thank you kindly. Some great ideas here, especially surrounding The Night of the Doctor.

Diana van der Pluijm
Diana van der Pluijm

I absolutely would've loved for it to have gone like you described. A shame and a wasted opportunity to grant McGann the screen time he so deserves.

The_Eternal_Dalek
The_Eternal_Dalek

The problem with this one (according to Moffat anyway) is that Paul McGann's Doctor as we all know is very human, "young" (okay, he's in his 50s but he still looks young) and charming. That makes him too similar to both Tennant and Smith's Doctors and he needed somebody completely different. Eccelston would have worked in this aspect, but messed up the story a bit, McGann would have worked in the story, but the character interactions wouldn't have worked as well.

The Living Angel
The Living Angel

John Hurt or Paul McGann, hmmmmm John Hurt! all the way.

Hibernus
Hibernus

This version of the episode is the one I was hoping to see all along, hah. Would've been such a well rounded trio of Doctors with McGann on board.

MarlonJBonnici
MarlonJBonnici

"I’m going to say it, even though it’s probably an unpopular opinion: I didn’t really enjoy The Day of the Doctor."

Unpopular or not you're allowed to share it. God nearly everything I say here is moaned at so you'll certainly get no argument from me on this article, which was very well written by the way!

I thought the special was ok. Just ok. Not groundbreaking, not special and certainly not worthy of a 50th anniversary whatsoever. Joanna Page should not have been in it and I felt that it undid a lot of things that were introduced when the show first returned and I personally felt kinda cheated by it. But that's just me. I don't expect people to agree or like it but that's just my opinion on the matter.


John Hurt however I feel made an excellent addition to the "Who" Role! I would happily watch him again and again but considering he was perhaps one of the Dr's biggest secrets I felt he was under used. It was great to have Tennent back and Matt Smith was suitably "Doctorish" As usual but when you have an actor like John Hurt you NEED to make use of him.

And let's not forget the fact that had McGann Or Ecclestone been in there instead of John Hurt (Which wouldn't have bothered me in the slightest) then Matt's finish would have been quite different. My own unpopular opinion is that the entire Trenzalore/Fall of the eleventh plot arc was shoe horned in because Moffat created the war Dr and then decided to use the tenth Dr's meta regeneration to bump up the Regeneration count. I've a feeling that if McGann Or Ecclestone had of returned Matt's swansong would have been a great deal different.

Just my thoughts.

Celadiel
Celadiel

I liked the 50th, as it was, but what bothers me, is that somehow, I cant really relate to the stories anymore. I was awe-struck when Name came on, I cheered with the crowd in the cinema during Day and I loved the Towertop-Regeneration during time. But if you watch these afterwards, I felt left feeling a little empty.


The idea of the war doctor was wonderful, but in my opinion it didnt life up to the high expectations raised by Moffat and Others during Promotion. I mean, what exactly about him was "Warrior"? There was always Talk about bloodshed, but when we were introduced to him, he took a gun and... spread words. Like the doctors before and after him would do. I dont see, what made him so special for the Day of the Doctor. I dont think that this is hurts fault because he is of course a brilliant actor, but perhaps its the point that no one really dies anymore.

This might sound dumb in a way, but if there is no such drama on screen, one (or at least me^^) is left wondering, what exactly made the Time War so horrible, what happened to the people on Trenzalore etc. I dont want to turn this into generic Moffat-bashing, because he is of course one of the most brilliant writers in living memory. But his tendency to rescue everyone, to cheat death at every corner takes away from the story to a certain extent, I think.


PS: Im not a native speaker, so please forgive my spelling :D

Sir James Bond
Sir James Bond

Eight would've been great 

Nine would've been fine 

Cushing would've been pushing 


It

Dalekium
Dalekium

I would've preferred the "War Doctor" to have been Paul McGann, although not necessarily in the way the author of this article would go about it. However this article does still make for an interesting alternative.

Mr_Fiction
Mr_Fiction

I loved John Hurt as the Doctor but I would have liked to see more of the 8th Doctor in the 50th. He was excellent.

Deus_Ex_Machina
Deus_Ex_Machina

A well written article, but I must politely disagree. Aside from the fact that I like the idea of a new Doctor and I don't mind the shuffling round of the regenerations, I just can't see McGann fighting in the Time War. He's not that kind of guy. That's even taking into consideration his darker personality in Dark Eyes.

Speaking of which, Dark Eyes 2 came out today and it is brilliant!

WiblyWoblyTimyWimyMOFFAT
WiblyWoblyTimyWimyMOFFAT

I like your article BUT how can you not like the 50th? It was great how the three doctors interacted with each other. The Gallifrey plot was "fantastic" and even the zygon plot was nice; we see the 11th doctor start investigating in 2013, and the we see the begin of the invasion in 1522! Loved it !

JackArtaganMackenna
JackArtaganMackenna

If Eight had been the War Doctor, than a significant part of the story - the Doctor's name, and what being ''the Doctor'' *means* - would not have worked. I'm really confused about how DotD is ''run of the mill'', too - to me, it was one of the most inventive and clever episodes we've ever had.

CommonOceanHomer
CommonOceanHomer

The Doctor healing River's hand in TATM would sort out the regeneration problem, whether 8 or 9 was the War Doctor, and I assume Moffat wrote that hoping Chris would return and Matt would still be the last Doctor.

The Living Angel
The Living Angel

Before the 50th, I wanted McGann to be in it so badly, and then came, John Hurts introduction and I was sold! from the first moments. His first words, I think will go down in Whostory as one of those key iconic moments.

John Hurt, was a fantastic! Doctor, one of the very best. I loved how he was so war torn and sad, yet underneath it all he still felt like The Doctor, trying to do what's best. So sad and so beautifully acted.Not forgetting that we then got the huge surprise of, The Night of the Doctor. Seven minutes of jaw dropping McGann. For me, I think the whole thing was handled just right. A secret Doctor that we never knew existed, genius! and then for that actor to be John Hurt! we are lucky son's of bees.I would love, more than anything for more multi Doctor story's, involving McGann or Bradled as the First or The Curator or maybe even a far off future incarnation

Cosmic_Hobo
Cosmic_Hobo

Agreed. For me at least, having McGann in the 50th would have topped it off nicely. Moreover, I recall reading somewhere Moffat saying he "couldn't see the 8th doctor in the time war." (Or words to those affect.)  Anyone who listened to Nick Briggs' to "To The Death" would surely disagree... Regardless, "the Night of the Doctor" was a great surprise. 

Calufrax11
Calufrax11

Well, I would have preferred 8 be the "War Doctor" purely for the fact that it would compensate for 8's lack of a televisual presence. Placing him at the center of a central event in the Doctor's life grants him the significance/magnitude of adventure that he so rightly deserved. I'm aware that his Doctor was granted an expanded life due to Big Finish (which I enjoy immensely, having listened to most of 8's), but it doesn't supplant the validity televised stories provide Doctors with. 



Gluben
Gluben

@awkward912 You're most welcome. I had always intended to write something based around the Eighth Doctor, but yours gave me the kick I needed!

Gluben
Gluben

@The_Eternal_Dalek The character of the Eighth Doctor would, I believe, have been so significantly scarred from the Time War that his youth would've died a long time ago.

Gluben
Gluben

@The Living Angel I think the whole approach of "Wow, we've got John Hurt as the Doctor, isn't that amazing?" is a bit contrived for me to be honest. I personally wouldn't have cast an actor with a huge profile as the Doctor just to attract audiences, even worldwide ones. Anyone who cares about Doctor Who will tune in regardless (maybe more so for McGann), and anyone who's new can be introduced to his Doctor and all the others anyway.

Then again, that's probably why I don't run the show!

Gluben
Gluben

@MarlonJBonnici I agree with you about Eleven's swansong and the shoehorning in of the regenerations issue; I believe Moffat did that deliberately to get rid of the rule himself rather than let it play out naturally - a decision I didn't really like either.

Gluben
Gluben

@Dalekium Thanks anyway! How would you have preferred it to go?

plasticsoulman
plasticsoulman

@Mr_Fiction Me too, but now that McGann has been properly introduced into "new who" there's nothing to stop any future multi Doctor appearances, he deserves the screen time

DalekSupreme1
DalekSupreme1

@Mr_Fiction I disagree with literally EVERYTHING in this article - Christopher Eccleston definitely does not deserve anyone feeling sorry for him and Paul McGann has his own series in the form of the Big Finish audios - to turn him into the war doctor would have done no more than limit those - which is definitely not what we want. Personally, I hope that Dark Eyes is going to end up becoming the beginning of the Time War, up to the 8th Doctor's regeneration and then we can have a Big Finish for John Hurt too!!!

Gluben
Gluben

@Deus_Ex_Machina I always imagined that the off-screen Time War could've changed McGann into "that kind of guy". And that would've made an amazing bit of drama.

Gluben
Gluben

@WiblyWoblyTimyWimyMOFFAT I found the Gallifrey plot fantastic, yes, but the Zygon plot just seemed a bit unneccessary, as was Ten's appearance - why have Ten there when Nine wasn't?

It wasn't terrible, just not amazing, to me anyway.

Gluben
Gluben

@JackArtaganMackenna I'd argue that other episodes like Blink or The Girl Who Waited were more inventive. Agree though about part of the story being changed; certainly some rewriting would've been necessary to make it work (which I'm planning to do!).

Gluben
Gluben

@The Living Angel But why is John Hurt so special for the anniversary? A brilliant actor, of course, but Derek Jacobi was in a normal episode, as were Simon Callow, Ian McKellen (by voice), Bill Nighy etc. To me, the idea of an actor finally returning to the screen after all these years for 90 minutes instead of seven sounds infinitely more special. But there we are. :)

Amy the Consulting Key Ring
Amy the Consulting Key Ring

It was never going to play out naturally. The meta-crisis had already been done by that point, and it had to be counted in order to avoid invalidating the limit entirely (Because if it didn't cost a life, then why don't all Time Lords keep spare hands with them so that they can circumvent the limit? Why did the Master ever pursue the Doctor for his lives?). So letting it "play out naturally" was no longer an option anyway since the meta-crisis would still need to be accounted for, and even if he hadn't created the War Doctor, it could have still ended up being resolved under Moffat anyway because Capaldi would have been the last (But of course, who cares? There is no inherent glory in being "The Guy Who Solved the Regeneration Issue For Now"; Moff likely just saw a workable story avenue and took it. I'd have done the same thing.). Nevertheless, the War Doctor wasn't created for the purpose of extending the limit; he was a back-up plan for Eccleston.

Dalekium
Dalekium

@Gluben @Dalekium  I think just the parts about including Eccleston. As much as I'd love to have seen him return to the role proper, it would've crowded the existing story too much. 



I get the feeling that the Moment chooses Tennant and Smith specifically because they have (for the most part) recovered from their actions but take different slants towards it i.e. the one who regrets/remembers and the one who forgets. If Eccleston was included, Hurt would see just how broken he'd become, he's still fresh from killing off his people and would probably have a bad reaction to seeing his former self. I suppose there's an argument that he does recover with Rose's help but he's codependent on her, which is why I think the Moment chose Tennant in his latter years, because he'd moved on from Rose. McGann's regeneration could be a result as you suggested of a mortal wound but perhaps integrated into the story itself, with Tennant and Smith realising that that wasn't how they remember it happening and then leading to them realising that they can fiddle with time and thus save Gallifrey. I'd personally stick with Hurt's though, just that McGann is knackered and perhaps the Moment could help kickstart his regeneration.

If I were to introduce Eccleston though, I would've taken him from when he leaves Rose initally at the end of  'Rose'. Then at the end of 'Day of the Doctor' in the museum scene, Tennant and/or Smith could say "did you mention to that girl that you also travel in time? Could be important". Eccleston smiles and leaves the story. As to why the Moment would pick him out, I can't really think of a good reason. Perhaps to show Eccleston as well as Hurt the good man he will become/always has been? Alas, this is only speculation and we'll never know :P

Gluben
Gluben

@DalekSupreme1 @Mr_Fiction I didn't really think anyone felt sorry for Eccleston. He had his reasons for not doing the special and that was that, although I'd love to hear his thoughts.

JackArtaganMackenna
JackArtaganMackenna

The Zygon plot was necessary on a metaphorical level.

Ten was necessary to demonstrate the Doctor's perspective of the Time War, afterwards.

Having Nine would have been redundant.

The Living Angel
The Living Angel

@Gluben @The Living Angel  I liked the idea of having a secret Doctor and the fact that it was John Hurt just makes it all that more special, for me. Also in the short time we have had with both McGann and Hurt, I personally prefer The War Doctor.Besides we had the best of both worlds, we had both!





MarlonJBonnici
MarlonJBonnici

@Gluben @Amy the Consulting Commentator

Personally I thought the tomb of Trenzalore was the 11th Dr's as such a big song and dance was made over it. And when Clara entered the timestream it sort of confirms it to be the 11th's because she say's herself she sees all his "Faces". Of course now that the 11th Dr didn't die Clara shouldn't exist but I'm expecting more timey wimey nonsense from Moffat to cop out on that one.

Gluben
Gluben

@Amy the Consulting Commentator The thing with the hand could've just been left alone and unexplained. It didn't have to be addressed suddenly 5 years later. I just took it at the time as a little quirk that wouldn't really be explained - the Doctor didn't regenerate into a new form, therefore he's still the Tenth, and the Meta-Crisis Doctor is a separate entity, nothing to do with the limit.

I also thought it was the last Doctor's tomb and not the Eleventh, especially as he referenced the lives he hasn't lived yet. Eleven being stuck on Trenzalore for hundreds of years would still have worked but needn't have been related to his tomb. Sorry, I'm not explaining it very well!

Amy the Consulting Key Ring
Amy the Consulting Key Ring

His effect on the limit was a side-effect of his insertion. And at any rate, I would say that it worked out quite evenly - prior to "The Day of the Doctor", people kept saying "well it must be the Eleventh Doctor's tomb because of [reasons]", and that never quite made sense to me. Why would the eleventh Doctor have his own tomb? It makes much more sense in my mind for that to have been the Doctor's tomb and not that of any one incarnation other than the final one. Hence him being on his final life with no hope of regenerating to survive the situation - "this is it," as he said - the Doctor's final battle, the one to bring fifty years of the Doctor to a close with his death. But then everything gets neatly reset back to zero. New year, new Doctor, new cycle. Had Smith not been the final incarnation of the first cycle, the timing of it would have felt very awkward in my opinion. As it stands, the only bits that stick out are the small references (of which there are only about four) to regeneration that occur throughout Smith's era, and all of them can be easily and logically handwaved.

Gluben
Gluben

@Dalekium @Gluben I see what you mean with Tennant and Smith. I just like a bit of completion, especially after the First had only a minor role in The Three Doctors and the Fourth did in The Five Doctors. I thought this could've been an opportunity, at last, to show all relevant Doctors who haven't had a multi-Doctor story on-screen (Time Crash aside), without any glaring omissions, i.e. Eccleston. That's me being completist though!

Gluben
Gluben

@JackArtaganMackenna I don't necessarily think it would've been redundant having another perspective; it could show the Doctor's gradually jaded and faded view of the War through the ages.

Gluben
Gluben

@The Living Angel @Gluben Well, I must admit I didn't see the point of having a secret Doctor when a Doctor who hasn't had a lot of screen time and would've been interesting to explore seems the more obvious option to me. Not trying to defend McGann on his behalf (he probably doesn't care either way), but it never appealed to me.