Okay its no secret that I pretty much HATE all of the New Doctor Who from 2014 on. I think that its makers basically sold us out to a bullying, intolerant, needy ideology and have sunk what was once the most popular and wonderful of sci fi series.
Still in all fairness I don’t think that the New Doctor Who ever really worked as a sequel to the original series. Even in the Tennant era, whilst many fans, including I acknowledge myself, have tried to fit it in with the original. New Who was really always a different show.
Yes okay Classic Who changed over the course of its 26 year run, but never to quite the same extent as New Who. As I have been over many times there is a consistent characterisation overall to the 7 classic era Doctors, which New Who broke practically from the start.
So in this article I am going to argue that New Who and Classic Who take place in two separate universes, with a similar but different history (explaining the presence of the classic era Doctors in the 50th. They are simply alternate counterparts to the classic series versions.)
Obviously this is just my own head canon at this point, but as the likes of Paul Cornell and Steven Moffat have regularly said that Doctor Who has no canon (to cover up their own plot holes) then hey, this is just as valid as anything else.
I am also going to run down why I think this is better not just for Classic Who but New Who as well, and also for the future of the Doctor Who franchise in general.
So lets get started then shall we?
The Point of Divergence
In my opinion the drastic change in history for the New Who and Classic Who universes occurs in the story The Magicians Apprentice/The Witch’s Familiar.
Here the 12th Doctor went backwards in time and saved a young Davros from a minefield and instilled in him an important lesson, that compassion can be a strength. Davros evidently remembered this enough to programme a concept of mercy into the Daleks, as several Daleks throughout all of New Who have been shown to understand mercy, compassion and pity.
The Metaltron begs the Doctor to show pity when he attempts to kill it, whilst the Stone Dalek begs River Song to show him mercy, and finally Clara is able to say mercy through the Daleks machine in The Witch’s Familiar.
This is of course at odds however with what we see in Classic Who when Genesis of the Daleks states that the first Daleks created by Davros have no concept of pity or mercy. This isn’t just a throwaway line. Its an important plot point in the story, with even Davros at the end realising the horror of what he has created by depriving the Daleks of the ability to feel pity.
Furthermore Classic Who always made a point of showing the Daleks not being able to understand mercy in other stories too. Even when faced with certain death, Daleks in Classic Who NEVER beg for mercy like their Revival era counterparts. They might scream in fear and yell “retreat” but they never beg their enemies to show compassion.
So even already New Who and Classic Who are at odds with one another.
That is unless of course you take them as existing in different universes, with similar but ultimately different histories.
I say that in the New Who Universe which we’ll call M-Space, Davros as a boy wandered into the field by accident where he was rescued by the Doctor, whilst that simple event never happened in the universe Classic Who took place in which we’ll call N-Space.
Maybe in N-Space Davros stayed in that day, rather than going out to play with his friends like in M-Space where he got lost and stumbled into the minefield.
As a result of this the N-Space Davros never met the Doctor as a child and as a result never learned the important lesson about mercy from the Doctor. He continued to think that it was only weakness and so the N-Space Davros removed all sense of pity and compassion from the Daleks
As a result, as we saw in Genesis, the N-Space Daleks eventually overran Davros, and lacking any concept of mercy, shot their creator, though little did they know, he survived and would return to try and take leadership of their race, splitting them into two, which held them back greatly.
In M-Space however though the Daleks still overran Davros, they did not shoot him, as they were able to show some small measure of mercy towards their creator. Instead they enslaved him like in Journey’s End and The Magicians Apprentice.
As a result of this the M-Space, the Daleks became far more advanced and powerful.
They were able to make use of Davros’ intellect throughout their history, and they also did not have to deal with Davros splitting their race in two either.
Of course Davros at some point maybe did try and escape and create new Daleks, (which led to an alternate version of the events of Revelation of the Daleks as seen in The Magicians Apprentice.) Ultimately however they were able to recapture him, and his attempts to create a new Dalek faction never got off the ground in M-Space.
As a result of this, the Time Lords of M-Space became more scared of the Daleks and the two races were locked in a conflict of some kind before the Doctor even left Gallifrey. This explains why according to New Who the Doctor left because of a prophecy about a Dalek/Time Lord hybrid, whilst in Classic Who he had no fucking idea who they were in the first Dalek story.
In order to combat the Daleks, the Time Lords technology advanced (including finding the way to bring the dead back) and they even modified their bodies too. Finding a way to make regeneration into a weapon for example (explaining why it blows shit up in New Who.)
These modifications to their bodies however had a number of side effects, including gender bending and also making the incarnations of a Time Lord more radically different to each other. Naturally Time Lord society began to accommodate those differences, leading to different attitudes towards regeneration from the Time Lords in N-Space.
Of course this led to various other changes throughout the history of both universes which we will look at here.
1/ The Cybermen
The Cybermen in Classic and New Who are not compatible with one another in many ways.
To start with in the 1966 story The Tenth Planet, the Cybermen are shown to invade the earth in the year 1986. Their invasion spreads out all over the world, they attack every major city, and their planet appears in the sky which is on every major news station.
The event isn’t covered up of course, and later stories set in the future show the Cyber invasion having become established history.
From The Moonbase set in the 21st Century.
“There were Cybermen every child knows that, but they died out ages ago.”
In New Who however nobody knows who the Cybermen were by the early 21st century, before the invasion of Canary Wharf which happens in 2006 or 7.
Now you might be thinking that the Tenth Planet jars with what we see of the earth in later stories of the Classic Era where nobody knows about the Cybermen, but it doesn’t.
The last companion before Ace to come from contemporary earth is Peri, who is said in Attack of the Cybermen to come from before the invasion in 1986. Ace meanwhile in Dragonfire was said to have been whisked away to a far away planet 18 months ago.
Assuming that Ace comes from modern earth (which there is nothing to contradict.) Then this would mean Ace was whisked away in 1985 as Dragonfire was broadcast in 1987, meaning that she was whisked away before the Cyber invasion, explaining why she doesn’t know the monsters in Silver Nemesis.
Battlefield and Survival, could easily take place in 1985, or even in 86 before the Cyber invasion which happened in December 1986.
Silver Nemesis meanwhile is said to take place in 1988, but to be fair there is nothing in that story to suggest that everyone else apart from Ace isn’t aware of the Cybermen. Indeed the Nazis do seem somewhat familiar with them, and nobody else meets them in the story to conform whether humanity is familiar with the Cybermen or not, so it is just about possible to fit the Tenth Planet in with later Classic Who stories.
It is not possible however to fit it in with New Who. In New Who, nobody knows about Aliens in Rose set in 2005, and Rose is show to be explicitly unaware of the Cybermen in Dalek.
On top of this technology in the Tenth Planet was shown to be much more advanced than technology on earth in the New Series. Now again fair enough, technology in later 80s Classic stories is not as advanced either, however this can be explained away by the fact that all of the later 80s Classic Who stories are set in little remote, poor, rundown areas, like Silver Nemesis, Survival, Battlefield, Attack of the Cybermen etc.
The technology for the Tenth Planet does actually fit in reasonably well with stories both before and after it. In the Pertwee era UNIT stories that we know took place only a decade or so before The Tenth Planet, the technology is on a similar level. (In both the early Pertwee stories and The Tenth Planet, mankind has developed spaceships far in advance of what we have even today that can take human beings to planets like Mars and back.)
In Power of the Daleks meanwhile mankind has set up various colonies on other planets by the 2020s, to the point where one colony on Vulcan can easily be forgotten about and overlooked. Furthermore according to the Chase mankind has robots that are advanced enough to be indistinguishable from human beings!
With New Who however we see stories set in big cities, and secret military compounds designed to take on alien threats like Torchwood, and the government in the 21st Century, 20 years after the events of The Tenth Planet, and the technology still isn’t as advanced as it is in the Tenth Planet or even certain Pertwee stories like The Ambassadors of Death.
Also according to New Who the first ever colony established on another world was on Mars by the 2050s and the destruction of this single colony was a huge event in the history of mankind. Furthermore it was only after the destruction of Bowie base one, that mankind would leave the solar system. How does this mesh with Power of the Daleks where mankind had various colonies on planets outside of the solar system by 2020, to the point where one could go missing and nobody even noticed!
Classic Who also established that the Cybermen were ONE race who came from the Planet Mondas. Originally they were a vast intergalactic power until their home planet was destroyed. Most of the Cybermen perished when Mondas exploded, but a few survived and colonised Telos, wiping out its inhabitants the Cryons.
A major plot point of the Cybermen’s story arc is that they are a unique race, teetering on the verge of extinction. If they are wiped out there will be no more, hence their catchphrase “We Will Survive!”
New Who meanwhile says that the Cybermen were never a race, rather they were the collective name given to various humanoid species that had transformed themselves into machine creatures.
The Doctor states that the different Cybermen originated almost wherever there were people, and goes on to list worlds that developed their own Cybermen independently from one another, including Mondas, Telos, and earth.
This makes no sense of course in regards to old who. Old Who states that the last of the Mondasian Cybermen moved to Telos and wiped out its native life forms, whilst New Who says that they developed on Telos independently from the ones on Mondas?
CYBERCONTROLLER: We know your intelligence.
DOCTOR: Oh, thank you very much. Ah yes the lunar surface.
CYBERCONTROLLER: Our machinery had stopped and our supply of replacements had been depleted.
DOCTOR: So that’s why you attacked the Moonbase.
CYBERCONTROLLER: You had destroyed our first planet and we were becoming extinct.
LYTTON: Telos is the Cybermen’s home planet.
DOCTOR: Uh-huh adopted planet. You’d have liked Telos Peri, in the old days when the Cryons were in residence. They were the indigenous population. Until the Cybermen wiped them out.
LYTTON: They had nowhere else to go.
DOCTOR: Oh for heavens sake man, the universe is littered with unpopulated planets.
PERI: Well why not on their own planet. I assume they had one. What’s the matter?
DOCTOR: Mondas the Cyber planet was destroyed.
DOCTOR: They (Cybermen) always get started. They happen anywhere there’s people. Mondas. Telos. Earth. Planet 14. Marinus. Like sewage, smart phones and Donald Trump. Some things are just inevitable.
DOCTOR: People get the Cybermen wrong. There’s no evil plan, no evil genius. Just parallel evolution.
This is a complete contradiction. Now according to the Doctor there were people on Telos who turned themselves into Cybermen independently from the ones on Mondas.
What about the non human aliens, the Cryons, who the Mondasian Cybermen wiped out to steal their home planet, whose history the Doctor knew (and who he felt passionate about) and who he met? Is the 12th Doctor saying that the Cyrons turned themselves into Cybermen now?
Also if the Cybermen sprung up on various worlds, why were the Mondasian Cybermen nearing extinction in stories like Tomb of the Cybermen? Surely they must have known that there were various other Cyber factions out there, and that according to the Doctor they would always spring up sooner or later?
Also the recent two parter World Enough and Time/The Doctor Falls, featured a sort of origin story for the Cybermen that contradicted The Tenth Planet.
According to this two parter the Cybermen had the power to fly and shoot laser beams from their bodies at the start of their development. In that case, why the hell did we not see the Cybermen in the Tenth Planet display any of these powers?
Once again this isn’t just a minor detail that New Who got wrong. The entire point of the Cybermen in the Tenth Planet is that they still have some human components. They are a mixture of man and machine. They have human hands, they still have names and individual identities like Krang etc.
However according to New Who, before even leaving the place they were created, the Mondasian Cybermen transformed into complete machine creatures?
In short the New Who Cybermen are the complete opposite to the original in almost every way. One’s entire story arc revolves around them being a unique race, nearing extinction, the other are an idea that originates on various different worlds. One was known to mankind in 1986, the other weren’t etc.
There’s no way to reconcile them both.
The villain to suffer the most from series to series. The John Simm Master obviously wasn’t quite as terrible as Michelle Gomez version. He did carry on certain aspects of the villains personality like his lust for power, whilst Gomez was just a completely different character in every conceivable way.
Still again much like with the Cybermen, the Master even before the SJW pandering began was never really compatible with his classic era counterpart.
The Master in Classic Who was originally stated to be a renegade Time Lord who sought to conquer the galaxy because he believed that under his rule, things would be better. He believed that using his advanced intellect he could cure diseases, avert major disasters, end inequality, and protect planets like earth (that he had a particular fondness for, much like the Doctor.)
He was willing to kill, even billions of people to achieve this, but he initially saw his crimes as being for a greater good. In fact he saw the Time Lords as the villains, as they had the power in his mind to change history for the better, establish a peaceful empire that holds all of the other worlds in line rather than let them destroy each other wars, and cure all of the ills that affect primitive planets like earth.
The Master it was also established was the Doctors friend back on Gallifrey, however their friendship was not that close.
In The Five Doctors when the First Doctor (played by stand in Richard Hurndall) meets the Master he doesn’t even recognise him!
Granted the Master is in a new body, but even then, when the Master tries to jog the Doctors memory, the First Doctor still fails to recall their friendship and later simply refers to him as a villain and a strange fellow, showing that it clearly wasn’t that important a relationship in either men’s lives.
In fact its only mentioned as having been friends years ago in ONE story, The Sea Devils. That’s literally it. In every single other story the two only ever refer to each other as enemies. Even in the Five Doctors, the Master doesn’t introduce himself as an old friend of the first Doctor, simply as having gone to the Time Lord Academy at the same time as he did. (The Five Doctors was written by the co-creator of the Master, Terrance Dicks who not surprisingly, hates Missy with a vengeance.)
When the Doctor and the Master first meet on screen in Terror of the Autons, its obvious that neither have that high an opinion of the other. Still the Master does think that the Doctor can perhaps be a potential ally. He is the only other Time Lord seemingly that isn’t content to just sit back and observe the universe. The Master clearly hopes that the Doctor can help him build his better galaxy in his earliest stories like Colony in Space.
When it becomes apparent to the Master that the Doctor doesn’t share his grand vision for the universe, he sees him as his greatest threat and tries to destroy him above all else. At no point does the Master show hesitation at killing the Doctor because of their past friendship.
The Master also is quite insecure about the Doctor’s intelligence too. As the Doctor is the only other renegade Time Lord whose reputation in some respects outshines him, then The Master is desperate to prove he is superior. We see this in The Mind of Evil when the Masters worst fear is a giant Doctor laughing at him!
The more the Doctor foils the Masters plans, the more the Master comes to genuinely hate the Doctor to the point where it becomes his main desire to not just destroy the Doctor, but humiliate, and torture him.
The Master’s intense hatred of his foe, coupled with an accident that reduces him to his emaciated form in the Deadly Assassin, pushes the villain over the edge to become a vicious, deranged, bitter lunatic. The later Masters are shown to kill for no reason other than their own sadistic cruelty, and are more unstable, vicious characters. They still desire ultimate power however. So much so that in Logopolis, the Master gambles with the fate of the universe itself to gain control over it.
However the key difference is that the likes of Ainley and the Burned Master have dropped the seemingly altruistic facade that the Delgado Master played up in stories like Colony in Space. They want power just for their own glory.
The Doctor meanwhile in turn always views the Master with contempt. He never shows any affection for him. He only mentions their friendship in The Sea Devils, and the rest of the time he not only considers the Master evil and responsible for his actions, but tries to kill him.
In Terror of the Autons, the Doctor is perfectly happy for UNIT to shoot the Master.
In The Mind of Evil, even when the Master has agreed to leave the earth, the Doctor still tries to kill him as he doesn’t want him loose in the universe hurting other worlds. He tries to kill the Master by trapping him in an area that is about to be hit by a missile (using a device that quite literally cripples the Master with his own fear.) He is later absolutely devastated when the Master escapes.
In The Claws of Axos, the Doctor tricks the Master into thinking that he wants to leave humanity to be consumed by the Axons and get revenge on the Time Lords, so that he can trap both the Master and the Axons in an eternal time loop where they will be forced to live the same moment over and over again forever. The Master however catches on to what the Doctor is doing in time and escapes, though the Doctor after successfully trapping the Axons, believes that he trapped the Master too, and is happy about it.
In the Daemons the Doctor compares the Master to Hitler and Gengis Khan!
In The Deadly Assassin meanwhile the Doctor boots a dying Master into a bottomless pit. He later tells the Time Lords that the Master is the one person in all of creation that he would actually wish death on as he is the quintessence of evil.
In Keeper of Traken the Doctor with Adric and Nyssa’s help destroys the Masters TARDIS and seemingly kills him in an inferno.
In Castrovalva the Doctor leaves a pleading Master to be torn to pieces by his own followers in a place that fades from existence. He later says that he hopes the Master is finished for good this time.
In The Five Doctors, the third Doctor, against Sarah Jane’s protests leaves the Master to be killed by the Cybermen. He also states that the idea of the Master helping him is the biggest pile of rubbish he has ever heard in his life!
The Fifth Doctor similarly leaves the Master in the care of the Cybermen and shows no remorse for it “Well if he survived I’ll say sorry.”
In Planet of Fire the Doctor burns the Master to ashes as he begs for mercy.
In The Two Doctors, the Doctor seals the Rani and the Master in a TARDIS with a hungry Tyrannosaurus Rex that’s about to eat both of them!
In Trial of A Time Lord, the Doctor tells the Time Lords (who are known for not only killing their enemies, but erasing them from history) to do what they want with the Master, and only makes a case for Glitz.
In Survival the Doctor nearly bashes the Masters head in with a rock, and only relents when he realises the Cheetah virus will consume him if he carries out any act of violence.
There’s really very few instances where the Doctor is not willing to kill the Master. In The Time Monster, the Doctor pleads for the Master to not be condemned to an eternity of torture at Chronos’ hands. Later when Jo asks him why she showed mercy, the Doctor tells her flatly that he wouldn’t want to condemn anyone to an eternity of torture, even the Master, his worst enemy.
There are a few more instances of the Doctor not killing the Master when the latter is unarmed, but again this doesn’t demonstrate any affection for the villain. He also has a trouble killing Davros, and even the Daleks when they are unarmed. The Doctors moral code only ever allows him to kill in self defence. One could argue however that the Master is the only villain he makes an exception for, including even Davros.
In Resurrection of the Daleks and in The Mind of Evil, the Doctor comes to the conclusion that Davros and the Master must both be killed for the greater good of the universe. When it comes to Davros however, he finds he is unable to just shoot him in cold blood, whilst with the Master as we have seen he went through with it without a seconds thought or regret, and was furious when he found out he survived!
The Doctor and the Master in Classic Who are the bitterest of enemies. They can never completely triumph over the other. The Doctor may stop the Master from taking over the earth, but he never stops him from destroying innocent lives, and never is even able to bring him to justice.
Their friendship which was a very minor part of their relationship, was really more of an ironic echo than anything else.
In New Who meanwhile the Master was said to have been a psychopath since he was a child and was forced to stare into the untempered schism. Since that day he heard a drumming in his head that tormented him and drove him insane.
The Doctor in New Who as a result of this does not view the Master as evil. He thinks had it not been for the drumming in his head he could have been a force for good in the universe. The Doctor and the Master according to New Who had a very intense friendship when they were young.
The Doctor in both his Twelfth and Tenth incarnation regularly states that the Master was his absolute best friend, and possibly even his soul mate. The two even planned to elope throughout the universe together when they were young back on Gallifrey, but for some reason it never happened.
The Doctor is never willing to kill the Master. In fact he actively saves him/her many times. Even when killing the Master will bring all of humanity back after being turned into clones of the Master, the Doctor refuses to kill him, effectively putting the Master above 7 billion people.
The Doctor is also shown to break down into tears when he believes that the Master has died too.
There is also a sexual aspect to the Doctor and the Masters relationship too in the revival, which becomes more obvious after the Master has turned into a woman.
Finally whilst the Simm Master is shown to have a desire to rule, Missy has no such motive. In fact Missy outright gives up a chance for ultimate power just to win her “boyfriend” back, telling him that she doesn’t need an army.
There is no way you can reconcile these two characters as being the same in terms of history, relationship with the main hero, and characterisation.
Why did the Delgado Master never mention the drums in his head? John Simm never shuts up about them.
Also why did all 7 of the Classic era Doctors view the Master as evil and not some poor lost soul, like Tennant. Tennant tells the Simm Master that he doesn’t really want to hurt people, and that if he would just let him help, then the Master could be good. Similarly Capaldi’s Doctor spends an entire year trying to rehabilitate Missy.
Why did the previous Doctors never try and get through to the Master? Why did they view him as being no different to Hitler and go out of their way to murder him?
Why did the first Doctor not remember his friendship with the Master? Apparently the whole reason he was going to run away was so he could spend time with this guy?
Why was there never any hint of romance between the Classic Doctor and Master (and there wasn’t.)
The Classic Masters entire story arc where we see him descend from a power hungry sociopath to a bitter psychopath doesn’t make any sense either if you take the drums origin story.
In Logopolis the Doctor says to the Master with genuine shock “you’re mad” when he sees how he is willing to take such a huge risk in gaining power, showing how the Master is different to how the Doctor remembers him. Again however according to New Who the Master was always a lunatic?
The only explanation that makes any sense is that they are two different characters.
The Great Intelligence
The villain who has changed the most over the course of old and new who. In the original series the Great Intelligence was said to be an alien that came from another universe.
He first came to our reality when a Tibetan monk was mediating and encountered the monster on the astral plan. The Intelligence then hitched a ride via the monk to our universe and took him over.
The possessed monk then spent the next 300 years not only building Yeti robots as his army, but a machine that would allow the GI to fully manifest in our universe. The GI is foiled in this plan by the Second Doctor in the 1930s meaning that it came to earth at some point in the early 1600s.
The Intelligence returns many decades later with new and improved Yeti robots in an attempt to drain the Doctors mind. Though it is defeated, it still manages to escape into space. The Intelligence is shown to be able to possess people. Its true form is nothing more than a voice, and it is a cold and logical creature. It dismisses emotions like revenge as petty, wants to gain knowledge as it believes it is power, yet is also shown to be somewhat cowardly, shrieking in panic when the Doctor makes plans against it.
In New Who meanwhile the Great Intelligence was created from the mind of Professor Walter Simeon in the late 19th Century. Thanks to his experiments it was able to live beyond him. It would always assume his form, it did not have the power to possess people, and it was a highly emotional creature who was shown to have a cruel sense of humour, and enjoyed torturing the Doctor.
Ultimately the New Who Great Intelligence kills itself to get back at the Doctor.
There is no way the GI from old who can be the one from the revival. To start with their origins are completely contradictory to one another. One is an alien from another universe, the other the creation of a mad human. One was in Tibet from the 1600s to the 1900s, the other was in London, unable to leave a tank in the late 19th century.
One was just a disembodied voice, the other always assumed the form of Simeon. One was cowardly, put its survival above all else, was generally cold and logical and sought power, the other was sadistic, vengeful and killed itself to take down the Doctor!
Hell even their minions were different. The GI from Old Who had a fondness for its Yeti robots and always used them, whilst the New Series GI never did.
They are completely different villains other than being a similar idea of a disembodied spirit.
Of course the real reason that they are so different was much like with the Master and the Cybermen, the writers of New Who didn’t give a shit about trying to actually write the villain they were supposed to. They simply wanted to write their own character, but slapped the name of a more famous villain to make them more popular (in the case of the GI it was clearly to cash in on the upcoming release of the then recently discovered Web of Fear.)
The Daleks and Davros
The Doctors two greatest enemies, the Daleks and the Davors have definitely been handled the best out of all of the icons of the show in the revival (including even the dear old Doctor himself.)
Still there are a few discrepancies between the old Daleks and the new ones. As I have been over the New Daleks whilst still monsters, at least understand what pity is and can even plead for it, whilst the old Daleks are utterly devoid of even the tiniest bit of compassion.
Also the home planet of the Daleks, Skaro was completely and utterly destroyed in Remembrance of the Daleks when the Doctor caused Skaro’s sun to blow up and consume it.
In the Revival meanwhile it is said that Skaro was ravaged during the time war, but not completely destroyed and then later rebuilt.
Also Davros by the time of Remembrance had upgraded himself into the form a Dalek Emperor, whilst in the revival in stories set after Remembrance he is still in his usual form.
Furthermore as we have been over the Doctors relationship with the Daleks doesn’t match up if you take New Who into account. According to the hybrid story the Doctor ran away because he was scared after reading about a prophecy that the Daleks and the Time Lords would produce a hybrid. So he must have been aware of the Daleks then before he first met them according to Classic Who in the Mutants?
Finally even the Time Lords had no idea who the Daleks were before the events of the War Games when the Doctor brought the monsters to their attention, whilst New Who has the Time Lords being terrified of them before the Doctor even ran away.
Yes the main character himself across both series seems like a totally different person (more so than usual.)
Now a lot of people will try and justify this with that old mantra “Doctor Who is all about change, so all change is good”. Well again I say that is as moronic a statement as saying that the show can never change.
Doctor Who has a flexible format that can allow it to change if it needs too, but that doesn’t mean that it has to. Each change must be justified, hence why things like Colin Bakers coat that were just done on a whim were crap.
Also the character of the Doctor as I have explained many times can NOT be anyone. There is a definite template to his personality that defines the Doctor as a character. If there wasn’t then he wouldn’t be the Doctor, he’d just be a name. The job of an actor or writer is to try and do something different within that template, which is true in many ways of every iconic character that is reinterpreted again and again.
Now whilst it would be wrong to say that New Who has completely broken that template, at the same time I think its fair to say that a lot of the time, not only is it hard to imagine the New Who Doctor as being the same character as the original, but you’d laugh.
Take a look at the Doctors morality. In Classic Who the Doctor has a very particular moral code where he will kill if he has to, but prefers to find peaceful solutions. He has no affection for any villain he faces (as we have been over he is more than happy to kill the Master in almost every confrontation.)
He also shows no quams about killing human villains compared to killing monsters either as seen when he poisons Professor Solon. The only times the Classic era Doctor shows hesitation in murdering an enemy is if they are unarmed and it is not in self defence. This can be seen in Resurrection of the Daleks when he refuses to shoot Davros, or Frontier in Space when he tells the earth men they can’t shoot the Master as he is unarmed, or even in Genesis of the Daleks where he memorably shows hesitation at wiping the Daleks out when they are defenceless and at their point of birth.
Of course there are a few exceptions to this, where the Doctor will murder a villain he deems to be too big a threat to the rest of the universe (ironically most instances of this involve the Master such as in The Mind of Evil and Planet of Fire and The Deadly Assassin.)
Still overall the Doctor is more than willing to kill, and he will use any type of weapon to do it. Guns, swords, sonic lances, high explosives, poison, acid, electricity, feeding his enemies to animals, he’ll even beat villains to death with blunt instruments. The Doctor never demonstrates any particular hatred of guns either. In fact in some stories he seems to be quite the gun buff.
He mentions having several vintage gun collections to Steven in The Gun Fighters, and scolds Steven for not being careful with his favourite gun. He also mentions building a gun in his workshop in The Invasion of Time, and in The Talons of Weng Chiang he demonstrates impressive knowledge on fire arms in general. Finally in The Visitation he even mentions having a gun making him feel quite comfortable.
Of course again ultimately the Doctor in the classic era is a scientist, not a soldier, so he doesn’t carry guns with him all the time, and he finds violence distasteful
In the Revival however, to start with the Doctor refuses to use guns under any circumstances. (There are a few instances where he will pick up a gun in desperation, but even then he never actually uses it against another life form.)
The New Who Doctors hatred of guns is comparable to Batman in that both will refuse to use guns, or allow others beside them to use guns in a situation where they literally have no choice. Examples of this can be seen in the Tenth Doctor refusing to allow Jack to use a gun on hordes of Toclafane about to strike down on Jack, Martha and the Doctor himself. The Doctor also chastises UNIT for using guns against the Sontarans, gun toting monsters who could easily vaporise them. He also shouts at his clone not to use a gun on Davros and the new Dalek empire, seconds away from their bomb which is about to destroy every single universe going off! Then of course there is the Tenth Doctor refusing to use Wilf’s gun to stop the Master and save 7 billion people.
Finally there is this notorious moment where the Tenth Doctor refuses to shoot the man who killed his own daughter and outright says that he never, ever would shoot anyone, and that the Hath and humans should follow his example.
See what I mean? You laugh when you think of Tennant as being the same character as the first 7 Doctors.
This kind of hypocrisy isn’t limited to David Tennant either. Peter Capaldi’s Doctor similarly is shown to have a distaste for soldiers, which makes no sense considering the Classic era Doctors best friend was a soldier.
Also the Twelfth Doctor acts as though having to shoot Missy will damn his soul forever? Why would killing the Master do that, but not poisoning Solon, or ageing the Borad to death, or throwing Magnus Creel into a machine that slowly drains his bodily fluids and turns him into a burnt out husk, or blowing up Skaro or smashing a guys head in with a shovel, or using Aggedor to maul Eckersly to death, or shooting the Cyber leader to death, after choking him with gold?
Answer its not. Ironically Missy deserved it more than ALL of those characters, as she’s killed more than all of those villains combined!
Of course this was never a problem in Classic Who as the Doctor did try and kill the Master all the time, in as vicious ways as those other villains. The wiley bastard just always managed to slip through the net. Still if you go by the New series, then the Doctor is a hypocrite and a racist.
The Doctors attitude towards regeneration, as well as regeneration in general in New Who are polar opposites too.
In the Classic era NONE of the Doctors viewed regeneration as death. They all simply viewed it as an advanced form of healing where the Doctors body broke down, and repaired itself, but in doing so, changed appearance.
Obviously his personality was affected by both the trauma of changing appearance, and also simply from living in a different body, but he never acted as though he wasn’t the same man underneath. In fact far from it.
In Caves of Androzani, the Fifth Doctor makes a distinction between regeneration and death to his companion Peri. In The War Games, though the Second Doctor is annoyed at being forced to regenerate, he does not treat it as a death. He refers to it as a change of appearance and isn’t that bothered when the Time Lords offer him a choice of his next appearance.
In the revival however every incarnation of the Doctor has treated regeneration as a death. They all say that everything they are dies, and some new man goes sauntering off and they are dead. They all fear regeneration, though 11 puts on a braver face than 10 and 12 (which wouldn’t be hard lets be honest.) He still treats it as a death and even says goodbye to Clara, which he shouldn’t do if he is still 12.
The idea of all the incarnations of a Time Lord makes zero sense when applied to Classic Who. Why was the Second Doctor more bothered about being fat than dying? Why did the Master try and prolong his life by stealing regenerations? If each incarnation is a different person, then why the hell would he bother? He’ll die once he regenerates anyway?
Also why did the Doctor and Romana refer to her regeneration as a change of body “you can’t go around wearing copies of bodies?”
Also why did the Fifth Doctor and the Seventh Doctor both go over old times with the Brigadier? They never met him. If we go by New Who, then it was some other man who died ages ago. The Brig should really not be of any importance to the McCoy or Davison Doctor.
Also in New Who it was said that the Doctor can only regenerate when he is mortally wounded, but if he dies before the process can begin then he will die for good.
In Classic Who however, the first, third, fifth, sixth and seventh Doctors ALL died, and were even dead for a few minutes before regenerating. In fact the fourth and second Doctors were the only two who were still awake.
Also in the revival a Time Lords regeneration is often shown to blow up its surroundings most of the time, which never happened or was discussed as a possibility in Classic Who. (You’d think that he would have warned Ben and Polly, Sarah and the Brig, Teegan, Nyssa and Adric, and Peri all of whom would have been killed if ANY of the first 5 Doctors had regenerated like 10, 11 and 12 did.
Also why did regeneration always look different in the original series? The directors and producers made a point of this, that each regeneration, much like each Doctor was different. In New Who however the reverse is true and each regeneration not just for the Doctor, but every time lord looks the same.
Also the Doctors origin and story arc of becoming a hero in New Who is different to what we saw in Old Who.
In Old Who we saw Hartnell gradually become more heroic over the course of three years, whilst in New Who the Doctor says that he became a hero when he chose to call himself the Doctor as he made a promise to never be cruel or cowardly again.
Yeah I don’t think you can say the Doctor stopped being an asshole after he chose to call himself Doctor!
Then of course there is the major oversight in Moffat’s part by having the Classic era Doctor flee Gallifrey because he is terrified of a prophecy involving the Daleks, and the Classic era Doctor not meeting them until well after he has left.
Also even just in characterisation and behaviour, then the New Who Doctors never really meshed with the old.
All of the original 7 Doctors were portrayed as much older, wise, colder and level headed characters. The Doctor was very much the epitome of the stiff upper lip type of hero in Classic Who. We never saw him cry over the entire course of the 26 years, he never completely lost his cool. He’d get angry sure, but he’d never scream, stamp his foot and do something that.
He also tended to view the younger women he travelled with as surrogate daughter figures. In a way characters like Vicki, Victoria, Zoe, Jo Grant, Nyssa and Ace, all of whom he loves like daughters are replacements for Susan, his first companion and grand daughter.
The New Who Doctor meanwhile is a very immature, very emotional, is prone to tantrums, or letting his emotions get the better of him, such as with the Racnoss, the Family of Blood or his notorious “I COULD DO SO MUCH MORE!” rant at Wilf in The End of Time. He also falls in love with various human companions such as Rose and Clara.
Even physically the New Who Doctors tend to dress in less flamboyant, more modern clothing which is the opposite of how the Old Doctors used to dress.
Finally all of the Classic era Doctors were shown to be formidable hand to hand fighters, save for the Second. They all regularly used to beat their enemies into submission too. The First Doctor would often whack his foes over the head with his stick, and even mentioned that he loved fighting when overpowering a Roman centurion, who he even toyed with!
The Third, Fourth, and Fifth Doctors were also shown to regularly overpower and knock out multiple men at once in stories such as The Green Death, Inferno, Day of the Daleks, Genesis of the Daleks, The Seeds of Doom and The Visitation.
The 6th Doctor was also shown to overpower and beat an armed (and homicidal) police man almost half to death in Attack of the Cybermen, and overpowered and smothered Shockeye to death in The Two Doctors.
Finally the Seventh Doctor not only overpowered the Master in their fight in Survival, but he also regularly knocked out much larger and seemingly stronger men unconscious with just one finger!
Many assume that the Doctor wasn’t an action hero, because he was obviously a more cerebral character but that’s not true. He was like Sherlock Holmes in that whilst he primarily outwitted his enemies, he wasn’t afraid of using his fists if need be.
The New Who Doctors meanwhile are never shown to display any fighting skills. Even when in young, strong bodies like 11 and 10 they NEVER use their fists against their enemies.
The 9th and 11th Doctors don’t get involved in any physical fights of any kind, (though 11 does knock out Bracewell, that’s pretty much it and it doesn’t exactly show what a great fighter he is, biffing an old guy when he isn’t looking.)
Ten and Twelve meanwhile are shown to be skilled fencers at least in their fights with the Sycrocrax and Robin Hood, which is one trait that carried on throughout almost all of the Classic Doctors too.
Still we never see Ten and Twelve get into fist fights, and over power multiple men whilst unarmed like the Third and Fourth and even Fifth Doctors regularly did.
The New Who Doctors really only follow the same basic formula of the originals. All are mysterious time travellers, all want to explore (though even the the basic motivation of the Doctor wanting to see the universe has changed. In Eccelston’s era he says that he travels because his world is gone, whilst in the Capaldi era he only left because he was scared of the prophecy.)
Of course that’s not to say that New Who never got the Doctors character right. Matt Smith’s interpretation during his first year as the Doctor I thought was the very close to the character for the most part, and Matt was one of the best actors in the role.
Still again, Matt Smith aside, most of the time it was hard to imagine the New Who Doctors as being the same as the original.
See what I mean? Once again when you try and imagine the old Doctor as being the same character as the new one, you laugh.
Old Who states that the Zygons home planet was destroyed by a solar flare, whilst New Who states that it burnt in the first year of the Time War.
Old Who and New Who have different dates for the destruction of the earth in the future, and both show the earth being destroyed under different circumstances with humanity being at different stages. In New Who the human race has expanded out into space and had children with other races to the point where there are apparently no “pure” humans anymore. They are also the major power in the universe, so they no longer even need the earth hence why they are happy to let it burn. They later end up terrorforming another planet called New Earth as their home however.
In Classic Who meanwhile humanity by the time of the earths destruction were a tiny desperate group living on one spaceship, which was set to go to a planet called Refusis, alongside an alien race called the Monoids.
The Brigadier according to New Who was desperate for the Doctor to salute him. This was NEVER mentioned in Classic Who, at any point.
Finally according to New Who, Sarah Jane Smith was in love with the Doctor, whilst according to the original series their relationship was never romantic.
Why This Idea Is For The Best
In my opinion New Who and Classic Who being split into two separate universes is better for both series for a number of reasons.
Number 1 it lets a lot of baggage off of New Who. Be honest here most of the hatred New Who gets is because it isn’t faithful to Old Who. Its not unreasonable for people to be angry at New Who for this, as it was billed as a sequel to the original, yet basically threw away as much of the originals characterisation and lore as it seemingly could!
However if taken as simply being an alternate universe version, then well a lot of Classic era fans I don’t think would have quite such a bad feeling towards it. I’m not saying that dross like Dark Water/Death in Heaven would ever be seen as classics, but still overall I think a lot of New Who, particularly the Tennant era would be seen in a better light.
New Who would just be on the level of the Cushing movies. Great fun (for the most part) but not actually a proper part of the show.
Also for New Who and indeed any other sequel to the original which would follow this formula it would allow them to pick and choose whatever they want from the original series rather than be forced to follow every single part of its canon blindly.
Also I feel that making New Who an Classic Who into separate universes would stop the series from falling into the trap that Marvel comics have, where essentially everything important has to be reset to the status quo at some point.
As all of Marvel’s main output has been set in the same universe since the 60s, Marvel can never really do anything big like kill off a major character such as the Green Goblin, Captain America and Wolverine without someone bringing them back at a later date due to their popularity.
Sure there are some notable exceptions like Gwen Stacey (though even then a clone of Gwen did appear and is still alive.)
This means that we can not only never finish say Spider-Man’s story, but we also can’t do things like have him get married, have children or anything that might change the status quo of Spidey being a young hero who fights bad guys.
Doctor Who due its formula would have fallen into this trap anyway, even if New Who hadn’t been as unfaithful as it possibly could.
We could never resolve the stories of villains like the Master, Davros, the Daleks. Someone could write the perfect ending for them, but then 5 or so years later another writer would completely undo it, because obviously the show can’t lose such a big icon. Similarly big developments that can go on for years like Gallifrey being destroyed, or earth being made aware of aliens in the Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat era would also always have to be undone eventually too and the status quo restored.
Personally I think they should have had used up all 13 Doctors and then had the Doctor die for good, before going on to another universe.
Of course New Who kind of got to the last Doctor a bit too quickly (another cardinal sin of the makers of New Who was the way they wasted so many regenerations, by not using Paul McGann, basically driving Eccelston out after a year, making David Tennant count twice. Even Matt Smith and David Tennant should have done 4 seasons each rather than three.)
Still whatever the case, I think that we should just jump to the chase and say that Classic Who and New Who take place in alternate universes. That way New Who can actually have an ending and finish its storylines without finishing Doctor Who.
DC comics used this formula in the 1960s and I think it worked very well. DC revealed that all of their stories from the 30s-50s took place on an alternate universe (rather confusingly called earth 2,) to the current stories (which was called earth 1).
This allowed them to reboot their series, whilst not throwing everything about the originals out, and it allowed the original versions of their characters to meet the new versions too, such as in the story, The Flash of Two Earths, where the Flash from Earth 1 (Barry Allen) after experimenting with his super speed accidentally crossed over into Earth 2 and worked alongside the original 1930s-40s Flash, Jay Garrick, who had aged realistically since we last saw him.
It also allowed DC to end the original versions of their characters too. The 30s-50s Batman for instance eventually retired, married a reformed Catwoman, and had a daughter with her, Helena Wayne who became a superhero called the Huntress and would cross over to Earth 1 where she would meet the younger version of her father, who she came to call her Uncle Bruce.
DC unlike Marvel could eventually end their most iconic characters stories whilst still keeping them around.
I personally would love to see a story where the New Who Doctor travels to the universe of the original Doctor, and we get to see an old school Doctor in a frock coat, who travels in a TARDIS that looks like the original on the inside. We can also see his earth in 2017 with far more advanced technology, and where the Cyber invasion of the 1980s is a historical fact and mankind has colonies on other planets by the 2010s, and the Daleks resemble their old series counterparts and Davros looks the way he does in Remembrance of the Daleks.
Also in terms of the future of the franchise then it would free it from the baggage of New Who.
I reckon New Who is going to be cancelled very soon, and when it does lets be honest, who would want to carry Doctor Who on?
By casting a woman in the role Chibnall has opened up a huge can of worms for casting the next Doctor. What happens if they want to cast a man? There is going to be outrage from the feminist audience. We’ll be hearing about how its transphobic to want to change the Doctor back to a man, about how its sexist, and at the same time from the people who didn’t want there will be more (correct) accusations of pandering to the PC brigade etc.
Chibnall has marched the franchise into a minefield and made the casting of each Doctor, previously something that people looked forward too, a very ugly situation. What producer or writer would want to take that on? Of again Chibnall didn’t need to land us in this ugly situation. As I have pointed out before he could have just brought Romana back as a supporting character and then spun her off into her own show, but I won’t go over that old argument again.
At the same time because of the shows established and beloved history then I don’t think a full reboot would go down tremendously well either.
A reboot however that ignores New Who and follows on from the original series would be a good compromise. The viewer could decide which one was the real sequel. Then when the third version of Doctor Who finishes in say 10 or 20 years if it has a good run, then the fourth version of Doctor Who could ignore New Who and the third version.
Obviously when I see these alternate sequels to Classic Who would ignore New Who, I don’t mean that they would get Paul McGann back. They’d just have the New Doctor show up, not mention any previous adventures, establish him, and then at some point in his second or third year, he’d casually mention “I’m on my 9th life” establishing this as a direct sequel to the original.
You might think that this would alienate new fans, but most of them have been unhappy with the direction New Who has gone in for the last few years too.
Also this doesn’t erase New Who. It just means that it isn’t the definitive take on what happens next.
I don’t think its fair personally that the makers of New Who get to decide the ultimate fate of the Classic era characters since they had no hand in creating them.
Its kind of like Sherlock Holmes. Only the original stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are considered canon. All of the sequel stories by various different authors are not definitive. They can be taken as being definitive by their fans, but aren’t the official version.
That’s only fair as no one else has a right to decide how Conan Doyle’s stories should end. Now fair enough the Classic era of Doctor Who wasn’t written by one author, but still most of its creators were involved in some capacity right to the end. Terry Nation for instance still had creative control over the Daleks until the very end of the show, whilst Barry Letts helped JNT cast and create the Ainley version of the Master.
I might add that many of the people who created the original Doctor Who and its icons have/would have hated the New Doctor Who as well. Terrance Dicks for instance hated Missy the female Master, considering her an insult to the memory of Roger Delgado, whilst Terry Nation was famously protective of the Daleks, and never wanted them to appear in stories with other monsters, or ever be given human emotions or traits. He hated The Evil of the Daleks for instance which features the Daleks being infected with the human factor.
Nobody involved in original series is involved in New Who, so I don’t really see why it is anymore official than any other piece of fan fiction?
In my opinion Classic Who should stand as its own piece of fiction. Every single sequel, including New Who, and the hypothetical sequels that ignore New Who, are just one groups idea of what the show should be. None of them are official.
However rather than simply write the sequels all off as remakes, we could have them all occupy alternate realities to each other (alongside the two Cushing movies, and Doctor Omega, Doctor Who’s literary predecessor) and you the viewer can decide which if any take place in the same universe as the original, but at the very least you know they all take place in the same multiverse.
Doctor Who Multiverse
This in my opinion is how the relationship between the various different versions of Doctor Who works. In regards to Big Finish and the comic books, you can split them off into whatever universe you want. Some Big Finish audios can easily take place in N-Space, whilst others that feature River Song would obviously have to take place in M-Space.
N-Space: (Classic Who) The universe that the original Doctor Who series takes place in. In this reality the Doctor was a pioneer among his people before he left Gallifrey. He never visited Davros as a boy, and as a result Davros removed all concepts of mercy and compassion from them. This meant that the Daleks shot their creator, but Davros survived and later split their race into two factions, making them less of a threat to the Time Lords, but a longer lasting threat in the universe.
The earth became aware of aliens in 1986 thanks to the Cyber invasion, though its technology was already much more advanced, leading to the great space age and colonisation of other worlds from the 1970s to the 2020s.
M-Space: (New Doctor Who) In this reality the Doctor visited Davros as a boy and saved him from a minefield.
This seemingly minor action had ripples throughout the history of the universe. The Daleks as a result of having some mercy, spared Davros and kept him as a slave.
As a result the Daleks advanced much more quickly and became sworn enemies of the Time Lords long before the Doctor was born. As a result of this the Time Lords were more advanced when the Doctor grew up, and so his personality was changed by this.
The First Doctors early adventures with the Daleks would have also went differently in this universe as they would have been more advanced, and he would have already been familiar with them.
Perhaps the First Doctor was the first to meet Davros for instance in this reality?
It was also a different renegade Time Lord who became the Master, once again explaining the vast differences in personality.
C-Space: (Doctor Who AARU films) The universe the Peter Cushing movies take place in.
In this universe the Doctor left Gallifrey at an earlier point in his first incarnation. He left with a much younger Susan and his other grand daughter Barbara.
Just like in N-Space (as seen in The Edge of Destruction.) This Doctor visited the 4th Universe (or rather another version of it. Lets assume there is a version of the 4th universe adjacent to every parallel version of the Doctors universe.)
We know from the Edge of Destruction that the Doctor lost the TARDIS in the 4th Universe. Now in this reality the TARDIS was badly damaged when he lost it, and the Doctor in getting it back was mortally wounded and regenerated into his second incarnation (who in this reality resembled Peter Cushing rather than Patrick Troughton.)
The second Doctor, Susan and Barbara were able to make one last trip in their damaged TARDIS to the earth in the 60s. There the Second Doctor going under the alias of the eccentric human scientist Doctor Who tried to repair his TARDIS which caused its interior to change shape.
This version of the Doctor, alongside Susan, Barbara and a human male she was in a relationship with (Ian) would go other adventures in their rebuilt TARDIS as seen in Doctor Who and the Daleks and Daleks Invasion Earth 2150 AD. We don’t know the details of this Doctors later incarnations or adventures however.
Z-Space: (Doctor Omega) The universe Doctor Omega takes place in. In this reality, the Doctor left Gallifrey with Susan round about the same time as his N-Space and M-Space counterparts did.
Like them he visited the 4th Universe, but here his TARDIS was almost completely destroyed when he lost it. The Doctor however was able to preserve one small part of his former time machine, which he cannibalised into a time ring.
He then used this time ring to travel to the earth in the early 20th century with Susan. There he tried to build a new TARDIS from the ring, but ended up creating the Cosmos instead, which he later used to resume his adventures in time and space with human companions. (Leading to the events of Doctor Omega)
Susan meanwhile stayed on earth, having grown attached to this time and planet just like her counterpart did in N-Space.
In this universe the Master also never became a villain. He still left Gallifrey to become a renegade, but here he bumped into the first Doctor and Susan at an early point before his descent into darkness, and before their visit to the 4th universe;
The Doctor and Susan were both able to convince the Doctors old friend that the path he was on was wrong, leading to him becoming a hero like the Doctor.
The Master of this universe eventually goes under the alias of Professor Helvetius. he develops a fondness for earth too and remains in contact with the Doctor and Susan (even saving the Doctor from Mars as seen in Doctor Omega.)
Not much is known about this Doctor beyond his life as the first Doctor.
D-Space: The universe that Star Trek takes place in. We know from the crossover, Assimilation, that Doctor Who and Star Trek exist in the same multiverse, so this is part of the Doctor Who multiverse as well (or Doctor Who is part of the Star Trek multiverse depending on which you prefer.)
As to why the Time Lords, Daleks and Doctor Who aliens don’t exist in Star Trek, and the Star Trek aliens don’t exist in the Doctor Who universes, I see it like this.
In the Who universes, the Klingons who we know had various wars on their home planet, wiped themselves out and never spread into space, whilst life simply never evolved on Vulcan. The Vulcan we see in Power of the Daleks, a lifeless husk, is an alternate version of the one in Star Trek where life simply never evolved.
In the Trek universe meanwhile the Time Lords were similarly terrified of the Daleks and sent an agent to alter with their past. However in this universe the Doctor was never born, so they sent in another agent who not only failed, but was captured and tortured by Davros, and told him everything.
As a result of this the Daleks advanced even greater than they did in any other universe and they and the Time Lords wiped each other out in a war, away from humanity, before either race could spread out into the universe.
As a result of this the Daleks never invaded the earth in the 22nd century, and so humanity was able to advance a lot more quickly, creating the Federation.
The Sontarans meanwhile wiped each other out in a war, whilst the Borg are an alternate version of the Cybermen. Since we never find out the origin of the Borg, lets say that they came from the Trek universe’s version of Mondas, but rather than do full conversions, they only partially converted themselves, creating the Borg instead.
Unlike the Whoniverse version of the Cybermen, the Borg as they came to be known didn’t invade earth, and found a way to exist outside of Mondas and settled in the Delta Quadrant.
The Voth meanwhile are an alternate version of the Silurians of course.
Thanks for reading.