When viewers sit down to watch a new episode of Doctor Who, they never know what they’re going to get. Unlike other programmes, Doctor Who can be set in a different time and place each week and can feature an entirely new supporting cast. Even the main characters change periodically, with companions leaving and the star of the show being recast.
This constant change allows the series to stay fresh and surprising. However, in the face of this ceaseless upheaval, certain elements are deliberately kept the same. Most critically, regardless of the actor playing the Doctor, the central character’s underlying personality traits remain eternal.
As writer and script editor Terrance Dicks once famously said when describing the Doctor’s essential character:
“He is impulsive, idealistic, ready to risk his life for a worthy cause. He hates tyranny and oppression and anything that is anti-life. He never gives in and he never gives up, however overwhelming the odds against him. The Doctor believes in good and fights evil. Though often caught up in violent situations, he is a man of peace. He is never cruel or cowardly. In fact, to put it simply, the Doctor is a hero.”
That’s not hard for writers and directors to keep straight in their heads, is it? Except, yes, it seems to be.
Here are 10 times when the Doctor was inexplicably transformed into an unrecognisable travesty of himself because, somehow, the programme makers lost sight of what series they were creating.
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