On November 23, 2013 there will be the 50th anniversary of “Doctor Who”. To celebrate this important moment let’s go over the Doctor’s history again. This article remembers the Eighth Doctor.
Played by Paul McGann, the Eighth Doctor initially suffers from amnesia as a result of the anesthetics the Seventh Doctor was given in the hospital in which he was brought after being shot when he got involved in a gang war. The regeneration is delayed and it takes a while for him to get his memory back.
When he recovers, the Eighth Doctor embraces life with the enthusiasm of a child who’s discovering it for the first time despite having back his memories. It’s the first who shows an attraction to a woman in the TV movie kissing Grace Halloway while in the classic series such a thing would have been inconceivable.
The film had no television follow-up but the Eighth Doctor has become the protagonist of an incredible amount of stories in novels, comics and audio adventures. Those form an uneven and sometimes incoherent ensemble. For me it’s much easier to follow the Big Finish audio adventures since they are often transmitted by the BBC.
In the audio adventures there’s a very long story arc in which the Eighth Doctor saves Charlotte “Charley” Pollard from death but this creates problems for the space-time. To put things in place, the Doctor enters another universe, where he and Charley meet C’rizz, who for some time travels with them. After various adventures, the three of them return to the original universe. Because of a partial amnesia, the Doctor thinks that Charley at some point left him.
Memory loss is a recurring plot in the Eighth Doctor adventures as he lost the memories of Samson and Gemma Griffin, who for some time have been his companions. Among his companions there’s also a historical character, Mary Shelley in adventures that wink at her works.
Another story arc is dedicated to the Eighth Doctor’s journeys with Lucy Miller. It includes the return of the Meddling Monk, the renegade Time Lord met for the first time by the First Doctor in “The Time Meddler“. For some time he travels with another companion, Tamsin Drew, and meets again his granddaughter Susan, who in the meantime had a son, Alex. At the end of that story arc the Doctor meets a new companion, Molly O’Sullivan.
The novels and comic books tell many other stories, including various story arcs. In those adventures, the Doctor travels together with several companions, including an Ice Warrior named Ssard who has a love story with a human woman named Stacy Townsend, with an alien named Destrii, or better the Primatrix Destriianatos, another human named Sam Jones and occasionally others. An Eighth Doctor from an alternate timeline gives Elizabeth Klein the knowledge that will lead her to meet the Seventh Doctor.
The end of the Eighth Doctor wasn’t known even if some of the information given here and there in the new “Doctor Who” TV show made you could think that he regenerated during the Time War. A few days ago, the mini-episode “The Night of the Doctor” showed that the Doctor regenerates on the planet Karn, where he had already been in the Fourth Doctor adventure “The Brain of Morbius“.