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Can Doctor Who Really Give the Doctor a Happy Ending?


It goes against everything the Doctor is.

David Tennant as the Doctor in Doctor Who
Photo: BBC/Disney+

This Doctor Who article contains spoilers.

Should David Tennant die? That is a far more controversial question this week than it was last week. Last Saturday, Doctor Who viewers, who have few certainties to rely on at the best of times, sat down with the unshakeable confidence that, one way or another, they were going to watch Tennant’s take on the Doctor meet a tragic end, again.

Yes, if forced to guess, we would have bet that his ending would be a bit more uplifting than he saw at the end of his last run (“The Doctor doesn’t want to die and thinks that the next version of him is an imposter” is apparently a legacy Davies only likes to leave for other showrunners to pick up). But none of us could have foreseen the regeneration splitting the Doctor in two, like a bacterium, or Captain Kirk when the transporter is having an off day.

“Bigeneration” is a plot choice that has drawn mixed reactions – especially as Russell T Davies has gone on to say that this process has affected all the Doctors, leaving Tom Baker lying on the floor underneath Jodrell Bank while Sylvester McCoy is banging on the inside of his drawer at the morgue. One must imagine Patrick Troughton’s Doctor has pretty mixed feelings about surviving the Time Lord’s enforced regeneration only to discover himself floating in the vacuum of space surrounded by a bunch of dead Cyber Time Lords.

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