How I’d Fix Doctor Who

It’s no secret that Doctor Who has gone downhill quite a lot in the last couple of seasons. So, as a thought experiment, I decided to figure out how, in the extremely unlikely hypothetical event (particularly since I don’t work in television) that I was appointed as the new showrunner for Doctor Who, I would go about fixing all the stuff that has gone wrong under Chibnall (the timeless children, etc.).

I would start with the post-regeneration sequence. The 14th Doctor would emerge from regeneration, declare that something has gone terribly wrong, and fall over in cardiac arrest. This would be the cliffhanger.

Starting the 14th Doctor’s first season, the companion(s) would have gotten the Doctor to the emergency room at a hospital, but none of the staff would understand his/her biology enough to help. At the last minute, help would arrive in the form of an alien doctor, who revives the Doctor. And the, we would find out that this alien doctor is another Time Lord.

It would be revealed that the Time Lords have been keeping tabs on the Doctor since the 12th Doctor fled Gallifrey. This would be very confusing to the 14th Doctor, since they think Gallifrey was destroyed by the Master. It would be then be revealed that the Time Lords are fine and still located billions of years into the future. And, the Doctor has been summoned home, as his/her mother (introduced in the 10th Doctor’s finale) is dying. At the end of the first episode, we would learn that the Doctor is a normal Time Lord on their third regeneration cycle, which tends to be very iffy when regenerations happen.

Being constitutionally and psychologically incapable of going directly anywhere when somebody else wants him/her to do it, the Doctor takes a roundabout path that takes the entire season. Throughout the season we learn that the Master had discovered an alternate universe Gallifrey that had been found and destroyed by the Daleks in the little pocket dimension, and then lied to the Doctor about it, using a perception filter on the alt-Gallifrey to convince the Doctor of the lie, and hacking the Doctor’s TARDIS to go to the alt-Gallifrey whenever the Doctor tries to get home.

In the 14th Doctor’s first series finale, the Doctor would learn from his/her mother that during the Doctor’s first regeneration cycle, s/he had experienced a trauma that had made him/her decide that they needed a fresh start, resulting in the 1st Doctor (aka William Hartnell). The Doctor would also learn that the Timeless Child is very real, and was, in fact, the Master, who is now out to destroy the real Gallifrey.

The 14th Doctor’s second series would use stopping the Master from destroying Gallifrey as its main story arc.

The 14th Doctor’s final series would start with the emergence of a shadowy villain working against the Doctor — this would be a Moriarty-type character. As the season went on, this villain would become more and more powerful. In the 14th Doctor’s final episode, the Doctor’s companion would find this villain’s TARDIS — a blue police box. The villain would be revealed to be the Valeyard, also known as the 15th Doctor. The Valeyard would kill the 14th Doctor, and then use the power from the time paradox of the Doctor regenerating in his own presence to blow a hole in the time lock around the Timewar, and go back to change the history of Gallifrey. The newly regenerated 15th Doctor drops to his knees and screams.

The 15th Doctor’s series would be the Doctor battling for his own soul and trying to hold the Valeyard at bay. Eventually the Doctor would decide that the universe needs a prosecutor instead of a healer, and become the Valeyard. This would lead to a finale where the 15th Doctor’s companions follow him back to the Gallifrey of Trial of the Time Lord and bring him back to who he should be — a doctor. The 15th Doctor then regenerates into the 16th, getting a fresh start.

And that is how I would do it.


Robert B. Marks is a writer, editor, and researcher. His pop culture work has appeared in places like Comics Games Magazine.

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Robert B. Marks

Robert B. Marks is a writer, editor, and researcher. His pop culture work has appeared in places like Comics Games Magazine.