If I was an unscrupulous Time Lord with the ability to travel through the fourth dimension and to try to affect changes that I thought would make things better, there’s probably a bunch of stuff I’d do with my favorite TV series, Doctor Who. Like many-a-fan (I assume), I’ve thought of these things from time to time, and I now I’m going to list them over a series of posts.
(Daily Doctor Who #171)
Some ground rules are that I cannot introduce any temporal anomalies in my adjustments to the show—I need to keep my manipulations subtle, for fear of alerting some higher power or meddling do-gooder to my activities. So I won’t be mixing up actors from different time periods, or bringing in futuristic special effects technology, or doing a bunch of stuff in one era that has massive implications on future eras.
So far, we’ve covered the era’s of the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Doctors, plus a special entry about The Five Doctors. And now we arrive at the Eighth Doctor, as played by Paul McGann.
Usually, I’ve limited myself to five alterations for each, though sometimes I’ve given myself wiggle room for more. We’ll see where we get this time.
So…what are we after?
The Eight Doctor starts in 1993
It’s a bit tricky this time, because if we apply all the time meddling we’ve done up to this point, classic Doctor Who has stretched from 26 seasons to 30, with the Seventh regenerating into the Eighth in 1993, rather than 1996.
That means that Paul McGann would become the Doctor a full three years earlier than he did in the original timeline. As a result, he probably never appears in some of the TV movies & mini-series that he did in that era, including The Ancient Mariner, Catherine the Great, The Hanging Gale, or The One That Got Away. I’ve never heard of any of those, though, so that shouldn’t bother anyone.
Get some future writing stars involved
Paul Cornell was busy writing at the time…he’d be a great person to have on board our extended Eighth Doctor series. His novel Human Nature (featuring the 7th Doctor) was published in 1995 in the original timeline. He later turned that into a 10th Doctor television story, but it could have worked very well with McGann’s Eighth Doctor.
And there are some other writers from the New Adventures novel series that we could draw from as well–Matt Jones, Gareth Roberts, and Mark Gatiss. They’ve all got interesting stories inside of them, right?
Future showrunner Steven Moffat was getting started in his television career at the time, so we could get him to lend some of his talents to Eighth Doctor. That might put his involvement with the comedy series Joking Apart in doubt, but that’d be worth it to have River Song join the show ten years early…right?
Let’s go for it with that “The Doctor is half-human” storyline…
Instead of just a throwaway line in one TV movie, why not turn it into a full-fledged mega-arc that spans five seasons of the show and completely rewrites our understanding of the Doctor’s origins, Time Lord mythology and the fundamental nature of the Doctor Who uni–
Oh dear, it seems that my time meddling has gone a step too far, and come to the attention of the Time Lords.
These nigh-omnipotent guardians of reality have stepped in and undone all my meddling, restoring the Doctor Who universe to its original form. Sad days.
To make matters worse, they have exiled me to a single time and place in order to live a quiet life so that I may ponder the consequences of brash and cavalier actions.
However, that place turns out to be San Francisco, in December 1999. While here, I manage to score some Beryllium from an atomic clock, and continue my work again…