21 5 / 2013
on one hand i love how obscure the time war is, because it leaves it all to the imagination but also…
i want a special
not written by moffatthat takes place towards the end of eight’s regeneration, when he realizes that he has to fight in the time war.
it would start out with eight on earth, then leaving it and witnessing the death of a child by a dalek, which spurs his involvement in the war. we see him shed his 19th century-style garb slowly through the first 15-20 minutes so that by the first third of the 90 minute special, he is in his leather jacket and stubble.
and there’s politics and riots and dalek remains in the streets and warfare and time lord clothes and massive red fields and silver leaves shivering, the shining world of the seven systems decaying and the doctor is horrified.
we watch his sanity slowly lessen, his rage amplify to the point where he becomes like the eye of the hurricane; he is calm and subdued and he knows what he has to do.
and he thinks that he’s going to lose his life in the war, that he’ll be sacrificing himself and he must because of the horrible atrocity he’s about to commit (meanwhile, we as viewers, know he survives). and he does it… the species are wiped out, TARDISes exploding, time lords and daleks burning. until there is nothing, nothing at all.
until we see our beloved TARDIS, stuck in a police box shape as usual, singed and floating, smoking rolling off her, but surviving nevertheless. and inside is the doctor, unconscious and visibly injured. he wakes, confused, until he recollects himself and realizes what he did. he stumbles to the console, then to the ship’s doors, which he flings open and sees nothing… gallifrey is gone, his people, his family, their history. what has he done?
but he only has seconds to process this. he is thrown back by his injuries, which are quickly becoming more and more unbearable, and soon he realizes he is fatally wounded. his hands start to glow gold, but he holds the regeneration off, as painful as it looks.
the doctor looks out the doors again, immeasurably sad, and we the viewers realize that he does not want to regenerate… he wants to die for good for the sins he has committed. it is only fair after all, right?
but something happens in those last moments… maybe the TARDIS gives him a jolt, a slap on the hand to say how dare you and you aren’t leaving me here alone.
he loses control of the regenerative power and, collapsing, he bursts gold so bright and forceful that the screen is clouded, that we see nothing but light.
it slowly fades, the gold still pulsating at the center of the screen, until it completely disappears to reveal the ninth doctor, on his hands and knees, breathing heavily.
and that is where he begins, the doctor born in battle.