Friday, November 26, 2021

6 Doctor Who Stories No Longer Set in the Future

Time travel stories can get kind of messy. Especially if they last long enough that the supposed future becomes history. Back to the Future showed us that we expected too much out of the future, as 2015 arrived with no flying cars, hoverboards, or TV sunglasses. Doctor Who, on the other hand, has been able to avoid seeming outdated (other than the special effects), as the future became the past. 

The Tenth Planet - First Doctor - 1986

As the First Doctor’s tenure drew to a close and the team at BBC figured out how to prolong Doctor Who past Hartnell, the TARDIS team ended up in Antarctica. This secret science base in the frozen South Pole encountered the Cybermen and fought them off. In doing so, the Doctor’s aged body died from exhaustion and he regenerated. 

Battlefield - Seventh Doctor - 1997

The Doctor and Ace traveled to the far future of the 1990s as they uncovered the truth (at least partially) of an Arthurian legend. In the process they learned that Merlin was potentially a future incarnation of the Doctor. Though the Brigadier was involved, the little skirmish in rural Britain was not enough to garner any great attention, leaving the event relatively unknown.

TV Movie - Eighth Doctor - 1999

A Y2K story like many movies of the time I’m sure. This movie came out in 1996, three years before its setting. Taking place in the near future, there wasn’t a lot of crazy tech for us to expect. So while the Eighth Doctor, Grace, and Lee were facing off against the Master and his stolen body, the rest of the world celebrated the new millennium. But we didn’t stick around in 2000 long enough for the Doctor to make an imprint (except on Grace’s lips).

Dalek - Ninth Doctor - 2012

On one of his early adventures with Rose, they went to the near future where they met a Dalek in an underground bunker in Utah. Like the TV movie, we didn’t go far enough into the future for any outrageous guesses at future technology, but we did see a large collection of alien tech. While this episode aired while I was still in high school, the episode took place while I was at BYU. To think, I was mere hours away from the Ninth Doctor and the TARDIS. If I'd known he was closeby… Well, I guess what’s done is done. No TARDIS for me.

Fear Her - Tenth Doctor - 2012

Rose and the Doctor got caught in another scuffle in the near future. An innocent lonely little girl empowered by a child-like lonely alien nearly defeated them. But a mother’s love saved what could have been a disaster, including the end of the Olympic Torch. The Doctor ended up delivering the Torch in the end… though it seems some butterfly effect happened somewhere before real-world 2012, as David Tennant never got to deliver the Torch in real life. Wibbly wobbly. Side note: The 2012 Torch also appeared in mini-episode “Good as Gold” featuring Eleven and Amy against a Weeping Angel.

The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood - Eleventh Doctor - 2020

As if we didn’t have enough going on with COVID and killer hornets last year (whatever happened to the hornets anyway?), we didn’t even get news coverage of the unruly ground in Wales. Thanks to the Doctor, Amy, and Rory (but also note Rory?) we didn’t have a Silurian incursion. Instead, the Doctor was able to manage to delay the conflict until mankind was ready to share. Good, because 2020 didn’t need anything crazier.

As always, I can’t wait to see what Doctor Who comes up with next. My goal is to catch up on the Thirteenth Doctor so I can bid her goodbye around the same time as the rest of you. And then next up: Russell T Davies and the Fourteenth Doctor.

No comments:

Post a Comment