If there’s one thing that Doctor Who does well, it’s the speeches that the Doctor can deliver, after the amazing speech in The Zygon Inversion, I thought we should look back at Doctor Who from 2005 onwards at what I consider to be the ‘Doctor defining’ speeches. A Doctor is not cemented as a Doctor until they’ve had one of these speeches, and I can happily say that each Doctor since the revival have had one of these moments, so let’s delve in.
The Ninth Doctor– S1E1 ‘Rose’
“Do you know like we were sayin’? About the Earth revolving? It’s like when you’re a kid. The first time they tell you that the world’s turning and you just can’t quite believe it ‘cos everything looks like it’s standin’ still. I can feel it. The turn of the Earth. The ground beneath our feet is spinnin’ at 1,000 miles an hour and the entire planet is hurtling around the sun at 67,000 miles an hour, and I can feel it. We’re fallin’ through space, you and me, clinging to the skin of this tiny little world, and if we let go… That’s who I am.”
The Tenth Doctor– S4EX ‘The Voyage of The Damned’
“I’m the Doctor. I’m a Time Lord. I’m from the planet Gallifrey in the constellation of Kasterborous. I’m nine hundred and three years old, and I’m the man who’s gonna save your lives and all six billion people on the planet below. You got a problem with that?”
The Eleventh Doctor– S7E7 ‘The Rings of Akhaten’
“Okay, then. That’s what I’ll do. I’ll tell you a story. Can you hear them? All these people who’ve lived in terror of you and your judgement. All these people whose ancestors devoted themselves, sacrificed themselves, to you. Can you hear them singing? Oh, you like to think you’re a god, but you’re not a god. You’re just a parasite eaten out with jealous and envy and longing for the lives of others. You feed on them. On the memory of love and loss and birth and death and joy and sorrow. So…so come on, then. Take mine. Take my memories. But I hope you’ve got a big appetite, because I’ve lived a long life, and I’ve seen a few things. I walked away from the Last Great Time War. I marked the passing of the Time Lords. I saw the birth of the universe, and I watched as time ran out, moment by moment, until nothing remained. No time, no space – just me. I’ve walked in universes where the laws of physics were devised by the mind of a madman! I’ve watched universes freeze and creations burn! I have seen things you wouldn’t believe! I have lost things you will never understand! And I know things. Secrets that must never be told, knowledge that must never be spoken, knowledge that will make parasite gods blaze! SO, COME ON, THEN! TAKE IT! TAKE IT ALL, BABY! HAVE IT! YOU HAVE IT ALL!!”
The Twelfth Doctor– S9E8 ‘The Zygon Inversion’
The Doctor: You just want cruelty to beget cruelty. You’re not superior to people who were cruel to you. You’re just a whole bunch of new cruel people. A whole bunch of new cruel people, being cruel to some other people, who’ll end up being cruel to you. The only way anyone can live in peace is if they’re prepared to forgive. Why don’t you break the cycle?
Bonnie: Why should we?
The Doctor: What is it that you actually want?
The Doctor: Ah. And when this war is over, when — when you have the homeland free from humans, what do you think it’s going to be like? Do you know? Have you thought about it? Have you given it any consideration? Because you’re very close to getting what you want. What’s it going to be like? Paint me a picture. Are you going to live in houses? Do you want people to go to work? What’ll be holidays? Oh! Will there be music? Do you think people will be allowed to play violins? Who will make the violins? Well? Oh, You don’t actually know, do you? Because, just like every other tantruming child in history, Bonnie, you don’t actually know what you want. So, let me ask you a question about this brave new world of yours. When you’ve killed all the bad guys, and it’s all perfect and just and fair, when you have finally got it exactly the way you want it, what are you going to do with the people like you? The troublemakers. How are you going to protect your glorious revolution from the next one?
Bonnie: We’ll win.
The Doctor: Oh, will you? Well maybe — maybe you will win. But nobody wins for long. The wheel just keepts turning. So, come on. Break the cycle.
Bonnie: Then why are you still talking?
The Doctor: Because I’m trying to get you to see. And I’m almost there.
Bonnie: Do you know what I see, Doctor? A box. A box with everything I need. A 50% chance.
Kate: For us, too.
[The Doctor sighs.]
The Doctor: And we’re off! Fingers on buzzers! Are you feeling lucky? Are you ready to play the game? Who’s going to be quickest? Who’s going to be the luckiest?
Kate: This is not a game!
The Doctor: No, it’s not a game, sweetheart, and I mean that most sincerely.
Bonnie: Why are you doing this?
Kate: Yes, I’d like to know that too. You set this up — why?
The Doctor: Because it’s not a game, Kate. This is a scale model of war. Every war ever fought right there in front of you. Because it’s always the same. When you fire that first shot, no matter how right you feel, you have no idea who’s going to die. You don’t know who’s children are going to scream and burn. How many hearts will be broken! How many lives shattered! How much blood will spill until everybody does what they’re always going to have to do from the very beginning — sit down and talk! Listen to me, listen. I just — I just want you to think. Do you know what thinking is? It’s just a fancy word for changing your mind.
Bonnie: I will not change my mind.
The Doctor: Then you will die stupid. Alternatively, you could step away from that box. You could walk right out of that door, and you could stand your revolution down.
Bonnie: No, I’m not stopping this, Doctor. I started it. I will not stop it. You think they’ll let me go after what I’ve done?
The Doctor: You’re all the same, you screaming kids, you know that? “Look at me, I’m unforgivable.” Well here’s the unforeseeable, I forgive you. After all you’ve done. I forgive you.
Bonnie: You don’t understand. You will never understand.
The Doctor: I don’t understand? Are you kidding? Me? Of course I understand. I mean, do you call this a war, this funny little thing? This is not a war. I fought in a bigger war than you will ever know. I did worse things than you could ever imagine, and when I close my eyes… I hear more screams than anyone could ever be able to count! And do you know what you do with all that pain? Shall I tell you where you put it? You hold it tight… Til it burns your hand. And you say this — no one else will ever have to live like this. No one else will ever have to feel this pain. Not on my watch.
[Kate closes her box.]
The Doctor: Thank you. Thank you.
Kate: I’m sorry.
The Doctor: I know. I know, thank you.
[The Doctor looks back to Bonnie.]
Bonnie: It’s empty, isn’t it? Both boxes — there’s nothing in them. Just buttons.
The Doctor: Of course. But you know how you know that? Because you’ve started to think like me. It’s hell, isn’t it? No one should have to think like that. And no one will. Not on our watch.
[The Doctor and Bonnie stare at one another for a moment.]
The Doctor: Gotcha.
Bonnie: How can you be so sure?
The Doctor: Because you have a disadvantage, Zygella. I know that face.
Kate: Well, this is all very well, but as know the boxes are empty now. We can’t forget that.
The Doctor: No, well, uh… You’ve said that the last 15 times.
[The Doctor uses his sunglasses, which begin pulsing.]
Bonnie: You didn’t wipe my memory.
The Doctor: No. Just Kate’s. Oh, and your little friends here, of course. When they wake up, they won’t remember what you’ve done. It’ll be our secret.
Bonnie: You’re going to protect me?
Osgood: Well, you’re one of us now, whether you like it or not.
Bonnie: I don’t understand how you could just forgive me.
The Doctor: Because I’ve been where you have. There was another box. I was gonna press another button. I was going to wipe out all of my own kind. Man, woman, and child. I was so sure I was right.
Bonnie: What happened?
The Doctor: Same thing that happened to you. I let Clara Oswald get inside my head.
[The Doctor looks at Clara.]
The Doctor: Trust me… She doesn’t leave.