Why is The Doctor so scared in Doctor Who?

Fifteen has spent his latest episode with his life on the line in Doctor Who. He's also spent another episode scared, but why does this feel so out of character?
Doctor Who. Credit: BBC Studios
Doctor Who. Credit: BBC Studios /

For three episodes now, The Doctor has been afraid. Very afraid. This seems out of character for him in the world of Doctor Who, but it doesn’t feel so out of character for the series.

The latest episode sees Fifteen and Ruby head to another planet. This planet is in the middle of a war, and The Doctor starts the episode by standing on a landmine. We spend the whole episode with him on this landmine, and there are various times that his blood pressure spikes and he’s clearly scared.

This isn’t the first time he’s been scared. In the first episode of this season, he mentioned how he never gets scared. Then in the second episode, we watched how terrified he was of Maestro. While David Tennant’s Fourteen looked a little worried of The Toymaker, he didn’t seem scared. Not in the way that Fifteen is, which suggests that something is going on (and it’s not the writing).

Is this to do with bi-generation in Doctor Who?

The third episode of the 60th Anniversary special of Doctor Who brought us a twist to the regeneration mythology. Instead of a straight up normal regeneration, we saw The Doctor split in two. This allowed Fourteen to go off and have a normal life while Fifteen could travel and save time, planets, and more.

Bi-generation has been brought up. Fifteen explained that his soul had been ripped in two. It’s clear that bi-generation has more effects, and some of them aren’t good. Is it possible that this bi-generation has taken some of the bravery from The Doctor?

Is Ruby Sunday something to do with it in Doctor Who?

The other theory is that it’s linked to Ruby Sunday. There is something different about her. The Doctor is even running her DNA, and Maestro hinted that she isn’t human. She’s been able to pull snow out of her memories to places, with the recent being on a planet where it never snows. And yes, it’s her who did it. As she started dying from the gunshot wounds she faced, the snow disappeared.

Is it possible that something in her is causing The Doctor to have more humanity and more fear? Is it because of her that this iteration of The Doctor cries a lot more?

I keep saying that Russell T. Davis doesn’t do things without a reason. There has to be a reason Fifteen is so scared when he wouldn’t have been in past iterations. I’m excited to see how it all plays out.

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