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Published on August 10th, 2011 | by Meredith Burdett

The Selfish Doctor?

Matt Smith has always been an actor that has wanted to get inside the head of his incarnation of the Doctor. Varied research for the role has proven this, such as the actor watching old Doctor Who adventures before he started shooting his first series.

And with all that history that Matt’s been soaking up over the last couple of years, he’s started to notice character traits within the good Doctor’s nature. One such trait is his ability to move on very quickly from one “friend” to the next and how this can make the Doctor seem quite selfish.

Smith stated:

“He’s [the Doctor] actually quite selfish. Because he picks these people up – often hot women – and then cruises around, drops them off, and goes, ‘See you later’.”

This certainly seems to be something that the Doctor has done on many an occasion. The Fourth Doctor left Sarah Jane Smith behind, the Fifth let Tegan run out of his life, the Seventh used his friend Ace to trap Fenric.

But behind all of this, there isn’t a selfish man, just a man. His friends either have to go due to circumstances (the Fourth Doctor couldn’t take Sarah with him as he had to go to Gallifrey – no humans were allowed) or because they chose to. And while they were gone, he met new people and moved on with his life.

Not one of us can claim to be any different so let’s give the old time traveller a break!


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About the Author


What happens when an eight year old kid watches the 1993 repeat run of Planet of the Daleks? He pretty much ends up here writing about the show that grabbed hold of him and never let go!

4 Responses to The Selfish Doctor?

  1. avatar Bobbygaga says:

    If he is “selfish” then it’s in keeping with his 1st incarnation persona. I like it.

  2. avatar Anastazja the Lonely Angel says:

    You’re right; he leaves people behind because he has no choice or because they find someone else.

    However, I also believe that he realizes human mortality, while he can live for thousands and thousands of years. He knows that if he allows his companions to travel with him for as long as they want, he will eventually be forced to watch them decay and die. He does not want that, for himself or them, and thus he leaves them. Perhaps it is a bit selfish–but it makes sense. I can imagine nearly anyone doing the same.

    This is also why he doesn’t mention his former companions. The one exception is Rose, whom he explained to his next two companions was a former friend of his, but this is because even before Rose left her return was planned. Every time he regenerates, he leaves his memories behind. I suppose it is to protect himself. If he didn’t put away his regret of companions whom he has abandoned, it would overwhelm him and he’d be incapacitated.

    • avatar Chris says:

      But He doesn´t leave his memories beheind, otherwise, He wouldn´t have remembered MIss Simth

  3. avatar Vanessa says:

    When it comes to people who are friends rather than lovers, etc people often get on with life and find new friends when they go their different ways. Its not always possible to stay in touch. The difference with The Doctor is because they are travelling in his TARDIS he has to take them back to Earth first as a general rule which makes it seem like its his choice (when often it is actually circumstances that result in the person leaving and they can choose to leave like Martha did).

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