When you’re a pop culture icon, you tend to get quoted by not just fans, but ordinary people, some who have never even seen or read where ever the quote originated.
“Say hello to my little friend!” “I coulda been a contender” “Do, or do not. There is no try.”
The Gallifrey community on Reddit recently asked it’s members what their top Doctor Who quotes were. We’ve collected ten of the best (in this writer’s opinion at least) to share with you. They are in no particular order. The show is so eminently quotable, who can choose which one is the very best? (Though I admit to making my own favourite number 1…)
10. “Good men don’t need rules. Today is not the day to find out why I have so many.”
- Eleventh Doctor, A Good Man Goes To War.
The Doctor is a complex man. As we’ve now seen from the Twelfth Doctor, he doesn’t always know if he really is a good man or not. He travels through time and space, hoping times and planets. Sometimes he goes where he wants, other times, its almost as if the TARDIS is sending him where he most needs to be. Most of what he does, he does with the best of intentions. But sometimes, the darker side of his emotions shine through. Most Who fans know that he’s met his darker self back in a past regeneration. For these reasons, he tries to keep that side of himself in check, and works hard to be that good man that everyone sees him as.
9. “The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. Hey, the good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa, the bad things don’t necessarily spoil the good things or make them unimportant.”
- Eleventh Doctor, Vincent And The Doctor.
Life is all about what you make of it. The Doctor lives this to the fullest, travelling all throughout time and space and showing his companions everything he can. Even when he was stuck on Earth, the Doctor did what he could to help people. Sometimes we face bad times in our life but then there are moments of joy. All of it is important as all of it contributes to making us who we are.
8. “The Doctor is worth the monsters… One may tolerate a world of demons for the sake of an angel.”
- Reinette Poisson, the Madame de Pompadour, The Girl in the Fireplace.
While the Doctor would never describe himself as being an angel, most of his companions would agree with what Reinette says of the Tenth Doctor – traveling with him, being with him, is worth anything else they may go through in their lives or in their travels with him.
7. “Courage isn’t just a matter of not being frightened, you know. It’s being afraid and doing what you have to do anyway.”
- Third Doctor, Planet of the Daleks.
I think this sums up the Doctor quite well, and it’s something we all should take to heart. No matter what you face, it’s okay to be scared, to be frightened. Courage is pushing past that fear and doing what you need to do despite it. While this quote comes from a few seasons into the Third Doctor’s run, it something he most certainly faced in being exiled to Earth. He didn’t want it to happen but he faced his exile with his usual determination.
6. “One day, I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine.”
- First Doctor, The Dalek Invasion of Earth.
Fitting that this famous line from the First Doctor should be included in this list. William Hartnell’s First Doctor began this now 50 year journey and paved the way for the future of the show. The Doctor will always return, even if it takes him until his eighth regeneration…
5. Whatever you’ve got planned, forget it. I’m the Doctor. I’m 904 years old. I’m from the planet Gallifrey in the constellation of Kasterborous. I am the oncoming storm, the bringer of darkness, and you are basically just a rabbit aren’t you?
-Tenth Doctor, The Day Of The Doctor
This is just a fun quote, one that makes me giggle whenever I watch the 50th anniversary special, or even just say it out loud! And I think it well represents the Doctor – sometimes he is serious and to be feared yet other times, its all just a bit of blustering and hot air! Plus it’s a great little nod to the Tenth Doctor’s era on the show.
4. “I will not forget one line of this, not one day. I swear. I will always remember when the Doctor was me.”
- Eleventh Doctor, The Time Of The Doctor.
This was a great last line for the Eleventh Doctor. He’d been through so much and fought so hard for so long but I get the feeling that although tragedy sometimes seemed to follow him, the Doctor had the most fun and the best years of his life in his Eleventh incarnation. He traveled for so long and yes, had many companions and friends, but his Eleventh form gained what he hadn’t had in a very long time – a family. Even though he eventually lost them like everyone else in his life, they made his life lighter and happier. Some say that Eleven is a very dark man – he willingly forgot about all of the destruction he’d had no choice to making – I say he became a younger man for the sake of a lonely little girl who needed a friend and that he was a man trying to move on with his life. He didn’t know that he’d be eventually searching for his home that still survived!
3. “There’s no point in being grown up if you can’t be childish sometimes.” – Fourth Doctor, Robot.
The Doctor had just regenerated from the serious and scientific Third Doctor into the younger, lighthearted, slightly manic Fourth Doctor. He’d gone from stuffy capes and ruffles to wild hair and absurdly long coats and scarves. While he’d regained his freedom to travel in time and space a good time before, he regenerated into a truly different man not just a new face. This quote sums up the Fourth Doctor but I think would also work for the Eleventh and even the Tenth Doctors as well. Life is serious but who says you can’t have fun along the way?
This video is proof that this Doctor was most definitely not always the same serious man that he had been!
2. “You want weapons? We’re in a library! Books! The best weapons in the world!” – Tenth Doctor, Tooth And Claw.
Here we have the Doctor trying to remind those he was with that not everything requires violence – the Doctor himself has often eschewed guns and physical weapons in favor of using one’s mind and the knowledge it contains as the ultimate weapon! Thinking through a situation will often lead to better results than if one runs head on at it. If people understood each other, the universe would be a much better place!
1. “In 900 years of time and space, I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t important.” – Eleventh Doctor, A Christmas Carol.
This quote is the one I’d call my favorite. It says something so very important about everyone and it says so much about the Doctor himself. The Doctor loves people, especially those that might consider themselves just ordinary. This is a very big part of the rebooted show – Rose was an “ordinary” 19 year old girl. Donna, while she was the “best temp in Chiswick” didn’t generally think highly of herself, and her own mother was frequently harsh on her. Yet Rose became Bad Wolf, saviour of billions. Donna became the Doctor! He proved that there was no such thing as an “ordinary” person – everyone is unique and special and important to the world, whether they are a lonely child needing help or a captain of industry who needed to be reminded of the joys of life. We’re all special and have meaning. How often has the Doctor wished he was one of us!?
Now, we were going to run this as a poll, but with 50+ years, 14 Doctors and all manner of media to account for, you’d have still been reading the choices on August 23rd. So instead, tell us what you think of these Doctor Who quotes, and share with us your own favourites in the comments.