Going into the Doctor Who 60th-anniversary special episodes, many fans were anticipating a bittersweet experience: after all, it was going to be amazing to see David Tennant as the Doctor again, but we all knew he was basically a temp who was destined to be replaced by Ncuti Gatwa.
However, the final episode of the special surprised us all (and beware the spoilers, sweetie) by showing a “bi-generation” in which the new Doctor separated himself from the old, leaving Tennant’s Doctor to live on Earth with Donna Noble. It’s a bold move, and fans of the long-running BBC franchise are split regarding this new twist on an old character.
This fan, for example, thinks that Doctor Who introducing bi-generation was a bad idea because it came across as little more than a cheap gimmick. It’s one thing to build an entire storyline around a major change to the franchise mythos. It’s quite another, however, to do so as a way of adding a thin layer of cheap character development over a much thicker layer of fan service.
Meanwhile, this fan took a very tongue-in-cheek method of explaining that Doctor Who’s bi-generation isn’t really a big deal. Many of the fans who are most upset by this strange twist are upset because it seemingly violates the established rules of the franchise. However, Doctor Who as a franchise and the Doctor as a character have delighted in flouting the rules from the very beginning, so it’s arguably very ironic for fans to be this upset at the show breaking its own timey-wimey rules yet again.
Doctor Who’s bi-generation may be a bit of a fumble according to this fan for multiple reasons. First, as others have said, it’s a lazy way to pass the torch, basically inventing a potentially lore-shattering bit of new mythos simply to have our two leads onscreen together at the same time.
Additionally, the user argues that this plot twist may add fuel to the fire for those looking to undercut Ncuti Gatwa’s historical significance as the first Black Doctor. It’s tough to argue having two Doctors does make this very cosmically unique character seem less important.
Of course, this user offers the perfect rebuttal to such an argument by pointing out that we had two Doctors running around long before Doctor Who introduced bi-generation. Previously, an entirely human version of the Doctor was created as a clone thanks to a skin sample from the character’s lopped-off hand. If fans are willing to accept such a goofy plot, then such fans don’t have a hand–er, foot–to stand on when objecting to bi-generation.
As for us, while we can understand some of the major criticisms of this latest plot development, the truth is that we’ve been having too much fun with David Tennant to object to any plot twist that keeps his character around for future adventures. More of Tennant’s Doctor and more of Catherine Tate’s Donna Noble in the future? That’s a possibility even sweeter than Jelly Babies, and we can’t wait to see more of these iconic characters.