For longtime fans of the franchise, the Doctor Who 60th-anniversary episodes have been truly special because they reunite David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor with Catherine Tate. In the most recent episode, “Wild Blue Yonder,” the two of them travel to the edge of the universe, and the Doctor explicitly mentions how he’s never been this far out before.
This had fans scratching their heads because the character had visited the edge of the universe before, but there is a simple explanation: a deleted scene from an earlier script had the Doctor explain this occasion was special because he had only visited places like this “in magnificent Timeships.”
Russel T. Davies Reveals Missing Script
Amusingly enough, this information was originally revealed by current Doctor Who showrunner Russel T. Davies on his Instagram. As a former showrunner for all of David Tennant’s earlier seasons as the Doctor, Davies is quite familiar with this empathetic alien’s adventures, including the fact that he has repeatedly visited the edge of the universe. When posting the earlier script with the aforementioned deleted scene, he mentioned how the First Doctor had visited the fourth universe, the Fourth Doctor had visited the Planet of Evil, and the 13th Doctor traveled between multiple universes while onboard Tecteun’s ship.
David Tennant’s Doctor Previously Visited The Edge Of The Universe
Presumably, those were just a few incidents off the top of the Doctor Who showrunner’s head and there are more that you can throw on the pile. For example, in the episode “Utopia,” the Tenth Doctor visited a planet located at the end of the universe where he accidentally found his longtime foe, The Master.
Twelfth Doctor Visists The Last Planet
Meanwhile, the Twelfth Doctor went to the last planet in the entire universe in “Listen,” and he later claimed his home planet of Gallifrey had been moved to (“give or take a star system”) to the end of the universe. Most recently, the 13th Doctor went outside universes during the events of Doctor Who: Flux.
Travel Outside Of The TARDIS
It may not be a super-satisfying explanation for Doctor Who fans, but Davies’ earlier script clarifies that David Tennant’s Doctor was most awed by this trip to the edge of the universe because he wasn’t riding in the TARDIS or other temporal ship. The full dialogue has him explaining the significance of the visit to Donna by saying “Oh I’ve straddled multiverses, but only in magnificent Timeships…to stand here like this…” before trailing off and touching the glass. For such an alien being, this is a surprisingly human moment as the Doctor realizes how special it is to experience this majesty outside of the protective comfort of the TARDIS.
A Very Different Doctor
Arguably, it would make sense for this version of the Doctor to have such an outsized reaction to the end of the universe, even without the context provided by this deleted scene. In the most recent Doctor Who episode, the Doctor agrees with Donna Noble about a male character being “so hot,” prompting him to exclaim “is that who I am now?” in an apparent reference to his own sexuality.
The bottom line is that this version of The Doctor may be a very different character despite wearing a very familiar face, so it’s conceivable that he simply has more awe for the edge of the universe than other incarnations.