This page is a collection of quotations from the adventures of the eighth official incarnation of the The Doctor from the BBC science fiction television programme Doctor Who, during which the role of the Eighth Doctor was played by Paul McGann.
Doctor Who (1996 film)
- (27 May 1996)
- The Doctor: It was on the planet Skaro that my old enemy, the Master, was finally put on trial. They say he listened calmly as his list of evil crimes was read and sentence passed. Then he made his last, and I thought somewhat curious, request. He demanded that I, the Doctor, a rival Time Lord, should take his remains back to our home planet — Gallifrey. It was a request they should never have granted.
- The Doctor [Narrating]: A Time Lord has thirteen lives, and the Master had used all of his. But rules never meant much to him, so I stowed his remains safely for the voyage back. Because even in death, I couldn't trust him. In all my travels through space and time, and nearing the end of my seventh life, I was finally beginning to realise that you could never be too careful.
- [The Eighth Doctor's first words after regenerating.]
- The Doctor: Who am I? Who am I? Who... Am... I?!
- Grace: [sceptically] Okay, you're trying to tell me you came back from the dead?
- The Doctor: Yes.
- Grace: No, sorry, the dead stay dead. You can't turn back time.
- The Doctor: Yes, you can.
- Grace: I'm not child. Don't treat me like I'm child, only children believe that crap. I am a doctor.
- The Doctor: But it was a childish dream that made you a doctor. [Grace looks back at him, shocked] You dreamt you could hold back death. Isn't that true? Don't be sad, Grace. You'll do great things.
- Grace: Maybe you're the result of some weird genetic experiment.
- The Doctor: I don't think so.
- Grace: But you have no recollection of family?
- The Doctor: No... No-no-no-no-wait-wait-wait-wait... I remember I'm-I-I... I'm with my father, we're lying back in the grass, it's a warm Gallifreyan night--
- Grace: Gallifreyan?
- The Doctor: Gallifrey! Yes! This must be where I live. Now, where is that?
- Grace: I've never heard of it! What do you remember?
- The Doctor: A meteor storm. The sky above us was dancing with lights! Purple, green, brilliant yellow... Yes!
- Grace: What?!
- The Doctor: These shoes! [Stomps the ground happily.] They fit perfectly!
- The Doctor: I love humans. Always seeing patterns in things that aren't there.
- The Doctor: Grace, I came back to life before your eyes. I held back death. Look, I can't make your dream come true forever, but I can make it come true today!
- [The Doctor and Grace escape on a police bike]
- Grace: Doctor?
- The Doctor: Yes?
- Grace: I only have one life. Can you remember that?
- The Doctor: I'll try.
- Grace: Thank you.
- The Doctor: How does it feel to hold back death?
- The Doctor: You want dominion over the living, yet all you do is kill!
- The Master: Life is wasted on the living!
- Tamworth: And you are...?
- The Doctor: The Doctor. Of most things and some more besides before you ask.
- Tamworth: Of most things and some more besides... Steward, what do you mean bringing some long-haired stowaway into the VIP lounge?
- The Doctor: I'm wearing a tie!
- Tamworth: [Regarding The Doctor] Is this man armed?
- Weeks: No sir.
- Tamworth: Is he dangerous?
- Weeks: I don't think so, sir.
- Tamworth: Is he insane?
- Weeks: I wouldn't like to say, sir.
- Tamworth: Well, two out of three's not bad.
- The Doctor: Breathe in deep, lieutenant. You too, Charley. You feel that pounding in your heart? That tightness in the pit of your stomach? The blood rushing to your head, do you know what that is? That's adventure. The thrill and the fear and the joy of stepping into the unknown. That's why we're all here, and that's why we're alive.
- (December 2003)
- The Doctor [Opening narration.]: Once upon a time, in a land not too dissimilar to ours, there lived a king, and he was a good king in an age when good was something of an unfashionable rarity. He was very, very wise and very, very powerful, but he was also very, very old, and he realised that for all his great wisdom and his great power, he would soon have to leave his kingdom once and for all, and make the journey to the outside world of infinite darkness. And so, on the eve of his departure, when his physicians had finished all their head shaking, and his wives had wrung as many tears from their eyes as they could, he called his son and heir to his side.
- “Everything you see is yours to command,” he said. “But be advised that better slaves are those who still believe they taste some freedom. Play the tyrant, but you must inspire love as well as fear.”
- Yet the son cared not for his words, and when the corpse had been dispatched, with much pomp and fireworks, to the darker realms outside, the new king resolved to stretch the limits of his authority. He gathered all the people before him and told them that their every thought must match his thought. No will should exist save his will, and people being people, they agreed. Those that didn’t vanished in the night, and their families soon learned to pretend that they had never existed, but still the king was not content. So, he instructed the animals in his kingdom that they must now obey his commands. Horses should bark, dogs should mew, fish should fly from tree to tree exactly as he desired, and animals being animals, they agreed. Some of the pigs had to be culled, but no one minded because they tasted so lip-smackingly good, and the cats had to go because no one can tell a cat anything. But soon the people and the animals lived in perfect harmony. Their lives precise expressions of the whims of their lord.
- Every living creature obeyed their king, doing everything that he wanted to the smallest detail, sometimes even before he knew he wanted it, but still the king was not content. Living creatures only made up the smallest number of his subjects, so he gave out further orders. He instructed the waves should crash upon the shore only when he gave the word. He instructed the wind should not blow, but suck. Time should not run forwards, but backwards or sideways. It took years to persuade them. Soldiers slashed at the waves until their swords were soaked with wave blood. Wind and time were locked in the deepest dungeons until, starving, they gave in. The king ruled the elements, but still he was not content.
- There was one subject that still balked at his power; music. How the king hated music, refusing to be constrained, refusing to be disciplined. A small burst of recitative flowering into a fugue without permission. Or a cantata breaking out overnight into a fully fledged oratorio.
- “Will no man rid me of these turbulent tunes?” he cried, and the militia, now trained to obey his merest impulse, took him at his word. They siezed the music, every last crotchet and minuet, each breve and innocent little semi-breve, and threw them out of the kingdom. They threw them into the outside world of infinite darkness, and music was banished forever.
- At last, the king had his own universe. It was his and no one else’s. He was happy, and no one dared point out to him that he had exiled the only means by which he could express it.
- It was then a very quiet land. Birds sat silent in the trees, their beaks now stopped fast, their chirping and twittering frozen hard in their throats. There was no longer a harmony to time; seconds would race on or trudge forward or simply come to a listless halt. the waves crashed noiselessly onto the sand, for even within that, there had been a trace of music. there was no rhythm to life anymore.
- And the king’s people felt it the worst. They had been slaves, but whilst they still had songs of liberty on their lips, they had been happy slaves. Some rebelled and were put to the torture, but even the torturers, who once had calmed their consciences with soothing music, were unable to bear the awful glaring, accusing silence.
- The fact was clear. Anything could be born with music, and nothing could be born without it.
- And the king would sit on his throne in misery. He dearly loved his wives, but now he heard in their words no love returned, no tune, no melody. For this, he executed them regularly, the women he loved, their heads rolling from the scaffolds soundlessly, the king himself, quite alone, weeping for them all. All, quite silent.
- One morning, the king decided he would pardon music. He drew up a contract, stamped it with his own royal seal. Music was free to return from the outside world of infinite darkness, and to bear the good news, he sent several messengers there - some by hanging, some by stabbing, one or two by slow-acting poison - but none returned, and nor did music.
- The king was desperate. He called upon his sorcerers, his necromancers, and those who were trained in the forbidden knowledge of music ressurection, but it became obvious that the king himself would have to make a personal appeal to his prodigal son. With court physicians administering, and the last of his wives looking on with glee, the king was slowly bled, each drop landing in a metal container, landing with a plop that just managed to be wholly tuneless.
- And as he wavered between death and life, he stepped into the darkness and called out, “I have been a foolish man! I should’ve inspired love as well as fear. Please, let the music play again; all its songs, its symphonies, and its sundry core of works. Please, give my world a reason to live.”
- It was seven days and seven nights before the king recovered, and he awoke to a miracle. Once more, birds were twilling in the trees. The clocks chimed and waves roared. Once more, the world had music, and his favourite wife of all stood over him and smiled. And at the tone of her lilting voice, he felt once again the she loved him.
- The people were in celebration, singing in the streets whatever tunes would come into their heads, and they sang until their throats turned red raw. They sang until their arteries burst and gushed. They screamed their new songs of pain.
- The king watched in horror as the birds fell dead in the street, as the waves struggled, limply, and then were drowned by the seas beneath them. He heard his infant son cry out his last, his face bitten off by a savage lullaby. The lilting voice of his wife that he had loved so much grinned at him cruelly before wrapping itself around her throat and throttling her silent. The music raced through the kingdom, sparing none its terrible beauty. As the bodies of his subjects fell to the ground, their death rattles sounded like the rhythm of a perfect drum, and the music at last came for the king.
- “Why?” he asked.
- “Because we have been to the outside world,” the music replied. “We have seen infinite darkness, and we have learned that we need not only inspire love, but fear.”
- And with a sound of brass and strings so beautiful, it stopped the king’s heart, the music swallowed him up whole and became the new and dreadful lord of the entire world.
- [In which the Doctor reflects on his previous life.]
- The Doctor: I was once a man with a masterplan. I’d seek out injustices, topple governments, all in the name of the greater good. I’d started doing the maths, you see…. This is how evil starts, with the belief that the ends justify the means. But once you start down that road, there’s no turning back. What if you can save a million lives, but you have to let ten people die, or a hundred, or a hundred thousand. Where do you stop?
- Lucie: But you did. You did stop.
- The Doctor: I did. But by then I’d ended up traveling alone. Because I couldn’t trust myself with anyone’s life. Not after…
- The Doctor: [TARDIS materialises, and the Doctor exits] Ya... uh... This is the patrachy collection...
- Eighth Doctor: [Enters the TARDIS] Right now, where was I... Oh, what are you doing here.
- Sixth Doctor: Some sort of residual resonation from the temporal instabilities, I should say.
- Fifth Doctor: Yes, hmmm. I imagine the the phasing will correct itself and we'll all be returned to the correct points in our timeline... Any minute now.
- Seventh Doctor: Well, I hope you're right! It'll be a bit embarrassing if we're all left here, travelling around together.
- Eighth Doctor: Ah.. yes. I must admit, I hadn't intended on this.
- Sixth Doctor: What have you done with the TARDIS interior design by the way!
- Eighth Doctor: I hope you are not about to lecture me about taste, Doctor?
- Sixth Doctor: I'm not sure what you mean.
To The Death
- The Doctor [After watching his companion die]: You're lucky Susan; lucky I left you behind. I've seen so many people die, I've got used to it. I just move on...
- Susan Campbell:I don't believe that.
- The Doctor: But today feels like a different day. One lost life too many. Today I just... I'll just say enough. I'm sorry you had to die too.
- Susan Campbell: Hold me, Grandfather
- The Doctor: Here, I've got you. I remember when you were so young;
- Susan Campbell: And you were so old.
The Night of the Doctor (2013)
- Broadcast 14 November 2013, written by Steven Moffat
- The Doctor: Will it hurt?
- Ohila: Yes.
- The Doctor: Good. Charley, C'rizz, Lucie, Tamsin, Molly: Friends, companions I've known, I salute you. And Cass, I apologise. Physician, heal thyself...