Eighth Doctor

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Doctor Who — Incarnations of The Doctor : 1st - 2nd - 3rd - 4th - 5th - 6th - 7th - 8th - War - 9th - 10th - 11th - 12th - 13th - 14th - 15th
Companions : Jack Harkness · Martha Jones · Donna Noble · Clara Oswald · Amy Pond · Bill Potts · River Song · Rose Tyler · Rory Williams
Adversaries : Cybermen · Daleks · The Great Intelligence · The Master · Rassilon

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.

The universe hangs by such a delicate thread of points, it's useless to meddle with it. Unless, like me, you're a Time Lord.

Television specials

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Doctor Who (1996 film)

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(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 Eighth Doctor's first words after regenerating.]
The Doctor: Who am I? Who am I? Who... Am... I?!

The Doctor: [Explaining regeneration to a bemused Grace]: Don't you see? I have thirteen lives.
Grace: Please! Okay, you're trying to tell me that you've come 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 a child. Don't talk to me like I'm a child. Only children believe that crap. I am a doctor.
The Doctor: But it was a childish dream that made you a doctor. You dreamt you could hold back death. Isn't that true? [Beat] 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: GRAAAAAAAAAAAAACE! NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

The Doctor: You want dominion over the living, yet all you do is kill!
The Master: Life is wasted on the living!
Broadcast 14 November 2013, written by Steven Moffat
The Doctor: I’m a Doctor. But probably not the one you were expecting.

Cass: Where are we going?
The Doctor: The back of the ship.
Cass: Why?
The Doctor: Because the front crashes first. Think it through.

The Doctor: Well, look on the bright side, I’m not a Dalek!
Cass: Who can tell the difference anymore?!

Ohila: We’ve restored you to life, but it’s a temporary measure. You have a little under four minutes.
The Doctor: Four minutes? That’s ages! What if I get bored, or need a television, a couple of books? Anyone for chess? Bring me knitting.

The Doctor: You’re the Sisterhood of Karn! Keepers of the flame… of utter boredom.
Ohila: Eternal life.
The Doctor: That’s the one.

The Doctor: She wanted to see the universe…
Ohila: She didn’t miss much. It’s very nearly over.
The Doctor: I could’ve saved her. I could’ve got her off but she wouldn’t listen.
Ohila: Then she was wiser than you. She understood there was no escaping the Time War. You are a part of this, Doctor. Whether you like it or not.
The Doctor: I would rather die.
Ohila: You’re dead already. How many more will you let join you?

The Doctor: I don’t suppose there’s any need for a Doctor anymore. Make me a warrior now...

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...
Broadcast 23 October 2022, written by Chris Chibnall
Thirteenth Doctor: Sorry, why are you not wearing...?
Eighth Doctor: I don't do robes.
Seventh Doctor: There's always one. Has to be "different"...
Eighth Doctor: I am a manifestation of our consciousness, I can wear what I like.

Storm Warning (2001)

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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.

The Chimes of Midnight (2002)

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The Doctor: Oh you’re right. It is very dark. Oh how exciting. I do love the dark, don’t you?
Charley: Well… within reason, but I think you can have too much of a good thing.
The Doctor: Oh it all just enhances the mystery, the sheer anticipation of not yet having a clue where we are.
Charley: You really haven’t got a clue?
The Doctor: The console isn’t telling me anything at all, just a blank read-out.
Charley: Well that sounds ominous.
The Doctor: No, not at all. I’ve been too methodical recently, I think. Setting coordinates and things, actually deciding where we want to go. I’ve been getting far too safe and predictable these last few incarnations. Do you know I once traveled for centuries without ever knowing where I’d materialize next?
Charley: Yes, I can believe that.

Seasons of Fear (2002)

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The Doctor: 'Doctor who'? My enemies never ask me that. Isn't that terrible, that they know me better than my friends?

The Doctor: It's one of the most wonderful things about Lady Time, isn't it? How nothing's constant, how everything decays and changes?
Charley Pollard: You call that wonderful?
The Doctor: I call it absolutely beautiful! How would it be if everything was always the same? If you never got too big for your dresses, if you never got to pass them on to your sister? If the rainy autumn lasted forever and the spring never came? At least I change. I'm stumbling my way through bodies like I own a particularly dangerous bicycle. Grayle never changes, not inside, not who he is. So time piles on top of him and kills everything good. No one should have to go through that.

Scherzo (2003)

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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 realized 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. The 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 all 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 could 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.

The Doctor: On Medieval Earth, courtiers would often keep skulls on their mantelpiece. They were very much the "in" thing. No matter how powerful you were, death was inevitable. You still had to remember your mortality. And Time Lords need to remember all the more. I denied that was the reason of course, and as you said, friendship, companionship. But over the years, over my many lifetimes, as my friends all left me one by one, I began to wonder that they really might have had a point after all.

Charley Pollard: That's all I was to you? Something to kick against your vanity?
The Doctor: I didn't expect to care for you as much as I did. That was my mistake. When it came to it, with the Web of Time hanging in the balance, having to make a choice between you and the universe... I'd say "Hang the Web of Time. You're more important. Let the universe rot." Charley, you're worth more than all that. I sacrificed myself for you, to save your life. And I did it gladly. I thought I'd never see you again, but it wouldn't matter so long as I knew you were safe.
Charley Pollard: I don't understand. You're saying that you did care for me, after all. That you... loved me.
The Doctor: Of course I loved you! I killed myself for you, didn't I? Of course I loved you. Of course I love you...
Charley Pollard: Doctor...
The Doctor: Quiet, just listen. But you're not safe, are you? You followed me in. So what was the point of my sacrifice? What was the point, after all these years, that memento mori, to find myself finally loving, a friend, someone who meant that much more to me, what was the point of that journey if I died for nothing? I killed myself for you so you could live, and yet here you are.
Charley Pollard: I'm sorry, I didn't realize--
The Doctor: You betrayed me! You betrayed all that I gave up for you! And I can't forgive you that, not yet, I-- But I'm not sure I could ever forgive you that.
Charley Pollard: But if you love me, then you understand why I had to come with you. Why I couldn't be left behind. Because I love you too. I need you. I couldn't go on without you.
The Doctor: I shouldn't have let you love me, it's killed you.
Charley Pollard: No.
The Doctor: I've murdered you.
Charley Pollard: No, no! Whatever has happened is better this way.
The Doctor: Your love for me has killed you, just as mine for you has killed me. What was the point of all that love? What was it for?
Charley Pollard: Doctor, no. Don't be angry with me.
The Doctor: I never wanted to see you again. You understand?
Charley Pollard: Yes, I understand.
The Doctor: Seeing you again would mean I'd failed. I have failed. I would've given anything to save you. I gave everything.
Charley Pollard: I know! But I didn't want it if I couldn't have you too! I'm sorry.
The Doctor: Everything.
Charley Pollard: I'm sorry...
The Doctor: I'm not sure that I don't wish... I'd never met you at all.
Charley Pollard: Oh, Doctor...
The Doctor: I'm not sure. I'm sorry.
Charley Pollard: You will let me know when you make up your mind? Because I'm here now.
The Doctor: Yes. You're here now.
Charley Pollard: For better or for worse...
The Doctor: 'Til death...

The Doctor: [Closing narration] Every living creature obeyed their king; doing everything that he wanted, down 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 that the waves should crash upon the shore only when he gave the word. He instructed that 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 seized the music. Every last crochet and minim, each breve and innocent little semibreve 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 his only means by which he could express it.

Terror Firma (2005)

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Davros: You feel no guilt or shame of the atrocity you commited?
The Doctor: You mean destroying Skaro? You reckon I should be wallowing in angst or something? Did I have the right, yadda yadda yadda? I had the right! I've seen what the Daleks are capable of! I had the right to destroy them.

Hothouse (2009)

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The Doctor: Marlowe, stop this!
Alex Marlowe: But Doctor, I have to ensure I have your complete cooperation. Infect the girl.
The Doctor: No!
Lucie: Get that thing away from me!
The Doctor: I said stop this!
Alex Marlowe: It's too late, Doctor. Time for your companion to go green.

The Doctor: You know, Alex, I had forgotten something about humanity. Something rare and precious. They never give up. Even when all hope is gone, they'll keep on fighting for what is right. Fighting to save the planet from people like you.

The Scapegoat (2009)

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Lucie: Do you… I mean, do you still think about Orbis? Your life back there?
The Doctor: Well… Why do you ask?
Lucie: Sometimes I look at you and you look, well, sad.
The Doctor: Lucie, there's a lot of darkness out there. Some of it where Orbis used to be. But you know something? We wouldn't notice any of it if it weren't for all those little pinpricks of light. Planets and stars. And that's where I go whenever I feel sad. The next bit of light in the darkness. Keep on moving. Never look back. Well, hardly ever.

The Resurrection of Mars (2010)

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[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 Four Doctors (2010)

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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 (2011)

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The Doctor: Oh, is this the bit where you gloat before my inevitable death?
Dalek Time Controller: Yes.

Dalek Time Controller: When you have an eternity to observe the entire universe and the totality of its history, its patterns are imprinted upon your mind. There is nothing I do not know.
The Doctor: Well, then you must have seen the beginning and end of... well, everything!
Dalek Time Controller: I did.
The Doctor: And didn't it make you feel insignificant? That nothing you could do would ever matter? Didn't it teach you some humility? Actually, I don't know why I'm bother to ask...
Dalek Time Controller: It made me realize how the Daleks could truly, ultimately dominate eternity!
The Doctor: As far as bad news goes, that's probably the worst I've heard in a long, long time.

The Doctor: Has it ever occurred to you that your trip through eternity might have evaporated your sanity, if you ever had any?

The Doctor: [After watching Lucie 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.

Dark Eyes (2012)

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Fugitives

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Molly O'Sullivan: So that's what you do, is it?
The Doctor: What?
Molly: Save young girls.
The Doctor: It's not quite that simple...
Molly: And you expect me to believe all this, do ya?
The Doctor: It would certainly be nice if you did.
Molly: Oh, I'm sure it would, The Doctor, I'm sure it would! But just tell me one thing: What happened to those other girls? What were their names? Lucie and Susan? If you're supposed to be so good at saving us girls, how come they're not here with you now?
[Beat.]
Molly: Ah! I knew it!
The Doctor: Knew what?
Molly: There's a secret! You're not telling me the whole story!
The Doctor: You would be here for the rest of your life if I were to tell you the whole story -- longer with all your interruptions!

Tangled Web

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Dalek Time Controller: Do not be squeamish about genocide, Kotris. It is, after all, our ultimate aim.

Dark Eyes 2 (2014)

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Time's Horizon

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The Doctor: Of course. Hello, you.
The Reborn Master: Oh! It's this one! Now, aren't you a sight for sore eyes?
The Doctor: "Doctor Harcourt De'Ath"? You're certainly pushing the boat out with the aliases.
The Reborn Master: I thought it might be the one with the umbrella! Tiresome little man, that accent, I only ever understood one word in ten, but you -- Oh, let me look at you! Whatever did you do to your hair?
The Doctor: I'll give you the name of my barber.
The Reborn Master: Oh, touché!

The Doctor: Reluctant as I am to have anything to do with them, I'm quite prepared to hand you over to the Time Lords.
The Reborn Master: Hand me over? Who do you think I'm working for, Doctor?
The Doctor: What? Even they wouldn't be so stupid--
The Reborn Master: They plucked me from my... predicament and made an offer I couldn't refuse: a new lease of life, carte blanche! I think I'm being brought back into the fold, softened up for something, but no, I know their game; I play it better than any of them.
The Doctor: Not stupid, then. Desperate. What have they seen? Some terrible future that must be averted, again?
The Reborn Master: It's not unprecedented. They sent a fellow back to stop the Daleks at their creation once, you know? But I hear he didn't have the stomach for it.
The Doctor: Well, you wouldn't turn a hair at genocide. If you had hair.

Eyes of the Master

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The Master: Oh, Doctor, Doctor! Denial's not just a river in Egypt, is it? What have you been doing since you stole that antique TARDIS of yours, since you first landed on Skaro, shouting...
The Doctor: It wasn't planned! None of it was planned.
The Master: ..."Look at me! I'm not fighting a war!" while you battle the Daleks all the way through space and time? The Doctor doth protest too much, methinks.
The Doctor: I never asked to be part of it. They're the ones who attack, invade, destroy. What else can I do but stop them?
The Master: Is that your excuse? "They started it!" No. You can't help yourself. "Not fighting a war"? Don't make me laugh... Doctor, you're a one-man army.

The Conscript (2017)

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Gallifreyan Recruit: Are you... him?
The Doctor: I'm certainly a him. For the moment, anyway.

The Doctor: I've stayed away because I don't know where to begin. I don't know the answer to a Time War!
Commandant Harlan: What? You've stopped trying to find one?
The Doctor: No, but I'm sure it's not to keep sending millions to die! To escalate an arms race where both sides have unfettered access to all time and space. I've seen worlds destroyed, civilizations choked in their cradles, whole races fleeing in terror. I've seen centuries of art, of science, wiped out in an instant. I just saw a beautiful rainforest burn along with every creature in it. I didn't even know the planet's name. If you're prepared to accept that much collateral damage to the rest of the universe, then what exactly are you fighting for?! I'll protect those with no choice in the matter, no voice.
Commandant Harlan: Noble sentiments, but that's all they are. You avoid the issue while the rest of us have to make a stand. We are the ones in the right. Gallifrey must prevail. At any cost.
The Doctor: That is what terrifies me. That certainty. You start believing only in absolutes. Well, isn't that exactly who you're fighting?

Ravenous 4: Day of the Master (2019)

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The Doctor: Well, well. The Master.
Artron: Who? And what's that? Some kind of laser device?
The Bruce Master: It's a gun, you idiot.
The Doctor: Homemade, from the look of it. I never thought you'd be into arts and crafts.

The Bruce Master: I have my own machine ready, all I need is a little help.
The Doctor: You'll get none from me.
The Bruce Master: Was anyone talking to you? Still so arrogant...
The Doctor: Coming from you?
The Bruce Master: Oh, Doctor. I've missed this! All our conversations, the one-upmanship... It's been too long, it's good to be back.

Stranded 1 (2020)

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Tania: I'm... Well, I'm... I'm trans. I-- I'm... I'm transgender.
Liv: Right.
Tania: I-- I just... I just thought you ought to know.
[Beat.]
Liv: Oh, is that it? That-- That's... all it is?
Tania: Um... Yeah, you don't m-- mind?
Liv: Mind? Wha--? Why would I mind?
Tania: Some people do.
Liv: That's their loss, then.

Stranded 4 (2020)

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Get Andy

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The Doctor: What... in the name of sanity are you doing?
Helen: It's your birthday!
The Doctor: In what universe?
Liv: This one! Specifically, this planet in this universe.
The Doctor: Is that a balloon?
Helen: Remember when we first arrived? Tanya asked you your date of birth, and you said...
The Doctor: Yeah, b-- but I made that up. That's not actually... I don't have a date of birth, not one that would make any sense to you, anyway.
Liv: We know. But we thought it might be fun!
The Doctor: Thought what might be f-fun-- Is that a cake?
Helen: Liv baked it, so it might not be entirely edible.
The Doctor: You baked me a cake!
Helen: And organized you a party, for later.
Liv: Don't worry -- Ayesha's doing the catering.
Helen: And apparently, Ron's got some sort of conjuring act planned.
The Doctor: You're throwing me a birthday party...!
Helen: We weren't sure you'd ever had one.
The Doctor: Okay...! Okay! And if I forget to tell you later, I want you to know, I had... the best time!

Previously, Next Time (2023)

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The Doctor: Sometimes I have trouble remembering when things happened. I've gone back and forth so much, I've contradicted my own timeline. Half of it doesn't make sense anymore.
Cass: That must be confusing.
The Doctor: I try to keep track of everything in my head, but I'm not even sure what really happened and what's been undone! My entire life is one big continuity error. Still, keeps everyone guessing. Mostly me...
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