BBC Studios has announced “Time Lord Victorious,” a new Doctor Who multi-platform story featuring the Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Doctors, and fans could not be more excited. Set to begin this September, the initiative will release across virtually every possible medium, except television, as the Doctors fight against a “terrible race” during the “Dark Times” of the universe’s beginning.
The news has kicked fan speculation into overdrive. A multi-Doctor story is always a special occasion, but one told across novels, comic books, video games, audio dramas, and more is unprecedented. Plus, the possibility that the project might see Christopher Eccleston return to the role of the Ninth Doctor for the first time since 2005 has fans thrilled with anticipation.
Much of the project’s hype stems from how little is known about it. Though the Daleks and the Ood will appear, they aren’t the story’s main villains, and the new “terrible race” hasn’t been discussed at all. It will also feature the return of Billie Piper’s fan-favorite companion Rose Tyler, but the press releases haven’t disclosed who the other returning monsters and companions might be.
Additionally, the project’s scope is unprecedented, requiring collaboration between nearly every company that currently holds a license to create Doctor Who content. Penguin Random House, Titan Comics, Doctor Who Magazine, BBC Books, BBC Audio, Big Finish Productions, Maze Theory, Escape Hunt, Immersive Everywhere, and Eaglemoss Hero Collectors will all come together to tell “Time Lord Victorious” across various forms of mediums.
This kind of cross-company, multi-platform story has simply never been done before, and many fans are excited to see where this type of project might go. Disney’s recently announced Star Wars: The High Republic is similar in a few respects, but even that project doesn’t include the vast array of mediums that will bring fans the latest story from science fiction’s longest-running television series.
The story’s title, “Time Lord Victorious,” has especially excited fans of David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor. A significant phrase within the fandom, the expression was first uttered in the 2009 special episode “The Waters of Mars.” In that story, the Tenth Doctor encounters a “fixed point in time” in 2059 that will inspire the human race to spread out into the cosmos and colonize and explore the galaxy. But in this instance, the “fixed point” is the deaths of an entire crew of astronauts on a mission to Mars.
The Doctor initially attempts to leave to preserve history, but he ultimately interferes, saving the crew’s lives and recklessly becoming what he calls the “Time Lord Victorious,” the man who never loses and can do whatever he likes, no matter the cost to the time stream. By breaking history in that moment, the Tenth Doctor becomes the story’s villain, and he doesn’t snap out of his mania until the crew’s captain, Adelaide Brooke, commits suicide to set history right.
One of the show’s darkest episodes, “The Waters of Mars” has been a fan-favorite ever since its initial release, so using one of its most famous lines as this new story’s title has only helped drive fan speculation into a frenzy. Essentially, when combined with how much still remains unknown, the references that BBC Studios and the project’s producer, James Goss, have chosen to use have struck all the right notes with Doctor Who fans, and they are anxiously awaiting the release of more information.
One of the biggest hopes is that the project could entail the long-anticipated return of Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor. In 2005, Doctor Who was revived with Eccleston in the title role. The actor left after only one season, however, and fans have been begging for his return ever since. Though he declined to appear in the show’s 50th Anniversary special, the actor’s first appearance at a Doctor Who convention earlier this year has many fans hoping the actor will finally come back to the role in Big Finish Production’s full-cast audio dramas.
Big Finish has been creating new audio stories for the Classic Series’ Doctors since 1999, allowing fans to revisit previous eras of the show through new stories featuring the original actors. Though Tennant is the only New Series Doctor to return for Big Finish so far, fans have always hoped that Eccleston might do the same, and though nothing has been confirmed, many believe that “Time Lord Victorious” might finally make their wish come true.
More details are set to come as BBC Studios begins announcing individual products. And although very little is known at the moment, the massive significance of what has been revealed so far has fans daring to hope that this unprecedented project might fulfill some of their longest-held fantasies. Whatever happens, “Time Lord Victorious” will certainly make the wait for Season 13 seem much, much shorter.
Doctor Who's new multimedia publishing initiative “Time Lord Victorious” will launch this September, and fans could not be more excited.