The year is 2080.
Happy birthday, grampa!
Ah hah ha ha! Well, isn’t this a nice surprise!
Dad, did you– get the slice— ordered?
I’m sorry honey, your feed is cutting out. And with so many of you on the screen at once, you’re so small!
Grampa, you really should upgrade to the Omnicom OS MAX, then all you’d have to do is close your eyes!
Maybe, hon, but your grampa is old fashioned. I’m one of those old dinosaurs that prefer to not have tech in his head. Hey, where’s Matty? His window’s open but he’s not there.
Oh, sorry grampa, he’s notching up more kills in the latest Doctor vid.
Oooof, he’s lucky MY grandfather isn’t around to hear that.
Wait… grampa, YOUR grampa used to play the Doctor vids?
Oh, heavens no. He never played video games, but he used to watch the original show, Doctor Who.
Oh dad, th— ds don’t wa— this again….
I wanna hear!
Okay, okay! Well, originally, the show was about a Time Lord called the Doctor, who traveled through the universe—
Killing scum and eradicating targets!
No! That wasn’t it at all. The Doctor travel would around in the TARDIS—
Yeah, the War Box!
Right, just traveling around, helping people. He usually traveled with companions, and friends.
Sure, the K9 killer droids!
No, no. He didn’t really go around shooting people; in fact, my grandfather told me that the Doctor never carried weapons. He’d outsmart his enemies.
Yes, the Doctor started out as a guy. The television show lasted for over 60 years before the shift straight to streaming.
Yes, those were early forms of entertainment delivery. Anyway, the Doctor was looked up to as a great hero, who saved countless civilisations.
But he didn’t kill anyone? Sounds boring.
You would have had to have seen it, Zan. My grandfather had all the original shows on discs you could watch, but they’re long gone.
I would like to see it. Can I, grampa?
I’m afraid not, hon. There were early episodes that offended some people, so the vast majority of the first 36 odd series got junked, around, I think 2030, as part of the “Lockdown Clean Up for decency”. That type of thing happened for a few years, until things relaxed a bit and some common sense came back. But by then, it was too late. All the “episodes” from 1963 to 2017 were no longer available to view.
It doesn’t sound anything like our show though. Where’s all the spy craft? The kill missions? The glory of Doc-23438? Or One Mil Twelve? The Endless Regen?
Well, the way I heard it, the show at least started down that path around, I think 2020. At that time, the show was all about stopping pollution, I guess. It served mostly as a public service announcement each week. But this was when they made the first really big change. They did the old “everything you know is a lie” bit.
They started killing?
No, no, that’s when instead of being a Time Lord, who traveled around helping people, THAT’s when they revealed that the Doctor was actually a several billion year old God that can change their appearance whenever they feel like it and can never die. According to my grandfather, it was a pretty significant change. The Doctor didn’t even know about all the past. There was some type of mind wipe involved, I guess. Eventually, everything in the show before the big revelation just became kind of an embarrassing anomaly, and mostly ignored.
I guess the producer — his name might have been Chandler, Charles, something starting with “Ch”, I can’t remember — wanted to bring back some mystery to the show, and suddenly revealing the Doctor to be an elder immortal of the universe certainly opened up possibilities.
Well, originally, whenever the Doctor got into trouble, there was the possible worry about getting hurt or dying. This would be a big deal because if any actor played the part for a long time, like three years—
I know, right? Well, only then would the Doctor regenerate into a new body.
Well, that’s stupid. The Doctor regens about 30 times during a standard game session. I’d get tired of looking at the same person.
Well, it was a different time. Anyway, it was also during this era, where we first found out that the Doctor used to be a spy.
But it wasn’t until a few years later, when ANOTHER new producer took over, that things changed again. I guess it had gotten to the point where each producer had been trying to “out do” the person who came before them as far as big changes went. So it was then that this latest producer started to abandon telling stories about present and future incarnations and decided to focus just on the spy missions of the early incarnations. After all, now they had millions of unknown, “mystery” incarnations to choose from, over billions years of years the character had been alive now. There was even an audio only company, “Big Time” or something, that created Doctor Who adventures—
Just hold on, the audio adventures, I’m told, usually did quite a nice job sparking the “theater of the mind”, the listener’s imagination. In an effort to build their audience, they started focusing on one or two of the earlier spy incarnations, to great success, like Rassilon’s Counterpart. After a couple of years, they were delivering ten times their normal output each month, by expanding the scope of the adventures to more and more of the different Spy Doctors.
That sounds… a bit more like the Doctor…
Yes, and then, on the actual show, after a few more years, another new producer wanted to top the previous one, to put their “stamp” on it, and started focusing on just the bloodiest eras of the Doctor’s past. Not only the spy missions but the wars, the slaughter, etc. Eventually, entertainment went through more and more changes, up until where we’re at now, where anything Doctor related is just all about the missions and the kills — spy kills, war kills, you name it. I guess the gaming is all of it now. They really don’t do actual stories any more, except the in-game links. That’s how some incarnations like One Mil Twelve got so popular. It’s nothing like the original.
Well, I guarantee you, my grandfather would not be a fan. The original show has been all but forgo—
Hey Jimmy, I racked up a solid 100 kills.
I don’t wanna brag Matty, but I got 300 yesterday.
Kids, I have a question…
Sorry to interrupt, but I see where this is going, and as much as I love hearing ab— —- –ho, I gotta go, love you! And happy birthday!
Love you too, sweetie, bye — okay kids, here’s my question: who’s your favourite Doctor?
One Mil Twelve is the best ever, even as they kept changing up to One Mil Forty six.
Nah, the War 1,000 was the best group of Doctor!
Oh, D-Squad, no question.
“D-Squad?” I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that one, Gero.
Aw, it was timeless, grampa…. the Doctor kept collecting more and more incarnations until there was a whole Doctor army, then they wiped out the Rutans and the Sontarans!
Hey grampa, how many incarnations did the old show have? Was it a thousand, like the Millenium Doc? Or The Hundred Thousand Horde?
Uh, no, I think there were only a dozen or so. And usually just one at a time.
Oh man, it sounds like it’d be awful tough to wipe out an alien army with one person.
Really! Imagine the Doctor being stuck in one body for a whole adventure?
No one ever even talks about them.
Well ‘course not! We’ve got a million to choose from, how is anyone supposed to remember a few old Docs that just talked a lot?
No, can’t really argue with that, kids. Can’t really argue with that.