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Doctor Who: Meanwhile in the TARDIS - Why Us?

By Adam J Purcell

"Why do you look so human?"

"No, the real question is - why do you look so Time Lord?"

She frowned, unable to avoid a glance at his bow tie.

"Once, long ago, my people were stepping out into space for the first time. What they saw was emptiness, primordial soup and simple mindless life. The only exceptions were horrors from the dawn of time itself. It was a lonely, inhospitable universe. Even as the other early lifeforms dragged themselves up the evolutionary ladder, we advanced our technologies. We grew arrogant and self righteous. We went on great crusades, eradicating those poor unfortunate young civilisations that we couldn't empathise with. Our might became as nothing the universe had ever seen before. And it was a terrible sight. We even learnt how to manipulate the very morphic fields within the universe itself, making life vastly more likely to evolve in our likeness. The human race is perhaps the prime example."

"Your people made us?!"

"Not exactly, no. We made you more likely by fiddling with the very make up of the universe. It's a power no one should ever have had," he paused, looking thoughtful, "Now nobody does."

"And that's why you come to Earth so much. Why you keep whisking us away with you. We remind you of your own people?"

"I was on the run from my own people when I first found Earth. Like them, I was old, cynical and tired. I was a different man, embittered and in hiding. Then I met two of your kind, I took them away with me, to frighten them, to show them how powerful I was. My people are like that. Were like that. The few that went traveling the universe, much as I do, almost invariably sought out power and destruction. 'I am a Time Lord, you will never meet a being more powerful than me. Do my bidding'. Our arrogance is inbred. But these two humans, normal humans - school teachers - they taught me more than you can know. Humans have all the negative traits of Time Lords but they are balanced by courage, compassion, imagination, a sense of adventure, wonder and justice. If we ever had that, it was lost long ago."

"You have all that...", she didn't like the Doctor being so sad and thoughtful.

"Only thanks to them and the others I've had the privilege to travel with since. Even then, after that, on the few times I've traveled for any length of time on my own, I start to lose that humanity. I find I stop asking myself 'what would Ian and Barbara do?' and I can feel myself reverting to something terrible. If you see that happening again, stop me, as you did with the star whale."

"What would Ian and Barbara do?"

"They'd be magnificent. Just like you, Amy Pond."