TARDIS Index File

"Doctor Who: The Last Time Lord"

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"Doctor Who: The Last Time Lord" was a treatment that Russell T Davies wrote for BBC executives for what became the 2005 revival of Doctor Who. In the fifteen-page document, he laid out the back story for the Ninth Doctor specifically, detailing how the elimination of the Time Lords could make the programme more accessible to modern audiences.

Davies himself said the primary reason for taking the series in the direction implied by the document was to make things more "epic and emotional". It also allowed new viewers to have a clear jumping-on point. They didn't need to understand the then-forty years of back story of the first eight Doctors. All they needed was the fact that this Doctor — the Ninth Doctor — was the last of his kind. It was, according to Davies, a way to level the playing field between new fans and fans of the classic series.

Jane Tranter's initial reaction to the document was disappointment in the implied elimination of the character of the Master. However, she, as BBC Head of Drama and therefore the commissioner of Doctor Who, was also impressed.

It was obvious, even from the treatment, that Russell was going to make ridiculous things feel credible.Jane Tranter [src]

Julie Gardner said "the hairs stood up on the back of [her] neck" when she first read the treatment and saw the words "the last Time Lord" on the page. She felt that the notion, though not heavily emphasised in the first series, "added a certain epic mythology to Doctor Who" and made the Doctor "more vulnerable", and more desirous of company in the form of Rose Tyler. (AUDIO: Project WHO?)

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