Doctor Who: Every Doctor's Darkest Moment

Despite what they tell themselves, the Doctors can be very cruel and a little bit cowardly.

Doctor Who The Waters of Mars
BBC Studios

Doctor Who has a reputation as an "unserious" science-fiction show, presumably due to its 1960s origins as a means to educate kids about science and history.

That's fair enough – Doctor Who is never going to match Battlestar Galactica for gritty realism or a nuanced examination of human nature.

However, the character of the Doctor isn't all jelly babies, question mark umbrellas, and jammie dodgers. The Doctor has laid waste to countless alien races, imprisoned evil little girls in mirrors, and Rassilon only knows what they did while they were working for Division.

That's one of the most compelling elements of every incarnation of the Doctor – one minute they can be wolfing down fish fingers and custard, and the next, they're pointing a loaded gun at an alien war criminal in a Wild West town. 

There's no other TV hero like the Doctor, and here's every main incarnation's darkest moment across more than 60 years in the TARDIS.

15. The First Doctor - Attempted Murder Of A Caveman

Doctor Who The Waters of Mars
BBC Studios

The First Doctor never saw himself as a hero, and some of his darker actions prove this. Many of them come in An Unearthly Child, from the kidnap of Ian and Barbara to an attempted murder.

When the caveman Za is wounded by a wild animal, he becomes an impediment to the TARDIS crew's escape. So the Doctor picks up a rock and advances on him, seemingly to put him out of his misery.

In these very early days of the First Doctor, he clearly puts the survival of himself and Susan above all else. It was an incredibly dark moment that established the Doctor's more alien, logic-driven morality. 

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Citizen of the Universe, Film Programmer, Writer, Podcaster, Doctor Who fan and a gentleman to boot. As passionate about Chinese social-realist epics as I am about dumb popcorn movies.