The Best Tenth Doctor Adventures that Weren’t On TV
After relaunching with the short lived Ninth Doctor in 2005, modern Doctor Who really made a name for itself with David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor, who many would argue personifies a golden era of the modern Doctor Who. Despite having some of the best on screen adventures the Tenth Doctor has featured in a number audio plays, audiobooks, novels, and comic books and is still as popular as ever.
The Stone Rose (2006):
David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor featured in well over fifty novels (more than any other modern Doctor) and has some of his biggest and best outings throughout numerous books. The BBC New Adventure series shows a number of new outings with Rose, Martha, Donna, and even a few adventures on his own (or with book only companions).
The first Tenth Doctor book, The Stone Rose, sees the Doctor and Rose travel back to ancient Rome after discovering an old Roman statue of Rose. What really makes this a notable outing for the Doctor is that the book was released two days before his first full series, and so was a very early glimpse into what the Tenth Doctor and Rose’s dynamic would be like following on from the Christmas Invasion.
Each of the novels, and especially The Stone Rose, manage to perfectly capture Tennant’s Tenth Doctor, whilst capitalising on the freedom to go whenever and wherever they wanted to (with no budgetary constraints), making sure they total to some of the Tenth Doctor’s best outings.
Death’s Deal (2013):
In 2013, as a part of Doctor Who’s fiftieth anniversary, Big Finish produced an eleven part audio series called Destiny of the Doctor. One part was released each month throughout the year, and saw the Eleventh Doctor showing up in each, to give his past incarnations various messages and instructions, which eventually made sense in the final part of the story.
This series marked the extension of Big Finish’s Doctor Who licence, who up until this point had only been allowed to produce adventures based on Doctor’s leading up to but not including the Ninth (essentially anything before the 2005 reboot of the show). But from 2013 onwards Big Finish have been allowed to produce adventures involving the Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Doctors (and have gone on to release series’ featuring River Song, the War Doctor, the ‘War Master’, and the Doctor’s Daughter Jenny).
The tenth story in the Destiny of the Doctor arc, Death’s Deal, sees the Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble on ‘the deadliest planet in the galaxy’, in a Jurassic Park like tourist expedition which puts the Doctor up against some very dangerous creatures. Soon enough the Doctor discovers some of his companions have some more sinister motivations, and (as you’d expect) uncovers a much deeper and much more dangerous threat beneath the planets surface. Death’s Deal was the first Big Finish audio adventure to feature the Tenth Doctor and Donna (with Catherine Tate returning, but no David Tennant), and marked the beginning of a new era for Ten’s adventures.
The Tenth Doctor (2014):
Starting in 2014 the Tenth’s Doctor’s ongoing Titan comics series launched alongside ongoing series for the Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors (with the Ninth’s series starting in 2015).
Not long after loosing Donna, the Tenth Doctor meets New Yorker Gabriella Gonzalez (Gabby), and quickly sets off on a number of adventures with her that see them save New York, battle Weeping Angels during World War I, free an old Hollywood star from the control of an alien artefact, and eventually bring along Gabby’s best friend Cindy for many more adventures.
This new TARDIS trio have gone on to lead the series for years, and the two new companions manage to perfectly play off a great adaptation of Tennant’s Tenth Doctor, utilising the comic book format perfectly, pushing Doctor Who to places TV can’t.
The Four Doctors (2015):
The Four Doctors cross over is a great multi-doctor comic book story, that shows the Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Doctors (with their companions Cindy, Gabby, Alice, and Clara respectively) going up against a mysterious new threat. Ultimately we see a number of ‘what if’s’, where the Doctor chose to turn away from his responsibilities.
We see the Eleventh Doctor retire, living a quiet life with River whilst all of reality collapses around them, the Twelfth, who is adamant he could never make any mistakes that would result in him becoming a villainous Doctor turns out to be the worst of them all, and the Tenth Doctor becomes a sort of ultra-Timelord dictator who is obsessed with how much better he is than everyone else.
The Four Doctors crossover shows a number of great interactions between the Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Doctors, along with all of their companions and also features appearances from the War Doctor, the evil counterparts of the Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Doctors and even a great cameo from the Ninth Doctor. The crossover totals to one of the best multi-Doctor stories there is, and one of the Tenth Doctor’s best adventures outside of TV.
The Tenth Doctor Adventures Volume 1 (2016):
After 2013’s ‘Death’s Deal’, it took three more years for the the Tenth Doctor to show up in another audio adventure, who in 2016 featured in the second episode of The Churchill Years, but again with no David Tennant.
Then, a few months later, we got not only a full audio series dedicated to the Tenth Doctor, but the return of both Catherine Tate as Donna Noble and David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor. Tennant was no stranger to returning after his departure from the main series, but this marked his first dive into the audio world of Big Finish.
The series is made up of three episodes, Technophobia, Time Reaver, and Death and the Queen, and proves the perfect place for the Doctor and Donna to return.Tennant and Tate’s chemistry was one of the best parts of Tennant’s run, and the duo mange to pick up right where they left off, for some of Big Finish’s best work yet.
Supremacy of the Cybermen (2017):
Crossing over multiple ongoing comic books has always been a key part of the comic book medium, and it’s something the recent Doctor Who comics have utilised to full effect (having three pretty significant multi-Doctor stories in the last few years). Supremacy of the Cybermen is a little different in that it manages to be a solid multi-doctor story without having any of the Doctor’s actually interact with each other.
Although it’s a shame we don’t get to see the Doctor’s meet (something that was quickly remedied in The Lost Dimension crossover that also came out in 2017), Supremacy of the Cybermen see’s the Cybermen team up with the Timelord Rassilon and attack numerous points in time, including every incarnation of the Doctor, in an attempt to recreate the universe in their own image.
Although the individual sections from the Supremacy of the Cyberman are all relatively small parts, they all add up to a cleverly woven story that shows various Doctor’s fighting off the Cybermen across different points in space and time. The Tenth Doctor’s arc see’s him helping the Sontaran’s take on the ‘Cyberkings’, whilst try to fight his way through the Cybermen, and explores the classic Tenth Doctor trope of being very ready to loose it, and unleash his ‘I fought in the Timewar’ side on his enemies.
The Lost Dimension (2017):
In another huge crossover called ‘The Lost Dimension’ we see the ongoing series of the Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Doctors crossover, to yet again include every single incarnation of the Doctor.
The story, which is split into two main books, combines all incarnations of the Doctor up to (and including) the Twelfth, as well as River Song, Jenny, Rose, Captain Jack, Tara, Gabby, Cindy, Alice and the return of the Timelords Romana and Rassilon (along with a look at ancient Gallifrey).
Made up of multiple issues, with a whole section dedicated to the Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, and the Twelfth Doctors, then Jenny, and River Song respectively, the story adds up to be one of the best multi-Doctor stories that interweaves and combines them all in a clever and meaningful way.
The Tenth Doctor’s role is pretty involved (with all of the modern Doctor’s taking centre stage), and see’s him start off by thwarting a Cyberman invasion on a human space station (far in the future), eventually heading to Earth to team up with his past and future selves to save the day.
The Tenth Doctor Adventures Volume 2 (2017):
With David Tennant returning in 2016’s great ‘The Tenth Doctor Adventures’, there was only really one way that a follow up series could top the continuation of the Doctor and Donna’s adventures, and that was the return of Rose Tyler.
The second season of The Tenth Doctor’s Adventures, reunites David Tennant’s Doctor and Billie Piper’s Rose, yet again picking up (over a decade later) as if they’d never left. The first episode, Infamy of the Zaross, sees the Doctor, Rose, and Jackie Tyler (with Camile Coduri returning as well) thwart an alien invasion, The Sword of Chevalier sets the Doctor and Rose across the path of The Chevalier d’Eon, and Cold Vengeance pits the duo against Ice Warriors, space pirates and robots.
The second volume of the Tenth Doctor’s audio adventures improves on the already great first series, and brings back David Tennant and Billie Piper in a pitch perfect continuation of their adventures, easily totalling to some of the Tenth Doctor’s best adventures (both on and off TV).
The Christmas Invasion (2018):
For a long time (starting in 1973) the ‘Target Novelisations’ delivered a number of Doctor Who books, that included adaptions of live actions episodes, audio stories and radio plays, going right up until the early nineties at which point the novels abruptly stopped. Even with the 2005 relaunch of Doctor Who, and a number of novelisations (that ranged from adaptations to wholly new adventures) Target didn’t properly get back into the Doctor Who game until 2018, where they released four new books.
The Christmas Invasion was the first of modern Doctor Who’s now annual Christmas specials, and as the Tenth Doctor’s full debut marks a pretty notable episode overall. The Target novelisation, written by Jenny T Cooglan (with Russell T Davis writing the actual episode) does everything you’d expect from a Target book, nailing the screen to page adaptation whilst adding a few scenes here and there, providing a little more insight into characters and events.
The Day of the Doctor (2018):
The novelisation of The Day of the Doctor was written by Stephen Moffatt himself, and is perhaps the most expanded of the newer Target books, taking some big departures, altering scenes and adding a lot of new information.
As a book The Day of the Doctor is brilliantly clever (as you’d expect) and starts off by explaining why all of the chapters are out of order (with Chapter Nine mysteriously absent…), and then alternates between the Doctor writing directly to the audience in a sort of inter-chapter commentary, and then each individual chapter being told from a different character’s perspective (mostly different Doctors).
Alternating between the War, Tenth, and Eleventh Doctor’s, gives a great new perspective on what each was thinking during the crossover event, as well as how different (or not) they really are. The Tenth Doctor’s story in particular is much more fleshed out, with a bigger backstory on how he ended up picnicking with (and engaged to) Queen Elizabeth, and a pretty violent reaction to the Eleventh Doctor forgetting he’d counted the children of Gallifrey. The Day of the Doctor was one of the best TV outings for Doctor Who, and the novelisation expands on everything it did well in nearly every way.
Bonus – Rose (2018):
Chronologically the first of the rebooted Target Novelisations is an adaption of Rose (the first episode of the rebooted 2005 series). The novelisation is written by episode writer and former show runner Russell T Davis and allows him to alter and expand numerous scenes.
Some of the bigger changes involve Clive discussing several versions of the Doctor (including incarnations after the Ninth), we find out that Mickey is in a band called ‘Bad Wolf’, get a small appearance from (a sleeping) Donna Noble, and even a scene with the Tenth Doctor which contextualises his pre-regeneration visit to Rose.