Solitary Man

by Gary Merchant [Reviews - 7]

  • All Ages
  • General
  • Character, Study, Missing, Scene, General


He closed the door behind him and walked toward the central console. He was sad that Rose had elected to remain on Earth with Mickey. Through all his travels in time and space, and in various incarnations, the Doctor had never been able to understand the emotions that brought two people together in a declaration of love. He recognised the concept, but that was all.

Well, he had travelled alone before, and would do so again. With a sigh, he set the controls for dematerialisation.


He smiled, waving farewell to the Vorshans as he entered the TARDIS. He was pleased to have been able to help in their fight for independence from the governing body of Barven IV, and was sure that they would now manage without him.

In the console room he remembered the events of an earlier adventure that had caused him to regenerate for an eighth time. His memory was still hazy about the details, but it had involved an encounter with someone called Dave Ross. At least, he thought that was the name. Well, it would come back to him eventually.

Only when he’d returned to the safety of the TARDIS had he found a mirror to examine his new face. Not bad. If he was honest, he had been glad to be rid of all that hair, and as for the clothes… well, he’d had enough of all that Edwardian finery. Something more practical would do just fine, and the leather jacket he now wore with the v-necked shirt had seemed ideal.

It was during a long overdue visit to Earth that Rose Tyler had come into his life. She had been in the way at first, but had soon proved to be a great help, even to the extent of saving his life when all had seemed lost.

So it had come as something of a surprise when she had refused his offer to travel with him. He’d accepted it, but was nonetheless saddened at her decision.

In the months that had followed, the Doctor had slipped into a routine; land on an alien world, help the oppressed, give the bad guys what for, and set off again. As long as he could get involved in something, he was fine. Any distraction, whether it was helping an old lady across the Galactic Divide, or bringing down some vile dictatorship, helped to take his mind off his own private thoughts.

Things just weren’t the same, he realised. Ever since he’d redesigned the TARDIS it had proved to be just too big for him, rattling around time and space on his own. He smiled at the irony — bigger on the inside. But with that came a feeling of emptiness. Not just in the TARDIS, but within himself. He could cope all right - it just wasn’t fun anymore. He needed someone to share his adventures with. “You, Doctor, are a sad old Time Lord,” he said to himself.

Where to now, he wondered. Of course, he already knew the answer. He had been tossing the idea around in his mind for some time. All it needed was to be put into practice. Resetting the co-ordinates, he set the TARDIS on its next journey. Back to a little place he’d become rather fond of over the years.

As the journey reached its end, the Doctor began realigning the point of landing to the exact place and time, with the sound of materialisation echoing around the console room. Once the TARDIS had landed, the Doctor marched down the sloping walkway, opening the connecting door to the outside.

For her, it would only have been a matter of seconds, but for him it had felt like a lifetime. And as he saw the look of hope in her face, but still hesitant, he knew he had to get this next bit right.

“Did I mention that the TARDIS travels in time as well as space?”

In that moment, Rose Tyler’s smile lit up his face as well as her own. And the Doctor knew that a gaping hole in his hearts had at last been filled. While he might not have understood the emotions he now felt, he willingly embraced them as Rose ran to join him.

Now, the adventure could really begin…