In a moment fans have been waiting for, David Tennant’s 10th Doctor and Matt Smith’s 11th recently teamed up (alongside John Hurt’s mysterious War Doctor) for the ‘Doctor Who’ 50th anniversary special episode: "The Day of the Doctor." It was magic seeing them onscreen together, but one can’t help but wonder how things might have turned out very differently if Ten and Eleven had been able to help each other out in some of their previous adventures.
Granted, there are always the companions, and they’ve both teamed up with a version of themselves, (The Doctor Ganger in “The Rebel Flesh”/”The Almost People,” and Ten Too in “Journey’s End”), but as the old saying goes: two heads and four hearts are better than one (something like that).
1. "New Earth"
When the 10th Doctor and Rose visited New New York, they ran into their old “friend” Cassandra, who was up to her old tricks, this time making up for her body-less existence by jumping into Rose’s body. As the Doctor and Rose tried to escape the infected subjects in the hospital, they were waylaid by Cassandra making trouble, and eventually jumping back and forth between The Doctor’s and Rose’s bodies. When she was in The Doctor’s body, Rose didn’t know what to do, and when she was in Rose’s body, The Doctor would focus on nothing but getting Rose back.
If Eleven had been there, Rose could have been safe from Cassandra’s crushing mind-control, which was the Doctor’s biggest concern. This way, there would always have be one Doctor to handle the issues at hand, (escaping the disease-ridden hospital subjects, while also finding a way to cure them of their horrible plight), while the other one could occupy Cassandra for a little while, and try to keep her out of too much trouble. Plus, as we know, Cassandra tends to get a little fresh, as she proved with the kiss Cassandra-as-Rose laid on the Doctor (“Still got it!”). I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that a Matt Smith/David Tennant lip-lock would be an incredibly...um...memorable moment for the fandom. Ahem.
Ugh, "Doomsday," indeed. We all know what happened: Rose was helping the Doctor open the breech at Torchwood so the Daleks and Cybermen would get sucked back into the void. But when the lever closest to Rose was knocked inactive by a passing Dalek, Rose (of course) let go of her magnetic clamp to pull the lever back into position. As the Doctor looked on helplessly, she lost her grip, and was sucked toward the void. At the last second, Pete showed up to steal her away to his parallel universe, just before the breech closed, trapping the Doctor and Rose in separate dimensions. And then we all cried and cried forever, and everything was awful, and we forgot what happiness was like.
If only Eleven had been there. If only! Maybe his hands wouldn’t have been so clammy (it happens to the best of us, Rose), and he could have kept a better grip on the lever. And then the Doctor and Rose could have been together forever, and we could have skipped the miserably heartbreaking business of Bad Wolf Bay altogether. And we wouldn’t have to see David Tennant’s wonderfully adorable face so sad. Oh wait….no…just kidding.
"Blink" is the Doctor’s first experience with the Weeping Angels: arguably the creepiest of all the ‘Who’ monsters. In the episode, Ten found himself trapped in 1969, struggling to help Sally Sparrow in 2007. He had to try to explain all that wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey nonsense through a series of DVD easter eggs, which is not exactly the most efficient method of doing anything.
Smith’s Doctor unfortunately (Sadly. Heart-wrenchingly.) has more experience with the Weeping Angels and their cruel practice of zapping people’s loved ones back in time, so that they can feed on the misplaced temporal energy. If he couldn’t save Amy and Rory (*sob*), he could at least help Ten save Sally Sparrow, so that she could, in turn, pass on the information learned from their adventures with the Angels to Ten and Martha, completing the cycle that saves them all.
And really, two more unblinking eyes on those sneaky angels certainly couldn’t hurt.
4. "Nightmare in Silver"
"Nightmare in Silver" saw the Doctor’s worst nightmare: a Cyberman accessing his mind and attempting to “upgrade” him. It was a chess match to end all chess matches: a battle for the Doctor’s mind, between the Doctor himself, and Mr. Clever, the Cyberplanner. The Doctor is once again the only one who can save the day as the Cybermen threaten to take over the planet and “upgrade” everyone, but he is unfortunately trapped in a battle with and for his own mind.
If Ten was there to help out, he could have helped Clara and Porridge handle the rest of the Cybermen, while Eleven focused on the chess game at hand. Matt Smith battling with himself was quite impressive to see, one can only imagine how much better it would have been if it was Matt Smith and David Tennant versus Matt Smith: Cyberplanner. It would have had the same unfortunate ending for Mr. Metal Face, but extra enjoyable for the rest of us.
5. "The Big Bang"
So much wibbly-wobbly happens in "The Big Bang"! Centurian Rory shot Amy! The Doctor was trapped in the Pandorica! The TARDIS exploded with River inside! It’s nothing the Doctor couldn’t handle with a little help from a vortex manipulator. The only problem was, he had to keep zapping back and forth to leave all of his messages in the right places. He had to tell Rory that Amy’s not really dead…well...she is…but not now…well now she is…but not in the now the Doctor’s just come from. He also had to tell Rory to leave the sonic in Amy’s pocket, he had to leave a note to lure Amelia to the museum, plus grabbing her a soda, and then there’s the little matter of the dying version of himself giving his slightly-younger self an important message. Phew….exhausting! Even for a centuries-old Time Lord. He even seemed to be getting frustrated, as his be-fezzed self had to keep popping back to Stonehenge to clarify things for Rory.
Eleven really could have benefited from having Ten there, to do some of the running around with him. Maybe let Ten handle all the running around the museum, while Eleven pops around to Stonehenge and Amy’s house. That said, there’s no way we would ever trade the vision of Eleven in his beloved fez. And let’s not forget dear River Song, who would be just thrilled to have two adorable Doctors at her beck and call. I mean, wouldn’t we all?
Were there more moments where the 10th and 11th Doctors could have teamed up? Let us know in the comments!