Fansided.com: It is generally thought that the Doctor is the loneliest character on Doctor Who. However, given his ability to travel through time and space, that may not be the case. Instead, he is the most tragic character on the show.
The Doctor is a tragic figure in Doctor Who. Let us face it, with his incredible life span, ability to regenerate, and affinity for humanity, he is cursed with the knowledge that most of those who he befriends will die long before his time is done. As Ashildr pointed out, that is one of the downsides to immortality, or, in the Doctor’s case, a lifespan measuring thousands of years.
i do think one of the more tragic lines in WHO was in “School Reunion” when he said Rose could stay with him her whole life, but she could his, because he will outlive her no matter what.
And considering how close he was with Sarah Jane, Jo, Ace, Rose,Amy, etc. He still picks up another one knowing it WILL end shortly (by his time scale). It’s big like having a Goldfish in a bowl and when it dies getting another and another and another.
Even his “wife” River, though part Time Lord and long lived will never outlive him.
That is tough.
And yet, while the Doctor does not typically travel back in time to see his former companions, with the notable exception of the Tenth Doctor looking to see Rose once more before his regeneration, that does not mean he cannot revisit old friends.
Cynically, it mean the BBC can’t or won’t afford it. 🙂
His relationships with Winston Churchill, Charles Dickens and even the Brigadier, amongst others, encompassed different incarnations based on the novelizations, audio plays and television episodes.
Perhaps this is what makes the Doctor such a tragic character. Not only does he have to face the reality that all of his human friends, and friends from across the universe, will die during his lifetime, but he has the ability to go back and visit them periodically if he so desires. Unfortunately, in doing so, he has to live with the knowledge that while he gets to see them living once again, at his next step, these friends may be long since dead.
And then there are the rules of Time Travel itself.
In a way, giving the Doctor this ability and having him befriend humanity taps into the core desires of people. If given the chance, everyone has that one person they would want to go back in time to visit and have one last conversation with. The Doctor can do that, at least theoretically.
True. Also people you’d just love to meet in general. Sometimes, not even people. I would love to just see the raw natural majesty of the Dinosaurs. It would be rough, but beautiful. But not on Asteroid Day, though.
Yet, that opens up a completely different set of issues. While the Doctor can have that conversation, it also leads to the possibility of wanting to keep going back, to make it virtually impossible to let go. Perhaps this is why he refuses to go back and check in on his former companions – reliving the moment that they parted ways, either through the demise of the companion or from when they left of their own accord, is far too much for him to handle on a repeated basis with the same individual.
Always moving forward, never looking back.
It is said that those who smile the most harbor the most pain, and that those who attempt to shield others from turmoil may well be fighting the largest battles. The Doctor is certainly not an exception.