Portrayed by John Hurt, the ‘War Doctor’ was a choice made by the Eighth Doctor. After crash-landing on Karn he was helped by that planet’s mysterious Sisterhood and Ohila allowed him to influence his next regeneration. Who or what did he wish to become? The Doctor made his decision quickly… ‘Warrior!’
Following the Eighth Doctor’s regeneration on Karn, the Time Lord gazed at his own reflection and declared, ‘Doctor, no more!’ He then fought in the Time War, seeing death and devastation and finally proclaiming: No more! He took the Moment – a terrifyingly powerful sentient weapon – with the intention of ending the conflict, despite the carnage it would cause…
After he believed he had taken this drastic course of action, he defended his tactics to the Eleventh Doctor. “What I did, I did without choice,” he explained. “In the name of peace and sanity.”
Despite his experiences, he could be an appealing and gentle figure. He charmed Clara and despite a bumpy start he ended up getting on rather well with the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors. He seemed surprised by their informality (“Timey wimey?”) but he possessed a youthfulness that Clara immediately recognized. After her intervention, the Doctors launched a plan which meant they would not have to use the Moment. Despite this redemption, the War Doctor thought he would not remember taking this new course of action, yet when he bid farewell to his future selves he knew in his hearts he had done the right thing.
Inside his TARDIS the familiar regeneration glow began to appear… Quoting the First Doctor, he murmured that his body was wearing thin… A change was coming.