THE THIRTEENTH DOCTOR & THE FOURTEENTH DOCTOR
DOCTOR WHO (CHARACTER OPTIONS)
“In this adventure, the Thirteenth Doctor meets her old enemy the Master in an epic showdown that includes Daleks and the Cybermen. Her final battle before she regenerates once more…”
I haven’t written anything about Doctor Who since back in 2019. That’s quite a while ago. Admittedly, part of that was because I sort of fell out of watching the show part way through the Capaldi years, so I wasn’t picking up new stuff from the show. It’s also not *super* easy to keep up with the toyline on this side of the pond, so there’s that working against me. But, you know what, it’s a year for change…or going back to things maybe? Perhaps the change is going back? I don’t know. Whatever the case, this year marks the franchise’s 60th anniversary. There’s a bunch going on there, with Thirteenth Doctor Jodie Whitaker departing, Disney acquiring distribution rights, and also the return of not only showrunner Russell T. Davis (who was behind the successful 2005 relaunch of the show), but also former Doctor David Tennant, who, in a shock turn, is not playing the Doctor’s tenth incarnation, but the fourteenth. That is whack. It’s all terribly exciting, and it’s got me invested again. So, onto the new toys!
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
“The Regeneration Set” is part of Character Options’ ongoing Doctor Who toyline. It’s a special exclusive two-pack, only available through Character’s web store. It was put up for preorder shortly after “The Power of the Doctor” aired last year, and started shipping out in mid-January.
“The Thirteenth Doctor is a charismatic and confident explorer, dedicated to seeing all the wonders of time and space whilst championing fairness and kindness wherever she can. After crash landing to Earth this Doctor wasted no time in jumping into action to save the universe. Surrounded by the friends she treats more like family, she is brave and selfless – a hero who will run towards danger without hesitation.”
As part of the circumstances that lead to her regeneration, the Thirteenth Doctor’s final outfit winds up consisting of little pieces of prior incarnations. It’s an appropriately wacky and zany look, as well as a rather distinctive look for her send-off, all while still holding onto at least a little bit of her own style, which is a definite plus. The figure stands just shy of 5 1/2 inches tall and she has 16 points of articulation. The typical articulation scheme on Character’s Who line has been rather in flux in exactly how it works, and that continues to be the case with Thirteen. She gets a ball-jointed neck joint, which is an improvement on her predecessors’ usual swivel cuts, but loses the universal joint at the shoulders that the “Time” and “Night of the Doctor” figures got, and lacks the thigh swivel seen on all the post Tennant doctors. I’ve not yet reviewed any figures of Thirteen, so I haven’t seen any of those sculpts. This one (which is the work of sculptor Edmund Barnett-Ward) is at the very least largely new, if not entirely so. It’s a pretty respectable offering, all things considered. The likeness has a very strong resemblance of Jodie Whitaker, and is honestly one of the best Doctor likeness I think we’ve seen from Character. The body has proportions that match pretty well to Whitaker’s build, and the outfit’s detailing is generally strong. The texturing on the scarf and vest in particular is quite impressive. Other areas are a little flatter, as is fairly typical for the line. The celery stalk in particular is a little soft and blobby, but that’s really the only drawback. This design is certainly a rather colorful one, which makes for a rather colorful paint scheme. There’s a whole lot going on here. There are a few spots where there’s a little slop or bleedover, especially at the neckline of the shirt. That said, given how many smaller details and applications there are here, it’s extraordinarily well handled. I’m also quite pleased by how the detailing on the head turned out; the hair gets some rather nice accenting, and the face has a more lifelike quality than other releases from the line. It’s still a far cry from the face printing seen on Hasbro offerings, of course, but it works well within the established style of the line. Thirteen is packed with her version of the Sonic Screwdriver; it’s a distinct shape compared to the others, which is pretty cool. She holds it rather tightly in her right hand, so you won’t have to worry about losing it.
“The Fourteenth Doctor, just like the Tenth Doctor, is an intriguing mixture of apparent opposites. An extraordinary mix of kindness and sensitivity, but also someone who gives no second chances and who can be alien, detached and even vengeful, but never cruel. Time will tell how this doctor will respond to the universe around him…it always does.”
Curiously, when Thirteen regenerates into Fourteen, in contrast to prior takes on regeneration, Fourteen *doesn’t* wind up in the same clothing as his predecessor. I suppose there’s some bit of timey-wimey-wibbly-wobbly explanation for how that happened, but we won’t know for sure until the show returns in November. Instead of Thirteen’s mix of prior styles, Fourteen is wearing something that’s not entirely out of place for Ten’s usual style, though with a bit of a change-up to keep it fresh. The figure stands just over 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 18 points of articulation. His articulation is again a change-up from Thirteen; the neck is back to a swivel instead of a ball, but he regains the universal joints on the shoulders. The sculpt is largely new (and again the work of Edmund Barnett-Ward), though it does appear that the legs are the same sculpt as the standard Tenth legs from some years back. Judging this sculpt is a little tricker than Thirteen’s. We’ve gotten a lot more Tennants, so there’s more to compare to, I suppose, but also it feels like the paint gets a bit more in the way on this one. The actual sculpt of the head looks to have a pretty respectable likeness of Tennant, looking appropriately about a decade older than the last sculpt. The body sculpt isn’t too bad; the arms are perhaps a touch too long, but the rest works out pretty well. The detailing on the outfit is pretty spiffy; the jacket gets a nice bit of texturing, and the underlying suit is appropriately disheveled. As I hinted in the sculpt discussion, the paint here is a little limiting. It’s not *awful*, but the work on the face is especially thick and without much accenting, so it loses a lot of the sculpt’s subtleties. The work on the outfit is a little stronger, especially on the patterning of the suit and tie. He doesn’t get any paint for the laces on the shoes, and the shoes are generally sloppy, but it’s otherwise decently handled. Fourteen isn’t packed with any accessories for this release. His hand is still very clearly sculpted to hold his screwdriver, but he’ll have to borrow one from another Doctor.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Doctor Who‘s 50th anniversary was the year that I met Jess, and, in fact, Peter Capaldi was even announced as the Twelfth Doctor the very weekend that we met. She got into the show shortly after we met, and got me into it not too long after that. She was very strict about not letting me buy any Who figures for myself, so that she always had something easy to go-to for gifts at Christmas and my birthday, and she stuck with it for quite a few years. The combination of us both falling away from the show during the Capaldi run and the 5-inch line slowing down for a few years there led to her getting me a lot less of them. But, my collection has always remained prominently displayed, even after it stopped growing. Tennant was by far Jess’s favorite Doctor, and his return got me to go back to the show, if nothing else than because Jess wasn’t here to do it. And, with that in mind, the opportunity to add more to my collection, and even catch-up my line-up of Doctors up to the current incarnation was hard to turn down. So, breaking tradition, I bought myself a set of Doctor Who figures, and now I’m steadily catching myself up on what I’ve missed from the show. These figures are fun, and I’m happy to have them. I’m happy to be collecting the line again, and I’m excited by the future of both the show and its toys.