There are two types of life – Ephemeral and Eternal.

Only there's not.

There are people like me. A halfway house. Eternals with a limited span.

What kind of thought processes resulted in my kind? Indeed, was there any thought process involved?

If a Creator planned this existence of dimensions, universes and micro-universes, were the Time Lords a momentary indecision? An off-day?Something that seemed like a good idea at the time? A cosmic joke? A speck on the blueprint?

OK, so if you had to pin me down I would say yes, we are Eternal. But we appear to be Ephemeral. We have twelve regenerations and then that's it. To all intents and purposes we die. Thirteen and out.

But we don't.

We are born again in some strange place and the cycle repeats.

Some things remain constant. I am always the Doctor, because I like to heal where I can. I travel around in my bonkers Tardis – flitting from place to place with admiring companions in tow. Fawning young things usually, to be educated beyond the boundaries of their narrow worlds. If I'm honest I have to admit that I enjoy their flattery and adulation.

So it's a personality defect. But I would contend a mild one compared to some of my kind who try to dominate, meddle or confuse. I oppose them where I can. A bit of a game really.

But of course there is indigenous evil to be fought – manifest as monsters, creatures of the night, the insane. I do my best.

But now, as my latest thirteenth life saps away and the monsters celebrate their 'triumph' the old feeling kicks in. Not the fire of regeneration but the quantum leap of relocation.

As I shift seamlessly into the next universe but one, I cry the wailing tears of a newborn baby.


In a fog-laden junkyard at the heart of the big city, an old man clears his throat...