Doctor Who is a British Sci-Fi television show about a Time Lord, the Doctor, that travels in time and in space. Since the Doctor is a Time Lord, and not human, he has 13 regenerations, or 13 lives, meaning when he dies, he comes back to life. When he regenerates however, he does not have the same body or the same personality. When the Doctor regenerates he becomes a " different person," but retains his memories (Lewis and Smithka, 231). Every doctor has a unique personality and so I wanted to see if his various personalities could be detected by analyzing the texts and looking at the most commonly used words from the first and last episodes for each doctor. Since Doctor Who has almost continually airing since 1963, there have been twelve doctors so far. It order to make this project more manageable, I only pulled the scripts from the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th doctors. The 9th Doctor was played by Christopher Eccelston in 2005 and had one season. David Tennant took over as the 10th Doctor from 2005-2010 and had three seasons. Following him was Matt Smith as the 11th doctor from 2010-2013 and also starred in three seasons. Finally, the current Doctor is the 12th Doctor played by Peter Capaldi who has just finished his first season.
The 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th Doctors
I used the tool Voyant to analyze my corpuses for the most used words. The scripts I used were as follows:
First, I found the scripts on this site where some people have taken the time to write out out the scripts for educational purposes. I took the text from the individual episode pages and put it into a text editor. Once in the text editor, I was able to find and replace the various character speaking part indicators (DOCTOR: -insert line here-) with a space, in order to clear the text from an excessive, and irrelevant amount of times the character's names are used in the scripts. I considered also taking out the setting and stage directions but since those did not repeat as much, I did not think they would influence the corpus analysis significantly.
After I cleaned up the episodes scripts I entered them into Voyant for each doctor. Next, for all of them, I added the English Taporware Stop Words List to the corpuses. I added in a few more words that it did not include such as "that's," "i'm," and "it's." However, I did take away "you" from the stop list since I had noticed that before I added the stop list, "you" was a very prevalent word, and I wanted to see how prevalent it was compared to the rest of the non-taporware words. After I ran the analysis on my corpuses, I saved the word clouds as PNGs to use on this webpage. The words in the clouds are proportional to their use in the corpus, so the larger words (in physical size, not length) are used more frequently than the smaller words.
I found that each of the Doctor's personalities could not be determined by analyzing only two episode scripts. Key words that he repeats throughout the various episodes and seasons will most likely only show up in an analysis that includes all of the scripts from every episode in a season. After analyzing the corpuses I generated, I discovered that most commonly used words were ones that were specific to the episode. So for example, if the Doctor was going up against Daleks, the word "Dalek" would show up in the word cloud. Dalek, however, is not entirely descriptive of an individual Doctor's personality. Instead, Daleks have been important to story arcs, and individual episodes' plots.
Although I did not see each Doctor's personality in the word clouds, I did see a commonality between the four Doctors' word clouds. The two most spoken words amongst the eight episodes are "you" and "doctor." I found this intriguing because more often than not, the Doctor travels through time and space with a companion. Although companions between the Doctors have been both "ordinary" and "extraordinary" people, traveling with the Doctor does affect the companions, for better or for worse. As a result of going on dangerous and exciting adventures together, the companions "develop unique relationships with their Doctor(s) and make the role of companion more dynamic" (Jowett, 80). As Alec Charles explains when commenting on one of the writers of Doctor Who, "it is human relationships that motivate Davies's storytelling" (Charles, 453).
ConclusionsThe Doctor's personality cannot be described by analyzing only two episodes. In trying to find the personalities of four of the Doctors, I could not find any. Instead, when analyzing the corpuses from Doctor Who, I found that the Doctor's relationship between his companions and other characters shines through the substantial use of the words "you" and "doctor." Throughout the episodes, the Doctor is usually with his companion and is usually trying to save a species, individual, group, or planet, or something that could be referred to as a "you. " Thus, the Doctor's personalities come from more than just words. His personalities must also come from actions and body language, which would have to be analyzed using additional digital tools.
Charles, Alec. "War without End?: Utopia, the Family, and the Post-9/11 World in Russell T. Davies's Doctor Who." Science Fiction Studies 35.3 (2008): 450465. Print.
Jowett, Lorna1. "The Girls Who Waited? Female Companions and Gender in Doctor Who." Critical Studies in Television 9.1 (2014): 7794. EBSCOhost. Web. 20 Nov. 2014.
Lewis, Courtland, and Paula J. Smithka. Doctor Who and Philosophy: Bigger on the Inside. Open Court Publishing, 2010. Print.