Across the Universe
Disclaimer: More characters appear that I don't own.
The Doctor is not your typical Gallifreyan. For one thing, he loves to travel; just loves it. Up and down the time stream, across the galaxy, it doesn't matter; anywhere and everywhere the TARDIS can take him.
Another thing about the Doctor is that he seems to know no fear, not like those other pansies that hide out on their planet at the end of Time. Oh, he shows concern for a Companion's well-being often enough, but for himself? Nothing. If not for the endless feud between his people and the Oans over who was *really* the first humanoid race to arise in the universe, he might well have been offered a ring and a power battery. Might have taken them, too, if only to piss his own people off, but one really can't see him going for the uniform. Oh, well.
The third thing that is notable about the Doctor is that he has a strange fondness for Earth, which is, to quote the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, "an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet which circles a small unregarded yellow sun in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western spiral arm of the Galaxy." You'd think that he would have better places to go, but no, he keeps ending up back here. We could ascribe this to a selection factor, viz. the stories about the Doctor that Earth people are most likely to care about are those dealing with us or people very much like us, but he himself has remarked on his fondness for Earth and its people. Look at the number of Companions from this backwater planet alone...
But wait, it gets stranger still! Of all the many times that the Doctor, in whatever regeneration, has visited Earth, the vast majority of those visits have been to the same small island in the Atlantic - England. He hardly ever makes it to the Americas, and never during the 20th century at all. Curiouser and curiouser.
Why should this be? asks Rose Tyler. She's seen C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tanhauser Gate, but still she'd like to see the Grand Canyon for herself.
Does she remember the time she tried to save her Da, and the Reapers came to try to sterilize the wound she had created in time? Of course she does. His people may call themselves Time Lords, but even they live by very strict rules when it comes to meddling with time.
But Earth is subject to Powers that are not so restricted. They meddle in time almost at will, and feel free to jigger it about for the smallest advantage in some great game that they play. How does he know? Because the one ability you cannot take away from a Time Lord is a sense of the flow of time, along with memories of the original course of events.
The history of the 20th century has been rewritten and turned back on itself so many times that the river of time is almost ready to lap over its banks. It's almost unbearable to come back to an era one has visited before in one's personal timeline and see so much changed from how you remember it, how you know it should be - in America. England is not nearly as bad. There have been very few time reversals or revisions centered around events in England, so that's where he goes, and even then he's careful of the date. There's a reason he kept coming back to 2005, besides Rose's need to maintain connection with family and friends; there are whole sections of the eighties, nineties, and oughts that he tries to avoid if at all possible.
Still, he muses, the intervention of the Powers is not all bad; at least London is relatively intact and not a partially rebuilt ruin around a tower going into the stratosphere. In fact, the Doctor was glad to take on the issue of the crashed Qys ship himself when the Powers' seer alerted him to the issue, not that Johnny Bates' rampage wasn't a clue in itself. Earth was nowhere near ready for super-powered cloning technology, after all.
No sooner spoken, the Doctor feels another time shift pass through him. He looks over at his most recent Companion, one Rose Moran. Her features are much the same, but she looks a lot less pleased with his explanation. Explain to me again, she says, why we couldn't save my Da? I mean, sure, we don't want to change history, but his body was never found. Couldn't we have just brought him to the future without calling the Reapers?
Now, Rose, he says. Please calm down. I'll go over it with you again if you want, and if you're not convinced we'll see what we can do about things. But whatever - and he pauses to lick his lips - whatever you do, don't say it.
"Kimota!" she says, and the world explodes. The Doctor isn't caught by the blast; he was already running the moment her lips started to form the first syllable. Not that it's likely to do him any good.
Bullshit, the Doctor knows no fear.