Doctor Who and the Time War (BBC Website).

Prose  Read this first (assuming you haven't already).  Surprise. With everyone in the world embracing the lifestyle I've cultivated over so, so many years, Emily Cook from the parish circular's been organising mass rewatches of well loved Doctor Who stories and given that today is the fifteenth anniversary of the first broadcast of Rose, that's what everyone'll be pressing play on tonight at seven o'clock.  What started as a fun thing for a few fans on Twitter has gone global and prestigious enough that Moffat and now RTD have become involved, on this occasion with the final moments of the Eighth Doctor before he regenerated into Lots of Planets Have A North.

As you will have read from his introduction on the website, this was originally prepared for the 50th anniversary issue of DWM until Cardiff nixed it for obvious reasons and so is "out of continuity" (whatever in the fuck that means post The Timeless Children). But it does resurrect the little moments (ahem) in The End of Time when Rassilon and the gang would refer to the Doctor having the "moment" and my little Byronic heart would sing because it meant the Eighth Doctor had made some kind of an impact on the revived series even if it was only by implication off camera.  Little did we know what was coming and so it appears, neither did Russell T Davies.

Some of the language in here is sheer poetry.  The descriptions of the aftermath of battle are of a piece with the stories set in the Time War which have spun off from the "real" regeneration, Night of the Doctor, especially Natural Regression, the sense of reality turning in on itself like a Hieronymus Bosch painting.  It's also much like Davies's "Meet the Doctor" essay in the 2006 annual with back references to random mythology (Deathsmiths of Goth!) (Squee!) and images which are almost impossible to comprehend.  Few people can write this kind of brilliant, lyrical nonsense.  Yarvelling’s Church indeed.

Of course, this is just the final few pages of an imagined TARGET novelisation of television story which never existed (and would have cost the BBC's entire annual programme budget to finance, The Goodies presumably sodding off to ITV again) so you can't read that much into it.  But considering what a chronological mess the Time War was, perhaps there is a version of the timeline in which Eighth didn't die on Karn, fought in the wars and became the Ninth Doctor at the end, with the events of The Day of the Doctor featuring all four incarnations, the McGann incarnation having to contend with someone who looks like Billie Piper.

Placement: Since it was written by (a) a showrunner and (b) published on the BBC website, it's at least canonical enough to go in the "Almost, but not quite, entirely unlike the Eighth Doctor" section on the placement list.

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