✍ Is the Doctor selfish/why is he so willing to help?
Written in 2011 iirc. at the height of my Doctor Who fandom.
[I remember writing this because someone brough up discourse on a Facebook (lol) page. Man, remember when they were big? Yeah...]
Often when in a kind of perilous danger, it is to the Doctor’s priority to not help the companions he has invited to travel with him, but to assist those who need his help in the situation; it’s easily assumed that he does not care about the welfare of his companions, and that they are simply ‘tossed aside’.
However, this could be because he trusts his companions to be independent and strong-willed as many of his previous ones had been. After a few adventures, he knows that his companions can stand up for themselves and if they were in greater danger, then the Doctor would assist them. . .
I don't think he's intentionally selfish. He's had many companions and knows very well they can look out for themselves. He knows that he can't have a companion forever though, and when they go he'll be lonely again so he welcomes another.
Additionally, The Doctor’s acts of kindness and willingness to help others may in actual fact be a self-helping act. He feels the constant need to help others, and the Master claimed that because of this he was named the ‘Doctor’, but this could be because he wishes something in return, whether that be a grateful “Thank you” or a gift; he wants it for his contentment.
The Doctor is altruistic, sympathetic and empathetic as evident in many adventures. He doesn’t have to be, but he chooses to be which leaves why he is like this. He has always had a fondness for the human race, and with reasons to: they have been a source of entertainment and attachment for him.
Before the Great Time War, it seemed he had more interest in humans than his own species. But then came the tragedy of Gallifrey and the genocide of his race. He is greatly distraught about the event, but feels as if it was the right thing to do. This must’ve been very strenuous and he probably feels conflicted about it still. With no home, he looked to the humans for comfort and support. It was one companion after another, and the gap between each one wasn’t long; the Doctor’s understandably lonely and the only proper contact he’s gotten was from humans, and even this wasn’t constant. He had to continually recruit companions just to keep content.