The 45 Deaths Of Doctor Who

Note: Originally posted to Livejournal by Derooftrouser and recently deleted from there for some reason, I’m reposting this here from Wayback Machine (thanks to @philsandifer for the link) to preserve its existence on the web. People have suggested it be updated, but I’ll leave that task to someone else.

Following the interesting response to my previous post about a minor production detail that won’t affect viewers in the slightest, I have been inspired to come up with a list of dates on which fans no doubt claimed that ‘Doctor Who died’ for them.

I did have a think to work out if I agreed with any of them, but then realised – no, of course not. Doctor Who’s all about change and renewal. It’ll never die. Ever.

Please point out any I may have missed.

21/12/1963 – Silly robot monsters introduced into informative historical series. Doctor Who dies.

22/05/1965 – The terrifying Daleks are depicted as bumbling idiots. Doctor Who dies.

09/10/1965 – The fans are insulted by an episode without the Doctor. Doctor Who dies.

22/10/1966 – William Hartnell leaves. Doctor Who dies.

01/07/1967 – The final destruction of the Daleks. Doctor Who dies.

24/04/1968 – The series runs out of ideas and uses two monsters twice in the same series. Doctor Who dies.

21/06/1969 – The mystery of the Doctor’s people is ruined. Doctor Who dies.

03/01/1970 – The whole point of the show is jettisoned as the Doctor begins his exile on Earth. Doctor Who dies.

23/06/1973 – Jo leaves, breaking the irreplaceable magic between companion and Doctor. Doctor Who dies.

28/12/1974 – The new Doctor is a goggle-eyed nutjob. Doctor Who dies.

19/04/1975 – The Cybermen go all rubbish. Doctor Who dies.

23/10/1976 – Sarah-Jane leaves, breaking the irreplaceable magic between companion and Doctor. Doctor Who dies.

30/10/1976 – The Time Lords are depicted as doddery old men. Doctor Who dies.

22/10/1977 – A gimmicky robot dog joins the TARDIS crew. Doctor Who dies.

11/03/1978 – Leela leaves, breaking the irreplaceable magic between companion and Doctor. Doctor Who dies.

01/09/1979 – Romana leaves, breaking the irreplaceable magic between companion and Doctor. Doctor Who dies.

15/11/1980 – A whiny boy joins the TARDIS crew. Doctor Who dies.

24/01/1981– Romana and K-9 leave, breaking the irreplaceable magic between companions and Doctor. Doctor Who dies.

21/03/1981 – The best Doctor ever is replaced by a vet. Doctor Who dies.

04/01/1982 – The Saturday tea-time slot is abandoned. Doctor Who dies.

02/03/1982 – The producers forget to put aliens in a story. Doctor Who dies.

16/03/1982 – The Doctor fails to save a much-loved companion. Doctor Who dies.

25/11/1983 – The First Doctor is re-cast and Tom Baker doesn’t turn up. Doctor Who dies.

23/02/1984 – A new companion is brought in just to fill a bikini. Doctor Who dies.

22/03/1984 – The new Doctor is a psychopath in a clown outfit. Doctor Who dies.

05/01/1985 – The classic twenty-five minute format is abandoned. Doctor Who dies.

01/11/1986 – Bonnie. Langford. Doctor Who dies.

07/09/1987 – The new Doctor is a buffoon in an ugly pullover. Doctor Who dies.

02/11/1988 – The Doctor fights Bertie Bassett. Doctor Who dies.

06/12/1989 – The show ends its twenty-six year run. Doctor Who dies.

27/05/1996 – The Doctor kisses his companion. Americans are involved. Doctor Who dies.

25/05/2004 – A former teen singer is revealed as the companion. Doctor Who dies.

31/03/2005 – The Doctor quits after one episode has been broadcast. Doctor Who dies.

25/12/2005 – The new Doctor spends all his time in bed. Doctor Who dies.

17/06/2006 – A Doctor-light episode is an exploration of the notions of fandom and the human experience. Doctor Who dies.

08/07/2006 – An actress with her own sketch show is revealed as the companion for the Christmas special. Doctor Who dies.

16/06/2007 – The Master is turned into a raving loony. Doctor Who dies.

02/07/2007 – A former teen singer is revealed as the companion for the Christmas special. Doctor Who dies.

03/07/2007 – The actress with her own sketch show is revealed as the companion for Series Four. Doctor Who dies.

03/09/2007 – A Christmas special, four specials for 2009 and a whole series for 2010 are confirmed. Doctor Who dies.

25/12/2007 – For the first time ever, the show is the most watched of the week. It is also the second-highest rated program of the year and the Audience Appreciation index is 86. Doctor Who dies.

29/10/2008 – The best Doctor ever announces he is leaving. Doctor Who dies.

04/01/2009 – The new Doctor is revealed to be a young male actor. Doctor Who dies.

29/05/2009 – The new companion is revealed to be a young female actor. Doctor Who dies.

06/10/2009 – The logo people originally criticised for having too much lens flare is replaced by one that people criticise for having too much lens flare. Doctor Who dies.

Where Do All These Doctors Fit In?

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An Infographic Of My Doctor Who Headcanons

I thought I’d create an infographic to explain some of the headcanons I discussed in this post. It’s really just pure speculation and educated guess work that leads me to believe that the Time Lord known as The Doctor took the name “Doctor” with the first incarnation of his second regeneration cycle. It explains the Morbius Doctors and…The Other…maybe.

It’s also personal headcanon that the potion given to The Doctor by the Sisterhood of Karn in The Night of the Doctor fundamentally altered the natural progression of his regenerations and that in the Shalka timeline there is a missing Ninth Doctor between Eight and Shalka!Doctor, thus explaining why Shalka!Doctor and Ninth CoFD-Doctor share the same face. That missing Ninth Doctor would, of course, have Rowan Atkinson’s face.

Finally, and probably most ridiculously, my headcanon for the Valeyard is that the Doctor was wrong and that MetaCrisis!Doctor could, indeed, regenerate, and like the Tenth Doctor, after siphoning off his regeneration energy into his own severed hand, he only had one final regeneration left. Consumed by bitterness and grief at the, ultimate, loss of Rose, the Valeyard regained access to our universe and travelled back in his own timeline to take over his own body and ensure that he and never met Rose, thus sparing himself from having to suffer her loss. Yes, ridiculous and excessively grim/dark, I know.

So, yes, this is all headcanon, the show has no actual canon, so make of this what you will!

(Also, I know that’s Alex McQueen as The Other Doctor from UNIT Dominion, and not actually The Other, but I couldn’t resist).

Regeneration and the Sisterhood of Karn

Okay, so this is me just working out some headcanon fan theory stuff, but…

(You might want to refer to this post to keep track of what the hell I’m talking about here).

Klein’s Story established that the Seventh Doctor has regenerated into the McGann!Doctor on two separate occasions. This would suggest that if a regeneration cycle is left to play out naturally then it’s inevitable that a particular “face” will follow on from each incarnation no matter the circumstances of that regeneration. So, McCoy!Doctor will always regenerate into McGann!Doctor, no matter when he regenerates.

Now, it is safe…logical, maybe…to assume that Eight’s regeneration into the War Doctor is an exception to this, as it was a controlled regeneration brought on by the potion given to him by the Sisterhood of Karn. He did not regenerate normally, but chose the form he regenerated into (ie. a warrior).

Now, we also have two alternate timelines in which it makes sense to assume that this never happened. In both the Shalka timeline and the Curse of Fatal Death timeline we can assume that Eight’s regeneration happened normally, without the involvement of the Sisterhood of Karn. Now, it’s interesting then that Shalka!Doctor and the Alternate Tenth Doctor from Curse of Fatal Death both wear the same face, that of Richard E Grant.

It has always been assumed that Eight regenerated into Shalka!Doctor, but if I recall correctly there’s nothing in either Scream of the Shalka or The Feast of the Stone that explicitly states this. Also, Shalka!Doctor has, indeed, often been referred to as an alternate form of Eccleston!Doctor, who is technically the same incarnation as the Alternate Tenth Doctor from Curse of Fatal Death.

So, here’s my theory/head canon – Shalka!Doctor and the Alternate Tenth Doctor from Curse of Fatal Death wear the same face because they are the same incarnation of The Doctor in different timelines, but both timelines follow the natural progression of regenerations without alteration by the Sisterhood of Karn. Therefore the Curse of Fatal Death shows us how The Doctor would have regenerated if he had never taken the potion in Night of the Doctor. We must assume, then, that Eight did not regenerate into Shalka!Doctor in the Shalka timeline, but regenerated into Atkinson!Doctor who then regenerated into Shalka!Doctor.

Thus we neatly account for two different incarnations of The Doctor having the same face – they weren’t different incarnations at all. Also, we must assume that the potion given to him by the Sisterhood of Karn had the knock on effect of making all his further regenerations take a different form than they would have if his cycle had been allowed to progress naturally. So, ultimately, if it wasn’t for the Time War then Matt Smith would have been Joanna Lumley.

I have no doubt that there’s plenty of EU stuff that flatly contradicts this theory, but right now it works for me.

The Many On-Screen Faces Of The Doctor

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How many Doctors have there been? Well, Peter Capaldi’s playing the Twelfth Doctor so, twelve? Wait, no, there was the War Doctor, and that whole thing where the Tenth Doctor kept his old face when regenerating by siphoning regeneration energy into his severed hand, make that fourteen. Except for the fact that The Doctor has worn at least thirty five faces on our screens, and due to the timey wimey nature of Doctor Who and the show’s complete lack of an official canon, they all may or may not have actually happened…at some point…in some way… (And, yes, if we included the audios, novels, comics and more there’d be even more Doctors on this list).

So here’s a quick guide to my almost certainly incomplete list of on-screen Doctors (with a few of my personal head canons thrown in for good measure).

1-8: Pre-First Doctor incarnations of the Time Lord we know as The Doctor, as seen in the Classic Who serial, The Brain of Morbius. During his psychic battle with Morbius we see visions of the Doctor’s past incarnations, not just the ones we’d previously seen on TV, but also these eight mysterious faces. While the show later went on to confirm that William Hartnell’s Doctor was, indeed, the first Doctor, we’ve also had more recent confirmation that there are incarnations of this Time Lord who didn’t take the name of The Doctor, who he doesn’t consider to be The Doctor. It is, therefore, conceivable that the Time Lord we know as The Doctor had a full set of regenerations before he took the name Doctor, and that these eight faces are amongst those presumably thirteen previous lives. One thing that I, personally, feel lends weight to this idea is that the Time Lords who would eventually take the names Master and Doctor supposedly grew up together, and yet when we first meet The Master he has blown through a full set of regenerations, and yet The Doctor has only regenerated twice. Now, I don’t doubt that The Master would get through lives more quickly than The Doctor, but this seems a little extreme to me. So, while this is purely headcanon on my part, I believe that The Doctor went through at least one full regeneration cycle before ultimately taking the name The Doctor for the first incarnation of this new cycle of thirteen lives.

9: The First Doctor. As played by William Hartnell, and later Richard Hurndall. Most certainly the first incarnation of this Time Lord to call himself The Doctor, certainly the first incarnation in this regeneration cycle. Possibly not the first incarnation of this Time Lord (see above).

10: Alternative First Doctor. As played by Peter Cushing and appearing in two motion pictures, Dr Who and The Daleks and Daleks – Invasion Earth 2150 AD. Living in 1960s Earth, this incarnation of The Doctor was seemingly a human scientist who went by the name Doctor Who and built himself a TARDIS. One can merely speculate that he might be the result of an alternate timeline in which, after accepting a new regeneration cycle and taking the name Doctor, he chose to retire to Earth without a TARDIS and disguise himself as a human scientist. However, at some point, he felt the need to build his own TARDIS. Or maybe this is the final incarnation of the regeneration cycle before Hartnell’s Doctor and he chose to reject the offer of a new regeneration cycle, still took the name Doctor and settled on Earth. To be honest, making Cushing!Doctor work in continuity is a tough one, but the idea that he’s an alternative version of One that was subsequently erased works for me. He was probably lying about being human.

11: The Second Doctor. As played by Patrick Troughton.

12: The Third Doctor. As played by Jon Pertwee.

13: The Fourth Doctor. As played by Tom Baker.

14: The Watcher. As played by Adrian Gibbs. The Watcher is a transitional form, existing between The Doctor’s Fourth and Fifth incarnations.

15: The Fifth Doctor. As played by Peter Davison.

16: The Sixth Doctor. As played by Colin Baker.

17: The Seventh Doctor. As played by Sylvester McCoy.

18: The Eighth Doctor. As played by Paul McGann. Note: Paul McGann also played an alternative version of the Eighth Doctor who used the pseudonym Johann Schmidt (John Smith) during the Big Finish audio drama, Klein’s Story. His actions ultimately led to the Seventh Doctor no longer regenerating into him, thus erasing that incarnation of the Eighth Doctor from existence.

19: The War Doctor. As played by John Hurt. The ninth incarnation of the Time Lord known as The Doctor since he took that name. This incarnation did not, however, use the name Doctor, and so is not generally considered to be an incarnation of The Doctor, but is an incarnation of that Time Lord. However, due to the events of The Day of The Doctor it is arguable that he was ultimately redeemed and took the name Doctor shortly before his regeneration, and so could be considered an incarnation of The Doctor. However, that means renumbering Doctors and nobody wants to do that, it would be confusing.

20: Alternate Ninth Doctor. As played by Rowan Atkinson in The Curse of Fatal Death. In an alternate timeline, under circumstances we have never seen, the Eighth Doctor regenerated into this incarnation of the Ninth Doctor, and the War Doctor never happened. This version of the ninth incarnation of the Time Lord we know as The Doctor did identify as The Doctor. Ultimately, and under circumstances unknown, the timeline presented in The Curse of Fatal Death was negated before the Eighth Doctor regenerated into this particular incarnation, probably as a result of the Time War.

21: Second Alternate Ninth Doctor. As played by Richard E. Grant in Scream of the Shalka. Often referred to as Shalka!Doctor or REG Doctor. Much like the previous Alternate Ninth Doctor, Shalka!Doctor is from an alternate timeline that was most likely negated as a result of the Time War. Again, under circumstances unknown, the Eighth Doctor at some point regenerated into this incarnation of the Doctor who, also, unlike the War Doctor, identified as The Doctor. Unlike the previous Alternate Ninth Doctor this incarnation of The Doctor was intended to be “official” at the time of creation. To complicate matters further, The Eleventh Doctor’s claim to have created a robot boyfriend for himself in the past during The Time of the Doctor suggests strongly that he can remember his time as Shalka!Doctor. How this is possible is anybody’s guess, but it would suggest that a Time Lord can, under certain circumstances, retain memories from alternate versions of himself that have been negated due to earlier meddling with his own timeline. Or, alternatively, he may simply have encountered this alternate version of himself at some point during his travels.

22: The Ninth Doctor. As played by Christopher Eccleston. The tenth incarnation of this Time Lord within the primary timeline since he took that name, but the ninth to identify as The Doctor. While the War Doctor identified as The Doctor in the final moments of his incarnation, this incarnation of The Doctor would have had no recollection of that fact and no recollection that his timeline had been changed so that he did not destroy Gallifrey, so it makes perfect sense that he would have thought of himself as the Ninth Doctor, as his memory was that his previous incarnation had regenerated without ever accepting the name of The Doctor.

23: Alternate Tenth Doctor. As played by Richard E. Grant in The Curse of Fatal Death. We’ve already dealt with the timeline from The Curse of Fatal Death, so I won’t go over it again. Note: Richard E Grant is the only actor to have played two different incarnations of The Doctor on screen (this is not strictly true…).

24: The Tenth Doctor. As played by David Tennant. The Tenth Doctor is, in fact, both the Eleventh and Twelfth incarnations of the Time Lord we know as The Doctor since he first took that name. Yep, two incarnations for the price of one. Ten chose to siphon off the regeneration energy released during his regeneration from the eleventh incarnation to the twelfth incarnation into his own severed hand, which allowed him to keep the same appearance and personality from one incarnation to the next. It’s possible that he didn’t understand the full ramifications of his actions at the time and may not have become fully aware of the fact that he’d used up one of his incarnations until sometime after he’d regenerated into the Eleventh Doctor. It’s also possible that he did understand what he’d done and that’s why he saw his impending regeneration as such a big deal, because he knew that it would be his last.

25: Alternate Eleventh Doctor. As played by Jim Broadbent in The Curse of Fatal Death. Again, I’ve already discussed this timeline, so I’ll leave it at that.

26: The Meta-Crisis Doctor. As played by David Tenant. The Meta-Crisis Doctor was a Time Lord/human hybrid and a human incarnation of the Doctor, who possessed one heart, aged as humans did and had no regenerative ability to avoid death (although we only have The Doctor’s word for that). He was created by an instantaneous biological meta crisis and was the final result of the Tenth Doctor siphoning off the regeneration energy released during his regeneration from the eleventh incarnation to the twelfth incarnation into his own severed hand. He is, from a certain point of view, an alternate twelfth incarnation of the Time Lord we know as The Doctor. This will become relevant later on.

27: Alternate Twelfth Doctor. As played by Hugh Grant in The Curse of Fatal Death. Once more, we’ve dealt with this timeline already, but it is amusing to note that Hugh Grant played The Doctor.

28: The Valeyard. As played by Michael Jayston in the season long story, Trial of a Time Lord. The Valeyard is, presumably, a transitional form of The Doctor, existing between his twelfth and final incarnations. One can either interpret “final” as meaning his thirteenth (which was certainly the intention at the time Trial of a Time Lord was written) or, since The Doctor recently gained a new regeneration cycle, it could mean his true final incarnation (possibly The Curator, seen in The Day of the Doctor). The Master describes The Valeyard as being an amalgamation of the darker sides of The Doctor’s nature. One possible explanation for The Valeyard is that the Meta-Crisis Doctor was not, in fact, human, but retained the ability to regenerate one last time, but that regeneration was twisted by his grief at having to watch Rose grow old and die and ultimately drove him to return to our universe and try to destroy himself in his own past. Well, actually, that’s just a bit of personal headcanon I wanted to share with you all to make you feel sad.

29: Mr Popplewick. As played by Geoffrey Hughes in The Ultimate Foe. Mr Popplewick was a disguise used by The Valeyard.

30: The Eleventh Doctor. As played by Matt Smith. The thirteenth incarnation of the Time Lord we know as The Doctor during the regeneration cycle that began with the incarnation we know as the First Doctor. This was this Time Lord’s final incarnation in this regeneration cycle. Thankfully he was gifted a new regeneration cycle by the Time Lords just moments before he would have most likely otherwise died. Which was a relief to everyone else they would have had to cancel the show. Heh.

31: Alternate Thirteenth Doctor. As played by Joanna Lumley in The Curse of Fatal Death. Once more, we’ve dealt with this timeline already. However, it is worth noting that Joanna Lumley is the only woman to have played an incarnation of The Doctor on screen (but not the only woman to have played an incarnation of The Doctor).

32: The Dream Lord. As played by Toby Jones in Amy’s Choice. The Dream Lord was a psychic manifestation of the darkest parts of the Eleventh Doctor’s character.

33: The Twelfth Doctor. As played by Peter Capaldi. The Twelfth Doctor is the fourteenth incarnation of the Time Lord we know as the Doctor since he took that name and the first incarnation of this Time Lord in his current regeneration cycle.

34: Alternate Doctor, unknown incarnation. As played by Mark Gatiss in The Web of Caves. Gatiss!Doctor fits in somewhere, somehow…probably. I am so done…

35: The Curator. As played by Tom Baker in The Day of The Doctor. The Curator may or may not be a future incarnation of The Doctor, possibly his final incarnation. Or he might be The Fourth Doctor. Or he might just be the curator of the National Gallery in London. I’m pretty sure he’s The Doctor though, but, ultimately…who knows?

In closing – Capaldi’s Doctor is most likely the 27th incarnation of the Time Lord we know as The Doctor, who is likely now on his third regeneration cycle. The very first incarnation of this Time Lord may or may not have gone by the name The Other. But we have now ventured deep, deep into the realms of my personal headcanons, so it’s definitely time to end this.

The Genocides Of The Doctor

  • The Fourth Doctor helped human scientists kill the last of the Pescaton by the application of high-frequency sound waves. The Pescatons had fled their dying homeworld in search of another planet with large areas of salt water that could support them. (AUDIO: Doctor Who and the Pescatons)
  • The Fourth Doctor destroyed Sutekh, the last known Osirian. He even taunted Sutekh as he died in the “temporal trap”, asking him how long Osirians live, before finally declaring “The time of the Osirans is long past. Go.” (TV: Pyramids of Mars) The Fifth Doctor would encounter further Osirians (PROSE: The Sands of Time, AUDIO: The Bride of Peladon), but would be forced to destroy them as well.
  • The Fourth Doctor killed Eldrad, the last Kastrian (TV: The Hand of Fear) He would later encounter another surviving Kastrian, Mulkris, assigned to ensure that Eldrad’s sentence was carried out (AUDIO: Eldrad Must Die!).
  • With Leela’s help, the Fourth Doctor destroyed the last of the Fendahl. He dropped the remains of the Fendahl into a supernova to ensure their permanent destruction. (TV: Image of the Fendahl) However, this attempt appeared to have failed, as the Fendahl later managed to re-manifest in Kaldor City (AUDIO: Checkmate), and it was later revealed that the Fendahl defeated here was only a fragment of the true Fendahl that remained trapped on Planet 5 (Although the true Fendahl was consumed by the Fendahl Predator) (PROSE: The Taking of Planet 5).
  • The Fourth Doctor fulfilled a Time Lord’s solemn duty by killing the King Vampire, the last of the Great Vampires and sole vampire survivor of the Vampire-Time Lord war. (TV: State of Decay)
  • When the Sixth Doctor was forced to wipe out the Vervoids to stop them killing the humans on Hyperion III, this was used against him in a Trial occurring in his own past. When the Valeyard accused the Doctor of genocide, the Doctor said that he had no other option. (TV: Terror of the Vervoids) When the Eighth Doctor travelled to the events of the trial and met his sixth incarnation, he dismissed the charge due to the artificial nature of the Vervoids’ creation. (PROSE: The Eight Doctors) (However, the Tenth Doctor was shocked by the destruction of the Dalek-humans, another artificially-created species (TV: Evolution of the Daleks))
  • The War Doctor committed double genocide when he destroyed the Time Lords and most of the Daleks at the end of the Last Great Time War in an alternate timeline. It was apparently Rassilon’s Ultimate Sanction, which threatened the whole universe, that convinced him he had no other choice. (TV: The End of Time) With the help of the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors, he found a different solution and with the help of every past and future incarnation of himself, froze Gallifrey and the Time Lords in a pocket universe while the Daleks destroyed themselves. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)
  • During the Dark Times, the Fledgling Empires all but wiped out the Racnoss to prevent their devouring of planets. The Tenth Doctor later made them extinct when he flooded a ship of surviving young within the Earth. He was unknowingly aided by the Master, who ordered the destruction of the Webstar which resulted in the death of the Empress of the Racnoss. (TV: The Runaway Bride)
  • The Doctor accused his Meta-Crisis duplicate of genocide when he destroyed all the Daleks in the Medusa Cascade, along with their fleet and the Crucible. As he thought he was too dangerous to be left to his own devices, he left him in Pete’s World with Rose Tyler so she could make him better as she did for the Ninth Doctor himself. (TV: Journey’s End) It was later revealed that at least one Dalek Saucer, with three surviving Daleks on board, managed to escape, and they were able to rebuild their race using Progenitors. (TV: Victory of the Daleks)
  • The Saturnyns were wiped out, with the Eleventh Doctor’s help, in their attempt to take over Earth and convert female humans into new mates for their males. The converts were killed in an explosion, leaving the males to die out. The last female, Rosanna Calvierri, offered herself as a last meal to them, after telling the Doctor she hoped that their extinction would haunt his conscience. (TV: The Vampires of Venice)
  • The Twelfth Doctor destroyed Rann-Korr, the last Hyperion by channelling seas to his caverns. (COMIC: Terrorformer)

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The entirety of the Eleventh Doctor’s run happens during The Time of The Doctor.

Which is probably why it’s called “The Time of The Doctor.”

But, yes…everything that happens in seasons 5 to 7 essentially happened during the time frame covered by that one special…as much as that can be said where time travel is concerned.

But, consider this, Madame Kovarian’s branch of the church does not split off until after Tasha Lem declares that “silence will fall.” At some point after they split off, they go back in time and cause The Doctor’s TARDIS to explode, creating the cracks in time. We first encounter the cracks in The Eleventh Hour, so, from a certain point of view, the beginning of The Time of The Doctor happens before that. So, in a way, throughout the whole of his incarnation as the Eleventh Doctor, the Doctor was also on Trenzalore.

In fact, the only part of it that happens outside of the timescale of The Time of The Doctor is The Name of The Doctor, but the events on Trenzalore there no longer happened due to the wild card that was the intervention of Clara which fundamentally altered The Doctor’s time line…she saved him throughout his own time line, including at Trenzalore where she convinced the Time Lords to save him.

Of course, The Doctor, Clara and those involved still remember those events, because they happened to them, but as time travellers they exist apart from time, to a certain extent…so although those events will never happen, they did happen for those who lived through them. See? Simple.

The Eleventh’s run has all been about stories…it’s a story within a story. It’s also been all about effects with no cause…and ultimately ALL of the events of season five to seven have been caused by the fact that he didn’t destroy Gallifrey but, instead, saved it, leaving it stranded somewhere outside the universe…something that didn’t happen until the second to last story.

Eleven’s story needs to be seen as a whole…because nothing can make sense outside of the context of The Doctor’s decision to save Gallifrey. For three seasons he suffered from the effects of a choice he didn’t even know he’d made…while carrying the guilt…the effects…of something he hadn’t done.

As I said, it’s all been about cause and effect…effects with no cause…

Bloody marvellous if you ask me.

Whither The Valeyard?

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So, now that it seems to have been confirmed that Matt Smith is, indeed, the Thirteenth Doctor, that leaves us with the question of The Valeyard. Now, I say “seems to have been confirmed” because if Rule No 1 is that The Doctor lies, surely Rule No 2 is that Moffat lies, so I’ll continue to take everything I hear with a pinch of salt until Christmas Day. Nevertheless, if the Meta Crisis Doctor does count as an incarnation for the sake of calculating the correct number of regenerations and incarnations then that means that The Valeyard needs to be accounted for.

Of course, we could call “timey wimey” on it all and say that The Doctor’s efforts to avoid becoming The Valeyard were successful and so he never happened. That’s an entirely valid explanation, but it’s not much fun. So I’ve been thinking about it and I’ve come up with a little theory that might just have become a new bit of personal headcanon…at least until it’s flatly contradicted by the show itself.

So what do we know about The Valeyard? In The Ultimate Foe The Master tells us, “There is some evil in all of us, Doctor – even you. The Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say you do not improve with age.” To be even more specific, in the novelization of the same story he says, “The Valeyard, Doctor, is your penultimate reincarnation… Somewhere between your twelfth and thirteenth regeneration.” It’s safe to assume, I think, that at the time of The Ultimate Foe The Master would have fully believed that The Doctor was limited to only twelve regenerations and therefore thirteen incarnations, even though we can be fairly sure that as of The Time of The Doctor his life will be extended beyond that (unless The Doctor, as we know him, truly dies, and some other Time Lord played by Peter Capaldi takes on that title, which is entirely possible). My point here being that The Valeyard exists between his Twelfth and Thirteenth incarnations.

Now, The Doctor’s twelfth incarnation, if what we’re being told is correct, is the Meta Crisis Doctor and his Thirteenth incarnation is the current Doctor, player by Matt Smith. It was always assumed that The Valeyard would be some kind of transitional form that he would pass through after the Twelfth Doctor “died” but before he regenerated into the Thirteenth Doctor, but, of course, the Thirteenth Doctor regenerated from the Eleventh Doctor (the first of two incarnations played by David Tennant) and not the Twelfth Doctor, so that rules that one out. So…who or what is The Valeyard?

This is my theory…my little headcanon. You’re not going to like it. Remember what The Doctor said about the Meta Crisis Doctor in Journey’s End?

DOCTOR: But you’ve got to. Because we saved the universe, but at a cost. And the cost is him. He destroyed the Daleks. He committed genocide. He’s too dangerous to be left on his own.
NEW DOCTOR: You made me.
DOCTOR: Exactly. You were born in battle, full of blood and anger and revenge. Remind you of someone? That’s me, when we first met. And you made me better. Now you can do the same for him.
ROSE: But he’s not you.
DOCTOR: He needs you. That’s very me.

Even without committing genocide against The Daleks the, now, Eleventh Doctor went on to become the Time Lord Victorious, the Twelfth Doctor is the same man but he is full of blood and anger and revenge. The Eleventh Doctor believes that Rose can save him, she can help him in the same way that she helped the Eleventh Doctor…who…still became the Time Lord Victorious despite that. Do you see where I’m going with this?

So, here’s my theory…the Twelfth Doctor is trapped in this alternate universe with Rose, and she’s supposed to help him, save him. Maybe she does, for a time, maybe they’re happy together, they settle down, get married, maybe Rose becomes pregnant with their child…and then she dies. But she’s not killed by Daleks or Cybermen, she doesn’t die a heroic death, saving the world, she doesn’t go out in a blaze of glory…she gets hit by a car. Just like her dad. It’s a stupid, arbitrary, pointless, accidental death. The Twelfth Doctor, this man born in battle, full of blood, anger and revenge, loses everything, his wife, his unborn child, for no reason, just a random, pointless, twist of fate. There’s nothing he could have ever done to stop it. And at that point he breaks. He remembers the words they spoke to each other all those years ago, again, in Journey’s End

NEW DOCTOR: I look like him and I think like him. Same memories, same thoughts, same everything. Except I’ve only got one heart.
ROSE: Which means?
NEW DOCTOR: I’m part human. Specifically, the ageing part. I’ll grow old and never regenerate. I’ve only got one life, Rose Tyler. I could spend it with you, if you want.
ROSE: You’ll grow old at the same time as me?
NEW DOCTOR: Together.

And so he chooses to end it all. After all, he believes that he can’t regenerate, he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her, and now she’s gone, he can’t bear to carry on. So that’s what he does, he takes his own life…but he’s wrong…that part of him that was born in battle, that part of him that’s full of blood and anger and revenge wants to carry on…he’s wrong…he can regenerate and he does regenerate, not into The Doctor, because that man could never be The Doctor, but into The Valeyard. All he wants is revenge, revenge against the man who did this to him…himself. He dedicates himself to finding a way back into our reality, to finding The Doctor and doing everything he can to make sure that he never meets Rose Tyler. That’s who The Valeyard is.

Hmmm…

…I’ve seen a few posts along the lines of, “Why are there children on Gallifrey? Time Lords can’t have children, that’s why they use Looms to procreate.”

Ok, so, we know that there is no canon in Doctor Who, so Looms are not canon.

Looms have only been mentioned in the novels, they have never been mentioned in the TV series…and, to the best of my knowledge, they haven’t been mentioned in the audios (feel free to correct me if I’m wrong on that). Not only that, but there are many references in the TV show that directly contradict the existence of Looms. “There have been many statements by the Doctor in televised and non-television based media referring to him being a “boy” or showing other Time Lords as children. In The Time Monster the Doctor tells Jo a story referring to when he was a “little boy”. In The Sound of Drums and The End of Time, the Master is shown in flashback sequences as a child.“ [src]

Also, importantly, “The Eighth Doctor once said that he was loomed, yet remembered having parents and a childhood. He knew that one of these was a dream, but could not recall which.” [src] Again, this was in one of the novels, so the novels themselves have cast doubt on the existence of Looms.

It seems very clear that Looms are not part of the current Doctor Who lexicon.* One could posit a possible timey wimey explanation, if you want to keep Looms within your personal Doctor Who canon, that at some point through Time Lord (or otherwise) interference in the time stream, the Time Lords were rendered sterile (through Pythia’s Curse) necessitating the use of Looms for the purpose of procreation. Then, at some point someone went back and undid that, and so Looms were now never necessary for Time Lord procreation.

However, if you really want to talk in traditional fandom terms about canonicity. Even though there is no canon in Doctor Who. Purely for the sake of argument and lacking a better term (although I really like lexicon*), while the audios have been brought into the “canon” by being reference in The Night of The Doctor, the novels have steadfastly remained outside the canon since the start of NewWho, not least because some of them have been directly adapted as tv episodes featuring a different Doctor (ie. Human Nature). Now, you can use timey wimey reasoning to explain why The Doctor could have lived through the same events twice in different incarnations (and, personally, I rather enjoy that), but it does suggest that if there was a Doctor Who canon, which there isn’t, the audios would be in it but the novels wouldn’t.

TL;DR – Looms are not part of current Doctor Who continuity and that’s why there were children on Gallifrey.

*lexicon – a list of terms relating to a particular subject [srcWorld English Dictionary

Debunking The Fake Moffat Quote Which Never Stops Going Around Tumblr

“There’s this issue you’re not allowed to discuss: that women are needy. Men can go for longer, more happily, without women. That’s the truth. We don’t, as little boys, play at being married – we try to avoid it for as long as possible. Meanwhile women are out there hunting for husbands.”

Steven Moffat, supposedly, The Scotsman

Why is it that tumblr is always so sloppy in doing its research? It’s like tumblr wants to hate people, to vilify people, to denounce them as sexist, homophobic, racist, etc…like it takes joy in it.

Instead, tumblr, let’s explore the concept of primary and secondary sources and, related to that, reliable sources.

This is a quote from an interview Steven Moffat did with The Scotsman, a British tabloid newspaper. So, is this a primary or a secondary source? It’s a secondary source, we haven’t gone and talked to Moffat himself, and it’s not a direct quote from something he’s written himself. It’s an account of something that he said which has been written down and reported by another person. So, it’s a secondary source…not a primary source…so it now becomes important to assess whether or not that secondary source is also a reliable source. After all, most of the information we get is from secondary sources so there are reliable secondary sources. So, what’s the source here? Oh, yes, it’s a British tabloid newspaper. Can British tabloid newspapers be regarded as reliable sources? Come on, Doctor Who fandom, this one should be easy for you to answer, after all, you’ve all been posting reports from The Sun or myriad other British tabloids about who would definitely, 100%, be the Twelfth Doctor. Did any of them even mention Peter Capaldi? Might that suggest something about the reliability of this secondary source regarding Steven Moffat’s personal opinions when it comes to women?

Oh, but don’t take my word for it, let’s have a quick Google and see if we can find someone authoritative ’s opinion on the reliability of the British tabloid press in this instance. Who do you respect, tumblr? Who do you respect, Doctor Who fandom? How about Neil Gaiman? Personally, I can’t think of a single man on Earth, other than my own father, who I have more respect for. What does he have to say?

“It’s a newspaper interview. Like sausages and the law, you can only respect them if you’ve not seen them being made.” Neil Gaiman.

Seriously, click the link, because Neil talks about his own experiences of being interviewed by The Scotsman and how it resulted in them reporting that he’d accused JK Rowling of ripping him off. Which was the exact opposite of what he’d actually said. Funny that.

Of course, that’s still, technically, a secondary source where this statement and Moffat are concerned, albeit a considerably more reliable one than a British tabloid newspaper. So what does Moffat actually have to say about this quote? After all, doesn’t he get a right to reply to his accusers? Doesn’t he get to defend himself?

So what did he tweet in response to someone calling him a “sexist bastard” on twitter?

When someone else asked him why he was being called sexist he replied, “Cos of an old interview I gave where I was talking about Patrick in Coupling, but it sounded like I was talking about me.” He further clarified to another user, “quoted out of context in the original. I was talking about Patrick in Coupling, not ME!”

The source for that is here.

So what Moffat had been talking about was the character of Patrick’s attitude to women in the sitcom Coupling, not his own opinions. We can only speculate that either the interviewer or the editor decided to “sex up” the interview to make it seem as if Moffat was talking about himself and his opinion of women.

I know some of you want to hate Moffat, and this quote nicely justifies that, but just a few minutes of Googling immediately calls into question the reliability of this quote. Are there issues in his writing that can and should be discussed? Sure. But it seems to me that so many assumptions regarding Moffat and as a result the intentions behind his writing are based upon this quote from this interview, and that is just an extremely shoddy position to hold, intellectually speaking.

And it fascinates me that my dash is regularly filled with hatred and vitriol aimed towards Steven Moffat, while people give writers like Mark Millar, who has genuinely said some seriously hideous things and written some of the most vile, racist, sexist and homophobic stuff, a pass…because Kick Ass is “just a bit of fun”…and Hit Girl is “bad ass”…