Doctor Who Reactions: "The Timeless Children" (SPOILERS)

  1. “Assassinated presidents” - a callback to “The Deadly Assassin”.
  2. I liked the little moment between Graham and Yaz.
  3. Are you suffering comfortably?”
  4. “Tecteun was the first of Gallifrey’s indigenous race, the Shobogans, to develop space travel.” The Shobogans also go back to “The Deadly Assassin”.
  5. The origin of the Time Lords!
  6. “You are the Timeless Child.” I’ve never been wild about the idea of pre-Hartnell Doctors, but it’s not a deal-breaker for me.
  7. “The Division” What, the CIA* wasn’t good enough for you, Chris? I’d love to know why they needed the Doctor to spend a lifetime as an Irish cop.
  8. The Cybermasters are an interesting idea, but for some reason, I’m not overwhelmed by them.
  9. “For Gallifrey! For the Time Lords! For the end of the universe itself!” A callback to “The End of Time”.
  10. “I’ve fought the Matrix before, denied its reality.” “The Deadly Assassin” again, and “The Trial of a Time Lord”.
  11. I like the memory montage. The inclusion of the Morbius Doctors vindicates Philip Hinchcliffe.
  12. Wouldn’t people notice a new house in the neighborhood? Do TARDISes have an SEP** field?
  13. Cliffhanger: The Doctor is arrested!

 

Overall:  A good wrap-up, leaving me looking forward to what happens next.  I think Whittaker really grew into the role this season. Next series will put her up against the ”Troughton Limit”, but I wouldn’t mind if she stayed a fourth.  I like Dhawan as the Master, but he does occasionally have his moments where I want to slap him and say “Dial it back a little!”  Overall, I enjoyed this series.


*Stands for “Celestial Intervention Agency”, also from “The Deadly Assassin”

**Stands for “Somebody Else’s Problem”

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We'll be re-watching "The Timeless Children" again (tonight) in anticipation of the new episode (tomorrow).

"Here's my thought (as of now): I suspect that the Jo Martin Doctor represents an entirely different timeline of Doctors"

What? When did I think that? 

"If you really want to stretch a point, we never actually see Troughton turn into Pertwee."

Actually, I kind of like that idea now that I think about it. (Or do I?)

"Still curious about the 'Police Box,' though."

Still curious about the "Police Box."

"I don't really know anything about Chibnall."

Still don't anything about Chibnall. 

"What? When did I think that?"

July 7, 2020? You mean, earlier this same year?

(I've never quoted myself within the same post before.)

It seems to me that there are two fan theories at play here: 1) The pre-Hartnell Doctors (PrHD) and 2) The "CIA" Doctor(s) who may or may not have been sent on secret missions between Doctors Two and Three (B2&3D). There may have also been, potentially, two sets of memories that have been suppressed. (I'm not trying to put forth my own "fan theory"; I'm only trying to make sense of the (somewhat contradictory) evidence we have been shown. 

PrHD: As I see it, these are "The Timeless Children." It has long been established that the Doctor and the  Master were boys together at the Academy. We saw many "PrHDs" in "The Timeless children" but they were all just that: children. It doesn't make good logical sense to me that one of those children grew up to be the adult Fugitive Doctor "Ruth" who then regenerated back into a child who grew up to be William Hartnell's Doctor. Plus, her TARDIS was in the form of a Police Box which places her after Hartnell.

B2&3D: It seems pretty obvious (to me) that the Fugitive Doctor is the one who worked for the C.I.A. (or "The Division" as they're calling it now). Which set of memories were restored to her in "Fugitive of the Judoon"? It's possible she could have remembered her life as a B2&3D without remembering her life as a PrHD. Similarly, the 13th Doctor could have learned of her PrHD selves without being aware of her B2&3D self. 

In any case, I wanted to get some of these thoughts down before the final episode of "Flux" airs this Sunday. 

Note that in "The Timeless Children", we also see the "Morbius" Doctors, who Philip Hinchcliffe certainly intended to be pre-Hartnell Doctors at the time.

In "Remembrance of the Daleks" the [Seventh] doctor broadly hints that he was present when Omega and Rassilon developed time travel. More pointedly, in "Silver Nemesis", Lady Peinforte asks, "Doctor who? Have you never wondered where he came from? Who he is?" To quote from Who's Next (An Unofficial and Unauthorized Guide to Doctor Who): "Peinforte claims the Doctor has a 'secret' which is connected to 'Gallifrey, the Old Time, the Time of Chaos' but doesn't reveal it. The implication seems to be that the Doctor is much older than he claims and was in fact a contemporary of Gallifreyan society Rassilon and Omega. This would explain his familiarity with the asteroid Nemesis, the hand of Omega, and how both Omega and Rassilon knew him at their first (on screen) meetings. Hiding such a secret would also explain his inconsistent background. This idea runs contrary to much of the spirit, and the letter, of 1970s (if not 1960s) Doctor Who though." 

Thinking about it, the 12 regeneration limit wasn't established until "The Deadly Assassin", midway through Tom Baker's run. 

In "The War Games", Troughton's Doctor said, "We can live forever, barring accidents", which is fairly different  from having thirteen lives (the original life plus twelve regenerations).

I'm a little sketchier as to  when the old series definitively stated that the Hartnell Doctor was meant to be the First Doctor, but I'm reasonably certain it was afterTom Baker's time, possibly in "Mawdryn Undead", which establishes the number of regenerations that the Doctor believes he has remaining

As noted above,Hinchcliffe certainly intended the "Morbius Doctors" to be pre-Hartnell Doctors, but to my recollection, nothing else in tne original series supports the idea of pre-Hartnell Doctors.

What it comes down is that the program's continuity has never been consistent. In the end, you may as well believe what you prefer to believe.

I think it was "The Timeless Children" which hinted that the 12R limit was a genetically modified feature, which suggests that it was added at some point. In any case, The Master was once at the end of his regeneration cycle, the the Time Lords offered him a new cycle of regenerations, which suggests the limit is not carved in stone.

I'm not so certain that the old series definitively stated that Hartnell was the first Doctor. I suspect that came through fans for ease of reference. Why else would the numbering not have been corrected when the existence of the War doctor was revealed?

I'm pretty sure the old series did so state, but I'm not in a mood to re-watch "Mawdryn Undead" right now, so I'll set that aside for the moment..

I suspect that the numbering didn't change out of a sort of mental intertia (or "laziness", if you prefer).  The numbers were already set in people's minds, why go through the hassle of re-doing them?

Jeff of Earth-J said:

I think it was "The Timeless Children" which hinted that the 12R limit was a genetically modified feature, which suggests that it was added at some point. In any case, The Master was once at the end of his regeneration cycle, the the Time Lords offered him a new cycle of regenerations, which suggests the limit is not carved in stone.

I'm not so certain that the old series definitively stated that Hartnell was the first Doctor. I suspect that came through fans for ease of reference. Why else would the numbering not have been corrected when the existence of the War doctor was revealed?

I do have a memory, now that you mention it, of the Fifth Doctor saying that he's on his "fourth regeneration." If that's from "Mawdryn Undead" I'll take your word for it. I've been watching a lot of classic Who lately, but not necessarily entire serials. I've been jumping around to favorite individual episodes. I've also pulled out a number of "key" Target novelizations (and one original novel) by Terrance Dicks. 

Looking at my reaction thread for "Mawdryn Undead", the Davison Doctor said, "I can only regenerate twelve times."

In "Time and the Rani", the McCoy Doctor said, "It doesn't bode well for my seventh persona."

As you may have gathered, "Flux" did not clear up the mystery of the "Fugitive Doctor" as I had hoped it would. Perhaps it will be resolved in "Eve of the Daleks" (but I doubt it). 

Maybe Chibnall will resolve it before he goes, although I wouldn't perish from astonishment if he left it for RTD to addresss or ignore as he sees fit.

It was in "The Five Doctors" that Davison's Doctor said he was the fourth regeneration in response to a question from Hurndall.

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