The Next Doctor (2)

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    Anonymous @

    @janetteb and @shazzbot — damn, beat me to it. I was just about to post the Kennedy article. It’s a great piece.

    And also gives me a chance to give the post I’d put in the Books section about her another nudge…

    Anonymous @

    I have a theory about Doc #12 and Pondy being in fires of Pompeii: It has been said over and over in the show that The Doctor can’t go into his own time stream but he has in the time of his last incarnations (the 3 doctors, the five doctors, time crash, ect.) and he can be a human due to the pocket watches (human nature and Utopia) so maybe he crossed into Doc #11’s time stream and saved Amy in Angles take Manhattan and then she travels with 12. Then in a later story/episode they hide at Pompeii from something like in Human Nature 

    twelvescompanion @twelvescompanion

    @drtennant that is a brilliant theory and would make me so splendidly happy because I miss Amy.

    wolfweed @wolfweed


    By Joe Cummings

    OsakaHatter @osakahatter


    Replying here because it’s well removed from the companions discussion and I don’t want to cause the Topic Dalek to exterminate herself 😉

    I suggested:

    I did wonder – and it’s probably more of one for the Next Doctor thread – whether the lack of Time Lords and the regeneration limit, rather than being reset in the 50th by Steven Moffat’s Great Big Continuity Eraser (trademark pending) will be a major arc in the next series or so?  After all, with the Doctor running out of regenerations and being the last of his kind, it would be understandable if he became more aware of his own mortality and responsibility as the last of a species.  Could he find a way to bring the species back, or to preserve himself?  Perhaps he’ll be trying with his Granddaughter, to run towards a new Gallifrey (possibly with the hidden timechildren as discussed above?)

    and you replied:

    Being the ‘last of his kind’ is an AG Who affectation (which isn’t even true, seeing as how the Master came back), invoked right from the beginning with Eccleston’s first episode, Rose.  But it’s such a departure from so many more years of BG Who history, that I’ll be glad to see the back of it.  Yes, there’s a certain frisson of character being ‘the last of the Time Lords’ but in my opinion, it’s edging into really dark Batman territory, and not staying true to what the Doctor, and Doctor Who, are all about as a full-family programme.  Adults may revel in the self-centred existential angsty aloneness of a Batman-type character, but a family programme needs to take into account, well, family.

    Having the odd Time Lord turn up to screw up / interfere with / bumble about trying to help with (and cadge food off :-)   ), etc the Doctor’s adventures seems, to me, more in tune with a family programme.

    Completely agree, I want the show to move on from the Last of the Time Lords thing – and I think it will.  I’m just wondering whether it will be done quickly (i.e. done and dusted with the 50th), or become more of an arc for the 12th Doctor, how to resurrect his species (without bringing back the nutcase element from the end of the Time War), or whether it’s morally right to find a way to gain more regenerations to preserve the race?

    With yourself and @bluesqueakpip discussing the possibility of hidden time children, I wonder if it will be resolved over longer than an episode.  Not so much as a Time Lord of the week run – more hints here and there that there may be remanants of the race, with a conclusion at the end of S8 that the Time Lords are back in some form.

    As for the regeneration limit, I’d prefer for it not to be removed, as not knowing whether the Doctor can regenerate each time would add more tension to the end of each Doctor’s run.  Time Lords are guaranteed 12 regenerations – anything else is a bonus sort of thing.

    Anonymous @

    @osakahatter – ah, bless.  No more defenestrations for me.  Once was hazardous enough to my health.  🙂

    I’ve been thinking about the regeneration limit for Time Lords (@htpbdet , help me out here), and what in their society’s history might have prompted them to include that into their ‘rules and regulations’.  Someone else (@miapatrick ? @chickenelly ?) suggested that without such a limit, they’d run rampant as bunnies across the universe.  It could have been a deal they’d struck in order to obtain the gift of time travel, or the energy necessary to power their Tardises, something like that.

    But whatever the genesis, to me, it makes sense.  If you are basically immortal (barring accidents), then simply by the laws of nature you must have some other in-built use-by date or else your race will overrun everything.  Being ‘immortal’, however, forgets the danger, which I think Steven Moffat cleverly exploited in his time as showrunner, that you can still be killed (or surprised into death by an unforeseen accident).  We think we see the Doctor being killed at Lake Silencio (oooh, Silents  🙂  ), because he’s blasted a second time before his regeneration can get out of first gear.  So, ‘immortal’ or not, regen limit or not, there’s still the inherent peril that you can die.

    I guess to sum up, I’m a bit torn on the regen limit.  Yes, it makes sense; but also, the show will paint itself into a corner of the room if they don’t find a way to increase the limit – or unless Peter Capaldi has a really, really long contract.  😀   But even without a regen limit – or with a greatly increased number of regens – there is still the possibility that the Doctor can die.

    Nick @nick

    @Shazzbot @osakahatter

    Hi there. These are my thoughts on this thorny subject (as of today; I promise to change my mind tomorrow and I blame the sheer number of bonkers ideas I’ve read on here. I also don’t pretend any originality of thought either).

    The universe already has 1 (near) immortal – Captain Jack. Of you think about what happened to him (Buried under Cardiff for 100 or so years, buried in concrete for a few days or exposed to the time/space vortex clinging onto the Tardis where he perpetually suffocates, dies and is reborn in an almost perpetual cycle lasting a few minutes) then without a regeneration limit of some sort, you could easily end up quite insane (surprising Captain Jack didn’t really).

    BG Who has the timelords execution method being total molecular disintegration, which suggests its really difficult to kill a timelord (if you can regrow an arm a few days after regeneration, why not a head or pretty much  a whole new body and this was for a single regeneration. By the way, I think that also explains why a properly trained time lord can change their appearance after a regeneration if they so choose without a further regeneration).

    If you make the assumption that the timelords modified themselves to create the ability to regenerate (given that exposing a foetus to the time/space vortex inside the Tardis is enough to do that for a Human) then it makes a lot of sense that you’d build in a limit in my opinion just to avoid the risk of ending up like Captain Jack.

    There is also the question of just how long a TimeLords’ life duration is for each regeneration. Doctor 2 claims to be about 450 years old (Tomb of the Cybermen) and as we know he is forcibly regenerated early by the TimeLords in War Games. I think we can estimate that for the average timelord sitting at home a 350 year per regeneration is a reasonable minimum estimate. That gives you a 4,500 year long life. That’s plenty for your average arm chair loving timelord surely ?

    The one thing that I think seems to be clear is that regeneration is based on an energy source (referred to as Artron Energy in BG Who not sure about AG Who) each timelord has (at birth ? – although since Tardis seem to be involved somehow, I suppose its possible that it can be topped up during Tardis travel as the creation of River’s ability to regenerate rather implies as well). Given that River gifted the Doctor her remaining energy (Let’s Kill Hitler) and the involvement of the Tardis (given the Doctor as the most time travelled individual ever), I think its fairly safe to imply that the 12 regeneration only limit no longer applies to the Doctor surely ? Of course, this doesn’t stop SM fixing it in a more permanent way, but it doesn’t feel like its the most difficult issue right now. For me, seeing how SM will bring back the TimeLords or fix the Hurt Doctor’s “not in the name of the Doctor” action to alleviate his guilt and “fix” his psychological problem seems like the real continuity eraser question ?


    OsakaHatter @osakahatter


    Doctor 2 claims to be about 450 years old (Tomb of the Cybermen)

    makes you think, Doctors 3-11 really burned through the regens a bit too quickly didn’t they, around 700 years between them?

    Assuming the energy source driving regeneration is linked to the space/time vortex (hence the TARDIS connection), perhaps there’s simply a finite amount of it, and the TimeLords placed limits on the use of it to slow down the march of entropy?  Possibly controls on reproduction etc as well, as has been pointed out elsewhere, they’d need to do something to stop them spreading like bunnies.  Or perhaps, with each passing regeneration, their ability to process the energy is diminished, so after 12 regens they can’t do it anymore without some form of medical intervention?

    I think its fairly safe to imply that the 12 regeneration only limit no longer applies to the Doctor surely ? Of course, this doesn’t stop SM fixing it in a more permanent way, but it doesn’t feel like its the most difficult issue right now.

    I agree it’s not the most pressing or difficult issue, but I think it’s more that there is a suspicion that this anniversary is being used to remove millstones from writer’s necks.  Consequently, any pertinent continuity issues are being addressed now or in the near future.  The GI has seen off most of them.  The regen limit is likely to be in there.

    For me, seeing how SM will bring back the TimeLords or fix the Hurt Doctor’s “not in the name of the Doctor” action to alleviate his guilt and “fix” his psychological problem seems like the real continuity eraser question ?

    I think you’re right as far as the 50th is concerned, it will focus on fixing the Hurt Doctors actions.  This may (if the Time War is involved) also lead to the return of the Time Lords.  Restoring the Time Lords may also lead to fixing the regen limit.  However, bringing back the Time Lords in their existing (albeit Time Locked) form just brings back that set of continuity baggage – so I don’t see them coming back in the Gallifreyan high society form we’ve seen before.

    Nick @nick


    Yip most of your points have crossed my mind too. Actually I rather think most of the 450 D2 years sat with D1’s incarnations, before he got involved with the universe.

    I certainly think its possible, even likely that SM will get rid of the limit problem, but I rather think (well prefer) he avoids giving the Doctor an unlimited number as that weakens the regeneration concept that the 13 incarnations implies. Another 12 regeneration cycle would solve the problem (making the Doctor on 13 or of 26 possible with PC and Hurt included) for the forseeable future. With River’s share, he probably gained 10 regenerations anyway, so I rather like a throw away line along the lines of “shucks I don’t know how many I have left now, what with the effect of all that Time Travel plus River’s help”. That avoids the problem in a neat way, increases the dramatic tension with each future regeneration (a bit) and leaves the field open for bonkers theorists !



    Nick @nick

    Hi all

    anyone else noticed this from Neil Gaiman ?



    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @nick – yes, just about everyone. But I think we discussed it over on News. Or possibly the Sofa…

    Anonymous @

    @nick, @osakahatter, @Shazzbot

    When considering the reasons for (and for /against eliminating) the regeneration limit, we also need to consider why the Time Lords developed regeneration in the first place. If regeneration is limited only to the Time Lords, rather than to all Gallifreyans, it could simply be an attempt to maintain power over the underclass. But if all Gallifreyans have the ability, then the most logical explanation would be that they did it in response to some sort of fertility problem. This would also explain the non-intervention policy – if you can’t easily replace those who die, you’re better off keeping to yourselves to minimize risk. If this is the case, then a regeneration limit would only make sense if there are some serious adverse effects from excessive regenerations (madness, cellular/genetic deterioration, etc.). Unless there’s some sort of inherent flaw in Gallifreyan character that makes them excessively prone to risk-taking (resulting in way to many non-regeneratible deaths), a limit solely as a deterrent against reckless behavior would be ill-advised.

    As far as Moff finding a way to circumvent the limit, I don’t think he has to. RTD already did it for him – the Time War. In The End of Time it was said that millions died every second at the heart of the Time War. The only way the Time Lords could have kept fighting would have been to rescind the limit. Since the Doctor locked them away with the war still raging, I highly doubt they were ever able to reinstate it for him.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @Shazzbot– I think I have in the past said something like: What if the regeneration limit isn’t a physical limitation, but a mental one- that is, that there is a limit to how many times a time lord can regenerate into a different personality before there is a danger of damage/snapping. So they put the limit at 12, but it’s a rule, and possibly a good one. And again, length of life- is the a limit to how many memories you can have, how much in your head before it begins to hurt? (Even vampire stories often to have people go a bit funny after a millennium or so, or describe someone who is over 1000/2000 years old as ‘ancient’.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @Shazzbot– but yes that is a good point. If there are ever new time lords, then there probably should be ends to old time lords. (And this is probably the reasoning behind the ‘well, not so much immortal as very long lived’ Vampires.

    Anonymous @

    @miapatrick, @MadScientist72 – you both bring up the quite logical point that living too long can lead to mental issues (or in MadS’s specific point, that regenerating too many times could cause madness).

    My post last night was addressing whether the show needs the Doctor (or indeed any Time Lord) to have a regeneration limit.  There are arguments for and against that, but the ‘for’ camp debates seem to centre on there being no real peril for the Doctor if he can just regenerate and wiggle out of it.  I think there are still possibilities of accidents, or murder carefully timed, so there is still peril for the Doctor in the show no matter how many regenerations he has left.

    That having been said, though, in an objective sense there is never a possibility the Doctor will die – unless the BBC are serious about cancelling the show forever.  So the only debate left to us about regeneration limits is how the writers will deal with it.

    I utterly agree that living ‘too long’, outliving everyone around you over and over and over again, simply must scar one’s soul.  I feel that’s a given (but always glad to hear a well-argued opposite opinion!).  But this is where I go back to my argument in this post quoted by OsakaHatter, that I’ll be glad to see the back of the whole ‘I’m the Last Of The Time Lords Because I Killed Them All’ trope.

    Intellectually and emotionally, I’m sure many of us agree that living so long, and seeing so many of his friends (and foes) die or leave him, isn’t conducive to a don’t-worry-be-happy kind of character.  But neither do I want a family show to forget that whilst children should never be shielded from death or loss or loneliness in TV programmes, neither do they appreciate the ‘self-centred existential angsty aloneness’ of a character like, say Batman (or what 11 is sort of becoming under SM), the same way adults do.

    Anonymous @

    @MadScientist72 – you theorise about some very interesting concepts in your post 16034.

    A.  the most logical explanation would be that they did it [regeneration] in response to some sort of fertility problem. This would also explain the non-intervize risk.

    B.  In The End of Time it was said that millions died every second at the heart of the Time War. The only way the Time Lords could have kept fighting would have been to rescind the limit.

    A.  I’m liking the way you think, and how you draw conclusions.  But I wonder if the history of the show doesn’t paint an entirely different kind of Time Lord society.  They appear to be megalomaniacal, and conceited, and their non-intervention policy appears to be more of a piece with a hypochondriac who fears the least speck of dirt on his hands.  They don’t want to get involved (in my view) because they fear mixing with the ‘lesser races’ more than they, really, fear doing anything to Time Itself.

    B.  Really good point.  You see details in a way that is refreshing to read.  My question would be, are those ‘millions’ all Time Lords, or does that number represent Daleks and everyone/thing else involved in the Time War?  Not that this negates your central thesis, which is, rescinding the regeneration limit would have been the only way the Time Lords could continue to fight in great numbers.

    Anonymous @

    @ Shazzbot –

    Regarding (A), hypochondria would certainly fit in with the non-intervention policy (or “non-intervize risk” – autocorrect?). I don’t think that’s incompatible with a bona fide fertility problem – in fact an inherent hypochondria would likely be exacerbated by the discovery a genuine problem.

    Regarding (B), I doubt the Time Lords are bothering to count enemy bodies, but it may include allied casualties.

    Anonymous @

    @MadScientist72 – Shush!  I’m in the Tardis!   😀

    Sweep @sweep

    Can I just clarify? (I’m new here and I don’t have a TV so I’m a bit out of touch?) I’m a writer, but not a fiction writer usually.

    Am I right in thinking the new Doctor is the last one because of the limit on regenerations?

    I hope so, because I’ve written an outline and some detailed dialogue for the possibly last series, in which the Doctor faces death with no further regenerations. I establish that it’s a universal law that can’t be broken – and then find an ingenious loophole. But it’s not certain right until the last minute whether the Doctor will succeed in getting through the loophole. There’s a lot of fun with multiple dimensions and the nature of time and space.

    I’m guessing the BBC may be desperate for this solution to a big problem, but as I’m out of touch I’m not sure.

    – thanks

    Nick @nick

    @Shazzbot @Madscientist72

    Hmm. I don’t think the hypochondriac explanation really works for me from the little that was actually shown on screen in BG Who (and that wasn’t terrible consistent anyway). Early timelord society was definitely as cruel as any we see on Earth today (see the Death Zone in the Five Doctors) and was interested in colonization (see Underworld). Rasillon was meant to have created TimeLord society (as shown pre-TimeWar) and put an end to the nastiness of pre-timelord society. Of course during the time war, then the existential challenge the timelords faced allowed them to revert to their base nature.

    A better analogy in some ways might be our current Hyper-power, the USA. From a militaristic stand point, the US could end the current regimes in Iran or North Korea with as much effort as it took to defeat Iraq in the first (and second) Gulf Wars. The problem with having that military might and a $1.2+ trillion dollar annual defence budget is that all the other factors at play make this an impossible thing to do. You are therefore left, like the US is today with secret operations (special forces) and secret surveillance (FBI, CIA, NSA and the whole list of other agencies) as your agents of change. This is simplistic of course.

    I think the timelords can best be thought of along those lines. They had the ultimate power (as a species you could be written out of history at one extreme – literally killing billions of people in an instant) but were left with little ability to use that power whether due to moral or pragmatic reasons (chaos theory if you like – you solve one problem and create another one elsewhere as a result). Of course, any intelligent society would be aware that having that ultimate power has the ability to completely corrupt your society. Therefore timelord leadership would be forced to be constantly on its guard against itself for aberrant behaviour (eg Doctor, Master, Rani, Morbius etc) with real fear (especially after the Morbius crisis). I can imagine their society slowly becoming one where you didn’t really want to stand out from the norm to very much degree, with rigid control from the centre but with much of that control being self imposed and of course a corrupt elite. North Korea might be a good analogy today for example.

    MadScientist72 – the infertility issue is set at the heart of timelord society in the Doctor7/Virgin New Adventures series. If you haven’t read it Marc Platts novel “Lungbarrow” might be of interest (if you can find it). I’m not so sure I agree with your statement that they wouldn’t count the otherside’s casualties. Why not ? – we did up to and including Viet-Nam (we did in the Falklands war afterwards for example and its “good” PR to show the other side is hurting more than you are in a war with mass casualties). One reason the US/NATO doesn’t now is that the casualty ratios are far too embarrassing for our current society to face up to (and we still have plenty of unofficial ones anyway). In any case, I don’t remember the line, but I expect the Doctor said it or it was in the voice over. It could just be his personal estimate or a statement of fact in  way of explanation and talking about the entirety.

    Interesting subject, that I’m sure there’ll be many different views.



    Anonymous @

    @nick @MadScientist72 – yeah, ‘hypochondriacal’ was more of a sloppy metaphor on my part.  And I’m going by what I learnt at the end of 10’s run about Time Lords; those scenes certainly don’t address everything they did (or showed they were capable of) in BG Who.  But the abiding impression I was left with, after those episodes, was a society that clearly thought themselves ‘above’ all other life forms, and would rather have not sullied themselves by intervening in others’ affairs.  Which doesn’t, of course, mean they didn’t want to subjugate, conquer, or otherwise keep other civilisations firmly under their thumbs.  Just not invite them over for tea.  🙂

    Nick @nick


    If you get the chance you should try out Three Doctors, Deadly Assassin, War Games and perhaps Brain of Morbius. I never though much to Invasion of Time, but since its set on Gallifrey mostly I guess its relevant. I think you would have a very different impression from that the Time War Gallifrey AG Who showed. Think old Oxford college fusty with all in infighting between the Dons crossed with a motorway camera monitoring room…



    Anonymous @


    The line about the millions dying came from tEoT part 2. It was said in the Time Lord High Council by a character called the Partisan: “This is only the furthest edge of the Time War. But at its heart, millions die every second.” My reasons for believing that it refers only to Time Lord & allied casualties is 2-fold  (1) in war of such scope, it would essentially be impossible to get anything close to an accurate figure for enemy casualties and (2) the Time War-era Time Lords, as seen in tEoT are clearly quite mad. If they weren’t megalomaniacal before, the war certainly drove them there. (I think the Doctor said something to that effect somewhere, but I can’t find it.)

    I haven’t read any of the novelizations. To my mind, anything that doesn’t occur in the TV series is at best questionable when it comes to the canon. (Including “the Movie” – I only accept McGann’s Doctor as having existed because his face has appeared  in various episodes of the show.) Any information I have relative to the novelizations has come from the TARDIS Data Core. As you pointed out, there is sufficient in-show evidence to suggest that cruelty & megalomaia were common in the early Time Lords, which would certainly be sufficient reason for Rassilon to impose the non-interference policy. But it doesn’t rule out secondary motivations, such as a hypochodriac streak or a need to preserve the species.

    I think your Time Lord/U.S. analogy is an appropriate one. We certainly have the power to impose our will on countries like Iran & North Korea. Or to exterminate them with the push of a button. Without strong self-imposed restraint and concern for the subsequent consequences we could easily go from being this planet’s Time Lords to being its Daleks.

    Nick @nick


    I try not to get too excited by what is or isn’t canon (and Who canon is litered with enough contradictions and inconsistencies in the first place). Contrary to the impression I might give, I’m up for show runners changing historical fact when it suits them (I just prefer they’d be honest and direct about it and provide a reasonably well thought through new version of continuity). I just admit I might not like it 🙂 .

    I find it quite hard to envisage what a time war would look like. If you have weapons which will (say) destroy a star (and the timelords do) then at its most extreme your battle would be to go back in time and destroy the star before your foe’s society actually came into existence. At its least intrusive, I guess you use time travel to recruit agents of change to avoid certain historical events happening in the first place and defuse or change your foe into an ally (for example). That doesn’t feel like the sort of war the Daleks might get involved in, which (to me) seems like it ought to be more physical (and involve Dalek v proxy forces in direct conflict). I always wondered just how much Humanity got involved as well.

    If you’re the timelords, surely your first defensive action would be to take your planet and species outside time itself so that you could never be touched directly. I really must get around to reading the D8 novels that deal with that range’s timewar and see how the authors thought it would work.



    Anonymous @

    Hi @nick @MadScientist72 – This is where my Topic Dalek eyestalk starts swiveling – is discussion of the Time War about the 12th Doctor, or the 50th Anniversary special?  or both?  or … neither?  (We still don’t know for sure … 🙂  )

    But interesting that you bring up the question ‘what the heck is a Time War anyway?’ Nick, because I’ve been thinking just those thoughts these last couple of days.  The most I can imagine would make River Song’s criss-crossy timeline look like a stone ruler.  Once one or more participants in such a ‘war’ have time travel, then it would seem impossible to wage any kind of conflict – as with the GI and Clara, once something is changed in the past it could just be un-changed, or further changed.

    I’ve been mulling over whether ‘war’ in this context really means with weapons (of mass or otherwise destruction).  Could it be more of a mental ‘war’?  There could certainly still be mass casualties, what with brains exploding left and right over the timey-wimeyness of it all.  (I know my brain started to quiver uncontrollably whenever I tried to picture it!)

    What are your thoughts on this?  And everyone else reading this thread … how do you picture the Time War unfolding?

    Anonymous @


    I don’t get fanatical about canon either. I just stick to the “if it’s not in the show, it didn’t happen” principle to keep things simple.

    There are some in-show examples for what tactics the Time Lords might have used, and they include both “most extreme” (using the Hand of Omega to destroy Skaro’s sun in Remembrance of the Daleks) and “least intrusive” (sending #4 to Skaro to prevent the Dalek’s creation or make them less aggressive in Genesis of the Daleks) approaches. The Remembrance incident seems to be generallly regarded as the opening shot of the Last Great Time War.


    This is where my Topic Dalek eyestalk starts swiveling – is discussion of the Time War about the 12th Doctor, or the 50th Anniversary special? or both? or … neither?

    I think it started as a discussion about regeneration and how the potential of running up against the regen limit might affect PC’s storyline. It kind of went off on a tangent from there. (big surprise)

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    I just stick to the “if it’s not in the show, it didn’t happen” principle

    It works pretty well – until they decide to import characters and/or plotlines from the other media.
    My principle works as follows – there is no canon in Doctor Who.

    That said, what happened in the show happened – until it gets changed.  Anything not in the show, but officially approved by the production team probably happened, until they decide it didn’t.

    Anything not officially approved by the production team is a just a story told about the Doctor, and may not have happened. Or may not have happened to that Doctor. Or may not have happened in quite that way. Or may have happened and then been changed by the GI. And then changed back by Clara.

    Any in-show reference to previous events that do not match those seen on screen are simply evidence of the time-line going a bit wibbley. And even wobbly. In particular, discrepancies between a show and its novelisation are due to the GI and Clara having a fist fight behind the scenes. Your guess is as good as mine on which is now the ‘official’ version.

    The current producers reserve the right to change continuity at any time if they have a better idea.

    Anonymous @


    Exactly. DW is as full of possible pasts as it is of possible futures. Anything that hasn’t appeared in-show effectively constitutes an urealized – but potentially realizable – timeline. Anything that has appeared in-show, while realized, is still potentially de-realizable.

    Anonymous @

    @bluesqueakpip and @madscientist72

    there is no canon in Doctor Who

    I’m inclined to go with this, particularly post-The Name of the Doctor. I tend to think that nothing we have seen in the first 50 years of the show can any longer be considered to be ‘canon’. The GI’s and Clara’s influence could well have dramatically changed how any or all previously viewed stories actually unfolded. A genius and liberating concept in my view

    With regards to the Time War, I always imagined it lasting for fractions of a second in real terms, having taken place outside the Vortex somewhere. To those involved, it seems like it was going on for centuries, but for those outside it, it’s almost as if nothing has happened, just that the Universe is now suddenly bereft of a few billion planets and races that used to be there.

    As to what it might look like, Time Lord Rassilon on DeviantArt has been coming up with some pretty cool concepts:

    LostPidgeon @lostpidgeon

    Does anyone happen to have a link for an interview between Peter Capaldi and Craig Ferguson on American TV.

    I’ve just been listening to their old band the Dreamboys on the Dangerous Minds  blog – where there’s also a link in the comments section to an old punk fanzine review of one of their shows in Glasgow… where Mr Capaldi reputedly had one too many drinks before going onstage.

    thommck @thommck

    I just posted this in the Companions thread but I think it’s more fitting here?!?

    Q. How can the Hurt Doctor not be known by Clara and the G.I.?
    A. He was never part of the Doctor’s timeline! The Time war, according to an early AG episode, wasn’t on the radar of less evolved species (Humans/Sontarans etc.). Could this mean it happened “outside” of time or in a pocket/bubble universe? If you are fighting over a pot of honey it makes sense not to have the fight in the actual honey pot!

    So, this means Doctor 8 regenerated into Hurt “outside” time who then regenerated into Doctor 9 before he could get back in to time. That kind of explains why he is in the Doctor’s personal timeline/memories but not in the actual timeline of the universe

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    From Panini’s Doctor Who Annual 2006 – Meet the Doctor, written by Russell T Davies. (abridged)
    ‘…There had been a War, the Great Time War between the Daleks & the Time Lords. There had been two Time Wars before this –  the skirmish between the Halldons and the Eternals, and then the brutal slaughter of the Omnicraven Uprising – and on both occasions, the Dr’s people had stepped in to settle the matter. The Time Lords had a policy of non-intervention in the affairs of the Universe, but on a higher level, in affairs of the Time Vortex,  they had assumed discreetly the role of protectors. They were the self appointed keepers of the peace. Until forced to fight.
    Now, the story of the Great (and final) Time War is hard to piece together because so little survived. Certainly , both superpowers had been testing each others’ strength for many, many years…..
    …..It ‘s said that under the Act of Master Restitution President Romana opened a peace treaty with the Daleks . Others claim that the Etra Prime Incident  began the escalation of events…..

    …..The terrible War began. The Time Lords reached back into their own history, to assemble a fleet of Bowships, Black Hole Carriers & N-Forms; the Daleks unleashed the full might of the Deathsmiths of Goth, and launched an awesome fleet into the Vortex, led by the Emperor himself.

    The War raged, but for most species in the universe, life continued as normal. The War was fought in the Vortex, and beyond that, in the Ultimate Void…..

    …..If a planet found it’s history subtly changing – perhaps distorting and rewriting itself under the pressures of the rupturing Vortex – then it’s people were part of that change, and perceived nothing to be wrong. Only the Higher Species….. saw what was happening…..

    The Nestene Consciousness lost all of it’s planets, and found itself mutating under temporal stress…..

    Years passed, as the mighty armies clashed. And then, silence…..

    …..All that is known is that one man strode from the wreckage, one man walked free from the ruins of Gallifrey and Skaro. The Time Lord called the Doctor. And his hearts were heavy as he boarded his ship once more, and took to the skies, to escape everything he had just seen; everything he had just done…’


    (This post sponsored by the Skaro Degradations, the Horde of Travesties, the Nightmare Child, and the Could-Have-Been King with his army of Meanwhiles and Never-Weres…)


    Anonymous @

    @wolfweed (and everyone) – well, that sounds pretty definitive from a macro point of view, especially if written by RTD.

    But I still can’t wrap my head around  the micro view – the actual ‘fighting’ aspect.   Is the Time War to be viewed like a Stars Wars-like battle of spaceships shooting at each other?  When one or more of the combatant armies have time travel abilities, and can just keep going back into the past and changing things to their advantage?

    Or, does the Vortex / Ultimate Void halt anyone’s ability to do that kind of repeated retroactive changing?

    And one more question – just what the heck was the Time War all about?  What was the equivalent of the ‘shot at Sarajevo’ which started the conflagration?  Are these the details we must theorise about, and look forward to being made clear in the 50th?  (More and more, I think it must be dealt with in the 50th, if indeed a Time War re-play is on the cards, because it doesn’t sound very Christmas-y to me.)

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    @Shazzbot (& all) I imagine that tactically it went something like this…

    02.50 – 04.00          05.00 – 06.20         07.50 – 08.49

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    @lostpidgeon  Both parts of the Capaldi interview with Craig Ferguson have been removed from Youtube because they discuss both dropping Acid…

    Anonymous @


    And one more question – just what the heck was the Time War all about? What was the equivalent of the ‘shot at Sarajevo’ which started the conflagration?

    As far as the reason for the war, I think on the simplest level, it was about the Daleks wanting to exterminate all non-Dalek life in the universe & the Time Lords trying to stop them. It could also be seen as a territoral war, with the Time Lords viewing time as their exclusive domain & the Daleks trying to move in on their turf.

    Given the time-travelling nature of both species, it would be hard to definitively name the “first shot” fired in the war, but the Daleks would probably consider it to be the 4th Doctor going to Skaro to prevent their creation in Genesis of the Daleks. Viewed from that angle every Time Lord/Doctor – Dalek encounter would be a skirmish in the Time War. The incident that caused the escalation from occasional skirmishes into all-out war would seem to be the 7th Doctor tricking Davros into using the Hand of Omega to destroy Skaro’s sun in Remembrance of the Daleks.

    Anonymous @

    @MadScientist72 – I was rather disengenuously asking my question, but you have answered it perfectly.  Well … let me explain.

    My knowledge of BG Who is fairly well limited to what I’ve learnt on this forum (but what a wealth of information!  what an education!).  I had my *innocent face* on asking what I did.  And your answer tells me that other viewers (worldwide) who arrived on the DW shores since Eccleston are severely hampered in their ability to understand what the phrase ‘Time War’ even really means, much less what its history of previous skirmishes might be, and what ‘spark’ might have set it off in the period between Doctors 8 and 9.

    It’s for this reason that I really, truly hope that what we’ve been promised will come true, that is to say, a 90-minute feature-length episode which has time to re-visit Genesis and Remembrance just long enough to set the scene (or any other BG episodes necessary for background exposition of whatever the 50th ends up being about), without annoying the BG Who fans who might feel they’re being sat in a spelling test composed of ‘cat … c-a-t … cat’ for very long.


    wolfweed @wolfweed

    @MadScientist72 & @Shazzbot (& all)

    Back to the 2006 annual article (RTD) On the start of the Time War & the Time Lords sending the Dr to prevent the Dalek’s creation in ”Genesis of the Daleks”:

    ‘ An act of genocide! The Time Lords fired the first shot – though in their defence, they took this course of action because they had foreseen a time when the Daleks would overrun all civilised life and become the dominant life-form in the universe.’

    LostPidgeon @lostpidgeon

    @wolfweed Pity. Not that I’m endorsing taking drugs. Thanks for the information.

    Nick @nick

    @Shazzbot @thommck @Madscientist72

    I don’t think Hurt Doctor messes up the Doctor numbering at all. Hurt isn’t a “Doctor” by name, therefore whilst D11 may now be the 12th regeneration physically, he remains only the 11th Doctor. Very semantic I know, but that seems to be what SM has inferred (so far). We may find that it all rubbish of course in November ;).

    Whilst I think the lack of D8 regeneration on screen makes the possibility of the Hurt Doctor being an older version of D8 an interesting possibility, but since D11 has denied him the name “Doctor”, and Paul McGann has been shown on screen as being a Doctor and Clara is aware of him (at least I guess his image was in the timeline we saw – I didn’t notice though) then I don’t think the on screen evidence really supports the hypothesis.

    I think DHurt is most probably in the 2% of the Doctor’s mind that the Cybercontroller couldn’t access myself. I’m looking forward to see what explanation SM gives us for why Hurt’s doctor isn’t in the visible timeline. However, I wouldn’t find it very satisfactory if the answer turns out to be its time locked and inaccessible.  To the extent that you consider each regeneration of a timelord creates a distinct personality you can argue that the next regeneration isn’t responsible for the actions of the previous regeneration. Therefore if the Doctor timelocks all of the timelords who participated in the timewar (including himself), if you allow a way for your next self to be free of the timelock, why not do that for every other time lord ? Whatever, the timelords did during the TimeWra itself, as a speciies I think its safe enough to argue thatthey have been more of a force for good (or at least neutral) than the Daleks have ever been (even if the universe needs a balance of good and evil in it).

    I also find the idea that the Doctor can timelock part of himself away, but locks all of the other timelords away simultaneously a bit silly :).

    One last question. All of the timelords who had been eaten by the House in the Doctor’s Wife – was that before the timewar or afterwards ? There’s an interesting implication in the answer to that question surely ?


    Anonymous @

    Re the Hurt Doctor wreaking havoc on the numberings of Doctors –

    I guess I was assuming that by the end of the 50th, or the end of John Hurt’s contract, that version of the Doctor could be redeemed somehow (it is a family programme, after all).  Which means he’d need a number of his own.

    Alternatively, he could be ‘absorbed’, I suppose.  And of course the nuclear option – he somehow is killed.  Which is the toughie in my mind.  He’s obviously a version of the Doctor (simply lacking The Name) just like 1 – 10 were versions of the Doctor, and I can’t wrap my mind around how 11 might ‘kill’ 4, for example.

    So, my money’s on that version somehow being absorbed.  But I don’t buy Hurt + 10 + 11 = 12.  Because again, if real numbered Doctors are ‘absorbed’ or amalgamated somehow, what happens to their numbers?

    I have a fear I’m rambling incoherently about ‘numbers’ but I can’t think of a better word right now.

    Nick @nick


    Yes, it doesn’t make much sense, but since we all think the Doctor is getting more regenerations soon (somehow) we’ll have D14, D15 etc etc so the original 13 incarnation limit will cease to matter. Assuming Hurt fits between Paul McGann and Christopher Eccleston, Matt will move from D11 to D12 and Peter Capaldi will fit in as D13. Of course, they may renumber him (new) D0 and start from scratch again just to make it a bit more complicated.

    We’ll get used to it eitherway and then it will become a discussion point like those fans who see series 1 of AG Who as season 27 with BG Who numbers carrying on.



    thommck @thommck

    @shazzbot You asked me about my Hurt Doctor theory on the companions page but I’m replying here to try and keep on topic (even though The Next Doctor seems to be about Hurt & Capaldi at the same time #wibblywobbly)!

    But … is the Hurt Doctor outside the timeline of the universe? He’s hidden away in the 2.something percent of the Doctor’s mind that the Cyber Controller couldn’t reach. Does that constitute being outside the universe’s timeline?

    Yes, I’m saying that Hurt Doctor only “lived” inside the void/vortex/outside time. Which means he never really existed. I’m not sure if the 2% that the Cyber-controller couldn’t read was Hurt, or the Doctor’s name, or something else; his wi-fi password perhaps?

    Also, we are perhaps presuming too much about Hurt (and everything in general!). If he is a time war era regeneration it doesn’t mean he was the only one. If the Timelords cancelled the regen-limit then the Doctor could have re-generated 1000s of times before escaping/ending the war (mulitple-Doctor theory alert!). It also means that, as he was outside time, it doesn’t count as a tangible regeneration, i.e. it won’t affect the numbering.

    Having the “Time War” outside of time also explains why Time Travel can’t be used as a weapon, i.e. you can’t swim to another point in a river if you aren’t in the water!

    However, I now have a brain-knot over how the “vortex” or whatever relates to parallel universes/dimensions. Presumably, on Rose’s parallel Earth, there are no timelords/Gallifrey or at least whatever happens in one universe’s time-stream doesn’t affect a parallel time-stream? I’m not sure, which is part of the reason I dislike parallel dimensions being part of Who!

    I guess (thinking out loud here) that we could imagine each universe as a water pipe.
    • Normal people can’t get out of their own pipe (i.e. universe) and there is a void space outside of all the pipes.
    • We can get cracks in the pipes that potentially mean something could leak out and go into another pipe (like Rose did).
    • Someone with the correct ability, perhaps a plumber (i.e. Timelord/Dalek) can move outside the pipe into the void. Anything the plumber does in the void can’t affect the pipe. He has to go back into the pipe at some point (maybe a different place/time) to make any changes.
    • Therefore, a whole gang of plumbers can have a war in the void space, flying around in their white vans, killing each-other and get blocked from returning. This means the battle is still going on as they never return to the pipe. The pipe meanwhile, is blissfully unaware of what is happening outside, except for a distinct lack of plumbers!.

    Anonymous @


    All of the timelords who had been eaten by the House in the Doctor’s Wife – was that before the timewar or afterwards ? There’s an interesting implication in the answer to that question surely ?

    Interesting question, yes.  But House was ‘outside the universe’ – was it established in TDW that House was ‘outside time’ as well?  We’ve been talking about Void and Vortex being ‘outside time’ but I’m not sure how that corresponds to being outside the universe.


    @nick @Shazzbot

    3. Of course, they may renumber him (new) D0 and start from scratch

    Who: TNG *shudders*

    Anonymous @

    @thommck – well, that was fun to read!  I love your plumber / pipe analogy.

    This means the battle is still going on as they never return to the pipe. The pipe meanwhile, is blissfully unaware of what is happening outside, except for a distinct lack of plumbers!.

    If it is indeed the Daleks and the Time Lords who are the primary combatants in the Time War, and that War in a sense is still happening / is always happening, then there are a heckuva lot more Daleks than even the millions we’ve seen swarm onto Earth in various AG Who episodes.

    Having the “Time War” outside of time also explains why Time Travel can’t be used as a weapon, i.e. you can’t swim to another point in a river if you aren’t in the water!

    Yes, that’s probably the most succinct explanation I’ve yet yeard.  And in concert with @nick bringing up House eating ‘hundreds’ of Time Lords, and whether those TLs were pre- or post-Time War TLs – this goes back to your ‘universes as pipes’ description.  House was ‘outside the universe’ which means he must have been outside of time as well.  Perhaps the TLs he ate were fighting the Time War?

    Anonymous @

    @pedant – “Who: TNG *shudders*”

    There do seem to be quite a few pitfalls in whatever Steven Moffat decides to do!  I can’t imagine the weight on his shoulders.  He needs to re-fresh, possibly re-boot the programme in a way consistent with its own history, without any obvious ‘steals’ from the ample numbers of other similar series re-boots.

    Nick @nick

    @pedant @Shazzbot

    There’s always a price to pay the Piper… Who: TNG would at least be better than Who: Enterprise surely ? (although I quite liked that from the little I saw)


    thommck @thommck

    @Shazzbot Glad you enjoyed it. I’m quite impressed with it myself 😛

    In regards to what @nick was saying about The Doctor’s Wife. IIRC the Doctor states that the junkyard is in a “Bubble” universe, i.e. it is stuck on to this universe only. To use my analogy again, this bubble universe is like a sticking plaster on a crack in the pipe. It is outside the main flow of time but can see it all passing by and reach in and grab stuff every now and again.

    This is different to the “Pocket” universe as seen in “Hide”. That is more of an air bubble running through the pipe that will pop sooner or later!

    I think I now have universe fatigue :/

    Nick @nick

    @thommck @Shazzbot

    A few musings of my own on the definition question:

    • We live in a Who universe with 4 known dimensions (3D space plus time). The time vortex is therefore (!?) just the time dimension itself, and is outside space. Therefore a battle/conflict between two vessels just in the Time dimension ought to have no effect on Space (although as time dimension exists in space, I cant be sure about thay hypothesis. [btw: in our own universe, I don’t think the guiding maths allows Time to be a dimension in its own right, more like a direction of travel – any theoretical physicists out there ?]
    • Void space. I can only think this is the “something” into which the Universe is expanding. Most excepted mathematical models I’ve read about, assume the universe is a 3D Donut (technically a toroidal or flat ellipse shape I think). With the inflation model the big bang happens and expands (as a sphere I guess) at the speed of light (I guess) until inflation happens, when the universe expands at a faster and light rate (this slows down quite quickly although the universe is continuing to expand). The usual analogy is blowing up a balloon, but unlike earth where the balloon expands in air, the universe expands into nothing, in that whatever sits outside the outer membrane of the universe, we don’t see it, so its a nothing (rather than a something) medium.
    • Multiverse type 1. Here there are multiple balloons, which may sit next to each other or be nested inside each other
    • Multiverse type 2. Here there are more than 3 (4 in Who with time) dimensions although 3 (4) are visible to us. The other dimensions may be compressed or expanded, although since the universes overlap from a dimension point of view, they may all occupy the same space at the same time (ie our universe, x,y,z, t sits with another with x, y,a,t dimensions).. I rather think type 1 and 2 are or can be subsets of the same thing.
    • Parallel universes. I believe there are solutions within quantum maths that notionally allow the same particle to be in the different places at the same time. Since quantum model relies on uncertainty and probability, you can notionally create an infinite number of parallel universes from each action. I’m afraid I did watch a great documentary that explained how this worked in English, but I admit I really cant remember the details anymore.

    Anyway, I’m sure I’ve got the most important details wrong above, and will be very happy to be corrected ! Of course since Who is sci-fi any way you want to describe these things is 100 % valid.

    Not sure whether this is helpful or not, but you’re post seemed to need something along these lines 😉


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