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TARDIS
Posted on Monday 27 May 2013 at 8:39 am

Doctor Who 50th Speculation


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I finally saw the current last episode of Doctor Who last night. I've looked at some of the speculation this morning as to what this means for the 50th anniversary special and about all I can say is I expect and hope basically everything I've seen is wrong for the same reason.

All the big speculation is of course about "Introducing John Hurt as The Doctor." The two main theories I've seen are that he is either The Valeyard, an evil regeneration from Classic Who that is supposed to come between 12 and 13, or a missing regeneration between 8 and 9 who fought the Time War. Here's my problem: this not-The-Doctor-Doctor is supposed to be The Doctor's biggest secret. The Valeyard isn't a secret. He's just not. He was name-checked as a part of The Doctor in this episode by the bad guy, for crying out loud! Also, 11 didn't treat this not-The-Doctor-Doctor as EVIL and the not-The-Doctor-Doctor himself said he did what he did for peace. That doesn't really fit what I know of The Valeyard, which admittedly isn't a ton because I haven't seen all of Trial of a Timelord.

A missing regeneration would definitionally be a secret, but a missing regeneration who The Doctor forgot or denies because of his actions in the Time War makes no sense because 9, 10, and 11 have all owned up to his (their?) actions in the Time War. You don't have a secret identity that you keep secret because it did something and then go around talking all the time about the thing that it did and not keeping that at all secret. That makes no sense. There could be a secret regen between 8 and 9, but if there is and if that is who this not-The-Doctor-Doctor is, I don't think it will be because of the Time War. There has to be another reason for the secrecy. I know some of this between 8 and 9 and due to the Time War speculation is based off a John Hurt interview, but I'm not sure how far I'll take that because Doctor Who has traditionally done a much better job than that of keeping a lid on its big secrets. Basically, if everything he'd said was true or at least the important part of the truth, Moffat would have killed him for violating a Non Disclosure clause in his contract and John Hurt is too much of a professional to have done that, I think / hope.

I've also seen some speculation that this will be a future regeneration other than The Valeyard. Most of this just seems to be based off "Wouldn't past (10), present (11), and future (not-The-Doctor-Doctor) be cool?" I have no real objections to that since it would be something still secret. It could be problematic in that 11 knows him so past would make more sense, but that is easy enough to get around within the Whoniverse. Anything that isn't The Valeyard or fighting the Time War is problematic for the storytellers because if this guy is something the Doctor is hiding and who isn't really The Doctor, then he has to have done something worse than either of those in order for it to pay off for the audience and make sense, but, no matter how much I do genuinely enjoy much of the man's creative work and consider him rather talented as a whole, I don't think "This won't pay off or make sense so it therefore can't be what Steven Moffat has in mind and is going to do." is a statement I'd stand by. A thought which, I suppose, invalidates every argument I've made in this post, but I'm still going to stick with "I don't think it is the Valeyard or fighting the Time War."

Comments:

Wine gums, envy, pieces of rainbow
qwentoozla at 12:35 am on 28 May 2013 (UTC) (Link)
Wow, those are both good points that had not occurred to me! But it's totally true that the Valeyard isn't really a secret, and the Doctor has never made a secret about his involvement in the Time War. I mean, he basically takes responsibility for it, and why would he do that if he didn't consider the him who did it to even be the Doctor? (Does that sentence even make sense?) Hmm. One of my friends suggested that maybe he was an echo Doctor because he went in his own timestream (like Clara) but I'm not sure that makes sense either...
Rachael
bratty_jedi at 12:56 pm on 28 May 2013 (UTC) (Link)
I mean, he basically takes responsibility for it, and why would he do that if he didn't consider the him who did it to even be the Doctor? (Does that sentence even make sense?)
Yes! It makes perfect sense and is probably a clearer phrasing of what I was saying about you don't have a secret identity that you keep secret because it did something and then not keep the something it did secret.

I don't think echo Doctor makes sense to me, either. It was his time stream and he's the Doctor and he was able to pull her out so he had to have held himself together better than her.


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