Doctor Who and the Timeless Child

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Guru Jason
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First off can I just say I'm really enjoying Jodie's tenure as the doctor. I was sceptical at first but she has had some fantastic episodes (as well as some filler/dud ones).

Now major spoilers ahead but I dont know how to hide them.

If you have seen the latest episode, do you believe the doctor is the timeless child or was the Master lying? I honestly believe him due to the doctor's scrambled memories but if the Doctor is really not from Gallifrey, then where could she be from and what species is she.

I feel this arc has turned the whole history on its head and I dont know if it's a good or a bad thing. I'm excited to see where this goes but dont know how to feel about it.
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WhisperWillow
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(Original post by Guru Jason)
First off can I just say I'm really enjoying Jodie's tenure as the doctor. I was sceptical at first but she has had some fantastic episodes (as well as some filler/dud ones).

Now major spoilers ahead but I dont know how to hide them.

If you have seen the latest episode, do you believe the doctor is the timeless child or was the Master lying? I honestly believe him due to the doctor's scrambled memories but if the Doctor is really not from Gallifrey, then where could she be from and what species is she.

I feel this arc has turned the whole history on its head and I dont know if it's a good or a bad thing. I'm excited to see where this goes but dont know how to feel about it.
I feel practically the exact same. I’ve watched it too. I really like the episode but it does have a few major potholes that need explaining.
Like when Clara went into the doctors timeline surely she would have seen all the doctors previous lives, and will have been a part of them too.
Then there’s rassilon the redeemer who ‘gave the doctor more lives’ and wether he knew or not and also what went into the doctor when hat happened- was it like giving someone extra of their own dna or like a pointless extra glittery stuff that just gave the doctors body incentive to regenerate.
Then there’s so many more things like Ruth’s police box tardis when the chameleon circuit should be fine
Last edited by WhisperWillow; 8 months ago
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vicvic38
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(Original post by WhisperWillow)
I feel practically the exact same. I’ve watched it too. I really like the episode but it does have a few major potholes that need explaining.
Like when Clara went into the doctors timeline surely she would have seen all the doctors previous lives, and will have been a part of them too.
Then there’s rassilon the redeemer who ‘gave the doctor more lives’ and wether he knew or not and also what went into the doctor when hat happened- was it like giving someone extra of their own dna or like a pointless extra glittery stuff that just gave the doctors body incentive to regenerate.
Then there’s so many more things like Ruth’s police box tardis when the chameleon circuit should be fine
So, I believe this comes down to the secrecy of this Division. I don't think that even the Lord High President of Gallifrey is party to their dealings, and since everything about the timeless child was scrubbed from the Matrix there would be no way for Rassilon to go and access it. It seems like when the Division disbanded, they wiped the Timeless Child's memory clean, and then dumped the back as a child to exist again as a nondescript member of Time Lord Society. Perhaps the Doctor would have just gone a similar way to how Hartnell regenerated, from being old. Obviously there was no way either he or the Timelords could have known that.

The timeline thing is interesting. Perhaps she just did not go back far enough?

We at the ODWS have been supposing that the reason Martin's Doctor goes by the same name and has the same TARDIS as the Post-Division Doctors is that she had it first, and something subconscious was left over after the mind wipe, so that when the Doctor ran away with Susan, the choices were subconscious.

Some interesting things: In The Five Doctors, Borusa gets the Doctor to go to Rassilon's tomb so he can have the ring and gain immortality (which is a terrible trick.) Rassilon asks the Doctor if he would also like immortality. This casts in a very different light now!

Also, I presume the reason not everything about the timeless child was completely destroyed in the Matrix was that you cannot fully delete from the matrix, and the sort of encryption used to lock it down is very material intensive. If we look at The Brain of Morbius, and the Morbius Doctors, is it possible that the reason Morbius lost (because there is now no reason he should have done) because he was using the Doctor's innate link to the Matrix to go back through his lives. As he went back far enough, he encountered where the Matrix had gotten to in encrypting the Doctor's life, and so he was violently booted out (possibly as he was not expecting it)?

As far as I can reckon, I think Chibnall has done a good job in not writing himself into a corner in terms of contradictions.
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WhisperWillow
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(Original post by vicvic38)
So, I believe this comes down to the secrecy of this Division. I don't think that even the Lord High President of Gallifrey is party to their dealings, and since everything about the timeless child was scrubbed from the Matrix there would be no way for Rassilon to go and access it. It seems like when the Division disbanded, they wiped the Timeless Child's memory clean, and then dumped the back as a child to exist again as a nondescript member of Time Lord Society. Perhaps the Doctor would have just gone a similar way to how Hartnell regenerated, from being old. Obviously there was no way either he or the Timelords could have known that.

The timeline thing is interesting. Perhaps she just did not go back far enough?

We at the ODWS have been supposing that the reason Martin's Doctor goes by the same name and has the same TARDIS as the Post-Division Doctors is that she had it first, and something subconscious was left over after the mind wipe, so that when the Doctor ran away with Susan, the choices were subconscious.

Some interesting things: In The Five Doctors, Borusa gets the Doctor to go to Rassilon's tomb so he can have the ring and gain immortality (which is a terrible trick.) Rassilon asks the Doctor if he would also like immortality. This casts in a very different light now!

Also, I presume the reason not everything about the timeless child was completely destroyed in the Matrix was that you cannot fully delete from the matrix, and the sort of encryption used to lock it down is very material intensive. If we look at The Brain of Morbius, and the Morbius Doctors, is it possible that the reason Morbius lost (because there is now no reason he should have done) because he was using the Doctor's innate link to the Matrix to go back through his lives. As he went back far enough, he encountered where the Matrix had gotten to in encrypting the Doctor's life, and so he was violently booted out (possibly as he was not expecting it)?

As far as I can reckon, I think Chibnall has done a good job in not writing himself into a corner in terms of contradictions.
Yeah. It makes sense. But I do think that the timeline thing is still something that needs a bit of explaining
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Connor27
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The regeneration explanation is nonsense - how was River Song able to regenerate when she had 0 Shaboogan DNA and never even set foot on Gallifrey?

Also if the timeless child has infinite regenerations then why didn’t Matt Smith’s 11th Doctor regenerate sooner on Trenzalore?

Finally, this episode completely ruins the First Doctor’s character and his entire arc in Twice Upon a Time where he was anxious of regenerating.

Chibnall is a talentless show runner and the entirety of series 12 has just been rip offs of better stories from the wider Doctor Who canon.
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Rakas21
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While i agree that some episodes of this season have been acceptable (though Whitiker simply lacks the strength of personality to be the Doctor) i too have been dismayed with how established convention was broken in terms of how in season 6 it is clear accepted that the Time Lords were once mortal and that it is time travel that gives them their ability (hence River).
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Bio 7
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(Original post by Connor27)
The regeneration explanation is nonsense - how was River Song able to regenerate when she had 0 Shaboogan DNA and never even set foot on Gallifrey?

Also if the timeless child has infinite regenerations then why didn’t Matt Smith’s 11th Doctor regenerate sooner on Trenzalore?

Finally, this episode completely ruins the First Doctor’s character and his entire arc in Twice Upon a Time where he was anxious of regenerating.

Chibnall is a talentless show runner and the entirety of series 12 has just been rip offs of better stories from the wider Doctor Who canon.
I agree with all of that.

Can you hear me is a badly done version of SJA’s Nightmare Man.
The reality particle was a much weaker reality bomb.
Someone coming to save the doctor was like Luke Rattigan with the Sontarans.

The Timeless Child thing was so stupid, serves no character development and doesn’t get used as a proper plot point.

And now we have 3 Tardis’ in the mix with two having working chameleon circuits.
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vicvic38
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(Original post by WhisperWillow)
Yeah. It makes sense. But I do think that the timeline thing is still something that needs a bit of explaining
Is it not more fun to sit and theorise? But yes, it does need some sort of expanation.

(Original post by Connor27)
The regeneration explanation is nonsense - how was River Song able to regenerate when she had 0 Shaboogan DNA and never even set foot on Gallifrey?

Also if the timeless child has infinite regenerations then why didn’t Matt Smith’s 11th Doctor regenerate sooner on Trenzalore?

Finally, this episode completely ruins the First Doctor’s character and his entire arc in Twice Upon a Time where he was anxious of regenerating.

Chibnall is a talentless show runner and the entirety of series 12 has just been rip offs of better stories from the wider Doctor Who canon.
1) Did you watch the episode? It's not Shobogan DNA that enables one to regenerate. It's the Timeless Child's DNA, which is not Shobogan. The whole River Song arc was a mess before this, but you can keep blaming Chibnall if you want. I don't see how you can accept the "time energy" explanation but not this?

2+3) Again, if you'd watched it, it's explained that the Doctor's memory is completely wiped after their work with the Division, they are reverted to baby form and left with some random family. The Division then covered up their existence in the Time Matrix. So, Hartnell has no idea he has regenerated before, which explains his anxiety. Matt Smith and the Timelords also thought he was a regular Time Lord when he was on Trenzalore. It's possible that if the Doctor remains as one regeneration for too long, they actually age and become old (like Hartnell did) and that if Smith had gotten to the point of regeneration from old age (like Hartnell did) he would have regenerated as normal instead of just like straight up dying. Hartnell's regeneration is the only one that is not a result of injury or other intervention (The War Games.) However, with Timelord intervention, Smith was kick started into regeneration, meaning the natural surprise regen was no longer natural or a surprise.

I don't care for Chibnall, but you're just finding nothings to hate.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by vicvic38)
Is it not more fun to sit and theorise? But yes, it does need some sort of expanation.


1) Did you watch the episode? It's not Shobogan DNA that enables one to regenerate. It's the Timeless Child's DNA, which is not Shobogan. The whole River Song arc was a mess before this, but you can keep blaming Chibnall if you want. I don't see how you can accept the "time energy" explanation but not this?

2+3) Again, if you'd watched it, it's explained that the Doctor's memory is completely wiped after their work with the Division, they are reverted to baby form and left with some random family. The Division then covered up their existence in the Time Matrix. So, Hartnell has no idea he has regenerated before, which explains his anxiety. Matt Smith and the Timelords also thought he was a regular Time Lord when he was on Trenzalore. It's possible that if the Doctor remains as one regeneration for too long, they actually age and become old (like Hartnell did) and that if Smith had gotten to the point of regeneration from old age (like Hartnell did) he would have regenerated as normal instead of just like straight up dying. Hartnell's regeneration is the only one that is not a result of injury or other intervention (The War Games.) However, with Timelord intervention, Smith was kick started into regeneration, meaning the natural surprise regen was no longer natural or a surprise.

I don't care for Chibnall, but you're just finding nothings to hate.
On the regeneration front its worth remembering that it requires at least some conscious effort to begin it (i imagine if you shoot a time lord in the brain so its instant they'd just be dead), the Master of course refused and allowed himself to die.
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Connor27
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(Original post by Bio 7)
I agree with all of that.

Can you hear me is a badly done version of SJA’s Nightmare Man.
The reality particle was a much weaker reality bomb.
Someone coming to save the doctor was like Luke Rattigan with the Sontarans.

The Timeless Child thing was so stupid, serves no character development and doesn’t get used as a proper plot point.

And now we have 3 Tardis’ in the mix with two having working chameleon circuits.
Even the good episodes of this series that I somewhat enjoyed:

Fugitive of the Judoon was just a ****ty modern remake of Human Nature/The Family of Blood (and more generally an homage to the RTD era with the Judoon/Jack’s cameo.)

The Haunting of Villa Diodati borrows heavily from two big finish Cybermen stories (The Silver Turk (which also features Mary Shelley) and Spare Parts (which already explored the concept of the lone cyberman.))
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Connor27
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(Original post by vicvic38)
Is it not more fun to sit and theorise? But yes, it does need some sort of expanation.


1) Did you watch the episode? It's not Shobogan DNA that enables one to regenerate. It's the Timeless Child's DNA, which is not Shobogan. The whole River Song arc was a mess before this, but you can keep blaming Chibnall if you want. I don't see how you can accept the "time energy" explanation but not this?

2+3) Again, if you'd watched it, it's explained that the Doctor's memory is completely wiped after their work with the Division, they are reverted to baby form and left with some random family. The Division then covered up their existence in the Time Matrix. So, Hartnell has no idea he has regenerated before, which explains his anxiety. Matt Smith and the Timelords also thought he was a regular Time Lord when he was on Trenzalore. It's possible that if the Doctor remains as one regeneration for too long, they actually age and become old (like Hartnell did) and that if Smith had gotten to the point of regeneration from old age (like Hartnell did) he would have regenerated as normal instead of just like straight up dying. Hartnell's regeneration is the only one that is not a result of injury or other intervention (The War Games.) However, with Timelord intervention, Smith was kick started into regeneration, meaning the natural surprise regen was no longer natural or a surprise.

I don't care for Chibnall, but you're just finding nothings to hate.
Name me one memorable Chibnall episode that was written before he became show runner - it’s ****ing impossible.

Even his two series of Torchwood are known as the “bad ones” that pale in comparison to the heavily RTD written Children of Earth.

The time energy explanation fit with Rose becoming the bad wolf and Jack’s immortality that resulted from that, artron energy was clearly SHOWN to have remarkable properties.

The episode doesn’t say that the Doctor’s memory was wiped it only hints at it with the Brendan vagueness, also if the “Morbius doctors” explanation is real why didn’t 4 question those incarnations when he was clearly aware of what was going on?
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Bio 7
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(Original post by Connor27)
Even the good episodes of this series that I somewhat enjoyed:

Fugitive of the Judoon was just a ****ty modern remake of Human Nature/The Family of Blood (and more generally an homage to the RTD era with the Judoon/Jack’s cameo.)

The Haunting of Villa Diodati borrows heavily from two big finish Cybermen stories (The Silver Turk (which also features Mary Shelley) and Spare Parts (which already explored the concept of the lone cyberman.))
Fugitive of the Judoon was the only episode I really enjoyed and it was still a bit meh.

Praxeus had something in it that I’ve always wanted. Communicators! Finally they have comm pieces! It makes no sense to not have them given they have all of space and time to explore.
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vicvic38
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(Original post by Connor27)
Name me one memorable Chibnall episode that was written before he became show runner - it’s ****ing impossible.

Even his two series of Torchwood are known as the “bad ones” that pale in comparison to the heavily RTD written Children of Earth.

The time energy explanation fit with Rose becoming the bad wolf and Jack’s immortality that resulted from that, artron energy was clearly SHOWN to have remarkable properties.

The episode doesn’t say that the Doctor’s memory was wiped it only hints at it with the Brendan vagueness, also if the “Morbius doctors” explanation is real why didn’t 4 question those incarnations when he was clearly aware of what was going on?
Well, I don't know who you're talking to, but a lot of people I know really like the first two series of Torchwood, even if they aren't Children of Earth. And while he didn't write that many Doctor Who episode before becoming showrunner, he did write some good stuff like The Great Train Robbery, so it's wrong to assume he can't write.

Artron energy can still work for Rose, and in the context of the show, Jack isn't immortal. He's invincible. There's a certain distinction there, especially because we see the Face of Boe die and that's him. The Timeless Child thing fits with Donna touching the 10th Doctor's hand. And lest we forget, it fits really really well with the 42 years of history before the RTD reboot.

It's pretty clear that they wiped the Doctor's memory. It's literally shown that the Doctor is dropped back off as a baby after the division stuff. I think you've missed the point of the episode, and that's your problem, not Chris Chibnall's. They obviously used the mind probe to remove the Doctor's memories.

We rewatched the segment in the Brain of Morbius bit, and the Doctor has his eyes closed. Sarah generally has no idea what's going on, so she's hardly going to mention it to him. If Morbius is reaching back through into the Matrix, then it is likely enough that the Doctor doesn't quite see what's happening. Philip Hinchcliffe (the producer on that episode) did say that the extra 8 faces were meant to be pre-Hartnell Doctors, so that if they needed to end the show after Baker they could. (Also it's worth mentioning that this is just my own theory, so not explained by the episode.)

Look, I dislike Chibnall as much as the next person (all of series 11 was a train wreck) but I think that credit where credit is due: series 12 is on the better side of series of Doctor Who.
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vicvic38
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(Original post by Bio 7)
Fugitive of the Judoon was the only episode I really enjoyed and it was still a bit meh.

Praxeus had something in it that I’ve always wanted. Communicators! Finally they have comm pieces! It makes no sense to not have them given they have all of space and time to explore.
Why didn't you like Nikola Tesla's Night of Terror? I really liked that one.
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Bio 7
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(Original post by vicvic38)
Why didn't you like Nikola Tesla's Night of Terror? I really liked that one.
Bit redundant. The lpots are being fixed too easily.

The episodes are barely even memorable. I can list all the others easily from new who but ask me to list hers and I can't.
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username4867806
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(Original post by Bio 7)
Bit redundant. The lpots are being fixed too easily.

The episodes are barely even memorable. I can list all the others easily from new who but ask me to list hers and I can't.
Many people can say the same for any other Doctor. Not everyone will like every Doctor from the show.
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vicvic38
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(Original post by Bio 7)
Bit redundant. The lpots are being fixed too easily.

The episodes are barely even memorable. I can list all the others easily from new who but ask me to list hers and I can't.
Redundant? What about it was redundant? I can see the plots perhaps being fixed too easily, but I don't think that completely ruins the episode.
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Bio 7
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(Original post by Treetop321)
Many people can say the same for any other Doctor. Not everyone will like every Doctor from the show.
I like all the other new doctors, and I don't dislike Whittaker she just has bad episodes. Capaldi had a similar issue but the quality hadn't declined as far in his era.
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username4867806
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(Original post by Bio 7)
I like all the other new doctors, and I don't dislike Whittaker she just has bad episodes. Capaldi had a similar issue but the quality hadn't declined as far in his era.
There is no issue. You just don't like it. Nothing to do with quality. It just isn't for you.
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vicvic38
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(Original post by Treetop321)
Many people can say the same for any other Doctor. Not everyone will like every Doctor from the show.
Rob Shearman said that to me when he came to talk to our Doctor Who Society. He's not a fan of Whittaker, but his view is that if Doctor Who always catered to his taste, then it wouldn't be doing its job.
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