One of the many things we are promised in the next season of Dr Who (and probably as part of the 2013 50th anniversary) is an answer to the question of ‘Doctor who?’ This to me (and no doubt most people) sounds like an origins question, in which case there is a lot of back-story / fandom to get through to do something credible and indeed interesting to a wider audience. Elsewhere I thought about the influences on the character in the confusingly similarly titles Who is the Doctor?)
Now either Moffat will ignore all that and do something flashy that he likes, he will cater for it to an extent and still do something he wants or he will work it all in (and still be flashy and what he wants!).
To cater for all of the above I therefore turn my mind to the various constraints that come from the show’s legacy and from its recent mythology. I then speculate wildly!
Constraints of the past
These are things that have been in transmitted episodes so are as canon as you can get:
- Susan was the First Doctor‘s grand-daughter, therefore (?) the Doctor has / had children
- The Eighth Doctor mentioned that he was part human (this was a slight re-boot incorporation – see other sources below)
- He ‘borrowed’ the TARDIS
- The Time War is Time Locked so no more Gallifrey / other Time Lords/
The Cartmel Masterplan
My reading of the Cartmel Masterplan which was worked up between Andrew Cartmel, Ben Aaronovitch and Marc Platt never quite emerged but did leak out in some Seventh Doctor tales such as Remembrance of the Daleks (see here and here) and the novel Lungbarrow (review TBD). My summary of this is:
- Rassilon and Omega worked with a figure known as The Other to produce the original black hole and start the Time Lords going so to speak
- The Other decided to go into the looms (the way Time Lords reproduce) as a sort of immortality
- Many years later the Doctor appears in the House of Lungbarrow and escapes Gallifrey in a TARDIS with the Hand of Omega and goes back to before the Vortex (a banned thing) and there picks up the girl Susan who recognises him as her grandfather and therefore as the Other!
- Cue nearly 50 years of adventures!
Other sources of mythology
When The Movie was being worked in many reboots were considered (see here). Amongst the ideas here is that the Doctor was a Victorian (somehow) time traveller who gave Rassilon the secrets of time travel. Nice idea to have (possibly) a link back to the human race this way and there must be a reason the Doctor is so keen on Earth and why so many try to take the place over.
I think there is a deep connection between the Gallifreyans and the human race; they can apparently cross-breed, with the aid of a Chameleon Arch can become human. Amy and Rory conceive in the TARDIS and produce River who can regenerate (number of hearts unknown).
My thought is that in the distant future in one specific time-line the human race become the Gallifreyans via some genetic engineering (something else we know Time Lords are very good at). Maybe the Doctor is part of the lost space ship / colony founders who is thrown forward in time to when Rasillon and Omega finish perfecting time travel. The later Time Lords have lost all knowledge of this hence the way Earth is treated in Trial of a Time Lord.
I also suspect a big loop in time and maybe River will become mother to the Time Lords in a huge paradox or a re-booted New Gallifrey.
Or maybe the Doctor is Rasillon’s brother as he doesn’t get his true memories starting to return until the seventh incarnation?
You read it here first folks!