If you’ve recovered from the shock, let’s talk Peter Capaldi. The Twelfth Doctor. And Frobisher from Torchwood: Children of Earth. And Caecilius from the Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble story Fires of Pompeii.
How do we explain all that?
Does it matter?
Probably not. At the time Peter Capaldi was announced for the Twelfth Doctor, the Radio Times brought the matter to our attention in a piece titled: Doctor Who: Steven Moffat has an explanation for Peter Capaldi’s earlier appearances. So there’s a big idea somewhere. While we wait let me speculate.
Let’s also reflect on Colin Baker; he also appeared in the show before being cast as the Sixth Doctor and at the time I recall reading how he was concerned he might be precluded from the title role because of that. As we all know it didn’t matter and now (thanks to Big Finish) his Doctor is one of the most loved. Back to Capaldi…
How might it work?
First let’s take it as read that the Twelfth Doctor is older than Frobisher and Caecilius. We know from Tom Baker’s appearance in Day of the Doctor that the Doctor is capable of revisiting old faces. This means that the Twelfth Doctor might be a revisit of an earlier face.
Frobisher and Caecilius are human as far as we know; no problem thanks to Paul Cornell. At some stage a Doctor incarnation looking like a younger Capaldi was placed in a Chameleon Arch and became human. He went on and married, tried to kill Captain Jack and so on. He died at the end but let’s assume that the Master / Missy was involved and is torturing the Doctor. Frobisher dies, has lots of guilt and then is brought back to life (just in time) and it is made clear that his whole life was fake. Maybe he had already lived the Pompeii segment. At some stage he gets the watch, becomes the Doctor again but is so traumatised by events it all gets blotted out. Maybe this is another missing incarnation?
I know this doesn’t quite hang together, but if there is an in universe theory it must build on something. Maybe this is just a parallel world’s thing? Maybe the meta-crisis / human Tenth Doctor has regenerated somehow thanks to Torchwood like technology in that world?
Thoughts? Does this matter?