When did the Doctor become the Doctor?

In the post Chibnall Masterplan world we can ask lots of questions about Doctor Who and get some new answers. Of course this is a lot of why a masterplan happened. It gets the show re-examined in the light of a set of principles (I hope) rather than the organic way it first developed. One of the questions is When did the Doctor become the Doctor?

Pre and post Hartnell

Like the calendar we can start splitting Doctor Who eras in pre and post William Hartnell’s time. We all thought (if we cared) the Doctor picked the name at some point at the academy. We can now assume the names was an echo of a forgotten memory as:

  • Jo Martin’s Doctor calls herself The Doctor
  • Jo Martin’s Doctor is from the Division and predates what we knew as the First Doctor.

We also know she originally met Tecteun as a child. The only label I have for that incarnation is The Timeless Child. We know the name Doctor appeared somewhere between this child and Jo Martin’s Doctor.

My hunch is it came while the Doctor (to be) was working for Division. It could be a code name (like a good secret agent) or a nickname (like Top Gun pilots). My thought is the Doctor was one of several agents, slowly realised the Time Lords weren’t the best influence in the universe and wanted to fix things not just tidy them up for the benefit of Gallifrey. At some point the name Doctor was used and stuck.

Do you have any other ideas? Let me know in the comments!

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