Last week’s season finale of Doctor Who sent many ripples and shockwaves through the ranks of Whovians by essentially retconning the origin story of the titular character, but what does the BBC have to say about the divisive nature of “The Timeless Children”?
In the final episode of season 12, the Master revealed that the Doctor was, in fact, the Timeless Child. Many years ago, the indigenous people of Gallifrey found the Doctor and used her genetic code to imbue themselves with regeneration energy. As a result, every Time Lord who’s ever lived shares the Doctor’s DNA. But more importantly, this proves that there’ve been many more incarnations of the infamous Lonely God, though she doesn’t remember any of them prior to William Hartnell’s First Doctor.
As one would imagine, many people expressed their disappointment and anger with the showrunner’s decision to take the story in that particular direction. While this is not the first time that Jodie Whittaker’s run as the Thirteenth Doctor or Chris Chibnall’s narrative decisions have come under fire, these complaints are aimed at the story itself, rather than the show’s alleged newfound PC agenda.
In response, the BBC has issued the following statement to address the criticisms of the finale:
“Doctor Who is a beloved long-running series and we understand that some people will feel attached to a particular idea they have of the Doctor, or that they enjoy certain aspects of the programme more than others. Opinions are strong and this is indicative of the imaginative hold that Doctor Who has – that so many people engage with it on so many different levels.
We wholeheartedly support the creative freedom of the writers and we feel that creating an origin story is a staple of science fiction writing. What was written does not alter the flow of stories from William Hartnell’s brilliant Doctor onwards – it just adds new layers and possibilities to this ongoing saga.”
The network didn’t fail to mention that they’ve also received much positive feedback, noting:
“We have also received many positive reactions to the episode’s cliff-hanger. There are still a lot of questions to be answered, and we hope that you will come back to join us and see what happens, but we appreciate that it’s impossible to please all of our viewers all of the time and your feedback has been raised with the programme’s Executive Producer.”
Also noteworthy is the fact that this is the second time the BBC has had to address the complaints regarding Doctor Who this year, so we’ll have to wait and see whether these disheartened fans will continue to watch Chibnall’s Who in the years to come, though considering the rating nosedive, we wouldn’t hold our breath.