Current Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall has revealed that he proposed the Timeless Child twist in his earliest pitch meetings before taking over the reins from Steven Moffat.
The latest season of the long-running and beloved sci-fi series ended with a twist that, in the eyes of many Whovians, undermined more than fifty years of continuity. As it came to pass, the Master revealed that the Doctor isn’t actually a Time Lord, but rather, the entire Gallifreyan civilization got the ability to regenerate from her DNA. In that sense, every Time Lord who ever lived shares their genetic code with the tituler hero. In addition, we learned that there’ve been many incarnations of the Lonely God before William Hartnell’s First Doctor, which is a revelation that compromised a great deal of the backlash that’s plagued the fandom ever since.
It appears, though, that the BBC already knew about Chibnall’s plan to introduce this game-changing twist to the lore well before it happened. The executive producer recently had a conversation with Radio Times, where he revealed that he was aware that the story would be divisive, but he still went ahead with it anyways.
“I knew from the start. And it was part of what I talked to Charlotte [Moore] and Piers [Wenger] about, just opening up the mythology to more stories. The purpose was to bring narrative opportunity and to be able to go to places that were shut off before now. That’s the big thing really.”
The new narrative admittedly has a lot of potential in terms of exploring the universe of Doctor Who, though we can’t help but wonder if that was indeed the only way Chibnall could’ve gone about it. Regardless of whether you accept this new canonical development or not, though, the EP promises that there’s much more to come, and fans will “have to wait longer to see how it plays out.”
In the meantime, the show returns with its holiday special, “Revolution of the Daleks,” on New Year’s Day.