Where Doctor Who’s New Mystery Doctor May Fit Into The Timeline


Last night’s episode of Doctor Who turned out to be a truly mind-blowing hour. Not only did it feature the return of John Barrowman’s Captain Jack for the first time in a decade, but it also dropped the bombshell that there’s a secret regeneration from the Doctor’s past that she somehow doesn’t remember. This mystery Doctor was played by Jo Martin, making her the first ever person of color to play the Time Lord in the series’ long history.

This is an enormous rewrite of the show’s lore, to say the least. The biggest, in fact, since John Hurt was introduced as the War Doctor back in 2013’s 50th anniversary special “The Day of the Doctor.” Hurt’s incarnation slotted in between Paul McGann’s Eighth and Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctors. If you had to invent a new Doctor, this was a natural slot to fit one in as Doctor Who was off air between those two actors’ tenures. But where could Martin’s version slot in?

Well, let’s look at the evidence. There are many hints in the episode, titled “Fugitive of the Judoon,” that she might even come from earlier in the Doctor’s timestream than William Hartnell’s first incarnation. Her TARDIS is very similar to his and she doesn’t recognize the sonic screwdriver. Likewise, she also seems to be more prone to violence than the Doctor we know, who developed their moral code over the course of their lives.

However, there are a couple of big plot holes if this is the case. 2014’s “Listen” saw us glimpse the Doctor as a child. Though kept in shadow, they were clearly a Caucasian boy. Likewise, the Martin Doctor’s TARDIS is shaped like a police box. The outer shell only got stuck like this, though, when the First Doctor arrived in London 1963, in the show’s pilot, and the ship’s chameleon circuit got stuck.

So, where could this Doctor go then? Well, the only potential window is in between Patrick Troughton’s second and Jon Pertwee’s third versions. You see, the Second Doctor was captured by the Time Lords and sentenced to execution. We never saw the moment of regeneration, but at the start of the next season, the newborn Third Doctor arrived. Fans have often speculated that there may have been more adventures in between, with the Doctor going on missions for the Time Lords. Martin’s Doctor calling the Gallifreyan Captain Gatt her boss harks back to this idea.

This is just a bit of speculation for right now, though, so we’ll have to wait and see if this theory is anywhere near the money as Doctor Who season 12 unfolds over the next five weeks.