Doctor Who Season 12 Finale Solved A 44-Year-Old Plot Hole

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Doctor Who reached the end of its twelfth season last night with a whopper of a finale. “The Timeless Children” did as it said on the tin and revealed all fans wanted to know about the mystery of the Timeless Child. And, as had been much theorized, the child was revealed to be the Doctor herself, with her true origins finally explained.

You see, the Doctor isn’t just an ordinary Time Lord but is, in fact, a mysterious foundling who came through a wormhole from another universe and was discovered by the early Gallifreyans. She had a unique ability to regenerate her body upon death and so the Gallifreyans tapped into this and replicated it across their species. The Doctor then lived many lives until the Time Lords wiped her memory and kept her past a secret.

It’s all so much to take in for fans, with many Whovians furious on social media over the revelations. As the episode reminds us, though, the root of this concept goes back 44 years. When the Doctor escapes from the Matrix, she overloads it with her memories and among this mini-clip show is a scene from 1976’s “The Brain of Morbius.”

In that story, the Fourth Doctor engaged in a mental battle with monstrous Time Lord Morbius. As Morbius threatened to kill the hero, his past regenerations appeared on screen as well as eight other faces we’d never seen before. “How long, Doctor, how long have you lived?” Morbius questioned.

Later stories established the Doctor only had 13 lives and the First Doctor was the original, so this moment went down as a weird glitch in canon. Now, however, we know the truth: the Doctor really did have many other lives prior to what we know as their first one.

Of course, the Timeless Child revelation creates a lot of other plot holes, including rendering the explanation of the Doctor as half-human in 1996’s Doctor Who: The Movie null and void, but that’s a discussion for another time.

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