Doctor Who Star Says That Big Mystery May Not Be Solved In Season 12

Doctor Who

Despite a drop in ratings and rumblings about its continued quality, Doctor Who season 12 has at least sparked debate over its current mystery. The Timeless Child, which returned to the show’s mythology in the two-part season opener, has long been discussed as something crucial to the history of Gallifrey and the Doctor’s identity. The Master brought it back up in his return to the series and indications were that discovering the who, why, and what of the Child will animate this year’s overall storyline.

However, star Jodie Whittaker has now suggested that fans won’t learn the outcome to the mystery. At least, not this season. Speaking as part of a panel at the Paley Center in New York, Whittaker had this to say about what to expect in terms of resolution:

“I think the beauty of [showrunner] Chris [Chibnall’s] writing is that nothing is an accident. So these things that maybe feel as if they were in an episode of season 11 and then forgotten about, weren’t. And I think you don’t necessarily always rush to get the answer.”

This patient approach may frustrate viewers wanting Doctor Who to flesh out its mythology, but Whittaker acknowledged that long-running mysteries will likely only get a partial solution, while pointing to Chibnall’s love of the show.

“So it’s not to say that you won’t discover something. You’re not going to be denied. But the beauty of this show is that it goes on and on and on. For him, all this has been plotted out. He has wanted to write this since he was a kid so the choice of when and how – it isn’t a manic decision. And so maybe some things, a few, are answered and maybe some things aren’t and I think that’s why you’ve got to keep watching.”

We’ve previously looked at who or what the Timeless Child might be, based on its description in season 11 episode “The Ghost Monument” as an “outcast.” One theory is that the Child is a young version of the Doctor, although this wouldn’t really line up with the admittedly little we know about the character’s origins. Another explanation is that the Child is a member of the Doctor’s family that they’ve either repressed from their memory, or has already appeared in some form on the series.

This regeneration of the Doctor is particularly circumspect when it comes to explaining her past, an issue that has already come up this season via the Master teasing Graham about how much the companions know about her. With Gallifrey back in the picture, it seems that we’ll be getting more clues as to the development of the Time Lords, with the Master’s claims that they’ve been lying to generations of Time Lords likely to be crucial.

In any case, it appears we won’t get a satisfying explanation in season 12 of Doctor Who, although this is a series that has long withheld important parts of its mythology. Here’s hoping that fans will go easy on the show, and showrunner Chibnall, then, for trying out new ideas this year, even if they don’t please everyone.