Doctor Who Theory Says The Doctor Has The Timeless Child Memories

Doctor Who

The season 12 finale of Doctor Who changed the established continuity of the show, revealing that the Doctor was, in fact, the Timeless Child who gave birth to the Time Lords.

Ever since the series’ conception back in the 60s, fans have known the titular character as a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey. But Jodie Whittaker’s second run as the Thirteenth Doctor undermines this truth by revealing that the character has lived countless lives before regenerating into William Hartnell’s First Doctor. Jo Martin’s secret Doctor is one of those previous incarnations, which Thirteen has no memory of. Obviously, the Time Lords didn’t want the Doctor to retain the memory of her past lives, so they decided to suppress her mind. This could explain the strange sequence with a character named Brendan in the last two episodes (Brendan was the Doctor, but he just didn’t know it).

Leading into season 13, one of the most important questions on our mind is if the Doctor will ever be able to restore her memories. Well, according to a new theory, if the Time Lords used their own technology to mess with the Doctor’s brain, then it’s safe to say that Thirteen still has those memories of her former life, but just can’t access them. As seen in “The Family of Blood” and “Utopia,” Time Lords can utilize something called the Chameleon Arch to twist their memories and change their identities. And seeing as how the device they used on Brendan in “The Timeless Children” looked eerily like a Chameleon Arch, Jodie’s Doctor still has a chance to remember her past lives.

Usually, the Chameleon Arch places the memories inside a trinket. For the Doctor and the Master, this was a fob watch, but as we saw in “Prisoner of the Judoon,” the trigger can be anything. What’s more, remember how the Doctor would get fleeting episodes of recollection about the Timeless Child? A Chameleon Arch is never 100% effective, which makes it all the more likely that this is what the Time Lords used to cover their tracks.

Up to now, several Doctors have worn a fob watch as part of their costume, so what if one of these holds all the memories to the life of the Timeless Child, hidden under a very delicate perception filter that even the Doctor has failed to recognize? It’s certainly an interesting possibility to entertain, but we won’t know the answers for sure until the next season of Doctor Who arrives in 2021.