The introduction of Jo Martin as a hitherto-unknown incarnation of the Doctor halfway through Doctor Who season 12 was one of the most shocking moments of the series in recent years. Though her debut episode, “Fugitive of the Judoon,” left us some clues to work with, it wasn’t clarified exactly where she fits into the Time Lord’s timeline. Likewise, though the season finale dropped some major revelations, defining Martin’s Doctor was not one of them.
For anyone wondering whether the actress will go on to take over from Jodie Whittaker and become the Fourteenth Doctor, however, that’s not the case. The star indirectly confirmed this herself during an interview with Doctor Who Magazine. Martin spoke about how many of her friends didn’t watch her first episode, so she had to explain to them that she wasn’t “the new Doctor,” but that she was “a Doctor.”
“The thing is, not everyone saw the episode when it went out, but suddenly they saw all the publicity that blew up around it and read it in the papers or saw it on social media. It meant they didn’t get to see the reveal first-hand, which, for me, was the best part. They were like, “You’re the new Doctor!” And I’m like, “Well… I’m not the new Doctor. I’m a Doctor. You’ll have to watch the episode.”
This fits with what we all assume is the deal with the “Ruth Doctor,” as she’s usually called – based on her fake human identity, Ruth Clayton. Given that “The Timeless Children” revealed the Doctor had many more regenerations before the man we know as the First Doctor (William Hartnell), we can guess that Ruth is one of them. This theory is supported by her lack of knowledge of Thirteen or even what the sonic screwdriver is – the sonic was first used by the Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton).
The problem with this interpretation, though, is that her TARDIS is stuck in the shape of a Police Box – when the First Doctor got his time machine locked into this form when he visited 1963 in the show’s pilot, “An Unearthly Child.” In fact, it’s strange that she has the same TARDIS at all given that we’ve seen the First Doctor steal a random TARDIS when he initially left Gallifrey.
Clearly, there’s still more to know here, then. So let’s hope Jo Martin returns when Doctor Who season 13 rolls around sometime in 2021.