There are many plot holes that keep Doctor Who fans up at night. For instance, why did no one ever mention John Hurt’s incarnation of the Doctor before he was retroactively introduced in 2013? Why do the rules of regeneration change every time? And why don’t the Daleks ever just shoot the Doctor?
Of course, most of these continuity glitches have arisen simply because Doctor Who has been written by countless different writers for the past 50 years, meaning that obviously not everything will fit together smoothly. However, one fan might just have an explanation for a particular narrative conundrum that actually holds up.
The plot hole is this: why does the Doctor always encounter other Time Lords – like the Master – in chronological order? For instance, Peter Capaldi’s incarnation always bumped into Michelle Gomez’s version in a linear fashion. But why doesn’t he keep catching her out of order? They are both time travellers, after all.
Well, the theory proposed by Reddit user SteamDelta digs deep into Doctor Who lore to find out the answer. According to them, it’s all to do with the Eye of Harmony, the TARDIS power source housed on Gallifrey that’s been referenced in a few stories.
Here’s what they posted on the Fan Theories subreddit.
Through out Doctor who, The Doctor and other time lords interact, but always in a linear fashion. The Doctor meets perhaps the master, the master regenerates, from then on the Doctor only meets the new master, never the former, younger master. The Doctor visits Galifrey, the president of the time lords dies, the Doctor never visits Galifrey when that president was alive again. Time Lords and Galifrey all seem to be moving through time together, even if they are traveling through out the rest of the universe’s time.
Is this just luck? I think it’s caused by the basic nature of Tardises.
Tardises are powered by “The Eye of Harmony” a black hole in the heart of Galifrey, that sustains the planet. . It’s reveled that all Tardises have a link to it. I suggest that what really can not cross it’s own time stream is the eye of Harmony. When the Doctor leaves Galifrey, and a year passes in the tardis, a year is also passing on Galifrey and if he returns the Eye of harmony in his tardis can only go to the moment of Galifrey it’s synced with.
Who is the only time traveler who meets the Doctor out of order? River Song who does not travel with a Tardis.
When do the Doctor’s meet? In the Three Doctors, it happens in the 3rd doctor’s time frame, the time lords have no knowledge of his future selves, and pull his past selves, to his time frame without the use of Tardises.
In The Five Doctors they once again meet and are once again pulled out of time without tardises, pulled by the Time Scoop.
Of course it’s revealed when the show comes back in 2005 Galifrey is gone and so is the Eye of harmony. The Tardis now has to refuel from time rifts.
When they all meet in the Day of The Doctor with all of their 13 tardises, the first 8 doctors are tied to their own time line eyes, the war doctor is tied to the current galifrey, the 9th 10th 11th, and 12 have tardises linked directly to the vortex with out an Eye of Harmony. When Galifrey is popped out of existence the first seven are pulled back to their correct time lines, and the current doctors can continue.
You have to admit it’s a very solid theory. It even addresses the exceptions to the rule and proves how they fit under the explanation. Consider this part of our headcanon!
However, if we’re being really picky, we might mention that this year’s season 10 finale featured the Doctor bumping into John Simm’s past Master, even though Gallifrey was seemingly restored to the universe back in 2015’s “Hell Bent.” But, you know, we won’t mention that.
If this has just whet your appetite for confusing timestream-crossing goodness, then be sure to check out this month’s Doctor Who Christmas special. Titled “Twice Upon a Time,” it features Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor encountering David Bradley’s First Doctor and airs on BBC One/America on Christmas Day.