Sunday, November 24, 2013

Retconning Doctor Who

[Spoilers throughout if you're not caught up with the Doctor.]

I'm wondering if all the Doctor Who 50th anniversary retconning gives a clue to what's coming up on the show. The 1986 season, "The Trial of a Time Lord," featured the Valeyard, a version of the Doctor who's supposed to come between the 12th and 13th incarnations and embody his darker impulses.

Now that John Hurt is enshrined as an official regeneration of the Doctor, that means all of the NuWho doctors were one number off: that is, Christopher Eccleston is the 10th Doctor, not the 9th; David Tennant is the 11th, not the 10th; and Matt Smith is the 12th, not the 11th.

Twelfth, not eleventh.
We already know Peter Capaldi is going to be the next Doctor (you can even see him in "The Day of The Doctor" if you pay close attention). We've assumed he would play the 12th Doctor, but the addition of Hurt means he would be the 13th (and theoretically final) incarnation of the Doctor. But what if all of that was misdirection? What if Capaldi is actually playing Doctor 12.5, the Valeyard?

12th? 13th? Somewhere in between?
Scroll back to that picture from the 80s: Capaldi has a similar look, and his menacing, intimidating persona (check him out as Malcom Tucker on In The Loop) would make him a natural for the Valeyard.