; Date: Tue Mar 03 2020
The Doctor Who Season 12, season finale was an excellent rollicking good crazy-ass scheme invented by The Master. In his review of that episode, Chip Suterth claimed the episode gave us an Everyman Doctor. "The Doctor could have been anyone all along"? "A RETCON that doesn't invalidate a single televised story"? No, Chip, most of the time you're right on, but this time you got it completely backward.
Usually I find myself in agreement with Chip Suterth's concentrated commentary on Doctor Who. But with 2MTL 451: The Brain, Revisited (in case you don't get it, 'The Brain' refers to 'The Brain of Morbius'), he gets it so wrong that I'm driven to writing a blog post.
In 2MTL 451, he claims:
"Chibnall simultaneously embraces everything we have already seen on television, and then challenges us to imagine more. Don't limit Doctor Who to what it's been, remix it."
"This has been the year that Doctor Who stated that not only that anyone can be The Doctor going forward, but that The Doctor could have been anyone all along."
I do not see how this could possibly be the conclusion.
What The Timeless Children shows us is a story claiming The Doctor was not simply one of the zillions of Time Lords that have ever existed. No.. The Doctor was always this Special Person, this Person who was literally dropped from the sky out of a portal to a dimension of infinity, from whom the entirety of the Time Lord Race was developed.
For background on this see my previous post Betrayed by the myth of the timeless child
THAT is what we were shown. The Doctor as this ultra special person - a literal gift from heaven. Is that something "anyone" can be?
This is not The Doctor as an Everyman. That is, can "anyone" be "The Doctor" if to be The Doctor you literally have to be dropped from the heavens and have special capabilities that then form the entirety of an overly pompous race of Time Lords?
From my perspective - Doctor Who started out in 1963 with The Doctor possibly being a human. There was lots said in early Doctor Who suggesting that was the case. But at the end of Troughton's era, a new paradigm evolved in which The Doctor became a Time Lord from a distant planet, and the whole lore of Gallifrey etc.
At the same time, The Doctor was presented as being one of zillions of Time Lords. Therefore she/he came from humble beginnings, and rose through the ranks, developed him/herself, and became The Doctor. THAT is a story ANY of us can aspire to.
The core attribute of The Doctor is a sense of there's always a way through any mess. The Doctor has an ability to see the time streams and cleverly calculate which way goes where, and achieves things by being clever with the tools put in front of him/her.
But -- with the revelations in The Timeless Children -- how is anyone supposed to be able to aspire to be The Doctor? What if all that cleverness is now spun as another special attribute of The Timeless Child?