Betrayed by the myth of the timeless child

; Date: March 2, 2020

Tags: Doctor Who »»»» Doctor Who Season 12

The Doctor Who Season 12, season finale was an excellent rollicking good crazy-ass scheme invented by The Master, but the episode was marred by the primary selling point - that we'd learn about The Timeless Child and the lie of the Timeless Child and all this earth-shattering stuff about the real history of Gallifrey. What we were given was not a useful clarification of some gap in Time Lord Lore - but instead it was an abomination that ruins the whole purpose of Doctor Who.
Source - BBC

In Skyfall 2, The Master promised us that he had discovered how Time Lords had been lied to about the founding of their story. That everything they'd been told was a lie. That it was all tied with the Lie of the Timeless Child.

The Master: They lied to us. The Founding Fathers of Gallifrey. Everything we were told is a lie. We are not who we - you or I - the whole existence of our species was built on the lie of The Timeless Child.

-- The Master destroys Gallifrey because of a lie about The Timeless Child

Given that what The Master discovered drove him to destroy Gallifrey and to kill all the Time Lords, it must have been an especially enraging piece of news. The whole season Doctor Who fans have been debating what the revelation would be, and how The Ruth-Doctor fit into everything.

But what we saw in The Timeless Children is a story, and a reworking of Time Lord History, that simply makes NO SENSE AT ALL, and should not have been undertaken. It's not that the new story undermines all the accepted lore we've been told. It's that this new story makes The Doctor into a figure that she/he simply should not be.

The Doctor is supposed to be a Time Lord living in a box, carrying a screwdriver, traveling around, and righting wrongs as she/he passes through.

Going by this new Time Lord history, The Doctor is now THE KEY MEMBER of The Time Lord Race - the single person from which a key Time Lord ability (regeneration) was developed.

THAT IS WRONG! The Doctor should not have that kind of role. That negates the whole purpose of Doctor Who.

The Doctor is supposed to be an approachable everyman. We are all supposed to believe that WE can be The Doctor in our own lives. That WE can navigate through life's troubles with the same kind of positive attitude that there is a way through whatever mess we've gotten ourself into. But with The Doctor being the blueprint from which the Time Lord race was developed - The Doctor is no longer an approachable everyman. (er... everywoman) The Doctor is now some kind of diety, way beyond the reach of mere mortals.

To really understand this - let's go over available information and what was in the episode.

I've put all kinds of details below. The summary is:

  • The Timeless Child was found abandoned on a far distant planet by a member of the Shobogans race
  • The Shobogans were the original race of Gallifrey
  • The Timeless Child had an innate ability to regenerate upon death
  • The adoptive parent of The Timeless Child, Tecteun, worked for years to understand how regeneration worked, and eventually figured it out, trying it on herself first
  • Tecteun then worked to splice the necessary DNA into the Shobogans - making sure that the DNA given to the Shobogans only worked for 12 regeneration cycles
  • The Timeless Child on the other hand has infinite regeneration cycles
  • Effort was made to erase The Timeless Child's memory of how The Time Lords used him/her to do secret missions for The Time Lords
  • The development of time travel was a separate topic - brushed over in the story

Bottom line is that The Doctor is now said to be The Timeless Child. Ergo - the entire Time Lord race was developed from DNA stolen from The Doctor.

The Doctor is no longer an Everyman - but is a highly special person at the pinnacle of an entire race of overly pompous big-wigs.

(Aside - What I understand "big wig" to mean is referring to the fashion among Leaders of Great Britain to wear big wigs as a sign of their rank)

The BBC has completely ruined the story that has been built up around Doctor Who all these decades.

Maybe the BBC will wise up and ignore this revelation - just as the BBC realized those New Paradigm Daleks presented in The Victory of the Daleks were a bad idea, and they're never mentioned any longer - but I don't have any confidence that the BBC will do so.


Here's the background details. For other background details see The disgusting over-hyping of The Doctor's role in the universe

Who is The Timeless Child

The Timeless Child was first mentioned in The Ghost Monument, a season 11 story. In that story the crew was escaping across a planet full of all kinds of crazy death machines. Some of those machines had the ability to read minds and present fears to try and ensnare their victim. With The Doctor, these machines started telling her about The Timeless Child, saying:

Talking Rag: We see deeper though, further back .. The Timeless Child

The Doctor: (surprised) What did you just say?

Talking Rag: She doesn't know

The Doctor: What are you talking about? ... What can you see?

Talking Rag: We see what's hidden, even from yourself. The outcast, abandoned and unknown.

The Doctor: (anger) GET OUT OF MY HEAD

Looking back on that now in hindsight, the revelation in The Timeless Children was right here. That Talking Rag was doing it's best to read The Doctor's history, and saw in that history The Timeless Child. That this child was an outcast, abandoned.

That's a small clue but was validated in The Timeless Children.

A part of the betrayal of this episode is that The Master simply told the story to The Doctor. The Doctor didn't work it out on her own, because The Master simply put her in a trap, shoved her into The Matrix, and started showing her the hidden history record of her own life.

This record starts way way back before the Time Lords ever existed.

The original indigenous race of Gallifrey is the Shobogans. They have been shown in televized Doctor Who as outcasts living in the wasteland well away from Gallifrey. There was an Old Who episode where The Doctor met the Shobogans, and with their help rescued the Time Lord Citadel from an incursion. It's likely that the Capaldi and Smith episodes that showcased that barn in the wilderness - that that was a Shobogan homestead.

One of the Shobogans, a woman named Tecteun, developed the first usable space ship. In her ship, she traveled the universe exploring and learning.

In one of her travels she came across this place:

Source - BBC

In The Timeless Children, this was described as an abandoned planet. Above those spires was an opening into the time vortex.

At the base of the spires was this child:

Source - BBC

Tecteun adopted this child as her own, and eventually made her way back to Gallifrey with the child.

On Gallifrey, the child was struggling with another child over a toy, and then fell off a cliff. The cliff was tall enough to kill the child. But instead of dying, the child regenerated and lived again.

That was the first regeneration on Gallifrey.

The Doctor is The Timeless Child

We'd all been buzzing about who is the timeless child ... and ... well ... The Timeless Child is The Doctor. Bah.

But - that's what the Talking Rag in The Ghost Monument told us. It read The Doctor's past and saw that The Doctor was The Timeless Child, who'd been abandoned.

The story that this child was alone and abandoned at the base of that tower. That story indicates there'd been people living at that place, and the child was left behind. Abandoned in other words.

Tecteun developed the Time Lord Regeneration capabilities

When Tecteun witnessed the child fall off the cliff, then the child regenerated to have a different body, well, Tecteun wanted to understand. So she dedicated her life to studying the child and the child's genetics. Eventually Tecteun worked it out to the level sufficient to try Regeneration on herself.

Source - BBC

This is who Tecteun became.

Tecteun was able to develop the technology enough to splice it into the Shobogans. Thus it is Tecteun who gave the Shobogans the ability to regenerate. In doing so, Tecteun made sure the Shobogans could only regenerate 12 times - hence that's where the 12-regeneration limit comes from.

However, The Timeless Child has an infinite number of regenerations available.

The Timeless Children episode is silent on who developed Time Travel

The story told in the episode glossed over the development of time travel. The story focused on the development of regeneration, instead.

Accepted Lore of The Time Lords is that time travel and other marvels of the Time Lords was developed by Rassilon and Omega. Omega was trapped in an anti-matter universe due to an accident. That left Rassilon in charge, and boy-howdy was he a tyrant.

Consider though - the episode implies that Time Travel and certain other things could also have been developed from what Tecteun found on that planet.

The towers had above them - a "gateway" that was some kind of portal into another universe.

The Master claimed that Tecteun "glimpsed the infinite" through that gateway.

Hence -- This "portal" sounds like a thingymajob The Time Lords have called The Unfettered Schism. The Tenth Doctor described that thing as a portal through which a Time Lord could see into the whole of reality. The Time Lords used this unfettered schism thing as a training tool for children going through The Time Lord Academy. The Doctor claimed that different cadets would have different responses -- and that The Master's insanity came from his reaction to viewing this schism thingy.

Since Tecteun found that portal on that distant planet - then could she have been able to replicate it on Gallifrey? Or that somehow that portal became something from which the Shobogans who developed Time Travel made the discoveries necessary to develop time travel?

The Sisterhood of Karn - and Time Lord Regeneration

The Sisterhood of Karn is a companion species to The Time Lords. Their primary ability is that they create elixirs that prolong life and can also help to shape Time Lord Regeneration.

For eons The Time Lords have come to Karn for elixirs to aid with regenerations that aren't going right.

Ergo ... was The Sisterhood originally meant to be the source of Time Lords regeneration capability?

Extending this a bit - is Tecteun associated with The Sisterhood? Where was Tecteun by the time that The Master and The Doctor were growing up on Gallifrey?

The mystery of Officer Brendan

We were randomly shown this life story of Officer Brendan. This was a child found abandoned on a lane, and taken home. The child was adopted by the people who found the child, and raised into adulthood. The child then decided to join the Irish Police Force (The Garda) and served a full life in the Garda.

It was strange why we were shown this story ...

In The Timeless Children it was made clear that Officer Brendan was actually The Timeless Child. That there was some kind of ritual they put The Timeless Child through of wiping the Child's memory from time to time - and that the whole thing was some kind of Service to The Division.

Maybe the Officer Brandon life was actually a false memory inserted to overlay events that had really happened. That instead of The Garda - The Timeless Child, a.k.a. The Doctor, worked for The Division.

How can River Song have regeneration if she was not born of Gallifreyan parents?

Regeneration is based on having Time Lord DNA. Specifically the spliced-in stuff from The Timeless Child (a.k.a. The Doctor). How did River get that DNA?

Well -- it's possible that the folks who kidnapped and trained her had access to that DNA, and spliced it in?

In the show it was said that because River Song was conceived in the time vortex, she had the necessary juju to be genetically a Time Lord.

About the Author(s)

David Herron : David Herron is a writer and software engineer focusing on the wise use of technology. He is especially interested in clean energy technologies like solar power, wind power, and electric cars. David worked for nearly 30 years in Silicon Valley on software ranging from electronic mail systems, to video streaming, to the Java programming language, and has published several books on Node.js programming and electric vehicles.