Did the Ruth-Doctor guard The Timeless Child in a memory-wiped regeneration?

; Date: February 15, 2020

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

In Doctor Who Season 12, fandom is being rocked by The Master claiming something about the lie of the Timeless Child, and then the revelation of an incarnation of The Doctor that basically cannot exist, but obviously does exist. Putting two and two together to get 50 is what Doctor Who fans do all the time, so of course someone has suggested there was a Doctor regeneration stuck between the Troughton and Pertwee Doctor's, and that during that regeneration The Doctor worked for a secretive Time Lord agency trusted with guarding the secret of The Timeless Child.
Source - BBC

The theory we're talking about now comes from the video below. I think the theory is utter bullocks, but I do recognize that it is well reasoned and well presented on a YouTube channel that is very popular.

It is known that The Time Lords forced The Doctor to regenerate at the end of The War Games, the last episode of The Second Doctor's time (Patrick Troughton). Because we do not see Troughton's Doctor regenerate into Pertwee's Doctor, a theory exists that The Time Lords could have inserted one (or more?) regenerations between the two. Therefore, because The Ruth-Doctor is a previously unknown regeneration, this incarnation could have appeared between Troughton and Pertwee. And because she appeared in the context of revelations of The Timeless Child, of course she was involved with protecting that being.

To supposedly bolster the theory that The Ruth-Doctor is between Troughton and Pertwee these ideas are claimed:

  1. The TARDIS was already a Police Box by that time, making this gap a more likely place for The Ruth-Doctor than a pre-Hartnell regeneration
  2. That The Ruth-Doctor does not recognize The Sonic Screwdriver is curious, however that device wasn't always overused like it is today. While The Second Doctor invented the Sonic, he barely used it, and could possibly have decided to forget about it as The Ruth-Doctor. The Third Doctor, however, used it quite a bit.

One problem with this theory is the number of regenerations. Televised Doctor Who has shown twelve regenerations for The Doctor up to Matt Smith's Doctor. I went over the accounting for this in Smith was 13, Capaldi 14, Whittaker 15, how many regenerations does The Doctor have remaining?

To have inserted another regeneration anywhere in The Doctor's timeline would throw off the accounting. The presenter in this video claims - oh, since The Time Lords granted The Doctor a whole new regeneration cycle for Matt Smith's Doctor, they could have granted a single regeneration cycle for someone who worked as a secret time agent protecting The Timeless Child.

Okay - possibly - The BBC can insert any dialog into the series they want to make any kind of rationalization they like, and that is sure possible.

It does seem likely that The Time Lords has some secretive Division performing secret operations. In the episode we see that Gat and The Ruth-Doctor were operatives of this Division for which a name is not given in the episode. However over in Big Finish land, they've developed an organization called The Celestial Intervention Agency (a.k.a. CIA) that is a highly secretive organization performing Interventions on behalf of a power group on Gallifrey.

Thing is that The Doctor served once as the President of the Time Lords. That should have meant The Doctor would know about any official secretive agency. Is there an agency that even the President of the Council does not know about? Maybe. But that's a big claim that has no backup in televised Doctor Who.

The big hole in the theory in the attached video has to do with The Timeless Child.

It suggests that The Timeless Child was somehow hooked into the circuitry that powered Gallifrey and Time Lord technology, kind of like The Controller was wired into the circuitry of Staton Five. Further, that The Lie of the Timeless Child has to do with protecting this secret about this child wired into the circuits of Gallifrey.

This idea really does not make a bit of sense.

Clearly to generate the sort of effects that The Time Lords of Gallifrey create requires an enormous power source. In televised Doctor Who we are told that Rassilon, Omega, and The Other, worked together to capture a supernova'd star, and that supernova provided the power that drives Gallifrey. This makes sense.

Harnessing the life force of a child, as the attached video suggests, is not sufficient power for such a feat.

Where a person would be wired into a system - like how they did with The Controller - is not as the power source, but as a mind/body complex that controls a system.

If this Timeless Child were wired into anything at the heart of Gallifrey, it would be in the heart of a control system rather than the power system. Science Fiction has dozens or hundreds of such instances were people are wired into the control system of a big machine.

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.