; Date: Wed Jan 29 2020
In Fugitive of the Judoon, we had a Multi-Doctor story where both were Women which we hope was done for legitimate story reasons, which is cool. Not only was the story good mind-blowing Doctor Who, it gave us a Doctor incarnation that looks to be kick-ass great. But it comes at the cost of a huge question about timeline and continuity and all those other picky details that keep Doctor Who fans awake at night. Especially considering what was shown to us by the new incarnation of The Master.
In my previous blog post on Fugitive of the Judoon, I rather neglected the obvious -- this was a Multi-Doctor Story, and it was the first Multi-Doctor story where both incarnations were female. Plus it gave us the first Doctor incarnation with a non-white skin color. From the point of view of Social Justice, there are probably some fists thrusting in the air in excitement that such a significant character is being played by someone whose gender/racial status is usually prevented from playing such a significant character. But, there we have it, and while it breaks a glass ceiling does it give more room for complaints about the Social Justice Warrior side of current Doctor Who? I sure hope there is a solid reason in the story for this casting.
Instead of recognizing this first-multi-doctor-all-female thing, my previous blog post on Fugitive of the Judoon was about the timeline. Because the real news about the episode wasn't that there were two female Doctor incarnations, but the complete upending of what we understood as The Doctor's story and timeline.
In my previous blog post on Fugitive of the Judoon, I spent most of the post trying to piece together the time frame in which The Ruth-Doctor belongs. If The Ruth-Doctor were a future incarnation, then The Ruth-Doctor would remember having been Jodie's Doctor, and vice versa. But neither remember having been the other if you get what I mean.
It's possible there is a memory blockage. We do have on-screen rationale for The Doctor to have forgotten one of his/her own incarnations when The War Doctor showed up to play with The 10th and The 11th Doctors. Maybe, that is, The Ruth-Doctor forgot about being The Jodie-Doctor or vice versa? Probably not, however.
While I already went over the Doctor's timeline given this revelation of A Previously-Unknown Incarnation Of The Doctor in my previous blog post on Fugitive of the Judoon, I have some further thoughts and also wish to refer to the YouTube video below.
In my previous blog post on Fugitive of the Judoon, I made a case for The Ruth-Doctor to have predated The First Doctor. The video attached below makes it clear that cannot be the case. Primarily this has to do with the shape The TARDIS took when The Jodie-Doctor unearthed it. As the video below points out, The TARDIS that we all know as The Doctor's Home took the shape of a London Police Box in the early 1960's when The First Doctor and Susan landed in London. It is shown on-screen on numerous occasions that The Doctor stole THAT TARDIS for the purpose of running from Gallifrey with Susan, who is described as his Grand Daughter.
Therefore, going by this incontrovertible lore, This Doctor and This TARDIS must post-date The First Doctor.
That leaves us wondering - is there another gap in The Doctor's timeline where The Ruth-Doctor can fit? That is, we have seen on-screen most of the regenerations of The Doctor's timeline. If there is a previously unknown Doctor incarnation it would have to fit between two incarnations where we have not seen the regeneration. The War Doctor, for example, was able to exist because there was no televised regeneration from The 8th Doctor to The 9th Doctor.
Of the existing regenerations there are two such slots:
- 2nd Doctor to 3rd Doctor -- We do not see a direct transition from Troughton's Doctor to Pertwee's. Instead we see Troughton's Doctor being forced into regeneration, and the next season starts with Pertwee's doctor stumbling out of the TARDIS.
- War Doctor to 9th Doctor -- The attached video makes a big mistake in that while we saw The War Doctor's regeneration, we did not see the figure he regenerated into.
In both cases there is a gap in the evidence, and it's possible for the BBC to slip in another incarnation of The Doctor.
This is possible, but we know from on-screen canon that Matt Smith's Doctor was the last of the original set of incarnations. This means there cannot be another incarnation other than what has been televised, right? Unless The Time Lords did something like gift another regeneration rather than gifting a whole regeneration cycle.
The video below talks about a theory I'd never thought of. Namely in The Two Doctors we see the 2nd Doctor and Jamie on a mission from The Time Lords to deliver a warning to a group of scientists who were experimenting with time. The theory is that during the gap between The 2nd and 3rd Doctor's televised appearances, The Time Lords may have used him for missions. The 2nd Doctor was especially reluctant to have any interaction with The Time Lords. But during the gap before the regeneration into Pertwee's Doctor, possibly the 2nd Doctor had been persuaded into doing missions for The Time Lords?
Is it possible that another Doctor Incarnation happened during that time period? Maybe. Is it possible another Doctor Incarnation occurred between The War Doctor and the 9th Doctor? Maybe. We don't know yet what the BBC will eventually show us. As fans we have to decide what we think is most likely.
At the moment I'm leaning towards a completely different theory. Namely -- in Skyfall 2, The Master told us a bombshell.
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: Do you see it? It's buried deep in all our memories. In our identity.
The Master: I'd tell you more, but why would I make it easy for you. It wasn't for me.
That was revealed after The Doctor went to Gallifrey and saw that it had indeed been destroyed. The Master claims to have destroyed Gallifrey on his own.
In Fugitive of the Judoon we meet Gat who is a Time Lord who is very comfortable with the role of secret agent fighting throughout the Universe for some kind of Time Lord goal, for the Glory of Gallifrey or some such.
If this were a Big Finish story, then Gat would be an agent of The Celestial Intervention Agency. In the Big Finish canon, The C.I.A. is a secret order of Time Lords who are the same sort of person as Gat presents as being. Some kind of secret agent military persona, who is going across the universe to fight for and protect Gallifrey. The kind of interventions The C.I.A. does in Big Finish stories could easily lead to The Time War.
But this isn't Big Finish, it is televised Doctor Who on the BBC. But of course the BBC has borrowed story ideas from Big Finish before. It's certainly possible that Gat represents that sort of Agency, and that some incarnation of The Doctor got roped into working for that Agency.
But that still doesn't explain where The Ruth-Doctor fits. Unless this lie that The Master told us about has something to do with this?
The Doctor we know would not get involved with such an Agency. Maybe that's why The Ruth-Doctor is on the run and was hiding?
In any case what if this lie we were told by The Master also means there is a parallel set of lives going on?