One of the greatest mysteries in Doctor Who (apart from where he gets his hair cut) is the Doctor’s age, with the titular Time Lord giving varied and contradictory accounts in both the classic and revived series.
Sure, we know Christopher Eccleston’s ninth Doctor was supposed to be 900 in the 2005 series – but then why did his seventh incarnation think he was 953? And could David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor really only have lived for 3 years, while his next incarnation (played by Matt Smith) managed another 1,000 or so?
All valid questions – but now Doctor Who fan and YouTube user TARDISArchives has done his best to answer them, tracking the Doctor’s age throughout the series and finding some interesting results.
Apparently, while the Doctor’s age seemed to progress fairly logically (based on how he assessed it at any point) in his early incarnations, it begins to get a bit hazy at around the time of Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor.
Later, Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor (who comments that he can’t quite remember how old he is) decided to reset his age to 3 years old – which might explain why, two incarnations and a Time War later, the Doctor was estimating his own age to be a lot younger than one might expect.
So, by the time of the latest series the Doctor would self-identify as around 2,100 years old – but we know he’s at least 1,000 years older than that based on previous recollections, and he could be much older again.
As the video points out though, the Doctor’s estimates of age throughout the series might be based on very different things – from the perspective of Earth calendars, Gallifrey time or how long he’s been in the Tardis, for example – and he could just be having a mid-life crisis and ageing himself down a lot of the time.
Either way, it looks like we still have a long way to go before we know how many birthday candles to put on the Twelfth Doctor’s cake this year – but it’s probably best to get a bulk order in.