If the Beast from Beauty and the Beast is secretly a Time Lord – as one fan convincingly argued this week – then how many more of Gallifrey’s finest might have been hiding in plain sight all these years?
In a bid to sort the Rassilons from the renegades and the Prydonians from the pretenders, we’ve rounded some of the most likely suspects and subjected them to the ultimate Time Lord Test.
But who are we missing? Let us know your own cosmic theories in the comments below…
Case for: He’s lived for many centuries and had many names, but one thing never changes: Santa’s ability to visit every house in the world in a single night. Who else but a time traveller could possibly achieve such an impossible feat? And is anyone really buying that whole chimney thing any more? Who even has a chimney these days? Clearly, he’s materialising his TARDIS in our living rooms and at the end of our beds. Plus, have you ever wondered how he fits toys for every child in the world on one sleigh? Piece of cake, actually, if it’s a dimensionally transcendental time machine. (The reindeers are real, though, obviously.)
The Eleventh Doctor claimed to be a good friend of Father Christmas – or, as he’s always known him, Jeff – and even carried a picture of himself with Santa and Albert Einstein at Frank Sinatra’s hunting lodge. Could they be old friends from way back on Gallifrey? The Ninth Doctor also hinted that he’d delivered a red bicycle to the young Rose Tyler one Christmas – was he helping his old chum with his festive rounds? Or is the Doctor a secret Santa himself? (The Twelfth Doctor and Clara came face to face with Santa a couple of Christmases back, of course, but it all turned out to be a dream. Kind of.)
Saint Nick is also an eccentric dresser, and often appears with a variety of different faces, especially in department stores and shopping malls throughout November and December.
Case against: Jeff the Time Lord doesn’t sound quite right, does it?
Time Lord rating: 10/10. Totally a Time Lord.
Case for: He’s scientific with superhuman powers of observation. He’s alien, aloof, unknowable, with little patience for trivial human concerns. He’s had many faces, and has appeared in several time periods, from Victorian England to the Second World War to the 21st century. He has a human companion, through whose eyes we view his adventures. He doesn’t have a girlfriend (or a boyfriend). He sounds a lot like the Doctor when he talks, especially in his most recent incarnation.
Case against: The Doctor has claimed on several occasions to have met Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, which suggests Holmes doesn’t actually exist. But he also met Holmes himself in the novel and audio drama All-Consuming Fire, where it was revealed that Conan Doyle had merely fictionalised the great detective’s real-life adventures.
Time Lord rating: 8/10
Case for: Despite more than 60s years of adventures On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, James Bond remains a suspiciously evergreen spy. And it’s all very well saying You Only Live Twice, but 007 has had at least six faces, each accompanied by a slightly different personality (or, in the case of his smirking, safari-suited 70s incarnation, a radically different personality.) He travels with many different companions – usually attractive women – and has a love of gadgets, including a “sonic agitator unit”. We’ve never heard it called that before.
Case against: Is ruthless, good with the ladies and a sharp dresser. If he’s a Time Lord, he’s certainly nothing like the Doctor.
Time Lord rating: 5/10