Doctor Who series 12 finale The Timeless Children included all sorts of shocking revelations about Jodie Whittaker’s time-travelling hero the Doctor, most notably that she was the true source of the body-changing regeneration ability that was a foundation of Time Lord Society.
As it turned out the Doctor wasn’t from Gallifrey after all, Time Lord history was rewritten and she’d once been a mysterious being from another dimension nicknamed The Timeless Child, before her memories were removed and her life began anew after years of unknown adventures.
Really, there were so many surprise changes, you’d think nobody could have seen it coming – but some people actually did.
Look back through Twitter over the course of series 10 and you can see that quite a few fans predicted at least parts of the finale’s story, even if they didn’t quite put the pieces together.
Many fans had made the connection between the “Timeless” name and the Time Lord’s system of regeneration (as did RadioTimes.com, to be fair), but some went even more into specifics, almost entirely matching the revelations of the series 12 finale.
In just this small collection of tweets, quite a few fans were kicking around the Timeless Child = regeneration idea, and while not everything is nailed on – Jo Martin’s “Ruth” Doctor is apparently a few bodies down the line from the original Timeless Child – it’s a testament to Who fans’ ingenuity that they managed to spot the connection.
Still, perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised. There’s so much chat about Doctor Who online that some theories were bound to come true, and it’s no shade on the production team that some people managed to figure it out. After all, all the speculation and theorising is part of the fun!
And given just many many hundreds of thousands of tweets have been sent out into the ether about the current series of Doctor Who, it’s still a tiny proportion of people who have only partially predicted bits of the Doctor’s true history. How many other fan theory tweets are there that get it completely wrong?
As much as we wrote a piece suggesting how regeneration could be rewritten in the Timeless Child storyline, we also published a feature pondering whether the current series would resolve the “series 6B” mystery and place Jo Martin in between the Second and Third Doctors. If we’re all being honest with ourselves, we have to own our pie-in-the-sky, incorrect theories as much as the ones we got right.
Though with that said, the guy who predicted the Morbius Doctors’ canonisation in early January… genius.
We’re beginning to suspect a few of you have time machines of your own… or at least an uncle at the BBC.
Doctor Who returns to BBC One for a festive episode in late 2020/early 2021