Doctor Who fans were left stunned when, for the first time in the show's history, the Doctor "bigenerated", splitting into two rather than having the new Doctor replace the old.


But it appears this game-changing moment in 60th anniversary special The Giggle might be even more momentous than we first suspected.

In the official Doctor Who podcast, showrunner Russell T Davies suggests fan watch the BBC iPlayer in-vision commentary for The Giggle to hear "astonishing revelations about the entire lore of Doctor Who" and learn more about "the creation of the Doctorverse in the moment of that bigeneration – it’s much bigger than you think and I hope could lead to all sorts of things."

Diving into said commentary, we hear Davies explain that when David Tennant and Ncuti Gatwa split into two, "a whole timeline bigenerated".

The writer then suggests that each previous regeneration was impacted by the bigeneration, with every 'old' Doctor now surviving his demise in a splinter timeline.

More like this

"I think all of the Doctors came back to life with their individual TARDISes, the gift of the Toymaker, and they're all out there travelling round in what I'm calling a Doctor verse.

"Sylvester McCoy woke up in a drawer, in a morgue, in San Francisco… and Jon Pertwee woke up on the floor of the laboratory," he says.

"Colin Baker got up and sorted the Rani out," adds Doctor Who producer Phil Collinson.

'They all did," Davies confirms.

Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred in Tales of the TARDIS
Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred in Tales of the TARDIS BBC

These revelations follow a reference in spin-off series Tales of the TARDIS, which saw Sylvester McCoy's Seventh Doctor provide an explanation to Sophie Aldred's Ace as to his appearance, saying: "Time streams are funny things. In some, I regenerate. In others, I don't. It's all a matter of perspective."

In companion show Doctor Who Unleashed, Davies expanded on the concept of bigeneration, insisting that both the old and new Doctor are the real deal.

"Bigeneration, we discover, is an ancient myth of the Time Lords where instead of a new body taking over from the old body, the new body separates from the old body and both are left alive.

"David [Tennant] is parked. For once, we’ve got a happy Doctor who is no longer saving the universe, but is parked with Donna (Catherine Tate) for a happy life, while the Doctor – which is always the next Doctor, and that’s always true of Doctor Who, the Doctor is the next Doctor – is out amongst the stars."

Following The Giggle, then, it seems all the old Doctors survive and are out there, somewhere, in the universe, and with Davies suggesting this moment could "lead to all sorts of things", it doesn't seem like a stretch to assume we might be seeing some of them again before too long...

Doctor Who is available to watch on BBC iPlayer and on BritBox – you can sign up for a 7-day free trial here.

Check out more of our Sci-Fi coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what’s on.


Try Radio Times magazine today and get 10 issues for only £10 – subscribe now. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.