Doctor Who: Flux has so many different strands and mysteries that it’s hard to discount any fan theory. Is Swarm a secret Time Lord? Almost certainly not... but maybe? Is that the Lungbarrow house? Surely not... but we can’t rule it out! Will the Morbius Doctors turn up in the Doctor Who series finale? Almost impossible... and yet...
So whenever a new fan theory crosses our desks, we don’t dismiss it out of hand – especially when a new idea suggested by one viewer could answer all sorts of questions about the Doctor’s (Jodie Whittaker) mysterious past.
But first, a recap. In case you’d forgotten, in series 12 finale The Timeless Children it was revealed that everything the Doctor thought she know about her past was a lie. Rather than being just another Time Lord, the Doctor was born in a different place and time entirely, with an unknown background, species and homeworld before she was adopted by a Gallifreyan.
The ability to regenerate and Time Lord society in general sprung from discoveries made from the Doctor’s own physiology, leaving her own origins before that time a mystery. But what if Doctor Who: Flux is already providing some of these answers?
This one’s a long shot, but one viewer has suggested – what if Doctor Who has introduced the Doctor’s parents in new characters Vinder (Jacob Anderson) and Bel (Thaddea Graham)? You see, Bel makes a strange reference to Vinder potentially “looking different” when she sees him next, which some have taken as a potential nod to the process of regeneration and the change of appearance that goes with it (and in other words, that they're the same pre-Time Lord species the Doctor is).
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It’s a little thin as evidence, sure – but it’s an odd observation for Bel to make, and this sort of twist would help explain Vinder’s presence in the Flux storyline, which is set to continue alongside the main TARDIS team’s appearances over the next three episodes. And there’s certainly nothing in the glimpses we’ve seen of Vinder and Bel’s home planet and society to rule them out as the Doctor’s true background. Bel’s also, notably, pregnant, a fact revealed at the end of episode three.
This theory could also lay out why the Temple of Atropos plucked Vinder up alongside Yaz to try and repair it – at the moment it seems random, but if they both had a connection to the Doctor, who’d saved it once before... well, it fills in one gap.
Of course, it’s probably a bit unlikely that showrunner Chris Chibnall would reintroduce mystery to the Doctor’s background only to tritely solve it just a few episodes later by introducing her mum and dad when they were younger. But we can’t help but wonder if Vinder and Bel’s story is more important to Flux than first appeared. Watch this space (and time)...