Last week's Doctor Who ended with a shocking confession from Peter Capaldi’s Doctor, with the long-imprisoned Time Lord finally revealing exactly who the prophesied “hybrid warrior” destined to destroy Gallifrey was – himself. Well, that or Maisie William's half-Mire immortal Me (his exact words: "The Hybrid destined to conquer Gallifrey and stand in its ruins...is me.")
In tonight's finale the issue was addressed further, with the Doctor accusing Me of being the hybrid and Me suggesting that the prophecy could actually refer more metaphorically to the Doctor and Clara – but not before she'd brought up an intriguing issue last seen in a little-loved 1996 TV film. Namely, could the Doctor be part-human?
Yes, we're talking about the slightly unsuccessful US/UK Doctor Who movie, which was supposed to kickstart a new run of the series but didn't quite click with audiences. However, it did introduce one key part of Doctor Who lore that may be coming into play in series nine – the idea that the Doctor isn’t entirely Time Lord.
In the film, Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor describes himself as “half-human, on [his] mother’s side”, and while this piece of continuity has largely been ignored by the series since (and explained by fans as a trick he was playing on The Master), the idea has lingered.
Why DOES the Doctor spend so much time on Earth, and why is he so pally with humans over all other species? He’s never visited any historical Ood or Abzorbaloffs that we know of, yet he’s all pally with Shakespeare, Agatha Christie and Queen Victoria. Could it be that he really is a half-human, half-Time Lord hybrid – spawned from two warrior races, as the hybrid prophecy suggested – and prefers the company of that side of his ancestry rather than the stuffy Time Lords?
After this week's episode we're not sure if the truth will ever be fully revealed, but we think the “half-human” idea makes a lot of sense – and it would totally be in head writer Steven Moffat’s nature to dredge up an old piece of continuity just to mess with us all, right?
Then again, we might be completely wrong and making a big fuss over nothing, but we’re sure you’ll forgive us. After all, we’re only human.