Do the Morbius Doctors count? It’s the question Doctor Who fans have asked themselves ever since some extra versions of the Doctor were apparently revealed in 1976’s The Brain of Morbius, with the debate raging for decades.
In the Fourth Doctor story, our hero faced the wicked Morbius in a “mind-bending” battle, during the course of which the Doctor’s past was displayed on-screen – we saw the Third Doctor, the Second, the First… then eight more faces, the so-called “Morbius Doctors”.
But who are they? Past lives of Time Lord villain Morbius or additional “secret” incarnations of the Doctor – and if the latter is true, how does that reconcile with the 13-regeneration limit established later the same year in The Deadly Assassin?
Fans had resigned themselves to getting no clear answers – until series 12 finale The Timeless Children unexpectedly reignited the discussion by implying the Morbius Doctors did exist after all, with Jodie Whittaker’s incumbent Time Lord discovering a possibility of other past lives including those less-than-familiar faces.
In this week’s RadioTimes.com Doctor Who podcast we take a look at the possible consequences of the twists seen in the 2020 series, how they relate to the classic 1970s episode and also delve a little into the behind-the-scenes details of how the Morbius Doctors came to be.
Plus, we discuss the controversy surrounding the Timeless Children’s big twists, and our thoughts on Doctor Who’s return to a mysterious backstory in future episodes.
Doctor Who: Revolution of the Daleks comes to BBC One in late 2020/early 2021 – check out what else is on with our TV Guide