Doctor Who's huge Timeless Child revelation from season 12 had enormous repercussions, particularly on the regeneration of Matt Smith and the real name of The Doctor.
Doctor Who's Timeless Child Storyline for Matt Smith's Eleventh Doctor has huge ramifications. The Timeless Child's mystery has been on Doctor Who's chessboard since the "The Ghost Monument" of season 11, where spectral rags called The Remnants reached into Jodie Whittaker's subconscious and pulled the word out of thin air, prompting widespread speculation about Chris Chibnall's first long-term arc of history. While the Timeless Child was understandably not given any further time to develop that season, it became the focal point of Doctor Who's twelfth run, which was recently concluded.
When Sacha Dhawan debuted The Master's new incarnation in "Spyfall," he immediately brought back the audience's attention to the Timeless Kid and related the storyline to his destruction of Gallifrey. The mystery deepened further with the introduction of Jo Martin as the Ruth Doctor -an unexpected regeneration of the iconic Time Lord that had never been seen before by the audience, nor by the Twelfth Doctor. Season 12 was littered with more tiny teas, but viewers would have to wait for a proper explanation until the final episode, although they definitely didn't lack the effect when the answers arrived. The Timeless Kid basically rewrites or at least imposes a new perspective on, everything we learn about Doctor Who canon. Perhaps it's to be expected for such a dramatic shift that the Timeless Child doesn't match perfectly with all that's come before. Plot holes linked to the TARDIS, River Song and Clara Oswald all come up, and the renegade status of The Doctor also changes because, as The Master puts it, it's just as rare as she feels it is. One of the Eternal Child's greatest victims though is Matt Smith's Eleventh Doctor.
What Is The Timeless Child?
The tale of the Eternal Kid dates back to the very beginning of the long history of Gallifrey, well before the world was inhabited by intergalactic snobs who traversed the period. A Gallifrey citizen by Tecteun's name was a scientist and an adventurer and set out to fly across the world in a primitive starship. On her journey, Tecteun found a child who had fallen from another planet through a portal and adopted the lost child as her own before returning home. This kid was The Doctor who soon showed those familiar regeneration powers. Curious about the genetics of her brother, Tecteun set out to experiment on The Doctor and was able to replicate the ability to regenerate into her own people, effectively creating the Time Lords as viewers know them. The Doctor was recruited into a shadowy Time Lord organization called The Division following several regenerations, and charged with interfering in historical matters. At the end of her service, the mind of The Doctor is wiped away and she is left with no idea that she is ever the Eternal Child or the creator of Time Lord society from another planet.
How The Timeless Child Affects Matt Smith's Regeneration
The number of regenerations the Time Lord performs is not necessarily a straightforward piece of Doctor Who canon, with the title character frequently muddling the waters by making comments about constantly regenerating or not understanding how many bodies remain. However, it is widely agreed that a Time Lord will be able to regenerate a total of 12 times, offering 13 different versions of the same being. If none of those lives remain, the next death of Time Lord will be a permanent one, except for special circumstances in which the leaders of Time Lord may grant a brand new cycle of regenerations and extend the life of a Gallifreyan.
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The Doctor himself reached the limit of his regeneration process much sooner than in 2013, however. While Matt Smith was theoretically only the 11th Doctor, the regeneration aborted by the Tenth Doctor after being shot by a Dalek and the banished War Doctor by John Hurt both counted towards the mark, making Smith the last of his journey. The Eleventh Doctor decided to spend his dying days defending Trenzalore's world, with his mere presence triggering a stalemate between the Time Lords and the pending reception of classic Doctor Who villains. Always aging after Time Lords, During his noble stand at Trenzalore, Matt Smith's doctor grew old and came close to death, but Clara Oswald's words persuaded the Time Lords to grant The Doctor a brand new period of regeneration, enabling him to overcome the Daleks and regenerate into Peter Capaldi. But "The Timeless Babies" confirms that the Time Lords had set the 12 regeneration limit after they stole The Doctor's ability. Therefore, as the Eternal Kid and the originator of regeneration, The Doctor should be in a position to regenerate forever, or at least have a much higher limit yet to be discovered.
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There are two possible explanations that allow the coexistence of "The Timeless Babies" and "The Doctor's Time." The Time Lords might have wanted to send The Doctor a new cycle of regeneration, but in fact, they only killed him and caused the next one, retaining the pretense that their runaway dandy was subject to the same laws as the others when he would have actually regenerated anyway. Alternatively, it is possible that The Doctor was deliberately fitted with the same 12 regeneration cap as the rest of the species as part of the memory-wiping process.
How The Timeless Child Makes The "First Question" Worse
Apart from the topic of resurrection, Doctor Who again contradicts the Matt Smith era with the "First Question." A plot thread first planted when Russell T. Davies as showrunner in the era of the Tenth Doctor, Doctor Who revealed that his hero had a birth name which only the mysterious River Song seemed to recognize, by virtue of having the married The Doctor sometime in her past (but his future). When Steven Moffat took over the reins of the Doctor Who, he kept pulling on that thread, teasing that The Doctor's real name might just be revealed. Later it emerged that the name of The Doctor in the TARDIS was crucial to the time of Matt Smith. His enemies ominously foreshadowed that "silence will break when the question is asked," and ultimately, the "question" turned out to be the Time Lords asking for the name of The Doctor as a sign that returning to the world was safe. If that name had been spoken, the Lords of Time would rise, starting another gargantuan battle. Entire religions were built around convincing The Doctor not to disclose his identity, and essentially the nickname was kept a secret, retaining the aura of mystery around The Doctor's birth name.
Since the Timeless Child Arc reveals that The Doctor is not really from Gallifrey, the sense of the real name of the character is much lower. There are a few plausible explanations, once again. On the one hand, the name of The Doctor (the one knew only to River Song) may be from the actual planet of origin of the character, from beyond the Boundary. It makes Doctor Who's mystery even more significant, but also eliminates the inherent link to the Time Lords. More likely is that The Doctor had no idea what their real name was when discovered by Tecteun, and whatever her Time Lord name is, it's just something given by the inhabitants of Gallifrey. The whole notion of "First Question" and "Silence Will Fall" means an entire letting less realizing that the "true" name of The Doctor was in fact just another title all along.
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Doctor Who Needs To Explain The Timeless Child Better
The Timeless Child announcement has unsurprisingly courted a mixed reception from viewers, with some very optimistic about the wide-open future of Doctor Who, and others disappointed that over 50 years of continuity has just been remolded. Verily, a proper decision will not become apparent until Doctor Who season 13, where the Eternal Child's full course and effect on The Doctor will begin to unravel. Whether the revised past of Doctor Who is proving a roaring success or an unmitigated disaster, however, the above
To make a success of reforming The Doctor's backstory, Chris Chibnall, and co. must first work out some of the niggles and the Matt Smith retcons are right at the top of that list. Particularly the regeneration plot hole needs to be cleaned, if not to explain the past, then pave the way for the future. If these points are not discussed in the upcoming season of Doctor Who, viewers are unlikely to jump on board with the Timeless Baby, and a new showrunner might be tempted to write out the whole thing as some sort of twisted Master PlanAlternatively, if the Timeless Kid will fit better with previous eras, some fans are expecting in the new era of imaginative freshness.-mentioned contradictions need to be resolved-and with more than just a throwaway line stating Doctor Who's continuity is not watertight, as occurred in the premiere of season 12.