Editorial John Hurt cast in Doctor Who's 50th anniversary

Published on May 18th, 2013 | by Christian Cawley

How Leaks Are Spoiling Doctor Who’s 50th [SPOILERS]

As you will have seen in this evening’s Doctor Who, one of the big spoilery rumours of fandom has been confirmed. The Name of the Doctor revealed that John Hurt is the Doctor.

The question, of course, is which one?

John Hurt cast in Doctor Who's 50th anniversary

We’re not going to go into that here, however. The point is, a massive spoiler for this episode was revealed weeks ago, one that has massive ramifications both for the production team’s future ability to keep these things under wraps, and for the series’ 50th anniversary episode.

Whether you enjoyed the series finale or not, the effect of this leak cannot be overstated. The on-screen graphics that accompanied the reveal underline the importance Hurt’s presence in the finale was to have.

The press hasn’t helped, of course, with innocent questions receiving well worded answers in some quarters and out and out mischief being conducted in others.

Recently John Hurt revealed to the Eastern Daily Press that he “plays “part of the Doctor” in a “kind of trinity” which includes David Tennant,” – something that could quite easily have meant anything, especially given previous mentions and uses of the concept of a trinity in Doctor Who.

However, The Sun later claimed that

John will play the real Ninth Doctor. Christopher Eccleston has always been thought of as the Ninth Doctor but now that John has been revealed as the Ninth Doctor, it shuffles Eccleston’s Doctor to be the Tenth Time Lord, Tennant the 11th and Smith the 12th.


The reason the Doctor has forgotten his ninth incarnation will become clear but it’s to do with the Time War and his shame over his behaviour in it.

When the rumour was printed, fans took it with a massive dose of salt. Now, however, it seems as though the tabloid newspaper was correct.

Who is John Hurt playing in the Doctor Who 50th anniversary?

Comparative spoilers can considered. The return of Rose Tyler in Partners in Crime, the return of the Daleks in Bad Wolf and later in Army of Ghosts, even Davros in The Stolen Earth were mostly kept from fans.

In fact, if John Hurt really is playing the actual ninth incarnation of the one we call the Doctor, it perhaps suggests an unlucky number for the Time Lord and the show. Genuine Ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston disappointed fans of the revamped show by quitting after one series; his departure was also revealed in the press, resulting in a potentially spectacular ending being ruined.

Something similar has happened here, with Hurt’s presence in the finale revealed only to those with premature DVDs, those who read the spoilers and anyone who has put in a lot of thought as to how The Name of the Doctor might turn out.

More importantly, if the true identity of the Doctor’s secret has been revealed so blatantly in the press so early, what other 50th anniversary secrets might yet be yielded in the name of selling papers?

Russell T Davies never had such a bad problem with leaks as Steven Moffat has had. Perhaps it is time to do something about it.

Please be warned that comments below may contain spoilers.


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About the Author


A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

295 Responses to How Leaks Are Spoiling Doctor Who’s 50th [SPOILERS]

  1. avatar Gary says:

    “Perhaps it is time to do something about it.”

    because that has worked so well for other movies and tv shows?

    • avatar Mark says:

      I would love to buy this as a spoiler but what if just for one second it is a planned spoiler. WE fans would be forced to make our own story line for which doctor this guy will be. I don’t think It has anything to do with which or how. Since i have been re following the show “from the old days.” I have found that every time I think I have it figured out they throw a twist and smash all my ideas in the space of 1 hour.

      The Doctor has had one over arcing beam through all his faces, he has always been upset at himself for being a “coward” and locking up gallifray in a time “bubble” therefore, as with anyone he has one very large piece of baggage that he as been carrying around for 9000+ years, give or take 1000 for the time war. Could this be the first doctor or doctor Zero? This could be used to explain how one can carry the baggage for years, and how one learns to displace the baggage and move on with their life.

      • avatar Mr. McFly says:

        I have the same trouble with guessing then having my theory smashed. Though it doesn’t ruin the episode for me like it does for some people (for some weird reason). So far, in the entire new series, I can only think of two things I have guessed correctly: The astronaut was River Song, and the Whispermen were basically copies of the Great Intelligence.

      • avatar IZ3820 says:

        Two things:

        The doctor was roughly 1100 at the end of season 6, and the time war occurred AFTER the eighth doctor.

        • avatar reno says:

          scroll down to issue 5 and you’ll find out that the eighth doctor was in the time war and how it was sealed by him. Therefore the time war occurred DURING the eighth doctor. I know this isn’t technically cannon but there is nothing to counter this

          • avatar Janise says:

            Also, the 9th Doctor hadn’t even looked in a mirror yet in “Rose” So it was pretty clear he was a spankin’ new incarnation, not an incarnation that fought all the way through the Time War, but probably incarnated on the tail end of it, or right after, depending on how long the war had been over by that episode.

          • avatar Marxx says:

            the 8th doctor also said he was Half human so he isnt a very reliable source of info :P

        • avatar undefined says:

          well, maybe, when he was the ninth doctor, the Time War was so harsh on him that he couldn’t take it anymore and he had to do something that his other carnations would forever regret. sooooooo I think you might be on to something!! :)

      • avatar lee says:

        he has not always been a coward the time war happened between the 8th doctor and ninth doctor, i think. this doctor will possibly be the 9th doctor making ecclestein(sorry if spelt wrong) the 10th and tennant the 11th and so on. this doctor will be the one that has condemned his people and committed crimes so severe that he was no longer called the doctor

        • avatar Jbuggerz says:

          well you may be right but maybe John Hurt was in an episode but no one saw him

          • avatar Robyn Broughton says:


        • avatar dr. who lover says:

          i agree, but in” the name of the doctor”smith says hurt gave away the name. And i am so angered that it is continued in 6 months! I mean who is going to wait that long?

          • All of us.

            You see, we have no choice…

      • avatar DarthDread says:

        Well as a fan of the original series im going to say this doctor is most likely the evil incarnation of the doctor known as the vaneyard. By the way what the heck does doctor 0 mean the first doctor was known by Theata Sigma by friends and he actually had grandchildren if i remember correctly he was 110 years of age there is no possibility of him being the first doctor or doctor zero because the other time lords were still around and would have known which would had most definatly been told in a story arc in the 27 years that it ran originally.

        • Doctor 0 would be the original body before first regeneration. We are lead to believe this would be Hartnell, and notice that Hartnell’s picture is the one always used when he gets ID’d. This would also potentially be the only time the Doctor would age naturally since 10 says “I don’t age, I regenerate.” If Hartnell is 0 then all the later numbers work out by counting Hurt as 8. -shrug- I can’t wait to see what they tell us! :-)

      • avatar Ryangtgt says:


      • avatar Killer Butt says:

        Maybe it’s DOCTOR 13!!!! jk I know thay isn’t possible.

        • It IS possible. In “The Five Doctors” the Master was offered a full new cycle of regenerations in return for his assisting the Doctors

    • avatar Bill Storie says:

      One thing I’ve learned is that no matter how I try to second-guess Moffat he always comes up with something I didn’t think of but here goes:
      John Hurt’s Doctor says: “What I did, I did without choice, in the name of peace and sanity.”, suggesting that he ended the Time War . Eccleston’s Doctor says (regarding the Daleks) something along the lines of “I saw them all burn…I caused them to burn!” (haven’t had time to look up the exact quote but you get the gist) so logically the Time War Doctor is the one who “broke the promise” – he killed deliberately instead of saving lives – and if we add to that the fact that we never see the 8th/9th regeneration it suggests to me that Hurt is playing the 8th Doctor (McGann) who has become aged and scarred by his experiences in the Time War and thus now looks much older and ragged. Look closely – there is more than a passing resemblance between the two actors and McGann has played the Doctor for longer than any other actor (via the audio adventures but I believe they are still accepted as canon) so it all makes sense to me – but as usual I’m sure the “Grand Moff” will manage to pull the rug from under my feet as usual!!

      • avatar Bill Storie says:

        addendum – just noticed that the clothing John Hurt is wearing in the pic above bears more than a passing resemblance to the leather jacket and shoulder bag which McGann sported a few years ago as “his” Doctor’s “new look” – I think he was in New Zealand at the time – I’m sure someone will be able to pinpoint the relevant photographs. Could this have been a prelude to the 50th??? We do know that Moffat likes long-term plans…

        • avatar Bill Storie says:

          Addending my addendum – check out the cravat and waistcoat that Hurt is wearing in the above pic – look familiar anyone? There’s even what looks like the chain of a stopwatch hanging across the front – a bit ragged and battered with age but looks like McGann’s original clothing with the leather jacket on top…or am I just seeing things in me old age??

          • avatar Jamalam says:

            He definitely won’t be old McGann; they would’ve just cast McGann if that was their intended purpose. I’m guessing he’s the true ninth incarnation. However, he’s not the ninth ‘Doctor’ because, as Smith says: “I said he was ME, I didn’t say he was the Doctor”. His actions during the time war were necessary but horrific, causing the John Hurt incarnation to be unworthy of the Doctor title. So, ninth face, but not a Doctor; so Smith is still the eleventh Doctor but is the twelfth incarnation, if that makes any sense?

          • avatar Agnes says:

            I saw that too, and it makes perfect sense. “The Doctor who time forgot” or “The Doctor Who time forgot”, as it were…

          • avatar Brendan says:

            i don’t wont john hurt to be the doctor i want matt smith back to be the doctor

      • avatar aps says:

        its the thing that makes the most sense. if they waste a regen on a geust actor i’m not going to be happy.

      • avatar zarbisupremo says:

        Have you had your eyes tested recently ? There isn’t even a remote resemblance between Paul McGann and John Hurt.

      • avatar Stephen in the name of The doctor Barton says:

        He couldn’t be an aged Mcgann because Clara had seen all the incarnations and didn’t recognise him. If they wanted to use an aged Mcgann they could just use Mcgann who has aged since the 90s (as have the rest of us). I hope that Mcgann is included somehow though.

    • avatar Synergy says:

      What about a situation like the Valeyard… which was supposed to be an evil incarnation of the Doctor between his 12th and 13th regeneration?
      “There is some evil in all of us, Doctor – even you. The Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say you do not improve with age.”
      The Master to the Sixth Doctor, The Trial of a Time Lord: The Ultimate Foe

    • avatar DrSigma42 says:

      I would love it if the writers said, “Wait! The forth doctor is actually #42 truly thousands of years old and all Doctors minus 1,6,10 and 11 are actually from future points in history! Who said time lines were relevant to us!”
      That would be an amazing plot twist. As long as there is no Doctor Who: The Time Wars spin off coming, I don’t mind having my bubble burst.

      • avatar Brendan says:

        i think matt smith was thee best i am sorry for matt smith leing doctor who he was brilent so will john hurt .

    • Perhaps it is time to do something about your momma!
      Because that works well for me!!!!! ;)

      • avatar Wayne says:

        Truly the only thing that limits the Doctor is sadly the writers….think of it this way : how many times can the Doctor fight the same foes , Daeleks etc before the series itself must regenerate? and where will the left over energy from that regeneration manifest itself?

      • avatar dr. who lover says:

        haha. very funny. NOT

  2. avatar Koth says:

    This episode was very well executed. I went looking for spoilers and what I found basically came to fruition. However, if the fact that John Hurt is the real 9th Doctor I will stop watching completely as Moffatt will have spoiled everything I want Doctor Who to be. His overarcing stories have been almost great apart from the incomplete execution and his failure to deliver a good payoff. Ok so his time is taken up with the more successful Sherlock, but Who has been around longer than his version of Sherlock.
    If John Hurt is the 8th, cool. He has had a long life during the War and aged badly. But if he’s really the 9th Matts Doctor will really be the 12th, which means his next, and last, year will be looking for a way to regenerate. Moffatt has wasted time between stories on adventures we havent seen, including a few hundred years during series 6 before his ‘death’ at the hands of an astronaut. Moffatt now decides to slot a regeneration in during the Time War who is darker than the 7th with a liking to facial hair and we wont get to see any more of him on screen than we did Paul McGann.
    Its one rumour I hope is not true.
    And, by the way did anyone else feen ‘Name’ slightly resembled some aspects of the novel ‘Time’s Champion’ by Craig Hinton and Chris McKeon?

    • avatar Zarius says:

      ROFL, that proves you were never a true fan if you stop watching because you fear a new idea. I will remain as loyal as ever

      • avatar Koth says:

        I am all for thinking out of the box but the only thing that has been spoilt for me is my 35 years of fannish dedication.

        • avatar Fudgesicles says:

          Why not just think inside the box? It is bigger on the inside.

        • avatar Spider-pope says:

          Isn’t it a bit early to judge? What if he is the 9th incarnation of The Doctor but it turns out to be a brilliant story? I can understand your doubts, because believe me you aren’t the only one concerned about how this is pulled off, but abandoning the show before it even airs is premature at best.

          • avatar OWENapALAN says:

            I believe Koth does not intend to abandon it before it airs Spider-pope. He appears to state that rewriting or discounting much of what he loved would be intolerable.
            During the Doctor’s long absence from TV there were a variety of brilliant novels (and not terrible ones) and I know a dozen old fans that feel that Moffat has not honoured this work. The other criticism from the older fans I have heard, that maybe Koth agrees with, is that Moffat is a one trick pony; that is the Doctor is a fool, must be saved by the human while in some type of horror genre.
            Personally I feel that if Moffat looks at some of the paradox ideas in the novels (and some old episodes) the Doctor could have broken the laws of time. The Valeyard is but one example of an anomaly as the Master stated it occurred “between” his twelfth and thirteenth regeneration. This would also explain the “temporal scar tissue” in Name.

        • avatar dr. who lover says:


    • I feel that at least adding 200 years means that 11 got to live a long life. Comparatively, 9 and 10 lived for about 1 and 6 years respectively, in a Time Lord’s life of now ~1200 years. RTD was far too specific with the Doctor’s age (I’m 903 years old). Moffat has been much more vague.

      • avatar Anna says:

        The age of the Doctor is irrelevant.
        “The thing I keep banging on about is that he doesn’t know what age he is. He’s lying. How could he know, unless he’s marking it on a wall? He could be 8,000 years old, he could be a million. He has no clue. The calendar will give him no clues.” -Moffat
        Obviously, there is no way for a time traveler to keep track of his own time because he doesn’t move through linear time like everyone else. When Moffat keeps writing that the Doctor is 902 or 1200 or whatever, he’s emphasizing how much the Doctor doesn’t know how old he is. He’s just throwing out numbers because he can’t give an accurate one.

        • avatar Drad says:

          Well the passage of time within the Tardis itself seems pretty consistent, so its not inconceivable that it could simply have its own internal clock for him to keep a pretty good estimate by

        • avatar Leslie says:

          Are we talking Earth years or Gallifreyian years? It’s all in how a year is defined – here on Earth it takes 365 days to travel around our Sun – and a day is 24 hours – it’s all perspective.

          • avatar raphidae says:

            Well, pick any. Earth years, Gallifreyian years or how atom clocks register time by counting vibrations of atoms.

            I am approximately 8986863900460320000 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium 133 atom old.

            This property of that atom is the same in the whole universe and at all times (excluding the couple milliseconds of hyperinflation after the big bang and after the atoms cease to exist due to heat death of the universe).

            It can be converted to any other system and back with a simple formula, in Earth years I am 31, in Mars years I am 16.47.

            I don’t see any reason why the Doctor shouldn’t be able to count elapsed time, linearly. Sure he travels through time and such, so he doesn’t appear too linear to everyone else. But surely he himself perceives time linear and his live experienced consecutively

          • avatar Afinaby361 says:

            And them it resets with Big Bang 2

        • avatar DarthDread says:

          Could the Doctor not have some form of quantom clock that measured his movement in time and converted them into days or years.

        • avatar cham says:

          I thought that was the whole point of his watch?

          • avatar dr. who lover says:

            Yeah. Me , too.

        • avatar Glavy says:

          That’s rubbish. He just needs to keep a bit of paper somewhere. Every time he wakes up after a night’s sleep he can make a mark on it. Then count them up and that’s how old he is in days! Then divide by whatever year-length you want. Assuming he has done that, or the Tardis could do him the favour of remembering it for him.

          In fact the Tardis has been with him nearly all the time, in the same time-zone, passing time at the same rate. So if the Tardis has a temporal odometer, an up-time meter, like many computers have, he can just use that to keep track of how long since he nicked the Tardis. Add that to his age at the time, 110 apparently, bob’s yer uncle!

      • avatar DeviantlyD says:

        But remember, the whole big bang happened and the universe was reset, so none of that actually has to happen any longer.

      • avatar dr. who lover says:

        By the way, he was 906.

    • avatar Whovian8 says:

      I heard that John Hurt is like a half regeneration, like 8.5, don’t know if its true, but someone doing a review said he never used all of the regeneration energy during the time war, or something like that.

      • avatar Saywut says:

        A review of what? The 50th literally just finished filming, at the most there would be a completely rough draft. What could he possibly have reviewed that would reveal that?

    • avatar Mark C says:

      The doctor has no regeneration limitation. This is TV show, the writers will work around any theoretical limit, its not REAL.

      Hurt is not the Ninth ‘Doctor’ but is it seems the Ninth incarnation of the Time Lord who calls himself ‘Doctor’. he renounced the name because of his actions, and when regenerating into Eccleston took it up again.

      • avatar Angela J says:

        I think your idea is the most plausible! and I can see it happening. I really hope this is what it is.

        • avatar Mike B says:

          YES! mark c nailed it. in the episode with the master in season 4 i think, he says that he picked up the title Doctor because it meant the one who helps people. But maybe when the doctor was john hurt during the time war he killed everyone who was fighting, including the timelords. He was ashamed of himself, and wanted to run away from his problems so regenerated to start on a clean slate and not ruin the name of the 9th doctor, then disregarding the regeneration altogether as we found out in the name of the doctor. so as i said this new ninth doctor, a sort of 9.5 (eccleston) called himself the doctor again and went to earth, found rose, etc…

          • avatar Mr. Fitz says:

            There’s a Tom Baker episode (Deadly Assassin?) as well as the Doctor Who film with Paul McGann in which it’s clearly stated that a time lord’s regenerations are limited to twelve.

          • Fitz – yeah, but do you really think the BBC would let the show fall to where it has no choice but to either A: Be cancelled after Smith’s successor, or B: run with Smith’s successor until he’s too old for the role?

            I don’t think they’d let it get that far. They’ll work around it, otherwise the show is dead.

          • avatar Deparsis says:

            Fitz – According to http://drwho.answers.wikia.com/wiki/How_many_times_has_the_master_regenerated the master has regerated more than 12 times.

            also http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/Regeneration states under “regeneration cycle” that there is exceptions to the rule. reading this there have been many ways in which regeneration could be written out. As long as BBC are making money i don’t think we need to worry about a 12 regen limit.

            With the partial regeneration the doctor has already had perhaps it’s possible he has reached the limit or exceeded it.

          • avatar JoeSnow says:

            Deparsis, did you even read what you linked to? The Master regenerated more than 12 times because he has had more than one body. The Doctor, as far as we know, is still using his original body that he was born into so once he hits 12 regenerations with that body it’s over for him. No more after that.

          • avatar Traveler Who says:

            ***Plausible Spoilers galore***

            I have a theory that ”could” satisfy everyone (though lets be honest, us whovians are never happy because we are a fanatic bunch as these disscussions up here have once more proven)

            You have all discarded the fact that both Clara and the Doctor have jumped into his time stream.

            If I was showrunner (which I obviously am not), I would have the 11th (or, theoretically the 12th or 11.5) chase Clara through time and space from his very first to current incarnation. As hinted by the finale’s general feal.

            MEANING: They could spend years remaking all of the amazing episodes from old who, while it being entirely different because it would be seen through 11th and Clara’s eyes. He could, for example, have to pretend to be human and spy on his grand daughter susan (Unearthly child) so as to discover a sci-fiey mystery a la Nu-Who. He could revisit the time-war, his 8th and or 9th incarnation lived through. He could get lost in a certain previous periode of his own time-line and his tardis could break down because of it.
            There are SOOO many possibilities.


            1. fans of 11 could watch him in action for YEARS to come (which would explain why Smith himself says he has no idea if he will be there after the 50th)

            2. Fans of old who would be able to watch re interpretations of old who with amazing effects

            3. John Hurt CAN be the 9th, making Smith the before last, because WHO CARES they can take another 15 years before they get there for all we know.

            4. They could explore the concept of meeting his last regeneration, they could even make Hurt go dark because he knows his evil Valeyard incarnation is neigh (because he met him)

            Moffat said ”The Name of the Doctor” woud change who history. If I am right, that is a more than accurate statement.
            They could do just about anything with the Time Stream Story line

            All that to say: I agree with most people up here, Hurt is the forgotten 9th regeneration, but NOT the 9th Doctor.
            Making Smith the 11th Doctor and 12th Regeneartion at the same time
            Meaning we have 1 final regeneration left.
            I would hate for Moffat or any futur writer to cop out and say that the 13 regenearations was not cannon… It wouldn’t make sense and would be an insult to old Whostory (see what I did there?)

            Last thought to think about:
            What if the 9th, Hurt, regeneration decides to steal a bunch of time lord’s regenerations as a master plan to be strong enough to defeat the Daleks. That would be the only acceptable way to counter the 13 regeneartion limit IMHO.

      • avatar Michael says:

        The Doctor has no regeneration limitation because he is the first time lord, which makes him Rassilon. He’s got a daughter, he’s got a granddaughter (Susan). He’s got Donna who’s kind of part-timelord. He’s pretty much fathering the time lord race all by himself one entanglement at a time.

        • As fan theories go, this is me of the most confused and nonsensical I’ve ever read…

        • What a load of rubbish! Where do you get that he is the first time lord? How is he Rassilon. The time war killed/sealed off all the timelords which must include his timelord relations, (Mother, father, children, grandchildren etc) Donna is human. Utter tosh!!!

        • avatar DarthDread says:

          in the episode the 3 doctors the time lod named Omega was the creator of time lord and thus the first time lord. the time lords became the time lord due to their exposure to the time stream.

          • avatar DarthDread says:

            Time Lord*

        • avatar Afinaby361 says:

          Has everyone forgotten River Song gave him all her regenerations?

      • avatar JoeSnow says:

        That is incorrect. Time Lords DO have limits to their regenerative capability because the Master used up all his regenerations once and was left with a scarred and broken body with not much time left to live. He tried to steal the Doctor’s remaining regenerations so that he could regenerate again.

    • avatar Sam Fagin says:

      You’re still working off a tabloid story, which is likely as not meaningless.

      Wasted time? There have been HUNDREDS of years we haven’t seen across the entire series. Hell, the first Doctor was an old man before we ever saw him. The 4th Doctor said he was 400 years old. You’re just being picky about it.

      Almost none of the big complaints about Moffatt have been legit because people react based on assumptions of things yet to happen. I saw people screaming “I DON’T WANT TO KNOW THE DOCTOR’S NAME!” as if that was ever going to happen. Moffatt isn’t perfect, but be realistic. Neither was RTD. People pissed and moaned incessantly about what he was doing until he left the show and his writing, particularly at the end, was sloppy as hell.

      How about not freaking out about something that hasn’t happened and just try to enjoy the ride.

      Incidentally, the 13 regeneration thing was passingly mentioned during the original series and retconned out by Smith’s appearance on Sarah Jane Adventures. In that episode, the Doctor said he could regenerate as much as he liked. On top of that, the Master has regenerated HOW many times now? The number of regenerations is completely irrelevant.

      • avatar Louis D says:

        About SJA, the Doctor does lie or maybe whoever wrote that forgot about the 13 regenerations. Although, maybe this is a clue about something that will happen or has happened like the secret John Hurt Doctor. It’s less risky if they don’t know about each other so that could work.

        • avatar Tim says:

          It was written by Davies

          • …as a joke. He stated that he didn’t expect it to stick.

        • avatar bobbymcc says:

          “The Doctor does lie”
          Isn’t it then possible he lied about only being able to regenerate 12 times as well?

      • avatar mark says:

        russel t davis actually admited that he didn’t intend that to be taken seriously and that the 12 regeneration limit (13 bodies limit) would remain, mostly because some thing’s are made cannon and some aren’t, for instance the third doctor said he was thousand’s of year’s old but it wasn’t taken into the cannon (RTD’s word’s), also i spoke to doctor who comic book writer tony lee at london mcm expo and asked him about this after the SJA episode went out and he said that it wasn’t true it was just the doctor saying “screw you clide”. put simply, THE DOCTOR LIE’S, AND RTD CONFUSES PEOPLE.

        • avatar Allan says:

          Also, the Ood said, when DT regenerated, the ‘song is ending now. But the story never ends.’ Which to me sounds like he never dies. Loved the name of the doctor, really did, just a thought…

      • avatar yalensis says:

        In “The Deadly Assassin” (Doc #4), it was stated very clearly that a TimeLord only gets 12 regenerations (and 13 lives). The Master had used up all of his and was on the verge of extinction. Hence the Master’s return to Gallifrey and his elaborate hare-brained scheme to capture the black hole (the “Eye of Harmony”) which dwelled beneath the Panopticon, in order to harvest its energy to reboot himself with a second series of regenerations. In which he mostly succeeds, and this explains why the Master ended up with a new set of lives.

        If Matt Smith is indeed the 12th regeneration, then The Doctor is almost done. UNLESS he can perform a feat similar to what the Master did. And why not, since he has the actual Eye of Harmony now harnessed to his Tardis?

        • avatar Durs says:

          Yep, but then in The Five Doctors the Timelords offer The Master an entirely new set of regenerations, making me suspect that if they can GIVE regenerations to people then they may well have been imposing a twelve regeneration limit.
          Without the Timelords there to impose it, The Doctor could regenerate forever… that’s my theory until the show explains something anyway :P
          In anycase, we all know it’s not a problem -they’ll find a way around it. :)

          • avatar P.F. Bruns says:

            My theory is that the Doctor’s available regeneration capacity in his universe is directly proportional to the advertising revenue taken in by his show in ours. ;)

        • avatar zarbisupremo says:

          The Master got a new set of lives at the end of The Deadly Assassin ? Have you watched that story, or his next appearance in The Keeper Of Traken ? If he got a new set of regenerations, why would he tell the Doctor that he was nearing the end of his 12th regeneration and why would he need to take over a new body ?

      • avatar Michael says:

        The show has revealed the Doctor’s name on several occasions. Dax (Drax?) mentioned it in talking to Tom Baker’s Doctor and River wrote it on the wall in the message to the Doctor — the oldest written message ever. Supposedly it also appeared in the Three Doctors episode but I haven’t gone back and checked that.

        • you guys know, of course, that there is a way for this to imply that TEN/David (who is now Eleven if we are right) is the LAST Doctor we see. Smith’s Doctor may be an aberration. Remember ho dramatic the Tenth’s departure was? What if everything actually ended there, and there is a time-space bubble happening around the current DW events concerning Smith’s Doctor? That may have been the True FALL OF THE ELEVENTH, or the moment in Waters of Mars where Ten went coo-coo for cocoacopyrights.

          But now Clara saved him, continuously… that timeline may be dissolved, or sealed… oooo, curiouser nad curiouser.

    • avatar Jennifer says:

      Oh, they’ve got a built-in dodge around the thirteen-incarnation limit. Remember when River gave her Time Lord capabilities to the Doctor to save his life? They could always just say that she gave him up to thirteen new regenerations.

      • avatar Losh Loshan says:

        That was because she was human+timelord… Not a proper timelord.

    • avatar Koty says:

      If it’s really that upsetting to you, stop being a fan. No one will be upset by the loss.

      • avatar Gareth Kavanagh says:

        That’s a little snitty.

    • avatar DrSigma42 says:

      Ahh… The blood of the self righteous false Whovians seem to be boiling. Don’t forget, Hurt let the spoiler out not Moffatt, so blame Hurt. In fact, Mr. hurt only admitted to be an incarnation… the notion of him being the true 9th is only internet rumor and speculation. If he is the 9th, one must take in to account that our Hero is a Time Traveler and expecting the show to follow an actual linear time line progressing forward and not be able to accept the very concept of time fluidity in the way we watch simply out of convenience is absurd. Also Hurts Doctor may also be another manifestation similar to the Dream Lord… open minds only allowed here friends!
      Furthermore how dare you pretend to be the slightest put out or upset by plot leaks when you went digging for them online. I will review spoilers for other shows and movies but refuse and go out of the way to avoid them when they involve the Doctor. So please sir, your opinion is noted whether it was drawn from fact or not and I beg you to be a little more open minded and factual in your next posted review.
      Either that or get used to true fans describing where you can stick your Sonic Screwdriver replica…
      PS the Doctor may no longer limited to 12 regenerations… Talk amongst ya’selves!

      • avatar Koth says:

        Spoilers dont bother my enjoyment of the show. Bad writing does, and I did mention the episode was well written, better than other series finales. I’m not a hater of This show, just the sloppy writing and plotholes.

      • avatar theLastDoctor says:

        Look. The 8th doctor had only one heart. Hurts doctor might only have one also. So in a way he could be doctor 8.v1 and doctor 8.v2

        • The 8th doctor had two hearts. The first one had only one.

        • avatar zarbisupremo says:

          You haven’t seen the TV movie, have you ? The only time that the 8th Doctor had one heart was during a storyline in the BBC books. One of his hearts had to be removed, but he eventually grew a new one.

          • I believe the First Doctor only had one heart too.

    • avatar Gray says:

      Obviously you haven’t been keeping up with Doctor Who news at all. BBC announced a while ago that the Doctor is simply immortal now.

      • avatar pfusco says:

        So he truly is god now :)

    • avatar Kale says:

      I agree. Moffat is killing Doctor Who. Its not the same…Chris E. will forever be the proper 9th Doctor. If John Hurt is to be a Doctor, make him an older version of the last (very last) Doctor. The story line as it is when Russel did it, was fantastic. I like Matt a lot, but Moffat…christ…he’s gotten away from what it means to write Doctor Who. Most likely why they brought in another writer to co-write with him as the head writer. Everyone remember the iDaleks? Or Mac Daleks? No more of those please. Weeping Angels were cool…until they got Angel Bob in the mix. The whole Amy Pond thing. A turn off. I love the old series and the new. However, my faith in Moffat’s writing style waivers when it comes to Doctor Who. While brilliant at Sherlock, he lacks that spark in Doctor Who.

    • avatar Bill Storie says:

      Can’t be certain where i learned this but wasn’t it established in the past that the limit of 13 regenerations was self-imposed by the Time Lords as a race because they are basically able to regenerate indefinitely (as a counter to the race being rendered sterile by the Curse of Pythia) but to avoid stagnation the High Council decreed no more than 13 were allowed. Remember, Gallifrians aren’t born in the same way as humans are, they are “Loomed” from existing genetic material as this was found to be the only way the race could continue ‘way back in the early days before our good Doctor was ever “loomed/born”.

      • avatar tren87 says:

        That’s the Lungbarrow backstory that was going to be added to classic series 27th season, but the show was canceled after season 26. They did write the story into a novel, but it was never made into actually canon. Series 3 of the revival disproved the loom birth by showing the master as a child on Galifrey, and there have always been references of the doctor as a boy through the classic and new series.

        • avatar Kory Stephens says:

          There is no canon

        • avatar Bill Storie says:

          I know that technically you’re right and that the Lungbarrow story is not canon but I think this is a special case because Lungbarrow is not just another non-canon novel – had there been a 27th/28th etc season then the Lunbarrow story this is what Andrew Cartmel had intended to appear onscreen as the Doctor’s true established origin story. The appearances of the Doctor and the Master as “boys” does throw a fly in the ointment I agree as TimeLords are loomed as full adults but – going from memory here so I may be wrong – isn’t a newly loomed TimeLord’s mind still basically that of a newborn, thus requiring the intensive training that is described in the story? In that respect, maybe the Doctor saw himself as still a child mentally speaking? You know how they like to play with words in the series (eg his secret is discovered/ his grave is discovered). OK – grasping at straws there I’ll admit but I’d like to think that most of the Lungbarrow elements could one day become canon as it’s the best explanation for the Doctor’s origins that I’ve seen and it does also tie into the backstory of “The Other” and the possibility that the Doctor’s genetic material may have some human dna in it as per the McGann movie.

          • Looms are not canon. The series has shown the Doctor’s cradle. You can say all you want, too, that there is no canon, but the truth is, if you’ve seen it on your screen, it’s canon. If you’ve gotten it anywhere else, it isn’t. Show > Spinoff material, in terms of canonicity.

          • I would disagree that it works like this.

            Basically, there is no canon – there is only what works. For instance in The Three Doctors the Time Lords new who the DOctor was and were all-powerful, if stifled by Omega’s power drain. 3 years later they had forgotten the Doctor and were impotent politicians, playing out i, Claudius in space. Certainly what’s on TV shouldn’t have any hierarchy over what isn’t on TV.

            I spoke to Paul Cornell once on this very matter. I don’t have a recording, but I do have this blog post, in which he puts forward a superb argument against canon. http://www.paulcornell.com/2007/02/canonicity-in-doctor-who.html

      • avatar Ghosty Goo says:

        Very well observed! I also point this out to people who worry about the approaching “end” to The Doctor’s regenerations. Further proof of this can be gleaned from Romana II’s (played by Lalla Ward) regeneration episode in The Destiny of The Daleks. Romana is seen trying out several appearances before finally deciding on her body/face/outfit. This definitely tells us that, at least, Time Ladies can regenerate not only at will but also as many times as they like. It is therefore possible, i think, that the 13 limitation is a cultural limitation and not a physical one and that Romana was either being a little flippant with the rules or that the rule is not imposed on females.

        • avatar DarthDread says:

          Then why did the Master become the degenerate master? Do Please explain why an evil mastermind would willingly impose decay on himself AND then try to get more reincarnation cycles by creating an elaborate plan to steal more reincarnations? HMMMM?

          • The Master was decayed because he attempted to cling onto life. As a renegade we wasn’t entitled to a new cycle of regenerations until offered them in The Five Doctors.

            Hardly rocket science, HMMM?

          • avatar Bill Storie says:

            Quite right Christian – also, the Time Lords would be unlikely to impose a regeneration limit without having some way to enforce it. This is why the Doctor is effectively now immortal – or at least capable of more than 13 regenerations – no more Timelords, no more enforced limit.

        • avatar Traveler Who says:

          As response to the Romana issue, discussed and debated by whovians all over, I believe it can be explained by the moment 10 controled how much of his regenerative energy went out to heal his hand. He did not fully regenerate at that moment, instead used regenerative energy. Simillarly River used up all of her regenerative energy to heal the doctor. She didn’t give him her regeneartions. Therefore Romana used part of her regenerative ability to change her appearance until she had the one she liked, before adopting it completely. I don’t have a quote but I believe 10 said something about having a certain ammount of time before his regeneration could be fully completed.
          All of these things are not coincidences. For all their timey wimey mistakes, RDT and Moffat like to explain away previous mistakes with jokes and random new facts.

      • avatar zarbisupremo says:

        The whole loom thing was cooked up to placate Doctor Who fans who couldn’t countenance the idea that Time Lords might have sex especially when they themselves weren’t getting any.

    • avatar Hope says:

      There is already a way for him to regenerate. River gave him her regenerations to save him. Potentially that means he has another 8 or 9 to go!

    • avatar Zickton says:

      You forget that the Time Lords gave the Time Lords fighting in the Time War a new full set of regenerations.

  3. The 12th Doctor isn’t the last in any version of continuity. If the Doctor can only regenerate 12 times (something I believe the Time War fixed) then he still has 13 lives.

    A very famous blunder in the TVM (watch Paul McGann’s lips say 12 while the voice says 13 in Grace’s house) underlines this.

    • avatar rosie says:

      it was over written in the childrens series ‘The Sarah Jane Adventures’
      and also, in a way by River, “Rule 1, The doctor lies”

      • I think it’s clear in “Sarah Jane” he was just giving the kid an answer to shut him up.

      • avatar Jamie says:

        Actually the reference from TSJA was covered in an interview. That was never meant to be an actual answer, but was just The Doctor being flippant.

      • avatar Pharap says:

        The Sarah Jane Adventures line was a joke. The Doctor was trying to be funny.
        It is however possible to obtain new regenerations, the Master once said he was given a new set of life cycles in exchange for helping the Timelords.

    • avatar amanda says:

      and look at the fact didn’t river song give him all her re-generations, so he had a shit load lol

  4. avatar Russ says:

    My head is all,over the place, I’m thinking hurt is eight grown old. As I mentioned on another post, the dr had amnesia and was placed on earth for a hundred years while the tardis had to heal itself. I just don’t want to see the end of this wonderful show and I know it won’t end anytime soon, I just want the beeb to say that, then I won’t care what they do with the show in terms of storyline. As Christian has said there are ways around the 13 rule so I’m not panicking about what number hurt is yet!
    Sorry for rambling just trying to work all the questions out.

  5. avatar vortexter says:

    Unless Dr Who is filmed in a closed studio all the time then leaks are very much a way of life now. And aren’t we the worst for looking for spoilers ourselves? If there was no demand for leaks then the spoilers wouldn’t release these things. I was lucky enough to see Rose being filmed outside Howells in Cardiff and I took my 35mm camera with me. As I loitered around and the big red bus pulled up outside Hendricks department store I spotted RTD by the cameras. I said hello and asked if it was alright to stay and watch and he said ‘Fine! Just don’t get in front of the cameras’ and he was very cordial. The Sun reporter who stormed up behind during filming with a gold Dalek and demanding photos of Billie Piper was a different matter though as they were very invasive and not interested in reporting on filming but getting the latest scoop..
    Look at the fans with the last episode released early. Very well behaved. Newspapers? Publish and be damned!

    • avatar Alexander says:

      When you look back in time at the historical Doctor then you will realise that no matter what happens the doctor can always be re-invented, as many times as you wish. So as a Doctor Who fan from the Tom Baker era I was especially happy to see such a prominent and well seasoned actor as John Hurt step up. I cant believe it..so exited and well done to the casting. It could only be John Hurt or actors long past such as Alec Guinness…

    • avatar Agnes says:

      I like spoilers.

  6. avatar Lee Robertson says:

    I am a huge Doctor Who fan and I managed to avoid any spoilers, this episode (In The Name Of The Doctor) was, in the words of the 10th Doctor (or will that be 11th?) Absolutely fantastic!

    • avatar Whovian says:

      That is, the Ninth/Tenth? Doctor. Ten’s catchphrase was Allons-y.

    • avatar Agnes says:

      Fantastic was 9th’s expression.

  7. avatar twinghost27 says:

    to be fair its science fiction, you can come up with ANYTHING to say his regenerations have reset and he is back to 1, we will just continue past 14 onwards to help remember which is which, look at the master…… same story, hes not gone is he?

    • avatar striker says:

      one thought i had was when river poured all her regenerations into the doctor to save him from the poison (cant remember the episode) that could have cause him to reset his regenerations. would like to see david tennets master back though he just did the role so well

      • avatar Earle says:

        Lets Kill Hitler! How can one forget that is also when Amy finds her best friend was also her daughter.

  8. Just seen the ending and I am stunned. 9th or the one to come? 9th makes no sense to me at all and just destroys, or seems to, what has gone so well before. We will just have to wait and see I suppose, but wherever John Hurt is, you can guarantee it is going to be good; better than we have seen in this series anyway.

    • avatar Mark C says:

      Its not that hard, the Doctor did explain it. “The Doctor” is a name that this unnamed Gallifreyan chose for himself. In that name is a promise, a promise to heal. One of his incarnations committed acts that meant he was unfit to bear the name ‘Doctor’, hence Smith saying more or less ‘he is ME, but he’s not ‘the Doctor’. hence Smith is playing the twelfth incarnation of the Time Lord, but only the Eleventh considered fit to bear the name ‘Doctor’. the obvious place for the ‘missing’ incarnation to fit is between McGann and Eccleston, making Hurt the Ninth incarnation, who ended the Time war with twin genoicides.

      • avatar Curt says:

        Thank You!
        I’ve been thinking this very same thing for the last 45 minutes.

  9. avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

    To be fair, The Moff managed to keep Clara’s appearance in Asylum Of The Daleks a secret so don’t dare say only RTD could keep a secret! I really don’t think any of us should jump to any premature conclusions regarding the anniversary special. I absolutely loved this episode. Appearances from all the original Doctors – FAB! Though i did find it hard to spot McGann on first viewing. LOVED HARTNELL’S APPEARANCE! I am absolutely looking forward to November 23rd. I look forward to whatever The Moff has planned for us.

    • avatar francis cave says:

      So you saw McGann in it?

      Please tell me where, I couldn’t see him anywhere!!

      • The Eighth Doctor runs in front of Clara in the park scene, just before the Second Doctor in his big coat does the same in the opposite direction. It’s just a glimpse of one second, but it’s actually him.

        • avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

          I assumed it was the 9th Doctor who ran passed in the opposite direction?

  10. avatar dforce1969 says:

    The Doctor absorbed rivers unused 8 regenerations when she healed him during “lets kill hitler”

    • avatar star says:

      Yes but the doctor gave one back in angels take manhatten to river.

  11. avatar Jonathan Macho says:

    To be fair, The Sun’s news have already been proven false by the episode- their source claims that the 10th and 11th Doctor’s need to clarify John Hurt’s identity, when 11 clearly knows who he is. Not to mention that we have no idea what incarnation John Hurt is.
    The Sun’s stuff was conjecture, as it always has been. Didn’t it tip us off to a sex mad cyber fiend a few years back? Nonsense. We should stop them making stuff up before we stop these ‘leaks’ from imaginary sources.

    • avatar Yogibo says:

      Weren’t they also the ones reporting Matt Smith was leaving during the Christmas Special, even though it’s been confirmed he’s staying for series 8?

  12. avatar Becca says:

    He isn’t any of the Doctors in the sense if 9 10 or 11. If you listen to what 11 says to Clara he actually explains it. Hurt is the Doctor but isn’t at the same time. He is the part of the Doctor that doesn’t live up to the title he has given himself, he is the selfish part, the part that doesn’t want to help. Hurt is the “real” Doctor as in the man without the title. How he comes to be in the real world rather than inside the Doctor’s mind is a mystery that will be revealed in November. Why anyone believes anything the sun prints is beyond me. Chill out people, he is no more the next/previous Doctor than David Morrisey was.

    • “I did what I had to do in the name of peace and sanity”

      Sounds like the Time War.

      The Hurt Doctor is the “greatest secret” – he isn’t part of the Doctor, going by the dialogue he IS the Doctor…

      • avatar Phil Strange says:

        I agree with Christian.

        The way that Matt Smith’s Doctor was talking, he knew who John Hurt’s Doctor was.

        Also, Clara mentioned only seeing 10 other incarnations. If John Hurt was a later incarnation, then why didn’t we see flashes of other possible regenerations.

        • avatar vortexter says:

          There is a gap between the 10th and 11th Doctors with a blanked out face in ‘Nightmare in Silver’. ..But I think he is the Dr but one who is blanked out from memory due to the stress of what happened so possibly he is the Dr after the 8th.

          • avatar Koth says:

            It was actually a regeneration between 10 and 11 so that could have hidden a missing incarnation.

    • avatar Ben Rhodes says:

      So, the Valeyard, or the Dream Lord
      I really do hope he’s the Valeyard

  13. avatar No, 8 says:

    Has it occurred to anyone that Hurt is playing the part of an older 8th Doctor, the role originally played by Paul McGann? We never saw the regeneration from McGann to Eccleston, and it was the 8th Doctor who committed “genocide” during the time war.

    • The Doctor doesn’t age during his regenerations. He regenerates to a particular age and stays there. River hinted that she could adjust her age in “Let’s Kill Hitler,” which would explain why she aged from a child to an adult as Mels, but The Doctor may lack that ability.

      • avatar Cyber Axe says:

        Wrong the doctor does age, look at William Hartnell, do you expect him to come out of his mother like that? he was several hundred years old, timelords just age much slower, also the fact that every past incarnation of the doctor has aged in the 5 doctors, 3 doctors and 2 doctors, and if you’re argument is that regenerations after that don’t age here’s some more, if that were true the master wouldn’t have been able to speed up his ageing process with the lazer screw driver, also if timelords didn’t age then the master wouldn’t have been at extreme old age in The Deadly Assassin.

      • avatar P.F. Bruns says:

        I have to disagree. Time Lords do age, though far more slowly; Lord President Borusa is about to regenerate due to age at the beginning of “The Five Doctors.”

    • avatar Gareth Kavanagh says:

      Actually, you don’t know it’s the 8th Doctor who does that in the Time War. Or the ninth come to that.

      • avatar Jake says:

        The 9th Doctor is freshly regenerated in the first episode of series 1. He looks in the mirror and realizes how his new body looks.

  14. avatar Tyler says:

    I know Eccelston isn’t appearing. But it’d be great if John Hurt did turn out to be an old version of the eighy doctor, he could regenerate into the ninth doctor in the aniversary special.

  15. avatar TimeChaser says:

    The way I’m understanding it from the dialogue, Hurt is set apart. He is not the Doctor because of what he did under a different name. Or, perhaps he is a future incarnation sometime around the creation of the Valeyard. Remember, the Valeyard was finally name-checked for the first time in the new series in this episode.

    I think the people who say that they will stop watching the series if its revealed he’s the ‘true’ Ninth Doctor are being incredibly silly.

    • avatar Koth says:

      No. Its one Moffatt mess to far.

      • avatar TimeChaser says:

        You’re jumping to massive conclusions before we’ve even seen the anniversary special. Give it a rest.

      • I believe that would be “too”.

      • avatar pfusco says:

        Why do you even bother to watch? If you cant get it out of your pre- conceived head that what you want the show to be is not what you get, then just stop watching it? Find something else to natter on.

    • avatar John Smith says:

      Clara says to the Doctor “you’re the 11th Doctor”. Based on what Matt Smith says that could be true and at the same time the rumours of Hurt being placed between McGann and Ecclestone could also be true. “He broke the promise”, “not in the name of the doctor”.

      It’s possible that Matt Smith is indeed the 11th ‘Doctor’ but the 12th incarnation of our favourite Gallifreyan.

  16. He could just as easily be the same generation as McGann, excepting that he lived long enough to actually grow old. After all, Harnell’s generation lived long enough to appear to be in his sixties.

  17. avatar JJJ says:

    Anyone think it could be the 9ish Dr a.k.a. ‘shalka doctor’.?
    Yes I know it was R.E.Grant that played this Dr number 9ish,he could be just an older version.
    Dr 9ish was originally an official Dr until the new tv series was announced.
    Wouldn’t adding Dr 9ish back into continuity be a treat for the the 50th? Plus explains Chris ‘angry Dr’ really being angry at himself for whatever terrible thing he did as his predecessor (9ish)- needing to regenerate into Chris so as not to see the face of Dr 9ish and allows himself the luxury of blotting out how bad the Dr can be….almost as bad as The Master,Rani and the timelords of the time war.
    Just a thought………

  18. avatar Cyber Axe says:

    Bah you call yourself Doctor Who Fans, no one has yet mentioned the following, first if this is an unknown doctor regen such as the real 9th (also possibly a pre-Hartnell incarnation) that means that Matt Smith is 12 and that his regeneration to 13 will be “problematic” and result in the creation of the Valeyard (who was mentioned by the great intelligence btw) and then we’ll have an interesting and exciting antagonist for the 13th doctor, also lets just go with the doctor only having 13 Regens, one way this could be explained is that when river gave up her remaining regeneration that basically topped up the doctors and she was only on like her 5th, though we also know that the Timelords have some way to give extra regens as in the master however i believe they just created him a new Timelord body and that gave him more.

    Plus we still need to know what caused the Tardis explosion, (that voice you hear that creates the first tear inside the Tardis does sound like it could be The Great Intelligence)

    I’m still hoping we see the mission regeneration scenes which can be done, and it would also rock if the 50th anniversay resulted in teh restoration of galifrey, its also possible that Omega has been involvved all along with the 11th doctor enemies as the silence had a large amount of Omega Symbols darted around, but only time will tell.

    • avatar P.F. Bruns says:

      Now that the Time Lord society is no more, the restriction on regenerations may also be gone, regardless of what Davies said later.

      And yes, we do call ourselves fans. I would venture to say any attempt by someone else to suggest otherwise would fall on deaf ears.

  19. avatar Kev says:

    I have read a selection of feedbacks from fans and I think the idea of an older Dr no. 8 is plausible. However if he is an older Doctor eg: 11 plus 10 equals….. (21st Doctor maybe… discuss?).

  20. avatar Tom says:

    First of all it was an epic finale with a brilliant cliffhanger, however I personally hope that they don’t try and bridge the gap between the 8th and 9th Doctors by making John Hurt an earlier incarnation of the doctor who was involved in the time war, although this would be an amazing story line it would be hard to explain how the ramifications of John Hurts actions as the doctor (revealing his name) have not had a profound effect on his later incarnations (Smith and Tennent) as the big secret has already been revealed thus making the whole 50th anniversary an anti-climax as in the doctor’s world he’s aged about 500 years since his 8th and 9th regenerations. I hope that Hurt is a later incarnation of the doctor most likely the last before he dies and ends up at trenzalore

    • avatar Michael says:

      Umm… the Doctor’s name has been revealed before. Check out the message from River Song to the Doctor. The oldest message in the Universe? She wrote his name on it. I’m not writing it here though. Spoilers.

  21. avatar Mark says:

    All the circumstantial evidence points to John Hurt being the eighth regeneration and so ninth incarnation of the character otherwise known as The Doctor (which still makes Smith the eleventh as in ‘Fall of the Eleventh [Regeneration]‘ or 12th incarnation).

    And it’s likely to be John Hurt’s version of the character who somehow meddles with the Doctor’s timeline requiring Smith and Tennant to team up to stop him. Note the Dalek in The Pandorica Opens saying: “Only the Doctor can fly the Tardis” right after ‘someone’ takes control of the Tardis which River is flying (and a voice someone else has conjectured sounds like John Hurt declares, menacingly, “Silence Will Fall”). Watching this sequence again earlier tonight to check to see if the voice sounded like Hurt I was struck by the Dalek’s comment that rather too conveniently appeared immediately after River lost control of the Tardis to a mysterious outside force. Of course, ONLY the Doctor can fly the Tardis (or companions he’s shown how and authorised the Tardis to allow such as River)…Hurt, as the same character otherwise known as the Doctor, could fly the Tardis too (and would very likely know some means to take control of the vessel in another part of his own timeline).

    And then, compare Ecclestone’s leather jacket here:

    With the one Hurt was wearing on location filming for the 50th special here:

    They’re the same jacket, adding force to the suggestion Hurt regenerates into Ecclestone.

    • avatar Mark says:

      Another possible foreshadowing of this is the Emperor in Nightmare in Silver…When, lamenting the fact he had to kill the inhabitants of an entire galaxy to annihilate the upgradable-version Cybermen threat so as to save the rest of the universe, he says: “I feel like a monster sometimes…Because instead of mourning a billion trillion dead people, I just feel sorry for the poor bloke that had to press the button to blow it all up.”

      Is the Doctor perhaps not also in the same boat. He had to commit genocide, by ‘pressing the button’ in the form of ‘The Moment’ (and including against his own people, becoming the ‘killer of his kind’) and is this the thing that bugs him: he feels sorry for himself more than for all those he was forced to kill (‘in the name of peace and sanity’)?

      • avatar Mark says:

        …and an action none of his other incarnations could have brought themselves to do (c.f. what Smith’s Doctor says to Hurt’s incarnation; Baker’s Doctor in ‘Genesis of the Daleks’ unable to destroy the Dalek embryos – and against the very Time Lord arch-foe which becomes their nemesis in the Time War)…

        • avatar Mark says:

          …and another inkling of this from The Beast Below:

          “Look, three options: One, I let the Star Whale continue, in unendurable agony for hundreds more years; Two, I kill everyone on this ship; Three, I murder a beautiful, innocent creature as painlessly as I can. And then, I… I FIND A NEW NAME, BECAUSE I WON’T BE THE DOCTOR ANYMORE.” [emphasis added]

          • avatar Mark says:

            One reason I don’t think Hurt is the First incarnation (predating Hartnell) is that when the Doctor gave himself up to the Time Lords at the end of War Games in Troughton’s day he was put on trial for stealing a Tardis and then ‘interfering’ in the lives/history of other species in time and space. If he’d done something far worse than this – so terrible as to constitute, say, being a time and space war criminal, then he’d have been executed (witness what the Time Lords did to the Master in the TV movie).

            What we don’t know is the full extent of his actions in the Time War. He put an end to the Time Lords and, he thought, Daleks in one fell swoop. But was it worse than this (i.e. was it simply ‘pushing a button’ or was it something else which involved actions that would make, say, Davros creating the Daleks, seem like a picnic)? I always saw this exchange at the culmination of The End of Time Part 2:

            The Doctor: You weren’t there. In the final days of the war. You never saw what was born. But if the time lock’s broken then everything is coming through. Not just the Daleks, but the Star of Degradations. The Horde of Travesties. The Nightmare Child. The Could-Have-Been King with his army of Meanwhiles and Neverweres. The war turned into hell! And that’s what you’ve opened. Right above the Earth. Hell is descending.
            The Master: My kind of world.
            The Doctor: Just listen! ‘Cause even the Time Lords can’t survive that.

            …as signifying that the Time Lords had thrown all caution to the wind and come up with all manner of temporal genetic horrors to win the war but it had got out of control and they couldn’t survive it (or the Daleks had – or they and the Daleks had tried to out-create each other in the horrible mutated nasty things department and thrown such things at each other in the name of victory) and so contemplated the Final Sanction. That is, they’d come up with all these horrible creations to use as weapons against the Daleks (or they and the Daleks had) but it had gotten out of hand and threatened their own survival. The only way out was the Final Sanction, prompting the Doctor to use the Moment to destroy them and (he imagined) the Daleks. But what if it was the Doctor who created all these horrible things? What if the Moment was the Moment he created these things, stopping the Final Sanction from being enacted because it was the unleashing of hell in “the final days of the war” by the Doctor himself that led to the genocide of his own people and the Daleks?

            The other thing I find fascinating is the issue of personal responsibility – one can ask how the Doctor, who typically, wouldn’t want to render a giant space whale brain dead (The Beast Below) even though he might argue the ends justify the means, could live with himself. In that episode he indicates killing the whale would mean he would have given up his promise to be this cosmic force for healing and positive transformation and good. BUT, Smith’s Doctor WAS prepared to do it nevertheless because, until the resolution presented itself (care of Amy), he was left “without choice” to save the humans on the spaceship (ends justifying the means but rendering him no longer the Doctor in terms of identity/promise).

            Note also that Amy chooses the FORGET button option on Starship UK to save the Doctor making such an awful choice. In the Time War he likely has no such figure doing this, no such figure stopping him doing “the worst thing [he'll] ever do” and neither does he have such a figure to see another solution/perspective as Amy does (when she realises they can stop torturing the whale and it’ll continue flying the ship).

            We have the speech Amy then gives noting the parallels between the whale and doctor being the last of their kind and how they are driven to interfere in the affairs of others because of empathy, in not being able to watch children crying and suffering (in contrast to the decision to wilfully harm another creature in the name of good – but which would not be in the name of the Doctor).

            Similarly, the Doctor is faced with murdering Rassilon or the Master in The End of Time, something he will do to save the universe (he’s conflicted over the choice and wavers over it as well as over who he will shoot) until the mysterious Time Lady (his mother) points to the machinery that is affecting the telepathic link allowing the Time Lords to escape the time lock (i.e. giving him an option other than murder, shooting this out instead of either Rassilon or the Master).

            There was no way out of such a decision in the Time War.

            One other thing I’ve thought since the earlier posts is that Hurt MIGHT be an older McGann because the Doctor, in The Beast Below, effectively says that he can cease being The Doctor if he goes through with an action contrary to his identity/promise. Hence, he is the Doctor up to that moment but no longer once he has made the choice to act contrary to his identity/promise.

            McGann with short hair, developing moustache and beard and in his new unofficial costume (2010)

            …could, theoretically, be a younger version of the man we see at the end of The Name of the Doctor in the guise of John Hurt (similar longer, thinner faces). The Doctor would count McGann’s incarnation up to ‘The Moment’ as one of his ‘Doctor’ incarnations but the post-Moment McGann (as played by Hurt given this incarnation is, perhaps, much older – though how to explain this as Smith’s Doctor looks exactly the same after 200 years in The Impossible Astronaut?…the ‘ravages of the Time War, possibly), the post-Moment McGann/Hurt is no longer the Doctor (as defined by Smith and, indeed, all the other Doctors before, if they could see their future, and after). Perhaps the Moment was also the moment where the Doctor, in his McGann/Hurt incarnation ceased to be the Doctor?

            And in terms of living with this terrible thing he did, Tennant’s incarnation, in his chat with Wilfred notes: “I can still die. If I’m killed before regeneration then I’m dead. Even then. Even if I change, it feels like dying. Everything I am dies. Some new man goes sauntering away. And I’m dead.”

            And so everything Hurt was, his whole non-Doctor identity (whether a new incarnation or simply the older, Time War-ravaged version of McGann’s Doctor who loses that identity in one particular Moment of Ends Justify The Means), ‘dies’ when he regenerates into Ecclestone. The truth about this has haunted the Doctor since but it was, in a sense, an action of ‘another’ man?

  22. avatar Jack Powell says:

    john hurt is probably the 9th doctor but in the last episode matt smith said not in the name of the doctor so i believe that the doctor doesnt count him as one of the 11 good doctor he regenerated into

  23. avatar Spagettios says:

    Wow this is complicated…. I just finished watching it and it looks like he is part of the doctor, but yet set apart. He did things under a different name that was pretty bad so the doctor is now just “the doctor”

  24. I’m still wondering if we’ll ever see the doctor’s daughter Jenny again? Certainly she could regenerate too, and have her shoes filled by any number of actresses.

    Who cares if there’s a new Doctor 9ish, 8.2, Doctor Eleventy-six, Doctor Pi, or any other nother number. The Doctor is a flexible work of fantasy, and due its wondrous flexibility, all sorts of interesting, likable and even un-likable things can happen over the course of the series.

    The whole series fell out of fashion for awhile, and is now back with 9, 10, 11, and whatever John Hurt is going to be. It’ll likely eventually fall out of fashion again, and who knows, get got reborn again?

    Enjoy it for what you like about it, and enjoy it for what you dislike about it, as for now, at least, it’s around for you to get new material to like and dislike. Enjoy it while it lasts. :)

    • avatar TDS says:

      For your first question, maybe we already have…
      (See the last 2 “Jenny Flint Images” at the bottom of the page)

  25. Just saying, the master was offered a whole new set of regenerations in “The Five doctors” by the ruling counsel of Galifrey. which means that there are ways to add more regenerations to a time lord.based on that The Doctor should be able to regenerate more than 12 times if he is able to gain more regenerations.

  26. avatar Pete says:

    Remember in The End of Time how even Rassilon had been resurrected, as had te Master, and the elderly Time Lady’s death scene even mentions how the Time Lords have been stuck in a hell cycle of endless death and resurrections. Ths Hurt Doctor (grin) could be one of MANY Time War fractured incarnations – even Clara, a mere human was fractured in this story, and Vastra explains how the Doctors history is being rewritten and the consequences . Surely its inevitable that the Doctors darker side that spawns the Valeyard has more than me trick up his capacious sleeves to become part of real history? Plenty of room for exploring the concept in a series as richly diverse as Who whilst also keeping our Who safe. Relax and at least give it a chance peeps! :-)

  27. avatar Leo says:

    Maybe John Hurt is the first doctor?

  28. avatar KT says:

    I’m thinking he’s the incarnation durring the Time War. The one who pushed the button. It’d fall right in the timeline just before Eccleston. War can turn us into very different people and maybe this regeneration decided that the war didn’t need a “Doctor”. Fans number the incarnations. I don’t think the doctor ever really says how many he’s been. That’s always been the beauty of it. We have no idea what he’s done in the centuries we don’t see on screen.

  29. It’s great to see John Hurt in Doctor Who, I don’t care where he fits into the mythology , and I hadn’t been paying any attention to spoilers, I think this second part of series 7 has been fantastic. Well done to all the production team, one of the best times to watch this show I reckon. All of the guests have been good and Clara is very welcome as an assistant, not at all annoying i think.

  30. avatar jezika says:

    What about the 10th doctors part human part time lord self (doctor donna) that was selfish and ran off to another dimension to grow old with Rose Tyler? No one seems to remember him.

    • avatar Agnes says:

      He also committed genocide, and could not technically be called The Doctor.

    • avatar John Hurt says:

      well technically he wassnt selfish. When DT brought Rose back there he gave her doctor-donna because he was human and had the same memmories so he would be an exact human copy so Rose and his love for each other could go on normally.

  31. avatar Eleanor says:

    Well, the Doctor also used a bunch of his regeneration energy on fixing River in “Let’s Kill Hitler”. So he theoretically doesn’t have exactly enough energy to regenererate even one more time, much less two.

  32. avatar Jordan Williams says:

    When river used all of her ‘remaining regenerations’ to save the doctor from death, couldn’t that possibly given moffit any bright ideas on any amount of regenerations that he may now have? Just a thought.

    • avatar Chris B says:

      Just a bit of a brain fart on the matter of the doctir’s regenerations – maybe 13 regenerations was a limit.imposed by the time lords, and now they’re no longer in the mix, as it were, the cap has been lifted, and the doctor can regenerate as much as he likes… Well needs to.

      • avatar Krakow says:

        Sounds like a fair idea, but how would they recharge them? I don’t understand…

  33. avatar clockcycle says:

    River Song gave The Doctor all her lives/re generations to save him, so if there was “12″ lives/re generations, doesn’t the 11th/12th Doctor now have 12/11/10 more lives? hmmm…

  34. avatar Doc-Oc says:

    total shot in the dark here, due to the massively overlapping story arcs could it be possible that hurt, or a rendition of what hurt represents, is the dream master that messes with the doctor in series 5? paraphrasing the episode the Doctor revealed that “the ‘Dream Lord’ was a manifestation of his own dark impulses, manifested by a psychic projection” – could hurt play the goings on of dark impulses of the doctor’s mind in other situations?

  35. avatar alex says:

    wait- what if this doctor refused to regenerate, and changed from McGann to Eccleston and then went back in time to save himself: therfore diverging his time line, 1 half being eccleston and 1 half being Hurt, who is hidden away. Thus this explains why Smith is mad at him. BOO YAH

  36. avatar Kilroy says:

    John Hurt’s “Doctor” may not even exist any more – he might have been a Doctor who never was, like Clara’s leaf evokes. Perhaps he existed during the Last Great Time War and was removed from history by all the timey-wimey tampering that comes with that. He could also be the 12th Doctor, destined to create the Valeyard. He could be the Valeyard (note: he is the Doctor, but not “the name of the Doctor”).

  37. avatar Linh Nguyën says:

    I think we’re reading way too much into what 11 said. My take is that he simply means that a “doctor” is somehow to heals and gives life. Hurt’s Doctor failed to do that by ways of genocides and isn’t considered by 11 to be the “Doctor”.

  38. avatar nvlawyer says:

    What did the Doctor say when he was writhing on the ground? I need to go watch it again — especially the end. The information came too fast. The fore shadowing is being laid.

  39. avatar Hannah says:

    Is it just me who feels cheated with this episode though? I find this a lot with Moffat now, that the revelations aren’t as good as they could be (the only one I found satisfactory was the revelation of River Song’s identity in ‘A Good Man Goes to War’). I got the impression that we were actually going to find out the Doctor’s name in this one but that didn’t happen.

    • avatar Tim says:

      His name is “The Doctor”

    • avatar Agnes says:

      Hannah, there are no words to describe your lack of thought process.

  40. avatar Pharap says:

    I can think of several possibilities.

    As for if he is technically a regeneration, I think it’s also possible he’s the doctor before his first regeneration. The Doctor before he took his new title, giving up his own name in order to repent for whatever dreadful sin he committed whilst on Gallifrey.

    It’s also possible that doctor is the Valeyard or that he was the Doctor in the Time war when he was acting as a soldier rather than a traveller, and at the moment he ended the war, he choose to do so not in his name as the Doctor, but in his original name: the name given to him by the Gallifreyans. Thus instead of it being ‘The Doctor’ who ended the war, it would be the doctor using his given name as an act of defiance, so the timelords in charge would know it was not ‘The Doctor’ (a renegade wanderer who claims only the tardis as his home) who stopped them, but ‘realname’ – one of their own, a creation of Gallifrey.

    Just some theories.

    “and then I find a new name, because I won’t be The Doctor any more”-The Beast Below~

  41. avatar Sean B says:

    John Hurt is the doctor before he called himself the doctor. It only suggests that if someone knew the Doctor’s real name then they would also know his shame in the time war and why he became the Doctor without a name. His shame so great that it is buried alive in the deepest darkest area of the TARDIS. It’s always been suggested that even the Silence was waiting for the only question to be answered. The question LOL Doctor WHO?????? In November we will know how John Hurt’s Doctor fits in

  42. avatar Brian says:

    Hurt is the manifestation of all the evil things the Doctor has done. Everything he did that contradicted being The Doctor given life.

  43. avatar Steve Mann says:

    I hate spoilers so much that I even turn off th episode during the end credits so I don’t know hat the nec one is about.

    Occasionally I have come up with some complete rubbish to try and throw people off, so here is my attempt at this one. His incarnation of the doctor was employed to do the voice over for the AIDS advert and he fluffed his lines so much that he was forced to sit in a car at the next election and urge people to vote.

    Can anyone come up with worse?

  44. they’ve done something like this once before with the Fourth Doctor: he fell from the Pharos Project radio telescope in Logopolis during an altercation with the Master and was assisted in the regeneration by a mysterious “in-between” incarnation identified as “The Watcher”.

  45. avatar Mark L says:

    I think Moffat’s fixation on spoilers is a reflection of the problems with Moffat’s writing during his time as showrunner. The plot was decent. Nice nostalgic moments with the earlier Doctors, John Hurt’s role was intriguing and the idea of Trenzalore being the Doctor’s gravesite was definitely interesting. But Moffat’s writing has been getting sloppy ever since that Narnia episode. A well-written show shouldn’t have to rely on gimmicks and plot-twists to keep viewers interested.

  46. avatar lozzer says:

    The first speculation I saw about Hurts character was on this very site. It was hard to escape after that – I personally felt the ending was ruined, it was what I expected, and what had be alluded to through visiting several sites – Doctor Who TV, Bleeding Cool (they love giving stuff away), SFX, Den Of Geek and your good selves. I know everyone wants to be the first to report the new stories, but I think in future there needs to be a level of measured information. I certainly won’t even be reading episode previews in future, I don’t look at the extra trailers or set pictures anyway, yet still, I knew exactly what was going to happen because It had be alluded to. A shame. It’s time to reign in these sites I think – too much of a good thing.

    • Apologies if you felt we spoiled it for you, Lozzer.

      We certainly didn’t intend to and have little interest in being “first to report” on anything – examining the details and giving our opinion on them has always been our way (simply becuase when we started out it was impossible to get anything before any of the then-established sites).

      However, if information – spoilers or otherwise – is published in the mainstream media, it becomes public domain. A news site would look pretty silly if it ignored Doctor Who news that was sitting in every newspaper in the country…

      • avatar lozzer says:

        Hi Christian, I don’t think your site spoiled it. I think your site is one of the more sensitive sites out there, probably my favourite. I just said I first heard rumours about John Hurt on here. I actually think he site that actually more or less relieved it was Bleeding Cool – I might be wrong, but somewhere it was alluded that John Hurts identity would be relieved at the end of the episode – and that was before you even click on to read the story – which i didn’t.

        • That’s a relief!

          Thanks for the kind words too :)

  47. avatar Tyler says:

    If Matt’s Doctor is the 12th there would still be a Doctor after him, due to the fact that a Time Lord gets 12 regenerations meaning 13 Doctors. So It would be the next Doctor who would worry about dying, but as some one who watched all of the original 26 series the time line doesn’t really make much sense if John Hurt is the ninth Doctor. First off for starters the eighth Doctor locked Galifrey In the Time Lock meaning even if there was a doctor right after him, He wouldn’t of dealt with the Time War at all. Also for those people who think John could be the true first Doctor, and did something causing the Doctor to forget about him, stop going by his real name and start going by the Doctor. I don’t even recognize you as a true fan, because if you were you would know that Time Lords only go by there real name till around the age of five at which point they chose there name(the Doctor chose “The Doctor”) that is tradition. Also the first Doctor wrote a Diary of his first 500 years of life which disproves the theory of John being the true first doctor. Then there are those of you who think John could be the Valeyard, but then the Doctor wouldn’t of known who he was. Now that I’ve addressed the main theory’s, The only logical Doctor John hurt could be is the eighth Doctor. the one who ended The Last Great Time War.

    • avatar prhodan says:

      OK. Based on dialogue, and official character pics. think it would be safe to assume that Hurt is the aged McGann iteration of the Doctor. Eccleston’s iteration definitely has some problems haunting him; actually all the Doctors of the new series have said something about the time war, and what it did to them.
      The End of Time gives us a look at a war torn and morally bent Gallifrey and the Doctor tells the Master of how Gallifrey changed.
      Both Eccleston and Smith say they ended the war by killing both sides… actually, in The Doctor’s Wife, Smith replies to a taunt, …”Fear me. I killed them (the Time Lords) all.”
      In truth, I am just waiting to see how this plays out on November 23rd.

  48. avatar Alec Katsourakis says:

    Remember in ‘Lets Kill Hitler’? HE DIED but then River gave him all of her regeneration energy, which means he can regenerate at least another 10 times. And he is a time traveller, how is he supposed to keep track of his age?!
    And as for Hurts Doctor, remember The Master in the 2005 series? He had that watch which made him forget about the time war, perhaps he has something to do with that? And isn’t the Time War under a Time Lock?

    I think this comment raised more questions than answers.

    • avatar Kadoosh says:

      that wil bel a fob watch. The master didnt forget about the time war , he was resurrected by the time lords during the war to be used as a weapon but he ran away. he used the fob watch to become human and he hid from the time lords wnd he happened to think the safest place was at the end of the universe!

  49. avatar Tommygun264 says:

    I think far too much anger, guilt & resentment have been wasted crying over spilled milk. Leaks and spoilers are going to come out – it’s the nature of the beast. Can it be irritating? Most definitely. But does it completely ruin the experience? Only if it is poorly written and executed. I believe far too much emphasis has been placed on plot twists and surprise endings. Yes, they can be delicious when properly pulled off, but if knowing the surprise at the end makes the entire show unenjoyable, then the show is not good to begin with. We Whovians should know this better than anyone – hard core fans can practically recite the dialogue from out favorite “Doctor Who” stories, and can even recreate the blocking of each scene and accurately mimic the facial expressions of the characters in unison as they watch. But knowing how each story will end doesn’t ruin the experience when we watch and re-watch our favorite episodes. They are our favorite episodes because there’s something about them that we enjoy, whether it’s the overall premise, the writing, the performance, or any combination; that we makes us want to come back and savor those old episodes. IMHO plot twists and surprises would be a lot more enjoyable (and probably get spoiled less often) if they were relied on less often. As it stands now, everyone expects a big twist at the end of each season, something designed to make the audience gasp, and then shout “NO! You can’t end there!” as the credits begin to roll and the message that the story will be continued six months or more in the future. As a result, expectations are higher and higher each season, making the drop further and steeper when the writers fail to pull it off. If the story is well written and if it is acted out well, then every viewer could have read the entire script the night before and still enjoy the performance.

  50. avatar Jack Powell says:

    anyone seen this think on the sun??? http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/tv/4921644/doctor-who-50th-anniversary-special-spoilers.html

  51. avatar Con in Sydney says:

    Too much to read here, so I won’t be surprised if someone has already said the following.

    I’m inclined to say John Hurt is not the 9th Doctor, but he is the Doctor, even though Eleven chooses to deny him.

    Can I suggest the clue is Valeyard referred to by GI. That incarnation was an amalgamation of the Doctors’ dark sides. Why can’t Hurt be the same, an amalgamation of all the Doctor’s incarnations that were brought together in the Time War.

    Just a thought.

  52. avatar Matt says:

    And you just spoiled who Hurt was playing despite coming here just looking for info about John Hurt’s part in the finale. I had no clue he was the 9th Doctor. I just knew he was The Doctor. Possibly #12. Instead you picked up that spoiler and threw it in there without thinking. SO congrats on participating.

    • So you didn’t look at the title, nor the warning on the home page.

      If you wanted to know more about John Hurt’s role, you were by default looking for spoilers.

      Deal with it. You’ve only yourself to blame.

  53. avatar Aedin says:

    Completely off-topic and unhelpful to the above discussions, but it is a strange coincidence that the lead role in the 1991 movie The Doctor was played by William Hurt.

  54. avatar Gareth Kavanagh says:

    I wonder if Hurt is simply there to replace Eccleston in the original script, the shamed Doctor who ended it all in the Time War? It would certainly work with the 9th doctor survivor guilt arc…

  55. avatar Tim Lord says:

    Why do anything about it? There’s more important things in life than nerds getting worked up about hearing things that are going to happen in a show they like. It’s a classic 1st world people problem. In the sense that it’s not actually a problem.

    • ?

      We’re talking about Doctor Who, a cultural behemoth straddling print, television and radio. Of course it’s first world problem.

      If you want to talk about real problems, I’d respectfully suggest you’re on the wrong website.

  56. avatar Al says:

    The irony of course is if you go into the forums – especially Trek forums – you get all the whining from people who feel there aren’t enough spoilers. Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done about the media spoiling things, unless the BBC decides to henceforth only shoot indoors with no location footage and threaten lawsuits against anyone who lets slip prematurely, which would only serve to scare off potential guest stars. The thing to remember is the vast majority of viewers never see spoilers – they either don’t care or they don’t haunt the websites and media looking for them. Lots of people were caught by surprised when Eccleston regenerated. Many were unaware that Rose was coming back. Suranne Jones blew the surprise of her playing the TARDIS in an interview she gave a few weeks before The Doctor’s Wife aired. One tabloid ran a photo of Timothy Dalton in Time Lord costume (a fact that made Russell T Davies livid as recounted in The Writer’s Tale). Most viewers never saw these and never cared, and the surprise was preserved. I have friends here in Canada who, for various reasons, won’t be able to see Name of the Doctor for several more days and they know nothing about the big reveal.

    In terms of who Hurt is playing, I’m of the opinion it’s the “true” Ninth Doctor, given his comments about what he had to do, since we’ve never seen what happened to the Eighth Doctor, so the opening is there. What it might mean is we’ll have to add one to Eccleston, Tennant and Smith, and it’ll spark a whole new set of debates as to whether the next actor to play the Doctor will be the last if the 13-life limit remains.

  57. avatar naisby says:

    ive just watched the name of the doctor and after thinking about it and reading many of the comments above I find that a couple of points really caught my attention during the episode, the way matt smith reacted with extreme emotion to what clara told him was not what i would say usual behaviour for his doctor or any of the others but in this i could be wrong, the second point i knoticed was in the interplay with clara in the tardis before setting off for trenzilor, he commented on how she had heard what was said but missed the point of what was being said, ie she was thinking about his name being the secret rather than his grave being found. I just wonder whether the john hurt doctor is more a part of the matt smith doctor rather than any earlier doctor couple this with the wording the fall of the 11 at trenzilor may mean that john hurt is the grown old version of matt smith rather than any earlier doctor.

  58. avatar Freds says:

    RTD never connected things in the series the way Moffat does, either. Leaks are most likely to happen to BIG events.

  59. avatar TimeDog says:

    Time Lords can change their looks without regenerating, as Romanna did traveling with the 4th Doctor. My guess is Hurt’s character did just that. No regeneration used. Due to his actions, he changed his looks and acted not in the name of the doctor. Classic Who saved.

    • “you were the noest Romana of them all!”

      Romana regenerated.

  60. avatar reg says:

    according to tennant’s doctor and i quote ‘i don’t age i regenerate’ so Hurt cannot be an aged mcgann doctor, also the doctor only being able to regenerate 12 times is rubbish, the master used up all his regenerations and died only to be restored and given new regenerations to help in the time war, although he did run away (big surprise) so there is a president for time loreds being able to regenerate more than 12 times

  61. Pingback: Secrets and Surprises – Recap and Review of ‘The Name of The Doctor’, Doctor Who Series 7, Episode 13 | Russell Writing

  62. avatar Ben Lamoreux says:

    No one seems to be mentioning the possibility that this is something similar to the Chameleon Arch. John Hurt was quoted as saying that he plays “part of the doctor,” and Matt Smith refers to Hurt’s character as being himself, but not being “The Doctor.” This sounds extremely similar to the John Smith/Doctor relationship displayed by David Tennant.

    Thus, my theory is that during the Last Great Time War, the Eighth Doctor used a Chameleon Arch or similar device to temporary seal off his “Doctor” mental state, letting his dark side out. The Time Lords needed him as a warrior, and he couldn’t bear to do it as The Doctor, but he knew it needed to be done.

    If this were true, we don’t have to reshuffle regenerations/Doctors around in numbered orders. It explains how he both is and isn’t The Doctor, it explains why The Doctor fears him so much and kept his existence a secret, and it won’t feel like they “wasted” a life.

  63. avatar Callum Hallett says:

    Read some really stuff on this website, but it would be so much better if nobody was pointing out ‘who’s not a who fan’ and ‘who’s more of the who fan?’. Get a grip, no matter if you’ve been watching Doctor Who for 30 years or watched it for 3 months. You can still be a fan.

  64. avatar Spider-pope says:

    My suggestion on the spoilers is to encourage Doctor Who fans not to buy or read The Sun. This has two advantages: It keeps them spoiler free and hurts Rupert Murdochs profits.

  65. avatar Jess says:

    A few thoughts for extra regenerations.

    1. If regenerations only used up when a timelord’s life is in danger, and regenerations when healthy don’t (as implied by Romana’s regeneration) then he would not have used one up Troughton > Pertwee, and he may not have used one up McGann > Ecclestone.

    2. The nature of the Ecclestone > Tennant regeneration may not have used up a regeneration.
    (Given what happened to the Slitheen.)

    3. River’s regenerations.

    Those would see us for a few more years.

    The Doctor’s age: It may be a vanity thing. Whatever he says, there will be a planet somewhere the correct length of year to make it true.

    Also, perhaps young timelords prefer to look old and old timelords prefer to look young. And after their first regeneration they can control their aging.

  66. avatar PG says:

    I’ve always felt the solution to The Doctor’s lives should be with the two women who we saw when we learn about how The Master came into existence through the dishonor of the Time Lord Council.

    I’ve envisioned those two women being The Doctor’s Mother and his first Wife. The Doctor before he went to Earth, before he stole the Tardis, had a Son. When he left and brought dishonor about himself, his wife was with child (unknown to him). As such when she had the boy, she had to hide him and did so on a planet. Bringing him home only for his Time Lord ceremony (where you can go mad).

    Sometime in the future the Tardis takes The Doctor to a planet where he find another Tardis and a boy in a freezer. He brings the boy around and discovers this is his Son (2nd life (1st regeneration)). The boy is both a companion and a full Time Lord. (Another way to obtain the Son is for him to be the Son of The Doctor and River. As we know children made while in the time stream become Time Lords, but I’ve always seen him as being also just like the Doctor with 2 hearts, etc.)

    The Son and the Doctor travel together, they break up, they get back together, they fight, they have fun together, they save the Universe, the Son falls in love (maybe with another guy), who knows. In the end, The Son has the same love for mankind as The Doctor.

    When it is The Doctor’s time to go, he’s at peace with it because his Son will carry on chosen name of “The Doctor.” In fact, maybe “The Doctor” gives a copy of his memories to his Son (so as to not make the same mistakes / to carry on in an even more developed Universe).

    Fact is people will want new episodes of The Doctor in 50 years (at the 100th) anniversary. 11 doctors took 50 years and so we need a new doctor / time lord for the next 50. He should be both a blood relative of our Doctor **and** another guy. Bi-sexual would be outstanding; gay would be great!

    Ah, who knows maybe this version could actually change his gender, as he’s gay / bi-sexual. He explains it as The Doctor was straight and thus was always a guy in his regenerations. I’m bi and sometimes will come back as a woman, not often but from time to time. (If it goes well with viewers it would be more than say once or twice.)

    I also see the first Son as being young … say 18 to 20 or even younger. He says he wants to have fun now that he’s no longer frozen OR being required to simply learn, learn, learn. “Mother promised me . ….. So, I’m finally going to have fun.” This could be a point of contention between him and his Father (The Doctor).

    As I say introducing the character as The Doctor’s Son, his heir, his companion, a fellow time lord with 2 hearts, opens up 1,000′s of stories and so many plot twists … well, someone should do it in book, movies, or best TV!

    • avatar zarbisupremo says:

      Uuurrrggghh ! That has to be the worst bit of fan slash-fiction I’ve ever read. No, just no ! No, nein, non, nee, niet, no way !


  67. avatar Rob Warner says:

    I haven’t read all of the posts here, so someone may have already thought of this and then was soundly struck down, but I am going to give my theory as well. The Doctor (Matt Smith) tells Clara that he chose the name Doctor, but your real name is the one you had without a choice or some such. Then John Hurt says that what he did he did without a choice. Leading me to believe that john Hurt’s character is the one who originally took the name Doctor. I think that what he did without a choice was obviously terrible things in his past that he wants to atone for and help people. Hence taking the name Doctor. I also think that we are all very familiar with a character that has done terrible terrible things that if he started feeling remorse would want to atone. Also, it is a character that has always known the Doctor. I believe that John Hurt’s character is the last regeneration of the Master before he takes the name Doctor. On a lesser note, I also think that the way River is still there for the Doctor to see, is that River is one of the splinters of Clara.

    • avatar Rob Warner says:

      Addendum. After more thought on River and Clara, I think Clara is a regeneration of River.

      • You didn’t see The Name of the Doctor, then?

  68. avatar Vaike Kusimus says:

    He’s the 0th. He’s why the first was running

  69. avatar Linda Lee says:

    the show is always fun even if I have read some rumors or supposed spoilers online. I try to avoid those until I watch the show. Even with the guessing on this one, we still do not know how the story will play out. I have no idea who he is and how he fits in, so it is not ruined for me.
    The finale was quite good. I will miss Riversong.

  70. Like to point out much Like john carter of mars(all martians do not die at a 1000 years though they thought so) Time Lords might not die after 12 regeneration, they can live a 13 th like the master did disfigured, but it might be random effect as till the Master and Omega all Time Lords euthanize them selves and have there minds down loaded into the Matrix (yep of leadership Transformer out and out stole it) So they might have many unstable regenerations. They get the idea to Euthanize after 12 regenerations bc the 13th is so painful from guess who? Rassilon and we all know he is such a honest guy.. He by some strange coincidence masted Infinity Regenerations. Wow what a shock and what a scum..

  71. Oh and lets not forget the Doctor’s daughter!

  72. avatar John Smith says:

    i have one problem with all these time war guesses as to John Hurt.. The great intelligence disputed it in the same episode

    • Also, The Doctor said that HE was the secret. It’s no secret that The Doctor wiped out the Time Lords and Daleks in the Time War, so Hurt’s Doctor has got to be something different.

  73. avatar carlos solorzano says:

    Personly I believe Hurt’s doctor is the reason Hurnell doctor and Susan ran away from the Time lords and thus begining the legend quite simple really

  74. avatar purofilion says:

    I suspect that there’s a lot of disputation and fun arguments /potential little discoveries but in the end, the Doctor, said “he’s me, this is my time stream, it can’t be anyone else”. The idea, then, that he is someone’s son (?) or an affiliation or part of the Master cannot be true? A possible idea is that he is a doctor in between 8 and 9 that was deliberate and not forgotten. Dr Mat said the name was not the point: it was the secret, rather, of who he was and what he did. H knows this particular dr is ‘unpleasant’ – he said himself “I was known as the oncoming storm” and “fear me, I’ve killed them all” -not just TLords but many billions of people/life forms

  75. The trouble is, TV shows like Doctor Who are big news. Just look at how many TV mags there are on the shelves these days. I always think I could never watch Eastenders or Coronation St because every big storyline appears emblazoned on the front page of every other mag in the supermarket. And where’s the fun if you know weeks in advance about every plot twist and every departure from the cast?

    Even if producers could silence the press (and it’d be great if they could), things can still leak out through social media, or er… cast members being a bit too frank during interviews. I was totally surprised by John Hurt’s appearance in TNotD, but I fear that when Matt Smith calls it a day, we’ll know about it months in advance, and we’ll know who’ll be taking over, and in which episode it happens. (And things like that Doctor Who Confidential special didn’t help last time. What was that about?) I can only hope that the big surprises can be kept under wraps and that lots of alternative scenes are shot to confound anyone who tries to spoil it for everyone else.

  76. avatar Durs says:

    I’ve always assumed that the 12 regeneration limit was imposed by the Timelords anyway (the Timelords agreed to give The Master a whole new set of regenerations in return for his help during The Five Doctors). So my theory is that without the Timelords there will be no limit to the number of regenerations that The Doctor can have.

  77. avatar Synergy says:

    What about the Valeyard… which was supposed to be an evil incarnation of the Doctor between his 12th and 13th regeneration?
    “There is some evil in all of us, Doctor – even you. The Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say you do not improve with age.” – The Master to the Sixth Doctor, The Trial of a Time Lord: The Ultimate Foe
    … and …
    In the 2013 episode “The Name of the Doctor”, the Great Intelligence states that “the Valeyard” is one of the names by which the Doctor will be known by the end of his life.
    Clue maybe???
    Could John Hurt possibly be the Valeyard?

  78. avatar Stuey says:

    I need to watch this episode again and with a clearer mind.

    I’m not sure how people can be so dismissive of it being a future incarnation. If he knows about his own place of burial then he must know something of his future self (I might have missed something in the episode as I can’t remember them saying how he knew).

    I personally think it’s an alternative (or original rather) version of the 9th Doctor he split off from himself via paradox, perhaps originally meant to be played by Chris Ecc until he turned it down (this is scifi so why not let him look different?) something along the lines of the first 9th (Hurt) destroyed himself in said paradox, affecting his past self at regeneration (allowing the “real” 9th to come into play) but in doing so destroying himself in said paradox becoming the weapon that ended the time war. Or something equally silly. The one thing I don’t like about Who is the utter rubbish they come out with around paradoxes and allowing them when it suits the story but them being very bad things in all other cases.

    No idea really. But I think the idea of it being some sort of 8.5 intermediate regeneration or battle ravaged “older” 8 is plausable.

    I’m going to have to wait and see like the rest of you I suppose…

  79. avatar Geoff says:

    PG, I admire your imagination but I think your ideas are far too fan exclusive and specific for TV. The day I find the Doctor has the bodies of young boys hidden in freezers in the Tardis is the day I stop watching!

    • avatar zarbisupremo says:

      That’s putting it mildly !

  80. avatar Harry says:

    as we’ve seen on several occasions it is possible for more than one incarnation of the doctor to be present and interacting with himself at any one given time. it would seem to me that as desperate as the time lords were during the time war perhapse they summoned more than one incarnation of the doctor, if they thought the master would be the perfect warrior then the doctors evil “valeyard” incranation would have been a natural choice to have there. So if the doctor witnessed his future self commit genecide to end the time war then he would not only recognize himself but be fully aware of what he has done/will do. and in my mind helps to explain why he’s so conflicted over it, because it’s still looming in his future and the fact that it’s a pretty major point in time would make it a fixed point meaning he knows one day he will have no choice but to use “the moment”. this would allow for john hurt to be an incarnation of the doctor, explain how matt smith knew him and preserve matt smith’s place as “the 11th”

  81. avatar MorrisMole says:

    To take that explanation of the name of our Time Lord friend being The Doctor, then I have to wipe my brain of the first episodes of the entire show. Barbara and Ian call Barbara’s grandfather “Doctor” because Susan told them she lived with her grandfather who was a Doctor. The first time Susan’s grandfather is called Doctor by Ian, he replies, “Doctor? Doctor Who?”
    Fans do read way too much into every little bit of rumor we can get our hands on. It is a TV show. It is a fun TV show. I am looking forward to November 2013.

  82. avatar MorrisMole says:

    And the Valeyard never died (that we know of) and wasn’t caught. At the end of Trial Of A Time Lord, he escaped.
    It would be believable for John Hurt’s doctor to be from the future. Heck, why not?
    I have also always wanted them to write into the storyline that the companion Mel from Trial of a Time Lord was an incarnation of Melody Pond. Mel was brought to the trial by The Master to be a witness for The Doctor, and she was from his future. That would be cool. And Mel’s hair looks an awful lot like River’s hair, all curly and kinky.

  83. avatar Markymoo says:

    John Hurt is the Doctors Twin – he was re-absorbed back into his brothers time-line as punishment for Promulgating the Time-War – in the Doctors name.

    As a twin Our Doctor also absorbed his regeneration capacity thus increasing his own by a FACTOR of 12

    • avatar ssj12 says:

      Is it that? or is it John is playing Doctor #0? I could have sworn that the first doctor was not the Doctor’s original form.

  84. avatar justvisiting says:

    Couldn’t River’s actions in Let’s Kill Hitler have added to his regenerative abilities? Also thought about the possibility that the time lords monitored regenerations (hell, they gave the Master a whole new cycle, didn’t they?) and with them gone, anything goes!

  85. avatar Morbius says:

    Let’s take it for granted that the number of regenerations is/was a self imposed limit set by the time lords. It does not necessarily follow that the limit would be removed by killing them all off. Which would mean that the Doctor would be facing the same problem as the Master soon. I like the idea of Hurt being the 8th or 9th regeneration but only if he helps to right his wrongs by helping the Doctor bring back Gallifrey. Not the crazy version that the war turned them into but the uncaring and ambivalent race they were in the classic era. Not only could they then grant the Doctor a whole new set of regenerations, but it would also allow him to progress from the sad, brooding Doctor he has become. The Master would be back, the Doctor could run away from being President. After all the time war didn’t get rid of the Daleks only the time lords. Having the time lords back could only improve the show and solve the issue of the regenerations in a way that would be acceptable to both classic and nuWho fans alike. But I’m sure that this will not be the way Moffat will explain Hurt’s appearance as ‘the Doctor’. It’s just not his style to revisit anything from the past shows in his storylines.

  86. avatar Miles says:

    I dont believe hes the 8th or the 9th doctor he’s definitely the Valeyard.

  87. avatar Antipanda says:

    I’ve been thinking .. What if .. Just what If this doctor does NOT fall between our 8 and 9. What if .. he’s the first .. the original doctor .. before he stole the tardis ..
    The things that make me think this are 2 fold … 1 .. when is the doctor not the doctor. .. before he stole a tardis and became a madman in a blue box. Before All of it. The original could go forward and stop the time war and end it all.
    What makes me think this .. basically as the doctor gets older .. his regenerations seem to be getting younger. The doctors we know always seem to have been running. But from what? From his first breaking of the promise.

    Granted .. he could be a 9th regeneration between 8 and Christopher Eccelson (9 or 10 however you wanna refer to him.)

    But no one says the end can’t come before the begining … It’s very doctor who to be all wibley wobbley .. like that. It’ll be interesting to see where they go with it.

  88. avatar Guest says:

    “The Earth restored, the Doctor began sending his companions back home. Landing back at Bad Wolf Bay in the parallel universe, the Doctor left Rose there with the facsimile of himself. He explained to her that this new version of himself had committed genocide to defeat the Daleks, and was thus too dangerous to leave on his own. He said to her that she had made him a better person, and that he needed her to do the same for the facsimile Doctor. The new Doctor, being created from a human-Time Lord metacrisis, only had one heart and one lifetime, meaning that while he retained the Doctor’s mind and image, he would age and die as a human. The human part of this Doctor allowed him to whisper the words to Rose that the fully Time Lord version of himself never could. When Rose heard the facsimile Doctor say the words the full Time Lord version of himself could never say she kissed him deeply. As the TARDIS dematerialised from Rose’s life for the last time, she stood on the beach, hand-in-hand with a version of the Doctor who could live the life with her, day by day.”

    Just a shot in the dark, but seems to make the most sense….

  89. avatar chuckfin78 says:

    I could be wrong but I never remember seeing or hearing that a time lord is born with 13 lives. regeneration is energy. maybe only a time lord can harness this energy and only so much at a time. when 12 are spent he needs more energy. example a battery might only turn on a flashlight 100 times before it can no longer, but recharge the battery then it works for 100 more times. So only 12 regens for every charge, maybe? and if this is true in its self then a time lord could live forever.

  90. avatar A Timelord's brain says:

    Ok, I’ve read most of these comments. I have to say I love the speculation and the insight really adds a lot to my understanding of the history of Dr. Who. However, I am very surprised most writing here look to the distant past for clues on what will happen in the future, and, ignore most recent clues which were almost certainly written in with an intention of leading somewhere at some point.

    I’m surprised no one yet has mentioned the first time I heard the term Tranzelor (for example). Forgive me if my memory is slightly off (someone else can look the words up exactly and I’m sure the EXACT words are important). On the fields of Tranzelor silence will fall (or must fall according to Doran Maldova) when the question is answered (episode: “The Wedding of River Song”). In this season end The Doctor was asked a question which he had to answer (his name) to open the doors of the Tardis. I’ll ignore the bit about “At the fall of the 11th” since already there’s enough debate above concerning how even if there’s a Doctor in the past which Hurt represents, it doesn’t throw the numbering off and the current Doctor can still be considered the 11th. We haven’t seen the Silence or how it all ties in, but I think a tie in was intended. There was a war and battles with the Silence and their allies also, and references to fighting the doctor a very long time. I’d love it all to tie in to the Time War. Maybe it does. Maybe the two are related and are the same war, but, I think it’s clear this episode relates to the “oldest question” and the “question I’ve heard my whole life” all hints from the Wedding of River Song.

    Personally, based on nothing but my impressions of how Moffet likes to spin stories, I think it’s important to note River answers the question and the Doctor wouldn’t. Ending the Silence by going back to a point before River was taken and genetically altered by them could essentially cause her to cease to exist (in this timeline), so, since the Doctor often seems to know what effect his actions have on the future he’d refuse to open the door, knowing this leads to River’s non-existence, and she sacrificed herself rather than see his friends die. It also explains their kiss and good bye much better than the story seemed to. I hope I’m wrong, I like River and I sense she’s a fan favorite, but then while this might be what is expected (by the Doctor) to be the result of going back and fixing the Time War and ending the Silence perhaps even he gets surprised (as he often seems to when it come to River) and she lives passing across the timelines because she’s linked with the impossible girl in the open time stream caused by the Doctor’s death (huh really?). Which, by the way, can’t really be his death here because the writers MUST always have the ability to create suspense with the audience thinking the Doctor’s life is in danger, which, once we know where he ends up in death kinda limits their ability to write in his danger of dying. Kinda like we all knew since a few seasons ago how River “dies” so you essentially can’t kill her off before that point in some other way, although you can AFTER her death, if she’s pulled out of the Library computer after or… well… you all can see the possibilities also but the point is the Doctor’s “death” here can’t be really how or where he dies.

    I love the idea of seeing more about the Time War. I think we’ve all been teased with thoughts of what happened for a long time. I doubt they could do it justice, however, in one anniversary special. Be more like something they should spend an entire season on. The 50th anniversary season. That would be very cool.

    Oh I won’t go into my theory the great intelligence is actually The Master, hint: The Dr. defeated him over and over, doesn’t seem likely some new villain we only started seeing.. OK less facts to back that up but I think I’ve already written an entire season’s worth here.

  91. The entire plot of the TV movie is built around him having two hearts.

  92. avatar Wayne says:

    So if John Hurt was “The Real” #9…..Then what was Ecclston? A misty bit of fantasy? A whole section of the show that turns out to be just a dream? Dallas did it a few years back…..but then, that was American television and has no bearing here. Ad to raise another question: With all the regenerations How could anyone who has seen the Doctor in previous forms recognize him in his current form?

  93. avatar donald says:

    A few points I would like to make without entirely thinking them through, so please be kind if it’s already been said, or just sounds too ridiculous.
    I have saw a few comments on how Clara and the Doctor don’t have “chemistry” I think that is intentional, and feel that somehow he is related to her in some way. Maybe she is Susan Foreman’s mother? Could Clara be the doctors daughter in law? I don’t think she is the doctors daughter because it’s stated who her parents are and how they met earlier in the season, but it does seem like River and Clara do have some kind of connection though. Someone said maybe Clara is a regeneration of River, before the season finale I would have thought that, but not now.
    Also, I was on the John hurt is 8.5 bandwagon, but knowing that Bill Bradley will be playing as William Hartnells Doctor in the 50th anniversary episode makes me think it will be focused on the doctors earlier years and not as much on the Time War.

    Also as was stated earlier, I don’t think the 50th anniversary will be one episode, THERE IS SOOO MUCH STUFF TO COVER! I think it will be at the least a 2 parter, but could possibly be more.

    Just like everyone else, this is all speculation.
    Can’t wait for November 23rd!

    • avatar Wayne says:

      I have a problem with the Doctor having a daughter in law….#10 David Tenant introduced us to “The Doctor’s Daughter” . #11 Matt Smith showed at one point that he had a wife….who ultimately became part of the TARDIS…..so this leaves us with…..Granddaughter maybe even tho it has not been established that she has any Time Lord traits at all. November is still too far away for me. If nothing else BBCAmerica has taught me to be impatiently patient.

  94. avatar Austen says:

    I think its the metta crisis tenth doctor. the doctor said he was the same as him, except he could grow old.

  95. So try flying this one. We have had more than once in Classic Who and the new series seen the Master able to come back and wreck things over and over again. He even says the Timelords brought him back. The Doctor says they kept resurrecting Timelords to fight, in the Time War just to keep going.

    What if the Doctor regenerated from 8 to 9 during the War and then was killed (for real dead), and was one of the ones that was resurrected…perhaps multiple times? What if that didn’t work out as planned, and the tattered remains of hundreds of splintered personal realities combined to make Psychopathic Genocide 9th Doctor? A Doctor who HAD to end the War at any cost. What if the resulting Moment and its backlash rebuilt the Doctor to a point where he did just start again, from more or less where he left off regenerating from 8 to 9 again, but a completely different 9 since it was a completely different set of circumstances.

    He remembers it all, suffers a great deal of survivors guilt, but all he knows is he survived, which was probably not his original intention.

    We saw a similar type of complete and total reset at the end of the exploding Tardis story arc. He remembers, Rory can make himself remember, but none of it “technically” happened.

    So what do you guys think of that? :-)

  96. avatar CSomers650 says:

    What I think is that John Hurt is technically the “9th Doctor” but at the same time not. Recall how Smith said that he took up the name of the Doctor as a sort of promise (which suggests helping all those in need like the oath real doctors swear by) and that he(Hurt) was the one who threw it away. Well just maybe it’s because during the Time War the Doctor couldn’t carry on with his peaceful ways and in order to preserve peace he had to do horrible things like bringing about the extinction of Time Lords.

    • avatar Number Six says:

      Great discussion; as a fellow Whovian who can not help but speculate and will regardless enjoy tremendously watching to see if any of my (or anyone elses) theories prove even remotely correct (I was way off on the Clara identity) when finally broadcast. I have a few theories as to the identity of John Hurt’s Doctor/not the Doctor, which I will list briefly in the order of the ones I consider most likely.

      First, as some have suspected or implied here, I believe most strongly he is the aged version of the quasi-human 10th Doctor left in the other dimension with Rose, or some variation of that event which created him. The time war contained many elements of timestream manipulation, ressurection, etc, which could involve this intriguing and underexplored variation of the Doctor. This also supports my third theory, which I will mention later.

      My second theory is he is a version of either the 8th or 9th Doctors, changed somehow by the events of the time war, though not an “in between” or “missing” regeneration per se. I have not had a chance to review the season finale episode again, but I do not remember timestream hopping Clara encountering the 8th Doctor (Paul McGann) in her many clips of interactions with the previous Doctors.

      My third theory, and in a way I do applaud the showrunner if in fact they went this route since I have been somewhat cynical about the casting of younger Doctors (Matt won me over though), is that this is in fact the 12th Doctor/Valeyard seen in The Trial of a Time Lord.

      There you have it, my two cents!

      • avatar zarbisupremo says:

        1st theory : No.
        2nd theory: Nadda.
        3rd theory: Nope.

  97. avatar Anna says:

    Steven Moffat would have to be one of the worst writers for the show. His version of Doctor Who is becoming really infantile. Every word has to be politically correct (compared to Russel T Davies) and the storylines have been ridiculous. Most recently I’ve been re-watching early seasons to compare the differences, to see just why the shows since Moffat as executive producer are not working so well. What is obvious with Moffat is the fact that you’re watching the shows and there is nothing going on, whereas with earlier shows pre Moffat, the show had so much dialogue, so much detail/action.
    The season final was disappointing. So much time and hardly anything going on. And what is the real significant of Richard E Grant’s villain? Hardly any meat on his character at all.
    I feel that they threw in John Hurt for the ratings.
    But not only that, I think they’re paying the actors so much now that there is nothing left for the rest of the show (effects, etc), and you can tell. In some of the last few episodes, it’s looked so basic, cheap even.

    • Steven Moffat would have to be one of the worst writers for the show

      The Empty Child
      The Girl in the Fireplace

      These are three reasons why what you say is wrong.


      Every word has to be politically correct (compared to Russel T Davies)

      8 years ago, RTD was the man accused of introducing a “gay agenda”. If true, that would be PC gone mad, wouldn’t it?

      You make some interesting points (such as dialogue) but I think you’re wrong on these things. And of course they cast John Hurt for ratings. This is a TV show!

  98. Pingback: Who’s Zoomin’ Who? Thoughts on The Name of the Doctor episode of Doctor Who | Deep Fried Sci Fi

  99. avatar Bruce Tuxford says:

    Interesting to see an older man take on the role of the Dr. Could be because of the 50 years thing! Could it be the time wars happened before the Dr. became the Dr.
    W.Hartnell and his granddaughter were in exile after all

  100. avatar Bruce Tuxford says:

    Was the master offered additional regeneration in the 5 Drs?

  101. Rule #1 There is no canon. Moffat will do as he likes, and some of us will love it, and some will hate it.

  102. avatar The Eternal says:

    A. The time war could not have happened pre Hartnell (1st) otherwise all stories involving the timelords between 1-11 would count for nought, B as so many others have provided ideas for, the regen issue is not an issue and can be circumvented as such things have and will always be in Who (fixed points etc) C.. given as we know, the 50th will be a team up between the 10th and the 11th but also includes “rose” i’d say its fairly likely that DT will be playing both the 10th and the meta clone and Hurt will be playing the aged clone, to me this is the only plausible reason for a further return of rose. With this in mind it either means that we are allowing ourselves to be drawn down the garden path of the 50th being about the timewar (oh moff you are naughty) or that the clone (born in battle) and stuck in an “alternative” reality…fights in that realities “timewar” but with an unforseen consequence …. it effects both realities/ or merges them somehow making things twice as bad (unlocked) and requiring both (possibly all) the doctor’s (in someway/form) to act to return balance to all things … this would explain how the 11th new who he was (as the 10th…and possibly earlier doctors would then already have this knowledge, but also why they would not have been able to stop it from happening before it happens (he had already been sent to an alternative timeline which had been closed/sealed and thus nothing the doctor could do but wait and prepare as best he/they could… this would also allow for the potential escape of the master in the insuing battle (great for future stories) and a whole host of other baddies for that matter and of course the possible restoration of the timelords (err either deranged or majestic as you like )

    • You are completely brilliant! It had not occurred to me yet the Met-crisis Doctor could be in a Universe where the Time War hadn’t happened, or hadn’t yet.

      When you play with Time and parallel universes the frying pan and the fire are the same temperature!


  103. avatar The Eternal says:

    Thanks Kelly, though I wouldn’t say I’m brilliant, absorbed yes… anyhow heres an addendum, plus another possibility: – further to my above theory the clone of 10 being part human would both grow old and grow old quicker than a timelord and therefore fit the premise nicely without the need for half regen’s /split regens etc… and the valeyard is far too obvious and therefore a likely red herring …. Plus the clone would (as built in to his core) want to be the doctor and continue as the doctor in that reality ( though does begger the question .. wouldn’t there already be a doctor in that reality,,,, then again that in itself show s a plot hole from those stories… but the clone being more human makes him more flawed and more likely to make the wrong decision… (as he had already done once ) and could be what ultimately leads to the merger of both realities (double the timewar threat) and the possible extinction of everything …. Hence the multi doctor team up… (still hoping whilst 10 and 11 will be the main leads the previous doctors will have some part in the arch … oh yes a story like this would need to be more than a one episode affair ! (especially, fan boy hope … it could also require the need for a travel to e space, romana, omega …. Etc … !! (sorry unfamiliar new Who fan’s, I’ve been absorbed since the Tom Baker era !!)
    But, … another plot possibility has just struck me like a wet kipper, one that is more simplistic and more in keeping with “new” Who… here we go, the doctors daughter Jenny (brought about by cloning tech) … she did after all regenerate and doing so did not change in appearance ???…. so could a new layer be woven regarding regeneration… could it be that for reasons yet to be told, Jenny at some point regenerates to become a man ?… maybe to impersonate the doctor ? in a misguided belief that this will save him from some big bad (possibly the silence or whatever is pulling their strings???…. Hurt’s doctor states…What I did, I did without choice (Jenny started out as a solider the doctor made her better and she set off to run amongst the star, she would likely do anything to save him from impending doom and she was part /all timelord depending on the view point ….. the doctor said he’s me, I didn’t say he was the doctor,,,,,, Jenny is him ( a cloned female version) therefore it would make logical sense jenny is him but she’s not the doctor !!…. yelp… I’ve been thinking about this a little too much ….

  104. avatar Number Six says:

    The Eternal, not only have I like you been ‘absorbed’ in Doctor Who since the Tom Baker era, but your theory of John Hurt being an aged version of the meta crisis 10th Doctor agrees with my own primary theory as to his identity, and further (echoing what has already said about your theory as you expanded it) great job in pointing out how the meta crisis Doctor would definitely bring some dangerous things to the table from his version of the time war, or what he may have done to prevent/win the time war; implications for “our” Doctor’s universe, etc. I’m not sure if we will ever see Jenny again, however I did enjoy reading your theory regarding her becoming the John Hurt Doctor nonetheless.

  105. avatar The Eternal says:

    Thanks Number six, whilst the Jenny idea is possibly an easier option/story to weave, I agree it’s less likely, I also agree that we may not see her again, which is a shame as I think the character would have brought an interesting dynamic. But ultimately I’m hoping it is the meta crisis version of 10 especially if it involves the unfolding of the time war (in both realities) and the consequences that unfold …It would provide a great way to open a lot of potential story lines, the rebuilding of the time lords as a now culled down fractured society in tatters , which at the very least would mean the doctor can move on from the constant brooding of being the last and would make him less god like and more twinkle in the eye rouge again, which has got to be a good thing… also would provide a plausible return for the master (though unlikely John Simm given the recent interview I read, seems a little miffed by the attention of Who fans) … but we do need the master as the flip side of the doctors coin popping up every so often to cause havoc (and hopefully no more drums in the head, just clear on his supremacy of intellect and fixation of being “master” of all he see’s)…. Plus it would free up a host of old and new baddies… baddies created in the time war ! and old foes such as the deleks (whose first order of business should be to seek out and obliterate the overly flamboyant Peter Cushion’sque eye-deleks )… Also the return of Romana would be nice, who initially returns to Galifrey to help rebuilt, but then steals her own tradis (would provide some nice interconnecting stories….and a possible spin off “Romana- Time Lady “ which might help to appease those with the nonsensical idea that the doctor should be regenerated as a women ( pc gone made) the doctor has always and should always be a man..its core to the character !… though I quite like the idea of Romana having a spin off show, could be fun and make for some interesting interconnecting stories !

    • avatar Wayne Lunkwitz says:

      As I recall….during the time of the 10th Doctor (David Tennant) there was an episode in which Dona Noble somehow recreated “the Doctor” from the severed hand which was up to that point part of the set on the TARDIS…..It was a gathering of all companions, Rose, Donna, the guy from Torchwood and one other …..in the end Donna returned home and the clone Doctor which was part human and born in war-like circumstances returned with Rose to Bad Wolf Bay to live out his human existence.

    • avatar Number Six says:

      It would be good to find a way to bring the time lords ‘back’ and as someone mentioned in this thread recently, to identify the Doctor, even the meta-10th Doctor, as the ‘other’ who with Rassilon and Omega ‘began’ the Time Lords. And yes, Romana (and remember, Leela was left on Gallifrey also), and (this will earn a thumbs down again) either of their K-9′s would be great to see also! Don’t know if the showrunners or creative development at the Beeb would be willing to go quite that far, though… I would have liked to see Jenny by now again for that matter…

  106. avatar J says:

    What if the doctor is the OTHER, OH you know of whom we speak…Rassilon,Omega and…….Susan was the Doctor’s grandaughter…..her father died on a bowship in Rassilon’s service.

  107. avatar obviousanswer says:

    From what they have been putting out in the books and from everything that stands so far, the doctor is the only time-lord left, except for his clone child. So as it stands he is the only one who can determine how many regenerations he has left. Accordingly the time-lords could grant more regenerations, and from the books the theory goes that more than one time-lord was present at the creation of the time-lords. The other could be the doctor remember he had to reboot the universe in so doing he was at the very heart of its creation, he could have fostered the time-lords given Rassilon and Omega their other easily.

    John Hurt as the 9th doctor would be fine, he could play an older version of himself, maybe damaged by the time-war or exposed to some horrible life stripping weapon during the war, we saw when tennant lost life energy how old he became, he didn’t die, just whithered away.

    This would explain why he never looks back to that regeneration, because he doesn’t consider that regeneration the doctor anymore, he may have even taken on the name the valeyard,

  108. avatar JD says:

    I believe that since as we all know David Tennants half time lord half human form “Doctor/Donna” Was left in the parallel universe with donna to live a happy life, he was also half human of course. this meaning that he can age therefore making John Hurt a possibly aged version of “Doctor/Donna”

    • avatar Wayne says:

      NO…..He was left with Rose in the parallel universe at Bad Wolf Bay….Donna who was affected by the power of Time Lords and thus went half mad was returned to her home after Doctor wiped her memory.

  109. avatar John D says:

    At the fall of the eleventh….

    Silence must fall!

    John Hurt is playing the Silence Doctor.

  110. avatar Steve says:

    If you think about it, he isn’t the ninth doctor because he gave up that title for whatever he did wrong, but maybe he is the ninth life. There are 11 cycles called the doctor and one that was stripped of the title. Chris would still be the ninth doctor, but the 11th life cycle.

  111. avatar Chris says:

    I know this might not be strictly relevant but I just want to point out that if we’re counting Doctor reincarnations here that everyone seems to be overlooking one. So say that Hurt is the 9th doctor; Eccleston’s the 10th, and Tennant is the 11th. But during the Episode “Journey’s End”, Tennant regenerates, and at the last second siphons off the regenerative energy into his severed hand. So now Tennant is also the 12th Doctor, and this makes Matt Smith the 13th. Just because Tennant doesn’t change his appearance does not mean he did not regenerate; if he had not regenerated he would have just been dead. So how many regenerations does the Doctor get again?

    • avatar Wayne says:

      As I recall Tenant is not the ONLY Doctor to pull this one….Remember when River Song Shot the Doctor(Matt Smith) and they did the Viking style funeral? Then went back to the diner and Matt Smith entered from where the TARDIS was located at the back? the writers can’t make these things up….but they do!

      • That was an earlier version of the Eleventh Doctor. It was all explained…

  112. avatar Rain says:

    Sorry, but no this spoiler is obviously bogus. Remember the prophecy: “On the fields of Trenzalore at the fall of the ELEVENTH…..” Wouldn’t make much sense then if Matt was actually the TWELFTH.

  113. avatar The Doctor says:

    I think 9 was fantastic. Best doctor yet!

  114. avatar Christian says:

    I don’t think it is possible that Hurt is the ninth doctor because he was the one who told the secret, (the doctors name) and he became (whatever the doctors name is), not the doctor. So if he was the ninth doctor, then Christopher Eccleston, David Tennett and Matt Smith could not have been “The Doctor” they would have been (whatever the Doctor’s name is).

  115. avatar Wayne says:

    All good things must end….but in this case I am hoping that ,as it was in other programs I have watched that this “section” becomes no more than a bad dream….on another thought wasn’t it the Master who saved Tennant’s life at the end from as it was phrased “Hell decending?”

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  117. avatar blog7654321 says:

    Isn’t that Tom Felton in the background?

  118. avatar The Doctor says:

    I wonder if whatever John Hurt’s Doctor does ALSO results in immortality for the Doctor. It would tie up an annoying loose end.

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