The Night Of The Doctor


After the jump, I have thoughts that are more complex than that, but if you've ever enjoyed Doctor Who, watch the short above first.

Thank you, Steven Moffat. This is all I ever wanted. No words can express how I felt when McGann appeared on screen just then. That was unexpected, right? But so, so vindicating and awesome. Literally, I experienced awe while watching this.

Paul McGann, more than any other actor except maybe Colin Baker, was given the royal shaft during his time on the program, and since the return the only thing I've ever wanted from the show is to see him return. While this isn't the show proper, it is canon, which is more than you can say about anything McGann has played the Doctor in, and I include the film in that statement. But perhaps most importantly, it leaves plenty of unaccounted for time between Eight's regenerations for future appearences (and loved the shout outs to all the non-canon companions, too).

It pretty definitively puts a stamp on where John Hurt falls in the lineup, and I'll be the first to admit I was wrong. Though, you have to admit that thinking Hurt was an aged form of Eight was a pretty solid theory. No, turns out Hurt is an unnumbered regeneration between Eight and Nine, which is as straight forward a cop-out if ever there was one, and I'm not exactly happy about it, but I'll let that be for now. I'll complain about that notion after the 23rd.

So, what do we know now? Well, we can no longer say we haven't seen every regeneration (save the technicality of Two). This is Eight, and this is how he died, in exactly the way the best Doctor's have died: putting his own safety behind that of others. Killed in a ship crash, and resurrected by the Sisterhood of Karn (making their first return appearance since the Fourth Doctor serial Brain of Morbius). The Time War rages, but Eight has stayed out of the fray (good for him), though clearly the Time Lords and Daleks haven't made his life any easier. Suffering a defeat and finally accepting that his skills can be used to bring the war to an end, he lets the Sisterhood's talents craft a specific regeneration for him (a nice call back to Douglas Adams best left forgotten regeneration shenanigans with Romana).

He chooses to become a warrior, and becomes John Hurt. Though, look closely, and you'll see that it is a digitally de-aged John Hurt. So, again, we can make the assumption that John Hurt's Doctor is one that has lived a long life, and fought the non-sequential Time War for the length of it. Day of the Doctor will then presumably be him at his most war-weary, his most torn, his most desperate. Which will presumably lead to his gathering his future selves together.

So where does this leave Capaldi? Technically now, he's the 13th, the last official regeneration. The common belief is that, now that the Time Lords are dead, the Rassilon Inhibitor is no longer active, allowing the Doctor to regenerate as many times as he wants, but that has never been confirmed in any way. the closest to an answer we got was a tongue-in-cheek responce over on Sarah Jane. As Capaldi takes over the role, that is a discussion that will have to be had on screen at some point.

It's just over a week until the 50th, and I'm more excited now than I've been at any point in the past year. And, I suppose that was part of the design of things.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.


  1. Except we still don't have all the regenerations: we haven't seen Hurt regenerating into Nine. And we don't have Nine's first words.