With a new series of Doctor Who headed our way it is hard to avoid the elephant in the room; ‘The Timeless Children’…

There’s no point skirting around the issue. ‘The Timeless Children‘ was the single most divisive episode of Doctor Who. Well, since the last one. The revelations regarding the origins of the Doctor divided opinion. To some the disclosure that the Doctor has seemingly limitless regenerations dilutes any peril she may be faced with. Similarly, the idea that William Hartnell was no longer the First Doctor felt particularly egregious.

Others however were delighted to finally have an explanation for where the Doctor came from, what her true origins were. (Although some of that still remains a mystery.) Whilst we all appreciate creativity, the seemingly unnecessary dismantling of established mythology angered longtime fans. When the programme began back in 1963 the identity of this mysterious traveller was a key ingredient in the show’s success. To undo all that was at best a bold move, and at worst foolhardiness.

Doctor Who - S12E10 - The Timeless Children - Jodie Whittaker as The Doctor, Sacha Dhawan as The Master- Photo Credit: James Pardon/BBC Studios/BBC America
Doctor Who – S12E10 – The Timeless Children – Jodie Whittaker as The Doctor, Sacha Dhawan as The Master- Photo Credit: James Pardon/BBC Studios/BBC America
The Timeless Child revelation alienates a core section of the audience

Doctor Who has a wonderful audience of loyal fans. However, an attempt to cultivate new viewers may have unfortunately pushed others away. A recent quote from Executive Producer Matt Strevens highlighted that the revelations of ‘The Timeless Children’ will be revisited. Strevens said that Series 13 “picks up on a lot of the things the Doctor learned about herself and her history at the end of Series Twelve.” This will not be what some fans would want to hear. It may even deter some from watching the new series altogether. For this reason it will be fascinating to see what the viewing figures are.

With the new series beginning today, receiving a decent amount of promotion, it may however be the finale of the last series which casts a shadow on the success or failure of Flux. It does sound like the issue will be addressed at some point. Was the Master lying to the Doctor? Will we find out even more about the Doctors origins? It seems unlikely that it could be resolved in such a way that leaves everyone content. Whatever does happen ‘The Timeless Children‘ will likely remain a problem for some sections of the fanbase. Exactly how big a problem remains to be seen.

Doctor Who returns to BBC One and BBC America today with Flux: Chapter 1 – The Halloween Apocalypse.

2 COMMENTS

  1. “…was at best a bold move, and at worst foolhardiness.”
    No. This was a deliberate and blatant middle finger to all of the long time fans of the series. The only other possible explanation would be that Chibnal is so incredibly stupid that it’s a wonder he has the brain capacity to breath whilst sleeping.
    Doctor Who is dead, there is no regenerating from this mess. Chibnal killed HIM and Davies has no inclination to undo the damage.

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