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PRORAMMING NOTE: The next few posts, starting with this one, will be Doctor Who-heavy. The 50th anniversary of the airing of the first episode of the British science fantasy series on November 23, 1963 is THIS SATURDAY. There are many other Who things this weekend too. In addition to its TV airing, the special episode, titled “Day of the Doctor”, is playing simultaneously IN THEATERS, IN 3-D, AROUND THE WORLD on Saturday. There’ll be another showing in even more theaters again on Monday.

Friday sees the airing of a TV drama “Adventures in a Space and Time” about the behind of scenes of creating the show. Sunday night is a special devoted to looking back to the tenure of the current, eleventh, Doctor. Throughout the weekend, BBC America will be airing many, many other episodes of the show.

So, yeah, it’s a big nerdy weekend.

There will be lots of bloggeral and Twitter chatter by me and others, Sunday morning quarterbacking the special (perhaps one of the few intersections of geeks and sports). For weeks, nerds discriminating scif-fi fans have been making predictions about what exactly we’ll see on Saturday. Well, I’m as discriminating sexy nerdy as anyone, so here’s mine. If you don’t watch the show you won’t understand or care. If you do, don’t worry, no spoilers here, just fan-spewing.

SO here we go… In the promos for the upcoming special, The Doctor says the day is coming that “I’ve been running from all my life, which we’re lead to believe is the day the Doctor commits genocide against the Daleks and the Time Lords to end the Time War. But, if the time war erupts during the eighth doctor’s incarnation, as seems to be the case from past events, including “Night of the Doctor”, how could he have been running all his life?

In that mini episode, “Night of the Doctor”, Doctor 8 transforms into “the war doctor”. Note that I said “transforms”, not “regenerate”. The distinction is key. The Doctor dies. They make that clear. By drinking a potion of his choosing, he is brought back to life, but becomes the John Hurt war doctor. Much has been made of whether this means Hurt is the true ninth doctor, bumping everyone else down the line and making Matt Smith the 12th Doctor, not Eleven.

I don’t think that’s it at all.

Eight didn’t regenerate. It was a reanimation, not a regeneration. Eight transforms into a creature that exists only for purposes of doing what the moral Doctor can’t do: become a warrior who will do the unthinkable. Once the deed is done, the war is ended, and the “war doctor’s” purpose is at an end. He won’t regenerate into nine. He can’t. In a sense, he does exist and in another sense, he doesn’t. Instead, he will transform into….

…wait for it…


How if it possible for a future version of the Doctor to be the one that turns into the very first incarnation of that same Doctor? Well, if you have to ask that, you clearly haven’t been watching the show. If we’ve learned anything, we’ve learned that time is “wibbly-wobbly” right? Weirder paradoxes than this have existed and it ties up the loose ends. The Hurt “war doctor” exists only for the Time War. Then he gives way to the first doctor and the numbering of Doctors 1-11 remains intact. Likely the first doctor has only a vague sense of where he comes from. All he probably knows is there’s something very dark in his past; probably why the first doctor is so damn grumpy.

From a fanboy perspective, this will be a good excuse to include the first doctor in the 50th anniversary somehow. After the way Moffat and the BBC kept Paul McGann’s return a surprise, I’m open to the possibility that ANYTHING can happen this weekend.

I haven’t been this excited about a TV show since the finale of “Lost”.

Which I liked, by the way. I don’t care what you say.

But that’s a topic for another blog. I’m busy watching Doctor Who.


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