Doctor Who Won’t Retcon One Of Its Most Controversial Choices

By TeeJay Small | Published

jodie whittaker doctor who

According to a write-up in Gizmodo, Doctor Who showrunner Russell T. Davies has concocted a plan to plow forward without retconning Chris Chibnall’s divisive season 12 finale. The episode, titled “The Timeless Children,” famously provided a highly controversial discovery regarding the Time Lord’s mysterious origins, resulting in many fans of the long-running series demanding a retroactive change to the show’s lore.

While there’s no way of knowing for sure what Russell T. Davis has in store for us in the upcoming 60th Anniversary Specials or the following new seasons of Doctor Who, the producer has assured fans that he’s got some tricks up his sleeve to work the events of “The Timeless Children” into the future of the show.

The Timeless Child Changes The Doctor’s Origin Story

jodie whittaker doctor who

In the Doctor Who episode “The Timeless Children,” which capped the highly divisive 12th season of the current Doctor Who timeline, Jodie Whittaker’s 13th Doctor is revealed to not actually be a native of Gallifrey. Instead, previous series showrunner Chris Chibnall opted to give the Doctor something of a Superman backstory, with the Doctor revealed to have been an orphan of a secret origin, sent through a portal to Gallifrey as a baby, and landing on the doorstep of a native scientist named Tecteun.

After performing a number of experiments on the child, Tecteun concluded that the Doctor had the uncanny ability to cellularly regenerate, healing mortal injuries with relative ease.

The BBC Received An Onslaught Of Backlash After The Episode Aired

doctor who

The strange and alarming discovery that Doctor Who is the original source of the Time Lords’ powers caused “The Timeless Children” to be so controversial to audiences that The BBC was forced to release an official statement addressing complaints made to the network.

Russel T. Davies Plans To Honor Chris Chibnall’s Controversial Take

ncuti gatwa doctor who

The BBC’s statement reaffirmed that the network respected the creative freedom of the series’ writers and filmmakers, and opted not to intervene despite the requests from dozens of frustrated fans. Now it seems that Russell T. Davies has followed in the network’s footsteps, explaining to viewers that Chris Chibnall is a close friend and collaborator, and that Davies will respect the writing decisions of Chibnall in his upcoming take on the series.

How Will This Decision Effect Gallifrey?

While some Doctor Who fans may be perturbed by this announcement, others are steadfast in their trust of Russell T. Davies, as the filmmaker has previously navigated the series through some of its greatest moments of all time. With a run-time that spans over 60 years of television, this is a highly impressive title.

Of course, to incorporate the newfound backstory shown in “The Timeless Children” won’t be easy, as it serves to undermine the entire society of the Time Lords of Gallifrey, setting the show up for a Game of Thrones-sized disaster.

With Decades Of Success, Doctor Who Is Sure To Navigate Any Possible Changes With Ease

Of course, as a decades-old series, Doctor Who has the luxury of changing, rearranging, and forgoing its own canon at most crossroads, allowing new showrunners to provide their own artistic take on the classic character, as Chibnall famously did in “The Timeless Children.” With the 60th anniversary special and the incoming Ncuti Gatwa-led series on the horizon, there’s no telling how the lore could be impacted.