Paul M. Cray (pmcray) wrote,
Paul M. Cray

The Zeroth Doctor

Who is Hurt!Doctor? The generally accepted theory is that he is the regeneration between the 8th and the 9th Doctors who was responsible for the destruction of Gallifrey in the Time War. There are three problems with that theory: (a) Nine and Ten spent a great deal of time mopping around and being all angsty about the terrible things the Doctor did in the Time War; (b) would the average casual viewer actually remember/care anything about the Time War from several seasons ago now (and in Davies's tenure)? (c) it would be very boring. There are a few other possibilities: a future Doctor, but that's been done (the Valyard), a 2.5 Doctor, but that's incredibly obscure, some kind of alternative Doctor, but again that's been done (the Dream Lord amongst others).

My preferred theory, and naturally I am not the first to come up with the idea, is Hurt!Doctor is the Zeroth Doctor. The title of the episode "The Day of the Doctor" suggests that the story will be about how the Doctor got his name. This is the 50th anniversary special. One would expect it to be about the beginnings of Doctor Who in some way. The Doctor's pre-"An Unearthly Child" is essentially totally unexplored (and there are those such as Dr Sandifer who would wish it to stay that way) and thus is replete with unused potential unlike the Time War (how would a 8.5 Doctor fit in with the continuity of the novels and audios?). A Zeroth Doctor would ft better with what we see of Clara helping One steal the TARDIS. Finally giving the Doctor an origin story would set the programme up for the next fifty years. As an added bonus, if there were a Zeorth Doctor, Eleven has thus used up all his regenerations and Twelve can start again with a whole new set after various travails that can drive the Christmas special. (I remember talking to my brother about the regeneration limit after "The Deadly Assassin" back in 1976 and him reassuring me that they would come up with something when the time arrived.)

Yes, you're right, Hurt!Doctor will probably turn out to be 8.5 Doctor. If that happens, colour me disappointed. A Zeroth Doctor seems much more interesting and much more Moffat to me. Of course, with a bit of timey-wimey, Hurt!Doctor might turn out to be Zeroth, 2.5, 8.5, future and alternative Doctor. We'll know in two weeks. 

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