Doctor Who chief writer Steven Moffat

Moffat Insists Numbering Stays The Same

The Doctor has twelve regenerations; thirteen lives. We’re at number eleven right now – aren’t we?

Well, if you’ve seen The Night of the Doctor then it will be clear right now that John Hurt’s War Doctor is the ninth incarnation of the Time Lord we call Doctor – meaning that Matt Smith is occupying the twelfth body. Speaking to this month’s 50th anniversary Doctor Who Magazine, Steven Moffat explains….

I’ve been really, really quite careful about the numbering of the Doctors. He’s very specific, the John Hurt Doctor, that he doesn’t take the name of the Doctor. He doesn’t call himself that. He’s the same Time Lord, the same being as the Doctors either side of him, but he’s the one who says, ‘I’m not the Doctor.’ So the Eleventh Doctor is still the Eleventh Doctor, the Tenth Doctor is still the Tenth…

So what about the Meta-Crisis Doctor? Is Moffat hinting that rumours about the Eleventh Doctor being the thirteenth incarnation could be accurate?

Technically, if you really counted it, the David Tennant Doctor is two Doctors, on account of the Meta-Crisis Doctor… It’s not a matter of counting the regenerations, but of counting the faces of the Time Lord that calls himself the Doctor. There’s an anomaly Doctor slotted in somewhere, that’s all. In the script to The Day of the Doctor, Matt’s Doctor was called the Eleventh, and David’s was called the Tenth, so the numbering stays exactly the same – and we call Peter Capaldi the Twelfth Doctor.

What do you think? Is a new set of regenerations about to be gifted to the Doctor?



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