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Doctor Who - Timeless Child Changed Everything & Nothing

Doctor Who - Timeless Child Changed Everything & Nothing
Doctor Who's Timeless Child changed everything - and nothing. Showrunner Chris Chibnall promised that after Doctor Who season 12, there would be absolutely nothing again. In the case that the viewers did not receive the message, he made the master announce this equally in a fun and descriptive touch.

It all came to a head in Season Doctor Who 12th Finale where the doctor learned that she was, in fact, the Timeless Child - an ancient being who seemed to have originated from another universe and became the first genetic code for the entire Time Lord race. What's more, the doctor never needs to be afraid of running out of Regenerations again because the regeneration cap was something added by Time Lords, and the doctor herself doesn't have a limit.

Who Fandom has largely ripped been torn in two by this retcon. Some appreciate it, linking it to clues in the classic and long-forgotten plot chains. As for others, it is a step too far. They are comfortable with the idea of the Doctor as Renegade Time Lord, and they hate this dramatic change in her condition. But in reality, their reaction may be overrated because Chris Chibnall's retcon may not be quite dramatic or transformative as he said.

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The Timeless Child Is A Huge Change To Doctor Who Canon

The Timeless Child Is A Huge Change To Doctor Who Canon
the Timeless Child is probably the biggest change in doctor who has lore since Time Lords itself was introduced in 1969 in "The War Games". "They lied to us," the Master taunted the Doctor. "Everything we were told was a lie. We are not who we think." He Mightas well have been directly addressing the viewers because 51 years of continuity have just been erased. The story of the doctor's entire origin - revealed one drip at a time in the classic series, and further built upon in the modern relaunch - was a lie. The doctor is not a Renegade Time Lord at all. The Doctor is not even a Time Lord. William Hartnell was not the first Doctor, and the assumption that Doctor Joe Martin was a previous incarnation, was perhaps not the first to call himself a doctor.
But The Timeless Child clashes drastically with the post-2005 Doctor Who relaunches, especially when Stephen Moffat worked as a showrunner. He is uncomfortable with Matt Smith's era focusing on the birth name of the doctor, who was only known to Time Lords and River Song. It is difficult to say whether this name is more important now or less; it could be evidence of the doctor's true origin or alternatively, just a random name extracted from the air by Tecteun, Dr. Gallifreyan's the doctor adopted mother. Other stories in Matt Smith's era are more problematic now: Why would River Song have to sacrifice her Regeneration energy to save the doctor life if the doctor actually had unlimited Regeneration anyway? And what really happened when the Lords infused the Doctor with regeneration at "The Time of TheDoctor?" Even worse, in "The Name of the Doctor", Clara entered into the personal time-stream of the doctor and witnessed all his personal history in every incarnation, yet she did not uncover a single allusion to the Timeless Child. The sheer scale 
of continuity problems illustrates the magnitude of the change Chris Chibnall has just made.

The Timeless Child Changes Nothing About The Doctor

The Timeless Child Changes Nothing About The Doctor
However, despite all this, the Timeless Child does not change anything about the doctor himself. The story of the doctor’s origin doesn’t really matter at all. What matters is who she chooses to be and what she chooses to do with her freedom to travel across time and space. This is why the Show didn't even start showing the doctor's background story until six years after the first episode aired; writers and showrunners alike didn't really feel it necessary to explore it. Of course, as soon as Time Lords was introduced, it was inevitable they'd be fleshed out, but the key aspects of Time Lord mythology were added only when the story needed it, including the famous regeneration cap, which was only written in Doctor Who Lore because Robert Holmes needed a Time Lord President to die in 1976 "The Deadly Assassin". But the fact remains that the bulk of Doctor Who's stories have absolutely nothing to do with Time Lords at all, which means the back story is not related to them.

It's strange that Doctor Who's Season 12 finale unwittingly stresses that its retcon isn't really a big deal. The Master expects the Timeless Child to break the doctor, but instead, She pushes past it and realizes that she is still the same person. and she Sees in The Matrix Joe Martin Doctor and asked: "Have you ever been limited in what you were before?" The doctor has always been more than just Lord Time because she simply refuses to stand up and watch the tragedy unfold, instead, she intervenes. The Timeless Child does not change that; it only explains why she was always unable to fit with the Gallifreyan society. What's more, given Gallifrey has been destroyed (again), this explanation is pretty much irrelevant. The doctor will never face Time Lords about their duplicity because they have been erased, even assuming they were also not deceived about the Doctor's origins by their founding fathers.

The Lack Of Change Is Why The Timeless Child Twist Doesn't Work

The Lack Of Change Is Why The Timeless Child Twist Doesn't Work
Basically, this is the reason why The Timeless Child retcon is not working. A good plot twist is not important because it overturns 51 years of canon and leaves some viewers in a state of shock. Instead, a plot twist works because it exerts an influence on a character, propelling her on some sort of personal journey. The doctor may have learned that everything she believed was true about her past was a lie, but it doesn't change anything about her identity. In narrative terms, the Timeless Child is deeply unsatisfying; the retcon may divide the fan base, but the doctor at the end of “Timeless Children” is basically the same person she was at the beginning of the episode. The strange thing is that Chibnall himself does not seem to have realized this problem.

 "This is what you are always looking for at the end of the series," he told Radio Times. "The way the big, universe-threatening story impacts on the personal lives of your characters. And categorically that’s what’s happening in this episode."

 Except, categorically, The Timeless Child retcon does not affect a The doctor's personal life at all.
Chris Chibnall might have plans to redeem this retcon perhaps by launching the Doctor on a quest to her forgotten memories and even discover her true race. Indeed, Chibnall hinted just as much, suggesting that Doctor Who's 12th season answered some Timeless Child questions. However, this does not make the twist good in itself; this means that it can be 
improved over time.

Credit: screenrant

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