Written by: Michael Martinez-Mann (SoSF Guest Contributor)
As we head into the mid-season for of series four of Doctor Who with the rumor that this, coupled with the three specials next year, will be the last outing for showrunner Russell T. Davies, we have been left to speculate what old Russell has been ramping up to during this, and the previous three, seasons. First let us follow some of the highlights those past seasons and possible clues which may shed some light on what is yet to come.
Please be aware that once I begin presenting my theories for the rest of this and future series of Who, SPOILERS are employed.
We meet the 9th doctor who, we can surmise from his surprised reaction to his own reflection, is newly regenerated.
It is revealed there was a time war in which many races suffered.
End of the World:
The Timelords did not survive the time war and Gallifrey is gone.
The Doctor ended the time war which resulted in the apparent annihilation of
the Timelords and the Daleks.
Disturbing weak points in time can have dire consequences.
Blain the Surviving Slitheen is reverted to a younger state by the energy from within the heart of the TARDIS.
Torchwood is mentioned.
Parting of the Ways:
Rose absorbs the â€œpower of the time vortexâ€ from the heart of the TARDIS.
With this power Rose brings Jack back to life permanently.
The Christmas Invasion:
Residual energy from the Doctors regeneration is expelled from his body.
Torchwood destroys the Sycorax.
Tooth and Claw:
Doctors actions lead to the creation of the Torchwood Institute which he has run into several times by this point.
Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel:
The walls between the universes closed in after the passing of the Timlords.
Love and Monsters:
Mister Saxon mentioned in newspaper article.
Thought and emotion of the world on the Olympic Torch charge the Isolus Ship enough to return home.
Doomsday/Army of Ghosts:
A new hole has been punched into the universe by the Cult of Skaro bringing the Cybermen in their wake.
Before sealing this new breach the Doctor projects himself into Peteâ€™s World for a final farewell. Following this he fades away.
The Runaway Bride:
Donna Noble is saturated with Huron particles by the Racnoss Queen.
Huron particles exist is the energy in the Heart of the Tardis.
Mister Saxon gives the order to destroy the Racnoss ship.
Smith & Jones:
The Doctor had a family.
Mister Saxon is mentioned in news broadcast.
The Shakespeare Code:
The Carrionates â€œmagicâ€ is produced by words rather than science.
The power of a name is old magic.
The Lazarus Experiment:
Professor Lazarus invents genetic manipulation technology.
Mister Saxon warns Mrs. Jones about the Doctor.
The Doctorâ€™s life doesnâ€™t always happen in order.
Timelords are prejudice against Facts. The TARDIS flies to the end of the universe to escape from Jack.
The Master is revealed to have been hidden by the Chameleon Arch.
The Master uses The Doctorâ€™s old hand to escape with the TARDIS.
The Sound of Drums:
More of Gallifreyâ€™s back-story is revealed including the revelation of an untempered schism of time vortex existing on the planet itself.
The Master was responsible for Lazaursâ€™s genetic manipulation technology and hardwired it into a laser screwdriver.
The Last of the Timelords:
The Master wishes to create a new Gallifrey.
During the time war the Doctor fought Seadevilâ€™s and Axonâ€™s.
The Doctor sealed the rift at the Medusa Cascade.
All of the Earth thinking of The Doctor simultaneously coupled with the psychic energy field is able to restore The Doctor.
The Master has never been willing to die. He dies.
A female hand is seen at his funeral pyre.
Through a temporal accident The Doctor crosses back over his timeline and
meets his 5th incarnation.
Voyage of the Damned:
London knows of yearly alien visits and The Doctor.
Now on to the current series and what could lay in store for the good Doctor and his companion(s). PLEASE NOTE: Spoilerific!
Partners in Crime:
Rose is seen in crowd, walks off and fades away.
Fires of Pompeii:
The Doctor is in ancient Prophecy.
The Doctor is named a Timelord.
The Doctorâ€™s name is hidden burning in the fires of the cascade of Medusa herself.
The Doctor is told â€œShe is returning.â€
Donna is told â€œThere is something on your back.â€
The Heaven of Pyrovillia is gone.
The Doctor believes Pompeii is a fixed point, which he cannot change.
It is revealed that Pompeii is his choice.
The Doctor â€œcanâ€™tâ€ go back.
Donna Urges Doctor to save one family, which he does.
The Family makes the Doctor and Donna their household Godâ€™s.
Planet of the Ood:
The Doctorâ€™s song must end. Every song ends.
The Ood will sing of the Doctor Donna forever.
The Sontaran Stratagem:
The Doctor and Gallifrey are in Sontaran Legends.
Sontarans were not allowed to fight in the Time War.
The Poison Sky:
Rose calls to The Doctor on his screen in the TARDIS.
So now to bring it all this together in one cohesive bond —
1. As the 9th Doctor was newly regenerated in Rose we can assume the 8th participated in the time war and the war possibly even led to his need to regenerate. While The Doctor made the definitive choice that caused the end of the Time War and Gallifrey, the war involved more races than just the Timelords and the Daleks. We know that the Seadevilâ€™s and the Axonâ€™s were involved and possibly the Nesteen Consiousness and the Pyrovillia.
2. The energy that rejuvenated the Slitheen, the energy that Rose absorbs from the heart of the TARDIS, the energy from the Doctors regeneration, and the Huron particles that attracts Donna to the ship appear to be all one and the same. Now taking all we know about Donnaâ€™s past at the time of The Fires of Pompeii the only thing she could be â€œHave on her backâ€, or in other words a burden she still carries, are remnant Huron particles. As they are deadly they are probably killing her. The same goes for Rose who took in all the Huron particles from the heart of the TARDIS which is so powerful it even causes The Doctor to regenerate.
3. When Rose brings Jack back using Huron particles she makes him a Fact. Facts seem to Taboo in Timelord culture. The doctor admits to abandoning Jack because of it, the TARDIS flees to the end of the universe to escape it and it is forbidden for Timelords to interfere with â€œFixed Pointsâ€ in history. The exception being Gallifrey itself. In the classic series it is suggested that Gallifrey has an absolute frame of reference, in other words no matter where in time and space you travel from it is the â€œpresentâ€.
4. The â€œpresentâ€ has only been breached in extreme cases and in such cases the doctor invariably runs into his past selves. With Gallifrey gone his past selves should be inaccessible yet he manages to run into his 5th incarnation.
5. Torchwood, Mister Saxon, and the events of Blink have studied the theme of the Doctors life happening out of sequence.
6. Another theme visited is the power of the mind. Humans have a latent psychic ability which when tapped into is very powerful. With the right catalyst can even affect the physical universe in much the same manner as Carrionites. The most powerful being the power of a name.
7. There are breaches in the universe which should not be open yet continue to do so.
8. The Master uses Lazarusâ€™s genetic manipulation technology on the doctor and keyâ€™s it to the Doctor using the biological code in his hand. He also possibly uses it so the TARDIS recognizes him.
Next week the previews would have us believe that we will be meeting The Doctorâ€™s daughter. However if this were the case it is likely the doctor would have known. It may be his child in the context that it was created by the Master using his biological code from the hand. This is also what would allow the TARDIS to be co-opted at the end of The Poison Sky. The â€œdaughterâ€ may also be the woman the hand belonged to at the end of Last of the Time Lords.
Overall for the Season we will witness the return, in some form or other, of Gallifrey and learn of how the Time War really ended.
The 8th Doctor ended the Time War, but Gallifrey was not destroyed. It was simply removed from time and space. Itâ€™s possible it is existing in the void or somewhere equally inaccessible. We are shown in Sound of Drums that an untempered vortex exists on the surface of the Planet. It is possible Gallifrey was removed through the vortex or the Mysterious Medusa Cascade (The two could eve be one and the same).
The Doctors true name is said to burn in the Cascade of Medusa herself and It was the doctor who singlehandedly sealed it. It was said as well that Gallifrey burned which could lend credence to this and the disappearance of â€œHeavens of Pyrovilliaâ€ could have happened in the same instance..
The holes popping up between the universes have been an indication of the world trying to get through. Indications of this are apparent with the ability of the Doctor to run into a previous self. Another is Roseâ€™s brief appearances. The manner is which she vanished was reminiscent of the Doctorâ€™s projection at the end of Doomsday.
Now we also have The Legend of the Doctor being seeded all throughout time and space. In many place with Humans but also with alien races such as the Ood. Oods and Timelords are mildly telepathic and humans are latent. As stated before the right catalyst can turn thought into reality and with the story of the Timelord becoming more powerful with each passing episode it could soon be harnessed to will it back into existence.
Another avenue of restoration is Rose and Donna. They have both been exposed to Huron particles and it is possible some residual energy has remained in them. Huron particles existed in the Dark Time but were also manufactured by Gallifrey and since they are attractive to each other Donna, Rose and the TARDIS could add some extra pull. Regardless they will be integral in the restoration of Gallifrey as they can both persuade The Doctor and interfere.
The Doctor has said numerous times that he canâ€™t go back and undo what he did, but this seems to have more to do with Timelord cultural imperatives, than the ability to do so. Fixed points and weak points are off limits, but where the influence is from without and the he is at the point of a choice he is free to make a decision. This point in Fires of Pompeii is hit on several times. Whatever loophole is created may be on the fence but the Doctor only needs his companions to push him into doing the compassionate thing.
The other possibility is that part of the time war was fought in some manner by the 10th Doctor and as his life doesnâ€™t happen in order he just hadnâ€™t finished making history yet. The Ood prophecy states that his song will end soon and another regeneration in the act of bringing Gallifrey back would be a good end to, not only the 10th Doctorâ€™s song, but the song of sadness the doctor has carried in his heart since his home was taken from him.
Depending on the manner in which Gallifrey is restored we may wind up with an 11th Doctor or the return of the 8th.