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The Timeless Children

ShowDoctor Who / Series XII / Episode 10
First Broadcast2020/03/05 - 20:00 (Link: ABC TV)
Related LinksDoctor Who Wiki Wikipedia
Previous EpisodeAscension Of The Cybermen

The cyber-story from the previous episode continues apace. Ashad is aboard the Cybercarrier, where some of the team are hiding within Cyberwarriors. They arrive at the Citadel and we discover the Master has aligned with them to produce Cybermen with the ability to regenerate. Worse still, Ashad reveals his plan is to wipe out all organic life in the universe via the death particle, placed in his chest by the Cyberium. The Master - who should never be trusted - tissue compresses Ashad, killing him instantly. The Cyberium appears in mid-air and the Master proposes to be the Cyberium's "business partner" and it enters his body with the promise of absolute supremacy.

From this seemingly impossible position, the team destroys the Cybercarrier, while Ko Sharmus sends the Cyberium back through time and space and triggers the death particle, the explosion consuming Gallifrey and everything on it. The Doctor sends her team home to Earth on a TARDIS, while escaping in yet another TARDIS to go back to her own. In one last twist, as she is walking between the two TARDISes, the Jadoon return and capture and imprison the Doctor for life. Phew.

Overall, this wasn't too bad an episode, even if the cyber-story did get a little over-dramatic at times. However, this played second-fiddle to what was the real story: the genesis of the Time Lords. The Master had discovered the truth and revealed it to the Doctor. Tecteun, a space explorer, found a "timeless child" with infinite capacity to regenerate. She adopted the child and studied her, successfully grafting her regeneration capacity into the Shobogans - the natives of Gallifrey - transforming them into Time Lords who subsequently chose to limit a Time Lord's regenerations to twelve.

If that wasn't enough, the Master reveals that the Doctor is the "timeless child". Tecteun and the child were inducted into a clandestine organisation called the Division, the details of which were redacted from the Matrix. The Doctor's memories were subsequently erased, prior to the childhood she remembers; only snippets remain, masked as the story of Brendan.

So now we find that the Doctor is essentially the first Time Lord from whom all others are derived; a fact which pisses off the Master no end. The reboot of Doctor Who has taken some big steps with Time Lord history, eg. the Doctor becoming the last of the Time Lords after destroying Gallifrey out of necessity. We later discover Gallifrey was not destroyed, only hidden and we are introduced to regenerations of the Doctor we've never seen before, ie. the War Doctor and the Renegade Doctor. This new information, for mine, goes too far. One of the key aspects of the Doctor's regenerations was their ordinariness. Now we find that the Doctor is very, very special. I guess we'll see how that plays out in the future, especially as the Doctor says that she is so much more than she previously imagined.