"Doctor Who" executive producer and head writer, Steven Moffat left a lot of Whovians scratching their heads this past weekend after suggesting that the upcoming regeneration for the Doctor may not be his last.
Any fan who knows the difference between a Dalek and a Cyberman knows that the Doctor only has 12 regenerations, and with Peter Capaldi announced as the next Doctor once Matt Smith leaves after this year's Christmas Special, it looked as if the final ride of the TARDIS could be seen on the horizon. That may not be true, if Moffat has anything to say about it.
While speaking at the Cheltenham Literature Festival this past weekend, Moffat was quoted by The Radio Times as saying, "He can only regenerate 12 times… I think you should go back to your DVDs and count correctly this time. There’s something you’ve all missed."
It only takes one vague comment to get the Whovian rumor mill spinning, and Moffat has "Doctor Who" fans spouting out theories faster than the workings of a Sonic Screwdriver.
Online geek destination, Bleeding Cool has their own theory of what Moffat meant:
It does seem most likely that he’s talking about a regeneration we didn’t account for, and seeing as [former executive producer] Russell T. Davies started his run with Eccleston already in action and not rolling around in a glowing light, the show’s long hiatus is definitely the most obvious place to hide a transformation. I do think everything we’ve seen in the show so far -- really, in the last episode -- tells us this is the case.
Could the recently introduced so-called "dark Doctor" played by John Hurt be the missing link between EIghth Doctor Paul McGann and Christopher Eccelston who played the Ninth Doctor when the series was resurrected in 2005 by Davies?
The upcoming return of the 10th Doctor, David Tennant and his companion Rose (played by Billie Piper) in the 50th anniversary special seem to complicate theories even further (Eccleston was also approached by Moffat to return, but declined). The Radio Times thinks that maybe the previous regenerations involving McGann and Eccleston didn't count:
...we didn’t witness Paul McGann regenerating into either John Hurt’s Ninth(?) Doctor or Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth/Tenth Doctor. If somehow neither of those counted as regenerations we would have one fewer than we'd previously thought – Matt Smith would be the tenth Doctor and Peter Capaldi would be the 11th. But how could the Doctor have changed bodies without regenerating?
These questions will hopefully be answered when the "Doctor Who" 50th anniversary special, "The Day of the Doctor" airs on November 23, with the Christmas special (and Matt Smith's final outing as the Doctor) to air the following month on Christmas Day.
Do you have your own theories or thoughts? Share them in the comments below!