It was only in the past six months that I became a die-hard Whovian. Matt Smith, I’m proud to say, is my Doctor. Although I enjoyed David Tennant, Smith resonated with me more.
Once I had watched all seven seasons (or series I guess I should say), I spent the next few months learning about “Doctor Who” lore. The Day of the Doctor has quickly become a point of obsession for me. WHAT HAPPENS ON THE “DAY OF THE DOCTOR”? That question is for another day… November 23 to be exact. I’m writing this to explain to you all who I believe the Mystery Doctor is.
I am of course referring to the incarnation of the Doctor who appeared at the end of “The Name of the Doctor.” Played by John Hurt, this guy appears to be one major bada**. There’s something wrong with him though. He is the Doctor’s darkest secret. Smith looks at Hurt with contempt. This Mystery Doctor broke the promise of the Doctor, the promise that comes with the name itself. What he did was “not in the name of the Doctor,” as Smith points out.
So who is he? Well we know he is one of the Doctor’s regenerations. Rumors have spread that he existed between Doctors Eight and Nine — after the film and before the revived series. Does anyone remember what happened between Doctors Eight and Nine? The Last Great Time War.
The Doctor has stated before that he fought on the frontlines of the Time War. Perhaps everyone assumed all this time that it was either Eight or Nine who participated in the legendary War. This war was of epic proportions — so epic that the battles themselves took place throughout time. Time itself was shifted on both sides so the results of battles could be altered and each could gain significant advantages. On account of the nasty, ongoing, corruptive time flux altercations during the war, the conflict became “time locked.” This meant no one could ever return to that battle through time travel, or perhaps even out of it. What we know is that the Doctor himself ended the war with “the Moment,” an event so gargantuan and powerful that it resulted in the desolation of both the Daleks and the Time Lords. The Doctor (and the Master if you want to be super accurate) was the only Time Lord left. Other Daleks obviously appear later in the series but you get the point. The Doctor wiped out billions of people and decimated two civilizations.
There you go. There is your answer. The Doctor chose his name. He chose to be the Doctor as he promised to help and heal the innocents of all time and space. On that day, the Doctor broke that promise. He did not heal. He killed. On a massive proportion. As John Hurt says in “The Name of the Doctor,” “What I did, I did without choice. In the name of peace and sanity.” I think we can argue that the Time War was absolutely insane with the use of time warfare. And it’s safe to say that war is anything but peaceful. To end the conflict once and for all, the Doctor did something so terrible, that his incarnation could not keep the name Doctor — he wiped out his entire race.
Matt Smith looks at this Mystery Doctor with contempt because this man destroyed his people and left him alone in the universe. Obviously, they’re the same person but each Doctor has distinct personalities. Perhaps the Eighth Doctor died in the Time War and regenerated into a warrior, to better contribute to the battles. His personality was more of a soldier than of a healer.
Finally, this mystery Doctor died, either in “the Moment” or sometime after the War. If he died at the end of the battle then perhaps he was able to regenerate because the source of the Moment came from him, leaving him alive (or with enough of him left to regenerate, similar to how Earth remained when the universe basically exploded at the end of season (series) 5.
Still, we won’t know anything for sure until November 23. If you have your doubts about this theory, then I would suggest looking up a description of the trailer they showed at Comic-Con. In it, John Hurt is on a battlefield and Daleks are seen exploding. What do you think?