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This page is for discussing the ways in which The Timeless Children doesn't fit well with other DWU narratives. You can also talk about the plot holes that render its own, internal narrative confusing.

Remember, this is a forum, so civil discussion is encouraged. However, please do not sign your posts. Also, keep all posts about the same continuity error under the same bullet point. You can add a new point by typing:

* This is point one.
::This is a counter-argument to point one.
:::This is a counter-argument to the counter-argument above
* This is point two.
::Explanation of point two.
::Further discussion and query of point two.

... and so on. 

This was getting very long and questions were starting to repeat so I've broken it into headings for ease of use. --Irrevenant 09:55, July 12, 2020 (UTC)

How did the Doctor remember Jack's return in 'The Timeless Children'? Edit

  • How was the Doctor able to recall Jack's recent return in her memories when she wasn't there when it happened?
Graham and company told her about it. Seeing Jack on screen is for our benefit, not necessarily in her mind.

Why is the Timeless Child's biology so similar to Time Lords/Shobogans (two hearts etc.) Edit

  • If the Doctor is the Timeless Child from a world other than Gallifrey then she isn't a Timelord. She must have a different biological structure to the Shobogans, contradicting countless references to her/him having two hearts (and two brains, which is a thing now apparently) and to the Chameleon arch which rewrote his Timelord DNA.
Presumably the multiple organ redundancies are a biological prerequisite to regeneration, so the Time Lords presumably took on the same biology as the Timeless Child whem they copied the ability to regenerate.
The Shobogans are a bit harder to explain. One possible explanation is just that the Timeless Child's biology tends to breed true and there's been enough interbreeding between Time Lords and Shobbogans over the aeons that it spread through the Shobogan population too.

What happened to the other humans who escaped through the portal? Edit

  • What happened to the humans who went through the barrier to escape the Cybermen offscreen? Did they go to Gallifrey?
I think we can assume that the humans were transported to habitable planets, whether that be in another galaxy or universe altogether. However I don't think we will ever know exactly as a result of the Master's interference. And no I don't believe the survivors travelled to Gallifrey. The proof being that when the boundary opened in ascension of the cybermen all seemed to be perfectly normal before Gallifrey appeared within the portal itself, as caused by the master.
Further proof that the surviving humans ended up on another planet can also be seen in the Doctor's origin story, the timeless child having appeared on a planet having been transported from another place entirely be it in or out of our universe.

Why can Time Lord corpses still regenerate? Edit

  • If the Master killed all the Time Lords how can their cyber-converted dead bodies still retain regenerative abilities? Come to that, if they were preserved intact why didn't they regenerate?
Presumably however the Master killed them switched off their regenerative abilities but didn't entirely destroy them. By (very rough) analogy you can kill a human by stopping our heart, but it can be restarted given the right technology.

What happened to the Cyberium? Edit

  • What happened to the Cyberium at the end, unless we are meant to presume it was an organic life form?
Assuming that the master survived I see no reason why the Cyberium hasn't continued to exist within him.
However assuming that the master didn't survive and the explosion somehow caused the cyberium to exit his body perhaps it resorted back to it's original form (as seen in the Haunting of Villa Diodati) and now remains in the ruins of Gallifrey awaiting a new host.

Why didn't Brendan regenerate? Edit

  • If Brendan was the Timeless Child/Doctor why did he not regenerate when he fell off the cliff?
"Brendan" did technically regenerate. The perception filter just hid that fact, making it look as if he simply, miraculously came back to life after his fall. Which makes sense considering the whole point of the filter was to hide the truth.

Infinite regenerations and "The Time of the Doctor" Edit

  • So was the Doctor able to regenerate endlessly all along? If so, that makes the events of The Time of the Doctor a bit more confusing in hindsight; would the Eleventh Doctor have regenerated anyway even if the Time Lords hadn't gifted him a new "cycle"?
Yeah, the Doctor as the Timeless Child makes for a grand and powerful story but it plays merry hell with continuity. You're right, the granting of a new cycle makes no sense if it was unnecessary, unless the Time Lords only pretended to do so in order to continue shielding the Doctor from the truth. Then again, we are meant to suppose that the truth was hidden even from the Time Lords themselves. The Timeless Child does explain a line in Kill the Moon (TV story) when the Doctor speculates if he would regenerate forever. I guess explanations are possible but it empties The Time of the Doctor (TV story) of all its power and Pathos. We remember too that the Great Intelligence attempted to kill the Doctor in all his incarnations and Clara followed it to rescue him. So are we meant to believe that somehow the Great Intelligence could only go back to the Hartnell Doctor? I can't help feeling that the Timeless Child is going to create huge problems for the show in the future.
Unless the pre-First Doctor Doctor (the timeless child, part of The Division) somehow became, physically, as other Time Lords when becoming the First Doctor, with the same physiology and limitations (including no memory of his/her former existence). Thus, no memory of the earlier stuff (in some senses, a different person), and the same limit on regenerations.
Additional point: if the Doctor was never actually in any danger of not regenerating after their eleventh incarnation, how was the grave at Trenzalore able to exist in any capacity?
Yep, just one of the many continuity problems this new canon is going to bring up.
It's been demonstrated numerous times that the Doctor can indeed die if the death happens too fast to allow for regeneration (i.e. Turn Left, The Night of the Doctor).
The simplest explanation is that, when The Division reset the Doctor to infancy, they also installed the exact same regeneration limit that's standard for Time Lords. So the Doctor genuinely was running out of regenerations just like any other Time Lord.
Note: in Time of the Doctor, the Time Lords gave the Doctor "a whole new set of regenerations" so it seems reasonable to assume that the cap hasn't been completely removed and she currently only has another 11 regenerations left.

The ability to regenerate coming from the Timeless Child vs coming from exposure to the Time Vortex (ala River Song) Edit

  • If the Time Lords got their regeneration powers from the Doctor’s DNA and not from the time vortex, why was River Song able to regenerate?
I believe that the time vortex still contains the same regenerative energy as contained in the Doctor. Therefore it still make sense that River was able to regenerate upon being conceived in the time vortex. Let me explain:
Long answer:
What's different now however is the terminology behind it. The Doctor has always been under the assumption that the time lords as a species shared/attained these abilities with/from the time vortex (the untempered schism). What this episode has done is shown us that the regenerative abilities in the time vortex were once ONLY contained in the Doctor. The Doctor now knowing the truth knows that he/she was the ONLY one who contained a regeneration cycle. The gene splicing of the doctor's DNA into the Gallifreyan race simply made their species appear superior, as described by the master it was a 'noble creation myth' that their species had always contained regenerative abilities. The Time Lords thereby believed that they contained the same energy as the time vortex. However now we know that all the elite time lords did was lie about their origins to their entire species. Having erased the doctor's memories of his/her past lives and taken on the myth that they were of a greater origin they were able to hide the fact that all time lords contained the doctor's regenerative abilities.
Short answer:
Overall the time vortex and the Doctor contain regeneration energy, that's why River could regenerate. The time lords having only gotten/stolen it from the Doctor (The Timeless Children). This means that any time the Doctor made reference to Time lord dna and it's connetion to the time vortex he/she actually meant himself/herself (having not known it's true origin on Gallifrey). Only now does the Doctor know the truth that he/she was the true origin of this dna that contains regeneration energy as does the time vortex.

Is the Master lying? Edit

  • There remains the possibility that the Master is lying to the Doctor. He is controlling her access to the Matrix but why does she assume he is showing her the truth and he has not somehow manipulated it? And then there's the redacted record. What's there - the record of the Doctor's regenerations before Hartnell or something else which debunks everything she has just been told? After all there's a mass of Who history that does exactly that - Number 11 needing a new cycle of regenerations, the Valeyard, the Great Intelligence and Clara delving into all of the Doctor's regenerations, Rassilon making a pointed reference to granting the Doctor a new cycle (Hell Bent), etc. I guess it's possible that Chibnall left a great chunk of the Doctor's history redacted precisely so he could pull a rabbit out of the hat and say = 'you know what? That never happened' - if the fan base reacts unfavourably to this new canon.
Its possible Chibnall did it this way to leave an out - or even with the intention of later revealing it to be a lie. But that would still leave Ruth unexplained. It wouldn't be impossible to explain her away, but at the moment both The Doctor and we the audience have every reason to assume this is legit.

Why does Ruth's TARDIS look like a police box prior to Hartnell's era? Edit

  • The TARDIS looks like a police box because when the Hartnell Doctor took up residence in 1960's London,it took that form as a disguise then the chameleon circuit broke. Why would Ruth's TARDIS (seen in Fugitive of the Judoon) resemble a police box before this happened?
This is still an open question but my headcanon is this: Ruth (or an earlier incarnation) took refuge from The Division in 1960s Britain at which point the TARDIS first adopted this form, liked it, and kept it. When Ruth (or a later incarnation) was captured, the TARDIS was stored on Gallifrey and repaired. When Hartnell fled,he felt subconsciously drawn to steal his old TARDIS. She promptly took him to 1960's Earth,both because she knew it would be good for him,and as an excuse to "get stuck in" her favourite form again. It's a little convoluted but i think it best fits the evidence.

How did The Doctor remember his previous lives in "The Brain of Morbius"? Edit

  • Obviously this story leans into the mystery of the faces in "The Brain of Morbius", and confirms that the string of previously-unseen faces present in the episode were previous lives of the Doctor; pre-Hartnell. However - during "The Brain of Morbius", the Doctor engages in a mind-bending competition with Solon. I think it's safe to assume that the Doctor is using 'his mind' during a 'mind-bending' battle. The first face we see is Tom Baker's. Then Pertwee's; Troughton's and Hartnell's. Then about six/seven new faces. Now that these faces have confirmed to have been the Doctor, then how can the Fourth Doctor recall them during the mind battle, if they are supposedly hidden from his mind, as "The Timeless Children" states they were?

Why didn't the senior Time Lords know about The Doctor's pre-Hartnell regenerations in "The Three Doctors"? Edit

  • In The Three Doctors, when viewing the Doctor's timestream, the Time Lords want to see "the FIRST incarnation of the Doctor". We see William Hartnell. But, why would the senior Time Lords lie to each other about Hartnell being the first, when nobody who "shouldn't know" is present?
The Division appear to be a very covert and secretive organisation. It seems likely that they kept the information from the Gallifreyan Government and that very few people knew about it, or about the Doctor's secret history. The Time Lords from "The Three Doctors" presumably weren't in the loop.

Why didn't Borusa know about the Doctor's pre-Hartnell regenerations in "The Five Doctors"? Edit

  • In The Five Doctors Borusa timescoops every incarnation of the character played by Peter Davison. As Borusa knows all the secrets of the Time Lords, why does he go no further back than William Hartnell?
It's been a while since I've seen these episodes. Remind me how Borusa knows all the secrets of the Time Lords. Does that extend to knowing information that The Division deliberately hid and which was only stored in the Matrix in disguised form?

How were the Cybermen suddenly able to cyber-convert Time Lords? Edit

  • It is repeatedly stated throughout Doctor Who that the reason Cybermen are so fixated on humans, is that human DNA is the only one compatible enough with Mondasian Cyber-technology. In other words, you can only cyber-convert Mondasians and Earthpeople. You can't cyber-convert Ice Warriors or Thals or Androgums etc. Until The Timeless Children, apparently, where DEAD Gallifreyans are cyber-converted.
That has been the case up until now, but this is also the first time the Master has worked on the problem. He's presumably much more brilliant than the Cybermen's best scientists.

How is the "Ruth Doctor" the Doctor? Edit

  • We know from The Sound of Drums that the Doctor chose his title at the same time that the Master chose his. If the Ruth Doctor comes before Hartnell, (and therefore, before the Doctor starts calling himself the Doctor) why does she refer to herself as the Doctor?
One plausible explanation is that both incarnations came up with the name "The Doctor" independently because it's the perfect term to describe who they are and want to be. Like Thirteen said in Fugitive of the Judoon - "Same brain!". It's not that surprising the same brain would converge on the same term to describe the same thing.
Going along the lines of "Same brain," in The Almost People, Miranda Cleaves comes up with a code word to prove she's not a doppelganger. She cleverly types out the code word rather than saying it aloud in case her doppelganger is listening in. However, the doppelganger eventually guesses the code word, explaining that she has the same mind and thoughts as the original Miranda Cleaves.
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