An Earthly Gallifrey
Guest contributor Liam Sewell entertains a potentially radical twist.
Steven Moffat recently quizzed fans on when it was first stated that the Doctor was non-human. This opened up a debate over whether the Doctor could perhaps be human. At first thought it’s absolute nonsense, right? Or is it?
Yes we know the Doctor is a Time Lord, but what do we actually know about them? They’re ancient race with a lot of mystery and little is known about their origins. However, if the Doctor is human, why then does the 5th use his different anatomy in Caves of Androzani? Why does the Judoon scanner not recognise him as human? Why does the 7th Doctor protest human medicine? Could this be for the same reason that we do not consider ourselves the same species as apes? Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I’m referring to evolution.
Let’s think of a ludicrous story: Series 8 is reaching its end, we’re at the closing moments of the penultimate story (said to contain a blinder of a cliffhanger). Gallifrey is back and as the Doctor settles political dispute, Clara goes to explore the planet, but what does she see on the horizon? It’s the Statue of Liberty sticking out of the desert! She is stunned and the cliffhanger is thus, Gallifrey was Earth all along! Many readers have already started getting angry and have no doubt punched the desk, but stay with me just a little while longer.
How on Earth could our home planet have become Gallifrey I hear you ask? Let’s see shall we? Do you remember that time that the Time Lords moved Earth to a different corner of the galaxy and renamed it Ravalox, storing within it some of Gallifrey’s secrets? Picture this, the size and shape of the planet doesn’t match its location and so it falls through space and into a wormhole, or a blackhole or some temporal spacial anomaly that lead it back to the dawn of time in the location of Gallifrey itself. The planet would be there, the foundations for Gallifrey. “But we saw the two planets side by side in The End of Time and Gallifrey was much larger!” Ah yes, but Gallifrey has also had millions of billions of years to accumulate cosmic dust and rock, like a snowball rolling down a hill. Possibly not the best explanation but it’s good enough for hypotheses.
Now what about the Time Lords? They’re very different to humans! They have two hearts! They can regenerate! We can’t do that. Well, let’s put the hearts thing down to evolution (to account for alternative climatic conditions set about by the different space occupied by the planet). The regeneration is a little more complicated to explain away, but the answer may have been given to us already. In the episode Cold Blood it is agreed that the Silurians will return to the surface to live in harmony with the humans. What if they did? What if eventually the species began to breed? (Vastra and Jenny had a romance, why not others). Lizards, which is essentially how we think of the Silurians, have regenerative powers. They can regrow limbs and what not. Take this ability, mix it with a human, add a couple of millions of years evolution and bob’s your uncle. Cuppa Time Lord? No? Ok.
This can offer many explanations, for example why the Doctor has such an affection for humans, why they advanced so quickly as a race. They were already very advanced and of course why the Doctor is “half human on my mother’s side” (I know, I want to pretend it didn’t happen too, but I’m afraid it’s something we have to live with). If there are still some humans who didn’t evolve, a lesser species on Gallifrey, then this makes sense.
Maybe this is what Moffat has got planned and he’s subtly trying to prepare us? Maybe this is something that could be a viable option in the future? Or maybe you just hate me by now! Regardless of what you think, stranger things have happened in space…