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An Earthly Gallifrey

Guest contributor Liam Sewell entertains a potentially radical twist.

gallifrey-earth-eot

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.

Doctor Who Cold Blood Stills (1)

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…

Step back in time...

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217 comments
VidarRaven
VidarRaven

Why should it make sense? anyway humans nor Timelord's live in the Time Vortex so perhaps the TARDIS knowing River needed to be born helped

VidarRaven
VidarRaven

She was conceived inside the TARDIS whilst within the Space Time Vortex this caused her to be born with certain Timelord characteristics (at least that is the explanation given in A Good Man Goes to War)

JonathanNightwingWebster
JonathanNightwingWebster

The only issue is the TimeLords are granted Regenerative abilities, it isnt something all Gallifrayans can do. Only those that make it through the Academy

VidarRaven
VidarRaven

A story in the Tenth Anniversary radio Time Special had a story purporting something similar

LeeBeing
LeeBeing

Planet of the Apes pastiche? Why not, we've had Aliens (a la Cold War and The Time of Angels, Ghostbusters (The Angels Take Manhattan, Titanic (obvious), Frankenstein (The Brain of Morbius), etc.... So it's not a new thing.

Let's hope not though, eh? Besides, that would really annoy me as it's too close to my Doctor Who screenplay I'm plotting out...

IanChesterton1
IanChesterton1

Hold up folks! Let's be clear on what Moffat actually said/asked. I read the article in DW Magazine and he basically simply set a challenge to fans to identify the first episode in which the production team made explicit that the Doctor was alien. He never suggested that the Doctor might be human. I find all of this consequent babble to actually be quite bizarre!


The Living Angel
The Living Angel

As much as I love the man, its obvious that Moffat is up to his usual trick of winding up the entire fandom. The Doctor could! be a woman, The Doctor could! be human, The Doctor could! be a chair etc. Like I said I do love Moffat and everything he has done thus far, however not every story and aspect of the show needs to have a long drawn out, complicated and hidden history.I fear that Moffat believes he can and will do as he pleases regardless of how it relates to the rest of the shows history. 

Please Moffat do what you keep telling us that your going to do, which is looking to the future, not constantly messing with the past and trying to make it "clever" all the time. 


DawnTime
DawnTime

Also in Hide the humans from the future were messing around with time !

Romanadvoratrelundar
Romanadvoratrelundar

I think the theory that Time Lords are humans is good, but Gallifrey being Earth? No, it seems too much of a stretch. What if, far in the future, humans - lead by the Lazarus-like Rassilon, who was obsessed with becoming immortal - colonised Earth?


This still opens up a host of 'holes' that will need to be filled. To start, there's all that stuff about Time Lords being ancient, and how - in the words of the Doctor - they "came first". It's been implied several times that regeneration came about through continued exposure to the time vortex (a point that was, quite notably, reinforced by Moffat) so that won't be a problem to explain, but the two hearts is a bit more complicated. It would, however, clear up a few things - like the Doctor's interest in Earth and saving the human race, and why he looks exactly like a human (as was pointed out by Star Trek, you'd expect a race from the other side of the galaxy to at least have pointy ears or six fingers or something).

Even so, there is a line that even Moffat knows he can't cross. There's a difference between bending a few rules and challenging our assumptions (eg "Gallifrey Falls No More"), and attempting to retcon an idea that the show's writers have been building on for 45 years. To be honest, I think this is yet another "Moffat publicity poly" - he's a pro at bending a few words and upsetting the entire fandom. It's like his subtle suggestion that the Doctor "could be a woman" - despite there being three other 'Doctor castings' in the 21st century, never before had there been such a huge and dragged out debate over the idea, when the whole time Moffat never intended to make it happen in the first place.

NicholasOlivieri
NicholasOlivieri

But I do hope they don't rip off the Statue of Liberty bit from Planet of the Apes.that would be weak.

NicholasOlivieri
NicholasOlivieri

Also, anyone trying to refute this idea with logic derived from facts we already "know" about the whoniverse is overlooking the fact that the Moff makes up rules whenever he needs to for the convenience of his story.

NicholasOlivieri
NicholasOlivieri

Umm... Also, River is a Time Lord who is the offspring of two humans, so this is not such a radical idea.

Exalos
Exalos

I think the “half human on my mother’s side” quote is not more reliable than the doctor's age in the RTD era or how the Master is the doctors's brother, so i wouldn't count on that as any kind of proof.



gwylock1
gwylock1

Regeneration was a genetic modification made by Rassilon to his people. Just saying.

conallmc2013
conallmc2013

Earth cannot be gallifrey. Evolution in a distant colony i.e gallifrey is the only logical theory. 
















consultingtimelord63
consultingtimelord63

What about those times where the Doctor mentions that we look Time Lord, since they came first? Did Earth get zapped back into the past? Wellllll, knowing this show, it's possible. I'd personally prefer that Earth was NOT Gallifrey, since Gallifrey seems like this mystical complicated, yet awe inspiring place that turned bad, and it would sort of take away that sense of mystery about the Doctor's origins if Gallifrey just turned out to be Earth.

The Living Angel
The Living Angel

Personally I would not like Gallifrey to turn out to be Earth or that Time Lords are evolved humans. However I have always wanted the question answered as to why so many of the alien species look so human. My personal little story has always been that the Time Lords created different races throughout the universe and kept watch over them, and that the human race had somehow disappointed them but The Doctor always had faith that we could better ourselves and accomplish greatness and therefore vowed to protect us.



conallmc2013
conallmc2013

It is possible that the gallifreyans evolved from humans and gallifrey is a humanized colony in the far future- irregardless of which they are classed as different species. However it is impossible for time lords to be human, their anatomy is entirely different although similar to humans. 

doctorwhomultiverse
doctorwhomultiverse

I also don't like this geocentric version of the Whoniverse where the human race just happen to become one of the most important and powerful races quite by chance... It is a little arrogant to say the least.

A Friend of the Ood
A Friend of the Ood

@VidarRaven It still doesn't make sense. There are things that live in the Time Vortex, they didn't become Time Lords. Every time traveler would be exposed to the Time Vortex, they don't all become Time Lords. So why did River? Just because she was conceived in the TARDIS? That doesn't make sense.

PaulMorris7777
PaulMorris7777

@gwylock1  There has NEVER been any evidence that Rassilon "gave" regeneration to his people!

ilyootha is in the Divergent Universe
ilyootha is in the Divergent Universe

@doctorwhomultiverseWell, like it or not but it already seems to be the case. A large amount of stories set in the future feature Earth or human colonies, and it looks like we really did well over the centuries to come. In fact, the Emperor of the Universe is a human!

This is only to be expected, though. With so many aliens visiting and trying to conquer Earth you would expect us to have loads of alien technology to study, and as a result, to make large technological breakthroughs. UNIT already has teleports and Moonbases, how long do you think it will be before we get interstellar travel and spread throught the universe?



conallmc2013
conallmc2013

@doctorwhomultiverse That's not really true it the fact that we breed like rabbits and spread out across the universe. Earth's always been described as an ignorant child who is unaware of the magnitude of their universal surroundings and ultimately very primitive. 

Ollie Walton Harrod
Ollie Walton Harrod

I know. I don't like it.

I was told earlier today though that "Melody Pond wasn't just a child of the TARDIS, her DNA was manipulated by the Silence to augment the effects of the chronoton radiation upon the foetus".

So, simply put: River Song can regenerate because the Tardis gives off radiation, and that radiation can be manipulated by science to give the power of regeneration.

Now I don't know what to believe exactly, and what has been edited/emphasised, but that is a more reasonable answer for me, than just, she was born on the Tardis, therefore she's part time lord.

Ollie Walton Harrod
Ollie Walton Harrod

That's a very good point.

I don't like that explanation Moffat gave for River. Travelling in the Tardis doesn't make you a time lord, or give you time lord qualities. That's just silly, in my opinion.

JonathanNightwingWebster
JonathanNightwingWebster

This is true, it's been mentioned a lot in classic who. River was an anomaly, mainly caused by Moffatts lack of knowledge towards doctor who. But he explained it that, she absorbed a lot of temporal radiation because she was conceived within the time vortex. But he did make it abundantly clear that she wasn't a time lord, she was a human with fluke regenerative abilities.

gwylock1
gwylock1

@PaulMorris7777 @gwylock1 Aside from the various times it was explicitly stated in the classic series, and also in various novels and audios of the extended universe.

conallmc2013
conallmc2013

@Ollie Walton Harrod @conallmc2013 the origins of gallifrey is hazy. The time lord- vampire war was considered myth until the 4th doctor stumbled upon a lord. That being said is it not possible that gallifrey was a humanized colony, thereupon time travel was invented and we then have a civilization present throughout time. It is a reasonable assumption for time lords to believe they are the oldest things in existence but perhaps in a timey-wimey way humans came first. For instance humanity was unaware of evolution until very recently- historically speaking. 

PaulMorris7777
PaulMorris7777

@gwylock1 @PaulMorris7777  NEVER explained in the Classic series. The ONLY time Rassilon is seen/mentioned is The Five Doctors, and there is NO mention of regenerations! Get your facts right. Watch The Five Doctors!

Ollie Walton Harrod
Ollie Walton Harrod

But the Time Lords can see the whole of time and space. I think they'd know they came first.

And please don't say timey-wimey. It's so overused, and unnecessary.

Ollie Walton Harrod
Ollie Walton Harrod

@JonathanNightwingWebster @Ollie Walton Harrod And you don't know 'too' much about spelling, it appears. :D

I heard earlier today that "Melody Pond wasn't just a child of the TARDIS, her DNA was manipulated by the Silence to augment the effects of the chronoton radiation upon the foetus".

So, simply put: River Song can regenerate because the Tardis gives off radiation, and that radiation can be manipulated by science to give the power of regeneration.


I don't know what to believe exactly, and what has been edited/emphasised, but that is a more reasonable answer for me, than just, she was born on the Tardis, therefore she's part time lord. So, I'm just going to go with it (always trying to think positively) ;p.


gwylock1
gwylock1

@PaulMorris7777 @gwylock1 I have watched the Five Doctors, many times! And he is said, in that story to be in a state of "perpetual bodily regeneration" He is actually mentioned several times during the classic era, including The Deadly Assassin, State of Decay, and The Invasion of Time. It's implied in the Five Doctors that he was involved in the creation of regeneration, though admittedly not absolutely explicitly stated until the Audio stories Zagreus and Trial of the Valeyard, it is stated more clearly in the Five Doctors novelisation. However, it IS canonically stated that he was the creator of what is known as the Rassilon Imprimatur, which allows the Time Lords to regenerate and telepathically commune with their TARDISes, so your argument is really pointless :)


gwylock1
gwylock1

@PaulMorris7777 @gwylock1 According to Rassilon's entry in the TARDIS Wiki, it does have to do with regeneration, though the wording is vague, so it could easily be saying that the imprimatur was another modification Rassilon made, not necessarily the source of regeneration. The point is that it is stated that Rassilon gave them regeneration, so I'm getting quite tired of arguing with you ;)   Go listen to Zagreus or Trial of the Valeyard of you want definitive proof, mate!

Ollie Walton Harrod
Ollie Walton Harrod

@gwylock1 @PaulMorris7777 I should watch that episode at some point. But you stating that his wording is vague, and then talking as if it were definitive isn't really helping your argument.

PaulMorris1
PaulMorris1

@gwylock1 @PaulMorris7777 Depends if you want to include Zagreus and Trial of the Valeyard as canon. It was NEVER said on the Classic series, So, I stand by what I have said. 

By the way, Zagreus is awful!

gwylock1
gwylock1

@PaulMorris1 @gwylock1 @PaulMorris7777 It is however stated that Regeneration is part of the symbiotic nuclei which Rassilon gave the Time Lords. And also, night of the Doctor confirmed at least the 8th Doctor adventures as canon, so Zagreus is canon, and I personally consider Most of the audios as canon. And IMO Zagreus was good, if not the best of Big Finish

Ollie Walton Harrod
Ollie Walton Harrod

I don't like to think of anything but the series as canon.

But in the case of 'The Night of the Doctor', I feel that that is okay. Because it's only purpose was for clarification. And it was written by Moffat, and acted like a deleted scene, for 'The Day of the Doctor'.