Hurt’s Who: An Alternate Theory

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Guest contributor Gabriel Lucas-Green has his own theory on the big Series 7 reveal.


This is a response to the previous article ‘Who is Hurt’s Who?’ by Tom Colman and should offer an alternate view on which version of the Doctor Hurt is playing.

Every Whovian was blown away by what they witnessed last Saturday when the words “introducing John Hurt as the Doctor” flashed up on the screen at the end of the programme. Now practically every Doctor Who fan is doing what we do best, speculating what the hell just happened.

john-hurt-50th-doctor-whoThe most common theory is that Hurt’s Doctor is the 9th Doctor, mainly because we never saw McGann regenerate into Eccleston, but also due to the filming photos of his costume – it’s clearly McGann’s waistcoat underneath Eccleston’s leather jacket. But don’t you think this is too obvious? Steven Moffat is cleverer than that. He would have always known that leaked photographs of costumes would circulate during filming, so why would you make the costume so blatant, especially for one of the most secretive story lines in Doctor Who history? That’s why I think this is one of his famous red herrings.

So which other Doctor did we never see regenerate from their previous incarnation? Well, Hartnell!

Is Hartnell really the first Doctor?

Since Doctor Who began, the Doctor has been running away from the Time Lords, as he committed a crime. What crime exactly, has never been explained, but I think it’s that he divulged his own name, which is a crime in Gallifrey. Therefore the Time Lords have always been trying to find him to persecute him, and he’s always been running away from them. This would work as Hurt’s incarnation of the Doctor gave away his own name.

It’s also unlikely that William Hartnell was the first incarnation of the Doctor, just the first version of the Doctor we knew. As I’m sure you’ll know, Hartnell’s Doctor travelled with his granddaughter, which means he had a partner, and a child, and that child had a child; so I think it’s unlikely that Hartnell was the first version of the Doctor, as he had a whole life before we met him.

Moffat also said that this would change Doctor Who history forever, and it certainly would. It means that Hartnell would in fact be the second Doctor, and all the Doctors would shift up one, making Matt Smith the 12th and penultimate Doctor (the Doctor has a total of 12 regenerations and therefore 13 versions of himself).

So, as I stated earlier, Moffat has managed to put not only one, but two red herrings within this:

  • Viewers will think Hurt is the 12th Doctor
  • Whovians will think he’s the 9th Doctor
  • In fact he’s the 1st!

I’m not saying I’m right, I’m merely offering an alternate theory for you to speculate. I personally think my theory makes slightly more sense, and explains why the Doctor has been running all these years.

But what do you think?