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Moffat: Who says the Doctor is NOT human?

moffat-co

“Fandom, to your work.”

Steven Moffat has called on Doctor Who fandom to prove when it is definitively said that the Doctor is not human.

Speaking in the latest issue of DWM (#475) he says: “Here’s a question I tried on some Doctor Who fans recently, and we were all a bit startled by the answer, when it finally emerged – if we got it right. Okay; keeping in mind that everything you know for sure is probably wrong, answer me this: in which story is it confirmed, definitively, that the Doctor is not human?

“Now before you jump up and yell An Unearthly Child – sorry, but wrong. He makes it clear he’s not from this time, and seems to indicate that he was born on another world, but he never says he’s an alien. He could, just as easily, be a human being from the far future, born on some colonised world. Indeed, most of his conversation in the early days would seem to confirm that he thinks of himself as human, and he even explicitly states that he is, at least once.

“So come on then. To your DVD collection. In what story do the wise men and women of the BBC stop fudging the issue, and make our hero Not One Of Us. I’m not talking about him having remarkable abilities or attributes – we’ve always known he’s not ordinary, that s fair enough. Spider-Man’s not ordinary, but he s not an alien. And I’m not talking about series bibles, or internal memos or retconned continuity – when did the Doctor Who production team stop hedging their bets and make him alien?

“Fandom, to your work. Yes, Russell, you too.”

Step back in time...

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646 comments
Romana21
Romana21

The War Games, the first time he actually said the words "Time Lord" ever in the show. He had to call on his own people to help him. That's when, Moffat. The War Games. Another episode was "The Deadly Assassin", when the fourth Doctor had to return home because of a call from Gallifrey. There's also 'The Five Doctors', and tons more. Big Finish also did do quite the work on Gallifrey, making it true that the Doctor's a Time Lord.

EWBlues02
EWBlues02

Let's get the An Unearthly Child quotes right, Moffat: "We're not of this race.  We're not of this Earth."  Also, "Before your ancestors turned the first wheel, the people of my world had reduced movement through the farthest reaches of space to a game for children."  :)  However, we do know that the doctor is HALF human.  He has always embraced both sides of himself.







gavinbarsby
gavinbarsby

You see I think the question is being read out of context. a better question would be "who says the doctor is NOT 100% alien?" My Great grandad was Scottish that makes me part Scottish (a very small part) and as such if I am asked my nationality I say English, but I'm not 100% English by blood. The Doctor could be the same identifies himself as gallifreyan but could still be part human. That's what Moffat is getting at and I don't think it has ever been said he is 100% alien just that he considers himself alien. 


AnthonyJFuchs
AnthonyJFuchs

Whether or not it's the first time he confirms it, the Fourth Doctor does tell Sarah Jane in "Pyramids of Mars" ~ "I'm not a human being; I walk in eternity." That's pretty definitive.

Sophie4318
Sophie4318

Bloody hell, Series 1 Episode 1: Rose, (from the reboot), Rose asks if he is an alien and he explicitly states, I quote; "Yes. Is that alright?

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS MAN?

RichardPirtle
RichardPirtle

Um, he says he is not human in season 7, when talking to the the cybermen. He tells them that they cannot upgrade him, as he is not human.

Malohkeh
Malohkeh

I never realized this fandom was so plagued by illiteracy...

interestinglywho
interestinglywho

DOCTOR: The difference being the computer doesn’t accept me as human. 

AMY: Why not? You look human. 

DOCTOR: No, you look Time Lord. We came first. 

-The Beast Below (written by STEVEN MOFFAT)






a_koz
a_koz

Terror of the Zygons.  He says it plainly there when eh is captured by the Zygons and they try to kill him.


Broton (Zygon Leader): You admire our technology, human?

The Doctor: Well, I'm not human; and I've seen better


Moffat, back in your box and actually do your research!





epiphanywords
epiphanywords

ROSE: It’s alien.


DOCTOR: Yeah.

ROSE: Are you alien?

DOCTOR: Yes.  Is that alright?

ROSE: Yeah.

— S01E01, Rose

Polyphase
Polyphase

Has anyone figured it out yet ? Was it really The War Games ?

dont blink
dont blink

Moffat's obsession with ignoring DW canon for the sake of?? dramatic story telling?? is getting rather old. The doctor has said multiple times, with no reason to lie, that he is an alien. It's reinforced by other characters. That doesn't mean that he couldn't be partially human perhaps but that'd be hard to fit into the story. Time lords from the canon story are not human. Petition to kick out moffat and bring in someone who respects the actual story


diskgrinder
diskgrinder

Gallifrey is a far future human colony that discovered the ability to retcon

There, that's fixed it

GraemeSheridan
GraemeSheridan

23m:00s onwards The twin Dilemma. 6th Doctor to be absolutely precise!"

JustinIanKohnke
JustinIanKohnke

It wasn't revealed that he was a timelord until Patrick's last story war games. The only time it said he was half human was in the movie


gamingprophet
gamingprophet

So, I think I know what Moffat is doing here. He says that everything we know is wrong. And remember, number one rule is that The doctor lies. So, with that in mind, it's possible, however unlikely, that he could be human.

A Friend of the Ood
A Friend of the Ood

To everyone posting that quote from Rose over and over and over again:

Read the question! He's not saying "The Doctor isn't an alien", he's asking "When was the first time the Doctor is confirmed to not be human". The first time is definitely NOT in the new series.

GraemeSheridan
GraemeSheridan

Sixth Doctor, "Peri for you I am in fact an Alien!"  

ar2261
ar2261

My God, this one is simple.  "Rose" !!!!  When she enters the T.A.R.D.I.S for the second time after running out and around it the first time, she says "So you're an alien."  The Doctor replies, "Yes."  Common Moffat

Unibot
Unibot

"Oi! How did you get this number?" 


"The woman at the sh--" 

"Not this again... what is it? What do you need help with?" 

"Are you an alien?" 

"Russell, is this you again!?"

"No - why?"

"Well.. sorry. To answer your question: of course, I am. Silly question really!" 

"So you aren't human?"

"Nope."

"Not even a human being?"

"Of course not! Eww!"

"Shame, you'd make a great human".

"Who said I'm not a human?" 

"You did..." 

"No, I said I'm not an alien, not human and not a human being, but I never said I'm not *a* human. That's the problem with you lot, you never listen!"

"What's the differen-"

"Thought you'd never ask! Alien is foreign to Earth... check... human is a rough approximation of an organism that I am not.. check... human -being- is an abstract pre-Socratic concept that is irrelevant to a consciousness that spans through eternity... check. But am I a human? Yes, I think that could fit just fine. Still a Time Lord, though."

"Born on Gallifrey, yes?" [The Doctor hangs up the phone]

"Doctor... Doctor, are you there?"

jellinfelon
jellinfelon

Smith and Jones. The Judoon are scanning all the humans in the hospital to find the non-human. The Doctor has to hide because he is NOT human and the Judoon will be able to pick that up instantly. He kisses Martha Jones which leaves trace elements of alien - or NON-HUMAN - on her, resulting in the scanner getting confused and causing the distraction he needs. In fact, the alien fugitive the Judoon are looking for is caught this way! The Plasmavore drinks human blood to disguise itself as one, but gets tricked into drinking the Doctor's blood, and because the Doctor is NOT HUMAN, it is exposed by the scanner as an alien. 

Mercy Reborn2
Mercy Reborn2

I think it is possible that advanced humans from the very far in the future could be curios about time lord society,  maybe they are historians,so altered his body to fit in to Gallifreyan society and they could have time travel

elfwine
elfwine

he says i think to donna that timelords came first. she says "you look human" and he says "no, you look timelord, we came first" and the ninth doctor says to rose he is an alien in the first episode. 

Mercy Reborn2
Mercy Reborn2

maybe in the far future mankind would start adapting our bodies to suit the planets we settle on or maybe it was natural evolution on that particular planet possibly similar to Gallifrey that might be why the doctor has two hearts. I think it was said somewhere that the doctors father was a explorer it is possible he took a liking to him






Mercy Reborn2
Mercy Reborn2

I think he has said tons of times that he is a timelord, but it is possible that he is an evolved human from the future, maybe he was adopted by the timelords in to their society maybe he just appeared on gallifrey.

ClownPrinceoCrime14
ClownPrinceoCrime14

The main points that everyone seems to be forgetting are the Gallifreyans themselves, as a species. They are very hierarchial in nature and prefer to be isolated from other worlds. That behaviour alone would not allow for a possible human lineage to have been created, before OR affer The Doctor's existence (with the exception of Leela who was allowed to stay because of a technicality i.e. The Doctor being President at the time).

Even so, it has been stated and impliesd that Gallifrey and it native inhabitants predate humans and Earth altogether. 'The Runaway Bride' is a perfect example where it shows off a race of spider aliens (can't remember their names, forgive me) who did battle with Gallifrey while the Earth was still forming. As well as Moffat's throwaway line of; "No, we came first. You look Time Lord." kinda also calls him out on his point.

Sophie4318
Sophie4318

@gavinbarsby Thats a very good point, I get where you're coming from. That makes a lot more sense. He seems to see himself as more human in my opinion, although he knows he's Timelord.

Elionu
Elionu

@Sophie4318 Hold up, he's not trying to justify the Doctor being human, he wants to know when it was first stated OUTRIGHT that the Doctor is not a human being. Which I suppose would be The War Games, but it was obvious before then with the Doctor's telepathy.


Elionu
Elionu

@Polyphase While I don't think it was stated until then, the Doctor and Susan are shown to be telepathic in The Sensorites, so that might count.

thegeorgeyoung
thegeorgeyoung

@gamingprophet True. However, this is made significantly more difficult by the fact that the Judoon (and many others, I believe) also confirm his inhumanity.

Elionu
Elionu

@ar2261 Moffat wants to know the first time it was stated outright, probably for reference. Don't forget, "Rose" is most definitely NOT the first episode.

Char10tti3
Char10tti3

I know right! just put that on tumblr! and tentoo isn't just human. Just posted it on tumblr and I think moffat is lazy and looking for fans to find montage clips.

Amy is Hannibal
Amy is Hannibal

His point? He doesn't have a point. He's asking a trivia question - when did the producers first confirm that he was an alien?


A Friend of the Ood
A Friend of the Ood

@ClownPrinceoCrime14 I'm not sure I like the idea of Gallifreyans evolving from humans, but their culture in the show doesn't prove or disprove anything. Culture changes over time. Also, like humans, they aren't all exactly the same. 


The Doctor and the Time Lords might not know the exact history of Gallifrey. They only know everything they do about Rassilon and Omega through stories. The Matrix probably doesn't even go back far enough to have detailed information on the beginning of the Time Lords. Even if it could, it wouldn't be hard for someone like Rassilon to alter the facts.

Sophie4318
Sophie4318

@Elionu Yeah, I know don't worry. That's what I thought originally, but after talking to several people I realised my mistake. I think the red mist kind of descended because I already dislike so much he's done to the show.  And my reference to the Rose episode was just an example of one of many times when it has been stated he's not (at least not entirely) human. :)

Sophie4318
Sophie4318

@A Friend of the Ood Thats not what this is saying. Moffat says "...he never says he’s an alien. He could, just as easily, be a human being from the far future". Which suggests to me that Moffat thinks he could be a human and not alien. YOU read the question :L



PrisonerZeroIsACybermen
PrisonerZeroIsACybermen

You do realize he's asking for the first time in the Classic Series where the Doctor says he's not human.  Moffat's not saying he's gonna retcon everything.  He's putting out a challenge to see if Who fans can solve it.

ClownPrinceoCrime14
ClownPrinceoCrime14

A Friend of the Ood - The culture of Gallifrey is very important to this debate. They were completely isolated for their entire existence, only ever venturing out to 'correct' universally-spanning injustices which fell under their jurisdiction and affected them.

More importantly is the culture of Gallifrey at the timeline in general when humans could have integrated into their society. In 'The Runaway Bride', we are shown that Time Lords existed and fought other species long before the Earth had been born and even longer before humans even evolved. They were already isolated at this point, only ever fighting against a threatening alien species. We can therefore assume that, from this point up until its demise, Gallifrey and Earth had limited contact that never resulted in biological exchange, let alone a handshake.

Other people have also pointed out that humans from the future could theoretically travel back in time and transplant themselves into Time Lord society. This too is impossible, and here's why: sure, we don't know much about Gallifrey's early, early, early, early, early beginnings, but what we do know is just how capable they are at preserving what has survived of the past and their civilisation. Namely: DNA. There is an entire repository of Gallifreyan bubbly within the Archives, as well as the information of the biological make-up of trillions of other species across the cosmos.

Surely, at some point, ever, in the series, especially when directly questioned on this subject, The Doctor would have mentioned, if it were true and had probably already been compared, that Gallifreyan and Human DNA were in any way related. Seems to me he goes out of his way to prove he's as non-human as possible with the exception of appearance. You'd also think the Time Lords would have done some follow-up research once discovering this culture-altering information and investigated? With time travel? From a distance? Like, with every other species they monitor?

I doubt something this accessible to the public could be that easily hidden or altered, especially with the access The Doctor had as President.

Amy is Hannibal - A trivia question? But...why? Don't get me wrong, I enjoy being tested by knowledgable equals on any show I love, especially creators of said programs, but...why this? Why now? What was the complete context of the asking of this question? If the question was that difficult to answer by all the fans in attendance (which I doubt), doesn't Moffatt have chums or researchers at the BBC who keep track of this stuff whom he could ask?

It could be read many ways: some see it as a trivia test, but I and others see his question more as a justification for some kind of future plot, daring fans to come up with an example and prove him wrong. Well, we can only try.

A Friend of the Ood
A Friend of the Ood

@Sophie4318 @A Friend of the Ood "In what story do the wise men and women of the BBC stop fudging the issue, and make our hero Not One Of Us...when did the Doctor Who production team stop hedging their bets and make him alien?"

He's asking because he knows the answer and wants fans to figure it out by watching the classic series. That's all. He's not saying the Doctor isn't an alien. 

Your quote is out of context. He was talking about why the first episode, An Unearthly Child, wasn't when it was confirmed that he was an alien.

gilkevin
gilkevin

He's talking about An Unearthly Child the first Who episode (not Rose) and justifying why it is not the answer, and why the game is worth playing. Don't grab a quote out of context to justify your own lack of understanding.

GraemeSheridan
GraemeSheridan

@Sophie4318 @A Friend of the Ood We read the Question, Moffat wants to Troll the Fans, and The 1st Reference to being an Alien is at the End of the War Games, the last by his own Hand in the Beast Below. So far a total of 10 Times. Moffat knows he's an Alien Moffat is not just a good writer but also a Troll.

Amy is Hannibal
Amy is Hannibal

Just to get us thinking. Why not? Remember, this was just something he rambled off in DWM - it's just a little thing for the readers to ponder. An interesting little tidbit that could give them some perspective.


KevinGil1
KevinGil1

@ClownPrinceoCrime14 I think if there is an ulterior motive, I think it's to make the fans reflect on the historical take of the serie on the Doctor's secret past, which may lead to something in season 8. Of course he won't make him human, but if there is a revelation of something we feel the Doctor should have brought up before - here is an exemple of something that was a big part of the show but yet we didn't have a clear answer to about until 5-6 years in the program.

jackrudrum
jackrudrum

So we get it the timelords have been around for a very very long time but I still don't see why thos stops them having originally been humans who after exposure to the time vortex had their dna altered-this prrtty much has to be the case else why would they have a device that allows them to disguise themselves with human dna, how else would river suddenlly become a timelord.... also the doctor would have no reason to reveal this info-as he ISN'T huma as he'd be a later evolution of humans. In the same way that we aren't apes (I forget the name for the common absestors of apes and humans so I'll just say apes) if an ape from another planet said to us "so are you an ape?" You'd reply "no" vecause you aren't. Your species however might priginate from the same source. Timelords may be experts at preserving and recording but maybe the oroginal humans they come from weren't initially? It'd also explain the Doctors fodness for humans and protection of them...he always says "they are capable of so much more" etc to invaders and threats and even some humans on occassion he already revealed that in the show humans spread EVERYWHERE in the future. Also nothing stopping humans evolving on a nother planet like galifrey and then continuing to evolve along different paths due to the technology they possess.

Oh and I agree this sounds kindanlike justification for a future plotline he's working towards....

Sophie4318
Sophie4318

@A Friend of the Ood Oh ok. Although I don't think my quote was out of context for what I thought he meant, I can see how I mistook the question he posed.

Thank you for correcting me. I think I freaked out, because I'm already not a fan of a lot of what he's done in the past, and so the red mist kind of descended before I fully took in what he meant.

Are you sure he already knows though, or is he just asking if people can pinpoint when exactly the writers made it clear he wasn't human?





Sophie4318
Sophie4318

@gilkevin That was a little rude. I was responding to what I thought his question, or statement, was saying. He was saying that AUC is not  the correct answer to the question he posed, I understand that. I thought that his question meant "I can't think of a time where they explicitly said he was alien", when after thinking about if further, and realising my mistake, he meant "when did the writers stop being vague and say outright that he was an alien?" Although I am right in saying that they stated it in Rose, obviously it was first said long before then in the original Doctor Who series'.

ClownPrinceoCrime14
ClownPrinceoCrime14

jackdrum - River became a Time Lord because of exposure to the time vortex as a foetus, which in itself is hard to swallow. That kind of genetic change (i.e. Human - Full-fledged Gallifreyan with 12 regenerations tucked under her belt) would take generations to reach, which is most certainly how Gallifreyans reached their current standing. I'm not saying they weren't 'like' humans, but it's a little far-fetched to make them so. I'll explain below.

KevinGil1 - I certainly hope he just doesn't do this^ for the reasons I will state below.

Amy is Hannibal - He did say that he tried the question on some Doctor Who fans recently, that's the context I wanna know about. He wouldn't just walk up to a bunch of fans and ask this question unless it had been on his mind for some time.

Now, to answer the earlier. Even though The Doctor's relationship with Earth has become very friendly and he loves them now, this was not always the case. He barely even liked being there earlier on and he had to learn to like them. That experience in itself shows an unwillingness to integrate, something which also proves he was neither prepared to do nor wanted to do. You'd think if he were aware of this genetic link, that he wouldn't mind as much, but no.

Also, I still disagree that there were no times he could have brought up the fact that he was related to humans. All the times his blood was compared could have been ample opportunity to prove this. There would have been a shred of evidence brought up, especially during the U.N.I.T. years, but there wasn't. Besides, this was the theme behind Stargate.

I feel that this kind of move is so unoriginal and spoil the relationship The Doctor has with Earth. If he has blood ties on Earth, so what? He already considers them his family and home. It's a much more meaningful connection with him having no relation to them. The alien who came to Earth thinking it would be his prison and discovering a home. It's as if making him human is a half-arsed way of justifying this relationship with Earth, as though Moffat's saying he MUST be human cos he loves humans and wants to live with them.

That's pretty much how I would sum up all of the last three series as I'm sure it will be for two more to come: lazy, unnecessary, half-arsed, off the cuff justification which hollows out the meaning, heart and soul of the show.

gilkevin
gilkevin

@Sophie4318 @gilkevin Yes; sorry ^^;; it did not help that about half the comments on this thread were similar to yours. But yes, he knows. Or at least, he thinks he does (it's actually pretty tough, given the number of missing episodes, to have a definite answer).

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