The Doctor’s Greatest Secret: A Personal Theory

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Guest contributor James Montgomery speculates on the Time War and Hurt’s Doctor.

day of the doctor pics (4) hurt

As we anticipate the coming 50th anniversary, many theories and speculations about certain characters and events are on the rise. One of the biggest mysteries that remains is, what did John Hurt’s character do that was so bad he lost the title of “The Doctor”. Well, for an answer we can turn to common sense and guess that he performed an action that is so far in the grey that it might as well be black.

In The Beast Below, the 11th Doctor mentions that he would have to assume a new name after killing the star whale because he wouldn’t be a Doctor anymore. So I think it’s safe to assume that death is probably involved… I mean this is a war. We also know from The Doctor’s Wife that the Doctor says he is responsible for the death of all of the Time Lords. My theory is that he did in fact kill all of them but at a specific point in time. The time was after the end of the largest Time Lord victory at The Gates of Elysium.

john-hurt-50th-poster-day-of-the-doctorMy theory is this: after the battle at The Gates of Elysium, Davros had fallen, the Daleks had been driven off the planet by the Time Lords, and the Time War was all but won. This victory was, however, not enough for the now power hungry Time Lords. They sought to wring every last stinking Dalek out of existence. A brand new offensive was led by the Time Lords and a second Great Time War. Knowing that the Time Lords had to be stopped, the Doctor took it upon himself to end the Second Time War before it even began. He tells the Time Lords that he is done fighting and walks away from the war effort. He then leaves the Time War to begin constructing “The Moment”(We’ll say he goes to the Medusa Cascade because it has the coolest name or whatever.).

He returns moments later (or months later depending on your perspective) and uses “The Moment”. Utilizing this weapon he destroys all of the Time Lords (it works sort of like the Immortality Gate in The End of Time) and converts them to regeneration energy which is then absorbed by The Doctor (John Hurt) giving him billions (at the least) of regeneration opportunities. Then using the power of all the Time Lords in one vessel, the Doctor “time locks” the events of the first Time War so that the war mongering will come to an end.

I believe that the John Hurt’s crime was the theft of a billion Time Lord lives. This explains away the regeneration limit. It also explains why there are no Time Lords after the Time War but many left locked during war time. Perhaps he put them in an infinite loop of fighting the same battles with the same outcomes, always ending on the day he killed them all and beginning again on the day the Daleks first attacked.

Honestly, if this isn’t the case, I’m going to march up to Steven Moffat and demand I get to write a few episodes. If the theory isn’t enough to persuade then imagine seeing this scene… John Hurt on his knees, weeping in the middle of an empty battlefield as billions of golden regeneration tendrils creep toward him. Then, the Doctor walks through an empty, broken Gallifrey to see it at its worst before he locks it away forever…