During the final act of The Ghost Monument, there was an allusion to something coming in the Doctor’s future. A “Timeless Child” was mentioned by the cloth creatures, and they seemed to play on the fact that the Doctor didn’t know what was in store. Today, I’ll be breaking down who, or what, I think the Timeless Child may be…
The obvious start for this would be the Doctor’s granddaughter, Susan. For as long as I can remember, fans have been clamouring for the Doctor and their granddaughter to be reunited once again. There was the whole “One day I shall come back” speech that the First Doctor gave all those years ago, and could it be up to the Thirteenth Doctor, under Chris Chibnall’s scribe, that makes the reunion of this iconic duo finally happen?
It’s certainly not out of the question, especially considering that a lot of this series seems to be focussing on families, but considering that Chibnall has stated how he wants this series to be the most accessible, having a character that’s over 50 years old reappearing may be slightly alienating to the newer fans.
River is another fairly obvious contender; and I feel like this one is the least likely if I’m being honest. Whilst River could easily be considered as a “Timeless Child” as she was produced in the vortex, her conception didn’t happen at any particular point in time. Another fan favourite idea, having River meeting her husband as a woman, would be fun; but I honestly think would be more suited in a Children In Need or Comic Relief sketch, rather than be the crescendo at the end of a series. Plus, if Chibnall is wanting to distance himself from Moffat’s timey-wimey era, it may not be such a good idea to reintroduce one of his most iconic characters so soon into his own era.
Another theory of mine is that it could well indeed be the Doctor that is the Timeless Child. Whilst many are assuming that the title means it’s a child out of time, what if it means timeless in a different way, and it’s referring to the fact that the Doctor never matures? The Thirteenth Doctor we’ve seen so far, has been really energetic, enthusiastic and… well, childish. Could the Doctor’s naivety lead to a monumental downfall? Whether it be to herself, one of her companions, or someone else entirely. This could be an interesting move, as seeing the Doctor have to face her own actions head on, leading to a more emotionally conflicted Thirteenth Doctor could be a very bold, brave, and interesting move for the character.
The Doctor’s Child
We’ve met the Doctor’s granddaughter, Susan, but we have never met Susan’s parents, nor have they been referred to a lot. Again, with the big focus on family, it might be interesting to see the Doctor reunite with her child, whether it be a son or daughter; and see how that dynamic would work, after so many lifetimes. There’d certainly be a lot of catching up to do, and the TARDIS now has a Custard Cream dispenser, so all they’d need is a teapot.
What I think could be really interesting here is to see the Doctor’s child be a villain, which would explain why the Doctor took Susan on adventures all those lifetimes ago. Seeing the Doctor have to potentially face down her own child would be utterly heartbreaking too, as, besides with the Master, it’s rare that we see the Doctor be conflicted over an enemy.
Something very interesting happened in The Ghost Monument, which I feel like may be foreshadowing; and it was how eager Ryan was to pick up a gun and fight. It may have been because he was still angry and grieving over his gran’s death from The Woman Who Fell To Earth but I think it was a really interesting idea, that maybe now Ryan feels as if he has nothing left to lose, and he is becoming reckless. He told Graham in the episode that he’s not a kid anymore, but the audience know that, at his heart, he’s exactly that. Could the Timeless Child refer to the fact that Ryan might not make it to adulthood and meet an untimely end whilst travelling with the Doctor?
Those are just a few of my thoughts and suggestions as to whom the Timeless Child could be referring to; what do you think? Could I be on the money, or do you have your own ideas? Let me know by tweeting me @GallifreyRchive!