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12 Insane Doctor Who Fan Theories That Actually Make Sense 

Luke Y Thompson
Updated September 20, 2019 6k votes 1.2k voters 51.1k views 12 items

List Rules Vote up the theories that seem way too out-there on first glance, but upon further consideration might just be true.

Continuity is hard enough to keep between movies and their sequels - ask Terence Howard about Iron Man sometime, preferably from a long distance. When it comes to Doctor Who,  a show that has lasted more than fifty years, and which originally aired before anyone had any conception of VCRs, the Internet, or even re-runs, it's damned near impossible. So the showrunners have essentially given up trying too hard - the invention of the phrase "wibbly wobbly, timey-wimey" to explain away any and all inconsistencies was a stroke of genius, even if the show does too frequently feel like it's trying to retroactively rewrite its own history at times (seriously, Clara was prophesied before William Hartnell's Doctor ever left Gallifrey?).

But sci-fi fans - being sci-fi fans - want answers. And in the absence of specifics, they'll make them up themselves. Sometimes, people involved with the show itself make them up. Other times, devotees imagine where the universe of the show might cross into others. Here, with a debt of thanks to my Facebook friends, are 12 of the best. Be these theories frivolous, weighty, semi-canon, or imagined subtext... all of them make sense to one extent or another.
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5
The Doctor Is a Really Incompetent Time Lord
The Doctor Is a Really I... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 12 Insane Doctor Who Fan Theories That Actually Make Sense
Photo: BBC

He can't fix the chameleon circuit. He can barely get the TARDIS where he wants it to go. He'd like to regenerate as a ginger, but never does. He left Gallifrey before his education was complete. He says he did all this deliberately, but is it possible he's just a dumb school drop-out who talks a good game?

Since all Time Lords are smarter than humans, it'll always remain a mystery. And that's one of the beauties of the show, really.
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6
The Doctor and the Master as Would-Be Lovers
The Doctor and the Maste... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 12 Insane Doctor Who Fan Theories That Actually Make Sense
Photo: BBC

In the original run of Doctor Who, this one required a bit of projection. Think about it: two elegant, fastidious English gentlemen who show no romantic interest in women, obsessed with one another, one of whom is generally a pacifist and the other having the catchphrase, "I am the Master; you will obey me."

This became more overt in the modern incarnation when John Simm was cast, and the Doctor started saying things like, "I wonder what I'd be without you" and the Master's repertoire suddenly included retorts such as, "Are you asking me out on a date?"

Now that the Master is Missy, however, it's been made pretty obvious - she does carry a torch for him, in a really perverse love-hate kind of way. Except now that she's a woman, it's no longer a gay dynamic. But assuming those feelings carried through previous regenerations, it used to be.
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7
His Name Is "42"
His Name Is "42&quo... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list 12 Insane Doctor Who Fan Theories That Actually Make Sense
Photo: Disney

There are numerous connections between the universes of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Doctor Who - novelist Douglas Adams contributed to the show as a writer, there's at least one alien in common, and the Heart of Gold resembles the TARDIS in many ways.

And both universes have an ultimate question. In THGTG, the characters only know the answer, and it's "42." In Who, they know only the question, and it's "Doctor Who?"

Therefore, the name of the Doctor is 42.
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8
Season 6B - Patrick Troughton's Unseen Regeneration
Season 6B - Patrick Trou... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list 12 Insane Doctor Who Fan Theories That Actually Make Sense
Photo: BBC

This theory is one semi-endorsed by expanded universe media, and comes about simply because you never technically see Patrick Troughton's Second Doctor regenerate, There are also some continuity errors between both his last episode and Jon Pertwee's first, as well as his incarnation's subsequent appearances in anniversary episodes like "The Two Doctors."

It goes like this: "The gap exists because the regeneration of the Second Doctor (played by Patrick Troughton) into the Third Doctor (played by Jon Pertwee) was never explicitly shown on television - although the Second Doctor's face is shown beginning to change and contort, and then disappear, as he spins away into the void. Instead, viewers were left only with the impression that the Doctor had been sentenced to two fates: enforced regeneration and exile on Earth. Season 6B thus contains stories in which the Second Doctor is living under the threat of these two sentences. Depending on the story involved, he may be living on Earth or not, but all stories in this period have him waiting to be forcibly regenerated."

The actual explanation: official Doctor Who comics published several stories after Troughton's last episode aired but before Pertwee was cast. Continuity not having been much of a big deal to the BCC or pre-Internet fandom, the discrepancy was left for many years. Today's fans aren't having it, however, and Season 6B is included in the BBC's online episode guide, though it has not yet been confirmed on the TV show itself.
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