Warning! SPOILERS for Doctor Who season 11, episode 2 ahead!
Tonight's episode of Doctor Who is another whirlwind adventure in where the Doctor and her friends must regularly run for their lives, but it's onlywhen the Remnants - strips of fabric that have been bio-engineered to kill - are reading the Doctor's mind and uncover something about a "timeless child" that the Doctor is really frightened. So who is the Timeless Child? And what does it mean for this season of Doctor Who?
The scene in question involves the Doctor, Ryan, Yaz, Graham, and their two new companions, Angstrom and Epzo, under attack by the Remnants, who along with being killer aliens can also sense fear and read minds. The Remnants sense a lot of fear from the Doctor, to which she remarks she has enough fear for a dozen lifetimes. They then look closer and say to her, "Afraid of your own newness. We see deep though. Further back. The timeless child."
Related: Who Are The Doctor's Family?
The mention of the Timeless Child leaves the Doctor dumbstruck, as if it's a phrase she hasn't heard in a very long time and never expected to hear again. The Remnants continue, "We see what's hidden - even from yourself. The outcast, abandoned and unknown." At this point she yells at the Remnants to get our of her head, gives the signal to Graham, who lights Epzo's cigar, which ignites the gas and kills the Remnants. The scene is over almost as quickly as it began, but the question still lingers - who is the Timeless Child?
- This Page: Is The Timeless Child One Of The Doctor's Children?
- Page 2: Could The Doctor Herself Be The Timeless Child?
The Doctor's Children (or Grandchildren)?
The mention of a child immediately conjures up the idea of the Doctor's children or family in general. The Doctor definitely had a family - and children - because they're mentioned several times throughout Doctor Who's 55 year history, but always in the past tense. When the Thirteenth Doctor mentions her family, she put a slightly more positive spin on the situation, saying, "They may be dead to the world, but they're not dead to me." This Doctor chooses to remember her family, and in this small way they live on, but in actuality they're still dead and gone.
However, the Remnants refer to the Timeless Child as someone "abandoned and unknown", which suggests it's someone the Doctor has forgotten. Might the Timeless Child be the unearthly child, Susan, the Doctor's granddaughter and first companion? She was a Gallifreyan teenager (and possible Time Lord herself) who traveled with the First Doctor, afterwards remaining on Earth before being asked to return home and fight in the Time War. Susan being the Timeless Child is certainly a possibility seeing as it's been some time since she's been heard from, but it's also hard to imagine that the Doctor forgetting Susan. After all, the Twelfth Doctor was shown with picture of Susan on his desk when he was teaching at university.
As for known offspring, Jenny - the Doctor's daughter created by sampling some of the Tenth Doctor's DNA - is another possibility, but her being the Timeless Child seems even less likely. Jenny isn't a proper Time Lord or even Gallifreyan. Plus, the mention of her - or Susan for that matter - doesn't really seem like the sort of thing that would so unsettle the Doctor. And while it's certainly possible the Timeless Child is referring to a relative of the Doctor's, possibly even a child or grandchild, it's more likely to be someone else.