“Time Lords are friends with each other, dear. Everything else is cradle-snatching.” – Missy to the Doctor
The Doctor is a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey, in the constellation of Kasterborous. All Time Lords possess the ability to regenerate, meaning when they are near death they are born again in a new body with a new personality while retaining their memories. Barring accidents or being killed again during regeneration, a Time Lord is essentially immortal. No matter how much I watch Doctor Who, I can’t fully comprehend that sort of life. I am a finite being so I can’t fathom traversing all of time and space for millennia. I love thinking about it! I love speculating about it! But I’ll never – no matter how long I ponder – fully understand what such a life would be like. As a result, I can never fully understand the Doctor’s relationship with the Master. The Master is another Time Lord, the Doctor’s childhood best friend who grew up to become one of their greatest enemies.
One of the unique things about a show/story/character as long running as Doctor Who is its potential to fold back on itself, to tell a story that opens a new path for future narratives while also inviting you to return to older stories and see them in a new way. As I explored last week, Chris Chibnall’s addition of the Timeless Child to the world of Doctor Who certainly does that. This week, as I’ve been filling my time between Doctor Who: Flux “Chapter One: The Halloween Apocalypse” and Doctor Who: Flux “Chapter Two: War of the Sontarans,” I’ve been continuing my journey through all 695 episodes of Classic Doctor Who. As I’m moving through the Third Doctor’s era (which I ADORE), I’ve been thinking of the Timeless Child. Specifically I’ve been thinking of how seamlessly it brings together a few plot points which felt a bit disconnected to me.