Doctor Who: Russell T Davies says controversial Timeless Child arc is still canon

Leon Miller
Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor standing in front of the TARDIS in a Doctor Who promotional still.

Showrunner Russell T Davies recently reiterated that he has no plans to reverse the “Timeless Child” storyline’s polarizing changes to the Doctor Who mythos.

The “Timeless Child” arc was overseen by Davies’ direct predecessor, Chris Chibnall. It ran throughout Jodie Whittaker’s stint as the Thirteenth Doctor, concluding with 2022 special “The Power of the Doctor.” Throughout its run, “The Timeless Child” proved controversial among the BBC series’ fanbase, as it drastically altered Doctor Who lore.

One of the biggest changes ushered in by the “Timeless Child” arc was the revelation that the Doctor was once an immortal being whose unique biology was used to create the modern Time Lord race. The cross-series plot thread also revised the total number of regenerations the Doctor has undergone. This had the effect of recasting the show’s protagonist as even older and more mysterious than previously believed.

Following Chibnall’s exit in 2022, some fans hoped that his replacement, Davies, would scrub “The Timeless Child” from continuity. But according to the showrunner himself, that’s not going to happen.

Russell T Davies says Doctor Who’s Timeless Child arc is still canon

On the contrary, Davies revealed in an interview with Doctor Who Magazine (via X) that his second tenure as Doctor Who’s boss will cement the “Timeless Child” arc’s place in the show’s canon.

“The history of the Flux and the Timeless Child is dealt with very slightly in [Doctor Who 60th anniversary special, ‘Wild Blue Yonder’],” he said. “To acknowledge the brilliant work Chris did and to say that’s absolutely part of our history as well.”

This tracks with previous comments Davies made about leaving Chibnall’s contributions to Doctor Who untouched in an October 2023 interview. “Let’s stare that question right in the eye. I’m not going to unwrite my good friend Chris Chibnall’s work on [Series 12 episode] ‘The Timeless Children,'” he insisted. “I’m not going to deny what he wrote. I’m going with it. It’s absolutely fine.”

Russell T Davies teases Doctor Who Seasons 3 and 4

Davies’ willingness to embrace the “Timeless Child” arc reflects his own penchant for shaking up Doctor Who tradition. A notable example of this is his decision to rebrand the show’s upcoming 14th series as “Doctor Who Season 1,” to signify that the franchise will “reset” itself with the arrival of Ncuti Gatwa’s Fifteenth Doctor.

Predictably, the news that Davies has overhauled Doctor Who’s chronology caused a stir on social media. However, the showrunner seems unphased by the commotion. Indeed, he’s already looking beyond Doctor Who Season 1, stating in a recent interview that he’s started mapping out Seasons 3 and 4.

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About The Author

Leon is a freelance Movies and TV writer at Dexerto. His past writing credits include articles for Polygon, Popverse, The Escapist, Screen Rant, CBR, Cultured Vultures, PanelxPanel, Taste of Cinema, and more. Originally from Australia, Leon is currently based in the UK.