The Timeless Child's Multiversal Origin Explained

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Doctor Who: Flux episode 5.

Doctor Who: Flux episode 5 builds upon the Timeless Child retcon, with the Doctor's origins confirming and explaining the existence of a multiverse. Current Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall is determined to rewrite the show's lore. He's done that through the Timeless Child retcon, revealing the Doctor is not a Time Lord at all - rather, she is the Timeless Child, a being discovered by an ancient Gallifreyan explorer who became the base genetic code for the entire Time Lord race.

According to Doctor Who season 12, episode 10, the Timeless Child was discovered a billion years ago by the Gallifreyan explorer Tecteun. Her journeys brought her to a distant world, where she found herself looking up at a mysterious wormhole. As the Master explained it, this was "a gateway, a boundary – into another, unknown dimension, or universe. Tecteun glimpsed the infinite through that gateway." At the foot of the wormhole was a monument of some kind, and at the bottom of that monument, Tecteun discovered an abandoned child. This was the Timeless Child, a being from some other realm who soon proved to possess the power of regeneration - and would ultimately grow up to become the Doctor.

Related: Doctor Who: Jodie Whittaker Just Repeated A Classic Third & Tenth Doctor Mistake

Doctor Who: Flux is the next step in the Timeless Child retcon. The six-part story has seen the Doctor discover the Division, a secretive group she worked for in her forgotten past, and in episode 5 she confronted their leader, Tecteun herself. The ancient Gallifreyan finally revealed the Doctor's true origin; apparently, there is indeed a multiverse in Doctor Who, and the Timeless Child had been transported through a wormhole from one universe to the next. The Doctor comes from a completely different universe, one of which nothing is known.

Doctor Who has long explored the idea of parallel timelines and alternate dimensions - the Third Doctor became stranded in one in the 1970 story "Inferno," while the very idea of a "Boundary" to another universe originates from the Fourth Doctor story "Planet of Evil." On that occasion, the Doctor learned it is very difficult indeed to travel from one universe to another, because the raw state of matter itself may be different. In fact, in some cases transporting matter from one universe to another risked annihilation. All of it seems to suggest that Doctor Who's Timeless Child did not simply arrive in her current universe by accident, but rather that she was intentionally placed there.

Chris Chibnall is clearly continuing to build on his Timeless Child retcon. Doctor Who season 12 revealed there was more to the Doctor's past than she had ever suspected, and in Doctor Who: Flux she finally learned the truth of where she came from. No doubt next year's three Doctor Who specials are the completion of Chibnall's story, with the Doctor figuring out how to travel to this other universe and learn her multiversal origin. It's difficult to say exactly where Chibnall intends to take this, but multiverses are all the rage in science-fiction right now, and it will be interesting to see what his Doctor Who successor Russell T. Davies does with Doctor Who: Flux's multiverse.

More: Doctor Who Reveals Where Ruth Doctor Fits Into The Timeline

Doctor Who releases new episodes Sundays on BBC and BBC America.

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Thomas Bacon (4458 Articles Published)

Tom Bacon is one of Screen Rant's staff writers, as well as a Peer Mentor for new writers and a member of the Care Team, offering support and a listening ear to members of the Comics group. A lifelong fan of major franchises including Star Wars, Doctor Who, and Marvel, Tom is delighted his childhood is back - and this time it's cool. You can find him on Twitter @TomABacon. A graduate of Edge Hill University, Tom remains strongly connected with his alma mater as a volunteer chaplain. He's heavily involved with his local church, and anyone who checks him out on Twitter will swiftly learn he's into British politics too.

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