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This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
Doctor Who Series 4

WARNING! THERE MAY BE UNMARKED SPOILERS!

Davros is back
We know that the last Dalek has failed to clone itself but in the trailers we see multiple Daleks. Davros may be the only person who can create the Daleks, as he has done it twice by now.
  • Wikipedia's article on the series states that the final antagonist appears to be some sort of humanoid on a dalek-style base... Sounds like Davros.
    • It's now doing the rounds that Davros is to be played by Julian Bleach, who appeared as the Ghostmaker in the Torchwood episode "Out Of The Rain". As for humanoids on a Dalek base, it is widely speculated that Harriet Jones will be converted into a Dalek.
      • Thankfully, it didn't happen that way. She went out as a Big Damn Hero.
      • ...Do Daleks work that way?
  • Status: Confirmed!

This season's Arc Words will be "The Shadow Proclamation."
It's important on a galactic scale, it's been floating around since Season 26, and the name was dropped again in the BBC's online video about the Adipose.
  • Russell T Davies has stated in the Doctor Who Magazine that there won't be a single arc word, though little details will be building up from Season 27. Though he could be messing with our minds again (as he did with a certain face), and the Doctor did mention The Shadow Proclamation in the first episode of the revival.
    • He mentioned it in the second episode of the new series.
      • Not used in Planet of the Ood. Curses!
  • Status: Sort of confirmed (the Shadow Proclamation ends up playing a role in the finale, but it's not the only set of Arc Words)

This season's Arc Words will be "That planet has vanished"
The first two episodes have plots based on the disappearance of planets. The buildup will lead to either reveal what was destroying these planets, or that they were planets lost in the time war.
  • The midseason trailer also has Wilf noticing that stars are disappearing from the sky.
  • Midnight has the Doctor talking with a woman about a lost moon.
  • Status: Sort of confirmed (vanishing planets are relevant to the finale, but that particular sentence isn't)

This season's Arc Words will be "Medusa Cascade."
  • Status: Sort of confirmed (the Medusa Cascade ends up playing a role in the finale, but it's not the only set of Arc Words)

This season's Arc Words will be "The bees are disappearing."
It's a real-world phenomenon; however, apparently one of the audio commentaries said it was important, and photographs of filming for the season finale show a newspaper stand which says that greenhouse gases are at an all-time high - global warming is one of the speculated real-world causes of the bees vanishing. It also happened to be a side-effect of the parallel universes merging in season 2/28.

Arc Words are just one aspect of the arc.
Or so says Word of God.
  • The first two episodes have dropped a whole bunch of clues, including Rose's return, the Shadow Proclamation, 'lost' planets and, probably, the Medusa Cascade and the something on Donna's back.
    • Let's not forget the bees.
      • That one is a real fact and is really happening clickles, but what about Ood Σ's assertion that the Doctor's song may be coming to an end?
      • He addressed them as Doctor-Donna and could have meant either one of them or "soon" from his own point of view, not that of a time-traveller.
      • Doctor Song seems to know something about Donna's fate, and it's likely to be unpleasant.
  • As a further elaboration: couldn't the Doctor-Donna song be a reference to Silence in the Library?
  • Continuing that elaboration: think about the wording - The Doctor's Song will soon come to an end... and Dr. Song, the Doctor's future romantic partner, did meet her end in the library...
  • Status: Confirmed.

The main theme of this series will be Humans being transformed into something else
  • In "Voyage of the Damned", Astrid became Stardust.
    • Was Astrid actually human though? The passengers on the space-ship designed to look like the Titanic certainly didn't seem to know much about Earth.
      • She was a Human Alien—probably biologically close enough to count.
  • In Partners in Crime, the Adipose were made of human fat, in the Fires of Pompeii, the soothsayers, augers and other fortune-tellers slowly were turned to stone by the pyrovillains,
  • In Planet of the Ood, the 'Big Bad' of the episode turns into an Ood
  • In The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky the planet Earth is almost turned into a Sontaran Clone world.
    • We also have Martha's clone, although that's admittedly on a smaller scale.
  • The titular Doctor's Daughter was expected to be Human but was a Time Lady.
  • The Unicorn and the Wasp gives us a human who turns into a wasp.
  • Silence in The Library and Forest of The Dead had humans being "saved" and converted into data, and space suits taken over by the Monster That Lives In The Shadows.
  • Midnight had Sky Slivestry taken over by the entity.
  • Turn Left was Donna converted by the beetle.
  • Since we know the Daleks are making a reappearance because of the trailers, humans being turned into Daleks again, like in Bad Wolf/Parting of the Ways perhaps?
    • Rumour has it that the former Prime Minister, Harriet Jones will be converted into a Dalek. Several "sources" are quoted as saying the actress was "smuggled onto the set" so as not to give the plot away.
  • With the Doctor having a half-human clone, and Donna turning half-Doctor, we can say the theme has played a big part in this series. Status: Confirmed.

The theme of the series is the Earth being converted for other purposes
Miss Foster, the Pyroviles and the Sontarans have done it. That or the writers are running out of ideas. Then again this didn't happen in Planet of The Ood, for obvious reasons.
  • This is similar to the one above.
  • And yes, the very last episode(s). Status: Confirmed.

The title of the 12th episode will be something like "The Stolen Earth"
And it's confirmed!

Upcoming Episodes
According to comments by a video uploader on Youtube (who has a contact at the BBC), the titles of the final three episodes are Turn Left (where Rose Tyler comes back), The Oncoming Storm (a reference to a Christopher Eccleston line) and Journey's End. There are also videos on the site that show Rose running with a gun, Daleks, the Doctor being knocked down and picked up by Rose, Captain Jack, and what seems to be a reprisal of the "Bad Wolf Bay" scene from Doomsday. It also seems that Mickey Smith and Sarah Jane return for guest appearances.
  • Status: Mostly confirmed (it was "The Stolen Earth", not "The Oncoming Storm")

Jenny will be the Doctor's companion for the specials.
Catherine Tate has said she is only doing one season. If this is the case (and don't forget Ood Sigma's comments!), the Doctor will need a new companion - plus, if she conveniently figures out how to regenerate, she can be recast if Georgia Moffett doesn't want to return. Plus it would remove a HECK of a lot of shipping.
  • Apparently it was Steven Moffat's idea that Jenny survive. Which suggests that he may have specific plans for her in Season 5...
    • Shipping maybe, but Rule 34 will be back with a vengeance. No corner of Teh Internets will be safe from a massive Squick-worthy development such as that. (Admittedly it's somewhat less creepy than Hartnell-Doctor/Susan "shipping".)
  • The specials have series 4 production codes; this may "count", so we may not find out about a new companion until 2010.
  • Status: Jossed (the specials each have a one-off companion)

The girl's name is some derivative of "Cal"
She clearly has major control of the library.
  • She is the Library database. Dr. Moon told her that her nightmares are real and the real world is not, so it seems as though the database created this elaborate imaginary life for its avatar, the little girl, when the Library shut down.
    • She is the Library database, which is described as a computer inside the planet, and Dr. Moon is a diagnostic computer inside the planet's moon.
      • In addition, the people being "Saved" are saved like Ctrl-S saved. Dead, yes, but digitally copied into the library's computers. To those who read Girl Genius, the library computer is split like Castle Heterodyne, and so the main core (girl) is unaware of its purpose as it can no longer access its database, and its strong AI is unaware of what is a simulation it's running and what is input from its sensors. The father is most likely some kind of security program; he ignores and possibly blocks contact from the Doctor. Dr Moon is a diagnostic thing, and is trying to fix the library. The girl falls over onto a rug shaped like the library logo, making the "it's a simulation, she's an AI" theory pretty strong. While we're on the topic of computers, the scan for life forms thing is strange: It tops out at 100 billion life-forms on the world. This is odd, because we see binary code inside the computer, meaning its logic will be based on powers of 2. Thus the highest value it can store will be a power of 2, and 100,000,000,000,000,000 is not one of these. Strange waste of an individual memory address for the computer. Geek niggles aside, I think that yes, the girl is the library system's GLaDOS, the father is the angry sphere, Dr Moon the curiosity sphere and that means the floating one we see the doctor fiddle with is the Cake one. 100 years ago, somebody removed the bit that stopped her flooding the Enrichme Library with A deadly neur Vashta Nerada, and sadly the portal gun does not work on bookshelf surfaces, so Chell is still making her way around the planet trying to find the bits to zap.
  • Status: Confirmed.

The series finale will include a big "The RTD Years" montage
So far confirmed we have the returns of:
  • Rose
  • Rose's Mum
  • Mickey
  • Martha
  • Torchwood in General
  • Captain Jack in particular
  • Sarah Jane Smith
  • The Daleks (well, they're somewhere in the last few episodes, I'd be surprised if it wasn't the finale)

"The Sun" - whose insider reporting on Doctor Who is usually pretty spot-on - reported that the Doctor would be "terribly injured in an explosion, but four companions run to his side."
  • Right on "terribly injured" and the four companions (Rose, Martha, Donna, Jack), wrong on "explosion".
    • Presumably whatever mole the Sun has on the inside saw them filming David Tennant running along the street, then being flung to the side by an invisible force to be added in post-production.

Cue Murray Gold, wielding every instrument at his disposal, and a look back at the last four seasons before RTD hands over to Steven Moffat.
  • Status: Confirmed. Except for the bit about the explosion.

Will the Doctor regenerate, either at the end of Series 4/30 or after the 2009 specials?
For the Yes:
  • The above montage, if it comes to pass, and the "terribly injured" thing, would suggest so.
  • Even if the montage doesn't happen, it's still an awful lot of people from the history of the show, combined with Russell's assertion that the finale to this series is one he's been planning for some time and finishes a lot of ongoing stories.
  • New production team, new Doctor?
  • The official line is that Tennant is signed up for the 2009 specials at least, but there's no regular series because he's doing Hamlet for the RSC. But no word on Series 5. Maybe a staggered change, with a new production team seeing the "old" Doctor through some specials to get their eye in, rather than change everything all together.
  • Five of the original seven Doctors did three seasons each. It's a decent stint in the role - much more and you start to get typecast (ask Tom Baker, who did seven seasons). Tennant's doing Hamlet is a sign he's getting itchy feet, even if he does stick around for the 2009 specials.
  • Maybe this whole thing about, due to Tennant's other commitments the 5th season will be delayed, is really subterfuge and he's really leaving after this season and that stuff about the delay of the 5th season is just so people don't start asking why Tennant has all these other commitments that would clash with him shooting the next season.

For the No:
  • The BBC are notoriously bad at keeping this sort of thing secret. RTD's handover to Moffatt was common knowledge (or at least "very strong rumour" months before it was announced. You think they could keep the departure of the star of the show secret?
  • Anyone like to post more "no" arguments?
  • It might still be a different Doctor; it won't necessarily be new. With the alternate universe, a further one-year stint for the Eccleston Doctor is a distinct possibility.
    • This would have the useful side-effect of pushing back the Fourteenth Doctor problem by several years...
  • Well, we know Tennant's doing the 2009 specials, and he's been seen filming the 2008 Christmas special. That said, some of the rumours flying around about that don't actually rule out the possibility of his regeneration at the end of series 4.
  • The fact that they're postponing series 5 around Tennant's schedule seems like a pretty good indication that they don't want him to leave quite yet. Of course, Tennant may still opt to leave.

Confirmed. The Doctor is shot by a Dalek at the end of The Stolen Earth and begins regenerating.

Well, they've still got one more episode to cop out and hit the reset button...
  • It's likely his severed hand will "sacrifice" itself to halt his regeneration and restore him to health...but it won't be permanent, meaning he'll still regenerate from being killed by the Dalek shot sometime next season.
  • Semi-confirmed for that part, the hand did stop the regeneration in full.
  • Still not Jossed; there's the specials to consider.

  • Confirmed with the announcement of the replacement, Matt Smith, who will be taking over after the 2009 specials.

The Royal family of Padrivole Regency Nine are the ones who involve the Judoon in the last two episodes.
Based purely on the fact that we see them at about 11 and 30 seconds in the next time at the end of Turn Left and, all things considered, they may feel they owe the Doctor.
  • Status: Jossed.

All the Arc Words of the RTD years will be solved.
As of The Stolen Earth, Medusa Cascade and Shadow Proclaimation have been mentioned, as has Torchwood and Bad Wolf.
  • "The bees are disappearing", which is not only referenced but explained as the bees being an alien species who have migrated back to their home planet.
    • Not all of them.
  • Also, Mr. Saxon wasn't mentioned - though we did hear the sound of drums at one point. When Harriet Jones, Former Prime Minister made her first appearance. The four-beat sequence of beeps that started her transmission was exactly in time with the sound of drums.
  • Status: Jossed.

The Doctor is regenerating, but not into the 11th Doctor
. They're out of phase with normal time, and the Medusa Cascade seems to be the center of the reality-weakening effect that's letting Rose travel between worlds. Certainly not a normal environment, anyway.
  • Dalek Caan called him a number of odd things, including "The Threefold Man" - three regenerations left, hmm...
    • Ooh, now you've got me thinking the "Regeneration" energy, rather than making the Doctor regenerate, will alert other previous doctors. Tennant, Eccleston, McGann for the three in question maybe?
    • Personally, I think his Regeneration will be halted, probably by The Hand that he lost way back when...it was shown right at the beginning of the episode in an odd camera pan (which may have been to show it bubbling, but...)...and it did get cut off curing his first fifteen hours of regeneration..granted, that was three years ago, but still..
    • Alert! Alert! Sylvester McCoy recently spotted in full Doctor garb...
  • Status: Confirmed in broad strokes, Jossed in detail.

The "most faithful companion" is the TARDIS
Oh no!
  • Okay, Prof. Song knows the TARDIS from the future, but still. Oh no!
    • Donna becomes the new Heart of the TARDIS. Oh noes!
  • Technically true, the Tardis "dies"... in a way.
  • And so does Doctor-Donna. Which would make the Doctor's "most faithful companion" a female version of himself.
  • Also, given that Dalek Caan was secretly working against the Daleks, and kept his Heel-Face Turn a secret until the end, he was pretty faithful and could have even been referring to himself.
  • All but confirmed in the final part of the comic mini-series Doctor Who: The Forgotten when The Doctor, having been attacked by a Time Beetle (like the one which attacked Donna in Turn Left), hallucinates being trapped in a museum devoted to his life and is guided out of the illusion by a psychic projection of The TARDIS. The TARDIS first manifests as Martha, clues The Doctor into something being wrong by knowing things Martha couldn't possibly know, introduces itself as the one companion he has always had and then helps The Doctor by changing into other companions as their skills become needed (Leela to fight a Clockworkman, Adric to do some complex equations, etc...)
  • Status: Jossed as it pertains to the finale. Mostly... Though it depends on just how badly Ten damaged it during his regeneration to Eleven and attempt to escape same.

The "Next Doctor" is not the Next Doctor
Going by the performance in the preview, which was over the top even by Doctor standards, plus the crappy looking sonic screwdriver, the fact he did not recognise his own past self, and his overly emphatic insistence "I'm the Doctor, the one and only", it's likely someone's playing -Identity Impersonator.
  • Davros caused a bit of reality distortion which plucked Rose over to the main world (for lack of a better term). If we assume that the Cybermen are Cybus Cybermen, not Mondas ones, then they probably ended up in the main world similar to Rose. And if Rose and the Cybermen have come from Pete's World thanks to Davros' reality distortion, it's possible that the Pete's World Doctor did.
  • I'm thinking, unintentional Identity Impersonator. His "sonic screwdriver" is... an actual screwdriver! He's never seen a Cyberman before. His companion is called "Rosita". I think what we have here is a delusional man who's heard one too many legends of the Doctor and convinced himself that he's the real thing. (Frankly, I'm surprised "thinks he's the Doctor" isn't the Who-verse's equivalent of "thinks he's Napoleon", at least on some worlds.) He's dubbed his companion "Rosita" because he's heard so many tales of the Doctor and Rose (RTD fan?). It's all very Don Quixote.
  • Status: Confirmed.

The "Next Doctor" is a fraud impersonating the Doctor, and in addition, he's River's Doctor.
Based on his over the top, showman-like mannerisms in the "The Next Doctor" preview, he's a fraud. Also based on his arrogant, boastful attitude, he's the Doctor River describes. C'mon, this Doctor would definitely tell River that armies run from him, would rig his "TARDIS" to open with a snap of his fingers, and even looks older. And they'd totally be awesome together.
  • Status: Jossed.

Iris Wildthyme will be in Planet of the dead
She's a renegade time lady, whose TARDIS is a red double-decker bus that's slightly smaller on the inside. She kidnaps the doctor (With whom she is madly in love) and takes him to the planet of the dead to get him alone, but ends up stranded when her TARDIS breaks down...
  • Also...
  • Status: Jossed.

The planet of the dead is Gallifrey
...Pretty self-explanatory, really.
  • Status: False.

The Planet of the Dead is Utopia.
Because the year 100 000 000 000 000 sucks. And it provides a bittersweet alternative for the Y3b humans after the paradox machine collapsed.
  • Um, given that they're Complete Monsters don't they DESERVE a horrible fate? Dying as the universe screams and burns around them seems too good for them for this troper
  • Status: False.

The Planet of the Dead is The Library.
Vashda Nerada.
  • Status: False.

The Time Lady who Wilfred repeatedly saw in "End of Time" was Oma Desala
Oh, come on! Opposes aliens that want to Ascend? Has a thing for a quirky doctor with glasses? (Not that kind of thing!) Appears when said doctor dies of radiation poisoning? It makes so much sense!
  • Status Just for fun

RTD is an evil alien
He feeds on the crushed hopes of fangirls, and loyal fan's tears of disappointment. The "man" builds us up with promises of epicness and awesome, then dashes hopes and dreams with twists that leave fans shouting "Lame!" Donna's grandfather kills the Doctor? and "WTF?" Did anyone really understand what was up with the Time Lords?. The only explanation is that he feeds on despair.
  • Status Just for fun

The newspaper stand man from Voyage of the Damned is highly significant.
Both previous Christmas episodes have had the Arc Words of the next season appear, and the newspaper man also appears in the season 4 trailers. He will probably appear in another guise in different time periods before being noticed and revealing who he is. It's likely he works for the oft-mentioned, but little-detailed Time Agency.
  • It's already been announced that Wilfred is Donna's grandfather. This doesn't necessarily rule the theory out, but if he pops up in, say, the Genteel Interbellum Setting episode, you'd think she'd notice.
  • Status: General theory confirmed, details Jossed.

The Time Lords are not dead, but they are trapped in a Pocket Universe as a consequence of the Time War
Contrary to the Doctor's belief, whatever ended the Time War did not kill the other Time Lords. It trapped most of them inside a parallel pocket Universe which they can't escape; the destruction/sealing off of Gallifrey made crossing universe boundaries difficult, and they were cut off from the power source for their TARDISes with no experience at jerry-rigging them. But they can still watch the main Universe and the Doctor.

Since the barriers are closed, they cannot interact with the rest of the Universe or inform the Doctor of their current status. Because they are not in connection with the universe the Doctor now lives in, he can't feel them anymore.

In an ironic twist, now that the Time Lords can't interfere in the affairs of the Universe, they wish to. Desperately.
  • Status: Confirmed in Broad Strokes, Jossed in detail.
    • Fairly accurate description of Day of the Doctor and Time of the Doctor, though

The Time Lords were not wiped out in the Time War.
We know that at least one Time Lord survived the War by turning human and hiding. The Time War was supposed to have destroyed the Daleks together with the Time Lords, but every season the Daleks Keep. Coming. Back. What happened was, there was no Time War. The Time Lords got tired of The Doctor always attracting trouble, so they wipe his memory, force him to regenerate, and kick him out into the Universe all alone. Gallifrey and the Time Lords are still out there; it's just that The Doctor can't sense them anymore.
  • A bit of an over-reaction, given that he only ever returned to Gallifrey when he was dragged there.
  • Status: Existence of Time Lords confirmed, absence of Time War Jossed.

Donna will come back, possibly as a Timelord.
She DID absorb all the Doctor's knowledge. While she got mind-wiped, there's people saying constantly that she's 'special', and she even has quantum irregularities. The fortune-teller even says "What will you become", after all.
  • She didn't really get wiped—that is, the knowledge wasn't deleted. She was made unable to access it, but it's still there. Otherwise there would be no danger of her seeing aliens and suddenly remembering it all. This makes nonsense out of the idea that it's too dangerous because her brain can't hold it—she doesn't remember it, but it's still there, still being held.
  • It's also ridiculously unlikely, in the Doctor Who world, for her never to see anything which reminds her of the Doctor and jogs her memory. This world gets invaded by aliens every year. She's not always going to miss the headlines.
  • If Donna comes back as a Time Lady, then we should get to meet "Donna Noble II".
  • Status: Confirmed in Broad Strokes.

The "it" "returning through the dark" referenced in "Planet of the Dead" is the Master

He will apparently "knock four times". Go on, tap out the rhythm of the "drums" from Utopia/The Sound of Drums/Last of the Time Lords.

<waits>

See, it's four beats! Ergo, more Master.

Also, the Simm!Master is in the trailer for the last 2 specials. BOO YEAH!.

Doctor-Donna is coming back
The Doctor only told Donna's family not to tell her about her journey. Another character (such as Martha, Jack, etc.) could contact her when another alien invasion kicks off, causing her memories to reappear, and for her to become Doctor-Donna again. Sure, they'll need to think of a way to fix the 'burning up' problem, but the Doctor Who writing staff are great at Ass Pulls like this.
  • This seems pretty likely, as the whole 'burning up' problem was due to the Time Lord stuff still being stuck somewhere in Donna's head. Rather than getting rid of the information, the Doctor just wiped her memory. If the writers managed to Ass Pull Rose back from a theoretically inaccessible parallel world, they can figure out a way to bring back Donna and her Crowning Moment Of Awesome.
  • Another avenue for her return would be that enormous ring she was sporting in the last few episodes, which surely is a nod to the route left open for the Master. Well, that or it was a massive red herring/a really strange choice on the part of the costume department.
  • Well, the problem was her conscious mind couldn't handle the sheer vastness of knowledge being a timelord imposed, in computer terms, a lack of RAM. Human minds themselves have the capacity to remember far longer than any single lifetime. The information is still in Donna's brain, just locked away. Finally, when we sleep, our brains organise the memories floating about into long-term storage. Basically, what I'm saying is that after some time (months or even years) Donna's mind will finish storing away all the timelord knowledge, which will then allow her to regain her memories without the mental burn-up, as instead of having the whole of history etc all at once, she'll just recollect the memories she's using at the time, like how a mechanic can know everything about how to fix stuff without having it on his/her mind constantly.
  • So we have 3 possibilities; Donna regenerates (presumably upgrading her mind such that it can handle the influx), Donna adapts (possibly at some cost, time or otherwise), or something really complicated involving the Master, who may or may not be living in a ring that may or may not have something to do with Donna's. An ass-pull out of nowhere is also possible, but hardly counts as a theory.
    • Donna can't regenerate. She only got the Doctor's knowledge, not his physiology.
    • Or so the Doctor says, but what happened to Donna has no precedent in the entire history of the universe, and he didn't seem to double check his assumptions. There's plenty of room for him to be mistaken, just as he was about Jenny not regenerating. There's room enough for future writers to bring Donna back any way they like, and still point to something in the fourth series as 'evidence' that was always the plan.
    • Director's Commentary "josses" this. A scene where Donna hears the Tardis right at the end was cut precisely because it cast too much doubt on Donna being on a bus for good. If she comes back, it won't be because of anything that's been shown in the series, but only via the First Law of Resurrection.
      • Wilf's back in the 2009 Christmas Special. And RTD has as good as said that that means Donna's back, and they'd planned this from the beginning. (Which is presumably why they were so worried about leaving clues.)
  • Status: Jossed. Donna comes back, Doctor-Donna doesn't.

The next incarnation of The Doctor will be 10.75
Since 10.5 is Human!Doctor.

The powers that be had wanted David Tennant to stay on, and so it's probable that the early drafts of the Season 31 scripts were anticipating the Tenth Doctor. But Tennant turns out to have injured his back; since the new series is action-heavy, that means he has to bow out. The replacement actor is a relative unknown and looks something like Tennant, so maybe Ten gets hit by an anti-Blinovitch ray or something like that.

  • Is this a real guess? Because Tennant injured his back after quitting, not before. And he seems to be fine now. And they'd been planning to have the "gap year" with a few specials after season 4 anyway.
  • Status: Jossed. Smith's Doctor is a genuine regeneration.

River will be back before Ten regenerates
There's more specials coming with Tennant, yes? So one of them is another adventure with River Song, perhaps her first adventure with him!
  • Status: Hinted at as an idea: The Doctor says in "The Time of Angels" that they "keep meeting in the wrong order". Moff hints in the companion Confidential episode that there's at least one off-screen adventure between the two episodes, but Eleven's timeline is pretty much all accounted for.

The man who will 'knock four times' is the Master.
  • ...Tap Tap Tap Tap.
  • ...Tap Tap Tap Tap.
  • ...Tap Tap Tap Tap.
  • ...Here come the drums...
    • I was right! Trailers for 'the end of time' (Specials three and four) prominently display John Simm as the master.
    • And it's been officially confirmed by the BBC that John Simm is playing the resurrected Master and Lucy Saxon will be returning with him (So she's probably the one who picked up his ring which seemed to contain his "Essence"
    • That's twelve.
    • Let's be honest. If their going to kill the Tenth Doctor off, he has to go out facing either the Daleks or the Master. They're the only two adversaries worthy of killing him off. And given that John Simm has actually been sighted on set, it's more or less a fact by this point that it'll be the Master. (Of course he might be teamed up WITH the Daleks. Wouldn't be the first time he worked with them)
  • "The Waters of Mars" is an anagram of "Wars of the Master"...
  • The Sun said it. It must be true.
    • Actually, that particular paper has been very accurate at times...
  • How about the Midnight entity? It started off knocking twice- then when the husband knocked three times, it replied with three knocks. The doctor knocked four times. . . and it knocked four times back. Remember, this thing is able to Mind Rape the Doctor with contemptuous ease, and Sky specificially referred to it as male during her big villain speech. "He's waited so long, in the dark, and the cold, and the diamonds, until you came. Bodies so hot with blood and pain. . ."
  • Status: Jossed. It's Wilf.

No, the man who will 'knock four times' is...
  • It's quite possible Davis may want to bring back one last old face that has yet to be used to close out the 10th doctor. So, based on that, tropers, start your guessing...
    • The knocking man is Fenric!
    • The knocking man is Omega!
    • The knocking man is the Valeyard!
    • The knocking man is Other-Ten as the Valeyard as theorized above!
    • The knocking man is a Time Lord! (This time, this might actually be accurate in some way)
    • The knocking man is a Tommyknocker!
    • The knocking man is The Trickster!
    • The knocking man is Bilis Manger!
    • The knocking man is Sutekh!
    • The knocking man is The Celestial Toymaker!
    • The knocking man is The Beast!
    • The knocking man is Lucas Finch!
    • The knocking man is the Black Guardian!
    • The knocking man is Rassilon!
    • The knocking man is a Raston Warrior Robot!
    • The knocking... entity is Fate!.. What?
    • The knocking man is The Meddling Monk! ...what? He's been rumored to soon be played by Patrick Stewart (of Star Trek fame), the Meddling Monk is another Time Lord we've not seen since 1966 or so... come on, it's perfect. That is, if it's not the Master again.
    • The knocking man is the Watcher!
    • The knocking man is right behind you....
  • Status: Jossed (see the above theory).
    • ...Well, that one sure played us for fools, didn't it?

The knocking four times thing refers to the creature from Midnight
Go re-watch the episode. When the Doctor knocked to get it to answer, it knocked four times.
  • "What is it with humans and busses?"
    • The musical cues are exactly the same. Mind you, Murray Gold nicked some of his Midnight score for Davros. Hrm.
      • OK it is near confirmed at this point. First Carmen's prophecy in Planet of the Dead "It is returning from the dark" and now the Ood, "Because a shadow is falling over Creation. Something vast is stirring in the dark. And the darkness heralds only one thing, The End of Time Itself!" If that's not the creature or the master This troper will dance out my praise for RTD. Well should I dance the Humiliation Conga or the I fail dance?
  • Status: Jossed (see two theories above)

The man knocking four times will be the Trickster, who will be responsible for the return of Gallifrey
During the Time War, there was a point where it seemed as if the Daleks were unstoppable. At this point, a Time Lord (probably not the Doctor or the Master) was approached by the Trickster, who offered to even the playing field in exchange for something in return. Accepting this offer, the Time Lord's decision caused the Time War to enter into a stalemate wherein the only means of ending the conflict was if both sides were destroyed simultaniously, something that the Doctor went on to cause.

Of course, the Trickster would have no interest in a universe inhabited entirely by Daleks, since it would be a realm of absolute order with no chaos whatsoever for him to consume. However, the removal of the Time Lords and the Daleks from creation ensures that the timespace continuum is far more unstable than it was before, a fact pointed out by the Doctor on many occasions, making it better suited for the Trickster's needs.

This will culminate in a situation wherein the Trickster is poised to create devistation on a cosmic scale and the way of stopping him will be if his deal with the Time Lord back on Gallifrey was unravelled, resulting in the Time War's conclusion being erased from history. Of course, this would have to mean that the Time Lord that did the deal in the first place would have to either have come back from the dead or never died in the first place, since the only way that the Trickster's deals can be undone is if the person who agreed to them revokes their consent (ala Andrea Yates). If the deal wasn't carried out by either the Doctor or the Master, likely candidates include Romana or Omega. In the latter case, the Trickster may have led Omega to believe that he could be released from the antimatter universe in the process somehow.

Alternatively, if the Doctor himself made the deal and simply forgot about it as Andrea Yates had forgotten hers, it could be that the deal was made in a timeline in which the Time War was decisively won by the Dalek side, wherein he'd been kept alive by Davros as a plaything. It could even be that the Valeyard is from this alternate timeline, the result of torment over untold eons at Davros' hands. When the Trickster came to offer either the Doctor or the Valeyard a means of changing the outcome of the Time War, the Valeyard's presence at the Sixth Doctor's trial could be all part of the deal. If this is true, then it would mean that when the deal was revoked, the Doctor would have to somehow Take a Third Option and ensure that the Time War ended in such a way that it resulted in neither the Trickster's altered timeline or the original outcome wherein the Daleks win. A Paradox Machine may be involved.

In any case, this would mean that "It is returning through the dark" refers to Gallifrey.

  • Status: The Trickster: Jossed. Gallifrey returning: Confirmed.

Karen Gillan will be playing... Donna Noble.
Catherine Tate is confirmed as appearing in the last few 10th Doctor episodes. It's hard to imagine her having a part in whatever the events will be without remembering the Doctor, which has been established as fatal. BUT if the metacrisis mixed her with the Doctor enough, perhaps she has the ability to regenerate. Enter Miss Gillan as the 2nd Donna.
  • Nice idea, but not true apparently. Karen will be playing a character named Amy Pond.
    • But what's to say that something doesn't happen causing her to lose all her memories, the metacrisis *and* regress to being a child or even a baby? True, she would no longer really be Donna but it'd still be a better outcome then Her Head Asplode or having her memory erased for a second time.
      • Status: Jossed. Donna is still mind-wiped at the end of 'The End Of Time', but alive (and so is her grandfather, surprisingly), and has somewhat of a happy ending.

The Drums are coming for the Doctor
Since the Master's death they've been looking for a new host, and as the last Time Lord approaches a regeneration they've found their chance.
  • When the Master looked into the Vortex as a child, he saw something that drove him crazy, that stayed in his mind as the maddening sound of drums for the rest of his life.
  • Whatever that something is, it is now coming for the Doctor - "returning through the dark".
  • It will take a form resembling the Master's last regeneration, and when it arrives it will knock out the four-beat pattern of the drums.
    • It's been revealed that John Simm is playing the Master, not something impersonating him and Lucy Saxon is to play a part in his resurrection. That said "The Drums" may well be finally explained.
  • It will act like a malign version of the Watcher, trying to manipulate the Doctor into regenerating into a destructive personality like the Master's, perhaps by playing on the Doctor's painful memories.
  • Correct me if I'm wrong, but...when the Master asked the Doctor if he heard the drumming, did the Doctor ever say he didn't?
    • Yes, but the Doctor is perfectly capable of lying, and there was a hint of a pause first...
      • Well, I'll wear that. I just (as in, half an hour ago) gained this distinct feeling that he's going to start hearing the Drums, or at least announce that he can, before The Waters of Mars is over. It's based on the tenth teaser on this list, the fact that the prophecy thing isn't, "You're gonna die," but, "Your song is ending," and my theory that the Drums drown out any sense of morality a Time Lord has blah blah blah Valeyard.note 
  • The something the drums are is either related to, or the whatever-it-was out of Midnight. It was in the 'cold' and the 'dark', which are recurring themes that pop up, and one place they appeared was in Sound of Drums/Last of the Timelords (the episodes he's reintroduced in)- the Toclafane said that was what they were fleeing. Oh, and in series 1 of Torchwood, the afterlife is described like that. So the Master died, and this... thing that gets into people's minds and drives them insane is coming from something like the afterlife? Hmm.

The Tenth Doctor will be unveiled as a cocaine addict in his final episode.
... hopefully explaining his hyperactive behaviour. And his mood swings. And his recklessness. And his schizophrenic attitude towards his own moral code. Plus, who knows? If we're lucky enough, we'll be treated to the sight of him snorting a small mountain of cocaine off the Tardis console, a la Scarface, making him the only Doctor to die of an overdose. Yeah, I'm having too much fun- sorry.
  • The only thing I like about this theory is that if true, it would be evidence that the Doctor is Sherlock Holmes.
  • Status: Jossed.

The knocking man is the Tenth Doctor
. Pounding desperately on the door of the TARDIS, with the Eleventh Doctor inside knowing he can't rescue him. Just because Word of God says that nobody has guessed it yet, and it's a tear-jerker.
  • Wow! That would be heart wrenching. And cruel. And incredibly cool!
  • Status: Jossed (see above).
    • You'll pardon me for being exceptionally relieved. I think we've had enough tearjerking for a while...

The Time Lords will return during the last special
Roger Bailey and Timothy Dalton both are credited as "Time Lord" in The Waters of Mars and The End of Time. And Timothy Dalton was seen on set wearing what appear to be Time Lord robes.
  • Status: Confirmed. Timothy Dalton is the Narrator.

He will knock four times.
Deposing Harriet Jones. Saving citizens of Pompeii. Saving some of the Mars crew. The Tenth Doctor has knocked time's fixed points off-course three times. When he knocks a fourth time it'll all be over for him.
  • Status: Jossed.

The Doctor will attempt to prevent the Time War, or at least save the Time Lords.
This is where he is headed when he activates the TARDIS at the end of The Waters of Mars:

"Have I gone too far?".

"No."

The Doctor realises that he needs one final act so that the laws of time are no longer at the mercy of the "Time Lord Victorious", even if it means dying in the process. This will be the "fourth time" mentioned above.

The Doctor is going through the Five stages of Grief regarding his coming death and, by the end of The Waters of Mars, entered the second stage.
What we have seen seems to fit the bill so far.

Stage One: Denial and isolation consistently traveling alone, visiting places at random places at random times without planning anything as though nothing is wrong, life as normal.

Stage Two: Anger being fed up with changing nothing in the long run, breaks the law of time by rescuing the Mars crew, declaring himself "Time Lord Victorious"...that final, aggressive "No", all seems to fit the bill.

Therefore, if this really IS the path RTD is taking, then conjecture for how things will end for Tenth (contains elements from all of the above):

Stage Three: Bargaining. The Doctor dealing with the Master, who returns from the land of the dead, for prolonging his current generation (hey, a certain Immortality Gate has been mentioned)? Or even buying extra regenerations? Perhaps he has to surrender something (Donna) to the Master in order to bring the Time Lords back? Maybe the Master offers BOTH? Might also return to current earth to see 'loose ends', bargaining with Varity Newman not to publish "Journal of Impossible Things" to safeguard Donna's sanity.

Stage Four: Depression. The Doctor feels guilty for the price he has to pay for his extra regenerations/prolonged generation afterward, death of Donna (and possibly consequences humans faces) weighs on him? Perhaps still angry at his inability to change things in the long run? (If anything, the Master's plan will be to psychically convert everyone on earth to THINK they are Time Lords, causing a planetary-scale mental breakdown/mental conversion, thus causing everyone to have 'bad dreams'. Verity Newman, don't publish "A Journal of Impossible Things". PLEASE.) Oh, and Donna will serve as a 'stopgap' experiment.

Stage Five: Acceptance. The Doctor presses the 'reset to status quo' button...by allowing himself to die. The four knocks will be the Master/a 'converted' Time Lord knocking at the Tenth's locked Tardis/control room, begging Tenth not to kill the entire Time Lord race AGAIN by his death. Is there anything more heartbreaking than having to destroy your own race TWICE? I think not...
  • Status: Jossed.

The person who will knock is Donna's grandfather.
The Doctor knows he's doomed. Four knocks, then he's dead.

After "Waters," he returns to Earth - one last trip, to say goodbye. It's been good to him, so one last time - maybe before he goes to crack open the Time War and save the Time Lords - something that he knows will kill him, or drive him mad, but he's doomed anyway, right?

And he says goodbye to Earth, and starts the TARDIS.

And stops, because someone's knocking. One. Two. Three. Four.

And he knows he has to stay now. He goes to the door.

"Something's wrong with Donna."

Cue opening credits.
  • This is based largely on the new teaser from the end of Waters. When the Doctor has his discussion with Bernard Cribbins, he says "She said 'He will knock four times,'" followed by a "I'm going to die." I'm sure those are out of context, but it sounds like the Doctor explaining how he knows that he hasn't got long - the knocking has already happened.
  • Status: Confirmed in Broad Strokes. Jossed in detail.

The Master's plan in "The End of Time" will involve some variant of The Doctor's "Tinkerbell Jesus" trick from "The Last of the Time Lords"

  • The trailers show him firing energy blasts at The Doctor, an ability he's never had before. He is also shown covered in a blue, glowing light, much like The Doctor in "The Last of the Time Lords". There's no reference to the Archangel network being dissmantled following The Master's defeat, so it's entirely possible that the Master could use the same tactic (interfacing with the Archangel network to temporarily boost his telepathic abilities to omnipotent levels) for more malevolent ends.
  • Status: Jossed.

The Master will have an Oh Crap moment once he realizes...
Everyone else is as power hungry as he is.
  • This was This Troper's first thought. The Master is not a team player.
  • Status: Jossed.

The drums are the Matrix, containing imprints of the Time Lords
Put into the Master's head when he was resurrected and made to believe they had always been there. The Time Lords knew he would run to save himself and keep the Time Lords' imprints safe, making him not the perfect weapon so much as the perfect safeplace for their 'essence', as it were.

And now they're back and ready to use it... maybe a council of them hid themselves; maybe they're coming from the past before Gallifrey was even destroyed (wibbly wobbly...). Either way, they're who is calling to the Master.

Speaking of which, he will knock four times. If this means signalling the return of the Time Lords, think about it. Who might want the Doctor dead out of revenge? They've killed him once before...

  • Strongly supported by the next episode's opening scene—the Time Lord High Council was aware of the Doctor's plan to destroy them all, and the Lord President really did not want to die.
  • Status: Jossed. Mostly.

The twin nuclear vaults are a Chekhov's Gun.
Best guess: The building's gonna blow up, and due to the way it's set up, one person needs to be trapped inside.
  • Perhaps one of those spiky green aliens which I've forgot the proper name for?
    • Status: Confirmed in Broad Strokes. Jossed in detail. Wilf gets inside one of them to let another man out. Then the Doctor lets himself in to let Wilf out, absorbs all of the radiation and that causes him to regenerate.

Timothy Dalton's "Narrator" is the Valeyard.
  • Status: Jossed. It was Rassillon.

The 11th Doctor is the Master. Well, sort of.
Ten cheating his way out of regenerating somehow breaks the laws of the universe. As punishment, he's made to regenerate into Eleven, who is identical to the Master. Alternately, Ten comes up against the owner of the hand who picked up the Master's ring. He's hurt badly enough to make him regenerate, but the ring got slipped on him during the fight, and he ends up regenerating into the Master.
  • Status: Jossed.

The Reality Bomb would've failed without the Doctor Donna.
Why? The 27 planets are supposed to act as a transmitter. However they exist outside the Crucible, which is why the Daleks retreated to shelter in it. If that's the case, the Reality Bomb would only be able to reach the nearest of the 27 planets, as said planet would disintegrate and make the doomsday device non-functional. This is why Dalek Caan mentioned "it would would have always happened": because the design is fundamentally flawed, and Davros was too ecstatic about ending everything to notice.The disapperance of the stars was caused by another Class Z level doomsday-The TARDIS exploding.

"The Next Doctor" will be an unholy mix of Ten and Five.
It has been noted that the replacement actor looks kinda like Five. Judging from Jenny, who was played by Peter Davison's (Five's) daughter, Five-type genes are near the top of the next regeneration's set.
  • Makes sense. In the Children in Need special (asides from being just one big excuse to let David Tennant behave like the squeeing fanboy he is for about eight minutes) Ten (in a line no doubt fuelled by the actor himself) called Five "his doctor". If he had any say whatsoever in what happens to his next incarnation (there's another theory out there that each incarnation is inspired by the last) then, I expect he'd hope to be like five.
    • Jossed. He's somewhat like Ten in energy, but in many ways not any of the Eleven Doctors at all.

Eleven/Twelve/Valeyard/Thirteen/Fourteen showed River a picture of Ten.
This is how she can recognise him, and why he's a younger version of her Doctor- she's one of the few companions to grok regeneration, the others are confused by but accepting of it, deny it, or both at various times.
  • Confirmed! River has pictures of all his faces in her diary. Presumably she first met a late incarnation of the Doctor, who gave her pictures of his previous regenerations, which she then used to recognize him as she met him in roughly reverse order.

The Time Lady who helps Wilf and the Doctor in "The End of Time" is...
Romana, as her final regeneration.
  • Romana is definitely a possibility, but there's another likely candidate. Rewatch the scene where Wilfred asks the Doctor who she was. Instead of answering, the Doctor looks meaningfully at Donna, Wilfred's granddaughter. This troper believes that the Time Lady wasn't Romana, but the Doctor's granddaughter Susan.
    • Remember a Time Lady on the Council is killed by Rassilon? Considering the Kim Jong Il of Gallifrey is back to being President it wouldn't be surprising if he killed Romana.
  • According to That Other Wiki, RTD intended for the Time Lady to be the Doctor's previously unseen mother. But her identity was intentionally left open ended so viewers could come to their own conclusion. So it could be any Time Lady, the Doctor's mother, Romana, Susan, Susan's mother, maybe even The Rani.
  • Doesn't the ending of the second episode imply the Time Lady was Donna herself? As mentioned above, when Wilfred asks who the Time Lady was, the Doctor doesn't say anything but looks at Donna. Donna became a half Time Lord in the previous season's finale, and even though the Doctor erased the memory of all that from her head in order to save her, during "The End of Time" we see those memories may be coming back. So maybe Donna finds a way to access that part of the her brain without going insane, and eventually becomes a full Time Lord and moves to Gallifrey? That would also explain why the Time Lady seems to be so familiar with Wilfred, calling him "old soldier" and everything. It would also explain why she is so is so keen on trying to save Doctor number Ten from dying, even though she knows the Doctor can regenerate: Ten was always "her" doctor, so she has an emotional attachment to him, and doesn't want him to turn into someone else. Of course the Time Lady doesn't look like Donna, but that's what regenerations are for.
  • The Time Lady could have been Clara,arguably even the same version of her that originally told The Doctor which TARDIS he should take.

An explanation of the Master's drums
  • When a Time Lord first looks into the vortex, s/he may feel a variety of emotions. Perhaps what the Master felt was fear. Fear tends to result in things like a powerful, rapid heartbeat. The Doctor can feel the turn of the universe. Perhaps the Master developed it on a more personal scale: hearing his own internal organs operating, including his two hearts beating: one-two-three-four, one-two-three-four... The constant sound etched itself into his mind, to the point where it's the only thing that remained even as he turned human. An endless rhythm, like the sound of a drum, driving him to madness... Only he can hear the drums, because the "drums" are really a part of him. It's his own personal, eternal Heartbeat Soundtrack.

Davros' Daleks were loyal to him.
At least, to a slight extent. Most Daleks would simply try to exterminate him once they knew how to make the Reality Bomb, which if Davros isn't telling they'd just use torture or sucking out his brain waves to get it. The Supreme Dalek had no problem with chatting to Davros and listening to his advice, when most Daleks would be smart enough to not do that. Why are they doing this? Davros actually managed to ingrain a sense of loyalty from his flesh, making it as if they at the very least see Davros as "pure enough to live." They kicked him out of power because even if he was worthy of life, Davros isn't worthy of leadership.

The 10th Doctor regenerated out of fear he was turning into the Valeyard
Many have said the Doctor could have found a way to free Wilfred without dying. The Doctor however decided this would be a good death for him. The Time Lord Victorious meant he was worried of turning into Valeyard, and he hoped with his regeneration he would become less brutal and arrogant about changing history.

Handy will end up really unhappy in Pete's World
  • He will be trapped on Earth, unable to travel. He will start to realise Rose is a Clingy Jealous Girl. Before someone says he can grow his own TARDIS that scene isn't fully canon.

Dalek Caan never truly had a Heel-Face Turn.
Given how hung-up he was about keeping Dalek purity (even though he was not pure himself), his prophecy about the end of everything Dalek actually refers to the destruction of the impure, and the rant over how he could no longer stand what the Daleks stood for was a lie. This was mostly fulfilled in "Journey's End", with the last dying at the hands of the pure Daleks in "Victory of the Daleks". In actuality, Caan had seen the future of a renewed, pure Dalek race without the influence of Davros when he broke the time lock, and everything was a careful Gambit Roulette on the part of him to make this come about, even at the cost of his own life (the impure Daleks in "Victory of the Daleks" concede that they are inferior and let themselves be destroyed, so Caan may also think the same way). He did not change his views since "Evolution of the Daleks" whatsoever, but only strengthened them even further. Also, he taunts the Doctor that "one will die" (Donna), and these were also his final words to him. Does this sound like someone who wants to truly help the Doctor?
  • It sounds like Frankie Muniz...
    • Jossed-even if he wanted Dalek purity, the Daleks had just constructed the Reality Bomb aka what they needed to once and for all to exterminate all non-Daleks. If Caan was still loyal to the Daleks, he wouldn't have manipulated the timelines to stop it going off.
    • Daleks are obsessively purist, so Caan may have considered a race of impure Daleks bad. And saw fanwork "The Dalek that Time forgot" for another theory on Dalek Caan...

Caan was being manipulated by the Dalek Time Controller
  • Who assisted Caan as part of its Timey-Wimey Ball plans. Considering "The Dalek Generation" shows it working with the New Dalek Paradigm it may have been to ensure its own existence.

Jenny was born on her twelfth life.
  • The machine that produced her used a piece of the 10th Doctor (who was currently on his eleventh life, thanks to the Time War), and likely was meant to create a more exact replica of him to fight. However, the machine wasn't quite sure how to handle Gallifreyan DNA, so the stresses of her being grown forced her into a regeneration. The machine's imprinting function combined with the normal regeneration trauma to give her total amnesia save for what the machine taught her. Thus when she was shot by the general, she was still in the first fifteen hours of her regeneration and could recover without going into another regeneration (it just took her some time because of the trauma of being shot and the lethality of where she was shot). This means that she only has one regeneration left when she was born.
Doctor Who New SeriesWMG/Doctor WhoDoctor Who S30 E10 'Midnight"
Doctor Who New SeriesWMG/Live-Action TVDoctor Who S30 E10 'Midnight"

alternative title(s): Doctor Who Season 30
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