Maybe John Hurt's just playing a U-Boat captain?
I can see people's point about another Doctor before Eccleston being interesting, I guess it would just be weird to suddenly start thinking of Smith as Twelve, Tennant as Eleven and Eccleston as Ten!!!
It might just be something as simple as a call out to 9, same as that woman's scarf, or even a Next Doctor type scenario (which would be more annoying).
Alt universe Doc?