Estimates of the Twelfth Doctor's Lifespan?

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by Mark_Nguyen, Dec 7, 2017.

  1. Mark_Nguyen

    Mark_Nguyen Commodore Commodore

    Apr 24, 2006
    Calgary, Alberta
    Now that Peter's time is coming to a close, I'm wondering how long his Doctor's tenure was in objective terms, and also how long his incarnation FELT like it's been around. My general position is that the Doctor indeed doesn't know exactly how old he is, nor does he particularly care that much at this point in his life. I *do* think that in the nine hundred years prior to this incarnation, the Doctor finally had time to sit and work out his age, such that the number he started out with in "Deep Breath" is as accurate as he could work out, so we can use that as a valid data point.

    [Note that I'm discounting the four and a half billion years the Doctor was trapped in the confession dial in "Heaven Sent", since I don't think he objectively spent more than a day or so in there as the specific loop of the Doctor that punched through the wall. Just getting that out of the way.]

    This Doctor has stated four times (Deep Breath, and three times in the past season) that he's over two thousand years old. Give or take a few centuries, I'm guessing that he hasn't spent over a thousand years in this incarnation by "Twice Upon a Time", so it's probably safe to say that he's been around for less than five hundred years.

    The only objective spans of time he's established that we know of are when:

    - He spends 24 years with River on Darillium.
    - Bill notes he's been teaching on campus for "over fifty years", with some saying over seventy.
    - He then spends at least six months on Earth (through the winter) tutoring Bill before TARDIS-ing anywhere.

    Intentionally or not, new Who has been fairly good at establishing its Doctors as having some alone-time between significant companions, leaving the door open for any number of solo adventures and stretches with companions in audio and comic form. Steven Moffatt in particular likes to have his Doctors disappear for extended periods of time IN BETWEEN adventures with his main companions, which complicates things. Furthermore, he spends a fair amount of time with Nardole, who isn't human or possibly even wholly organic, so there could be a lot of hilarious adventures with just those two as well.

    His adventures with Bill PROBABLY don't span more than a few months overall, but definitely not more than a few years, as Bill wouldn't (or at least shouldn't) be at the university for longer than she ought to be a student. His time hanging out with Clara is even more nebulous, it SEEMS to be no more than a school year or two given the wholesale changing of the Coal Hill student population between seasons 8 and 9 (and then afterwards per "Class"), but the Doctor was popping in and out that whole time anyway.

    Still, it's probably safe to say that this incarnation of the Doctor has been around for at least a hundred years, not counting confession dials or awkwardly-accounted-for periods fighting Monks and such. There's still room for a couple extra centuries between televised adventures, but IMO it's not THAT many. Certainly not another thousand years, but given that the coming finale will likely not span that long in its space, our incoming Doctor will probably be okay saying she's still a spritely twice-millenial and have us believe it.


  2. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

    May 26, 2007
    In many different universes, simultaneously.
    At this point, I don't care how old the Doctor is. Hopefully none of the writers will do any coy nonsense like "2000 and holding" the way a lot of women in RL say "29 and holding" or "39 and holding" as though age is something to be ashamed of.

    It's basically impossible to figure out at this point anyway. Just give us good writing and characters, never bring Clara back, and hopefully everything will work out.
    auntiehill likes this.
  3. The Four Doctor

    The Four Doctor Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Apr 29, 2012
    and the MAs/PDAs were great at prying open non-existent gaps (Smugglers-Tenth Planet, Resurrection-Planet of Fire) for adventures...
    TheAlmanac likes this.