Doctor Who: The Oldest Question and the Last of the Time Lords

The revelation that the oldest question in the universe is “Doctor Who?” and the giving of an answer to it has religious and universal significance both thrilled and puzzled fans of the show. The Doctor’s name and identity have always been something of a mystery, but people from his own planet seemed to know, and so in what sense could this be the ultimate mystery?

I think that line of reasoning holds the key to understanding.

To end the time war between the time lords and the Daleks, the Doctor confined the entirety of his people – their entire existence and history – to a realm cut off from the rest of the universe.

And so as a result, the Doctor no longer seems to be a representative of a fascinating race, one individual among them with a penchant for meddling.

Now he is a being who appears throughout the entire history of the universe, and seems to come from nowhere.

And so the Doctor’s actions have removed his people, and thus his origins, from the history of the universe, and this makes him seem an anomaly – like a deity, in fact, apparently without beginning.

I think that’s the key to understanding why the question “Doctor Who?” could take on such significance, more so than in the pre-hiatus show.

What do other fans think?

  • saraho

    While I don’t think it has much to do with the question, that’s a brilliant link!

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  • Alfred Vickers

    Or the question of Doctor Who being the oldest question in the universe (the first question to appear in the first episode of the show, being its title) could be this meta thing that leads to the Doctor discovering that he’s fictional. But that would just be weird.

    • VaPreceptor

      That actually makes a lot of sense.  If the Doctor is fictional but appears everywhere in the universe and is fundamental to its existence (thus the idea that he had to kill the Time Lords to save reality), then if the Doctor ever did ask the question “Am I real?” he would immediately wink out of existence, thus ending not just the universe but reality itself as the Time War would rip it apart.  As long as the Doctor never asks the question, the paradox of his existent non-existence continues.  The moment he asks the question, the paradox collapses.

    • http://www.facebook.com/cory.gerich Cory Daniel Gerich

      The raggity Doctor……..

  • Andy Tran

    My theory is that the doctor had travelled to the beginning of the universe and caused something which required his name to maybe save the universe or create it, therefore “The first question in the universe”.


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