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?