Crazy Doctor Who Fan Theory

I thought that I had heard this Doctor Who fan theory before, but I can’t seem to find reference to it anywhere. I won’t claim it as an original theory, and I acknowledge that there are a lot of contradictions to this theory in various other media the Doctor has appeared in, but there are contradictions to everything. As with all good theories, it falls to being able to address those contradictions and explain them. As I attempt to do so, here is the theory as it stands now…


The current Doctor is not the same Doctor that started the series back in in 1963. He has been replaced by an impostor who has masqueraded as the Doctor through numerous regenerations. The whereabouts of the Doctor are unknown, having been replaced between his sixth and seventh regeneration. The reason for the replacement is not malicious. Quite to the contrary, the nature of the sixth Doctor being the cruelest incarnation outside of the War Doctor makes the replacement understandable, which brings us to the possible identity of the impostor. It would have to be a Time Lord, since we have seen this Doctor regenerate, and has to have knowledge of the Doctor’s history, since he fooled the nemesis known as the Rani early on into his masquerade.

The Impostor is Susan Foreman. Hear me out, and let’s see if we can analyze some of the holes in the theory.


First, we have to find the opportunity for Susan Foreman to make the switch. Following his trial by the High Council of Time Lords, the Sixth Doctor and his companion Mel were attacked by the Rani, precipitating the Sixth Doctor’s regeneration through unknown means. What we can posit, that the prediction during the trial that the Doctor would become the evil Valeyard drove Susan, present in a later regeneration, that she never revealed to the Doctor, to stage the attack that she could use to replace the Doctor under the pretense of a regeneration. In order to do so convincingly to Mel, who could, and would witness the regeneration, she had to commit suicide and trigger her own regeneration into what we would come to know as the Seventh Doctor.

seventh-doctorThe Seventh Doctor marked a decidedly severe shift in personality, actually taking a companion, Ace as a pupil instead of a sidekick. He also was decidedly funnier, and averse to violence to an extreme. Over time, he gained a reputation from River Song, the woman who probably came to know him best that he always lies. This trait never is almost entirely absent prior to the Seventh Doctor. While the Seventh Doctor didn’t lie, he would withhold information for the benefit of someone, especially Ace.

We do have a few instances which provide road blocks to this theory. Most importantly is Clara’s travel through the Doctor’s timeline, with her notably being present to direct him which TARDIS to steal, but Susan Foreman was there as well. Later, we her witnessing several regenerations of the Doctor, but at this point, Susan has had centuries to wrap her timeline around the Doctor’s, and the data-banks of the TARDIS to reference for that purpose. The reason for doing so, is to make it nearly impossible for any Time Lord discovering her duplicity to find someplace to confront her.

We also have references the tenth Doctor made to his early childhood with the Master. However, this is merely the Tenth Doctor relating the story to Martha Jones, and following River Song’s first rule of the Doctor, could be a complete lie. Most of what we have learned of the Doctor’s childhood prior to the Seventh Doctor were anecdotes, and everything we’ve learned since has been from the Doctor himself, thus possibly a lie. Finally, we may have a clue in The Doctor’s Wife, when the TARDIS takes human form and addresses the Doctor as the one who borrowed her. However, the first one into the TARDIS and the one to name her was Susan Foreman.


With the duplicity of the modern Doctor, and the demonstrated capability of Time Lord’s to change gender upon regeneration, we could see a theory similar to this used to explain a regeneration in the future, albeit not in the way we might imagine.

UPDATE: (8/10/2016) Thanks to Charlie Kirchoff for helping to point out the biggest flaw with this fan theory. Defending contradictions relies upon simply calling the contradiction a lie. He also pointed out that there has been no indication in Doctor Who media that the Doctor is an impostor. One thing that would precipitate this is the Doctor claiming he came up with the name TARDIS, when Susan Foreman supposedly did.He also demonstrated a theory that uses established facts to generate a theory. The theory that Doctor is an impostor is seriously flawed, and we can look at it not as an fan theory, but the genesis for fan fiction. With a skilled writer, that could actually be fun to read.

What other holes in this theory have I not addressed? Please, I welcome your input and would love to use it to entirely discredit it, or strengthen it.  I will update this article as needed.