Doctor Who Theory: How Rassilon Fits Into The Timeless Child Retcon – Screen Rant

Posted: July 6, 2020 at 4:47 am

Doctor Who season 12 revealed the true origin story of the Time Lords - but just how does Rassilon, founder of Gallifrey, fit into this?

The Timeless Child is the biggest retcon in the history ofDoctor Who - but how does Rassilon, founder of Time Lord civilization, fit into this?Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall promised that season 12 would change everything, and he wasn't understating the case. TheDoctor Who season 12 finale, "The Timeless Children," revealed the Doctor's true history has been concealed all this time."They lied to us," the Master revealed. "Everything we were told was a lie. We are not who we think. You or I. The whole existence of our species - built on the lie of the Timeless Child."

The Doctor is the Timeless Child, a mysterious being found at the foot of a Boundary into another universe. She was discovered by a Gallifreyan explorer named Tecteun, who took the Timeless Child as her own. Then, one day, tragedy struck. The Timeless Child suffered what should have been a fatal accident, but instead of dying she regenerated. Tecteun was astounded at what she had seen, and she set about trying to understand the Timeless Child's powers. The Timeless Child thus became thebase genetic code for all Gallifreyans within the Citadel, and the Time Lords were born. This is easily the biggest retcon in the history ofDoctor Who; in general it's foreshadowed fairly well by classicDoctor Who,thoughit sits uncomfortably with the post-2005 relaunched series.

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There is one curious omission, however: Rassilon. Generally regarded as the founder of Time Lord civilization, Rassilon was an explorer who longed to see more of the universe than any man could in one lifetime. According to classicDoctor Who, and countless previous tie-ins, under Rassilon's reign the Gallifreyans discovered the secret of regeneration and became Lords of Time. Rassilon himself is immortal, although he believed no other Time Lords were worthy of this, and left the Game of Rassilon behind as a trap for any successor who would seek immortality. The Time Lords brought Rassilon back to lead them in the Time War, and he was opposed byDavid Tennant's Tenth Doctor in "The End of Time."

Rassilon is apparently entirely absent in "The Timeless Children," which seems odd given that Chibnall is an old-schoolDoctor Who fan. It is important to note, however, that "The Timeless Children" confirms Gallifreyan history has been deliberately obscured; that leaves a lot of wriggle-room. The most likely solution is that Tecteun, the scientist who discovered the Timeless Child and unlocked the secret of resurrection, was in fact Rassilon. Both have been portrayed as explorers who sought immortality; Tecteun gained the power of unlimited regenerations but chose to limit other Time Lords, just as Rassilon believed he alone should be functionally immortal. It's true that Tecteun was female while Rassilon was male, but that is hardly an issue given that regeneration allows a Time Lord to change biological sex.

This is a simple retcon, and it fits rather well. If this is the case, then during the Time War the Doctor found himself going up against the one being who truly understood what he was capable of. Little wonder Rassilon was so shocked and surprised in "The Day of the Doctor," when he realized how many incarnations of the Doctor were in play. It is ironic that Rassilon, the explorer who sought immortality to explore the cosmos, ultimately led Gallifrey to a pocket dimension where his people lived on in isolation, unable to return.

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Doctor Who Theory: How Rassilon Fits Into The Timeless Child Retcon - Screen Rant

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