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Unfortunately the crux of this argument is that there shouldn't be a female Doctor - period - and that the author will part with the show if the lead ever changes gender. The author admits as much: "Would you have a female James Bond or Harry Potter? Or on the reverse
side, would you go as far as turning heroines like Lara Croft or Ellen
Ripley into a man?" The author doesn't want the formula played with - but the beauty of Doctor Who (as we've seen time and again through multiple regenerations) is that it can be anything it wants! The show, much like its central character, can be any genre it wants - SF, fantasy, horror, romance, soap, etc.
For a start, the Doctor isn't James Bond (despite being played by multiple actors) nor is he Harry Potter or Lara Croft or Ellen Ripley. He's an alien, those characters are human and he doesn't play by the same rules or conventions they do. Further, it's been established that Time Lord regeneration is a lottery and unpredictable. Perhaps it's rare for Time Lords to change gender but that doesn't mean it can't happen - and Missy shows that no matter how rare it is it can happen!
It's also interesting that the author mentions Ellen Ripley - because in the original drafts for Alien, the character was originally conceived as a man but was gender changed because there weren't female characters in the original script. No one can argue that Sigourney Weaver's portrayal influenced a whole generation of young women and men. She showed it was OK to be terrified but also brave and gutsy - much like the Doctor himself.
I must admit I can't see Ripley having been played by anyone other than Weaver - whether it be a man or woman, Weaver was brilliant. But what Ripley shows is that you can have strong women in SF - and I have no doubt that if the Doctor is someday recast as a woman, it won't just be for the supposed novelty factor and they will chose a strong artiste for the role, someone like a Helen Mirren, Anna Chancellor, Lara Pulver or even fan favourite Joanna Lumley - someone who's mature, intellectual and bold. They sure as hell won't cast vacuums like Kim Kardashian (who frankly who should never be cast in anything!) or Jordan/Katie Price or Paris Hilton - which seems to form the scope of most conservative fans' worst nightmares!
Missy's character was also more consistent with the Master's past incarnations than the author would like to admit. The Master post-Delgado has long displayed psychopathic tendencies. Missy's brazen murders of Chang and Osgood completely fit the Master's MO - and the Master was not above killing for fun, particularly with his infamous Tissue Compression Eliminator. Tegan Jovanka's aunt and Runcible are amongst a host of victims that the Master killed out of sheer vindictiveness, not because he necessarily had to. In the TV movie, he kills Grace and Chang Lee simply to slight the Doctor. In fact, I'd argue that while the Mistress's methods of killing may have changed, her bloodlust in her former life as the Master definitely has not. I also see him adopting a woman's form as totally consistent with the Master's quest for survival at any cost, akin with stealing Tremas' or Bruce's bodies. It's entirely possible that Missy is either a stolen body - or to escape the Time Lords, the Master deliberately regenerated into a woman to evade them (the latter is in my opinion more likely). So much for the argument that the Master is a man trapped in a woman's body - I suspect the Mistress has taken on feminine traits without in any way compromising her psychopathic tendencies and bloodlust!
Finally, I don't buy the argument that Missy was touted as a "new" character from the outset and the Master was kind of just thrust on this character. It was long speculated by fans from the outset that Missy might be the Master (that said, even I dismissed the early speculation because it just seemed too obvious to me and Moffat does have a penchant for leading fans up the garden path!). However to argue that an old character's identity (the Master) has been completely thrust on a new one (Missy) is a bit like arguing that the Master's previous disguises - like the Portreeve in Castrovalva, Kalid in Time-Flight, Sir Gilles Estram in The King's Demons and even incomprehensibly a scarecrow in The Mark of the Rani! - had been compromised because they weren't innovative new characters after all. It's frankly a rubbish argument that again seems to be justifying another argument entirely - that the Doctor should never ever be a woman!
6 days, 3 hours ago on Unpopular Opinion: Missy the Master
@wholmesian Beevers' voice is brilliant for the Master! So silky and dripping with malice and mischief!
1 week, 1 day ago on Face-Off: The Masters (Classic Era)
@TheAbsofBoe have been very naughty Thanks for the kind words, AbsofBoe. I guess I benefit from being a "long-term" fan of the classic series as well as the modern (eg I was born in the early 1970s, I presume you arrived much later) - I grew up watching the classic series and as I own pretty much all episodes of classic and modern Who on DVD (up to The Time of the Doctor - sorry if that sounds boastful!), I still rewatch the classic serials occasionally. The stories I've mentioned - The Deadly Assassin and The Trial of a Time Lord - should be readily available on DVD (you can always try Amazon or the BBC's official Doctor Who Store), although I understand if buying lots of DVDs may stretch your budget. Another option is to try surfing various torrents to see if (ahem!) some fans may have uploaded some of the classic stories online.
2 weeks, 4 days ago on Death in Heaven Review (Part 1)
@TheAbsofBoe want a red TARDIS The Nethersphere is based on Gallifreyan Matrix technology - which originally was designed to capture the minds and sum of all knowledge of deceased Time Lords. It was established in classic serials like The Deadly Assassin and The Trial of a Time Lord that you could either jack your mind into the Matrix - or in the Sixth Doctor's words, "physically penetrate" it. The Fourth Doctor fights Chancellor Goth in a dreamscape in The Deadly Assassin while being mentally linked to the Matrix in Assassin. In Trial, the Sixth Doctor physically pursues his alter ego the Valeyard - in both mind and body - into the Matrix where he ends up in a Victorian-era-like dreamscape that is controlled by the Valeyard. Therefore, that explains why Missy is able to flit in and out of the Nethersphere - it can like its Matrix forebear be "physically penetrated". Perhaps Danny and the boy's minds and bodies were returned to the Nethersphere after the Cybermen destroyed the nano-clouds.
2 weeks, 5 days ago on Death in Heaven Review (Part 1)
Perhaps there's a much simpler explanation. Maybe the Master willed himself into a female regeneration so that he could escape from Gallifrey. Yes, this does beg the question "Why hasn't he/she done it before?" However, if the Time Lords in the wake of the Time War sought to sentence the Master to death (not for the first time, mind you!), then he may have assumed a female form to effect his escape. And the indications are from The Night of the Doctor that a "controlled" regeneration does require some form of assistance. The Eighth Doctor had to use the Sisterhood of Karn's Elixir of Life in order to effect his regeneration - and one of the options he could have chosen, according to the High Priestess Ohila, was to become a woman. This implies a gender change is physically harder to achieve through the regular regeneration process.
2 weeks, 6 days ago on Gender-Swapping Regenerations: Why Now?
Doctor in Distress - the number one song! What drugs were you on when you wrote this, Connor!?!
1 month, 2 weeks ago on Who Tunes: Ranking the Lyrical Songs of Doctor Who
@Deus_Ex_Machina You forgot to include John and Gillian, the First Doctor's annoying grandchildren from TV Comic! :P
1 month, 2 weeks ago on Is Courtney Woods a Companion?
As my wife rather cleverly said when I mentioned this article, not every person you take in your car may be your friends or companions - they could just be passengers! The same goes for the Doctor and the TARDIS - you don't automatically become a companion just by stepping into the TARDIS - and God knows there have been plenty of people over the years who did but never travelled with the Doctor afterwards. On the other hand, there are plenty of other people the Doctor has met whom he could call close friends, eg the Brigadier, Yates, Benton, River Song, Vastra, Jenny and Strax, and Captain Jack Harkness. A "companion" should be defined not so much by whether they've travelled with the Doctor but to what extent they've influenced and changed him as a character.
@microbat98 Oh dear, the rubbish "Morbius Doctors" theory again! Davison was the Doctor's fifth incarnation, not the 13th!!! By that logic, what does that make Capaldi - the 22nd Doctor!?! And why then all the fuss in The Time of the Doctor that he has run out of regenerations?
3 months, 1 week ago on Is Doctor Who History Repeating Itself?
Fantastic article - you sum everything I have ever said about the Sixth Doctor. I'm also a great admirer of Colin Baker, who I've met a couple of times. He is easily one of the nicest guys in the business and his passion for Doctor Who remains as effusive as ever! He deserved the opportunity to prove himself on TV for longer than he did and it is fantastic that he has been able to redeem himself through the Big Finish audios.
3 months, 2 weeks ago on In Defense of Colin Baker
@The_Eternal_Dalek @Polyphase As the Fourth Doctor would say, "Empirical poppycock!" While it was the intention of the production team of the day to suggest that the other faces were incarnations of the Doctor pre-Hartnell, stories before and since The Brain of Morbius (eg The Three Doctors, The Five Doctors, Mawdryn Undead) have disproved this and affirmed that Hartnell was the First Doctor. There is NO SUCH THING as a Morbius Doctor! The theory is non-canonical nonsense, lacking even less credibility than the Shalka, Curse of the Fatal Death or Cushing Doctors!
3 months, 3 weeks ago on The Curious Case of the 9th Doctor
Steven Moffatt has (somewhat incorrectly) claimed that it was the fans who came up with the numbering system for the Doctors (of course, in the The Three Doctors and The Five Doctors it was established very clearly in dialogue that the First Doctor was indeed the earliest Doctor and in The Five Doctors the First Doctor remarks "So there are five of me now!") but when you think about it the designated numbers we give them have never been in sync with their actual regenerations. Hartnell was actually the pre-regeneration Doctor and Troughton was officially the first regeneration in the Time Lord's first regeneration cycle. This actually makes Hurt's War Doctor the 8th regeneration and Eccleston is officially the "Ninth Doctor" in all aspects - he is both the official 9th incarnation we saw on TV and the 9th regeneration. Ditto Tennant as the Tenth Doctor - official 10th incarnation and 10th regeneration. Where it all goes pear-shaped again again is with Tennant's two on-screen regenerations. As confirmed in The Time of the Doctor, Tennant's first regeneration in Journey's End actually meant the Tenth Doctor was both the Time Lord's 10th and 11th regenerations! This then makes Smith's Eleventh Doctor the 12th and last regeneration - and Capaldi's 12th Doctor is actually the 14th regeneration - and the first of presumably another 12 regenerations in a fresh regeneration cycle (meaning after Capaldi there is the potential for another 11 Doctors!). My wife, of course, was confused by the numbering system for the Doctors even before the arrival of the War Doctor - she prefers to think of them by other designations, eg "Scarf Doctor" (Fourth), "Cricket Doctor" (Fifth), "Clown Doctor" (Sixth) and "Cute Doctor" (Tenth)! And to be honest, she has a point - she has absolutely no idea who I'm talking about if I refer to them by number!!!
@NeutronFlow @connellmatthewsTrue, Eccleston's the 10th incarnation of the character - but he's also the actual ninth regeneration in the Doctor's regeneration cycle. Hartnell was a pre-regenerative Doctor and it was Troughton who was the first of the Time Lord's 12 regenerations ! That actually makes the War Doctor the 8th regeneration and makes Eccleston almost the Ninth Doctor in all aspects - 9th regeneration and 9th official incarnation on TV!
@Amy is Hannibal There is NO SUCH THING as a Morbius Doctor!!!
@12 jammy dodgers The Doctor has had many one-off companions, both in TV serials (eg Astrid, Wilf, Adelaide Brooke) and in the books and audios. And as you suggest, I think the War Doctor is very much driven by loss - it's likely he may have had a companion that he was fond of (eg another Time Lady) who perished in the heat of battle. Think of the Time Lady Serena in Terrance Dicks' World Game - she accompanies the Second Doctor in his travels in that story and sacrifices herself so the Doctor may live.
6 months, 3 weeks ago on The War Doctor Returns in “Engines of War”
"The Night of the Doctor featured the 8th Doctor, the only classic Doctor to return for a televised story ..." Incorrect! Peter Davison, the 5th Doctor, was the first of the classic Doctors to return for a televised story - in 2007's Time Crash, the Children in Need episode which ran for a similar length as The Night of the Doctor and paired Davison with David Tennant's Doctor. And unlike The Night of the Doctor, it was actually televised on the BBC, not on its red button service. Tom Baker, the 4th Doctor, became the third classic Doctor to appear in the modern series in the last few minutes of The Day of the Doctor.
6 months, 3 weeks ago on Is it Time to Give Big Finish the New Who Licence?
I think that with an evolving program like Doctor Who it will always
be difficult to reconcile Dalek continuity - and indeed the program's
broader continuity. Dalek stories now and into the future (whether on
TV, audio and in print) will always contradict each other. The simplest
explanation is that as a result of the Doctor's travels and intervention
and the Time War, not every Dalek story is exclusive to one timeline
(Day of the Daleks proves this, for example). This would explain why the
Daleks seem to have different origins (The Daleks, Genesis of the
Daleks) and two different ends (Evil of the Daleks, Remembrance of the
Daleks), why there have been three different Dalek invasions of Earth
(The Dalek Invasion of Earth, Day of the Daleks, The Stolen
Earth/Journey's End) and why Skaro has been destroyed and then revived
(Remembrance of the Daleks, the TV movie and Asylum of the Daleks).
Don't forget that in Asylum of the Daleks that because of the crack in
time, Amy did not recall the Dalek invasion of Earth in The Stolen
While it's not strictly an official part of
Dalek continuity, the DWM comic strip Emperor of the Daleks (written by
long time Who scribe Paul Cornell and first published in 1993)
postulated that the Imperial Daleks of Remembrance derived from the
10,000 Daleks abandoned on Spiridon in Planet of the Daleks. In fact,
the story attempts to tie up the loose ends between Revelation of the
Daleks and Remembrance, suggesting that the Seventh Doctor persuades his
Sixth incarnation to rescue Davros at the beginning of his trial on
Skaro and take him to Spiridon so that he can build his Imperial army
and seize control of the Dalek Empire in the first place - a classic
example of the Seventh Doctor manipulating events for his own ends.
course, it's up to each fan to decide if this story is "canon" but it's
no less plausible than the rubbish John Peel spouted in his War of the
Daleks novel which sought to debunk everything that occurred from
Destiny of the Daleks to Remembrance - basically all the 80s Dalek
stories that Terry Nation didn't like!
6 months, 4 weeks ago on Continuity of the Daleks
Oh, dear, bringing up War of the Daleks - one of the worst Doctor Who books ever written - as a solution to the Skaro dilemma! War of the Daleks was tripe from start to finish - and its explanation for the destruction of Skaro in Remembrance of the Daleks - as well as attempting to retcon every story from Destiny of the Daleks to Remembrance (just because author John Peel's close friend and Dalek creator Terry Nation didn't like those episodes) - was completely nonsensical! If The Twin Dilemma is Doctor Who's nadir to its zenith of The Caves of Androzani, then in book terms, War of the Daleks is the nadir to the zenith of Lawrence Miles' Alien Bodies (the very next book that followed!). Perhaps the reason Skaro still exists in the TV movie and in Asylum of the Daleks is because it wasn't completely destroyed by the Hand of Omega as we all thought. Perhaps instead of completely sending Skaro's solar system nova, the Hand merely wiped out all life on Skaro (much like a neutron bomb, killing all organic life and leaving structures still standing) and extinguished Skaro's sun, leaving a dead planet revolving around a dead sun. Or alternatively, Skaro and its system were destroyed but were somehow restored by the Daleks during the Time War. Whatever the explanation, it would have to be 1000 times better than the tripe Peel put forth in War of the Daleks!!!
7 months, 2 weeks ago on Asylum of the Daleks: A Popular Opinion?
While I would like to see a more edgier, uneasier Doctor, I think the past holds plenty of lessons to show why a "dark Doctor" doesn't necessarily gel with audiences. Attempts to make the Sixth Doctor a much more aggressive Doctor backfired on the program in the 1980s and it was many years before people were able to reassess Colin Baker's Doctor in a whole new light courtesy of the Big Finish audios. The Scream of the Shalka also sought to introduce a "darker" Doctor who had experienced significant trauma, including the death of a companion. Most fans hated Richard E Grant's portrayal of the Time Lord largely because he completely lacked humour. Therefore, make Capaldi's new Doctor edgy and uneasy by all means, but not too dark. History shows that the show rarely profits from making its hero far too dark. I can see Capaldi being very similar to Tennant's Doctor - he will give his adversaries one chance to withdraw from their nefarious schemes and then act accordingly when they do not.
7 months, 3 weeks ago on How Could Capaldi’s Doctor Develop?
@YgorVale Perhaps it's a matter of interpretation but I disagree. Not all the Time Lords were corrupt - it was the High Council of Gallifrey, led by the resurrected Rassilon, that attempted to implement the final sanction in the final days of the war. As we saw in The Day of the Doctor, there were factions of the Time Lords, such as the one led by the General, which clearly did not approve of what the High Council was doing and were not beyond redemption - and certainly the citizens of Arcadia and their children were innocent and collateral victims of war. Perhaps some Time Lord factions have since deposed Rassilon and his supporters - which would explain why Gallifrey is seeking to return to the universe in The Time of the Doctor. It's also debatable whether the Doctor actually changed history and the outcome of the Time War - he believed he had destroyed Gallifrey (courtesy of his crossing the time stream to meet his other selves, all the Doctors bar the 11th and 12th incarnations presumably have no recollection of how the war was resolved) - but as The Day of the Doctor established, he did much better than that - the combined intelligence of his other selves was enough to save Gallifrey. Therefore, you're wrong - the Doctor isn't quite the Time Lord Victorious you make him out to be! The 10th Doctor learnt that lesson well in The Waters of Mars.
@sarabunker22 Sorry but you're judging Capaldi on his past Doctor Who/Torchwood performances in completely different roles before you've even seen him in a full episode as the Doctor! And as for this being the end of Doctor Who, what utter rubbish! This is just the beginning - of a whole new regeneration cycle - and potentially 13 more Doctors! I suggest you watch more of Capaldi's work to see the range of actor he is before you make such ridiculous statements about him being a "gutless, sniffling coward"! God knows what you would have thought of David Tennant's Doctor if you'd judged his performance solely on his appearance as Casanova!
8 months ago on Capaldi is Not the Doctor!
You may not realise it but this type of idea has actually been done before - in the Doctor Who Magazine comic strip in the 1990s! At the end of The Final Chapter (1998), the Eighth Doctor surprisingly regenerates into a new incarnation that vaguely resembles actor, writer and Dalek artiste Nick Briggs! In the subsequent story Wormwood, it is revealed that the regeneration was a hoax - that the Eighth Doctor is alive and well and that the character we thought was the Doctor was his ally Shayde who has shapeshifting powers and faked the regeneration! At the time of the so-called "regeneration", I remember some fans going ballistic, accusing DWM in its letters pages of going over the top by regenerating McGann's Doctor in the absence of a TV series and less than two years after his on-screen debut! Nick Briggs recalled at a convention I attended last year that he even avoided some irate fans for a little while!
@isaktheviking What a ridiculous statement! Boy, what is it with today's generation of younger fans that they think the Doctor has to be sexy or young to have street cred! Peter Capaldi is actually quite young by today's standards, compared to when William Hartnell took on the role (being in the mid-50s in the 1960s was considered old!). You should also not judge an actor - especially one as brilliant as Capaldi - on their age. I think you'll find Capaldi's performance will be more energetic and youthful than you give him credit for!
@TheOncomingHurricane No I think it's OK for you to disagree. I don't personally believe there is any need to retcon the Cushing Doctor into Whoniverse continuity. Like Doctor Who Unbound, Scream of the Shalka and The Curse of the Fatal Death, and even the Virgin New and Missing Adventures and BBC novels pre-2005, the Cushing/Dalek films stand outside of the mainstream continuity. This is no different from some DC or Marvel comics stories also existing out of the mainstream continuity of those two universes.
8 months, 1 week ago on Could ‘Dr. Who’ Meet The Doctor?
@Notsosmartguy I like your thinking! It's doubtful that Michael Jayston would be cast as the Valeyard even if the character did return in the modern series!
9 months, 2 weeks ago on A forecast on Capaldi’s Doctor: The Frustrated Optimist
@beskar @VictorWong1 A meat puppet controlled by the Master? You obviously have never watched The Trial of a Time Lord, have you? The Valeyard was working on behalf of a corrupt High Council of Time Lords, not the Master. In fact, the Master was infuriated by the very presence of the Valeyard - as he symbolised the likelihood that the Master would never be able to destroy the Doctor!
@Amy the Consulting Commentator @Doctor Capaldi@Yaroslav Yuri ErohinYou're quoting the Rani out of context! She was commenting that she can still regenerate as she hasn't drained her regeneration cycle - the Master on the other hand in that story has and is stuck with the Trakenite body he stole from Nyssa's father Tremas in The Keeper of Traken. The Rani is referring less to an ability to choose her appearance and more to the fact that she still has a regenerative capability!
9 months, 3 weeks ago on Some Theories on Capaldi’s Familiar Face
@Doctor Capaldi @Creepy_Ghoul Those stories are SO long ago there is utterly no point!
@Yaroslav Yuri Erohin @craig33Don't forget the first rule of Doctor Who - Moffat LIES!
@gavinbarsby Gavin, you've hit the nail on the head! Karen Gillan was in The Fires of Pompeii but no explanation has been forthcoming about who her character was and what connection (if any) she had to Amy - and hopefully there never will be! Ditto the Twelfth Doctor and his doppelgangers!
Anyway, we know that Amy was sent back with Rory to the same time period - they were both buried in the same plot (she passed away five years after he did).
@Doctor Capaldi The Doctor did not base his first and second incarnations on either the Abbott of Amboise or Salamander - he'd never met either of them. (In fact, the First Doctor had not regenerated at that point - his original face would not have been modelled on anyone's, it's just a coincidence he bore a strong resemblance to the Abbott). It's also unlikely that the Fifth Doctor regenerating into the Sixth would have modelled himself on a thug like Maxil! Of all the characters here, the only character who explicitlly based one of her incarnations on another person was Romana!
@Adric the Genius Unlikely if this theory is anything to go by!
Why do fans continue to appeal for some overly complicated, ludicrous explanation as to why the Twelfth Doctor may (or may not) look like Caecilius and John Frobisher? As far as outlandish theories go, this article really takes the cake! What next? Do we have to explain the Sixth Doctor's resemblance to Commander Maxil or the Brigadier's resemblance to Bret Vyon or Sara Kingdom's likeness to Morgaine!?! Caecilius' wife in The Fires of Pompeii was played by Tracey Childs who
has played Elizabeth Klein alongside the Seventh Doctor in the Big
Finish audios - do we have to surmise that Klein's a descendant of
Caecilius' wife as well!?!
As can be expected of a 50 year old series, Doctor Who has had numerous actors (including two Doctors) who started out in guest roles in the show before graduating into regular roles! Another SF series Star Trek was also renowned for recasting actors - and there were no convoluted attempts to explain why certain characters looked alike either! All this speculation is a ridiculous waste of fans' time!
Occam's razor applies here - the simplest explanation is often the best! That a bunch of actors have had multiple roles in two long-running SF TV franchises! Why can't certain fans just accept that and move on?
@GaryKingston Yes, true, but the other Doctors in the Death Zone in The Five Doctors would have been none the wiser about how many other Doctors there were on Gallifrey! The Second Doctor only finds out later that the Fifth Doctor is, as he puts it, "the latest model". And in The Two Doctors it is probably not necessarily clear to the Second Doctor which incarnation the Sixth Doctor is! That said, the Doctor does seem to have an innate sense of recognising future versions of himself - in The Two Doctors, that is certainly the case. The War Doctor doesn't - but then he seems to have a harder time accepting how much younger his later incarnations have become! "What, even him?" he exclaims, pointing to the 11th Doctor!
9 months, 3 weeks ago on To Know Thine Self: What can or can’t the Doctor know about his future selves?
@Brian Campbell1 Yes, I think much the same thing. I also immensely enjoyed Hurt's Doctor but believe McGann could just as ably have played a regenerated War Doctor - and as GibbyBlogger also said elsewhere in these comments, the screen at the end of Name could have boldly pronounced: PAUL MCGANN RETURNS ... AS THE WAR DOCTOR!
9 months, 3 weeks ago on What if… the Ninth Doctor was the War Doctor?
@GibbyBlogger I think the modified scenario you've described could have worked. I actually asked McGann at an Australian convention in December if he thought he could have played Hurt's role and (perhaps rather unsurprisingly) he said yes (although Paul seemed a bit surprised at my suggestion that until Hurt came along, everyone thought it was his Doctor that fought in the Time War!). Having the Eighth Doctor revealed as the Doctor's secret could still have been just as effective - in the TV movie, we see the Eighth Doctor at perhaps his most idealistic, with a passion for life and beauty. To have him revealed as the War Doctor and to be shunned by his other incarnations would have truly shocked a lot of fans and generated as much internet chatter and debate in the lead-up to the 50th anniversary as Hurt's appearance did. In fact, I was more intrigued by what Hurt was accused of doing ("But not in the name of the Doctor!") than who he was (it seemed obvious to me that Hurt was the Doctor's ninth incarnation long before The Day of the Doctor came out) so it could have worked for McGann as well - why was Eight being denied when we had previously known him as the Doctor? Even with McGann, you could still solve the quandary of making the War Doctor another incarnation and making Matt Smith's Doctor the last regeneration - if David Tennant's Doctor can be both the Doctor's 10th and 11th regenerations then couldn't McGann have been both the eighth and the ninth regenerations? I think you are onto something there - and I'm sure in a parallel universe out there, the story was just as rivetting!