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‘Doctor Who’ season finale recap: 12×10 “The Timeless Children”

Doctor Who season finale recap: Season 12, Episode 10, “The Timeless Children,” Aired March 1, 2020

It’s a Doctor Who season finale that rewrites the show’s history.”The Timeless Children” was an hour and a half of plots and mind-blowing revelation, all ending with a massive cliffhanger. 

“I shall conquer everything”

After the Doctor heads to Gallifrey with the Master, he calls the Cybermen to the planet and takes in the Cyberium (from the Shelley episode). He gloats about killing all the TimeLords, then admits he kept the bodies for a reason; he’s been experimenting. And in walks Cybermen who can regenerate, as he turned all the TimeLords into Cybermen. All for the sake of nothing but destruction – so very Master.

While the Doctor deals with the Master on Gallifrey, Graham and Yaz disguise themselves as Cybermen while Ryan plays with some weapons to destroy Cybermen. Sounds like a bad interaction in the making, but each of those plans works and all ends up okay when the humans are reunited.

“Once upon several times…”

The Timeless Child is……… the Doctor. I did not see that coming.

The Doctor was found as a child by a Gallifreyan woman who adopted her and took her to Gallifrey. That whole storyline from last week with Brendan – that was a distorted version of the Doctor’s actual memories, similar to what actually happened but not exact. The Doctor was the first TimeLord, but her memories have been wiped and lost. After all this time, turns out Hartnell was not the first incarnation of the Doctor.  

When the Doctor ran into Ruth (also the Doctor) episodes ago, it turns out they both truly were the Doctor. Ruth’s Doctor was the Doctor during the period of lost memories. 

“People need the Doctor”

The Doctor has a nice talk with herself and seemingly comes to terms with her incomplete memories (although it’s not too clear if she got them all back or not) before heading out to find the Master and end things. She figures out Ashad has a “death particle” inside of him that would wipe out all organic matter on a planet, and she plans to use it on Gallifrey. She sends her companions home to Earth and heads to sacrifice herself to keep the Cybermen from destroying the universe.

However, the Doctor can’t go through with it, and she lets Ko Sharmus hit the button to destroy Gallifrey once more, and she escapes.

“Doing the whole human race proud”

There was a lot of speculation about a tragic ending or TARDIS departure for one or more of the companions, but at the end of the season, Team TARDIS still looks tight. Yaz, Graham, and Ryan are stuck on Earth without the Doctor, but I feel like they’ll reunite in the future. I personally wouldn’t have minded one less companion, but I can’t complain too much about getting a happy ending.


Out of nowhere, Judoon show up on the TARDIS to arrest the Doctor. Her sentence: Life in a maximum security prison. And that’s where they leave us. But the good news is we’re getting a holiday special this year in “Revolution of the Daleks.” I hope the months pass quickly because I have so many questions.


First things first, where was Captain Jack? He said he’d be back, but no such sighting in “The Timeless Children.” Maybe he’ll be in the holiday special? I’m a tad bitter he didn’t make another appearance.

Next, I want to give Sacha Dhawan a standing ovation because he IS the Master. I hope he somehow survived the explosion and comes back for more. They never did explain how the character survived the Missy/Simm Master situation, so it’s totally possible to bring him back from this, too. 

Lastly, I am beyond confused after this episode. Doctor Who history has been changed, but I still don’t 100% know what’s going on now or what’s real and not real. I may need to rewatch this one a couple times. I will say this was a heck of a season finale with the Timeless Child revelation and then that cliffhanger. This did leave me wanting more, but I suppose I’ll have to wait until the holiday season. Until then, Whovians.  


What did you think of “The Timeless Children”? Let us know at @PureFandom on Twitter!

Doctor Who airs Sundays on BBC America at 8/7c.


Jordan Alperstein

Jordy has a degree in English literature and communication studies. When she isn't attending concerts, she's watching way too much TV for her own good and fangirling over fictional characters. Jordy is a self-proclaimed optimist and bookworm, and she's a sucker for fantasy, superheroes, and good old-fashioned villains.

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