10 Crazy Doctor Who Theories Fans Actually Believed

Was the identity of Doctor Who's most mysterious villain in plain sight all along?

Doctor Who Midnight entity TARDIS theory
BBC Studios

In a show like Doctor Who, where anything is possible, even the strangest, most far-fetched rumours and theories can’t be completely discounted.

Case in point: in early 2022, there were rumblings that Jodie Whittaker’s successor would be none other than Tenth Doctor actor David Tennant. At the time, most fans immediately dismissed this idea – it was possible that Tennant was returning to the show, yes, but surely not as the Fourteenth Doctor – but in this post-Power of the Doctor world, we now know better. Heck, even the rumours of Mel’s return turned out to be true!

So while it's often best to take everything with a pinch of salt until we actually know what's happening, fans will never stop cooking up their own wild theories to answer unanswered questions, or to propose something huge that's going to happen in an upcoming episode. And why should they!

Sometimes, these theories are fairly believable, and sometimes... they aren't. But that doesn't mean they should be forgotten. After all, they're pretty funny to look back on, and serve as tantalising (if bonkers) glimpses at how fans have interpreted Doctor Who over the years.

10. Donna Picked Up The Master’s Ring

Doctor Who Midnight entity TARDIS theory
BBC Studios

We’ve seen the Master escape death countless times before. But the fate depicted in Last of the Time Lords, with the Saxon Master's body burnt to a crisp on a funeral pyre, seemed particularly final.

However, fans knew better – not least because of the cutaway scene at the episode’s end, which revealed that the Master’s ring had been retrieved from the smoking embers of the pyre by an unknown individual.

The question was, who?

In the end, the answer ended up being fairly unremarkable. It was an entirely new character called Miss Trefusis, who was only seen during the Master's rebirth sequence in The End of Time. But in the interim, fans went crazy speculating about who this mysterious woman might be.

One of the most prominent theories was that she was a character we’d met before: Donna Noble.

Doctor Who Donna Noble Catherine Tate
BBC Studios

Quite why Donna would've picked up the Master’s ring isn’t clear – though it would've made for a pretty mind-blowing twist, with the Doctor-Donna metacrisis potentially playing a part in the Master’s resurrection.

So while it of course didn't belong to Catherine Tate, the manicured hand glimpsed in Last of the Time Lords didn't belong to Miss Trefusis actor Sylvia Seymour, either. For the purposes of this brief cutaway scene, the role was actually played by production manager Tracie Simpson.

Well isn’t that wizard!

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Doctor Who fan/YouTuber and now writer for WhatCulture!