The Eighth Doctor once remarked that humans are “always seeing patterns in things that aren’t there”, and Doctor Who fans are no exception.
We can’t help but fill in the blanks when things go unexplained, or make connections between plot points that, frankly, didn’t need making.
For example, does the fact that Graham and Lady Cassandra share the same surname, O’Brien, mean they’re distantly related? There’s nothing to say this is the case – but equally, there’s nothing to say it isn’t.
All fan theories exist in this grey area between “canon” and “not canon”, and for this reason, they’re not always taken seriously. But some of them actually make a lot of sense. And some are just too good to ignore.
Have certain characters had a greater hand in events than first thought? Can behind-the-scenes design changes be reconciled with Gallifreyan lore? And is every mysterious side character a Time Lord in disguise?
In the world of Doctor Who fan theories, anything’s possible…
10. The Diner In The Impossible Astronaut Is Clara’s TARDIS
Hell Bent aired in 2015, at a time when Stateside interest in the show had never been greater – which might be why Clara’s TARDIS took the form of an American diner.
And if we trace Doctor Who’s big American boom back to the beginning, we find ourselves at Series 6 opener The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon: the first story to feature principal photography in the States.
Funnily enough, that story also features an American diner – one which looks suspiciously like Clara’s.
The boring behind-the-scenes explanation is that the same filming location was used in both instances, but it’s not like the show ignores the similarity. Indeed, the Doctor remarks that Clara’s diner looks familiar to one he’s been to before.
The implication seems to be that Clara modelled her TARDIS on this diner, as opposed to them being one and the same. But it’s not entirely beyond the realm of possibility. In fact, Clara could quite easily have moved her TARDIS from Nevada (where the Hell Bent diner is located) to Utah (where The Impossible Astronaut diner is located). After all, it is a TARDIS!
This would, rather tantalisingly, suggest that she was watching over the Doctor before they met and nudging him along, just as Missy did for her.