I recently became addicted to Doctor Who. Living under a rock as I do, it’s only recently that I even heard about the show. After watching all the new episodes (Christopher Eccleston and on), I started watching classic Who so I could understand the history of the Doctor. One thing that I’ve read is that as Matt Smith is the eleventh incarnation of the Doctor, the possibility exists that there will be only one more incarnation after his. Several older episodes seem to support the idea that Time Lords are only allowed twelve regenerations.
Except for one. In The Trial of a Time Lord: The Ultimate Foe, the sixth doctor (Colin Baker), is tried for interfering in events. As the story continues, the Master reveals that the Valeyard is a distillation of everything evil in the Doctor. The Valeyard wants the Doctor to die so he can take all the Doctor’s future regenerations. The Master also reveals that he met the Valeyard (then known as the Doctor) between his 12th and final regeneration. Not during, but between.
As writers, we all know the importance of words. The choice of the word between completely changes the possibilities for how many regenerations the Doctor has. If the Master had said he met the Doctor during his twelfth and final regeneration, we would know that the Doctor after Matt Smith would be the last one. But he’s not.
OMG, does everyone see what Steven Moffat did there? He’s given Eleven all of River’s regenerations, so he is no longer limited to twelve regenerations. And the Master met the Doctor after that twelfth regeneration. And then messed with his life prior to that. Ooh, all timey-wimey. I have a sneaky little suspicion that we might see the Master return. And a Master like Robert Delgado.*
And yes, I’m basing all of that on one little word.
*Note, I’ve not gotten any further than the first two episodes with Seven, so don’t know if things have changed so the Master would no longer meet the Doctor, so please NO SPOILERS. That’s the kind of thing I want to find out for myself.