In The Five Doctors, the third Doctor confiscates a seal he incorrectly believes the Master has stolen. Although he plans to return it, later the eleventh Doctor has the seal in The Time of the Doctor. It's unsurprising the Doctor never got round to such a return - he forgets to do a lot of things - but my question concerns how 11 recalled where 3 got the seal.

After all, this was part of an adventure in which 3 met 1, 2 and 5, and therefore he shouldn't be able to remember the events because it's long-established that, when multiple versions of the same Time Lord meet due to time travel, only the oldest (in that case 5) remembers what happened. And since 5 never saw how 3 got the seal, why does the Doctor remember specifically that it was in a conversation with the Master?

My suspicion is it's because 3 hadn't bumped into 1, 2 or 5 by that point, so the forgotten period hadn't started; but I don't remember the episode well enough to know if that's even true.

  • Where is it long established that only the latest Doctor remembers their shared events? – Reinstate Monica - Goodbye SE Dec 11 '17 at 15:21
  • @Wikis Day of the Doctor mentions it, and it's implicit in earlier multi-Doctor stories (although Time Crash contradicts it), and the Master has the same problem (mentioned in The Doctor Falls). – J.G. Dec 11 '17 at 16:12

It's pure "timey-wimey ball." Trying to apply any logic to multi-Doctor stories is pretty much doomed to failure. For example, at the end of "The Five Doctors," the incarnations all depart by entering the same TARDIS, which then splits into multiple directions; does that make any sense?

However, if you want an in-universe explanation: Given that all the Doctor's selves (except Four, obviously) are gathered together at the end of "The Five Doctors," and they are trying to puzzle out the meaning of The Game of Rassilon, they would presumably have shared information about what had happened to each them of them on the way in to Rassilon's tomb. It is established that the different regenerations can communicate telepathically, so the shared debriefing would not even need to be shown. So Five would have learned what happened to Three at that point.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.