In The End of Time, we see that The Doctor looks at one lady who was alongside Rassilon very peculiarly. Why? Who was she? What was her role? Did the Doctor know her? If yes, how?

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7 Answers 7


Her purpose in the story is to inform Wilf that if the Doctor wanted to prevent the oncoming re-emergence of the Time War, he would have to take up arms. Since she is one of the two Time Lords that are standing as "monuments to their shame," it can be deduced that she is a dissenter of Rassilon's final sanction and does not want the Time War to be unlocked.

As for who she is, her identity is never confirmed in the series. However, in Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale - The Final Chapter, Russell T. Davies confirmed that he initially intended for the character to be the Doctor's mother, but decided to leave the matter ambiguous and that ultimately, she is whoever the viewer wants her to be.

  • He said that just to put us off. The Doctor's mother never traveled with him. She's Rose.
    – Mr Lister
    May 22, 2013 at 18:59
  • 1
    @MrLister Rose is human, the woman depicted in the show was a Time Lady, or at the very least Gallifreyan.
    – Monty129
    May 23, 2013 at 12:03
  • 16
    @Monty129: Maybe she's the Gallifreyan Clara. Wait a moment... Oh my god... :O
    – Saturn
    May 25, 2013 at 8:50
  • 2
    Could be. That'd certainly be an interesting retcon. :)
    – Amy
    May 25, 2013 at 20:01

As summarised on Wikipedia, with a quote from then-showrunner Russell T. Davies from The Writer's Tale: The Final Chapter:

One of the two dissident Time Lords, described as "The Woman" in the credits, visits Wilfred on several occasions, appearing and disappearing in unexplained ways. When she lowers her arms to stare at the Tenth Doctor he appears to recognise her, but when later asked by Wilfred about her identity, the Doctor evades the question. British newspapers The Daily Telegraph and The Daily Mail identified the character as the Doctor's mother as early as April 2009. Russell T. Davies wrote in an email to the author of The Writers Tale, "I like leaving it open, because then you can imagine what you want. I think the fans will say it's Romana. Or even the Rani. Some might say that it's Susan's mother, I suppose. But of course it's meant to be the Doctor's mother."

  • Could be Susan herself!
    – Liath
    Jul 22, 2014 at 9:25
  • It really wouldn't've killed you to copy the reference here. Anyway, it's 404d now. So (although probably true) this answer would be totally unverified! But hey, I've now provided an archive.org mirror of it. Sep 14, 2015 at 18:10

I honestly liked to believe it was somehow Donna, as she may have been able to unlock her Time Lord part for real and gone back in time. If it was, then that would explain a little bit

  • 2
    Maybe Donna is the Doctor's mother!
    – Joe L.
    Aug 20, 2014 at 23:22

Well, "The Woman" actually says that she was "lost long ago". Then, later on, Eleven refers to Susan as "lost", as well. Not to mention that her features are extremely similar, if you look closely. I really think she's Susan.

Bonus: did you know that Susan's real name, Arkytior, is the Gallifreyan word for rose? :D


I also think she's the Doctor's mother. The way the Doctor looked at her, when he first saw her in The End of Time showed recognition. And also the fact that once she showed him with a look at the white point star what he had to do, he immediately trusted her. So at least she had to be someone the Doctor knew well enough to trust blindly. For me the key to this mystery is the "answer" the Doctor gave Wilf when he asked him, who the woman was. The Doctor first looks at Donna's mother and then proceeds to look at Donna herself, as if he wanted to say "The woman is to me what Donna's mother is to Donna: a mother."

  • As you can see from the top-rated answer, she was originally intended to be the Doctor's mother but they intentionally left it ambiguous.
    – Valorum
    Aug 20, 2014 at 23:29

I think she's Donna. When Wilf asks the Doctor, "Who was that woman?", the Doctor doesn't answer, but looks straight at Donna and nods in her direction. This explanation leaves a lot of holes, of course, but so do all the others.


I do believe that she was the Doctor's mother, as that was the first thought that went through my mind.

The look they both gave each other when they saw each other, that just gave her identity away.