The 13th Doctor, Capaldi, showed up in "The Day of the Doctor" when the Doctors froze Gallifrey.

So, if the 12th Doctor saw him back then, how come he thought he was the last Doctor at the episode "The Time of the Doctor"? Could he have just forgotten?

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    Even more compelling - he had a phone conversation with Clara in the future wherein he talks about taking care of "him", "him" being the new Doctor. Wibbly, wobbly... Oct 16, 2014 at 18:43
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    @Chris B. Behrens - in "Time of the Doctor", Eleven learns that he has been granted a new regeneration cycle before actually regenerating, so he could have called Twelve between this and the moment he regenerates. See the transcript here, the line is "CLARA: You're young again. You're okay. You didn't even change your face. DOCTOR: Ha! It's started. I can't stop it now. This is just the reset. A whole new regeneration cycle. Ooo."
    – Hypnosifl
    Oct 16, 2014 at 18:53
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    @Chris B. Behrens - no, note Clara's line "You're young again" and his response "This is just the reset" -- if you watch the scene you'll see the 11th Doctor had become young-looking when Clara found him in the Tardis and those lines were said, apparently a "reset" in apparent age is something that happens shortly before a regeneration (or at least it can happen--there seemed to be no reset for John Hurt's "War Doctor", who we saw looked much younger in "Night of the Doctor" when the 8th Doctor first regenerated into him).
    – Hypnosifl
    Oct 16, 2014 at 19:30
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    @ChrisB.Behrens He made the call after blowing up the Daleks but before actually regenerating. Oct 16, 2014 at 19:30
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    Ah, I see. The plot contrivances we Who fans accept... Oct 16, 2014 at 19:36

3 Answers 3


TL; DR: Yes, it's possible that during Time of the Doctor, the Eleventh Doctor has forgotten his future self's involvement in the saving of Gallifrey.

To add to the answer by Hypnosifl and to answer the specific part of your question "Could he have just forgotten?", remember that the War Doctor and the Tenth Doctor (and by extension, the Ninth) don't retain the memories because of the muddled time streams, but the Eleventh does, because it's his present. Capaldi's appearance, though, would be from his future, and so it's entirely likely that he doesn't remember it for the same reason.

Maybe it's that Time Lords can't generally retain memories of interactions with their future selves. This is a consequence of the Blinovitch Limitation Effect shown with the Brigadier in Mawdryn Undead -- the younger version can't remember the interaction with the older. It also explains why the Fifth Doctor doesn't recall being pulled into the Death Zone in The Five Doctors despite having been there three times previously. (I say "generally" because it seems like the Second Doctor remembers the events of The Three Doctors during his conversation with the Brigadier in The Five Doctors. However, since the Time Lords deliberately brought the three incarnations together, they may have had some way to circumvent the effect.)

Granted, the events of Time Crash seem to contradict that since it implies that the Fifth Doctor would remember watching the Tenth fix the TARDIS, but that could be explained by the memories of the younger simply being suppressed until he "catches up" with the future events. So he does remember, he just doesn't remember that he remembers until he's on the other side of the conversation; that is, when he's Ten.

This also accounts for Eleven's line in Day of the Doctor, "This is where I come in." That implies that he remembers meeting his future self when he was Ten, in spite of explicitly saying that Ten won't remember. The memories are still there, just inaccessible until the most forward point in the timeline. At the point where the time streams cross, Eleven suddenly has access to the memory his past self made, leading him to remark, essentially, "Oh, right! This happened. I'd forgotten."

  • I thought the Brigadier's memory loss in Mawdryn Undead was due to touching his older self, which released a "massive discharge of energy" and knocked both versions unconscious. Are there any other examples to suggest that the younger versions of the Doctor don't retain a memory of multi-Doctor meetings? In The Five Doctors, when the 2nd Doctor met up with the Brigadier, he recalled their earlier adventure with Omega--but that happened in another multi-Doctor story, The Three Doctors. Also, the resolution to Time Crash depended on 5's memories of the meeting still being in 10's head.
    – Hypnosifl
    Oct 16, 2014 at 21:17
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    1) The energy surge was definitely the result of the contact, but we don't know if the memory loss would still have occurred regardless. 2) The Time Lords specifically and deliberately brought the first three Doctors together in The Three Doctors. They may likely have had some way to mitigate the effects of the Limitation. 3) That's why I said Five's memories were simply suppressed until they caught up with the relative present. He had the memories, but couldn't access them until he was Ten because they were memories of his future.
    – Roger
    Oct 16, 2014 at 21:27
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    Good points, I didn't read your last two paragraphs carefully enough. Looking at the transcript it was actually the War Doctor that was told by Eleven that he wouldn't remember, but that suggests that at least in Day of the Doctor the writers were thinking of multi-Doctor meetings not being remembered by younger versions, even if writers of earlier episodes may not have thought that way.
    – Hypnosifl
    Oct 16, 2014 at 21:36
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    @Adeptus - Yes, I think it's the second option, it seems like the 10th Doctor in Day of the Doctor was supposed to be from an adventure sometime between The Waters of Mars and The End of Time (well after The Shakespeare Code), since at the beginning of End of Time he seemed to say he'd gone around having a bunch of adventures to procrastinate in replying to Ood Sigma's psychic summons, and that one of those adventures involved marrying Queen Elizabeth.
    – Hypnosifl
    Oct 17, 2014 at 4:42
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    From the transcript: "I was summoned, wasn't I? An Ood in the snow, calling to me. Well, I didn't exactly come straight here. Had a bit of fun, you know. Travelled about, did this and that. Got into trouble. You know me. It was brilliant. I saw the Phosphorous Carousel of the Great Magellan Gestadt, saved a planet from the Red Carnivorous Maw, named a galaxy Alison. Got married. That was a mistake. Good Queen Bess. And let me tell you, her nickname is no longer. Ahem." (Elizabeth's nickname was "The Virgin Queen" BTW)
    – Hypnosifl
    Oct 17, 2014 at 4:45

I don't think there was any on-screen evidence that the 11th Doctor noticed the presence of the 12th, only one of the Time Lords on Gallifrey commented on the appearance of a thirteenth Tardis beyond the ones belonging to the first eleven numbered "Doctors" along with the Tardis of the incarnation played by John Hurt (whatever you want to call him, since fans seem to have agreed on the convention that he won't be referred to as a numbered "Doctor"). From the transcript here, the lines from two Gallifreyans in that scene are:

GENERAL: I didn't know when I was well off. All twelve of them!

ANDROGAR: No, sir. All thirteen!

(A new pair of grey eyebrows is seen.)

Later, in the shot with all the Doctors standing together, Capaldi's 12th Doctor doesn't appear (though it doesn't really matter anyway, since as someone pointed out to me on another answer, this scene was actually described by Eleven's narration as a dream):

enter image description here

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    "whatever you want to call him" -- I think the generally agreed-upon name is "War Doctor".
    – Roger
    Oct 16, 2014 at 19:25
  • Huh, I thought it was Capaldi who said “No, sir. All thirteen!” Oct 16, 2014 at 21:03
  • @PaulD.Waite It was said off screen, I still think it was Capaldi. chakoteya.net is a fan transcription, not official scripts. Its fairly accurate but noone's perfect.
    – user16696
    Jan 6, 2015 at 2:28
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    @cde - It wasn't Capaldi, it's clearly the other Time Lord responding "No sir--all thirteen!" Go to 2:08 at youtube.com/watch?v=0e71KWwE5Fk to rewatch
    – Hypnosifl
    Jan 6, 2015 at 2:42
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    @Hypnosifl having just rewatched it before I posted, and again just now, I stand by it being Capaldi. The first part is said off screen when only the General is shown, then the explosion rocks the scene, then the second part is also said offscreen when the tardises are being shown flying around
    – user16696
    Jan 6, 2015 at 3:05

There's no way for certain that he saw the 12th Doctor. Even if he did, his memory of Time War was hazy, because, as he says to the War Doctor, "The time streams are out of synch"

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