DOCTOR WHO - Will the Valeyard return soon? - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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DOCTOR WHO - Will the Valeyard return soon?

Christopher Morley wonders if the Valeyard is set to make a return to Doctor Who in the very near future.

Just why have the BBC been so quick to damn those who've leaked scripts for Series 8? Perhaps Doctor Who's answer to Watergate has been front page news for a very good reason! And that good reason might will be that the Twelfth Doctor will serve as a lead into the coming of the Valeyard... Of course, we've seen him before alongside the Sixth Doctor in the Trial Of A Time Lord arc, perhaps most notably in The Ultimate Foe...

Those who paid attention will have keenly noted the Master's statement that the Valeyard is a personification of the Doctor's dark side, from between his 'twelfth & final' incarnations.

The Great Intelligence hinted that the Doctor would indeed be known by the name of ' Valeyard' before the end of his life in The Name Of The Doctor. But with the lifting of the twelve-regeneration limit in The Time Of The Doctor...

...has Steven Moffatt moved the goalposts? A whole new cycle would suggest that the transformation into the Valeyard could now occur at any point- its not implicitly stated that it must happen during the twelfth incarnation's time. But with the hint that this new Doctor will be somewhat darker & more mysterious, it could be that the lead writer has decided that it should. Hence his understandable frustration at those damned script leaks!

And Moffatt's fondness for wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff would seem to dictate that either Peter Capaldi or another actor of similar gravitas ( rumours abound that Twelve will last only one series) could be called upon to play a younger Valeyard, one at the start of his time-line rather than nearing the end- you might recall the older man being desperate to steal the Doctor's remaining regenerations for himself to prolong his own life in exchange for acting as prosecutor at the trial of our favourite Time Lord. We should point out that similar bargains are most certainly not accepted in any Earthly courts of law!

And it would certainly inject fresh impetus into the quest to find Gallifrey once more if the Doctor were to receive a summons from a corrupt High Council member ( or indeed whole Council) asking him to attend to a high-profile legal matter. The fact that the evidence against the defendant has been entirely fabricated through use of the Matrix matters not to those seeking a quick conviction- knowledge which might either horrify or interest Twelve depending on how far his darkness is intended to spread. So begins a prequel to The Trial Of A Time Lord! We might also pause to consider just how the Master apparently knows so much about the Valeyard...

There has been rumour & counter-rumour suggesting that the Doctor's nemesis will indeed return. But what if that comeback were to see him having a hand in the coming of the Valeyard? It would explain the Master's seemingly advanced knowledge of the whole business at a stroke. After all should he become Lord President he'll need a similarly no-nonsense ally among the judiciary ( if it could be called that with the Valeyard in charge).

Perhaps the plan works a little too well & the Master regrets underestimating the Doctor's dark side? After all he does seem rather keen to be rid of both the Valeyard & the Doctor in The Ultimate Foe! A clash of egos between the two could make for incredible viewing. The whole affair could, though, if played out another way, show there is still good left in the Doctor- with a little lateral thinking.

If he's aware that he could at some point regenerate into the Valeyard, who's to say he couldn't at least try to stop it if & when that happens, or stop it from happening in the first place? With the now established fact that ' time can be rewritten' fresh in his mind, perhaps the Doctor will attempt to do just that by going into his own time-stream at a point before his Sixth incarnation's defining moment- with the added caveat that doing so could prove to be his own ruin. So begins a game of cat & mouse unlike any the Doctor will ever face, chasing his own dark side.

But where could such a battle take place? Maybe at selected moments of his past from throughout his lives, as a starting point. But also, consider the most recent teaser for Series 8...

If you really put your mind to it you might come to the conclusion that only one man could look into the Doctor's very soul & see hatred- the very aspect of himself that exhibits it, alongside his other nastier qualities!

After all his use of ' your' rather than ' our' could be interpreted as a continuation of his quest to liberate himself from dependence on the continued existence of the Doctor- a fool's errand most likely, but one to which the Valeyard could remain dedicated, so desperate is he to rid himself of the Doctor's influence. To which end he could have entered into an alliance with the Daleks, hence the familiar metallic rasp of ' HATRED!' towards the end of the such an arrangement between the two parties would work is surely reason enough to want to see it happen?

Plus Episode 2 of Series 8 is believed to be Twelve's first meeting with those who fear him as the ' Oncoming Storm'- the presence of both they & his distilled evil in Time Lord form having the potential to be quite something. It could of course be that he pops up beforehand in Deep Breath ( the new Doctor getting a feature-length introduction in Victorian London alongside the Paternoster Gang). Speculation abounds that a certain Jack the Ripper could also have a big part to play. Not inconsequential, if you've read the Matrix novel- which has the Valeyard masquerading as/becoming Jack to feed his victims to the Dark Matrix ( over which he has control).

While its highly unlikely that Moffatt would simply adapt prose wholesale- the various Doctor Who novel ranges not considered to be canon- he might shape elements of the idea of ' Valeyard as Ripper' to suit his own ends if indeed ' Jolly Jack' does make an appearance. He's told anyone who'll listen that the programme needs to change, so perhaps he's preparing to take things in a much darker direction. It could well prove to be the case that he's got his own master-plan, similar to that of Andrew Cartmel in the final years of the classic series!

Maybe the plan is to finally deliver on the idea that the Doctor is indeed ' more than just another Time Lord' in ways that John-Nathan Turner never allowed Cartmel the freedom to do with the Seventh Doctor..........

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