Since her first appearance in Season 12, Doctor Who fans have had questions about Jo Martin’s Fugitive Doctor. The BBC series eventually confirmed she was a past incarnation of the Time Lord, but as for where she falls in the timeline, viewers have little knowledge. Now, we might have a more definitive answer, as a recent comic book has seemingly confirmed a massive detail about the Fugitive Doctor.
The new information comes via the Doctor Who Free Comic Book Day special (via Screen Rant), which serves as a prelude to the upcoming miniseries Doctor Who Origins. In the issue, which hails from the same creative team as the forthcoming book, we see the first time The Doctor visits Earth and the transformation of the TARDIS into its police box design . Jo Martin’s Fugitive Doctor is shown in the comic during these critical moments, seemingly confirming she was one of, if not the first incarnation the Timeless Child took on when she was officially The Doctor.
It’s hard to say exactly what this means given the lore of Doctor Who is frequently changing. At the very least, though, we can say that Doctor Who just established the Fugitive Doctor as an incarnation even prior to William Hartnell’s First Doctor from the original series.
That’s a pretty big honor, and it’s a little surprising we didn’t learn this in in an actual television episode. Of course, there’s still a chance that might happen, as Jo Martin is confirmed to appear in Jodie Whittaker’s upcoming final episode, which is set to air this fall. No details are available beyond that, but it is possible this fact gets reiterated in the episode or sometime down the stretch.
Doctor Who fans were excited to see Jo Martin as the first Black Doctor in the franchise, but Chris Chibnall’s polarizing retcon of The Doctor’s origin story definitely had fans concerned about her future after his departure. Chibnall’s Timeless Child storyline revealed The Doctor wasn’t actually a Gallifreyan, but rather an alien child found by a Gallifreyan scientist who then harnessed the child’s regenerative powers to turn Galifreyans into the now-named Time Lords. The plotline suggested The Doctor has unlimited regenerations, rather than the previously established finite number suggested by past franchise seasons.
The Timeless Child plotline makes it difficult to say with certainty where place Jo Martin’s Fugitive Doctor in the timeline, especially with limitless regenerations. This comic book places her as the first incarnation to visit Earth, but it’s unknown if she regenerated any times between that visit and when William Hartnell’s “First Doctor” emerged. In either case, it’s always good to see more details on beloved supporting characters in the franchise (especially those passionate about their character), and perhaps the fact Doctor Who is telling this means mean that Jo Martin’s Doctor may make future appearances in the new era and beyond.
Doctor Who is on hiatus until Jodie Whittaker’s final episode in the fall, but HBO Max subscribers can revisit the best episodes in the series right now. I’d recommend “Fugitive of the Judoon” given the latest news, as this revelation definitely makes Jo Martin’s first episode worth revisiting.
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Mick contains multitudes and balances his time reporting on big happenings in the world of Star Trek, the WWE, reality television, and other sci-fi shows.