No, Russell T. Davies isn’t a Time Lord, but he has written a new novelization of “Rose,” the episode that relaunched Doctor Who after decades away from television screens back in 2005. And in the process, he’s added and tweaked a few things—including some faces for the Doctor that neither Rose Tyler, nor even we, have met yet.
The Radio Times spotted the addition in the new “Target” (the classic British publisher, not the store) style novelization of “Rose,” set to release in the UK tomorrow alongside adaptations of “The Christmas Invasion,” “The Day of the Doctor” and “Twice Upon a Time.” The sneaky moment comes when Rose, starting to research the mystery man she bumped into the night the shop she worked at went up in flames, meets with a Doctor-obsessed conspiracy theorist she met online named Clive.
In the original TV episode, Clive’s evidence of one man existing throughout hundreds of years of history is mostly focused around Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor, but 13 years have passed in the time between “Rose” broadcasting on TV and Davies’ new novelization coming out. Times have changed—and so has the Doctor. So in describing the scene, Davies added a few more familiar descriptions... and some not so familiar ones to suggest Doctors we haven’t met yet:
Rose saw a photo of a man with a fantastic jaw, dressed in a tweed jacket and bow tie. Then Clive kept the sequence going; an older, angry man in a brown caretaker’s coat, holding a mop; a blonde woman in braces running away from a giant frog in front of Buckingham Palace; a tall, bald black woman wielding a flaming sword; a young girl or boy in a hi-tech wheelchair with what looked like a robot dog at their side…
It’s small, but a clever choice to update the story. After all, timey-wimey is the Doctor’s whole thing—why wouldn’t there be a few sightings of the same mysterious faces showing up in across history that aren’t just the Doctors we already know of?