New “Who” Says ‘Shalka Doctor’ Is Canon SuperNayr

BBC

With his 60th anniversary specials, the second Russell T. Davies-era of “Doctor Who” already accepted his predecessor Chris Chibnall’s era of ‘Who’ as canon.

That includes the whole Timeless Child saga, the Flux destroying half the universe, The Master slaughtering all the Time Lords, and various other incarnations of the Doctor beyond the official line-up.

Now Ncuti Gatwa’s Doctor has had his first piece of canon re-writing with the most recent episode of ‘Who’ titled “Rogue”. In the episode, the Doctor undergoes a scan in which 3D projected images of past incarnations appear.

Whilst the main ones are there, along with John Hurt’s War Doctor and Jo Martin’s Fugitive Doctor, there’s one other face in the mix – Richard E. Grant’s version from the “Doctor Who” webcast – “Scream of the Shalka”.

Grant played a pre-Christopher Eccleston version of the Ninth Doctor in the six-episode animated web series which was produced shortly before Davies rebooted the program in 2005. Many assumed with that reboot, the ‘Shalka Doctor’ was no longer canon.

The inclusion here is seen as acknowledging that he very much is and potentially opens the door for Grant to appear in the role at some point down the line. What’s not clear is if Davies including it here was just a nod to fans or if it is actually setting something up for the finale or next season.

An appearance in the role wouldn’t be unusual for Grant who played another version of The Doctor in a 1990s Red Nose Day comedy skit alongside Rowan Atkinson, Hugh Grant, Jim Broadbent and Joanna Lumley as other incarnations. Grant also starred as Dr. Simeon & The Great Intelligence across several episodes of the seventh season in 2013.

“Doctor Who” airs the first episode of its two-part finale this coming week with Gatwa’s second season recently wrapping production ahead of a 2025 airing.

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