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The Name Theory That Changed Everything On Doctor Who

Fan theories, no matter how fantastic, can sometimes spread like wildfire online and become a wonderful "what if?" that others who share the same love hope to see in the final product. Over the years, Doctor Who — that adventurous Time Lord who hangs out in a police phone box – has had plenty of great ideas and theories thrown in his or her direction, one of which actually made the cut. However, what's even more incredible about this theory is the person behind it all.

Posted online back in 1995 (a whole decade before "Doctor Who" would be revived by the BBC in 2005 led by Christopher Eccleston), a Whovian with a Google account took to a community board to discuss the origins of The Doctor's name, and the impact the title had on those that came in contact with him. The idea suggested that The Doctor didn't gain his professional designation from the various civilizations, but the other way around. In other words, the Doctor — in all his adventures and saving of time, planets, and life as we know it — made such an impact that based on his example, healers and wise individuals were given the same title specifically in reference to the Time Lord. 

Indeed, this is a clever theory, but what's even more impressive is that this came from a Whovian that would become one of the most influential contributors to the new Who era — even going as far as making his long-forgotten theory a reality.

A fan theory turned into canon, because the fan turned into the showrunner

In the final moments of the 2011 episode of the series, "A Good Man Goes To War," a recurring ally and fan favorite character, River Song (Alex Kingston), calls out our hero, saying, "Doctor: the word for healer and wise man throughout the universe. We get that word from you, you know." 

It's a quote that aligns perfectly with the idea posted by the aforementioned theorist in 1995. A fan who, shockingly enough, turned out to be none other than one of the show's most influential creative forces, Steven Moffat.

Stepping in as executive producer, showrunner, and writer for the series between 2005 and 2017, Steven Moffat had been a "Doctor Who" fan for years, and the evidence was right there in the community boards floating around online from a decade before. While it still got some kickback from other Whovians long before the likes of David Tennant and Matt Smith picked up the sonic screwdriver, it's funny to think that those disgruntled fans were arguing with another fan that would, years later, become instrumental in the Doctor's comeback. Then again, they couldn't have known, could they? What's in a name, after all?