Steven Moffat has responded to a fan’s query about the identity of the mystery lady in the barn in last year’s Doctor Who finale.
A scene set on the Doctor’s home planet of Gallifrey, in the barn that was first seen in ‘The Day of the Doctor’, features an elderly lady finding Peter Capaldi’s Doctor and warning that the Time Lords would kill him now that he’s returned.
Located in the drylands of Gallifrey, near to the Capitol, the barn also previously appeared in ‘Listen’, in which it was suggested that it was a place he slept as a child.
Issue 496 of Doctor Who Magazine includes a fan asking: “In Hell Bent, is the old lady we see in the barn the Doctor’s mother?”
Moffat replied: “We’ve no idea who she is, nor should we. But a quick glance at the evidence, would remind you that the Doctor is a ‘high born Gallifreyan’ so that would seem unlikely. So what was he doing in that barn, and who were those people? The Doctor won’t tell me. It’s almost like that nameless wanderer in time and space likes a bit of mystery…”
He added: “Oh, it’s funny, writing stuff about the Doctor’s past. You always have to leave options – you can’t be definitive. Or at least that’s how I feel about it. I like the audience to have a choice. If, in Listen, you’re happy that the little boy in the bed is the Doctor, then great. But if you’re not, that’s fine too. I keep saying, Head Canon is important, because that’s where the show really happens: in the hearts and minds of all the people watching.”
Played by actress Linda Broughton, the character is credited simply as The Woman.
This, probably by coincidence due to its vagueness, is the same name given to Claire Bloom’s character in ‘The End of Time’, who writer Russell T Davies has admitted he envisaged as the Doctor’s mother before choosing to leave her identity uncertain.
The new season of Doctor Who is expected to begin filming in mid-June.
Who do you think the woman in the barn was? Let us know below…