Is John Hurt really the 8.5 Doctor? Maybe not.
One of the first things Who fans noticed when images of John Hurt as the secret Doctor started appearing online was that he seemed to be wearing an outfit that was a cross between the 8th and 9th Doctors. The assumption became that he was playing some kind of in-between Doctor that existed specifically during the Time War.
But Steven Moffat has us second-guessing that theory. In a recent interview, he weighed in on Hurt's costume and said something we weren't expecting.
Looking at it face to face it didn’t occur to me as a patchwork of previous Doctors at all. It’s a rougher, tougher Doctor. It looks like somehow he’s been through it a bit. We are saying ‘This isn’t a Doctor who’s just appeared, he’s been around, he’s been in this form for a while.’ So one of the notes was make it look as though he’s been knocking around in this incarnation for a bit.
And while Hurt's beard wasn't part of the original character design, Moffat thought it was a welcome addition.
It’s another indicator that he’s not a fresh-born Doctor. We didn’t want to imply that he’d just been around for a little while. There’s a whole lot of stuff you missed! It’s a nice thing to be able to say in the show, and for no one to be able to contradict you, that there were years that you didn’t know about… we lied and lied, there’s a whole big old chapter you didn’t know.
Now it may very well be that Hurt's Doctor did exist between McGann and Eccleston's, but the bigger headline here is how long he existed. Obviously there's a great deal more time from the Doctor's life that we simply don't know about. Whether this is the real first Doctor, the last Doctor, or anywhere in between, this latest reveal has us realizing we know less and less about the Doctor than we thought.
(via Doctor Who TV)