.. the Doctor himself. He’s in a “kind of trinity” with Matt Smith and David Tennant. He let this item slip when when speaking at an event in Norfolk, despite show writer Steven Moffat’s strict security measures to keep the plot of the one-off movie top secret. His character will be a regeneration of the Doctor which he has forgotten about. This shuffles all the numbers, and now John will play the real Ninth Doctor. Christopher Eccleston had been thought of as the Ninth, David Tennant as the Tenth, and Smith the Eleventh. Now everybody past Paul McGann is bumped up one number. It also means the Doctor might be running out of time – Timelords are only given 12 regenerations, though with the rest of the Timelords already gone, we wonder who’s going to enforce that?
Tennant and Smith’s Doctors will at first refuse to accept Hurt is them — until their sonic screwdrivers confirm it and announce, ‘He’s us. He’s the ninth us’.
Sharp-eyed fans have spotted that John Hurt’s costume bears a similarity to Paul McGann and Christopher Eccleston’s — his version would have come between them. A source said: “John was given a very familiar look that goes half way between two regenerations.” Billie Piper will also be returning as Rose Tyler, alongside Tennant. Gavin and Stacey star Joanna Page will play Queen Elizabeth I.
There are also two episodes left in the current series. Fans will see villains the Cybermen at their scariest tomorrow in an episode penned by leading sci-fi writer Neil Gaiman, set on a planet turned into an alien amusement park.
The series’ final episode teases fans with the biggest mystery of all — the Doctor’s real name. Moffatt said the episode will “change the course of Who forever”. He added: “It’s full of surprises and questions that have never been answered in the history of Who, including the Doctor’s greatest secret. “We’ll also find out what makes his new companion so impossible, and there’s a surprise that no one has got right so far.”