How many doctors have there been on Doctor Who? While the question seems simple enough, audiences were recently thrown off by a mini-episode called "The Night of The Doctor." Was the John Hurt Doctor of that mini-episode technically a doctor? Does he count in the numbering? "Doctor Who" showrunner Steven Moffat has attempted to clear up the confusion.
Moffat recently explained the numbering system in an interview with Doctor Who Magazine.
"I've been really, really quite careful about the numbering of the Doctors," he said.
Moffat explained that the John Hurt Doctor of the mini-episode does not necessarily count in the numbering.
"He's very specific, the John Hurt Doctor, that he doesn't take the name of the Doctor. He doesn't call himself that. He's the same Time Lord, the same being as the Doctors either side of him, but he's the one who says, 'I'm not the Doctor,'" Moffat explains.
He continued hoping to clarify fans. "So the Eleventh Doctor is still the Eleventh Doctor, the Tenth Doctor is still the Tenth ... It's not a matter of counting the regenerations, but of counting the faces of the Time Lord that calls himself the Doctor."
So it seems that Peter Capaldi will in fact be the Twelfth Doctor, despite the mix-up and confusion caused by the mini-episode.
"There's an anomaly Doctor slotted in somewhere, that's all. In the script to "The Day of the Doctor" Matt's Doctor was called the Eleventh, and David's was called the Tenth, so the numbering stays exactly the same -- and we call Peter Capaldi the Twelfth Doctor," the showrunner said to Doctor Who Magazine.