Courtesy of DoctorWhoTV.co.uk
Ever since the legendary Tom Baker walked on screen in The Day of the Doctor fans have been speculating as to who this person might be. Some argue that he is the Fourth Doctor and others that he is some future incarnation of the Doctor who chose to reuse an old, and popular, face. I, however, think there is another answer out there, that the Curator was not actually a version of the Doctor at all but rather his inspiration.
We’ll start by first looking at the other two possibilities first. The first possibility seems the most far-fetched. The obvious reason is that Tom Baker is noticeably older than his role in Who many years ago. While Time Crash worked to fix that with Five it doesn’t seem to work in this instance. The question begs itself, why it didn’t work on David Tennant? Clearly he was a bit older in Day than his reign as the Doctor before, but surely something like that wouldn’t have been ignored if they had an answer. So it doesn’t seem likely that this Curator is actually Four in disguise.
Then maybe he’s a future Doctor right? He does say something to the effect of: “In the coming years you may wish to revisit some old favorites.” Which can seem like an admission that he is a future incarnation but I’m not so sure. Every regeneration ends with the Doctor noticeably surprised by his new body. He’s never been able to control his regenerations before so are we expected to believe that in the future he suddenly learns how? The Night of the Doctor is largely about one singe instance where he has the opportunity to control what he becomes. Why would Moffat go to such effort to mark this as a special circumstance if he was just going to disregard that in the next episode?