Why is that Phoebe Waller-Bridge 'Doctor Who' Rumor Back?

If the Time Lord known as the Doctor regenerates into a woman on Doctor Who, some believe the face of that woman has already been glimpsed. After several rounds of rumors that Phoebe-Waller Bridge would emerge as the 13th Doctor, that exact rumor has time-travelled from the past into the present. Again. But why?

After denying she would take the lead role on Doctor Who back in May, Waller-Bridge’s name is again being tossed around the internet in association with the much-discussed role. At one point, she was a favorite in terms of betting odds, and now her name is back in the mix. And the reason why is actually because of another recent denial on her part, rather than a confirmation. On Tuesday, the program BBC Newsnight ran a brief story speculating again that Waller-Bridge could play the 13th Doctor, and their evidence was an interview Waller-Bridge gave in which she said she “couldn’t talk about” Doctor Who.

To be fair, saying you can’t talk about something, isn’t the same as saying you definitely won’t do something. In fact, actor David Bradley also said he couldn’t talk about being on Doctor Who back in April, and that ended up being a roundabout confirmation, too. Still, this doesn’t mean the latest round of Waller-Bridge Doctor Who rumors are somehow more legit. If anything, this could be a case of fans — and journalists — wanting a female version of the Time Lord so badly that we’re all willing to latch onto any rumor, even if it doesn’t make sense.

As far as the character is concerned, outgoing showrunner Steven Moffat, has recently explained that the Doctor fears regeneration every single time, because the shedding of his personality is a “ghastly” process. But maybe the Doctor is really fearing the loss of his manhood?

The next episode of Doctor Who — and Peter Capaldi’s last — will air on Christmas Day, 2017. The episode is still untitled, but will feature the 12th Doctor in an adventure with the very 1st Doctor.