'Legends of Tomorrow': "Guest Starring John Noble" Has a Weird Tie to 'Doctor Who'

Legends of Tomorrow's third season began to draw to a close tonight, but not without a weird tie to another time-traveling series.

Spoilers for tonight's episode of Legends of Tomorrow, "Guest Starring John Noble", below.

Tonight's episode saw plenty of the season's plotlines converge, as the team wondered exactly how they would outsmart Mallus (John Noble). In the process, Ava Sharpe (Jes Macallan) decided to uncover more about her true origin -- that she's a clone who Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) brought to the Time Bureau under some suspicious circumstances.

As Rip was trying to justify his actions to Ava, he began to hint that she wasn't the first Ava model that he'd brought into the Time Bureau. Ava asked him how many versions had come before her, and Rip ultimately revealed that she was the twelfth.

On the surface, that probably isn't anything intentional, but it has a weird parallel to Arthur Darvill's time in Doctor Who, on multiple levels.

For one thing, Darvill's Doctor Who character, Rory Williams had a borderline-comical habit of dying, something that feels slightly referenced to in 11 versions of Ava having been killed. But on another level, there's something weird about that line, considering which iteration of the Doctor (played by Matt Smith) that Darvill teamed up with.

In most cases, Smith's version of the Doctor is known as "Eleven", a reference to the number of regenerations that the character had undergone over the years. But around Doctor Who's fiftieth anniversary special, the timeline of regenerations was essentially retconned, with the addition of John Hurt's "War Doctor".

The "War Doctor" was placed between Paul McGann's Eighth Doctor and Christopher Eccleston's Ninth Doctor as a way to explore the character's time in the time war. As a result, the latter versions of the Doctor technically shifted one number -- although that hasn't had an effect on the nicknames each version receives.


With that in mind, Smith's version of the Doctor -- the one that Darvill shared the screen with for several years -- is technically the twelfth in the overall timeline. Weird coincidence, huh?

Legends of Tomorrow airs Mondays at 8/7c on The CW.