Murdock is a Time Lord.
Let's expand on this theory a bit, shall we?
Warning: What follows is an extremely complicated, long-winded, multi-fandom Epileptic Tree. You have been forewarned.
Starbuck finally made his way to earth, but on the way through the atmosphere, his ship got caught up in some kind of time vortex phenomenon. He fell through this "time storm" and was reverted to a baby, and then he crash landed in the year 1950.
Now, Starbuck's father, Chameleon.....you remember how the Nomen called him "The Jackal"? Yeah I figure that's significant because, you see, rogue Time Lords have this habit of using names prefaced by the word "The". There's the Doctor, the Master, the Rani.......so obviously The Jackal/Chameleon is a Time Lord!
Anyway, Chameleon found out that Starbuck was headed to earth and followed him there. He got caught up in the same time storm, but since he's full Time Lord (I assume Starbuck is only half), it didn't de-age him, but it did send him back to 1950. But when his ship crashed, he was injured and had to regenerate. His new incarnation was much younger, and unfortunately, his new personality was even more of a manipulative jerk than the last one. But he still remembered his son. He found the other crashed ship and the baby Starbuck.
Realizing what had happened, Chameleon resolved to try to settle in on this new planet and raise his boy. So he took the name A.J. Bancroft, called his son Richard, and tried to live a somewhat normal life. He even met a woman named Samantha and they fell in love and got married. It went okay for a little while, but gradually his ambitions started to get the better of him, and eventually A.J. ran off. And you know the rest of that story from Family Reunion. Of course A.J. changed some details when he told Murdock, because, well, who would believe the real story? Of course A.J. didn't know just who Murdock really was.....
You see back on Gallifrey (before the Time War), the High Council (because of course they don't have a very high opinion of rogue Time Lords) decided to send another Time Lord to go after The Jackal/Chameleon/A.J. Well, the guy that they sent encountered some problems along the way, and he ended up having to disguise himself as a human. He stored his Time Lord memories in a pocketwatch, which we see in Alive at Five. So he ended up on earth and became H.M. Murdock. But even as a human, he still had that innate Time Lord sense that allowed him to find other Time Lords. That's how he ended up in the same unit with Face.
Now this is where the theory encounters some problems. The question is, when did Murdock open the watch and regain his Time Lord memories? It must have been before Alive at Five, because when Face opened the watch then, nothing happened to Murdock. But if that were the case, then why was Murdock surprised to discover that A.J. was Face's father in the very next episode? That innate sense should have kicked in and he should have recognized The Jackal, even in his new incarnation.
There's a couple of ways to possibly explain it:
- 1. He hadn't got the memories back by Family Reunion. But he had put some failsafes in the watch years earlier. It would only restore his memories if he opened it, so when Face opened it in Alive at Five, nothing happened.
- 2. Alternately, he had regained his memories before Alive at Five, but he'd been in human form for so long that it was taking a while for all of his Time Lord senses to recover completely. He remembered his mission (to track down The Jackal), but he didn't recognize A.J. as The Jackal right away. And it's entirely possible that The Jackal suspected that the Time Lords would send someone after him, so he used some kind of perception filter as protection.
Theory number 2 makes the most sense. Anyway, sometime after Family Reunion, Murdock found out about the Time War. Realizing he had no home planet to return to, he decided to remain on earth and continue his life as H.M. Murdock. Eventually he may have told the rest of the guys his secret. Or maybe he just told Face.
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