Why we do not need to renumber Doctors
All right look. Hurt isn’t playing the Valeyard but this comes into play.
Spoiler for the mini-episode “The Night Doctor” so watch that first I suppose.
…still here…? All right…
The Valeyard comes between the 12th and 13th regeneration of the Doctor but is not considered the 12th or 13th regeneration. Just like the War!Doctor is not considered the Ninth. He comes between. Not in place of. Because it isn’t about the number of raw regenerations. IT never was.
See regeneration numbers are imposed limits by the Time Lords because, they claimed, too many and you go mad/fade away slowly/etc. Like, to be too referential here, wearing/keeping the One Ring too long. Butter spread across too much time vortex, as it were.
What it is about is how many of them are The Doctor.
Eleven so far. Soon to be Twelve.
But the War!Doctor isn’t a Doctor anymore than the Valeyard is/was/will be. That just isn’t how it works.
Also for the assuming that the Valeyard was kinda half his own thing and half the 13th Doctor, well we don’t know, that’s assumed, but why can’t we assume it this time, then?
Basically there is no reason or way to insist Eccleston is not the ninth Doctor unless you want to be pedantic and ignore the structure of the thing you are being pedantic about.
So yes it seems, as of now, it goes:
Doctor Doctor Doctor Doctor Doctor Doctor Doctor Doctor War!Doctor Doctor Doctor Doctor Doctor Valeyard Doctor.
Though the fact that River gave him all her regenerations calls what happens after 13 into question… doesn’t it just?