Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Regenerations

That would be a Doctor Who related post. If you ain’t a fan of the series, you can reach your escape pod by pressing that red button with an ‘x’ in it in the top right corner.

I’m sure every Doctor Who fan out there knows that Matt Smith is officially leaving the role of The Doctor. The regeneration to the next Doctor will be shown in this year’s Christmas Special (so mark December 25th on your calendars!). Furthermore, the name of the next Doctor was announced as Peter Capaldi, who played Caecilius in the Fires of Pompeii episode of Season 4 of the rebooted Doctor Who series. Yep, he’s the man who was saved from the volcano along with his family because of Donna.

But that’s not the topic of discussion here. What I’d like to touch is something Steven Moffat, the current Time Lord of Doctor Who, talked about in a recent interview. Just a few days ago Moffat confirmed that the number of regenerations that the Doctor has, is twelve. A regeneration being the Doctor’s process of “healing” and “changing body and face” (and character too!) when he’s close to death but has not died yet. Since there will be twelve changes of him, if we count the starting point as an additional Doctor, that means in total there can be thirteen Doctors. Except, let us not forget that in the last episode of Season 7 (The Name of the Doctor) we saw John Hurt being announced as the Doctor and he will be playing that role in Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary episode that will air on November 23rd. He won’t be THE Doctor, as he’s done something horrible so he was apparently kicked out of the cool kid’s club, but he’s still a regeneration, isn’t he?

That’s what I’d like to ask here — where the heck is our definition of a Regeneration? Could Capaldi be the Doctor’s last face? I doubt it, but for the love of Gallifrey I cannot play blind when the facts are starting us in the face. Let’s not even mention some other lost things such as the Valeyard from Season 23 of the Classic Doctor Who being mentioned as “an amalgamation of the Doctor’s darker sides from between his twelfth and final incarnations.” And there was also the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) obviously regenerating into himself in Journey’s End, when the Meta-Crisis happened, resulting in a half-human, half-Time Lord copy of himself who had only one heart and no regeneration abilities and was sent with Rose Tyler to a parallel world to keep her happy. This is also when Donna got the Doctor’s mind inside her own mind, which was the reason why her memory of the Doctor and her adventures with him had to be wiped out.

But, to get back on track, my point is that the term regeneration is highly crucial in the Doctor Universe yet it’s often thrown around like it’s nothing. Very rarely is any explanation given when it’s used and while I’m not one who desires things to be served on a silver platter, I’m a stickler for logic and I twitch at the possibility of it starting to lack, let alone actually lacking. It is good to let the fans figure out some things, but it is bad to leave critical plot points hanging in the air with no reasoning behind them. Here I’d include River Song sacrificing all of her regenerations to save the Doctor in Let’s Kill Hitler. It is obviously stated that she sacrifices all of her remaining regenerations, meaning if they were sacrificed, they are gone, so no extra regenerations passed to him, right? Well it’s never stated so, in the show or outside of it.

I’m an avid fan of the show and will happily keep watching it till the end, but I’m slightly worried as to where the end would be. A show running for over fifty years deserves a fantastic ending, if nothing else, and I’d like to witness that, not another crappy excuse for an ending that many long-running TV Shows deliver. I am in no hurry to end the show, but if it’s something completely illogical you can count on me punching a baby Dalek. Now someone get here with a TARDIS and let’s flash forward to November 23rd because I cannot sit here waiting like Amelia Pond did.

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11 comments

    1. Matt was a great Doctor, brought a lot of joy to the character which suited the show a lot. Tennant’s role was more emotional, which wasn’t bad, but they were like completely opposite sides of the same coin. Curious to see what Capaldi will bring to the table — and you have the time to catch up till then!

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        1. Ah. I started with Eccleston. I like watching from scratch but could not get myself to watch the whole 50 years worth of series. So I started from 2005. I do believe the series improve as you go, but I’ll let you judge for yourself. Do let me know what you think when you’ve caught up.

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