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View Diary: The 8th Doctor regenerates! (79 comments)

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  •  Ah, but is it really a regeneration? (7+ / 0-)

    If it was, it would make John Hurt's "War Doctor" the Ninth incarnation, and consequently, Matt Smith the Twelfth, and Peter Capaldi the Thirteenth.

    Steven Moffat says no:

    "Technically, if you really counted it, the David Tennant Doctor is two Doctors, on account of the Meta-Crisis Doctor [in Journey's End]… It’s not a matter of counting the regenerations, but of counting the faces of the Time Lord that calls himself the Doctor.
    Wait - what? A user at deviantArt has a brief, brilliant primer on the  issue (with a great graphic):
    According to televised canon, a Time Lord can only regenerate 12 times for a total of 13 lives. However at the end of the War Games serial, the Time Lords punished the [Second] Doctor and forced him to undergo a "Change of Appearance," not a regeneration. He became a new man, a new [the Third ] Doctor, but not through the act of dying and regenerating. Thus the 2nd and 3rd doctor effectively share the same life granted by his first regeneration.
    So, Paul McGann's Eighth Doctor, and John Hurt's War Doctor share the same life because the elixir given to him by the Sisterhood of Karn caused a "Change of Appearance" and not really a regeneration.

    Or, in summary: some retcons are more painful than others.

    •  I think it is an actual regeneration, though. (8+ / 0-)

      The Sisters mentioning that he is already pretty much dead, and that the elixir is controlling his regeneration. The regeneration energy appears to work no differently than every other time the Doctor has regenerated in the new series.

      What Moffat was referring to was that while Hurt is an actual regeneration, his presence doesn't bump the Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Doctors up one in number—because he specifically didn't take on the name of the Doctor. The Eccleston Ninth is still the ninth iteration known as the Doctor.

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 02:01:22 PM PST

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    •  I think the idea of a 'limit' on regenerations... (5+ / 0-)

      ....has been effectively knocked on the head some time back. I just cannot imagine how, just as the Doctor has become truly, massively popular, that the BBC would turn around and say 'Sorry! We can't make anymore episodes!'

      It's just not going to happen.

      'Per Ardua Ad Astra'

      by shortfinals on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 02:43:30 PM PST

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      •  That doesn't mean it can't be a plot device :-) (5+ / 0-)

        Moffat is far too respectful of the series's history to just ignore the old 12-regeneration limit.

        One way or another, I think we're going to find out sometime soon, since the addition of the War Doctor means that Capaldi is now going to be the 13th known incarnation of the Time Lord known as the Doctor.

        If you don't count the Meta-Crisis regeneration(s) into the total, the upcoming regeneration would make his 12th (known) regeneration. (I don't buy that "2nd and 3rd doctor share a life" theory.)

        "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

        by JamesGG on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 02:52:42 PM PST

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      •  Didn't The Master (5+ / 0-)

        somehow bypass the regeneration limit? And since he and The Doctor are the last of the Timelords they can pretty much set their own rules.

        Personally, I wish we'd gotten more from Eccleston than just one season -- I like him a bit more than Tennant and Smith for some reason. (I also happen to be a huge Captain Jack Harkness fan, and would have loved to see more of him in the Whoiverse though Torchwood has its charms.)

        There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

        by Cali Scribe on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 03:16:01 PM PST

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    •  Remember how the High Council offered (6+ / 0-)

      The Master a complete new life cycle in The Five Doctors?  It seems the Time Lords have that capability to give more regenerations.

      Perhaps before he used The Moment, the Doctor took a few "extras" from Gallifrey.

      "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

      by zenbassoon on Fri Nov 15, 2013 at 03:13:00 PM PST

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