Stephen Moffat has created a bit of chaos in the Whoverse with his recent statements via the Radio Times. http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2013-10-13/steven-moffat-on-doctor-who-regenerations-go-back-and-count-again–theres-something-youve-missed
There are three primary arguments regarding this: River passed extra regenerations to the Doctor in “Let’s Kill Hitler,” the Second Doctor did not actually regenerate, or that the Tenth Doctor died twice.
Let’s start with the River answer. It seems clear that there are loose ends to be tied up that were laid back in S6, however, providing the Doctor extra regenerations seems unlikely. Amy specifically says, “you used all your remaining regenerations in one go” which implies they were USED or consumed to counter the poison of the Judas Tree. Further, we do not know how many regenerations River even had left until that point. We know she was an orphan in Florida, and Mels mentions regenerating into a “toddler in New York.” It is never made clear whether this toddler then moved to the U.K. almost immediately some how and grew up as Mels or if there was another regeneration that took place. We also know that Mels regenerates into River Song, and that River Song is the last incarnation of this character. If Moffat were referring to this theory, I highly doubt he would have encouraged us to double count the Doctor’s regenerations rather than focus on something regarding River.
The next theory is fairly sound. When the Second Doctor was exiled, the Time Lords changed his appearance into the Third Doctor. This may have been only a physical change, rather than a full regeneration. Or it is possible that the Time Lords possessed shape shifting technology, but did not often use it; save for extreme cases such as The Doctor, and thus no regeneration was used. If we were to believe this theory however, then all numbered incarnations have been wrong since. This would provide an extra regeneration, and may be what Moffat was referring to, but he did not participate in the writing at that time and seems keen to keep each writer’s ideas with their relative Doctors.
Finally, the Tenth Doctor dies twice. He is killed by a Dalek. As he begins to regenerate he siphons the extra energy into his hand (which later causes the Doctor Donna and 10 metacrisis). He seems to stop just short of the alteration of his physical appearance, but has already begun going through the cycle. There have been several comments made about Time Lords being able to change their appearances, so there is no reason he could not retain his despite having gone through a regeneration. (River’s comment, “shut up, Dad, I’m focusing on a dress size” or the Master’s “if the Doctor can be young again, so can I”) He later has to step into the radiation booth when Wilf knocks four times and under goes another regeneration. These are both full regenerations. While there is some debate about whether the first regeneration ever actually finished or was suspended and then re-set off by Wilf; the meta crisis Doctor, may be in a parallel world,but will age and die at the same rate as Rose, meaning even if the siphoned regeneration energy did not count as a “life” at that point, the meta crisis Doctor will die, and thus that regeneration energy will have been used and eventually count.
Could Moffat have been referring to something else entirely? Oh yes, this is the Whoverse we’re talking about. Could he have been thinking specifically of one of the above theories? Absolutely. Will we get to find out? THAT my fellow Whooligans, is what we will have to patiently wait for. Is the trailer out yet??
I must disclose that while I am an avid fan of “The Classic Years” I am a New Who girl. The very first episode I caught glance of was Matt Smith at the end of “Hungry Earth.” I proceeded to pester my husband with questions he couldn’t answer because he had only seen 3 or 4 episodes prior to my entrance.
We agreed to start watching on Netflix and binge watched “Rose” all the way to “The Wedding of River Song.” It was only after we saw the entirety of the relaunch that we discovered that there was access to some of the Classic Years, in both television and book formats.
This December my family will lose our first Doctor in real time so to speak. Smith is the first Doctor we have had to wait for story lines to unfold. Despite going back and watching Chris “first”, Matt remains our Doctor. In a wibbly wobbly timey wimey way he is our first Doctor.
I have read so many wonderful debates over the New v Classic years. I think it’s less a question of what group of episodes is better than it is simply which genre do you know best? Whovians unite across all space and time, and this split is a fabulous way to look at generations of fans loving and staying loyal to their first Doctor.
It leads me to ask: do you prefer Classic or New? Which did you experience first? Has this colored your viewpoint of the other? For me, it enhances my experiences.
I will be blogging about both Classic and New Who topics, but welcome suggestions, conspiracy theories, and Easter eggs to articles where I may have missed something. Also, I genuinely love the Whovian sub culture. I encourage all comments and questions or experience sharing is never rhetorical.
On that note, where do you fall in all this? Who was your first Doctor?
Annnnnd…. the blogging has officially begun! Each blog will be updated at least once a week. I have categorized the blogs to make my main page easier to navigate so be be sure to look to your favorite categories for frequent updates!