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Old December 8 2013, 08:01 PM   #7
Christopher
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Re: A thought on regenerations (spoilers for "Night/Day of the Doctor"

Alidar Jarok wrote: View Post
Well, if you want to use broad generalizations, aren't spaceship crashes really just falls from great heights?
Confound your logic...

Another thought occurs to me. The Doctor's first, third, and fifth regenerations were essentially due to natural causes. (His third was due to confronting the Metebelis spider queen, but it was the ambient radiation, rather than her actions, which caused his death.) His second was induced by the Time Lord Council, his fourth was caused by the Master (he fell because the Master tilted the radio telescope), and his sixth was precipitated by the Rani. His seventh was the result of botched surgery. That means that Grace Hollowell is the first non-Time Lord to "kill' the Doctor.

Hmm, and I suppose Cass might be considered the second, since her refusal to leave the crashing ship was the reason the Doctor was still aboard. Rose Tyler would be the third, since it was her opening of the TARDIS core (abetted by Mickey and Jackie) that led to the Doctor's vortex-energy overdose. The Dalek in "The Stolen Earth" was the only one of its race that ever managed to trigger a regeneration, but it was only half a regeneration, perhaps.

I suppose that Joshua Naismith and the Master would be the ones legally culpable for the Doctor's fatal radiation overdose in "The End of Time," since it was Naismith who built and used the machine and the Master who left it running and building to critical. (Wilf can't be blamed here, since he was a victim of the others' machinations as well.) So the Master got to kill the Doctor twice.

It's interesting how few of the Doctor's regenerations have been the result of direct, intentional malice. I'd say that only the Time Lord Council, the Master in "Logopolis," and the Dalek in "The Stolen Earth" intentionally brought about his regeneration. All the others were either accidents or natural causes, even if they were the unintentional result of malice ("Time and the Rani," "The End of Time"). Heck, even in "Logopolis," the Master's primary goal was to redirect the telescope as part of his universe-conquest plan; the Doctor's fall was just a welcome side effect. And since the regeneration limit hadn't yet been established as of "The War Games," that wasn't treated as a malicious act, but simply a sort of disguise, and there was certainly no intention to kill him altogether. So we've pretty much never seen the Doctor regenerate as a direct result of someone's deliberate effort to murder him. In both times when we thought we were seeing that -- "The Stolen Earth" and "The Impossible Astronaut" -- the Doctor managed to get out of regenerating.
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