Mr Awe wrote:
But, I disagree with the metacrisis, the show never counted that as a regeneration until now. There was never any concern shown that he had used one more up.
But the point is, Moffat didn't create that event. He's just choosing a particular interpretation of it, one that was definitely out there in fandom before the news broke. And as I've said, it's a reasonable interpretation in light of past continuity. Maybe Davies didn't realize what it implied in the context of "Mawdryn Undead" but Moffat did.
Anyway, I don't see what's wrong with Moffat changing the rules. Robert Holmes changed the rules in "The Deadly Assassin" when he suddenly asserted there was a 12-regeneration limit. Heck, regeneration itself was changing the rules, a new idea introduced to keep the show alive after Hartnell's departure.
And obviously they aren't going to stop making the show anytime soon. It was always a given that as long as the show remained popular, it would find ways to get past the regeneration limit and keep casting new Doctors indefinitely. So it's not like we're "losing" any Doctors we might otherwise have had. It's just a question of whether we get the issue addressed now or later. And I'm glad that I only have to wait 16 more days to get the answer instead of 5 or 6 more years.
And, how conveniently River's energy transfer has been forgotten!
I disagree that the energy transfer entailed giving the Doctor new lives. I felt the episode made it clear that she had to use up all her regeneration energy simply to bring the Doctor back from the dead, that there was nothing left after she'd done that. After all, it was an extraordinary act, and there had to be a reason why Time Lords didn't do it all the time.
Think about it: if it were possible for one Time Lord to "steal" regenerations from another, then that's what the Master from "The Deadly Assassin" would've done. He would've just become a Time Lord vampire, forcing other Gallifreyans to pass on their regenerations to him, and he wouldn't have needed to open the Eye of Harmony and nearly destroy half the universe in order to gain more lives. So it's definitely not that simple to transfer regenerations between Time Lords. Thus, that isn't what happened with River. She used up her regeneration energy to resurrect and heal the Doctor, period. He did not gain extra lives like a video game character; he just regained the life he already had.