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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Doctor Who

Doctor Who "Bigger on the inside..."

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Old September 10 2012, 01:47 AM   #1
Aldo
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What exactly is Regeneration like to the Doctor?

Obviously no one here is a Time Lord, so no one can know for certain what he must be going through, but a little speculation never hurt.

This has always been a thought that has gone through my head a lot since I became a fan of the show. In fact it's probably more interesting to me than the silly notion of "Doctor Who?" that is apparently the season arc this year.

Now we've seen in the past that the Doctor retains all the memories from his previous incarnation, yet Ten treats his impending "death" as the end, until of course he regenerates and it's all fun and games again.

Obviously a regeneration is more than just a facelift, but how much more? Physically he's in the same body, but each new Doctor is treated as an entirely new person. And each apparently goes through that "foggy" period where they have trouble remembering things (lasted especially long for 8, cause of the surgery).

Just something I've been mulling over lately.
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Old September 10 2012, 02:39 AM   #2
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Re: What exactly is Regeneration like to the Doctor?

It's hard to call it even the same body since the Doctor is able to change his height and mass. I imagine it's a jarring process for the Doctor since normally it's done in a time of crisis.
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Old September 10 2012, 03:00 AM   #3
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Re: What exactly is Regeneration like to the Doctor?

"Every cell in my body is dying"

Sounds like he just burns off all of the past doctor's physical appearance and his body structure is reorganized

The brain and two hearts are probably all that remains unchanged.
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Old September 10 2012, 04:23 AM   #4
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Re: What exactly is Regeneration like to the Doctor?

Samurai8472 wrote: View Post
"Every cell in my body is dying"

Sounds like he just burns off all of the past doctor's physical appearance and his body structure is reorganized

The brain and two hearts are probably all that remains unchanged.
Even the brain is different, as he has different personalities. Memory and racial traits are likely all that stays.
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Old September 10 2012, 05:17 AM   #5
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Re: What exactly is Regeneration like to the Doctor?

It's been seemingly portrayed as very painful and/or stressful in the new series.

He was usually unconscious (or close to it) in the classic series.

#2 was very much awake & alert and he looked uncomfortable with the process at least. His was a forced regeneration though.
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Old September 10 2012, 05:33 AM   #6
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Re: What exactly is Regeneration like to the Doctor?

Regeneration is........an incredibly convenient way to replace the lead actor.

OK, kidding aside, I've always thought it had something to do the "time energy"/Time Lord power/whatever within every Time Lord. When he's "killed," the energy escapes, causing the dying cells to regenerate and mutate slightly/alter the DNA in some fashion. So, he's physically different, but also slightly chemically different, so his personality changes as well. Or something. Wibbley-wobbley, incredibly convenient, time-whimey stuff.
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Old September 10 2012, 05:43 AM   #7
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Re: What exactly is Regeneration like to the Doctor?

I've always viewed the Doctor's regenerations as being fairly trumatic experiences and somewhat atypical of most Time Lords. Living considerably less dangerous lives than the Doctor, I think most Time Lords regenerate only when their current incarnation is about to wear out (either to old age and/or disease) and some can actually prepare in advance when it's time to move on to the next one and even control what they're going to look like in their next life. His former companion Romana regenerated simply because she wanted a change.

In comparison, the Doctor's regenerations are generally unplanned ones and the new bodies he acquires are pot luck. As mentioned earlier, the Time Lords chose what he would look like in his third incarnation, though. But I think the Doctor had time to choose what he looked like in his eleventh incarnation, but not having much practice still wound up with something essentially random.

The Fifth Doctor (seeing himself in a mirror for the first time): "That's the trouble with regeneration. You quite never know what you're going to get."
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Old September 10 2012, 07:09 AM   #8
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Re: What exactly is Regeneration like to the Doctor?

Aldo wrote: View Post
Obviously no one here is a Time Lord,
Speak for yourself....
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Old September 10 2012, 08:10 AM   #9
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Re: What exactly is Regeneration like to the Doctor?

Professor Zoom wrote: View Post
Aldo wrote: View Post
Obviously no one here is a Time Lord,
Speak for yourself....
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Old September 10 2012, 08:25 AM   #10
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Re: What exactly is Regeneration like to the Doctor?

I was also curious what he must go through when it happens. I mean no one can know what death is like, but for the Doctor it must be tramatic if he's gone through it ten times now.
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Old September 10 2012, 09:28 AM   #11
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Re: What exactly is Regeneration like to the Doctor?

I have wondered about that too. The regeneration process has been shown to be different for each doctor, but in the new series each subsequent iteration seems to become more violent and unpredictable. Given how Tennant went out I wouldn't be surprised if Smith's bowing out causes a nuclear detonation. That said, I imagine there's probably a great deal of pain and fear involved. Is it like death? Hard to say.
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Old September 10 2012, 09:28 AM   #12
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Re: What exactly is Regeneration like to the Doctor?

^^ten and a half times

Ten's regeneration was so explosive because he was being such a whiny arse about the whole thing!
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Old September 10 2012, 12:51 PM   #13
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Re: What exactly is Regeneration like to the Doctor?

Well done, Shazam!

Ten's speech about the "other guy goes swanning off" gave it a different spin, that the person is more 'dead' than we previously thought. Yep, memories, and basic physical structure remain, but most of the body's cells get in effect rebooted.
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Old September 10 2012, 01:06 PM   #14
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Re: What exactly is Regeneration like to the Doctor?

My take on it is that Time Lords are a far more advanced species than humans, and they've figured out a way to cheat the cycle of death and rebirth. Essentially, Time Lords manage to reincarnate without loosing their memories of their past lives, and skip the messy growing up period. The more successful they are at the cheat, the younger the new regeneration appears to be - they managed to "work out who they were" earlier.
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Old September 10 2012, 04:55 PM   #15
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Re: What exactly is Regeneration like to the Doctor?

It seems to be fairly traumatic for the most part. I can see why he doesn't much want to go through it too often.
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