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

Doctor Who "Bigger on the inside..."

View Poll Results: Favorite/Best Regeneration Story
The Tenth Planet 1 2.50%
War Games 5 12.50%
Planet of the Spiders 1 2.50%
Logopolis 3 7.50%
Caves of Androzani 19 47.50%
The Enemy Within (The TV Movie) 0 0%
Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways 8 20.00%
The End of Time 3 7.50%
Voters: 40. You may not vote on this poll

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Old September 23 2013, 01:59 AM   #1
Emperor-Tiberius
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Best Regeneration Story

In light of the upcoming Christmas Special (which I seriously hope won't be called ... of the Doctor, btw) that will bid farewell to Matt Smith's Doctor, I thought it might be fun to rate and even rank the last stories of each perspective incarnation of the Doctor.

What was your favorite? What was your least favorite (well, that might be easier to agree on I presume). On the selection that I've made on this poll I've only listed the last adventure that lead to the Doctor's regeneration each time, thus why no Sixth Doctor [really, Time and the Rani is many things, but a regeneration (or a good) story it ain't - its squarely Seventh's post-regeneration story], and obviously why no Eighth Doctor. I almost didn't include the TV Movie for the Seventh Doctor, but seeing as how his regeneration is a crucial part of the film and not just tacked on at the beggining like a Previously On segment to a program that never aired (I'm looking at you, Six!), it counts (plus, I like to consider the Master audio story as the unofficial prelude to that story, but I digress).

Anyway, what do you think?

PS: Including War Games makes sense, I think, as the whole Season 6B scenario was developed afterwards, constituting as such a retcon. Sure, he didn't really regenerated after War Games - but according to the Season 6B-relevant material the ending of that serial wasn't exactly the same, was it?
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The Holy Three meet again, in The Return

Last edited by Emperor-Tiberius; September 23 2013 at 02:11 PM.
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Old September 23 2013, 02:03 AM   #2
Mr. Laser Beam
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Re: Best Regeneration Story

Caves of Androzani
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Old September 23 2013, 06:27 AM   #3
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Re: Best Regeneration Story

The Caves of Androzani, although Planet of the Spiders and Logopolis are a close second and third.
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Old September 23 2013, 11:08 AM   #4
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Re: Best Regeneration Story

The Caves of Androzani is easily the best Regeneration story so far, War Games is a good story too if you can sit through all 10 episodes.
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Old September 23 2013, 12:09 PM   #5
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Re: Best Regeneration Story

Technically you should have included Time And The Rani, though I can't imagine anybody voting for it....
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Old September 23 2013, 12:44 PM   #6
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Re: Best Regeneration Story

MickJo1701 wrote: View Post
The Caves of Androzani is easily the best Regeneration story so far, War Games is a good story too if you can sit through all 10 episodes.
The War Games is one of my favorite Doctor Who stories hands down, but I think the regeneration scenes for The Caves of Androzani, Planet of the Spiders, and Logopolis are better (and they're all great stories themselves), although The Doctor's tearful farewell to Jamie and Zoe is always a heartbreaker.
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Old September 23 2013, 02:02 PM   #7
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Re: Best Regeneration Story

Lonemagpie wrote: View Post
Technically you should have included Time And The Rani, though I can't imagine anybody voting for it....
As I explained, no. And not only because no one would be voting for it (lol), but because the serial is essentially a post-regeneration story. The opening regeneration is reminiscent of the regeneration replay of Four-to-Five in Castrovalva's opening. Now, I know what you mean (since its the only episode in which the Sixth's regeneration is shown at all), but I'd like to think we've not seen/heard of it yet - Spiral Scratch even details his final adventure and includes the regeneration seen in Time and the Rani (hope it gets Big Finish-ed at some point).
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"Spock...?" Kirk said, whispering.
"I am... most pleased to see again, Captain" Spock formally replied.
McCoy shook his head in disgust. "Oh, for crying out loud, Spock. Its been eighty years!"
"Seventy eight point four years, Doctor."

The Holy Three meet again, in The Return
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Old September 23 2013, 02:09 PM   #8
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Re: Best Regeneration Story

Emh wrote: View Post
MickJo1701 wrote: View Post
The Caves of Androzani is easily the best Regeneration story so far, War Games is a good story too if you can sit through all 10 episodes.
The War Games is one of my favorite Doctor Who stories hands down, but I think the regeneration scenes for The Caves of Androzani, Planet of the Spiders, and Logopolis are better (and they're all great stories themselves), although The Doctor's tearful farewell to Jamie and Zoe is always a heartbreaker.
The Doctor screaming "No, no, no, no, noo...." at the end is also good. You don't know if he's gonna regenerate at all until Spearhead to Space, and its the epitome of the Time Lords' cruelty towards him.

Personally, though, the regeneration in Planet of the Spiders is rubbish. I'm not saying they should've done an OTT regeneration ala NuWho, or even Caves of Androzani-like, but the fade is as generic as unexciting as it could get. Compare it to the Tenth Planet's regeneration, which was simply masterful, especially for the times. Easily the most underwhelming regeneration scene of them all (and I include Time and the Rani's regeneration scene, for the sake of the matter). Still... to see Tom Baker wearing Jon Pertwee's attire (or similar to it) after having gotten used to him with, well, his own trademark attire, its all good.
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"Spock...?" Kirk said, whispering.
"I am... most pleased to see again, Captain" Spock formally replied.
McCoy shook his head in disgust. "Oh, for crying out loud, Spock. Its been eighty years!"
"Seventy eight point four years, Doctor."

The Holy Three meet again, in The Return
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Old September 23 2013, 02:33 PM   #9
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Re: Best Regeneration Story

They're all good.

The Tenth Planet is a great story, has the Cloth Faced Cybermen, and the first Regeneration. We actually see just how alien the Doctor is when they introduce this Regeneration idea, and it truly was an innovative way to continue the show with a different actor/style of Doctor

The War Games is a Great story, though quite long, and introduces us to the Time Lords. Tearful goodbyes to Jamie and Zoe who have their memories erased, forced Regeneration of the Doctor by his own people, simply for acting the Hero for the Galaxy. We don't actually see a Regeneration, but, it's great nonetheless.

Planet of the Spiders - I'm surprisesd this story isn't more popular, I really enjoy it, but, I know many don't. It introduces us to the idea that Doctor might have trouble Regenerating, that it's not necessarily as simple as changing an outfit, he was in real danger of dying forever, until he was helped.

Logopolis - The middle story in a Trilogy with the Return of The Master. Fantastic on it's own. We got another new element in The Watcher (IMHO, this gives credibility to seeing Doctors return older than they were when we saw them Regenerate. If the next Regeneration can exist before The Regeneration, then the previous one can also exist, somewhere, in an alternate reality continuing to age). Leads straight into Castrovalva.

Caves of Androzani - One of the best Classic Who stories. The Doctor wasn't sure if he would be able to heal from Regenerating (With good reason, seeing as how he didn't Regenerate in Let's Kill Hitler after being poisoned). He gave up his life voluntarily to cure his Companion, not like in other stories, where his life was taken from him by circumstances.

Really tough to single out any one of these as "THE BEST STORY", as they are all Classics that brought something new to the mythos, in addition to being a great send off for the previous Doctor. Sure, Planet of The Spiders has the least impressive Regeneration effects, but, the Poll is asking for Best Story, not best effects. Can I have 5 or 6 votes?
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Old September 23 2013, 03:04 PM   #10
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Re: Best Regeneration Story

Well said, Sindatur. Especially about Logopolis - but what the two NuWho regeneration stories?
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"Spock...?" Kirk said, whispering.
"I am... most pleased to see again, Captain" Spock formally replied.
McCoy shook his head in disgust. "Oh, for crying out loud, Spock. Its been eighty years!"
"Seventy eight point four years, Doctor."

The Holy Three meet again, in The Return
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Old September 23 2013, 03:32 PM   #11
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Re: Best Regeneration Story

Emperor-Tiberius wrote: View Post
Well said, Sindatur. Especially about Logopolis - but what the two NuWho regeneration stories?
Oh, they're great too, and have the added charm of the truly great special effects of the new era.

Eccelston just accepting it, and Tennant being the complete opposite, trying to run from it a year before it aired, and then running from it in his final farewell. They're recent enough, I figured they went without saying and would be familiar to all fans, whereas the Classic Serials, would be lesser known, hence why I went into details about them
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Old September 23 2013, 03:56 PM   #12
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Re: Best Regeneration Story

No other choice is possible: Caves of Androzani. Best DW story, regeneration or otherwise!

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Old September 23 2013, 04:44 PM   #13
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Re: Best Regeneration Story

Gotcha.

Personally, Caves of Androzani is a rare Doctor Who that is a perfect story even without the regeneration aspect of the story, but where the regeneration adds to the story's excellence by examplifying just how excellent as the Doctor Peter Davison really was. Some say that the Big Finish audio stories that feature the Fifth Doctor and Peri have somewhat diminished the effect of the Doctor saving a freshly-met companion, but I think they're missing the point, just for a bit. The essence of the sacrifice of the Doctor is, he would do this for anyone of his companions, ever, under any circumnstances, and regardless of how well he knew them or not. He'd it for Peri whether he knew her just barely or for a while. This is never more confirmed than in the Tenth Doctor's sacrifice to save Wilfred, who's an old man anyway, but the Doctor won't have him die when he can save him - and in Caves, he won't have someone die because of him, because he brought her to that planet. It just doesn't get much better than this, really. And as far the regeneration scene goes... Its a mini-confrontation on its own (indeed, a short audio story in the Circular Time Big Finish audio anthology dealt with it), with the Doctor fighting to stay alive enough so he can regenerate, and with the help of companions lost and gone, he does - barely. And on a moment too soon...

War Games is a great story, through and through, and the first time in a while where the Doctor really struggles to deal with a situation - and not without reason, given that a Time Lord is his antagonist in this one, and he's giving him a run for his money! The performances all-around are top-notch, and David Maloney really knew how to make a 10-episode story into sustainable viewing, as much of that carries through even the most repetitious of episodes. Its long, but at least its good while at that. It was a decent, and fitting situation that gave credence to the introduction of the Time Lords. Troughton's at his absolute best throughout, but never more perfect than in his farewell scenes to Jamie and Zoe, and in his confrontational trial on Gallifrey. His regret on knowing that his two companions would never remember him beyond that one adventure, and his anguish over trying to, basically, stay alive at the end, and his pain as he is forcefully regenerating at the very end... Its all wonderfully written, directed, staged and performed. The companion's sad fates is only topped by Donna's own at the end of series 4 of NuWho, and even then RTD admitted influence from this very serial, but the Doctor's forceful regeneration has never, and will never be topped. By far the saddest regeneration of them all, because his moment was notprepared for.

Logopolis has enormous stakes in it, and the Doctor ends up saving as much of the universe as he could, and on that regard its certainly a remarkable ending for the Fourth Doctor... but characterization-wise, I think its lacking. Tegan should've either been introduced in a previous serial, or after this serial - as is, much time is wasted for her not to be properly introduced into the Doctor's environment, and she serves instead as a nuisance rather than an integral part of the TARDIS. Similarly, I'd have liked some kind of interaction of the Doctor with Tegan and Nyssa, instead of the cold aloofness of his which, while a trademark of his, doesn't really explain their characters very well. Plus, why did the Doctor want to fix the chameleon circuit all of a sudden? I'd have appreciated maybe having the Doctor having a premonition of things that were to come. But anyway, I think its just fine, whereas it should've been better - the story and ideas behind it were good, but the characterization is, for a lot of it, flat. A memorable, but underwhelming ending for that Doctor - but then again, wasn't The Robot a rather unpresuming start? Perhaps it fits in that regard... Still, the regeneration scene works completely, if not because Tom Baker sells it via his trademark smile and wistful performing, in an understated way. The flashbacks, although awkwardly edited IMO, are all very fittingly placed, and showed the real impact of the Doctor to both the good and the bad. Really, really touching farewell.

The Bad Wolf two-parter is, in a lot of ways, the epitome of the Ninth Doctor's character progression throughout the series. His character was, in a lot of ways, the First Doctor, indeed for a whole new generation, and in a manner of speaking, he was a lot like him - grumpy at times, impatient and critical of those "stupid apes". But here, he's willing to sacrifice himself to end all Daleks for them, and prefers being a "coward" rather than commiting genocide once again. Its awesome, because it returns the Doctor to the man he really was. Its also a great siege story, and IMO a more effective use of the Daleks than in the following season, complete with the appearence of the Emperor. Regeneration-wise, its the best. The scene itself is unexpected, but played so wonderfully. Its sad, celebratory, bittersweet, just all-around awesome. And you know what? He really was fantastic!

End of Time, for me, is a lot of very, very disparate ideas that never gel. Its an epic story alright, but after the Stolen Earth two-parter, it was never gonna be as good a last story for the Tenth Doctor. Very messy, very so-so... but all well-directed, and above all well-acted. Tennant really manages to sell the premise of a dying Doctor and his anguish over regenerating, perhaps feeling that he should have a say in it for once, instead of being the victim of circumnstances, as he's always been throughout his past. Indeed, this two-parter is at its best after all threats are done with, all but the one on Wilfred's life... Like in his Fifth self, the Doctor just can't walk away and let someone die because of him or his people - no matter what. Its a triumphant end for him, and his extended farewell to all companions is as touching, as impressive and as sad as anything the show's ever done. And what better way to contrast his Allons-y attitude, but with the uttering of "I don't want to go." Believe me, many wish he hadn't.

Of all stories mentioned, The Enemy Within is, easily, the weakest. Not gonna go to detail, just that the Seventh Doctor going out midway the TV Movie was probably not the most fitting of ways. The regeneration scene itself, I like, seeing as how it blatantly rips off the Frankenstein monster's birth in the eponymous 1933 film. If I counted The Enemy Within alongside Big Finish's Master, I'd rank it higher, but as is, its not that great. Not terrible however, just.. underwhelming - that said, his last scenes in the TARDIS as wonderfully nostalgic, as I suppose was meant to be the point.

Sadly, I haven't seen Tenth Planet and Planet of Spiders, but both regeneration scenes are great in their own right. Pertwee's acting in that scene is sorrowful and meaningful, and if the Doctor ever were to die, thats the most fitting of ways to go. Indeed, he died, I think, but his old mentor gave that push to regenerate thus allowing him to live - which makes me think that the TARDIS is essential to the Doctor's regeneration, seeing as how he always experienced serious problems when regenerating outside it (see the Fifth and Eighth Doctors, too). And the First Doctor's last look around the TARDIS is, well, priceless.

Wow. That was wordy. I apologize if I bored you with my endless wording.
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"Spock...?" Kirk said, whispering.
"I am... most pleased to see again, Captain" Spock formally replied.
McCoy shook his head in disgust. "Oh, for crying out loud, Spock. Its been eighty years!"
"Seventy eight point four years, Doctor."

The Holy Three meet again, in The Return
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Old September 23 2013, 05:21 PM   #14
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Re: Best Regeneration Story

Emperor-Tiberius wrote: View Post
Logopolis . . . Plus, why did the Doctor want to fix the chameleon circuit all of a sudden?
That bit stems from the Keeper of Traken where the Doctor is reminded that the Master has a TARDIS with a fully functioning chameleon circuit and used it to good effect (from the Master's POV).

And, I'd say that story harkens back to Delgado's Master whose TARDIS routinely changed shapes for good effect (from a circus truck to a space ship). In Colony in Space (I believe), the Doctor notes that the Master's TARDIS is more advanced than his.

I think the Doctor felt insecure, over-matched and basically had his face rubbed in the fact that the Master's TARDIS is superior to his own. Particularly because it's been a long standing issue with the Master and the Doctor still hadn't fixed it!

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Old September 23 2013, 05:47 PM   #15
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Re: Best Regeneration Story

you can give reasons for not including it, but as Time and the Rani did actually include the regeneration i want to vote for it. :P
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