Are regenerations still capped at 12?

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by Klaus, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2002
    Well, there's another interesting question! Even if regeneration isn't capped, realistically, how many Doctors will there be? Undoubtedly, the show will be cancelled at some point.

    The original series had 26 seasons. The newer ST franchise ran various incarnations for 18 years. Somewhere around there seems to be the maximum length a franchise/series can go. If you split the difference and figure that the new series of Who will go 22 years, that means we'd have 15 more years from now.

    If you figure an average of 4 years per actor, you've got 3 more Doctors, for a total of 14. If one of the actors remains for several years longer than average, the series could end naturally with 13 Doctors.

    Highly speculative, but agree that it would be nearly impossible to get to 20! Of course, the series could stop and then be restarted. That's been known to happen!

    Mr Awe
     
  2. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    Location:
    Great Britain
    ^Erm if you keep to the 12 regenerations limit, you've only got 2 more to go. A Timelord has 13 lives.

    And yes while DW was cancelled after 26 years, if reports are accurate, the BBC One controller at the time didn't like it, it was scheduled against Coronation Street, so it would appear that it was scheduled to make sure it's ratings dropped to a point at which it could be cancelled.
     
  3. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2002
    ^^Yeah, it's unlikely 2 Doctors would last that long. Not impossible but unlikely.

    Mr Awe
     
  4. Nick Ryder

    Nick Ryder Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI Da Brew City
    Well how many Doctors we gets depends on how long BBC wants to keep doing the show. For now it's got enough of a fan following, will that change? Or will the Doctor after Matt Smith leaves be the one that breaks the camel's back? Or will it be time to 'reboot'? I still find it amazing that Dr Who has been on the air semi-continously since even before Star Trek so that's astonishing in and of itself. I mean 50 years is unheard of for anything SF/F. (Yes I know there was that gap but even so there was still 'official' Who media out, just not an active show. Plus maybe it was a good thing it went on a sort of indefinite "hiatus", nuWho benefited from more modern film making techniques, special effects and hey it gave a Star Trek-less world another bit of sci-fi media to latch onto again.

    I'm just curious though, has it been brought up in the current modern era that he's only got 13 regenerations? I mean, did Ecceleston or Tennent or Smith ever say that he's got 13 lives? Now that's technically the last of the old Time Lords, maybe some of the old rules no longer apply. Tennant sorta proved that when he declared himself Time Lord Victorious. So... who knows.

    Although I do feel like, especially with Smith's Doctor, that he's starting to 'feel his age' a bit. Granted a good mystery can break him from his funk, but even so... to paraphrase Yoda when over 900 years old you reach, feel as good you will not hmm?
     
  5. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2011
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    In the Doctor Who spinoff The Sarah ane Adventures there was (A possible throwaway) line asking the Doctor how many Regenerations he had and he responded 512 (or something over 500). Thi may have been a real reply, or may have been a joke.

    River has shown us concern about how much Regeneration energy the Doctor has, so, there certainly is a limit she believes he's close to.
     
  6. Nick Ryder

    Nick Ryder Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI Da Brew City
    Although didn't River give the Doctor some of her own regeneration energy or something? If so... wouldn't that kind of set his own clock back as it were?
     
  7. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    Aside from that bit in SJA, no the regeneration limit has never been mentioned in nu Who.
     
  8. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2011
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    That's certainly one possible "out" for the writers when they hit that 13th Regeneration and want to continue and also a way for The Doctor to legitimately be surprised when Matt Smith's second sucessor lays down to die a final death and instead pops back up as Doctor #14 "Well that wasn't supposed to happen....Ooh, and I'm finally Ginger ;)"
     
  9. Takeru

    Takeru Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    Isn't this entire discussion pointless? The limit was always meaningless, there are many reasons to end the show, "We reached the limit of regenerations that was arbitrarily decided on decades ago" is not one of them.

    Personally I'd prefer if the limit is never mentioned again, or if they outright contradict the old show, what I don't want is an explanation, this is one of the cases were "screw continuity" is the only right solution to the "problem".
     
  10. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Grey Owl Wizard Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2011
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    Why are you opposed to the Doctor having to face his own mortality, and actually face that he will die? The character wouldn't know he was indeed going to Regenerate. Lots of stories could be spun from both his belief he really could die and and also from his renewed appreciation for life after unexpectedly Regenerating
     
  11. Nick Ryder

    Nick Ryder Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI Da Brew City
    I even got the impression from Tennant and even Eccelston's regenerations that they really were not quite sure they'd actually regenerate. Keep in mind, the 10th Doctor had the Master die in his arms, begging him to regenerate and he didn't. So I think honestly ever since the 10th's regen into the 11th it's been something of a surprise. Granted yeah he held it off, but I think a part of him was like 'I don't want to go, I don't know if I'll make it this time.' and given the overly violent nature of his last regen, with the Tardis crashing and getting massively trashed, it wasn't something that he thought 'Eh, I'll just turn into a new me and that'll be that, it's usually peaceful." This was a scary as hell thing. So in many ways I think he's already got that fear of mortality kinda thing, he can live for a very long time, but each time he 'dies', it could always be his last. Especially being the last true time lord out there, when he's gone, he's gone.
     
  12. Takeru

    Takeru Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    I'm opposed to it because we know that he won't die even if the character doesn't. All this sniffing and whining and eventual acceptance (unless they have him dragged away kicking and screaming) of his mortality is meaningless if the audience doesn't believe it for a second. It's the same reason why I disliked the story arc of series six, the more they tried to convince me that the Doctor would die at that friggin lake in Utah the more it annoyed me because I knew he wouldn't die, there was no doubt about it. The question was never if he would survive jut how he would weasel his way out of being shot.

    Another thing is, wasn't it Ten who already did the I don't want to die part? He pretty much stated that regenerating equals death for the current Doctor, his memories survive but he's no longer the same person. I'm sure all stories about the thirteenth Doctor facing permanent death could be done with any Doctor facing regeneration with a little bit of tweaking. Just elaborate on what Ten said, make it clear to the audience that regenerating doesn't mean putting on a new meat suit, that it's scary and a definite end for the current regeneration.

    Edit: Maybe they could give a Doctor some kind of gallifreyan cancer, it could be healed by conventional therapies if he's lucky, otherwise he regenerates, the companion could think that that's actually a pretty cool way to beat cancer. Have the Doctor snap back that it's not cool and that regenerating doesn't mean he'll have survived the cancer, it just means another guy remembers him. An illness would put him in a position where would be faced with a looming regeneration/death over a longer period of time, that could be used as a storyarc similar to the "no regenerations left" scenario, have him deal with his illness for an entire season and in the end he loses the battle and regenerates. That way the writer's could have the Doctor face his "mortality" without bullshitting the audience and a "Whoa, I'm the 14th Doctor!!!" non-surprise.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012
  13. Nick Ryder

    Nick Ryder Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI Da Brew City
    And that's a good point - I mean each 'doctor' was sort of their own person, even though they do carry over memories and feelings and the like, they're still new people essentially. Like I think Tennant's love for Rose didn't completely carry over from Eccelston's and I don't think Smith has quite the same feeling for her. So yea that's a good point - it's more than just a new face and body, it's a whole new aspect of his personality. Time Crash even sorta solidified that, while yeah it was just a funny thing, still sort of put it into words, where he felt that when he became Davidson's Doctor, it was a change of pace he wanted to keep. And I think he's got at least a little partial control over what his next form will be like - with Smith he kept the youthfulness and energy, but I think he was a bit more 'damaged' than he was prior because of what happened to him during his 10th. And 11 seems pretty 'damaged' now too. So who knows when Smith passes it on to someone else, I wonder if he'll return to being a youthful, energetic figure or be more serious and 'adult' again. I like the more 'fun' Doctors, but especially after last night's episode, I did see a lot of hints that he's sort of regressing to the way he was when he was trying to be "older and self important"
     
  14. Photoman15

    Photoman15 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2001
    Location:
    The sunny shores of Trenzalore
    I didn't get that at all. He knew he would regenerate. He started glowing (not dying). He looked at regeneration differently than the others before him had. He described it as sort of a death (of the person he was). He liked himself. He didn't want to change that. There was no question to him (or us) that he was going to regenerate.
     
  15. Nick Ryder

    Nick Ryder Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI Da Brew City
    True - he liked how he was as Tennant but why would he say 'I don't want to go' he could have just glowed out and disappeared like the rest of the timelords too. While yes I think he didn't want to lose his old self - when he's the last of his kind, who knows if his next regeneration is going to be his last or if that radiation he took in was going to regenerate him properly. He staved off a regen when he still had that hand in a jar - that was something no other Doctor did prior.
     
  16. All-Seeing I

    All-Seeing I Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    May 26, 2001
    Location:
    Renfrewshire, Scotland
    There's always the possibility that the Doctor was killed at one point in the Time War, and in their desperation the Time Lords resurrected him just as they resurrected the Master and Rassilon, granting him a whole new life cycle.

    Or perhaps it was a distinct disadvantage limiting their Time warriors to 13 lives, if they were being exposed to temporal weaponry that could age them to death; an extension of an extra few incarnations could have been genetically coded into their normal life cycle.
     
  17. Kelthaz

    Kelthaz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    I couldn't agree more. I enjoyed the throwaway line in SJA, but let us never mention regeneration limit again.
     
  18. Nick Ryder

    Nick Ryder Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI Da Brew City
    Hear Hear!

    I wonder if 13 was just something someone came up with to keep other Time Lords from believing they were truly immortal. If you knew you could die, come back, die, come back an infinite number of times you'd feel there was nothing that could hurt you and you wouldn't give a damn about anyone or anything.

    Plus the last couple of regens seemed to be pretty nasty compared to his previous regenerations. 11th's explosive regen - but I do wonder this - maybe there is no limit - but each subsequent regen gets younger and younger until basically you're living your life again as a child. I mean other than the 5th it seemed like the Doctor got younger each time. McGann was younger than McCoy. Eccleston was younger than McGann, Tennant was younger than Eccelston, Smith was younger Tennant... so if my theory continues... then the next Doctor will be younger than Smith - maybe even significantly younger - early 20s even.
     
  19. Klaus

    Klaus Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2003
    Location:
    Beach condo, Bay of Eldamar
    Well now that I've caught up I can revisit this thread w/o being spoiled lol... And I still would like them to mention the limit, even knowing that it will be passed. I'm not sure about the transfer of energy from River or the universe reboot in Big Bang having added anything to him, but the idea that the Time Lords rebooted the Master [who was already well past 12] means that it can definitely be done even if you stick w/the limit as being at least a concern.

    It's more that I like the connections to classic Who, and however much it may have been a throwaway moment at the time, it's still there... I do like the idea of having him expect to really die and then be surprised when it works again. They could even have him speculate about why from the possibilities mentioned here w/o ever knowing the answer--and then not knowing if it'll work again. Sounds like a good hook into an arc about him being more careful, perhaps.
     
  20. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    Location:
    Great Britain
    If they go beyond the 12 regeneration limit, I'm with the don't try and explain it (you'll never be able to please everyone no matter what explantion you come up with). Just have regenerate and go with a line like "This/that wasn't supposed to happen