What exactly is Regeneration like to the Doctor?

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by Aldo, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. Aldo

    Aldo Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  2. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  3. Samurai8472

    Samurai8472 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    "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.
     
  4. P0sitr0nic

    P0sitr0nic Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Even the brain is different, as he has different personalities. Memory and racial traits are likely all that stays.
     
  5. Ar-Pharazon

    Ar-Pharazon Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    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.
     
  6. auntiehill

    auntiehill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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

    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.
     
  7. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    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."
     
  8. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Speak for yourself....:)
     
  9. Shazam!

    Shazam! Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    **KLAXON**

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Aldo

    Aldo Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  11. Trubinator

    Trubinator Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  12. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    ^^ten and a half times ;)

    Ten's regeneration was so explosive because he was being such a whiny arse about the whole thing!
     
  13. Australis

    Australis Writer Admiral

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    Well done, Shazam! :lol:

    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.
     
  14. Irvy

    Irvy Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  15. SimpleLogic

    SimpleLogic Guest

    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.
     
  16. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Vice Admiral Admiral

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    :lol:
     
  17. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, I think that was the first time the Doctor admitted that whatever incarnation he's in does indeed die when he regenerates, with someone else then acquiring his memories and experiences afterward. The same Time Lord, yet not the same.

    But thinking about what regeneration feels like, I think since the show's revival, regeneration might feel like being set on fire both inside and out.
     
  18. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    I imagine regeneration is like needing the loo the morning after a really hot curry. There's nothing you can do to forstall it, it's not very nice while you're doing it, but afterwards you feel fine and its a bit of a relief...








    I think I've read too many Guy Gardner posts...
     
  19. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    Well, that's a rather sh!tty situation! :guffaw:

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  20. Holdfast

    Holdfast Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Well, it's sort of like a rebirth, so it's probably as painful as labour. The reason they're getting more explosive over time is due to the repeated trauma from the large number of accumulated regenerations, sort of like a recurrent/worsening perineal tear... :D

    Enjoy your dinner, folks!