Are Time Lords still related after regeneration?

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by Sketcher, Nov 3, 2023.

  1. Sketcher

    Sketcher Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It's a question that's been bouncing around in my mind as of late. Considering when a Time Lord regenerates their entire body changes into some who can look vastly different than before, is that Time Lord still related to any parents, children, etc after the fact?

    Since Time Lords are a telepathic species, I feel at least on a mental level they're related in some way. Especially since they can recognize each other no matter what body they now occupy. But is there still some sort of DNA marker that says this Time Lord is the Doctor, Master, Romana, and so on?
     
  2. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    No, which is why it’s okay for him to be married to his daughter.
     
  3. Chaos Descending

    Chaos Descending Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yes. It's something called "bio-data". It's basically the Time-Lord version of DNA, but kind of like "Super DNA". It is talked about in the stories "The Deadly Assassin" and "The Arc of Infinity" and in some of the tie-in novels.
     
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  4. Captain Crow

    Captain Crow Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yes, they're still related as they're the same person. Regeneration just alters their body's form and jumbles their brain bit. It doesn't alter their DNA.
     
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  5. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Vice Admiral Admiral

    Wait, what now?

    I miss the good old days when overly long novels postulated otherworldly ideas for continuing a species, especially a complex one as the Time Lords, who were an elevated splinter of Gallifreyans. As if audiences aren't allowed the luxury of mystery or how phrases like "Grandfather", "Professor", and so on could be terms of endearment rather than mundanely literal interpretation. Now they just copulate like dust bunnies. This is what the show is about now?
     
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  6. The Nth Doctor

    The Nth Doctor Infinite Possibilities... Premium Member

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    A poor joke about David and Georgia Tennant.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I'd assume so. For all that we obsess over it, the genes that determine a person's outward appearance are a small fraction of the total genome. And a lot of our traits -- including sexual characteristics, to an extent -- are determined at least partly by epigenetic factors like hormones that influence how the genes are expressed, e.g. which genes are activated, which are dormant, and how they interact. I'd assume regeneration is something like that -- a Time Lord's genome is engineered to be capable of expressing itself in a range of different ways, so all the different outward forms are just different epigenetic expressions of the same genome.

    That could explain the assumption some tie-in stories have made that the Doctor's future incarnations were already predetermined before they happened, that the Doctor's future selves were already in there. Although it contradicts the canonical assertions that regenerations' appearances can be chosen, as suggested in "The War Games" and "Destiny of the Daleks," or can be based on specific people, as was established with Twelve's appearance.
     
  8. Chaos Descending

    Chaos Descending Vice Admiral Admiral

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    David Tennant (The 10th Doctor, the Meta-Crisis Doctor, the 14th Doctor) is married to Georgia Moffat ("Jenny" from The Doctor's Daughter), who is the real life daughter of Peter Davison (the Fifth Doctor).
     
  9. David cgc

    David cgc Admiral Premium Member

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    Ironically, the way dust bunnies clump up is probably a better metaphor for the "looms" than anything else, but I'm not going to go into the facts of life (or housekeeping) on a Doctor Who forum.
     
  10. Shawnster

    Shawnster Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Blond, brunette, xx, xy... Aren't these all genetic changes between doctors?
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    There are both genetic and epigenetic factors that can go into such things, and slight genetic differences in surface appearance don't preclude people from being related. I've heard of cases where a biracial couple had one child who looked white and another child who looked black. Surface differences like that are a trivially small part of the genome.