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Jumping the Gun

Posted by: Dr. Geek

Okay, as most of our faithful readers will know a while ago, I posted this article in reaction to all the press about the upcoming Sarah Jane Adventure story in which we were to learn how the 12 regeneration limit would be lifted. It seems all the press about that SJA episode was greatly exaggerated. In fact, one could say all the hype has provided a perfect example of why details are important. If you want to know what I mean by that statement, follow me beyond the spoiler alert warning….

Spoiler Alert!

All fans of Doctor Who want to know how The Doctor will regenerate beyond his 13th life. It is not so much that we fear the series will be cancelled if they can not come up with a solution. I think we can all agree a solution will be found, but what that solution is, has been so eagerly awaited that when word leaked that RTD was going to address it in a SJA episode the press and fandom went crazy. Many people who got glimpses of the script proudly proclaimed that it would be revealed that The Doctor was going to be immortal.

So here is why details matter. None of those early news reports actually quoted the episode, in fact when asked about how many times he can regenerate The Doctor quipped that he could regenerate 507 times. So even if we took The Doctor at his word, this was still a limit, and therefore the immortality stories are already a misinterpretation. Further none of the early reports actually gave any context for the line. The Doctor is in an air vent trying to escape the monster of the week and he is responding to a series of questions by Clyde. Taken as a whole it does not appear that The Doctor was seriously answering the question.

To back up this interpretation I bring you this interview with RTD where he admits the line will likely not stick.

So I guess we have a while to go before the regeneration limit is addressed for real.

What did everyone think of this episode? I liked the references to the past companions.

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About the Author

Dr. Geek holds two doctorate degrees and is an archaeologist and an attorney who has done extensive research on myths and their impact on modern archaeology and modern storytelling. He appreciates the history and mythology woven together in the Doctor Who shows.

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