Given that Peter Capaldi's Doctor is about to give way to that of Jodie Whittaker, I thought it might be interesting and useful to go over the Doctor's regenerations over the years, at least as I understand them.

1)The Doctor (William Hartnell)

In the beginning, there was only the Doctor, as played by the late William Hartnell (and later by Richard Hurndall and Edward Bradley). However, the show had a problem. Hartnell was not entirely well, and was unhappy with the direction the show was taking.  It became obvious that things couldn't go on as they were if the program was to survive. and so producer Innes Lloyd and script editor Gerry Davis came up with the idea that the Doctor could "regenerate" (although it wasn't called that for many years). This idea saved the show, and in my opinion, is what has enabled the program to enjoy the longevity it has. 

So it was that after a three year run as the Doctor (1963-1966), at the end of a story called "The Tenth Planet" (a story which also the Cybermen), Hartnell's Doctor collapsed in the TARDIS,and transformed into...

1)The First Doctor (William Hartnell)

2)The Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton)

Troughton stayed in the part for three (1966-1969) years, before deciding that it was time to move on. So it was that at the end of a story called "The War Games", the Doctor was captured by his own people, the Time Lords (this was their first appearance) and put on trial for interfering in the affairs of other worlds.  He was sentenced to exile on Earth, and forced to change his appearance, becoming...

1)The First Doctor (William Hartnell)

2)The Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton)

3)The Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee)

Pertwee played the Doctor for five years, eventually leaving out of fear of being typecast. In a story called "Planet of the Spiders", the Doctor traveled to Metebelis III, where he was exposed to lethal Metebelis radiation. (He might have seen that coming!) With a little help from his old Time Lord mentor, he regenerated into...

1)The First Doctor (William Hartnell)

2)The Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton)

3)The Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee)

4)The Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker)

Baker played the role for seven years (1974-1981). Pretty much everyone (including Baker himself) seems to agree that he stayed a couple of seasons too long. During his tenure as the Doctor, there were two interesting additions to the mythology of regeneration.

In "The Brain of Morbius", there is a scene which strongly implies that the Doctor had eight incarnations prior to the Hartnell doctor. This has been ignored by the show ever since, and the Hartnell Doctor has been affirmed as the Doctor's first incarnation.  there have been many fannish theories to explain this scene, my personal favorite is:  "LOOK, A HUGE DISTRACTING THING!" (Runs away in opposite direction.)

In "The Deadly Assassin", it is established that Time Lords can only twelve times, giving them thirteen lives (i.e. the one they're born with, plus twelve regenerations.)

Finally, Baker was ready to leave, so in a story called "Logopolis", after being haunted by the Watcher (a sort of "ghost" of his future self) the Doctor fell off a radio telescope and turned into...

1)The First Doctor (William Hartnell)

2)The Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton)

3)The Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee)

4)The Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker)

5)The Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison)

Davison played the part for three years (1982-1984). He had been famously advised by Troughton to leave after three years. He later said that he might have stayed longer if the writing had been better.

In the story called "The five Doctors", the Time Lords offered the Master a new regenerative cycle as an enticement to do some dirty work for them, thus establishing that the regenerative limit could be circumvented.

 Eventually, in a story called "The Caves of Androzani", the Doctor contracted Spectrox Toxaemia, and regenerated into...

1)The First Doctor (William Hartnell)

2)The Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton)

3)The Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee)

4)The Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker)

5)The Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison)

6)The Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker)

Baker played the part for two years (1984-1986), before being let go by the BBC. He opted not to return for a "regeneration scene". Instead, at the start of "Time and the Rani", the Doctor was seen to have regenerated as the result of an attack on his TARDIS by the eponymous Time Lady, turning into...

1)The First Doctor (William Hartnell)

2)The Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton)

3)The Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee)

4)The Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker)

5)The Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison)

6)The Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker)

7)The Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy)

McCoy played the part for three years (1987-1989), until the series was cancelled.  He was brought back for the 1996 TV movie, wherein the Doctor wandered out into a hail of bullets, and was operate don by a surgeon who didn't know he was an alien, causing him to regenerate into..

1)The First Doctor (William Hartnell)

2)The Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton)

3)The Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee)

4)The Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker)

5)The Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison)

6)The Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker)

7)The Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy)

8)The Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann)

McGann played the Doctor for the bulk of the TV movie. Unfortunately, it did not lead to the hoped-for series. Instead, fans had rather a long wait for...

When the series returned in 2005, the Doctor was played by Christopher Eccleston. He remained in the part for only one year, for reasons which I am not 100% clear on. At the end of "The Parting of the Ways", he regenerated into...

1)The First Doctor (William Hartnell)

2)The Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton)

3)The Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee)

4)The Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker)

5)The Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison)

6)The Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker)

7)The Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy)

8)The Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann)

9)The Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston)

10)The Tenth Doctor (David Tennant)

Tennant played the Doctor from 2006 to 2010.  In his initial story, "The Christmas Invasion", he lost a hand in a swordfight, growing a new one to replace it. He eventually recovered the detached hand, and kept it in a jar in his TARDIS console room. In a story called "Journey's End", the Doctor was shot by a Dalek, triggering a regeneration.  Once he was healed, he aborted the regeneration (without changing his face), diverting the regenerative energy into the detached hand, which eventually became the DonnaDoctor, a sort of human version of him who went to live in another dimension.  (I'm not getting into that, except to say that I don't count the DonnaDoctor as an official "Doctor".)

At the end of a story called "The End of Time", the Doctor was exposed to excess radiation, and regenerated into...

1)The First Doctor (William Hartnell)

2)The Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton)

3)The Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee)

4)The Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker)

5)The Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison)

6)The Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker)

7)The Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy)

8)The Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann)

9)The Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston)

10)The Tenth Doctor (David Tennant)

11)The Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith)

 

Smith played the Doctor from 2010 to 2013. It was during his tenure that the program's fiftieth anniversary came around.  Show-runner Steven Moffat wanted to do a special episode bringing back all of the new series Doctors. Tennant was game, but Eccleston opted not to participate. Mottfat recalled that the regeneration from McGann to Eccleston had never been shown, and got the idea to create a previously unknown incarnation of the Doctor, to be played by the best actor he could get, in this case, John Hurt.  The character was introduced at the end of "The Name of the Doctor", and in a "mini-sode" titled  "The Night of the Doctor", Paul McGann was brought back to regenerate into...

1)The First Doctor (William Hartnell)

2)The Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton)

3)The Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee)

4)The Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker)

5)The Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison)

6)The Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker)

7)The Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy)

8)The Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann)

9)The War Doctor (John Hurt)

10)The Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston)

11)The Tenth Doctor (David Tennant)

12)The Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith)

In "The Day of the Doctor", it was revealed that this incarnation fought in the great Time War between the Time Lords and the Daleks, and did not call himself "The Doctor" because of the terrible things he did.

In Smith's last story, "The Time of the Doctor", it was revealed that the abortive regeneration counted against the Doctor's total, and so the "Eleventh" Doctor was actually the thirteenth, and therefore at the end of his regenerative cycle. However, the Time Lords granted him a new one, and, after a battle with the Daleks, he regenerated into...

1)The First Doctor (William Hartnell)

2)The Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton)

3)The Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee)

4)The Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker)

5)The Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison)

6)The Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker)

7)The Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy)

8)The Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann)

9)The War Doctor (John Hurt)

10)The Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston)

11)The Tenth Doctor (i) (David Tennant)

12)The Tenth Doctor (ii) (David Tennant)

13)The Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith)

14)The Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi)

Capaldi took up the role in 2014, and is scheduled to give it up on Christmas 2017. During his tenure, it  was established (in "Hell Bent") that it is uncertain just how many regenerations there are in his new cycle.

Capaldi's replacement has been named as...

1)The First Doctor (William Hartnell)

2)The Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton)

3)The Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee)

4)The Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker)

5)The Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison)

6)The Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker)

7)The Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy)

8)The Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann)

9)The War Doctor (John Hurt)

10)The Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston)

11)The Tenth Doctor (i) (David Tennant)

12)The Tenth Doctor (ii) (David Tennant)

13)The Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith)

14)The Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi)

15)The Thirteenth Doctor (Jodie Whittaker)

The notion of a female Doctor has been bandied about for decades, and the idea that Time Lords could switch between male and female has been strongly established over the last few seasons.  Reaction to Whittaker has been generally positive, apart form the sadly predictable fan segment who don't seem to have outgrown their childhood  "girls are icky" stage.

As for me, I'm looking forward to seeing how she does.

(To be continued)

Views: 35

Reply to This

Welcome!

No flame wars. No trolls. But a lot of really smart people.The Captain Comics Round Table tries to be the friendliest and most accurate comics website on the Internet.

SOME ESSENTIALS:

RULES OF THE ROUND TABLE

MODERATORS

SMILIES FOLDER

TIPS ON USING THE BOARD

FOLLOW US:

OUR COLUMNISTS:

Groups

© 2017   Captain Comics, board content ©2013 Andrew Smith   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service