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Official Doctor Who New Series Discussion (spoilers)


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That, and pretty much this:

The 'new chick' had already been set up.   Lot's of pretty spot on fan theories regarding how Clara is a meta-textual analogy for the show itself. She's born on Nov 23, the show's original air date. S

That reads like HuffPo had an embargoed interview they ran early. Somebody's getting fired.

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Guest Robin

Also the series laid the possibility for The Doctor eventually being a Time Lady. People say it was possible thanks to Missy and yeah that's valid, but the Doctor literally pondered what sex he was in the past this episode. Of course we know he was male thru those generations, but therein the ground is laid for the Doctors of the future.

 

Afterthought: At the same time perhaps the Doctor could be seen as telling the audience his gender should not matter, that in an ironic way our need to mirror ourselves to validate ourselves is restrictive. Which at the same time wouldn't be an argument against representation in general.

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Guest Robin

Anyone else tired of the Doctors holding in a regeneration just because? The last three have done it right? 10 goes on a goodbye tour, if I recall right 11 resets his age and holds on for his goodbye, now 12 is again holding on. I love the Doctor, but oh lort just die already.

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Good call Driver!

 

I'm with you on that Robin - when he takes a fatal injury, he should then "die" and regenerate.

I was ok with the 10th Doctor in that he suffered a lethal radiation dose so you could argue how long he would take to actually die, but 11th was all wrong - using the regeneration energy to defeat the enemies and then going youthful, making a phone call to future Clara as part of Capaldi's first episode, and then changing outfits, saying goodbye - no. He should have changed up there on top of the church type building and then have Clara find Capaldi in the Tardis and have the confusion there.

 

Same with this one - I feel it was just used for the teasers for the new series and the final 2 episodes only trying to maximise viewing when they had no intention to regenerate until Christmas...

 

That being said, I enjoyed the episode - the sequence with The Master and Missy laughing away after what they had done to each other was brilliant and sums up how they act when meeting up, compared to when multiple Doctors meet!

 

Good resolution for Bill - happy with that. I liked the Doctor talking like his former selves and the montage of former companions (but he should have changed then!), and nice set up for the guest appearance in the Christmas special!

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Wow, these past two episodes were really great. One thing for sure about Moffat: he liks his clever story tricks. And this time, they paid off very well.

 

I'm really looking forward to the Christmas special now too.

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I think it could well be - the words he spoke were similar to that sequence and he had disappeared from his companions Polly and Ben after the Cybermen had been defeated in that story. They find him in the Tardis very weak and after he takes off, the regeneration kicks in.

 

So a nice spot to do a crossover and lots of parallels for both of them.

 

Can't wait!

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Also the series laid the possibility for The Doctor eventually being a Time Lady.

The last episode alone had two very big insinuations/hints that the next regeneration would be a woman. There's a lot of allegorical content to be mined with a female Doctor, I hope they do it, even though people will freak out.

 

At any rate, I thought it fitting these were Capaldi's best episodes. Way to go out. Overall I was thrilled-- save for the finality of Missy. That bummed me out. Then again, being dead has never stopped her/him before.

 

It also might have been cool to see The Master regenerate into Missy.

 

As for the Doctor holding it in-- the rules are a little different with the new regeneration cycle I think. Especially knowing other Time Lords have had more control over regenerating, and knowing know that the 10th Doctor did indeed regenerate into himself, I can buy the holding in.

 

I feel like the lesson to be learned in the Christmas special is that the Doctor hates change, and despite all his experience with it, it's why he always keeps running. Accepting the change, and that his time has come, is what I think the Xmas special focus on, and will end with him specifically choosing what to regenerate into-- a young woman!

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What I gather from the rumor mill is that the next actor to play the Doctor will be a male, and that the actor has already been cast. There is apparently pressure from the BBC suits to have a dashing, Tennant-like Doctor again. I have no idea if these rumors have any merit. I expect a woman will be the Doctor at some point in the very near future (perhaps the fourteenth Doctor), if not at the Christmas special.

 

We don't know if the rules of regenerating have changed with the new cycle, or whether the Doctor is simply getting better at controlling it. Most of the time he hasn't had any choice, or any time to make a choice, about regenerating or not. Other Time Lords have demonstrated finer control of the process.

  • Romana apparently was able to "preview" future incarnations (unless she burned through a bunch of regenerations just for the hell of it), some of which were not human in appearance.
  • The Master was able to choose a "younger, stronger" incarnation after being Professor Yana. Then he was able to voluntarily prevent himself from regenerating after being shot, with the Doctor encouraging him to actually regenerate.

So apparently Time Lords that are fully trained (or at least attended all the classes) were able to control their regenerations with some finesse. The Doctor, though brilliant, is often said to be a poor TARDIS pilot and a bit of a slacker relative to his classmates at the Academy. Let's look at the Doctor's circumstances for regenerating.

 

  • The Doctor's first regeneration happened at about the age of 450, with his body "wearing a little thin". He was more-or-less unconscious when it happened.
  • The second Doctor was forced to regenerate by the Time Lords. He was shown some options for his next incarnation, but none of them really looked like the third Doctor. Maybe he got to choose from his own mind? Or maybe the Time Lords just said "**** it" and let random processes do their work?
  • The third Doctor regenerated after succumbing to radiation poisoning, and needed "a little push" from another Time Lord, the Hermit, to actually do so. He was unconscious when it actually happened.
  • The fourth Doctor needed to regenerate after a fall from a great height, and was aided by his future incarnation in the form of the Watcher. We haven't seen anything like that since, but a different Time Lord (the Hermit) had a future incarnation hanging around before regenerating into that form.
  • The fifth Doctor died from poisoning, and wasn't certain he'd be able to regenerate successfully at the time.
  • The sixth Doctor died from a blow to the head, apparently, and was unconscious when it happened.
  • The seventh Doctor died from a botched surgery after being shot, and was unable to regenerate for some time due to anesthesia. He was again unconscious when it happened.
  • The eighth Doctor died in a spaceship crash, and was resurrected briefly, long enough to be given a potion able to direct his regeneration into a form of his choosing (a woman being an option as I recall). He became the War Doctor (I'd prefer to refer to that incarnation as the Warrior, but no one asked me).
  • The War Doctor died of old age, more or less, and was hoping for less conspicuous ears in his next form. That apparently backfired, but indicates when he is aware of his imminent change, he can direct it, if not with much skill.
  • The ninth Doctor died from absorbing the energies of the Time Vortex (another case of radiation poisoning, if you ask me) and was awake, but expressed doubt as to what he would look like ("two heads" or "no head" being possible outcomes), explicitly saying the process was "a bit dodgy", possibly due to the radiation, or maybe he just sucks at controlling it.
  • The tenth Doctor died from a Dalek death ray, and regenerated into himself, more or less.
  • The next time the tenth Doctor died, it was from radiation poisoning again, though he was able to go on a farewell tour. He regenerated enough to heal his superficial wounds, and was able to hold off the regeneration for an unknown length of time. He didn't say anything about what he hoped he would look like (though previously had expressed hope at being "a ginger"). This instance would be the first indication of any conscious control over regenerating that the Doctor had ever demonstrated.
  • The eleventh Doctor (final incarnation) died from old age, I guess. After getting a new cycle of regenerations (an unknown number of them) he regenerated successfully after a (brief) delay. Was this delay a choice, or a side effect of getting a new regeneration cycle?
  • The twelfth Doctor was shot by Cybermen multiple times, and then apparently died from the explosion of floor 507 that took out all the Cybermen. He didn't show any signs of regeneration until a tear fell on his forehead from Bill's cheek. Then he was conscious but possibly delirious and stopped his regeneration.

Maybe the Doctor just isn't practiced at regeneration, since he usually had to do it in emergency circumstances, or while he was unconscious. Perhaps radiation or poisoning in general can negatively impact the process, which would explain the Fifth and Ninth's concern about the result of regenerating, and why the Third needed some help with it.

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There's also the line from 10 to 11 in the 50th anniversary-- "Regeneration is a lottery."

 

I think it's always been a little from column A and B. Time Lords can assert some control in terms of physicality, but it's not 100% and the personality and psychological aspect is somewhat uncontrollable. That said-- I think that there's some subconscious effect. The War Doctor jokingly said he must be having a mid-life crisis to regenerate so young. A one-off, but also somewhat true given what the post-War Doctors were dealing with. 11 to 12 went "older" after he had spent time physically aging again and subconsciously chose a face to remind himself of what he was at his core.

 

I also think that the Doctor's personality is one that he would think it was "cheating" to assert too much control over the process. That and/or a number of unconscious regenerations being done while unconscious has left him at a bit of a disadvantage of controlling it. Plus-- again, he has trouble accepting change (save from 11 going to 12).

 

A young dashing male would be no surprise, but I still think these are hints:

 

Master: What, is the future all girls?

Doctor: One could only hope.

 

...and Bill talking about liking girls her own age the best despite loving the Doctor.

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You're right. There has to be subconscious effort. Twelve picked his face from Caecilius, someone he had encountered centuries ago in his own personal timeline; no wonder he couldn't place his own face at first! Six did the same - he copied the face of Commander Maxil, another Gallifreyan (though not necessarily a Time Lord). No wonder the sixth Doctor was so different - he copied the face of someone who antagonized him.

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The modern version of the show seems to follow some logic, though projected a bit.

 

The 8th Doctor became the War Doctor with the intent of being a soldier.

 

The War Doctor had seen the worst of the Time War and was the last of his kind, and so became a cypher; on the young side, and aside from the ears relatively low key. He was brooding and mysterious until meeting Rose.

 

The 9th Doctor had changed because of his time with Rose, and given where they ended up, you could say when he turned into the tenth he was subconsciously being what Rose wanted, or rather, how she made him feel-- young and alive. Total midlife crisis territory.

 

That said, he lost Rose, and a bunch of other people and after being forced to turn on his own people he was at his lowest and darkest. He was also vain in that he loved this version of himself and the regeneration to come was the hardest he'd have to endure-- the result of which was becoming even younger and having a very child-like personality, a personality that was forgetful-- essentially the easiest way to dodge his pain and guilt. This Doctor was also the most selfish and sensitive-- having "quit" a couple times, namely, after he lost something.

 

Finally, like I said, he lived a long time in that body to the point he physically aged to being old and frail (for the 3rd time in his life). Having gained an "old" personality again and having worked through his mid-life crisis, he saw the benefit of having a less spastic demeanor. For the next regeneration he embraced that.

 

So I'd like to think the lessons he's learned (or not learned) as the 13th will define the next.

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Master: What, is the future all girls?

Doctor: We could only hope.

 

--

 

At the end, Bill talking about liking girls her own age the best. It seemed odd thing to say-- like she was either making it clear to the Doctor. I don't know if she's clear on regeneration or not, so it's not like she was prompting him. But it's a thing put in his head now.

 

--

 

There's a lengthy discussion in part 1 between Doc and Bill in a flashback where he talks about Missy being his first man-crush back in school, cause they were both men. That leads to him poking fun of human hangups over gender.

 

--

 

And not specific to this episode, but since the time Doc 11 mentioned a Timelord that swapped genders the canonicity of the concept is there. Making the Master female worked as a proof of concept.

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Guest Robin

BBC just announced that they will unveil the new Doctor on Sunday, July 16th, after Wimbledon. So everyone get your bets in now, if that is your thing.

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Guest Robin

Whittaker looks different as a blonde. I almost didn't realize she was the mourning mom from Broadchurch. Humorously, the Doctor has switched sexes and still isn't a ginger.

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Neat! I expect she'll be quite dashing in the role of the Doctor! Hope she has good knees. The last two actors had knee problems from all the running and dramatic turning.

 

I wonder who will join her as a companion. Is she dressed in her Doctor's costume or outfit? Or is this costume just for dramatic effect?

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