DOCTOR WHO’S 55TH ANNIVERSARY- PART 3-(3/4)
Well, it’s a week later than planned, but In true Blue Peter-style, here’s a rant I wrote earlier in the year-
Regeneration 101- the 15 Faces of Doctor Who
“My Successor? It could even be a Woman. There’s no reason why The Doctor should always be a Man”
Tom Baker on his ‘retirement’ from the role of Doctor Who.
(Quoted from Regeneration- The Mystery of Ages. The Time Travellers Guide by Peter Haining. 1987. (1995 edition))
With the release of Series 11(Season 37), I thought it was about time I updated DRG2TW, with something that’s been annoying me for some time- how everyone has gotten something fundamentally wrong.
Just thought I’d mention that I can do basic mathematics- One bean plus two beans makes three beans. Sounds a bit like Baldrick from Blackadder- one bean plus two beans are some beans!
It seems that most Doctor Who fans (and Writers/publishers/Showrunners) cannot count. They get to Eight and lose track. It was right until David Tennant mostly Regenerated, but kept his own face. Then Steven Moffat gleefully informed everyone that there was something we’d all missed- which was the Regeneration from Paul McGann’s Doctor to Christopher Eccleston’s.
Then he inserted John Hurt- the ‘forgotten’ doctor/war doctor into the mix and said he didn’t count, but was still a Regeneration, making him the NINTH Doctor. It is a bit embarrassing that everyone got their sums wrong, like Baldrick and can’t do simple adding up- including Hurt and Tennant 2 adds two more Incarnations- so Hurt- 9, Eccleston- 10, Tennant 11 and 12, Smith 13, Capaldi 14 and Whittaker 15- simple, even the Count from Sesame Street can do it, so why can’t you? Why not use your fingers if you’re struggling, just count one hand twice. No wonder there’s a numeracy/literacy problem in the UK. I blame mis-marketing and branding at the bbc- they need to sort themselves out ASAP.
And now let’s get into the Sex-change issue.
I did not just change my character of the 14TH NeoDoctor into a Woman just to be controversial (back in 2016.) Ever since Tom Baker expressed his opinion (see above) there has always been media speculation and even lists of Actresses who could take over, but the PTB (Powers-that-Be- AKA Old White Men in Suits at the BBC) have always stuck with the same old routine of a White Boy taking over.
Thank the Goddess of Geekdom that has changed! Chris Chibnall broke the sexist chain after Hayley Atwell tweeted how she wanted to be The Doctor two years ago, but she wasn’t taken seriously. Well, now that Jodie Whittaker has been cast as the 15th DOCTOR (NOT 13TH!) that’s another hurdle cleared. As Katie Sackoff said when she was cast as the Female Starbuck- “GET OVER IT!”
His appearance changed, and his personality
If his appearance and personality changed how could he be the same person?
I don’t know.
What do you know Zbegniev?
That whenever this Doctor turns up…
All Hell breaks loose.
Brigadier Bambera and Zbegniev- Battlefield
Let’s rewind a second. In the Summer of 2014 I went to my friend Rachel’s wedding and looked through her photo’s. There were several of her and her husband Dave at the DW Experience in Cardiff.
That led to The Last of the TimeLadies- an Amazonian Gallifrey, or a ladies knitting circle, whatever. The TimeLady Doctor was a maverick (Or should that be Mavechick?) explorer and wanderer who returned home as The Timeladies were overrun by the Centuroid Armada. She discovered Koscheia; the Mistress of Lies had betrayed her people and triggered a Metanova- Hence Last of The TimeLadies. Jacklyn Black and Gabby Monet followed and I’m looking for a 12th TimeLady for series 6 next year.
But that is another Whoniverse.
In another one, the NeoDoctor (NeoGallifreyan) was from a divergent Gallifrey similar to the one from ‘Deadly Assassin’ but split off from the main Timeline. I used a number of photos as covers for the 14th NeoDoctor and then The Valeyard/Dark Doctor, an Alternate take on what happened after The Trial of a Timelord. I thought another Doctor was needed and looked for a reason, an actual plausible reason why a sex-change could occur.
“Maybe having a craving. That’s new, never had cravings before!”
The Matt Smith Doctor (13th) – The 11th Hour
In Doctor Who the Movie aka the US Reboot with Paul Mcgann (unofficially known as The Enemy Within, a much better title!) The 7th Doctor is shot and treated at a Human hospital. With bullets, anaesthetic and Humans all around him, perhaps this ‘contaminated’ him enough to seem half-Human? What about Sex-changing?
What I did find in my search on Regeneration was this little gem of an article-
While regenerating a Gallifreyan’s body might incorporate foreign materials it comes in contact with. Sometimes this would lead to development of severe allergies (for example to gases in the praxis range or extremely humid air). If the contamination consist of biodata, the body might incorporate the foreign material allowing them to change species. Thus a Gallifreyan could regenerate and find himself to be half human. It is also possible for them to regenerate in an animal like a talking dog (which could change breeds with every subsequent regeneration). Other legends tell of regenerations that had only regenerated half of the body, regenerations where the body was changed but not the brain, regenerations that turned the subject inside out, regenerations that reverted the Gallifreyan into a time-tot and other monstrous variations. There are rumours and heresies that, at one point in Gallifrey’s history, a Shadow House existed which would hold Gallifreyans whose regenerations have failed in some way. These problems was only corrected within the last several thousand years. While a majority of Gallifreyans have no real choice over their appearance, Gallifreyans from Newblood Houses have amazing control over their regenerations. This allows them to try on several different genetic templates (and appearances) during a regeneration. This technique can be taught with some success to other Gallifreyans. Some are even capable of temporarily shifting their genetic makeup enough to fool some types of gene scanners without inducing a regeneration. It is possible for a Gallifreyan’s gender to change during regeneration if the regeneration fails badly. This is also quite common if a Gallifreyan regenerates by committing suicide. This illegal procedure is known as a Sex Change Regeneration.
From ‘Gallifrey and her children’ on Gallifreyan biology and culture on Rassilon, Omega and the other guy by William B. Swift.
That’s just one fan’s interpretation of what has been said, both onscreen and in other media. But that is the answer I used- that of cross-contamination. Star regenerated into her Third Incarnation and held the NeoDoctor close. Her residual Regeneration energy helped kick-start a new Regeneration.
It will be interesting to see what explanation Chibby comes up with, I think Bill triggered it when she kissed 14TH, but that’s just my theory. It hasn’t come up so far, but probably will soon. Well, The Doctor mentioned when she used to be a Man in Demons of Punjab, and in The WitchFinder but hasn’t elaborated on it, yet. And there hasn’t been an episode mentioning the fact about 55th Anniversary either!
There are other arguments/reasons etc, but for now, as an introduction to the topic, that’s the groundsheet sorted, now just need to put the rest of the tent up! (Although it’s not camping weather, so forgive the imagery!)
“We all change. When you think about it, If you think about it, we’re all different people, all through our lives.
And that’s good, you gotta keep moving, so long as you remember all the people that you used to be.”
Matt Smith’s Doctor (13th) – Time of the Doctor.
Phew, what a Timeride!
the section on Regeneration is especially relevant and was quoted in full above.
HAPPY (Belated) 55TH ANNIVERSARY DOCTOR WHO!
NEXT- ROBOTS OF DOOM!
Thanks to Connor Pullinger for the image!