The Love of the Doctor

One writer takes a look at the Oncoming Storm of debate surrounding the Doctor's remaining regenerations (or lack thereof)

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]his year has seen exciting times for Doctor Who. The drama series has gone from strength to strength, celebrating its 50th anniversary year. There was a time, known as the wilderness years to Doctor Who fans, when there was no regular series. I came to the show through the 1996 Paul McGann TV movie. I fell in love with it instantly. It wasn’t cool to like Doctor Who – I can’t imagine thinking then that the BBC would later have the series as a flagship drama show.

The Day of the Doctor was a superb celebration of old and new for the series. I believe you could watch and enjoy this episode without having watched an episode from any previous series. There were enough nods towards the original series to satisfy proper fans – well, I was satisfied! After reading other viewpoints on many blogs, it seems that some classic fans may disagree. A big debate has opened up on the regeneration question – on how many lives the Doctor has.

Now, a 1976 story called The Deadly Assassin quotes that Time Lords, of which the Doctor is one, have 12 regenerations. Ever since this information was broadcast, this has been gospel. With the 12th Doctor now announced as the actor Peter Capaldi, and with the introduction of John Hurt having played the War Doctor in The Day of the Doctor, fans believe the numbers of the Doctor have moved up one. Interviews with Steven Moffat, the series’ current showrunner, have been confusing – one minute he has said the numbering of the Doctor hasn’t changed, and on other occasions he says that Peter Capaldi is the 13th Doctor, thus being the last Doctor. Making Matt Smith the 12th Doctor. All may still become clear in the Christmas episode.

My view is that before that 1976 episode with the regenerations dialogue, Doctor Who had been on air for 13 years and very little had been mentioned on the mythology of the Time Lords before then. There seem to be some passionate fans currently discoursing on the rights and wrongs of the Doctor Who mythology truths.I believe that anything is possible, that the series is science fiction and the mythology could be written in a different direction.

I am looking forward to the Christmas episode, The Time of the Doctor. I am one to sometimes read spoilers – some of them I take with a pinch of salt and just wait to see what happens. One thing we know for sure will happen in the Christmas episode is that Matt Smith will regenerate into Peter Capaldi. It is a shame that this information couldn’t be kept secret, but in this age of social media, I suppose those days are over.

On Christmas Day millions of people will sit down and watch the Doctor Who Christmas episode. I believe we will hopefully be in for a few surprises that haven’t been mentioned in the media, but this is one Doctor Who fan who will be happy with just sitting back and watching the episode.

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