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Doctor Who is Now Immortal?

Wait... what? Can you do that Russell T Davies?

I can regenerate an infinite amount of times?
I have been a Doctor Who fan for years, maybe even decades now, and one of the first rules of the Doctor I learned was that the Doctor can regenerate 12 times, and then he is no more. A Time Lord does not live on... That rule is seemingly being tossed out the window soon. 
 
According to the Guardian, in an episode of the Sarah Jane Adventures, which we mentioned briefly yesterday, (airing October 25th and 26th) The Doctor will be asked how many times he can regenerate, and he will tell the person that there is no limit. This rule was set into place during the Tom Baker era in the story "The Deadly Assassin." Now it seems that the show is being "retconned." Let's break this down to find out why this is happening:
== TEASER == 
"I'm going to die a lot, aren't I Susan? HMMM?"

Why get rid of one of the biggest Time Lord rules though?

They're running out of regenerations, and this series still has a few legs to stand on. Back in the mid-70s, when the rule was made, it made perfect sense. Creators didn't know how long the show would last, and being that Tom Baker's Doctor was the 4th incarnation, 12 regenerations seemed a long ways away. Now, 35 years later, we're nearing the end of the cycle, and this train doesn't seem like it's going to stop anytime soon, no matter how many Doctors they go through. 
 

Is there another way around this problem?

Sure, a few Time Lords ::cough:: The Master ::cough:: have come back by simply jumping into another body, or they were raised from the dead. If you'll remember, The Master used his last regeneration during the Tom Baker era, and then just jumped into a new body. The Master from the new series was raised from the dead essentially in that weird vortex thingy. It's science-fiction, just make something up. Changing the rules is a bit frustrating to the die-hard Who fans. 
 

So what now?

Well, we all knew this was coming. It was expected, if the show were to continue, but the main problem here is that according to the Guardian, there's no explanation at all. Give the fans some sort of explanation why this has changed, just don't throw it out into the wind please. Anyway, although this may be frustrating, fans (I) will learn to deal with it, and it eventually will become Time Lord Lore. Hopefully, when this happens, it will cross-over into the next season of Doctor Who (starting on Christmas, then on Easter) and they will give us some sort of reasonable explanation. Personally, I am a bit happy they're doing this so the show doesn't have to end with the person who takes over the Doctor position after Matt Smith's run is complete. What do you guys think? Is this new rule a good idea? What would you do to the show to get around the 12 regeneration Time Lord rule?
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Posted by danhimself

If I were to want to start watching Doctor Who then where would I start with the least confusion?  It seems like a lot of people on the Vine love the show but I've never been able to get into it

Posted by LordCmdrStryker

I'll tell you how to get around those rules:  MAKE A NEW CHARACTER.  The series biggest enemies are trashcans with laser beams.  It's time to move on.

Posted by The Sadhu

It seems like a good idea... but I agree that they need to give some sort of explanation or reasoning behind it!
Posted by inferiorego
@danhimself: Start with the new series, season one, with Christopher Eccleson. Watch the new stuff, then go back if you want.
Staff
Posted by ComicMan24

It would make sense to do something like this since they are running out of regenerations. It is not a bad show, I watch it from time to time.

Posted by GT-Man

LOL
Posted by Kamen Rider Kajiki

Hopping bodies thing won't really work well since there are no Timelords left and most fans would prefer the Doctor staying Timelord
 
I bet that between the 12th and 13th there will be this weird event that resets the Doctor's regeneration energy and at the same time giving birth to the Valeyard.

Posted by skillin villin

all time lords could regenerate 12 times because there were a whole bunch but now since there is only one he can regenerate an unlimited number of times due to the fact that there only one tapping into the energy that allows them to regenerate.  as to where the energy comes from let's say it's from the tartus since it has an unlimited energy core or something.

Posted by sora_thekey
@danhimself said:
" If I were to want to start watching Doctor Who then where would I start with the least confusion?  It seems like a lot of people on the Vine love the show but I've never been able to get into it "
Same question!
Moderator
Posted by Methos

God i can't believe i'm actually coming back to this, but this needs to be sorted out... 
 
1. The Doctor is not immortal, he can just Regenerate an unlimited amount of times now... 
 
2. This has LONG been hinted at... even going far back as the sixth and seventh Doctor's...  
 
The Doctor is no ordinary Time Lord... this has been long stated in both the show and the books previously.. you  just have to read Lungburrow to see that, even the High President of Gallifrey knows something about The Doctor's origins that is forbidden for common knowledge.   in the novels it's alluded that he is in fact The Other, which would put him far above any other Time Lord on the planet, and would explain the extra regenerations. 
 
For further information on "The Other" and possible connotations to Gallifrey and The Doctor... you want to read Lungburrow, The Infinity Doctors and the Vampire Wars books... there are probably some others that i can't think of at the moment that list his history more. 
 
M

Posted by Kamen Rider Kajiki
@sora_thekey said:
" @danhimself said:
" If I were to want to start watching Doctor Who then where would I start with the least confusion?  It seems like a lot of people on the Vine love the show but I've never been able to get into it "
Same question! "
Well i started with movie which i had on tape and then the 2005 series before starting to collect dvd's from the 1st through the 7th Doctors
@Methos: Welcome back and thank you for the info, I always disregarded anything not having to do with the main series. Since by the time i started there was already to many to material to just pick something of the shelf.
Posted by AirDave817

I jumped on to Doctor Who with Christopher Eccleston. It's brilliant! I'm slowly bringing myself to watch the David Tennant episodes. Not that I expect they'll suck, no not at all. I just found that there are novels that fit between episodes; so, I'm gearing up to watch some Season Two, then read another six novels...The Season One Doctor Who novels were fantastic! I'm fine with The Doctor being immortal, because of the episodes I've seen - he is. Isn't Captain Jack immortal, too? 

Posted by Beyond your Doom

I personally might make him change bodies using a favorite from season 3, The Chameleon Arc,  would use it to store is memories and 'powers' when he's about to go then, a two parter were some humans discover the abandoned TARDIS and ends in one of them using the arc to become the new doctor or something. Basically the effect will be throughout the 2 parter fans will have to guess witch one the new doctor will be.

Posted by Methos

If they're going to explain it without using The Other as a storyline, then more than likely they are going to use The Matrix as a storyline with regards to what happened to it after Gallifrey was destroyed 
 
M

Edited by jordama

Holly crap methos came back for a guest appearance on comicvine, didn't think he would come back, but if rose could come back after she went to the alternate reality, anything can happen. 
 
Davies (or any one that they get to write Who) is a master of tying everything together, I'm sure he would be able to create some kind of explanation eventually.
Posted by Emperor Gonzo Noir

...bullshit

Posted by bmarie82

Well it makes sense in a dollars and cents sort of way but just retconning seems a bit weak. Doctor who has always been a creatively written series and the history of the show deserves a better attempt at least

Having said that I think most fans of the new series don't know about the limited regenerations and there's no way they'd end it over a cannon technicality. It's a good series and I'd be sad to see it go.

Posted by Methos
@bmarie82 said:
" Well it makes sense in a dollars and cents sort of way but just retconning seems a bit weak. Doctor who has always been a creatively written series and the history of the show deserves a better attempt at least Having said that I think most fans of the new series don't know about the limited regenerations and there's no way they'd end it over a cannon technicality. It's a good series and I'd be sad to see it go. "
 
question... 
 
how can you 'retcon' a storyline that deals with more time travel than Star Trek? 
 
M
Posted by DropSolo
@skillin villin said:
" all time lords could regenerate 12 times because there were a whole bunch but now since there is only one he can regenerate an unlimited number of times due to the fact that there only one tapping into the energy that allows them to regenerate.  as to where the energy comes from let's say it's from the tartus since it has an unlimited energy core or something. "
This is what I'm going with. There have been a ton of work arounds for this problem from the previous series'. Whatever they need to do to keep the Doctor around is fine with me.
Posted by Cthulhudrew

Has it ever been stated exactly why there is a limit to the number of regenerations? Was it a physiological thing, or was it some sort of edict of the Time Lord Council? It's been so long since I watched any of the older Who, that I really can't recall.

Posted by ForbushBug

Maybe Dr.Who read the issue of Justice Society of America where Wildcat found out he always has nine lives.

Posted by G-Man
@Methos: Ha ha! I knew if we kept posting all these Doctor Who stories and one sourced from the Guardian, we'd get your attention.
Staff
Posted by Methos

lol i actually came back because i'm off work now until after christmas, so i actually have a decent stable internet connection again :D 
 
Woo hoo 
 
not that i was complaining about living above a dungeon with 4 dominatrix' for a living... but being back home is definitely awesome 
 
M

Posted by Omega Ray Jay

I'm not happy about this, Rules in place like this being part of the character and the mythology shouldn't be tampered with just because it has because it has become a new money making machine, the integrity of the story and the charters should always come first but i guess that really doesn't count for much these days.

Posted by cbeavers2
@danhimself:  I would start with Christopher Eccleston. The "New Series" will probably hold your interest a little easier and it introduces you to some of the basic concepts of the series. If you cant get into the newer stuff then i would try working backwards chronologically through the different series. IF you want to get into The Doctor count yourself as lucky it's not like most series where you're left wondering about a character if you start in season 5 instead of the beginning each incarnation has different experiences and personality with subtle ties to previous incarnations.
Posted by Sobe Cin
@danhimself:
as Inferioego put it, begin with the series that started 2005 (9th doctor with Christopher Ecceleston) and go from there. You can watch what happened before then. But you are better off just reading about it in dr. who anthologies and the like. Most of the original dr. who series aren't even available on dvd. They never expected this kind of following in the 1960's.
Posted by Captain Koala

Not a difficult one to get around, really. It'd be easy enough just to have a throwaway line stating that the 12 regeneration rule was simply something imposed by the Timelord council. They're gone, and so is their crappy rule. I'd much rather see the show continue for a 14th Doctor than see it be shut down over something which isn't, at this point, all that important.

Posted by Insignia

In his vast amount of adventures it wouldn't seem unbelievable that the Doctor was exposed to something that allowed him to regenerate an infinite amount of times. They must have known that they would run into this problem eventually. I don't really watch Doctor Who however it wouldn't bother me if they did it like that rather than a retcon. I can't really speak for a hardcore fan however.

Posted by Methos
@Cthulhudrew said:
" Has it ever been stated exactly why there is a limit to the number of regenerations? Was it a physiological thing, or was it some sort of edict of the Time Lord Council? It's been so long since I watched any of the older Who, that I really can't recall. "
 
it's by edict of the Time Lord High Council... the High President of Gallifrey can actually award or take away regeneration cycles... it's happened a few times before 
 
M
Posted by Marshal Victory

Sorry Tom Bakers doctor to me will always be the best.An the retcon may have been expected but not welcomed.Since as stated before theirs hints along the way.If im thinking right theirs even hints in the Dr.Who pen an paper rpg books.Have to dig them out an see.
Posted by Cthulhudrew
@Methos said:
it's by edict of the Time Lord High Council... the High President of Gallifrey can actually award or take away regeneration cycles... it's happened a few times before  M "
 Okay- that's how I thought I remembered it. So, really, since there is no Council (or Gallifrey) any longer, it should be easy enough to handwave away. 
 
Hopefully they address it a bit more than this apparent throwaway, though.
Posted by Methos

well i'm hoping they're going to bring Gallifrey back soon... 
 
5 years without it is long enough i think 
 
M

Posted by KNIGHT SAVIOR

my favorite Doctor  was Tom Baker 's and  l remember them saying Time Lords only have 12 Regenerations , but what about Doctor 's enemy , the Valyard ? from ' Death of a Time Lord " who is the Doctor 's 12 regenerations ,  do he exist or not
Posted by G-Man

I always figured he'd be "given" a new life cycle, like for all the good (meddling) he did. The Master's cheated death so we know there is no finality to them. Also, as long as the show is kicking ass and people are watching (and there's money to be made), there's nothing in time or space that could stop the BBC from finding a way past a twelfth regeneration.

Staff
Posted by NightFang
Brilliant!!!! 
Posted by difficlus
@Methos said:
" well i'm hoping they're going to bring Gallifrey back soon...  5 years without it is long enough i think  M "
dude welcome back! 
 
 
as for the news it was expected, we all knew they would extend it somehow it was seemed imminent with the 12th regeneration coming up they needed to do something...
Posted by PoolStroke
@danhimself: 
I think it would be safe to start at the beginning of the relaunch in 2005 with Christopher Eccleston as the doctor. You shouldn't have to know anything about the Doctor mythology with the relaunch, it explains things quite well. After you get in to it and feel you understand what the Doctor is all about I suggest you find some DVDs of the older series. That is how I did it.  
Edited by Razeil

Doctor Who has thirteen lives not twelve, a normal time lord would have twelve but The Doctor has thirteen lives because of he is half human on his mother side. This is mentioned a few times not to any real great length but it was canon before the new series started. 

Posted by Methos
@Razeil said:
" Doctor Who has thirteen lives not twelve, a normal time lord would have twelve but The Doctor has thirteen lives because of he is half human on his mother side. This is mentioned a few times not to any real great length but it was canon before the new series started.  "
 
No, it wasn't... 
 
let me educate you properly... 
 
A time lord has 13 lives, 12 regenerations.... 
 
The Doctor is NOT half human... it was only said once during the movie and was NOT referanced before that in continuity... in fact, it IS continuity that Time Lords are not born genetically, rather than lombed using time lord genetic code. 
 
there is no sexual reproduction anywhere in Time Lord history 
 
M
Posted by Staticoss
@lordcmdrstryker: seriously, if you don't like the series then this article is not for you, don't troll
Posted by Illyana Rasputin

I am interested in seeing how the writers justify this.

Posted by uroboros
@danhimself: I've watched it since I was a kid..but my friends who haven't jumped in when it was rebooted with chris eckelston..it explains a lot and you can go back and watch older seasons if you want to learn more about the back story..but it isn't completely necessary to understand the current series..just means you get the hints to fans
Posted by uroboros

it's easy to explain, say that the cycle isn't in fact biological but is instead,  Gallifreyan law, now with all the Time Lords gone and the entire culture trapped in time..he can decided that space and time still need a time lord to fix things that no normal being can..with no one to enforce the law he makes the choice to ignore it in order to be the last time lord to stand against the throngs of tyrants through time..figure that's the easiest way to do it..

Posted by Constantine

I always thought he had 13 regenerations O_o

Posted by 614azrael

I say dont do it. Reboot his counter if needed but dont make the guy immortal. Mortality is the key concept in danger in the end. When you can be killed people worry andd get soaked in. If your just garanteed to come back tomarow then whos going to care?
Posted by leokearon

I don't think it was that major anyway
Posted by Constantine
@614azrael said:
" I say dont do it. Reboot his counter if needed but dont make the guy immortal. Mortality is the key concept in danger in the end. When you can be killed people worry andd get soaked in. If your just garanteed to come back tomarow then whos going to care? "
but it's regeneration, he does die and all though returns as the doctor, he is always different, so I imagine for him It's just the same as dieing, hence why the tenth doctor said he didn't want to go or die (something like that).
Posted by 614azrael
@Constantine:
I havent seen the show so things for the information my statement still stand however. I dont like imortality im gine with close to imortal but not full blown imortality. Just because you return different looking doesnt change much unless your striped of say all personal history as well. In otherwords i might be cool with it if he came back but his emotional ties to characterss were severed his knowledge of things like time travel and the important tasks he has to do are all that remain makeing him a clean slate every time he died.
Edited by Dr. Detfink

IF a character makes money, he or she lives forever. Simple as that. Doctor Who is no longer a character, he's a cash machine as BBC America has continued to get someone younger and younger to dial into that audience. Is this any different than whoring the Spidey line of books? Nope.
 
Now, the question is, Doctor Who worth keeping around even longer? I say yes.

Posted by Doctor!!!!!
@Methos said:
"God i can't believe i'm actually coming back to this, but this needs to be sorted out...  1. The Doctor is not immortal, he can just Regenerate an unlimited amount of times now...  2. This has LONG been hinted at... even going far back as the sixth and seventh Doctor's...   The Doctor is no ordinary Time Lord... this has been long stated in both the show and the books previously.. you  just have to read Lungburrow to see that, even the High President of Gallifrey knows something about The Doctor's origins that is forbidden for common knowledge.   in the novels it's alluded that he is in fact The Other, which would put him far above any other Time Lord on the planet, and would explain the extra regenerations.  For further information on "The Other" and possible connotations to Gallifrey and The Doctor... you want to read Lungburrow, The Infinity Doctors and the Vampire Wars books... there are probably some others that i can't think of at the moment that list his history more.  M "

You must be a master of Doctor Who Knowledge.
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