The Limitations On Regenerations, And How To Get Around It.
Disclaimer: Before you begin be warned I am writing based on my knowledge of Doctor Who. If you need elaborations on content please let me know and I will gladly do so. I hope you enjoy the brain food. Cheers.
et me start by giving you brief background on regeneration as a manufactured ability by a timelord. Cardinal Rassilon had been investigating a method of regenerating decayed and diseased tissue by way of a series of self-replicating, biogenic molecules. This is obviously because he is such a boss. Rassilon only invented/created this for the Gallifreyan elite. I’ll stop here to blow your mind; Not all Gallifreyans are timelords, but all timelords are Gallifreyan elites. Rassilon also inputted a limitation of only twelve regenerations, this giving the timelord a total of thirteen ...view middle of the document...
In Let’s Kill Hitler Melody Pond is in her third incarnation (her second regeneration) when she saved the 11th Doctor’s life by “transferring” all her remaining regenerations to the Doctor. This would result in one of three outcomes. First, her remaining nine regenerations were simply added to the Doctor’s remaining regenerations to give him a possible eleven more regenerations. The second outcome is through a default fail safe that would be presumed possible by timelords, to make the dying Doctor’s cycle be replaced by Melody’s nine. The third outcome is the least appealing, but might be the most likely outcome. This is based on the Doctor’s reaction to it and how he is in the hospital after. He knew she could save him, but might it only be enough to simply reverse the 11th’s death. It didn’t add, or replace, but simply kept him on his “normal” cycle. I can further explain how reversing a regeneration is both possible, and has been done, later.
There is a pesky side note that must be mentioned due to the fact that it could put a giant, fat nevermind in front of all the above examples. In The Angels Take Manhattan the Doctor heals River Song’s broken wrist with his regenerative power. It is an ability of a timelord to control the “flow” of their regenerative powers. What causes an unknown dilemma is to what degree did the Doctor use said powers? Was it a miniscule amount? Was it only one regeneration’s worth? Or all his remaining? River’s reaction is the most puzzling part of this whole scene. This seems to be a very large “spoiler” that she didn’t seem to know about, or it bothers her so much that even knowing it would happen (and in turn would have to happen) she still had such an emotional reaction to it. But, alas, that is for another time.
I personally agree with most Whovians that however it is done; the Doctor will go beyond the limitation of 12 regenerations. I hope my first go at a listener piece gives some plausible evidence to help calm some nerves out there. Cheers.
-Callan Heidkamp (@MumblingWhovian)