The Modern Doctor Who Tenth Anniversary is this month (March 26th) and I thought it would be a good time to do My Top 5 Regenerations! The Doctor has regenerated thirteen times total now, and some of have been pretty memorable and others we would rather forget (cough Colin Baker to Sylvester McCoy cough).
*WARNING MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD*
The Doctor is a very unique character, different from any other character in any medium, because he has the ability to regenerate his body every time he is injured, mortally wounded or dies of all old age. Regeneration allows the Doctor to live for centuries and currently the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) is over 2,000 years old.
In Modern Doctor Who there have been five regenerations up to this point: The Eighth Doctor to The War Doctor, The War Doctor to The Ninth Doctor, The Ninth Doctor to The Tenth Doctor, The Tenth Doctor to The Eleventh Doctor, and The Eleventh Doctor to The Twelfth Doctor.
I’m going to rank each regeneration and give it a score out of 10, okay let’s get into the regenerations!
5. The Eleventh Doctor to The Twelfth Doctor (8/10)
After fighting off groups of enemies on the planet Trenzalore for over 900 hundred years, The Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) died of old age and was granted a whole new regeneration cycle by the Time Lords from Gallifrey. His regeneration was so powerful that it destroyed a whole Dalek mothership! He then disappeared before Clara found him and he appeared young again! Alas he had begun the regeneration process and his body reset, causing his youthful looking appearance. Eleven had a heartfelt goodbye with his companion Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) and even hallucinated seeing the companion that shaped his life, Amy Pond, coming to say goodbye before he regenerated. Eleven had a sad regeneration, but understood that things change and that he would always be the Doctor. Eleven was a great Doctor and took his death much better than his predecessor did, being sad, but also at peace with himself. Eleven’s regeneration was fine, but I feel that it didn’t do his Doctor justice, and that’s why I put it at number 5.
4. The War Doctor to The Ninth Doctor (8.5/10)
After helping his future selves (The Tenth Doctor and The Eleventh Doctor respectively) to save Gallifrey rather than destroy it, The War Doctor bid farewell and died of old age and regenerated in his TARDIS! This was quite a shocking surprise and even though we didn’t see him fully change (we only see The Ninth Doctor’s eyes) into The Ninth Doctor, this regeneration was still amazing! The War Doctor’s final words “Oh of course, wearing a bit thin..” which are a nod to the final words spoken by The First Doctor (William Hartnell) were just so fitting! Add in the funny joke about The Ninth Doctor’s ears, “I hope the ears are a bit less conspicuous this time…” and it’s a very funny regeneration as well. The War Doctor was a great character and he was able to regenerate after fighting in a long bitter war, unfortunately he forget that he saved Gallifrey, making it a very tragic regeneration as well.
3. The Ninth Doctor to The Tenth Doctor (10/10)
After absorbing the time vortex to save his companion Rose Tyler, The Ninth Doctor regenerates, but is at peace and welcomes his new face! It’s a great regeneration because The Ninth Doctor does not lament and instead accepts his regeneration. In my opinion this is a perfect regeneration and also a sad one as well, or better yet it’s bittersweet.
2. The Tenth Doctor to The Eleventh Doctor (10/10)
After having stopped The Time Lord President Rassilon from destroying the universe and being saved by his nemesis The Master, The Tenth Doctor saves Wilfred Mott in a radiation chamber but absorbs all the radiation in the chamber forcing him to regenerate. The Tenth Doctor is able to hold off the regeneration so he can say farewell to all of his companions and uses his TARDIS to change some events.
The Tenth Doctor regenerates alone, and because of his narcissism and as The Eleventh Doctor later puts it “vanity issues” he angrily regenerates destroying his TARDIS! This regeneration was sad and very epic,(especially the music called “Vale Decem,” which makes me sad every time I hear it to this day) but after careful thought The Tenth Doctor was whiny and was becoming too arrogant and believed he was a God, changing events anyway he saw fit. It was definitely time for the Doctor to regenerate and he couldn’t accept that, which was sad, but also pathetic at the same time.
I enjoyed The Tenth Doctor’s regeneration, but there was one regeneration I had to reserve the number one spot for…
1. The Eighth Doctor to The War Doctor (10/10)
After saving a woman whose ship was in danger of exploding, The Eighth Doctor crashes on the planet Karn, where The Sisterhood of Karn prepares a potion as The Eighth Doctor is about to die in minutes. One of the Sister’s tells The Eighth Doctor that he cannot ignore the Time War and has been neutral for long enough and after arguing for a few moments the Doctor agrees to fight but chooses to regenerate into a warrior. The Sister gives The Eighth Doctor a potion that will turn him into a warrior and the Doctor’s final words are so perfect, saying “physician, heal thyself,” before drinking the potion. The Doctor regenerates and we see the reflection of a young John Hurt, who is The War Doctor! The War Doctor declares “The Doctor no more!”
This regeneration was perfect in every way, and it was great to see The Eighth Doctor return (Paul McGann) who really deserves his own television series and hasn’t been given the opportunity to show how awesome he could be. We never saw The Eighth Doctor regenerate so that filled in the gaps and also explained where The War Doctor fit into the Doctor’s timeline, and boy was it a nice surprise during the 50th Anniversary year in November of 2013!
The Eighth Doctor’s regeneration is my absolute favorite and that’s why I put it at number one on my list!
What say you? Do you agree with my list? What is your favorite Modern Doctor regeneration? Whatever your thoughts let me know!