Anyone who is new to Doctor Who often find it confusing when long-time fans talk about regeneration. What is it, and why is it significant to the story?
“Every cell in my body is dying. (But) Time Lords have this little trick; it’s sort of a way of cheating death. Except, it means I’m going to change. And I’m not going to see you [Rose Tyler] again. Not like this — not with this daft old face.” – Doctor Who (9th Doctor)
The character of Doctor Who is the same person, except when he meets a fatal demise his body begins to change forms so he can avoid dying completely. That means his face, and his body structure changes appearances. So far in the story line, Doctor Who has regenerated thirteen times. Time Lords are allotted one regeneration cycle consisting of twelve regenerations. Under rare and unique circumstances can a Time Lord be granted a second regeneration cycle, and begin a whole new chain of twelve more sequential regenerations.
His personality sometimes changes with each new face he takes on. I should also mention that Doctor Who is a Time Lord. That means he is among a race of aliens that have a third strand of DNA that allow them to regenerate over and over with each fatal blow. Time Lord’s also have strange and alien powers like telepathy, mind reading, mind control, super intelligence, and so forth. They also have the means to travel anywhere in time and space using a TARDIS (more about the Doctor’s space craft in another blog).
Understanding regeneration is often a make-or-break for most would-be fans. Some comprehend it easily, and others can’t seem to grasp ahold of the concept. And that’s okay! This particular article is written with the new fan in mind that is interested in Doctor Who, but doesn’t want to be fully immersed in the Whoniverse!
Enjoy the video above, and perhaps it will bring things more in to perspective.