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So apparently the Doctor can regenerate more that 12 times - a lot more. And he doesn't have to be white. This is a teaser for Death of the Doctor. Moffat said that an "old friend" would be tackling this issue, but do you think he meant Russell? He also said this series, and I suppose the series hasn't quite ended, so it could very well be this. I can't wait to see it now.... The article is here by the way. --The Thirteenth Doctor 23:04, October 4, 2010 (UTC)

Well if they are going to break the 12 regeneration rule it probably is better that they are going to explain it rather than ignore it. It would, however, be better if they actually explained it in the main show instead of the spin-off. The regeration limit is an important part of the Doctor's character, and he is a Doctor Who character, not a Sarah Jane character. Syfy hasn't aired any of the Sarah Jane Adventures after season 1 in the U.S. (probably because it is not nearly as good as Torchwood of Doctor Who), so American fans will have to wait until the DVD comes out to find out this important piece of information about the Doctor.Icecreamdif 20:30, October 5, 2010 (UTC)
It does strike me as odd that the former producer of Who is altering such a heavy piece of the mythos rather than the current one, but I find it a bit neat actually. The closer we get to the Thirteenth Doctor, the more urgently the show would have to address what was basically a throwaway plot point in order to enable the Time Lord President to be really assassinated in The Deadly Assassin. They could just as easily have made the number 20 or 50 or 100, but nobody could have been giving much thought to the effect the limit of 13 lives would have on the character of the Doctor seeing as how in 1976 they were still only on Doctor Four on a (comparatively merely in hindsight) 13-year-old programme.
I'm glad the question is apparently being addressed sooner rather than later; it'd be cheesier to have the future Thirteenth Doctor lament how it's his last life for his entire tenure until some magic plot point grants him a 14th life. We just had that sort of emo story arc for a series of four stories with mixed results, imagine having to put up with that for a Doctor's entire tenure! It'd be unfair to the character, the actor, or the viewers, and handwaving it now frees all future Who cast, crew, and fans from having to worry about it. Additionally, addressing it in the spinoff means us canon addicts will be able to fully appreciate it, while all the newer and more casual Who viewers who never gave the matter any thought won't really have to start now. Rob T Firefly 20:46, October 5, 2010 (UTC)

Just in from SJA: he can regenerate 507 times apparently. How is that possible? 86.159.119.128 16:44, October 26, 2010 (UTC)

The same way it was possible for him to regenerate the past ten times. Rob T Firefly 23:31, October 26, 2010 (UTC)
I live in the US, so i haven't seen it yet. Is there actually some explanation as to why he can regenerate 507 times, or is it left unexplained?Icecreamdif 23:35, October 26, 2010 (UTC)
The reason for the number is left entirely unexplained, just as it was when the limit was given as 12 regenerations. Rob T Firefly 00:19, October 27, 2010 (UTC)
Well, the original regeneration limit seemed like it was both to make the timelords mortal, instead of theoretically being able to live forever, and to give the Master a motive in the Deadly Assassin. I understand that they didn't explain why they chose the number 507, but do they actually explain why the number has changed since the TV movie, or do they just act like he always had 507 regenerations.Icecreamdif 00:26, October 27, 2010 (UTC)
The limit of 13 lives was introduced in The Deadly Assassin so that they could really kill off the Lord President and enable that murder mystery/conspiracy story to take place; before that we'd seen Time Lords regenerate with no mention of any limits. All other references to 13 lives stem from that. I do not imagine the writers were considering the effect the choice of number would have; the show was only 13 years old and they were only on Doctor Four. They might not have ever considered that the programme would go on for longer than any other scifi drama, and we'd actually get up to Doctor Thirteen someday and have to deal with the consequences of their plot point. Rob T Firefly 09:28, October 28, 2010 (UTC)
For the littlest chance that Moffat or Davies is watching, there is a way they can spin it to be 507. In The End of Time, one of the Time Ladies mentions that every second millions of Time Lords were dying and being brought back to life to find new ways to die. Regeneration seems like the obvious way to do that, so perhaps, given they can grant new cycles, the Time Lords gave a huge number of regenerations to every Time Lord and Lady so that they could live again and again and again. Of course, the Eighth Doctor wouldn't have regenerated into other forms, but at the end of the War into his Ninth incarnation. That's the way I'd like to see it. --The Thirteenth Doctor 11:09, October 27, 2010 (UTC)
There's also another way.. In Forest of the Dead, River gave a hint that the Doctor's abilities were escalating beyond that of a Time Lord, to where he's able to snap his fingers and open the TARDIS. So, if his abilities are going beyond that of a Time Lord, then maybe his regeneration abilities are escalating too! TheTARDIScontroller 05:04, January 6, 2011 (UTC)
I like that idea. I think he's far more brilliant than his grades at the Time Lord Academy indicate, a bit like Albert Einstein in that sense. After all, he was able to single-handedly remove an entire planet from all of time as well as space. I think he can overcome a 12-regeneration limit, even if it is biological. Rnddim 06:31, January 15, 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps its because the time lords are no longer around to monitor his cycle so he alloted himself lot more.I think such a high number will make his lives throaway objects and will make a plot such as the curse of fatal death where he goes through a whole load of bodies far too quickly possible in canon.Assuming he's already used 11 of his 507 even if they had a different doctor every year the series could run for 496 years.Of course they'll have to do a lot of time crack style retconning to explain why the next few centuries are so different from how they appear in doctor who. --666hotline 14:24, October 27, 2010 (UTC)

It's nothing to do with the Time Lords not being around anymore. Regeneration is a biological factor. See this link. Oh, and there is something from televised Who for those who choose to ignore the spin-off media. If you've actually seen the clip you can tell that he was most likely joking. Even Davies admits it wasn't to be taken seriously. My main worry is that they never will give it a good explanation. TemporalSpleen 15:53, October 28, 2010 (UTC)

I don't think Davies said it wasn't to be taken seriously, he just says it amused him greatly to do it and theorized that fandom would probably ignore it. Rob T Firefly 23:44, October 28, 2010 (UTC)
507 = 13 * 39 = 13 * 13 * 3 Apparently an upper limit of 39 on the number of cycles that a timelord can be granted. Wibbly-Wobbly 04:15, January 6, 2011 (UTC)

We know the Doctor was joking though, because we know for a fact that he can only regenerate 12 times. That isn't something like the Doctor's age, where different insignficant lines conflict with eachother. The Deadly Assassin, Mawdryn Undead, The TV Movie, and many other episodes plots are based around the fact that Timelords can onyl regenerate 12 times. Death to the Doctor just featured a random line of dialogue about regeneration that wasn't relevant to the plot. Since Davies isn't writing for Doctor Who anymore anyway, they probably won't go anywhere with the 507 limit. If they do end up having a 14th Doctor, without any explanation, then maybe we can take this line seriously.Icecreamdif 23:28, January 6, 2011 (UTC)

How do we know he was joking? He answered Clyde's previous question about what he can change into seriously. And we don't know for a fact that he can only regenerate 12 times. It could have changed. He stated it as fact, which is something we have to accept. It contradicts the previous statements of him only being able to regenerate 12 times, so it obviously has changed. We can't use the fact Davies isn't writing for Doctor Who any more as a reason not to use it, after all, Moffat did actually say that an old friend of his would mention it that year, so he was most likely part of it. We shouldn't take it as a joke whatsoever. It was stated as fact with no contradictory lines since, so we must take it as fact. --The Thirteenth Doctor 12:04, January 15, 2011 (UTC)

The reason that we know that he is joking is that we know that what he said isn't true. The 507 statement was just a passing reference, and the 12 regeneration limit was a major plot point of several episodes. The Doctor still goes around telling people that he is very old, and refferring to this part of his life as his old age. If he can still regenerate 497 times, than he is still very young, and closer to the beginning of his life than to the end. If he can only regenerate twice more, than he is very old, and closer to the end of his life than to the beginning. Unless we have more evidence than just a passing reference, either an explanation or seeing him regenerate a thirteenth time, than we should still assume that he can only regenerate 12 times. From what we've seen in the past, there is no way that the 12 regeneration limit could change. It is part of Time Lord biology, and their is no reason that it would spontaneously change to 507.Icecreamdif 00:21, January 16, 2011 (UTC)

No, we don't know that it is true any more. It was true, but since the TV movie nothing has been stated of the regeneration limit except that reference. And it's hardly spontaneous if, since the movie, this is the first time it's been mentioned. If it was 12 regenerations in one episode, then mentioned to be 507 in the very next, that would be spontaneous. Just because it was in passing doesn't mean it isn't true. A lot of things are said in passing, and in passing itself is an ambiguous term. And as for the "no way" the limit can be changed, I will refer you only to the Master. He's living proof that the limit can be changed. Saying it hasn't changed when the Doctor stated it was different is going against canon fact. --The Thirteenth Doctor 01:14, January 16, 2011 (UTC)

The Master is an unusual case. He didn't just regenerate more than twelve times. After his thirtennth self died, he becamee a the Master, pssessed a Trakenite, died again, became a weird ghost snake thing, possessed a human, and was resurrected by the Time Lords. After his ressurection in between the TV Movie and Utopia he seems to have gotten a new cycle, but presumably is still bound to a new twelve regeneration cycle. (Although after his ressurection in End of TIme who knows how his regenerations work now.) Time Lord biology can't just completely change at random, just like Human biology can't completely change at random. In some cases "in passing" may be ambigous, but this was an episode, of the spin-off, where regeneration didn't really have anything to do with the plot, and the Doctor didn't seem like he was in the mood to explain it to Clyde. Icecreamdif 04:38, January 17, 2011 (UTC)

That's one of the points I'm making, it hasn't changed at random. The last time the regeneration limit was mentioned was in the TV movie. Given there's been no mention of the limit since the revival and we don't know what happened off screen, the Time War being the most probable cause of the change. If the Doctor said 13 one episode, 507 the next and then 27 then next, that would be random. The Master is the best example that the biology can be changed. Regeneration wasn't the direct focus of the plot, no, but the fact that it was a new Doctor and he had regenerated was. My question to you then is, if he answered the first question of Clyde's properly, the "are you always white?", why would he then lie for the next one? He had no reason to. Nothing suggests he was. --The Thirteenth Doctor 14:39, January 17, 2011 (UTC)

Actually we don't know whether or not he answered his first question truthfully. If he could change skin color, then it would be highly improbably that he would have the same skin color 11 out of 11 times. Bu that's another topic, and there isn't anything concrete to contradict it. He probably though that the saying that he could regenerate 507 times would sound more impressive to Clyde than saying "I can regenerate 2 more times and then I'm dead." The Master does prove that it is possible to live past the regeneration limit, but he hasn't come close to achieving a 507 limit. If he can still regenerate after his ressurection in End of Time, than he can probably only regenerate 11 more times at the most. And do you really think that the Doctor would live in the decaying form that the Tersuus Master lived in, or would possess people? There is no reason to believe that the Time War somehow changed the regeneration limit. And yes, the change was stil random. The length in between the episodes has nothing to do with it. In several episodes the regeneration limit was stated as 12, and then in another episoed, a few years later, it was stated as 507. That seems pretty random to me. And there are several episodes of the new series where the Doctor refers to himself as being in his "old age." He wouldn't say this if he can still regenerate hundreds of times.Icecreamdif 22:01, January 17, 2011 (UTC)

Highly improbably but has happened. He's said it before that he could be anything (The Parting of the Ways) and he said it again here. Nothing else to contradict it, so we can take it as truth. What I'm saying is the limit was 13, but is now 507. The Master did reach the 13 limit several times, but that doesn't mean it isn't 507 now. There is a reason to believe the Time War changed the limit. In The End of Time one of the Time Lady's says that millions were dying only to be resurrected to find new ways of dying. That gives me reason to believe that the limit has been changed somehow. I know it's not to do with the length between episodes, but it's what happens then, offscreen. And I wouldn't call 14 years a "few years". As for the old age, he's never said he is in his old age. He only says that he is getting old. There's a difference. These days being in your late 20s is considered getting older. So it may be for 900 years for a Time Lord. My main point is; the Doctor stated it as fact. We document the facts. If we go against facts then why are we even here? In 2005 when the Doctor stated the Time Lords were dead, did we say he was wrong? No. Even though it happened off screen, their living status changed. The same goes for the regeneration limit. --The Thirteenth Doctor 13:36, January 18, 2011 (UTC)
It's worth noting that we already have a canon Time Lord who has had different skin colors in his different incarnations, since Don Warrington played Rassilon in the audios and posed for in-character photos on the CD booklets. Rob T Firefly 12:39, March 24, 2011 (UTC)

When he said that it could be anything, he also said that he might have 2 heads, or no head at all. Every Timelord that we've ever seen has looked like a human, so clearly the 9th Doctor was either joking or delirious. They still haven't technically said that he can only be a white man, so it wouldn't be a continuity error or anything if they ever decided to change his race or gender. The Timelady couldn't have been talking about regeneration. Regeneration has never been described as ressurection before. She said that the Timelords were dying before they were ressurected, and you can't regenerate after death(unless you are pumped full of drugs like the Seventh Doctor was.) It seems more likely that she is refferring to however the Master and Rassillon came back. The Master fell into the Eye of Harmony, and actually died, without regenerating, in the TV Movie, but in Utopia he said that the Timelords ressurected him. That sounds much more like what the Timelady was talking about than regeneration does. Regeneration wouldn't be practical in the Timewar anyway. We know that there are weapons, like TCEs and Timelord stasers, that can prevent regeneration, so if the Daleks were in a war against the Timelords they would have found a way to exterminate them without them regenerating. In The End of the World, the Doctor didn't just say that the Timelords died. He got very emotional, talked about being the last of the Timelords, mentioned the Time War, and made it very clear that he was telling the truth. Apart from that, we know that species are capable of being wiped out. In Death to the Doctor, the Doctor just said 507, without elaborating, or makiing it seem like the number was significant to him at all. Changing a law of biology, like the regeneration limit, is very different than wiping out a species.Icecreamdif 22:43, January 18, 2011 (UTC)

I'm not sure if this theroy as to why he can reneragte more then three times has been stated already, but I might as well post it anyway:

In one episode of the olden Doctor Who episodes, forget which, the Time Lord president or something like that gives him extra lives to fight something, The Master I think. (Sorry for being so vauge, I haven't watched the episode in forever.) But, all of the time-lords excluding The Doctor, his daughter being a half time-lord, and the Master are dead, right? So, the person who decides who much times they regenerate is also dead, right? Therefore, doesn't that mean he gets infininte regenerations? Just a hypothysis. WARNING: This user has a 100% chance of awesomeness! 23:59, March 2, 2011 (UTC)

You're probably thinking of the Five Doctors, when the Timelords offered the Master a new set of regenerations in exchange for helping the Doctors in the death zone. However, they didn't just mean that they are going to allow him to break the regeneration limit. At theat point he wasn't a Timelord. He was a Trakenite who was being posessed by a Timelord, and obviously Trakenites can not regenerate. They were offering to give him a normal regeneration cycle with the 12-regeneration limit still imposed. In all likelihood, they were probably offering to give him a new Timelord body. The regeneration limit isn't something that is being imposed by the Timelords, it is just how regeneration naturally works. If you were the last human alive, your lifespan wouldn't increase because there was nobody left to decide how long you can live. Even if the Timelords being gone did explain why he could regenerate more than 12 times, it doesn't explain why the limit is now supposedly 507. If the Timelords being gone made the regeneration limit go away, it would be infinite, not 507.Icecreamdif 02:00, March 3, 2011 (UTC)
Yea, that's probably it. But, perhaps God decides wheter we live or not near death, in a Christain's point of view, for arguements sake. So, if he died, wouldn't everyone live? There would be no death? It would be the same story with time-lords, if the person who decided how much regenerations they got died, couldn't they get infinite due to that? As for the 507 instead of infinite thing... I dunno, to be honest, I don't nessecarily belive this at this point, I'm just trying to come up with a reasobable-ish explaination, that's better then: "Hey, we decided to get as much money from the show as possible, so completly ignore the fact that in the old version of the show we insisted he only had twelve regenerations!" WARNING: This user has a 100% chance of awesomeness! 02:20, March 3, 2011 (UTC)

Nobody decided that Timelords only regenerate 12 times, they just evolved that way, just like nobody decided how long humans can live for. Icecreamdif 21:24, March 3, 2011 (UTC)

The Five Doctors actually contradicts itsself when it comes to offering a new regeneration limit. The Timelords offer the Master a new regeneration limit, but the reason that Borusa does everything that he does is because he wants to go past 13 lives, but according to legend only Rassilon had the secret to infinite regeneration. If the council could grant the Master a new set of regenerations, than the Lord President wouldn't need to go into the Death Zone and find Rassilon to gain immortality. The Timelords were either lying to the Master, or they could grant him a new set of regenerations since he wasn't in a Timelord body.Gowron8472 14:21, March 19, 2011 (UTC)

I think that was RTD's final practical joke on Dr. Who. As for the actual comment, it looked like he was being "tongue in cheek" or that he simply pulled a number outof the air to avoid discussing the whole regeneration concept. When the number of regenerations does change, I don't think it will be due to some side comment in a spinoff. -- Rest In Peace Sarah Jane \ Talk to me! 12:44, April 21, 2011 (UTC)

What we do know, is that despite the fact that the 12 regenerations limit may be 'matter-of-fact', it won't be when the 13th incarnation dies. Somehow, they'll figure a way out of it to get a 14th incarnation. How they'll do it remains to be seen.

Gallifrey102 13:27, April 21, 2011 (UTC)

You can't possibly predict the future. We don't even know if the show will still even be on the air long enough for it to be an issue. I think that the best option would be to postpone having to deal with the issue as much as possible. Most shows don't have cast changes as often as Doctor Who, so why should a Doctor only stay for 3 or 4 years. Tom Baker stayed for 7 years. If Matt Smith, and his two successors, stayed for 7 years each, the show could last another 20 years, which is about as long as the classic series lasted. When the 13th Doctor is ready to leave, they can kill off the Doctor, give the show a big ending, and end on a high note, instead of waiting to be cancelled like last time.Icecreamdif 14:25, April 21, 2011 (UTC)

That would be nice, since they'll stick to the continuity lore. That would be like making a human character immortal in their last episode.

Gallifrey102 14:29, April 21, 2011 (UTC)

I dunno, Icecreamdif. The show has a pretty big, world-wide following, and the average tenure of a Dr. is 3-4 years. That would mean the time could come sooner than you think. Plus, let's face it. It's really fun to speculate! -- Rest In Peace Sarah Jane \ Talk to me! 18:36, April 21, 2011 (UTC)

The exact average length is 3 years. So, provided that Smith stays on until 2013 would mean that in another 8 years from now, if he's killed off with no regeneration, the show will be over by 2019.

Gallifrey102 18:41, April 21, 2011 (UTC)

I know that the average is 3 years, but I'm saying that they should try to raise the average. Most shows as popular as Doctor Who last more than 3 years, and most shows don't have major cast changes as often as Doctor Who. Tom Baker lasted for seven years, and he as one of the more popular actors to play the Doctor, so why shouldn't the next 3 Doctors stay on for that long. The show would probably get old if it went on for too long, going up to the 15th Doctor, or the 20th Doctor. Look at the classic series. By the time they got up to the Seventh Doctor, the plots stopped making sense, and the show got less popular, until it was cancelled and ended with an episode that hardly provided any closure at all. It is better for a show to end on a high note, when it is popular and has good ratings, than to end on a low note, when it is just cancelled because nobody watches it anymore.Icecreamdif 22:02, April 21, 2011 (UTC)

I suppose we'll just have to wait and see how good the show is by the time the thirteenth incarnation dies.

Gallifrey102 10:01, April 22, 2011 (UTC)

Here's a thought: Maybe when the entirety of time lord society is wiped out and the people who make the rules are no longer around to enforce them, the rules change a bit? We can debate specifics for ages, but when it comes down to it there are multiple accounts of individuals, who don't even have to be time lords, who went way past the 13 regeneration limit. Rassilon, the Master, and I seem to recall a ship full of mutants who had infinite regenerations or something to that effect, though the name escapes me. Again, we can debate specifics and say none of them were "normal" examples or whatever, but it just seems to me that if so many of these guys can get around what is supposedly a biological restriction, then it's obviously it's not too difficult to extend the regeneration cycle in spite of it being biological, (which by the way I still don't believe it is hence my opening sentence) so I don't see why some of you here are so resistant to the idea that the Doctor could have gone beyond that limit. He's not a "normal" example either. Sure, the actual explaination of why it's gone from 13 to 507 is missing, but the idea that it could isn't really that implausible. And really, given all the stuff that happened offscreen before the new series began, there could be any number of explainations for it. Whether it's actual writers or internet speculators that will fill in the blanks is irrelevant at this point. 90.206.89.244 00:11, April 27, 2011 (UTC)

The death of the Timelords wouldn't change Timelord biology. That would be like saying that a Human could live indefinetly (wihtout becoming flat) after the human race has gone extinct. Rassilon was believed to posess the secret of infinite regeneration, but it turned out that his version of immortality was turning people into statues. The Master's method of surviving past his 13th life was not regenerating, but involved becoming a the Master, The Master, and the Master. When the Master was thrown into the eye of harmony in the TV Movie he died, and didn't regenerate. However, the Timelords were able to use there powers to return both the Master and Rassilon to life, with a full set of regenerations. Now that the Timelords are gone, this would be impossible. The Minyans weren't Timelords, or even Gallifreyans, so obiously there rules of regeneration would be different to those oof Timelords, just like some species live longer than others. If the Timelords did reinforce the regeneration limit, than the Doctor would have iinfinite regenerations noww rather than 507. Why would a new, random, regeneration limit be imposed after noone was left ot impose it. You can tell by his tone that he was being sarcasic when he was talking to Clyde, and probably didn't want to admit that he only had 2 regenerations left, and thus was near the end of is life. If the Timelords were enforcing the regeneration limit, than why would Borusa, the Lord President of the Timelord High Council, come up with an overly complicated plan, involving breaking the first law of time and trying to find the long "dead" founder of Timelord civilisation, when he could just order the council to stop enforcing the regeneration limit?Icecreamdif 00:28, April 27, 2011 (UTC)

The Doctor did download every Timelord into his head before the end of the Last Great Time War, so maybe he had also downloaded their regenerations? Although, when you consider the way regeneration works, with packets contained in the second heart, that probably wouldn't be possible. Furthermore, it would only be cheap for the writers to create a way to pass the thirteenth incarnation, if stories such as 'The Deady Assasin' and 'The Keeper of Traken' didn't exist. That's become a part of Whoniversal Lore, meaning that the rule can be applied to The Doctor.

Gallifrey102 16:44, April 27, 2011 (UTC)

If you watch and read all the RTD interviews, he says again and again that he finds it baffling that so many people latch on to the 13 thing when it was just a throwaway line in one episode (which isn't strictly true, but it's what RTD said) while ignoring all kinds of much bigger things. He's hinted very strongly that he threw in the 507 line just to tweak fandom about that fact. The reason he picked a number like 507 is that it's totally random and meaningless, to point out that 13 is just as random and meaningless. He's also said flat out that he hopes that future show-runners won't feel the need to be bound to 13 incarnations, and if it were him, he wouldn't. --99.33.26.0 07:31, May 5, 2011 (UTC)

If the Morbius Doctors really were The Doctor, then the regeneration limit would have changed rapidly by the time of The Deadly Assasin, so I suppose it could have changed more.

Gallifrey102 16:58, May 5, 2011 (UTC)

Both The Five Doctors and The Next Doctor pretty much confirmed that the Hartnell Doctor was the First Doctor, so that proves that the Morbius Doctors were Morbius' previous incarnations and not the Doctors. RTD may say that the regeneration limit was a throwaway line, like the conflicting descripitons of the Doctor's age, but he is wrong. In the episode where the limit was introduced, The Deadly Assassin, the fact that Timelords could only regenerate 12 times was a major plot point, as the Master's entire backstory and motivation in that episode was that he had used up all of his regenerations, and wanted more. Later, the regeneration limit became a major plot point in The Five Doctors, Mawdryn Undead, The TV Movie, and probably more episodes that I can't think of off the top of my head. The Doctor's age, on the other hand, has never been essential to the plot, with the main point always being that he is very old.Icecreamdif 01:06, May 6, 2011 (UTC)

Keep in mind that RTD is about a former NA and EDA writer who's frequently gotten into nitpicky fanwank discussions, and who's also frequently made fun of people who do such things. So, just because he says (in effect) that anyone who cares about the 13 incarnation limit is being a big fat nerd, that doesn't mean anything--he's a big fat nerd just like the rest of us, and he knows it (and I'll bet he'll be begging to write something for DWA when the 13th Doctor is thinking of retiring from the show). Anyway, RTD isn't the boss of the Doctor anymore, so it doesn't matter what he thinks; it only matters what Moffat, or his successor, thinks when the time comes for 13 to retire. And we can't predict that today any more than we could last year. --99.33.26.0 03:19, May 6, 2011 (UTC)

I remember reading somewhere that Steven Moffat had a "clever way of getting around thirteen regenerations." SO, drop this discussion, enjoy Matt Smith's Doctor and WAIT. FOR. STEVEN'S. PLAN!!!! TF - Supreme in every way 07:08, May 6, 2011 (UTC)

...Right. If I remember, Moffat's plan was to kill the Doctor, removing any worries about the 13 regeneration limit. --Bold Clone 14:15, May 6, 2011 (UTC)
Sure--in fact, he already did that at the start of The Impossible Astronaut. Everyone thinks that will be rewritten, but no--11 will live for 200 more years, and then he'll die permanently; no 12, no 13, no problem. Of course keeping Matt Smith looking young for 200 years might be difficult, but the Moff is probably counting on the same technology used on Liz X being discovered any day now. What he's really worrying about is coming up with new hats to put on 11 every years for 200 years. "I wear a 10-gallon hat now. 10-gallon hats are... oh, who am I kidding, it's pretty much the same as a Stetson. And I've still got 137 more years to go...."
But seriously, TF is pretty much right; ultimately, either Moffat or one of his successors will deal with this problem when the time comes, unless by some coincidence ratings happen to be plummeting just as 13 is planning on retiring. --99.33.26.0 04:30, May 7, 2011 (UTC)
I guess that it's changed so much between The Brain of Morbius and The Deadly Assasin, that if it's that changable, it could change back again.
Gallifrey102 09:46, May 7, 2011 (UTC)

You can read Neil Gaiman's take on it (http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2011/may/16/neil-gaiman-doctor-who-doctors-wife?commentpage=2#comment-10776893), although he makes it pretty clear that it's just his opinion, and he doesn't know what Moffat thinks any more than we do:

It's interesting, that rule. It was obviously bendable to begin with (the Time Lords gave the Master a whole new round of regenerations). So I've always thought that it was more a law like a speed limit is a law than like Gravity is a law.
And if there are no longer any police to make you observe the speed limit, you can drive as fast as you like. Although it's a lot more dangerous.

I really like that answer. There are lots of things that seem to work the same way in the new series (e.g., changing history isn't against anyone's rules anymore, but there's no one to help when it goes wrong and blows up the universe). The only problem is that it doesn't work for the Master. In The Deadly Assassin, he was so desperate for a new cycle of regenerations that he went to Goth for help. And it can't be because the Time Lords were preventing him from regenerating--they had no power over him until he returned to Gallifrey with Goth. But I think you can retcon that away. Maybe the Time Lords were just assuming that the 13 limit was the problem, but actually the only reason he couldn't regenerate was the damage he suffered on Terserus (Susan's psychic attack in Legacy of the Daleks), or what he did to survive it? --99.170.145.26 03:57, May 18, 2011 (UTC)

...and when the Timelords said 'there's no plan that will postpone death', they meant 'the law knows no boundaries' kind of thing.

Gallifrey102 14:45, May 18, 2011 (UTC)

What, Time Lords being pompous and legalistic? Never! :)
I can almost imagine the Master going to the Council and saying, "Either you let me have 13 more regenerations, or I'm going to destroy Gallifrey to get them," and getting the reply, "We pored over the Regulations and Ordinances of Rassilon, and there's no precedent for variance. We just don't have the authority, so I'm afraid you'll have to destroy Gallifrey. Thank you for your inquiry. "
More seriously, if there were _really_ "no plan", Rassilon wouldn't be immortal, Omega couldn't have come back, and the Council couldn't have later resurrected the Master to fight in the Time War. Not to mention all of the Master's other plans that successfully postponed death. So, even if they were being literal and sincere, they were obviously wrong. --99.170.145.26 17:07, May 18, 2011 (UTC)

I can't really see the Master speaking to the council and then being allowed to go free. The Doctor was exiled to Earth for crimes that weren't nearly as terrible as the things the Master had done. Rassilon's immortality basically involved him becoming a giant floating head, Omega probably just willed himself back into existance, and most of the Maser's plans involved more than simply breaking the regeneration limit. If all you had to do was avoid the Timelords to break the regeneration limit, why would the Master have become the decaying Tersurus Master, tried to use the eye of harmony too gain a new cycle of regenerations (twice), and posessed two different people's bodies. If the Timelords were the ones who stopped people from breaking the regeneration limit, then why would Borusa, the leader of the Timelords, gone to such great and complicated lengths to gain immortality. If they do want to continue the show after the 13th Doctor is ready to leave, they could come up with some explanation, but the Timelords being gone isn't a valid explanation.Icecreamdif 20:30, May 18, 2011 (UTC)

I won't comment on your silly attempts to refute the joking part of the last post.
But as for the rest: none of your arguments disputes the point that "there is no plan that will postpone death" is, if taken literally, completely untrue, or at best a massive exaggeration. You're right that it's not easy, or without consequences, but it obviously is possible.
And the Time Lords aren't completely irrelevant here. The reason more people didn't try what the Omega or the Master did was almost certainly that the Time Lords wouldn't have allowed it, and not many others would dare to defy them. And the Master's resurrection (and presumably Rassilon's) had to be done by the High Council.
So, it's probably a little of both. Going from 13 to 14 will likely have to be more than "just another regeneration", and it will _also_ probably be something that wouldn't have been allowed if the Time Lords were still around. (It obviously won't be something evil, like stealing someone else's body, but there were plenty of things the Time Lords didn't allow that weren't evil, as the Doctor learned multiple times.) --99.35.132.17 21:20, May 20, 2011 (UTC)
It would appear to me to be a case of 'You can regenerate many times, but a thirteenth very risky and life threatening, so the law is that you're only allowed twelve.'
Gallifrey102 21:25, May 20, 2011 (UTC)

The cassicc series always depicted the regeneration cycle as a law, like the law of gravity, not like a s speed limit. People can't try what Omega did, because Omega was a very special case, in that he lived in a seperate universe, where his will was the law. It has never been unexplained how the Master survived after he died before The Deadly Asassin or after the beginning of The TV Movie, but I can't see the Doctor doing ever surviving in either those ways. The ressurections that the Master and Rassillon both underwent are less likely to be possible now that the Timelords are dead, and nobody has actually come up with a reasonable explanation (apart from it being a joke) as to why the Doctor calims the limit is 507.Icecreamdif 22:09, May 20, 2011 (UTC)

The BFAs seem to go along with Gallifrey102's suggestion. Rassilon couldn't figure out a way to combat the "biogenic molecular decay" caused by repeated regenerations, so he hard-coded a limit of 12. Presumably, removing that limit would be relatively easy, but that wouldn't get you past the whole decay problem--which would explain both why there's a law against it, and why only the insane dare try to break that law.
Anyway, if you want to stick with TV, the only explanation we've ever gotten was in Mawdryn Undread, where 5 says that Time Lords are born with 12 "packets of regeneration energy", which is presumably why they only get 12 regenerations. If you go with this, it's sort of a physical law--the only way to regenerate more than 12 times is to get more packets from somewhere--and a political law--you're not allowed to get more packets.
That would explain why the Master tried to extort a new cycle of 12 from the Council. And presumably his plan to blow up Gallifrey with the Eye of Harmony involved harnessing that energy to recharge his used-up packets or to charge up a supply of new packets. If you really wanted to, you could even make sense of RTD's 507 joke this way--there was an emergency supply of spare packets that the Doctor managed to salvage from somewhere, probably while he was recovering the Moment, so now he has 500 left instead of 6. The only problem with all of this is that it's just so literal, so simplistic, and so ridiculous that you just don't want the writers to take it seriously.
Anyway, whatever explanation you go with, it seems pretty clear that going beyond 13 incarnations is nowhere near impossible, but also nowhere near routine, so it comes down to what I said before: becoming the 14th Doctor will probably be something more than just another regeneration, and will likely involve something that wouldn't have been allowed under the old regime. --99.35.132.17 23:17, May 20, 2011 (UTC)
Well, one thing's for sure: If it is a rule, which it may or may not be, The Doctor's never really been one for those...
Gallifrey102 23:21, May 20, 2011 (UTC)

At The Sixth Doctor's trial The Master told the court, including The Doctor, the The Valyard came from a failed regeneration between his twelfth and last regeneration:

  1. Between is not inclusive, so The Valyard was not created from either The Doctor's twelfth OR last regeneration
  2. Why would The Master mention both twelth and last if they were the same regeneration
  3. New Who has an easy explanation because of the change in fx - Classic regenerations (from internal energy packets) were generally some kind of wipe to white then back to the new actor while New regenerations are a burst of gold energy just like is contained in the heart of the TARDIS. It is in fact becoming more violent each time, which is another issue which will need to be covered. An easy cannon explanation can be given wherein The Doctor somehow linked himself to the TARDIS energy when he was time-locking Gallifray
  4. If you differentiate by fx, taking 8th to be the beginning of the TARDIS energy-based, then The Doctor has only used 7 internal regenerations and has several left
  5. M. Gail P. 07:34, September 22, 2011 (UTC)

Doesn't matter any more. Take a look at LET'S KILL HITLER.Boblipton 08:02, September 22, 2011 (UTC)

Just going to throw my own idea in the ring: The Time Lords can give new regeneration cycles and resurrected the Master and gave him a new set during TLGTW, what's not to say they renewed all Time Lords regeneration cycles during the war? That means the 8th Doctor could have had a whole new set which he has used 3 or 4 (depending on whether the Meta-Crisis counts which I personally believe it does). The Light6 12:07, September 22, 2011 (UTC)

Both RTD and Moffat have said the Meta-Crisis doesn't count, so I don't think whoever's writing at the time of the 12th Doctor's regeneration is going to agree with you there. But your idea of giving everyone new cycles during the War does kind of make sense; I don't think it's what RTD intended, but I don't think he's ever denied it, or said anything to rule it out. In his DWM story, RTD talked about Time Lords dying and regenerating countless times, or something like that. It's not clear whether that means they just repeated the same death and regeneration over and over, locked in a time loop, or whether it means they got more regenerations whenever they ran out. (Also, in the novels, for the previous War, there's something about Romana III deciding it was more efficient to loom new Gallifreyans from scratch than to reuse the old ones, which implies that they _could_ have reused the old ones; once that War and that Romana were written out of history, Romana II or Rassilon could have made the opposite decision in the next War.) It's not clear whether they have to actually ressurect people back to the 1st incarnation to give them another 13 (which wouldn't help the Doctor, because we know he didn't have any additional bodies between his 8th and 9th) or can just "top them up" to 12 more on the fly (which would). So, maybe a later writer could decide to interpret it your way without any real problems.
M. Gail P.: Master said that the Valeyard was created somewhere between the Doctor's 12th and final incarnations, not regenerations. The 12th incarnation is the result of the 11th regeneration, not the 12th and final one. And, while I only have the novelisation here, but from what he says, it sounds like the Valeyard was extracted or created either as a side-effect of the 12th regeneration, or at some time before or after it, not in some additional "failed regeneration". Finally, the Valeyard is from just one possible future of the Doctor, so he may not happen anyway. And I'm not sure what difference all this would make anyway—even if you're right and he uses up an additional regeneration to create the Valeyard, that just means he's only got one left for himself instead of two.
As for the FX, I don't think that's intended to mean anything, any more than we're supposed to believe that the first two Doctors were actually black & white. But if you do want to take it seriously, compare the 1st regeneration to the 4th-6th, and it's as different as the 9th-10th are. --70.36.140.19
You'd think that if we're talking about "12 packets of regeneration energy", the meta-crisis would count as one... Toppingdaywhat_spiffing 17:21, September 22, 2011 (UTC)

Maybe the meta-crisis counts, but the Time Lords forcing 2 to regenerate into 3 doesn't count since they forced the regeneration by artificial means. They never said regenereation, they just said they would force him to change his appearance. The two balance eachother out, and the Doctor has now used up ten regenreations.Icecreamdif talk to me 12:11, October 14, 2011 (UTC)

according to lore, the number of regenerations a timelord is born with is a matter of chance in genetics, they can be born with the energy of 3 of them or three million, its all just luck of the draw, the whole 11 regenerations was introduced during the old dr who, in which it was stated that the energy was "surgically removed" to use common terms or "surgically applied" so that all graduates from the academy had 12 regenerations, the excess energy stores were then held by the council of time lords against the darkest of days. the end of season 7 shows the doctor receiving a stream of energy, which one would assume were the stores of his regeneration energy that were taken by the academy, so, after his graduating the academy, yes he was able to regenerate 11 times, with the return of his natural energies, he is able to now regenerate a further 506 times. also as a few side notes: an induced regeneration is still a regeneration using a portion of the time fabric energy locked within the cell of a timelord, so 2's transformation into 3 counts as does 7's into the war doctor. the method doesn't matter, the energy expelled is what counts. The Valeyard is a side effect of regeneration, the excess potential of unused regeneration energy expelled after numerous regenerations could coalesce into a sentient form which is why the limit of 11 was made. all sources of information i have listed can be found in the side books released by the BBC some of the information is obscure and difficult to locate in the books, but it is available. this post was made at 7:07 am 4/2/15 and now ask yourselves the unanswerable question to know who this is