Looking Back From The Twelfth Regeneration

They say you do not know a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes. But, as of December 2013, twelve people have been cast into the role of the famed Doctor of the British science fiction series Doctor Who.

They say you do not know a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes. But, as of December 2013, twelve people have been cast into the role of the famed Doctor of the British science fiction series Doctor Who. With a wardrobe spanning back twelve lifetimes, the good Doctor might need to spend time online learning about how to better organize his laundry room to manage all those costumes he is known for throughout his various regenerations.

Following in the footsteps of the eleventh incarnation of the Doctor, Matt Smith, the newer incarnation, Peter Capaldi, is sure to raise a few eyebrows among the series’ fan base. With a more snappy Scottish accent and a stronger alien like persona, Capaldi is portrayed as being a more unreliable doctor, less interested in humanity, and more rough around the collar. It is a Doctor that tends to reach back into the older days of the series, blending elements from such incarnations as William Hartnell, John Pertwee, and Peter Davison.

A Look Back From The Top Of The Mountain

When the twelfth incarnation of the Doctor occurs, the lifespan of the Doctor has carried on for well over 1,000-years. This is not the young Doctor of the older series, although Capaldi has tried to keep in mind character aspects of all those actors in his attempt to position himself in the character’s role. Nor is this the accessible friendly Doctor of the Smith and Tenant years, harboring some of the rude tendencies of earlier incarnations, such as the Tom Baker and Christopher Eccleston incarnations. Though critics tend to speak of Capaldi’s flare as being wise and more disconnected, it is a role that the older actor must reign in to bring his own unique style to. It is perhaps a good sign that some of the critics who write for the British media have pointed out that Capaldi has all the needed traits to be a classic incarnation of the Doctor. This is a good sign, even if the Doctor is struggling in this incarnation to better understand himself and where he has come from.

Regenerations

all-12-doctors

Apart from the fact that the character of the Doctor has regenerated often throughout the run of the series since 1963, it is perhaps a difficult transition for the character to make, constantly having to help others understand that when his regeneration occurs, his physical form often changes. In the old series, the component for this property of a Time Lord’s ability to regenerate was introduced in the Tom Baker years in the episode entitled, ‘The Brain Of Morbius.’

The substance that made this ability possible was simply termed the elixir of life and was guarded by a strange group of women known as the Sisterhood of Karn on the planet of Karn where an evil Time Lord was being harbored by an eccentric brain surgeon, who was trying to keep the Time Lord’s brain alive to transport it into a new suitable body. It was a classic rethinking of the Frankenstein scenario, but it helped loyal fans of the show to better understand how the Time Lord’s were able to cheat death in times of serious injury. Thus, the idea of how the time Lord’s regenerate was no longer a deep mystery to fans, giving rise to how it was possible to make it through to the twelfth incarnation of the Doctor.

Anna is a freelance writer and researcher from the Olympia, WA area who loves to obsess about weird topics and then write about them. When she isn't writing, she is outside on her bike and contemplating her eventual trip to graduate school.
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