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Cespinarve said on November 24th, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Even the Time Lords enjoyed donuts.

Even the Time Lords never dared to wear socks with sandals.

Not even the Time Lords could understand why kids love the taste of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

(For best effect, read in the voice Michael Kramer uses for Loial in the Wheel of Time audibooks)

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I’d like to hear your really fanwanky theory, for what it’s worth.

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@Alarion: That the Moment is literally the last moment of the Time Lords and the Daleks, surgically removed from time by Time Lord technology and kept isolated in a time-proof box. So long as the box is sealed, that moment can’t happen.

@Cespinarve: EXACTLY. :)

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But now they’re going to have to explain how the Doctor was able to break a Fixed Point in Time without consequences (others that had tried went mad and destroyed themselves…).

Which might make the upcoming Capaldi era interesting if they do indeed make him the last regeneration… and bring back the Valeyard as his evil shadow self.

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UnlikelyLass said on November 24th, 2013 at 7:42 pm

There are at least two obvious ways to give the Doctor additional regenerations:

1. River poured all her remaining regenerations into the Doctor after she poisoned him. We have only seen three or four of hers, ever — the little girl in the spacesuit, Mel, and final stage. And maybe one or two between infancy and little girl in the spacesuit. That’s potentially another 7 or 8 regents for the doc.

2. The Flame of Everlasting Boredom, on Karn. The Master wanted to use it to achieve additional regenerations. Thanks to the Night of the Doctor, we know he’s already been exposed to it.

A third one — the Master was offered an additional cycle of regenerations as a reward in the Five Doctors. That means the Time Lords as a whole already have the ability to have more than twelve regens. Aside from that, however, we see the Master having been brought back and *given* more regens in his appearances in the new series (he had already used up his original set in the original series — all those from the Time War on are extras)

My point: the likelihood of them actually sticking to twelve only is vanishingly small. It’s too easy to wiggle out of…

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Instead of just ignoring or upping the regeneration limit, it might be interesting to change the mechanics- have the Doctor,s conciousness literally move from one (willing) host body to the next.It would certainly let them resolve that “why can’t the Doctor be something OTHER than a white guy?” Issue…and could help generate specific story arcs and relationships designed to take advantage of each new Doctor.

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Nobody found Day of the Doctor silly and contrived in a bad way? I mean, yes. “It was full of mawkish sentimentality and a complete disregard for its own mythology” is basically the dictionary definition of an episode of Doctor Who. But there are effective and ineffective ways of doing it.

I mean, my god. The End of Time wasn’t that long ago. Nor was Victory of the Daleks. Did 11 not think to just say this to War Doctor and to 10:

“Hey, Doctors, good news; it turns out that Rassilon is about to hurl Gallifrey into a time pocket, where it won’t be able to fuck with the universe anymore but where everyone on it will be perfectly safe. We didn’t actually kill anyone when we pressed the button except for the Daleks! And guess what, we didn’t even get all the Daleks; they’ll be back, twice as mean as before. So everything turned out great; we didn’t perpetuate any kind of genocide, despite our best efforts.”

Then War Doctor presses the button and they all skive off for tea.

Seriously. They had to call in thirteen different regenerations to do something that the Time Lords were already going to do? What the fuck?

If 11 is so all-fired to go look for Gallifrey, he already knew that it survived and where it was; it was in the time pocket he and the Master kicked it into! He could have gone hunting for it at any point! He was able to forget how many children he killed when he pressed the red button because it turns out the number was ZERO.

Also: all of the Queen Elizabeth stuff was just… ugh. Moffat is incapable of doing any big production without all the issues he has with women being on display somewhere, I suppose.

Finally: John Hurt is truly an amazing actor. He made a wonderful Doctor. He needs to be in all of the things, and the fact that he isn’t yet SIR John Hurt is a travesty.

But he did nothing in Day of the Doctor that Paul McGann, who has still got it, people, couldn’t have done.

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As I understand the original ending of the Time War were both banished outside of time. This one, the Time Lords are and the Daleks kill themselves in crossfire. Does this make them constantly bringing back Daleks easier to stomach since crossfire wouldn’t necessarily get everyone

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My personal theory about the regenerations was that there was a finite amount of regeneration energy and each Time Lord was ‘given’ 12 units of it when they graduated into being a Time Lord. With Gallifrey gone, that energy was now in the possession of the Doctor. Alternately, 12 was an abitrary limit, imposed to preserve the sanity of any given Time Lord. That would help explain the Master’s evil and allow the Doctor to safely have however many regenerations he needs.

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drmedula: The Corsair already gave them in-universe precedent for gender-swapping regenerations, and there’s no reason skin color couldn’t also change.

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Did no one here watch the last season of Sarah Jane Adventures? Just me? Okay then

The Doctor shows up in the serial Death of the Doctor and Clyde asks him how many regenerations he has and the Doctor says it maxes out at around 500 or so. There. Plenty of regenerations left. Can we stop talking about this as though it were something worth discussing? As Dr. Sanford pointed out on some entry or another, the idea the show would willingly limit itself by a hard regeneration limit is the stupidest thing imaginable and we all really, really need to stop giving a crap about something so asinine.

Remember the time the Time Lords just up and gave the master a new regeneration cycle in The Five Doctors? Even the Time Lords don’t give a shit about regeneration limits.

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@Cespinarve – I doubt many Whovians expect the twelve regenerations to be a hard limit. Heck, if anyone’s seen three eps of Who, they’ve probably seen enough that their optimism or reality-warping abilities must be fearsome if they expect continuity.

However, it is MUCH more fun to speculate how they could get around a strong regeneration limit than to think they’ll ignore it. Heck, the Thirteen is such fanlore that I’d be bitterly disappointed if we quietly slid from 13 to 14 without a single episode angering about how the Doctor is out of regenerations. I think most fans want to see that show, not out of suspense as to whether they’ll find a workaround, but rather as to which of the hundreds of options are chosen. It’s an interesting plot possibility.

On the flip side, I hope the Doctor was lying about the 500. Limiting his regens also helps counterbalance the overwhelming Time Lord power, like the broken chameleon circuit counterbalances the TARDIS. I don’t mind there always being a solution, but I want the problem, the limitations. Because like with all superheroes, the limitations are ultimately more interesting than the powers.

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@Cespinarve

I’ll take any number of fans getting into hyper-techinical and almost certainly pointless fanwank-laden debates about nothing over being superior in telling fans they shouldn’t discuss whatever the holy hell they feel like discussing, thanks.

Sure, it would clearly be a mistake for the show to feel like it had to address the 13D issue even if the writers couldn’t find a way to make it interesting. Continuing the show is preferable to ending the show, so suggesting 13D must be resolved for Who to go forward is obviously insane.

But I’ve been active in Who fandom since the end of the ’80s, and if someone has actually this position (whose surname isn’t Levine), I would be amazed. It’s an obvious straw-man.

And once you remove that hypothetical group of fans, who are you really addressing? People who desperately want the writers of the show to come up with a cool way to portray something they’ve been talking about for longer than I’ve been alive. Now, if you want to state that it’s categorically impossible for that story to be good, fair play to you. That strikes me as kind of a hard sell, though. Contra Seavey’s points above, Gallifrey proved boring in practice, not because of its central premise. That premise could just as easily be interpreted as to be repressive and unempathic, rather than boring, and a Gallifrey like that, in the midst of the Doctor facing actual true certain death for the first time in over a millennia of existence, strikes me as something one could work with.

But if there’s essentially no-one arguing the 13D story literally mustbe told, and it’s implausible in the extreme to argue it simply cannot be told, then what’s left? Some people care much more about certain aspects of Who lore than you do. Wanting to see this story told is no more “asinine” than wanting to bring the Macra back (a comparison I make very deliberately; one of the things that infuriated me most about RTD was that he was a massive Doctor Who fan who was a sneering dick to other massive Doctor Who fans because they enjoyed the show in ways he didn’t value).

In short, “show goes on without mentioning 13D” > “show stops” is an obvious formulation for all fans. “Show goes on without mentioning 13D” > “show goes on whilst mentioning 13D” is a personal preference with no greater claim to the truth than “new Silurians” > “old Silurians” or “no kissing” > “kissing”. We are all gloriously free to pick and choose whatever aspects of Who lore we value and find interesting, and which changes and omissions we judge wise, even when this glorious, messy, ad-hoc show provides us with two or more contradictory options (just what did happen to Atlantis?), as Kirala ably proves in their comment following yours.

People are free to find that discussion as boring and pointless and dusty as they wish. But in the context of a program that the mainstream derided as naff and embarrassing when it bothered to remember it at all, it bothers me when one group of fans tells another group there is something wrong with how they extract enjoyment from their shared love of the show.

(Unless said fans are, explicitly or otherwise, failing to deal with genuine problems, like the white male privilege the show still hasn’t divorced itself from. Personally, my greatest hope is that the Doctor gets a whole new set of thirteen regenerations and comes back as a non-white woman. “Yes, the blue flame can have that effect”, some random Time Lord says, and voila. Thousands of “I’m not racist, but…” fans suddenly face their worst nightmare: a show that has finally left them behind.)

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@Murc: That was kinda’ my thought.

1) Gallifrey had already been “saved” by Rassilon. The Doctor knew this, but apparently forgot somehow?
2) I -loved- Hurt as the Doctor, but McGann could’ve done everything just as easily. It would’ve been a cleaner transition to have kept him, and it would’ve played nicely on the whole “we don’t like to talk about that incarnation” joke by making it into something dark and epic.
3) Not sure what your problem with the Queen was though. As a throw-away character (i.e. someone who is in a single episode, and isn’t even the main point of the episode), she fit the bill fine.
4) On a side note, what consensus did the humans and the Zygons reach? I thought the trick to get them to talk was amusing (if thin), but at the end of their discussions they had to reach some sort of agreement. And since the Zygons were here to -conquer- the earth for invasion and colonization, I’m not sure what accord could be reached (“okay, we want two-thirds of Asia, and Hawaii on the weekends, or else we let you blow up London!”)

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The best argument I’ve seen regarding why the Doctor should be a woman is the idea Doctor Who (in any era) reflects current British geek fandom. And since women are a large part of British geek fandom, the Doctor should reflect that.

But minorities are also a part of British geek fandom as well, and play an influence on the culture. And while Martha was a nice Companion, I think we can agree that the Doctor could work just fine as a minority. To properly reflect the influence on geek culture.

But American influence is also strong on the fandom as well (seriously, show me a Doctor Who fan who’s never heard of Star Wars, Star Trek, Firefly, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.). So using the same logic, we can’t deny the influence of Americans on British geek culture, so the Doctor should be an American.

And finally, Doctor Who is a pop culture phenomenon, with pop culture and geek culture sharing more in common these days than ever before. So it makes sense for the Doctor to be a pop celebrity.

Therefore, the next Doctor should be played by Beyonce Knowles.

Personally though, what I’d rather see is the Rani brought back in an episode as a lead in to a spin-off series. Possibly played by Jaime Murray (she’s got talent and range, and is much more affordable long term than most other names I see bandied about).

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Regarding the Rassilon-did-it-first issue, there are two possible responses. First, it may be that the Doctor’s solution pre-empts Rassilon in such a way that he doesn’t end up determined to escape and restart the Time War, or that he can’t even try. Sure, the Doctor opened a door to push Gallifrey through, just as Rassilon did. It’s not necessarily the same door, and Rassilon does not necessarily have the right key.

The problem with this is obvious, of course; it removes the proximate cause of the 10th Doctor’s regeneration. The other solution therefore is that this was never about the fact that the Doctor did obliterate Gallifrey, but that he actively tried. The fact that two hundred years later he learned he hadn’t actually killed any of his own people (just gazillions of Daleks along with who knows how many others near their installations) doesn’t wash clean his conscious choice to commit genocide. Changing the timeline so that he made a different choice seems to me a massively big deal for the Eleventh Doctor, even if we know War Doctor and Doctors Nine and Ten will all forget the change was made.

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“Gallifrey had already been “saved” by Rassilon.”

But wasn’t this a special kind of time pocket that they had to come out of at the appointed time or suffer the full effect of being all killy-willied?

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TheAlmightyKfish said on November 25th, 2013 at 11:24 am

Maybe I’m remembering wrong, but I’m pretty sure Rassilon’s solution had the side effect of ending time itself and killing the entirety of existence in order to save the Time Lords and turn them into higher beings? Thus why The Doctor launched them back into the Time War to be (as far as he knew) annihilated by The Moment.

The Doctor(s) shunting Gallifrey into a random universe, frozen in time so to all observers it looks like it has been annihilated both saves them and doesn’t kill everyone everywhere everywhen, so really is much better than Rassilon’s solution.

That being said, if he does go and find Gallifrey at some point, Rassilon and all the axe crazy Time Lords using ridiculous weapons would still be there…

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…with The Master: the REAL reason Gallifrey was saved.

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@TheAlmightyKfish, Murc: Yes, that’s correct. Murc is misremembering the content of ‘The End of Time’. Rassilon’s plan was to circumvent the use of the Moment by moving the Time War to present-day Earth, which would give him enough time to end the War by ending the entire universe, with a handwavium pre-installed that would allow the Time Lords to survive as non-corporeal entities that didn’t need space or time to exist. The Doctor stopped this plan, which did not shunt Gallifrey back into a pocket universe but instead moved it right back to its proper place and time to await the end of the War and the Doctor’s use of the Moment.

And in this story, we find out that the Doctor never used the Moment after all and shunted Gallifrey into a pocket universe instead. This is not a contradiction, unless you count the possibility that as soon as the Doctor finds the planet, he’s going to have to kill Rassilon. :)

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Enlight_bystand said on November 25th, 2013 at 2:45 pm

The really good thing about this solution is that although it removed the destruction of Galifrey, it didn’t actually bring it back. It’s still locked away, and can probably stay that way for at least the majority of Capaldi’s regeneration (I hope)

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I find it funny people are worrying about this episode contradicting the End of Time. When you are worrying about an excellent piece of television contradicting a ludicrous over indulgent piece of nonsense, you are worrying about the wrong thing. What next, concerns about how the Doctor doesn’t seem to be half human anymore?

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mister k: You’re going to want to sit down for this. I know it’s a shock, but someone had to tell you sooner or later.

Many people liked “The End of Time.” In fact, many people hold opinions that are not the same as your opinions.

I’ll give you a second to process all this new information.

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I wanted to give myself a cooldown period after watching it because initially I didn’t like any of it. On reflection I still didn’t like parts of it, but there are parts I quite liked.

As John said, the special gave us an excuse to have various iterations of the Doctor interacting with each other, and on that end it was pulled off very well. I also really liked the neat tie-in that The Doctor began life having run away from Gallifrey, and at the end of his “current” regeneration cycle, he’s now trying to return to it. That’s some nice book ending.

The negotiations with the Zygons was also fun, but if you’ve got one side who want to invade a planet because they would really like to conquer this world and use their people as slaves, and the other side who would rather this didn’t happen. Hopefully the plan was to put the Zygons back in stasis, and then wake up at the same time as the Silurians so the two of them fight it out.

The massive retconning to what happened in the Time War just doesn’t sit well with me, especially since now it seems like the Time Lords were mostly sitting on their planet getting shot at, and that was it because the disappearance of Gallifrey meant the permanent end of the Time Lords (or so it appeaaaaaaared). Also even suggesting that making the planet disappear so that the Daleks would all shoot each other to death (or so it apeaaaaaaaaaared) and then get rid of the Dalek problem forever would work is just so monumentally stupid

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While I’ll grant that Paul McGann could have been the War Doctor, I think part of the reasoning for having it be its own regeneration is not disrespecting the 8th Doctor more than he already has been.

Could he have done the heavy lifting? Yes. But right now, the only substantial TV time he’s gotten was the TV movie, and The Night of the Doctor. Giving him a whole episode to be genocidal would be twisting him into a shape that doesn’t fit. Even if McGann was up for it (obviously I have no idea what his thoughts would be on this proposal, but I can see him saying no), it might have seemed a bridge too far. And for all we know, The Night of the Doctor is essentially a test balloon; not for a whole 8th Doctor run of episodes made today (imagine the continuity wank THAT would require), but for future crossovers/flashbacks to his incarnation.

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People *LIKED* the End of Time??!?

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TheAlmightyKfish said on November 25th, 2013 at 11:10 pm

Personally I enjoyed the End of Time. Some of the Master stuff was a bit hammy (and I guess the end of Ten was too) but Tennant was the defining Doctor of the new series and it was a great farewell to him. Plus it justified the question that has been overlooking all of New Who, which was what made it necessary for The Doctor to wipe out the Time Lords alongside the Daleks (who were pretty much established as the most dangerous race throughout all of time and space by that point in the revival series).

One other thought I had about the 50th (which is somewhat irrelevant and fan-theoryey) is the idea that The Moment might have been protecting itself and its creators. I mean its been established that it’s a sentient Time Lord weapon, it would make somewhat sense that it would try to save the only people who would keep it alive/operational, despite the fact that by this point in the Time War it has been said the Time Lords were nearly as bad as the Daleks in the extremes they were going to. I mean a conscience is one thing, but a conscience that would defend a people who at this stage were happy to tear time and space apart to fight a losing war seems somewhat convenient. Especially as it seems to be fairly omniscient, and Rassilon’s plan at this point is essentially the same as what the Daleks and Davros plan to do in Journey’s End.

I mean, this might (almost certainly) never be addressed but I think it could be somewhat interesting.

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My assumption about the whole End of Time/Day of the Doctor questions was that the General’s comments about “the high council being out contact [sic]” took care of that. As far as Gallifrey was concerned, the events of EoT were effectively being done by Rassilon and the council in the Tower while the events of DotD were happening in Arcadia around the military leadership. When his comment is made that the council’s plans have failed before the pack of TARDISes arrive, I read that to mean that Ten had beaten them (and the Master was now in the Tower fighting Rassilon) in the climax of EoT (relativistically-speaking) and it was now up to them to deal with the Dalek threat.

Ironically, for all of his talk of timey-wimey things, it puts Ten involved in both the Tower and Arcadia nearly simultaneously on the last day of the war, but seems basically internally-consistent given the info we have as viewers (remember that what Earth sees of Gallifrey via the white diamond is not necessarily what spacetime around Gallifrey itself sees of the circumstances while the council sets Rassilon’s plan in motion)…

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I thought Rassilon’s plan was more “destroy the universe and become pure energy” and less “move us all safely into a pocket dimension”.

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But now they’re going to have to explain how the Doctor was able to break a Fixed Point in Time without consequences

By having the outcome look exactly the same to any outside observer, his own previous incarnations included? What was actually fixed was the destruction of the Dalek fleet and the disappearance of Gallifrey, which is why Rassilon’s attempt remained such a Hail Mary pass, as he was still trying to meddle with a fixed outcome.

… Hmm, faking the “death” of Gallifrey to get around its supposedly foreordained destruction. Where could Eleven have gotten that idea?

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Marionette said on November 26th, 2013 at 6:04 pm

Regarding the 12 Regenerations limit: it seems obvious to me that Moffat is all over that story, and one of the reasons for introducing the War Doctor at all was so that he could do that story before he stepped down as showrunner.

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I would prefer that the Doctor regenerates past the standard limitation, and not even he knows why he keeps regenerating. It could be a source of fan speculation, and the Doctor would never know if he will regenerate or just die.

The Doctor mentioned that Gallifreyans traveling through the time vortex over millions of years were altered by the experience and were magically given the ability to regenerate (in A Good Man Goes To War). And the Doctor has also mentioned that he’s time traveled possibly more than anybody who has ever lived. Maybe the vortex has altered him and removed his regen limits. Or the White Guardian did it.

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[…] In the comments for Christopher Bird’s take on “The Day of the Doctor,” one commentator rolls their eyes at fans speculating over how the show will handle the regeneration cap—after all, they can’t really think the show will end, right? SpaceSquid takes them on with a brilliant comment: […]

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