The “False Regeneration” Theory

This post will be about the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary episode, The Day of the Doctor.  If you haven’t seen it yet and wish to, leave this article NOW.  If you’re not a fan of Doctor Who, have never seen it, or don’t care about it, you won’t want to read this either.  Alright, onward to my theory!

Before I get into anything too complicated, I want to say that I loved Day of the Doctor.  I thought it was decently action packed, really funny, well acted on all counts, and just all around really good.  That said, like many things with Doctor Who, I thought it was a bit overly complicated.  And, because of its overcomplicated-ness, it was riddled with plot holes.  Now, I’m not going to attempt to explain away every plot hole.  I don’t have that kind of brain capacity.  However, last night, I developed a theory that may explain one that really bothered me:  John Hurt as The Doctor.  Before I can get into that, though, I have to explain why the theory was needed for me in the first place.

The Doctor regenerates himself into a new face whenever he dies (or is about to die).  If you’ve gotten this far into the article, you probably knew that already.  You also probably know that he apparently is only supposed to be able to do this 12 times, allowing for one man to have 13 faces.  Until the 50th, we had a set order with set numbers to set faces.  1) William Hartnell, 2) Patrick Troughton, 3) John Pertwee, 4) Tom Baker, 5) Peter Davison, 6) Colin Baker, 7) Sylvester McCoy, 8) Paul McGann, 9) Christopher Eccleston, 10) David Tennant, 11) Matt Smith, and the upcoming 12) Peter Capaldi.  However, thanks to the 50th Anniversary special, and especially this clip that was released online that was supposed to be watched before the episode, a wrench was thrown in the works. There was now an extra face between McGann and Eccleston:  John Hurt.

For me, this just didn’t make sense.  Did that mean that everyone after McGann is now one number up?  Did the Doctor have no regenerations left after the one to come this Christmas?  According to the current main writer and “show runner” of the show, Steven Moffat, no, the order’s not screwed up.  Why?  Because John Hurt’s Doctor wasn’t calling himself The Doctor.  He was a Warrior, NOT The Doctor.  So, he just “doesn’t count in the official timeline.”  I have major issues with this.  First, we clearly see Paul McGann’s Doctor turning into John Hurt’s Doctor in the above clip.  Second, simply put, I thought John Hurt’s Doctor, despite only really appearing in this special, did too well to not be counted.  I just liked him too much to just say he “doesn’t count.”  It’s like an insult to the man, sweeping him and his performance under the rug because it screwed with long known continuity.

The problem is, Steven Moffat is arguing grammar and semantics in an argument about math.  Twelve plus one is always going to equal thirteen.  There’s simply no way around it.  How can you make twelve plus one still equal twelve?  Unless “plus one” wasn’t really a “plus one.”  Here’s what I mean.

If you watched the above clip, you saw the 8th Doctor, McGann, crash on a planet and is approached by the Sisterhood of Karn.  They say that the Doctor has 4 more minutes to live and offer him a potion.  The potion, while apparently not saving him, would allow him to chose the type of person he’d regenerate into.  Every time before and since, the Doctor had no control about what type of person he’d become.  Now, in the middle of the literal biggest war of all time, the Doctor chooses to become a warrior.  He basically feels that he can do more good now as a warrior than as the Doctor.  Thus, he drinks the potion and regenerates, turning into John Hurt.

My theory:  What if that wasn’t a regeneration?  To put it a different way, what if it wasn’t a “natural” regeneration?  The Sisterhood says that the potion the Doctor drinks will trigger a regeneration and make him anything he wants to be.  However, he takes the potion before he really dies.  My thinking is that the potion saved his life before he died and reformed him, NOT regenerated him.  So, instead of him regenerating into a completely different Doctor, he instead becomes different version of the 8th Doctor, one more equipped and willing to fight in the Time War.  In essence, the regeneration is more of a reformation, a false regeneration brought on by advanced technology (as the Sisterhood calls it) rather than a natural one brought on by a Time Lord’s natural ability.  So, instead of the 9th Doctor, John Hurt can be instead considered as Doctor 8.5.

I know it seems a bit overly complicated and unnecessary to make this theory.  The fact that I was even bothered by the plot hole at all shows how much of a nerd I am.  However, in my opinion, my theory makes about as much sense as any other theory.  Steven Moffat asking us to ignore John Hurt as the Doctor because he technically “wasn’t” is just rubbish.  I have already accepted my own theory as what happened much as other Whovians have developed their own theories about other such things.  If anyone would like to prove me wrong, I invite you to share your thoughts in the comments.  If you have any theories about anything else DW related, also feel free to let me know what they are.  I’m interested in reading a few.

Sorry for such a long, technological, and nerdy post from me today.  That’s just the kind of guy I am.  I will make the next blog much less confusing for those who are not all that much into Doctor Who yet.  It will still be about the show, though.  I’m simply in that kind of a mood right now.  Until next time, keep a look out for aliens in disappearing blue boxes.

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‘Tis the Season for Some Updates

Halloween has come and gone.  The Christmas decorations are on full display in almost every store.  Christmas commercials are playing on TV.  In short, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.  As such, I believe it’s high time for an update blog.  I’m just going to talk about a few odds and ends, getting some stuff off my chest, clarifying some things.

First, I’ll start off with big news.  Laura, of Laura’s Honest Ramblings, and I are engaged!  I proposed to her on the 1st of November.  I won’t go into details, but I will say that my proposal plans went off without a hitch.  So now I have a fiance.  Saying that is going to take some getting used to.  Anyway, moving away from the personal stuff.

I’m proud to say that Reader Beware Month was a fantastic success!  Not sure how, but I received a lot of new readers throughout the month.  To you new readers, hello there!  I will do my best to give you the best quality content I have.  Anyway, I have decided that the Reader Beware series shall continue!  It’s fun to read these horror stories and get my opinion on them out.  So it shall be the new on-going series from yours truly! That said, I will be taking a break from it for a while.

Which brings me to my next point.  It’s only days away from November 23.  Some of you won’t know what that means.  For the rest of us, Doctor Who is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary!  Being that I am a major Whovian (amongst other geeky titles), I will be conducting a little celebration of the occasion for the rest of the month and probably until the end of the year.  I hope you like or are curious about Doctor Who, because I’m going to talk about it a lot.

That’s all I really need to talk about.  All blogs until the rest of the year won’t be entirely about Doctor Who, but there will be a heavy focus on it.  For you non-Whovians, I will also be writing up “regular” blogs, for lack of a better term.  I’ve seen a few movies, TV shows, and played a few games recently that I’d love to review.  So expect some of those in the future.  Alright, this update is done.  I have no witty way to end it, so… Later!

Reader Beware Month: Still More Tales to Give You Goosebumps

Happy Halloween everyone!  It’s a night of tricks, treats, ghosts, monsters, magic and mayhem!  As such, I have saved a special book for today.  It’s the only Tales to Give You Goosebumps book I own.  It’s one made up of 10 short stories (mostly) all centered around Halloween, so it’s highly appropriate for today.

Since this is a book of short stories, things will be done a little differently today.  I’m going to try to give each story a short, one paragraph review.  The rest of this article will be long enough.  Onward to the review!

Pumpkin Juice:  My favorite story of the bunch, this story gives the book a strong start.  Two friends find a recipe in an old book to make them their “best on Halloween.”  Or was it beast?  It all takes place while the characters trick-or-treat.  Good pacing, good characters, and a good sense of danger.

Attack of the Tattoo:  Another good one, showing the dangers of not checking your treats.  The danger comes from a stick-on-tattoo that seems to be magic.  It’s creepy and probably the second best story of the bunch.  Suffers from scares being a bit one note and I don’t think snakes are very scary.

The Wish:  This one felt like a Twilight Zone episode.  A kid gets a magic rock that allows him to make one wish.  Shows what happens when you don’t word a wish carefully.  Probably the creepiest story of the bunch.  I felt the most bad for this kid out of all the others.

An Old Story:  Definitely the creepiest story of the bunch.  In short, it seems to involve pedophilia for me.  A group of old ladies try to make 12 year old boys old so they can marry them.  It really weirded me out to see a story like this in a Goosebumps book.  Very disturbing.  Also, Halloween isn’t even mentioned in it.

The Scarecrow:  The worst story in the book.  No scares, really.  The supernatural element turns out to be a trick.  It all smells of a moral gone wrong as it sort of implies that stealing is alright.

Awesome Ants:  Feels like a really cheesy sci-fi movies from the 50s.  Ants originally used for a science project start growing and growing.  The twist at the end is kind of funny.  Though, it boggles my mind how the kid didn’t notice his town overrun by ants while going to school.

Please Don’t Feed the Bears:  Probably the silliest of all the stories.  A family goes to Cuddle Bear Land for Halloween and finds out something sinister may be afoot.  The ending felt rushed and the twist felt karmic.  All in all, solid.

The Goblin’s Glare:  Kid makes a Halloween decoration that looks really scary then keeps having nightmares about it.  Became dull after two non-scares.  Ending was unpredictable, but the constant “it was all a dream”-ness of it made it boring.  Cool idea, bad execution.

Bats About Bats:  Two girls befriend a new girl who likes bats while they hate bats.  The girls seem a bit mean-spirited about their new friend’s interest.  Interesting story with a predictable twist.  If you have a fear of bats, this story may gross you out.  Main character felt paper thin.  Twist was set up alright.

The Space Suit Snatcher:  A kid obsessed with sending messages into space one night gets an answer.  The third best story with a good double twist.  It was also funny.

This collection is actually not that bad.  The stories are varied and creative with hardly any real stinkers among the bunch.  It was a good group of Halloween treats.  Speaking of, you all stay safe out there and have the happiest of Halloweens!