Why Matt Smith is really the 13th Doctor…

Okay, after the revelation in “The Name of the Doctor” that the Ninth Doctor is really John Hurt and it was him that did for the Daleks and the Timelords in the Time War and not Eccles…

we have to re-think things a little.

First off, I reckon a Retcon on this scale is unprecedented and kudos to The Moff if he can really pull it off in November. So our list of Doctors, as we always knew it up until yesterday had Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor. So far, so canonical.

However, if John Hurt is really the Ninth Doctor, the Forgotten Doctor, then that makes Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor the Tenth incarnation, which means in turn that David Tennant`s Tenth Doctor is really the Eleventh.

Which means that Matt Smith is now the Twelfth Doctor.

Or does it?

Let’s think about this for a minute…

David`s Doctor had a regeneration, in “The Stolen Earth”, which admittedly wasn’t completed, “Ten” storing the rest of the energy in his handy spare hand. But he still regenerated, which means, to my mind at least, that if he didn’t have his handy spare hand to hand, he would have changed [ presumably into Matt] at the end of that ep instead of End of Time Part 2.

So that means, the way I see it, that there are two incarnations of the Doctor that look exactly the same, that is, they both look like David Tennant.

So David Tennant is really the Eleventh AND Twelfth Doctors. A regeneration is a regeneration, it was still used up, only “Ten” didn`t change at the end of it, he just saved up the energy he din’t need  after his body healed itself and didn’t change. But a regeneration was still triggered and one of the Doctor’s regenerations was used up, even though it didn’t result in a change in the Doctor`s appearance.

Which makes Matt Smith the Thirteenth Doctor, and, if you want to get all Classic Who Canon about it, The Last Doctor!

Think about it – when Clara was in the Doctor`s Timeline, just before Doctor Hurt turned up, she said she only saw Eleven Doctors and that Hurt was the only one she hadn’t seen.

That means that the Doctor who dies at Trenzalore is Doctor Matt, since Clara stepped into his entire timeline and didn’t see one future Doctor…

When the Doctor/Teselecta got shot on the beach in The Impossible Astronaut, he/it started to regenerate. Now that could have been just for effect, to convince River, Amy & Rory that he was dead since he got shot mid-regeneration… or it could mean that he does have other regenerations after all, if the Teselecta made an exact copy…

So when Matt does finally leave the show, I wonder what the explanation, if any, will be for the Fourteenth Doctor, because that`s who Matt`s succesor, whoever it is, will be…



Filed under Doctor Eleven, Fiftieth Anniversary, Other Doctors, Regeneration, Retcon, Series Seven, Steven Moffat

33 responses to “Why Matt Smith is really the 13th Doctor…

  1. I figured they’d just ignore the whole ‘only 13 regenerations’ thing. They’ve done it with the Master, after all, since he’d reached his final regeneration at the time of the TV movie, but has had at least two since then.

    • whopix

      Like Moffat has said before, when the time comes, they’ll make something up! I just thought it was interesting that the addition of Doctor Hurt means we`ve reached the Classic Series` Doctor Limit already!

  2. Pick 'n' Mix

    River gave up her regeneration energy (ooer!) to save his life last year. They could simply say that she gave him a new set of regenerations as well.

    • whopix

      true, good point!

    • Caitlyn

      She was into her third(as far as we know), so she gave him about ten regenerations. And he probably used at least two on healing himself from the poison.

      • whopix

        maybe, but I doubt it. I reckon he would have snuffed it if River hadn’t given him her regenrations. Whether that’s what gives him extra bodies after 13 we will have to wait and see…

  3. In the Tom Baker story The Brain of Morbious, The Doctor enters a mind bending contest where faces of previous regenerations are shown on a screen. As the Doctor loses and previous regenerations are displayed Morbius asks, “How far, Doctor? How long have you lived?”. Eight other faces previous to William Hartnell are shown before Morbius’s artificial head shorts out and ends the contest.

    The clip can be found on youtube if you search for Dr Who Mind Bending.

    By these calculations Matt Smith is at least the 20th regeneration of The Doctor.

    • whopix

      yeah, thanks for that, I remember watching the episode when it first went out…

      Clara states that she saw Eleven Doctors and that Doctor Hurt was the only one she didn`t see, therefore it would appear that Steven Moffat doesn’t regard this infamous ill-judged “joke”as canonical. Neither do I. And even if you are one of the minority who do – Time War!

      Hartnell is, was, and always will be, the First Doctor.

      • Sean

        There was actually one theory floating around at one point that Tom Baker was the 13th Doctor, and the Watcher was a new set of regenerations. Completely and utterly wrong, but I think it’s an interesting idea.

    • The other faces your are seeing in that story are meant to represent the previous incarnations of Morbius, not The Doctor.

  4. Ten

    what about when the doctor gave a regeneration to fix River Song’s broken wrist? That was technically a future generation that he lost by giving it to her…. So that’d mean the Doctor would only have 11 possible regenerations…. hmmmm

    • whopix

      I don’t think the Doctor had to give up an entire regeneration just to fix a broken wrist!

      • William R. Cousert

        Wasn’t it an aged wrist? I seem to remember the Weeping Angels caused her wrist to age when they had their hands around it. If it was just broken, a few weeks in a cast would have fixed it. No need to waste regeneration energy on a relatively minor injury.

        So why wasn’t she sent back in time? She was caught by the Weeping Angels and somehow managed to stay in the present.

      • whopix

        Good question. Perhaps it was part of the Angels’ trap for the Doctor?

        As far as the healing of the wrist goes, I reckon it was just some regen energy that the Doctor used, not a whole regeneration. You wouldn’t need to use up a whole regeneration’s worth of energy just to fix a broken wrist. Which raises the interesting prospect of just how the Doctor is able to do that…

  5. Caitlyn

    This is my thoughts on the hand. His hand was cut off, but still a part of himself. So when he started to regenerate, healing himself instead and then turned it to the hand… He was healing the body that went with the hand. I do think that it would count as a regeneration. But I also think that the last incarnation of the Doctor should only have one hand.

    • whopix

      Nah, he said that he syphoned off the regneration energy to stop himself changing into a handy matching bio-receptacle ie his handy spare hand, which is why that body grew into a new “human” Doctor

  6. Tyler

    Regarding his hard. If I recall correctly he was still going through his regeneration process from Chris eccleston to David tennant. So regaining his hand was just a part of that regeneration.

  7. @Tyler, I’m sure that’s correct, I’m sure he said something along the lines that it was lucky he was still going through the regeneration process or he’s have been without a hand and how he had just enough energy left to grow a new hand.

    • whopix

      he says he can grow a new hand because he’s still within the first fifteen hours of his regeneration cycle or something like that. The implication being that if his hand had been cut off after that, he wouldn’t have been able to grow a new one…

  8. William R. Cousert

    Does Tennant’s failed regeneration count? The one where the excess regeneration energy was sent into his severed hand.

    • William R. Cousert

      Also, River was a child of the Tardis. The Tardis was responsible for her regeneration energy. Why couldn’t the Tardis give the Doctor a refill?

      • whopix

        No reason whatsoever, in fact that’s probably the explanation Moffat will go with, I would if it was me!

      • William R. Cousert

        Why did the MetaCrysis Doctor look like David Tennant and not Matt Smith?

      • whopix

        Because Dr David didn’t want to regenerate into someone else and “die”, given that he’d only just met Rose again. So the excess regeneration energy that would have changed him into Matt was purposely drained off by him into his handy spare hand. That gives us the intriguing notion that, when a Time Lord regenerates, the first part of the process is to heal the current damaged body prior to rewriting the DNA and causing it to metamorphose into a different physical form.

        So, if the Doctor never wants to change his appearance when he regenerates, all he has to do is cut off his hand within the first few hours of his regeneration cycle, grow a new one and make sure the old one is nearby when the regeneration occurs – another reason for heading back to the safety of the Tardis!

      • William R. Cousert

        Remember how the Doctor changed his DNA to human and then back again? Why couldn’t he do the same to revert to a particular regeneration if he wanted to?

        Also, why couldn’t the MetaCrysis Doctor do the same thing to become a full Time Lord?

      • whopix

        As I understand it, a Chameleon Arch only rewrites the DNA of the current incarnation. There was nothing in “Human Nature” as I recall to suggest otherwise.

        The DoctorDonna doesn’t have a Tardis and therefore doesn’t have a Chameleon Arch and therefore can’t become a “proper” Time Lord.

    • whopix

      As far as I’m concerned it does. He still regenerated and if he hadn’t had his handy spare hand he would have changed into Matt at Journwey’s End instead of End of Time.

      So I don’t see how anyone can deny that there are two incarnations of the Doctor that are identical, which means Tennant is really Eleven and Twelve if Hurt is the real Nine, making Matt Thirteen and the last “official” one. So Capaldi will be the Fourteenth Doctor, meaning Moffat will have to explain where the “extra” regenerations have come from…

  9. Dr who

    Tonight’s episode proves you wrong, all 13 doctors were in it all of the doctors regeneration s in one episode

  10. There is another twist option.

    Riversong poisoned the Doctor before she knew who she was. She give up all her regneration energy to then save him so therefor giving the Doctor all her further regwrations

  11. Karen

    Didn’t Matt Smith give up a regeneration to heal River in The Daleks take Manhattan? Does that make 14?

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