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In an interesting twist of events, show runner Steven Moffat has given us a new explanation of numbers and explains why, technically speaking, Matt Smith is the 13th Doctor.

In an interview with RadioTimes, Steven Moffat clears up some confusion about whether or not Matt Smith is the Eleventh or Twelfth Doctor, given John Hurt’s appearance this year as the War Doctor.

It is common knowledge that a Time Lord has 12 regenerations, which means he or she can have 13 reincarnations and faces – this was made fact in the 1976 episode “The Deadly Assassin.” However, it seems that Moffat is adamant about leaving his mark on the series and has done some serious thinking about how Doctor Who can continue way past 13 reincarnations of the Doctor.

Moffat explains that John Hurt is officially a Doctor, what with the changes they’ve made to the history of The Last Time War. That, in addition to David Tennant’s Doctor using an extra regeneration to create Ten-Two means that, in theory, Matt Smith is the thirteenth Doctor.

So, technically speaking, the end of the Christmas Special could be the end of the Doctor – period.

Moffat acknowledges the history that Doctor Who has made, saying that “the 12 regenerations limit is a central part of Doctor Who mythology – science fiction is all about rules, you can’t just casually break them.” He continues, “so if the Doctor can never change again, what’s Peter Capaldi doing in the Christmas special?”

Interesting! We’re excited to see what Moffat intends to do this Christmas when Peter Capaldi arrives on screen after Matt Smith’s regeneration – or is it death? RadioTimes also mentions that Smith will briefly touch on the subject of dying in an emotional speech this Christmas.

What do you think of these new ‘Doctor Who’ rules?

Are you intrigued or angry that Steven Moffat has now made Matt Smith, technically speaking, the 13th Doctor?

  • K@

    Two theories…..
    1. River Song , when saving the doctor using her regeneration energy, transferred extra lives to him too.
    2. Perhaps the Sisterhood of Karn will have something to do with it. Maybe that is why Moffet brought them back for the mini episode The Night of the Doctor.

    • Lauren


  • Diva Jill

    I think the loophole comes from “Let’s Kill Hitler”. When River Song gave up her regenerations to save The Doctor, who knows how many spares he got from that.

    • grapes9h5

      Ahhhhh maybe that will be it, but i can also see that being mentioned as something that wont actually work. Thus, it will have to be something else ultimately. It be too easy otherwise. The suspense is already stilted by the fact we already know there is another Doctor after this.

      • pjs312

        How about when the Sisterhood of Karn revived the 8th doctor from the dead then forced a regeneration using “elevated” Time-Lord science that could of given him a whole new set of regenerations.

    • Eleanor

      Well, assuming that River, like any other Time Lady, has 13 lives. One was the little blonde girl in NY, one was Amy and Rory’s best friend Melody in Leadworth, and one is River Song herself. So theoretically, he only got 9 lives from her. And I think they’ll be looking for a permanent solution to the whole “13 lives” thing, not just delaying it for a while.

      • Smn

        She is half time lord/lady, whatever you want.

        • Lottie

          River Song had already used up 3 regenerations so she would have only given him the remaining 9 regenerations.

          • DrWolfVet

            But we don’t know if the girl turned into mels or someone else, it never showed the full regen like paul into john not christopher.

          • http://www.keelstech.com/ Lee Keels

            Um, look again…Hurt DOES regenerate into Eccleston. If you didn’t see it in a theater, you’ll need to freeze the frame, but it is absolutely undeniably Eccleston’s face at the end of the regen.

          • Wes

            If I remember correctly, the rule of only 12 regens per time lord was a rule instituted by the High Council of Gallifrey so that “No one creature can truly be immortal” So….it is a bureaucratic rule and not one of physiology

          • DrWolfVet

            What I was saying was just that, John Hurt regens into Christopher not Paul McGann like most had thought over the years implying an unseen regen for River could end up being in the middle between the little girl and Mels.

          • JL

            Except Mels said the last time she did this was as a little girl in New York.

          • DrWolfVet

            Just rewatched, she actually said “the last time I did this I ended up a toddler in New York”. But that would mean there was no regens between then so was it that she aged slowly that she had only grown 20 years in 40?

          • Mustafa Zaidi

            it could’ve been anyone its still on fire when they cut away because Eccleston didnt come back. The only proof is logical proof because Eccleston’s doctor talks about it like it just happened.

          • Barbara

            If you pay attention, you can see John Hurt’s eyes change into Christopher Eccleston. It was early in the change, but they are most definitely different.

          • http://www.keelstech.com/ Lee Keels

            It’s actually at the very end.

          • http://www.keelstech.com/ Lee Keels

            Your comment is laughable. Eccleston didn’t need to be there to show his face materializing…good grief. Do you think they resurrected all twelve actors for the final scene, too?

          • Ravarshi Kashaku

            She said in let’s kill hitler, Last time i did this i was a child in new york (or whatever) and we saw that regeneration earlier in the series, with the child and that homeless guy watching it happen in bewilderment.

          • itchyritchie

            There is mini episode set during the time war
            in which Paul regenerates by drinking a potion and it makes him into a warrior (John Hurt). Check out you tube “what happened to eighth doctor” or something like that.

          • itchyritchie

            The Night Of The Doctor

          • Smn

            I refer to ‘A good man goes to war ‘. Melody Pond is not 100% timelord. She is 50% and might not have as many lives.

          • Hipsterlovpink

            Ok I can’t remember, how is river/melody part time lord? Isn’t she Rory and Amy’s daughter? They’re both human.

          • Brandi Cali Gipson

            3 faces/3 lives means she only used 2 out of 12 regenerations.
            So he had 10 left; no?

      • Goody Weaver

        SPOILERS for those who haven’t seen the 50th yet:

        Seems to me that if the Time Lords can grant extra lives, they’re likely to have granted them to the Doctor for saving their entire planet…I’m suspecting that will be the permanent out for the series…

        • Luke

          Right guys listen, it has been said with in the Sunday newspaper fresh from the set of doctor who that a rift in time is opened and yes because the doctor save the planet the time lords have granted him a new set of regenerations because he is in need of them since he is dieing.

          • Mr The Batman

            Thanks for the SPOILERS, true or not.

          • Jaedreth

            What are your sources? Citations or it didn’t happen. Stephen Moffat has publicly stated that he does not believe in extending the Doctor’s lives past 13. Given what he’s said publicly, I seriously doubt this is the way he’s going with it.

          • David Mabe

            But that is what he did.

        • Alec

          Nah, the doctor has to die. It’s too powerful of a scene to pass up.

          • Goody Weaver

            He didn’t die though…

      • Cali

        3 faces/3 lives means she only used 2 out of 12 regenerations.
        So she had 10 left; no?

        • Gustavo Corral

          Yes, but I’m thinking she needed to use 1+ up just to revive the Doctor from the Judas tree poison.

        • Patrick montgomery

          No rememberin lets kill hitler amy said river used all her regenerations just to save the doctor.

    • http://shanadebusschere.tumblr.com/ Shana

      I thought that too for the longest time, but it seems as though they’re going for a different explanation. (



    • Strumchick

      Yeah, that’s what they’re gonna do. I already thought about this guys. Peter Capaldi’s next, and there’s gonna be at least nine more doctors afterwards. And hey, maybe the Master can lend the doctor a few lives. Or even the Timelords once he finds Gallifrey.

    • Aaron Wexler

      I’ll tell you why that’s not it: It’s bad drama. You don’t introduce a problem only to reveal that it has already been solved. Whatever extends the Doctor’s regenerations will happen in the Christmas special, not something we’ve already seen.

      • http://www.keelstech.com/ Lee Keels

        You can go with that if you like, but it won’t happen that way.

        • Aaron Wexler

          What won’t happen that way? The Doctor’s regenerations being extended at Christmas? If this article is accurate, then they’ll have to do it at Christmas. My guess is, that’s what the whole special will be about.

      • Conor

        “You don’t introduce a problem only to reveal that it has already been solved.”
        Have you ever seen Breaking Bad?

        • Aaron Wexler

          Yes… To what in Breaking Bad are you referring?

    • MGarrett

      Well, Moffat has said that he’s setting up the next 50 years and that at the 100th they may feature all “57″ doctors. Meaning that he has a way around it.

    • Jeff Harrington

      People also forget about The Master, who was at the end of his and was constantly ‘cheating’ death on his regenerations. Going as far as stealing other peoples bodies. Moffat isn’t exactly breaking rules, he just has to do it in a human way…unlike the master.

    • Mustafa Zaidi

      but then he also healed her wrist so which she said was super wasteful or something.

    • Oleeoleeoh

      River didn’t GIVE him her regenerations, she used all of hers up in one go to heal him. Watch the episode again, its explained in the scene where she is lying in the hospital bed.

    • Jaedreth

      Moffat already publicly stated that The Doctor didn’t gain any regenerations from River, that she used all of hers up.

  • grapes9h5

    Im actually glad now Meta-Crisis 10 does count in the regeneration limit, and that it’s being addressed now, and not later. This makes it so Dorian’s prophecy (an undoubted focus of this episode) and the grave on Trenzalore, much more relevant and sensical. Technically, the Eleventh Doctor is the last life he’ll ever have, and he’s actually known this all along. The Tenth Doctor probably realized it to just before he regenerated into Eleven (retroactively making his fear of regenerating in “The End of Time” all the more sad). Remember though, Moffat also said that the official numbering stays the same (though the decision is making less and less sense for any other reason than marketing and wiki searches).

    • Rob Macdonald

      I don’t understand how the meta-crisis does this. It wasn’t a regeneration it was a hand from the same regeneration reacting with the TARDIS and the crisis. Also 10-2 is “human” i.e. he only has one heart, and will grow old and die.

      • denise alexander

        That’s what I thought, too. I posted it, but my post seems to have disappeared.

      • PhilStewart

        But point is, the regeneration still COUNTS. It just happens that the Doctor syphoned off the energy so he didn’t change. If the handy hand hadn’t been there, we would have had Matt arrive a year early.

      • Bryan Anderson

        Wait, it makes sense now. It’s not the human that is 10-2, it’s the actual Doctor. Tennant becomes technically the 10th and 11th Doctor. He regenerated after being killed by that Dalek, but siphoned off his energy into the hand. This we all know. But that means that he used a regeneration cycle to heal from that injury. He was just allowed to not change form. I guess with the introduction of John Hurt, that would make Tennant the 11th and 12th Doctors. Matt Smith truly is #13. So, they’re going to either have to use the regens from River to make #14, or explain the change in form another way. :)

        • Lordthree

          They won’t use River for this. It will either be the time lords or the Karn Sisterhood (whom I expected to get back involved even before they were re-introduced in the ‘Night of the Doctor’) to save him.

          Now we know that the Karn Sisterhood owes him a favor for ending the time war and saving them all. They’re as old and almost as powerful as the time lords.

          However, we also know that the upcoming story arch will involve the Doctors search for Gallifrey and saving the time lords and all that. The time lord also owe him a favor for saving them all as well. And they still need him to rescue them.

          So, it will have nothing to do with river, that would be anti-climactic. It’s either going to be the Time Lords, the Sisterhood, or both. I expect they’ll both have to work together somehow.

      • Jacob Luke Thursfield

        Yes but the regeneration energy was used to create him, Ten said that he syphoned off the unwanted energy after he was healed so he didn’t change. Therefore implying he used a full amount of regeneration energy.

      • Ash ‘Scruffy’ Chancellor

        No, you’re right; the Meta-Crisis Doctor (a.k.a. 10-2) DOESN’T count as a regeneration. The regeneration that occurred PRIOR to the biological meta-crisis is what counts. Ten regenerated; he literally regenerated, and all of the energy was there. He just poured the excess regeneration energy into the severed hand (an external source of DNA), preventing the regeneration from fully changing him. Watch the episode again if you don’t recall the events going this way; Ten even explains it.

  • LilyLuna

    I’ve always been of the opinion that TenToo counts as a regeneration (because the metacrisis did use up regeneration energy), but not an incarnation. But it’s the same concept, he used regeneration energy then and if it is an exhaustible resource then it makes sense it’d count against his limit.
    What I think is interesting in light of the 50th, is that the idea that the regeneration limit wasn’t a biological fact, but a rule imposed by the time lords. If this is true, then what does that mean with Gallifrey potentially coming back? Maybe he could’ve regenerated limitlessly before, but if he finds a way to bring back the Time Lords, they’ll try and impose the limit on him?

  • Jake

    Plot twist: the Christmas special will be the last episode of DW. Peter Capaldi dies. The end.

    • Winkyxx

      Don’t even

    • Maria Wang


      • Amanda Willey

        I couldn’t have said it better!

    • Stephanie Fay

      oh I would sob for days if that happened!

    • Raven

      They’ve confirmed Capaldi for at least one full series

    • JackBlack1

      That would be brilliant, because unfortunately RTD and Moffat have ruined DW. RTD with his pseudo fan-fiction and Moffat because he’s a talentless hack ruining everything he writes for

  • Abster

    There was an interview a way back talking about how RTD had an idea for Peter Capaldi, and why we’re seeing him now. Also, when we see Tom Baker as the curator in The Day of the Doctor, I think this ties in as well.
    Here’s my theory: if Matt Smith is the 13th doctor, therefore he cannot regenerate, I believe he will start “stealing” the faces and lives of people he has met to allow the Doctor’s spirit to continue on. I know it’s a bit far-fetched, but there is a reason we’re going to see an actor that has already been on the show. Feel free to help me out on this theory, but I do not think River’s donation of regenerations have applied to him. That is too simple, and they were all used to save his life, which would’ve taken a lot.

    • Winkyxx

      I think you’re idea of “taking faces” is clever and perhaps that’s Moffat’s idea

      • Simone

        A time lady companion in Classic Who actually did that when she regenerated.

        • http://ravenclaw1991.tumblr.com/ ravenclaw1991


          • Simone

            Yeah I just forgot to include her name for some reason hehe, would be neat to see her again.

          • Russell Qualls

            The Master also does a variation on this in the Eight Doctor movie if you’ll remember. He is out of regenerations, but his energy can still possess people, ie – Eric Roberts.

          • Thirll

            The Master also did something similar in classic Who, he stole the body of Tremas (Nyssa’s father) in ‘Keeper of the Kraken’ – 5th Doc.

        • Abster

          That’s good to know! I haven’t had the chance to watch Classic Who yet unfortunately…

    • Iain Gillam

      Colin Baker was on the show before he was the Doctor as well…so Capaldi isn’t the first.

  • Winkyxx

    I don’t like the sound of Matt being the thirteenth doctor… Moffat

    • http://www.keelstech.com/ Lee Keels

      Well, this is slightly misunderstood. He is “thirteenth” but that wouldn’t be how you’d refer to him. If the “eleventh” in sequence is referred to as 10-2, then the “twelfth” is referred to as Eleven, and the “thirteenth” would be referred to as Twelve.

  • ConnorF42

    I hate the idea that Tennant used up that regeneration. The 13th Doctor problem should have more than one episode to solve in my opinion.

  • jackie whitus

    Moffat frustrates me so much.

    • http://www.keelstech.com/ Lee Keels


  • Helen

    he better have a pretty damn satisfying way of getting around the regeneration limit. I find it mildly annoying that he chooses to emphasize things from RTD only when its convenient for him, ie ten-too, but then completely ignore it the rest of the time.

  • http://ravenclaw1991.tumblr.com/ ravenclaw1991

    I think its always been obvious that the Doctor would find a way around the 12 regeneration rule.

    • Charlie

      Yeah, the BBC’s obviously not going to end one of their most popular shows for something like this. And on the show there have previously been mentioned ways to ‘add’ regenerations, so that’s probably what’ll happen. Especially now that Gallifrey is out there.

  • CliveRogan

    I assumed they’d just keep regenerating him indefinitely and never mention it again. I love that they’ll broach this issue and have every faith they’ll come up with a good excuse for future regenerations.

    It’s interesting to bring the Tom Baker scene from The Day of the Doctor into it. If you take it at face value it suggests that The Doctor will gain control over the regenerations and have many more. As Tom Baker says, “you might find yourself revisiting a few, but just the old favorites”.

    • Dlmarvin05

      I was going to mention this, thanks for bringing it up!

    • marypao

      The scene with Tom Baker makes me wonder if the Doctor is going to fake his death at Trenzalore. Taking a cue from when Oswin/Clara erased him from the Daleck database, he can start a new life as The Curator when he’s ready to retire.

      • Aaron Wexler

        He’s already faked his death once, I doubt they’d go there again. Especially so soon after the last time.

  • Denica

    Since TEN TWO is separate from the doctor, i don’t think he’d count as a regeneration. so that makes Peter 13 and final

    • Maria Wang

      he only has 1 heart, so he’s not even a timelord, is he.

      Maybe we should look at it this way. Hurt is 1/2 Doctor. Ten 2 is 1/2 Doctor. Two halves make a whole. So….that makes Matt 12th…I think. FYI I’m not really being serious.

      • David Kaldor

        But Hurt is ALL Doctor. He was never part human, unlike Ten 2.

        • Joel Goodman

          Heh Butt Hurt

    • Ash ‘Scruffy’ Chancellor

      “Ten Two” is NOT what is bring referred to as an extra regeneration. Watch the episode again. The (actual) Tenth Doctor regenerates–literally regenerates–but pours the excess energy into an external source of DNA: his severed hand. This prevents the regeneration process from changing him completely, instead only healing him, so that Ten can retain his appearance. The biological meta-crisis later happens as a RESULT of this incident–creating “Ten Two” (a.k.a. the Meta-Crisis Doctor)–but has no effect on his regeneration limit.

  • betsy

    Okay, yes, science fiction does have rules, but Moffat plays fast and loose with a lot of them, especially when they involve timelines. But hey, maybe this is a sign of a shift in the way he’s writing the season-long arcs? That’d be cool.

  • pisspot1234

    Didn’t Riversong give the Doctor 10 of her regenerations in the episode “Let’s kill”. If she did then that solves the problem for at least a few more seasons.

    • Jane

      Yeah… That’s what I think the writers might use so that the Doctor could have more regenerations.

  • A.P.W.B.Dumbledore

    My theory is that when Ten absorbed the energy of the Tardis from Rose he actually gave himself more regeneration energy. So when he makes the human form of himself, it does not count. So even though it is a regeneration, it came from the energy of the Tardis and not the Doctor. Now I believe that for Capaldi (technically 14th Doctor) his unlimited energy to regenerate will occur because of his enemies. How, I am still trying to think of, but I think it will have to do with the weeping angels ability to send people back in time, the daleks ability to survive for thousands of years, and the silence.

    • Amir


    • marypao

      I like this idea the best because it fits into play with Captain Jack Harkness’ and his many lives. Also, what about Doctor Donna? Did she even count at all in this mix? Probably not but thought it was worth mentioning.

  • Ivan Gatewood

    Does this make Ten-too the Valeyard??? Probably not, but I’m open to having David Tennant return in any capacity lol

    • Amir

      Please god make this true.

  • http://xyue-mayx.deviantart.com/ Dreamer

    Other than the obvious River Song loop hole, I’m picturing something like a phoenix. Hear me out, crack theory: so he will actually /die/, but he’ll come back anew from the ‘ashes’. It’s different from regeneration, but sorta the same idea. lol, but the River Song or Sisterhood of Karn theories are much better.

  • H

    Huh, I didn’t realize that the metacrisis Doctor counted as a regeneration. I thought Matt Smith was now officially the 12th Doctor and that after regenerating, the Doctor would have to find some way around the regeneration limit. Tbh I thought it might make an interesting plot point for a season or two.

    I also think that the easy explanation is River Song having given him her regenerations but I have a feeling Moffat is going to introduce some kind of permanent solution instead.

    As to his line about sci-fi having unbreakable rules: LOL. I’ve found that the only way I can really enjoy his run on Who is to stop being upset when he breaks his own rules. Just sayin’.

    • BlueBronze

      Same, especially when watching The Angels Take Manhattan…

      Except it was too terrible that time. I literally can’t watch that episode.

    • Ash ‘Scruffy’ Chancellor

      The Meta-Crisis Doctor doesn’t count as a regeneration; Ten’s regeneration prior to the biological meta-crisis is what is being referred to. Ten regenerates in the episode, but pours the excess regeneration energy into the severe hand (an external source of DNA), preventing the process from completely changing him, instead only healing him. The meta-crisis later happens as a RESULT of the incident, but the meta-crisis itself has no effect on the Doctor’s regeneration limit.

  • IMnot4U

    Yes, River Song gave her lives to him, but also in a Sarah Jane Smith episode Matt Smith said he could regenerate more than 200 times.

    • Ash ‘Scruffy’ Chancellor

      Why does everyone keep citing that as fact? He was obviously joking.

  • Hmm

    Well… that escalated quickly.

  • http://www.doctorwho-fansite.blogspot.com/ James Grayh

    Matt Smith is not the 13th Doctor, he is the 11th.

    The John Hurt face was the 9th incarnation of the character, but did not identify himself as “The Doctor”, therefore the numbering system of The Doctor title remains the same, while one more regeneration is taken off the 12 regeneration limit (13 incarnations) he can have.

    Later on, the ’10th Doctor’ (11th incarnation, due to Hurt’s rejecting of the title) did regenerate, but he siphoned the remaining energy (that would have changed his appearance/mind) into the spare hand*, which meant he didn’t have to change his face or personality, but DID use up another of his 12 regenerations.

    * – The spare hand did not grow into a differently-faced Doctor with this energy as it already had a set appearance by having been chopped off the 10th Doctor’s arm, ergo: growing into the 10th Doctor.

    Hope that clears it up for anyone reading this, and hopefully people will stop thinking Matt Smith is the 13th Doctor. He IS the 12th incarnation, but only the 11th to call himself “The Doctor”.

    • http://twitter.com/JonHike jghike

      Did you see Day of the Doctor? If not, *SPOILERS* John Hurt calls himself The Doctor at the end. He was redeemed and earned the right to call himself The Doctor again. Also, TenTwo called himself The Doctor, I believe, as well. Matt Smith is the 13th incarnation and the 13th Doctor, but for marketing and history purposes, we’re all agreeing to still call him 11.

      Also, as Moffat said in a different interview, there’s only one Doctor. He doesn’t call himself 11 or any other number. That’s just for our benefit. So really, numbering doesn’t mean anything anyway.

      • http://www.doctorwho-fansite.blogspot.com/ James Grayh

        I enjoy sarcasm. Thank you.
        Marking Matt Smith as the “13th incarnation” all depends on whether one considers post-Stolen Earth Tenth Doctor (the actual Doctor, not Handy-Doc) to be a fresh and different incarnation to Ten from pre-Stolen Earth.

        Since there is no solid definition for what constitutes an incarnation in those rare circumstance that a Time Lord can siphon the energy off into a spare body part, this remains entirely subjective.
        Therein lies the apparent disagreement you have (unless I’m mistaken?). The only difference seems to be that you consider post-4.12 Ten to be a new incarnation, whereas I do not. Either way, we both agree that it leaves Eleven in the same predicament. It’s about number of regenerations, and we all agree on that. :)

        FYI: I didn’t say a single word about what The Doctor calls himself. I don’t need to be told that he doesn’t number his faces, but thanks for the gesture.

        • http://www.emeraldsandstripes.com/ Liz

          In “The Lodger,” Matt Smith points to his face while talking to Craig Owens and says, “Eleventh!”

          • http://www.doctorwho-fansite.blogspot.com/ James Grayh



          • http://www.emeraldsandstripes.com/ Liz

            Just saying that, at least once, the Doctor has explicitly numbered his face. I’m pointing out another reason for your argument of him being the Eleventh Doctor and us being able to call him that, and it not just being a fan thing.

          • http://www.doctorwho-fansite.blogspot.com/ James Grayh

            Ah, ok. I agree, I don’t think The Doctor is always conscious or thinking about how many faces he’s had, but he’s obviously aware of what number he’s on – you’re right it’s more evidence that he does not count the John Hurt incarnation as the Doctor.

    • Ash ‘Scruffy’ Chancellor

      THANK YOU! This is exactly what I’ve been saying, although you worded it even more intelligently.

      • http://www.doctorwho-fansite.blogspot.com/ James Grayh

        No, thank YOU!
        A lot of people reply to things just to attack or argue so it’s nice to see a reply like yours for a change. :)

  • WT

    God I’m so tired of Moffat running the show. Let him go back to writing and bring back RTD!

    • Ms_Woozah

      Yes! So we can have more farting aliens and unnecessary melodrama!

    • BlueBronze

      lol I loved series 1 – 4 and the Specials but RTD was even worse with plots than Moffat. RTD was all Deus Ex Machinas.

  • matt

    I’m hoping peter will be the valeyard, which will mean dark doctor

    Also i swear there was an interview with moffat the other day saying tennant’s hand regeneration didn’t count because he’s still the same person.

  • ‘Bradley Norris

    I just wish they would again address the doctors female regenerating clone as far as we know she has only used one regeneration

    • Ash ‘Scruffy’ Chancellor

      You mean Jenny, the “Doctor’s Daughter”? She didn’t regenerate; the power of that device saved her (whatever it was called).

      • ‘Bradley Norris

        would love to discuss with you why you are wrong but don’t think you are smart enough to understand

  • Dan Malleck

    Well, in the Fox episode that was a failed pilot for a US version, the whole premise was based on the idea that the Master had his final regeneration and the Doctor was taking his remains back to Gallifrey to be buried (or whatever) but he got out and regenerated. So it’s not as if there is no precedent for this. But knowing how Moffat likes those annoying temporal paradoxes (go back in time change something so that when I’m forward in time I can get out of a sticky situation–so annoying and a cheap writing device that was a joke by Douglas Adams in the Restaurant at the End of the Universe) he’ll probably end up using one of those.

  • Rae

    Thank you Moffat, for bringing up something that I figured out months ago. What John Hurt’s Doctor calls himself shouldn’t make a difference, a time lord can regenerate 12 times, his chosen name won’t change this fact of his biology. By the time Matt Smith’s Doctor rolls around, he’s out of regenerations and he should know it. But the real question that everyone seems to be forgetting is, if the Doctor is out of regenerations, where did the regeneration energy used to heal River’s hand in The Angels Take Manhattan come from?

    • Anonymous

      he has enough energy to heal someone, but the vast amount of energy needed for a full regeneration is not there.

  • Amanda Willey

    I think River gave him extra regenerations, and don’t forget, when the tardis had a body, she told the doctor that she had 30 different consoles “so far”. When the doctor mentions that she can’t archive old ones before they existed she simply states, “well you can’t”.

  • Doctor Aaron

    Here is something to wonder about, in a MOFFAT WRITTEN episode. Matt Smith says to James Corden in “The Lodger” when Corden’s character has seen all of his faces. “Yes number 11″ so assuming he purposely left out The War Doctor why would he say that? Because wouldn’t Tennants face pop up twice in Corden’s head, since when he regenerated for the first time he used the hand to keep his face.

  • kayohgee

    If Eleven really is the final Doctor and ha has no more regenerations, maybe this means that Capaldi’s Doctor is actually an older version of Meta-crisis Ten, who’s managed to break his way back into the prime universe.

    There was a deleted scene where “Ten-Two” was given the means to grow his own TARDIS. Maybe he and Rose grew old together, she died before him and he decided to go back for some reason.

  • Michelle Hicks

    Rule number one of Doctor Who: “The Doctor always lies”. This is the one thing no one remembers. Also, Clara went in and healed the scars of his timeline. There is no telling what the consequence of that will be. Finally, why was River able to psychically link to Clara? And how was Clara able to survive the fracturing of herself in his timeline when the Great Intelligence, which was just energy couldn’t?

    • Winkyxx

      Good point… also, doesn’t Clara know the Doctor’s name seeing as she was linked to River?

  • Alexis

    Another thing is they might cut it after series 8, and although that’s the last thing I want it isn’t completely illogical that they would. I mean this show has been running on television for 50 years! They wouldn’t want to overstay their welcome, then again with the popularity it’s gained, and it’s still continuing to grow it would be hard to end it.

  • Richard Bailey

    I’ve been really disinterested in DW since Moffat has taken over.

  • heartjess

    I’ve been thinking about this idea for quite some time! I’m glad to know it is going to come into play, because it hasn’t been mentioned in quite awhile.

  • denise alexander

    I think 10-2 is more of a clone than a regeneration. The Doctor told Rose that 10-2 has 1 heart and ages at a human’s rate. I think that makes 10-2 more human than Time Lord.

    • Ash ‘Scruffy’ Chancellor

      Of COURSE “Ten-Two” isn’t a regeneration! That’s not what’s being discussed here; what’s being discussed is the Tenth Doctor’s regeneration PRIOR to the meta-crisis. Ten literally regenerated, but poured the excess regeneration energy away so he could retain his appearance. Watch the episode again.

  • Sara Jung-Claßen

    More proof that Steven Moffat is incredibly full of himself.

  • Becca

    I’ve seen a 50th anniversary interview in which Moffat passionately stated that Doctor Who would surely be around for another 50 years and have a 100th anniversary special so I think the ‘timelords only have 12 regenerations’ rule is out.
    Also maybe The War Doctor counts as one of the Doctors now because of the events in The Day of The Doctor, but I saw him as still being the ‘original’ Doctor. The Doctor before he was The Doctor. So I’m still calling Matt’s Doctor the 11th Doctor. If John Hurt’s Doctor came before the first regeneration of The Doctor, the numbering isn’t messed up at all..

    • http://www.keelstech.com/ Lee Keels

      Well, if you go on referring to Smith as Eleven, you’re just wrong. Look at the credits for the 50th special. “The Doctor” is listed in chronological order, with Hurt in 9th spot. Smith is 12…it’s not even debatable anymore.

      • ComeAlongPond

        Hurt’s the 9th incarnation, but not the 9th Doctor. He broke the promise. And though he did redeem himself, the moment he and Ten left the gallery, they both forgot about it and the numbering goes on as we’ve been used to when he regenerates into Ecclestone.

        • http://www.keelstech.com/ Lee Keels

          You can’t read, can you? The credits don’t say “The Incarnations”…it says “The Doctor” and Hurt is listed with all the rest. Get over it.

          • ComeAlongPond

            And you obviously seem to have missed the bit where crossing his own timeline causes the Doctor’s previous incarnations to forget what happened and continue to not acknowledge Hurt as the Doctor, hence Ecclestone’s Doctor thinks of himself as Nine, Tennant’s as Ten, and so on. But yes, let’s go with the credits shall we? Just like how Ecclestone was credited as playing ‘Dr.Who’. Yeah, I totally remember the time they called him that on the show too.

    • Becca

      And also I do not think meta-crisis 10 should count as a regeneration.

    • ComeAlongPond

      He’s definitely not the original though. We saw the 8th Doctor regenerate into him in the prequel.

    • Ash ‘Scruffy’ Chancellor

      Why do so many people keep suggesting that the War Doctor was before the first. We SAW the Eighth regenerate into the War, and even if you didn’t see that minisode, the Time War could not have occurred prior to the series, as there as Time Lords in the classic series!

  • Azeem

    Paul McGann to John Hurt was the 8th regeneration, JH to CE was the 9th, CE to DT was the 10th, DT regenerated in The Stolen Earth, ie. DT to DT was the 11th and DT to MS was the 12th regeneration. That means that there is one regeneration left!

    • Shane Nokes

      The rule was 12 regenerations. You’ve already accounted for the 12.

      That’s why people are curious as to how this will work.

    • Ash ‘Scruffy’ Chancellor

      No, it’s thirteen INCARNATIONS, and TWELVE regenerations. There was no regeneration into his first incarnation.

  • Aron

    We know that the regeneration limit was arbitrarily conceived the by time lord high council as the the Master was granted extra generations. On this train of thought since the high council is gone (or suspended) the Doctor is not bound by their rules, or may be granted similar dispensation since he saved them from the Daleks.

  • LiaCavasotto

    I think this is a bit much. I wish it could just go to Capaldi and him be the 13th and just figure it out with him rather than get into this whole mess. this has made me less excited for the christmas special cause I would be really really upset if this news somehow cut Capaldi’s time super short.

    • BlueBronze

      Capaldi only signed on for one season, anyway, that’s been known since they made his announcement. I mean, I guess he could sign on for another, but he’s actually an established actor and might not want to.

  • Undesirable

    Well my theory before reading this was that, once finding Gallifrey, the Doctor would be granted a new set of regenerations by the Time Lords as payment for saving them. But since i would assume they want to draw out the whole “search for Gallifrey” thing Christmas would be a little early for the Doctor to find his home. The only other explanation i can think of would be River giving the Doctor her regenerations.

  • Matt TDog Terrell

    peter capaldi must 13 doctor as in day of doctor . the timelord on galify said all 12 doctors but then capaldi says no all 13 , so techniqually he the 13 , but then i think of ten two. im so confused . why is doctor who so confusing but brilliant at same time

  • teddybowties

    Five reasons why the Xmas Special will rock so hard.
    Goth Opera.
    Vampire Science.

    — also, this:—
    1. the Silence hang like bats from the ceiling.
    2. the cult of Rassilon the Vampire.
    3. The Great Mother (possibly) in Night of the Doctor.
    4. Munch’s The Scream + Silence + Gallifrey Falls No More
    5. The Ood and the Silence sometimes seem like two sides of One Race.
    6. Clara is resembling Charley Pollard More and More.
    7. Killer of the Ten Billion + too much for the ‘Old Man’
    8. the mentions of Omega.
    9. Every Dw Classic Series call-out in Day of the Doctor.
    10. Rose being Bad Wolf being the Moment being the TARDIS, that last bit having been so stealthily implied by the 50th Special.
    plus the fact that my fanfiction, TRH, written and completed before the 50th was aired, bears so many similarities to it. I am one happy camper.

    mmmmm Christmas Dinner.

  • Tygridia

    In the 50th aniversary, the Curator said that The Doctor would turn in the future “to old faces” or “to known faces” -I don’t remember the exact quote. So maybe after his 12 regenerations, he can transform into people he has already met, which would explain why Moffat said that Capaldi’s previous appearances in the show have an explanation.

  • Ramirebz

    Rule number 1: The Moff lies!

    • Lee Butterley

      /makes it up as he goes along.

  • TimelordNerd

    This article completely ignores what a Gallifriean general said at the end of the ‘Day of the Doctor’. He proved that Capaldi up to that point was the 13th face of the Doctor. My theory is that Capaldi will find Gallifrey in an up-coming season only to gain more lives.The High Counsel grants him a full set more. That or their really is no limit it is merely symbolic.

  • http://www.doctorwho-fansite.blogspot.com/ James Grayh

    The Doctor confronts Rassilon about needing more regenerations, claiming he deserves it for saving Gallifrey…

    RASSILON: “Limit?! What are you talking about?! There is no regeneration limit!”
    THE DOCTOR: “Oh…….”

  • froggyhpmb3

    Moffat you are blowing my mind and I’m not sure if I like that!
    I also feel slightly indifferent because I like Matt.
    I felt when I read the first few paragraphs that it would be a “tee hee just messing with all of your emotions Matt’s not leaving yet” thing but then I realized my childish naivety.
    Oh Doctor Who, why can’t you seem to stop messing with my emotional faculties?!?
    That’s right because then we wouldn’t love you.

  • lj_68

    River gave him her regeneration(s) in Let’s Kill Hitler to save his life. Wouldn’t he have more than 13 at that point?

  • Bart Hedlund

    if you saw the short that was released before the 50th, in it a lady i believe gave the doctor the ability to regenerate more…not sure im correct about that

  • Bryan Anderson

    I’m not sure if Moffitt says that the 10th Doctor’s second incarnation was an official regeneration, but it seems to me that the metacrisis doesn’t really count. His hand had regeneration energy from the 10th’s original regeneration. Therefore, he should have at least 1 more left. Then, if River really did give him 9 more lives, he had 10 to spare. However, remember him healing River in “The Angels Take Manhattan,” should have cost him one of his regens. Talk about a mind *beep*. At the end of the day, does it really matter. :)
    I’m looking forward to the next set of Doctor Who!!!!

  • zaracyn

    Is Moffat going to regenerate? ;-) Well, we’re certainly going to see the show moved forward then aren’t we?

  • Digitizer101

    Could it be that Matt Smith is going to Trenzalore to die. And could Capaldi just be a incarnation of the Doctor before William Hartnell and the story is starting all over only in reverse this time you know before he stole the TARDIS. Maybe going in the other direction back towards his days on Gallifrey and possibly his Time Lord training. Capaldi would then be the -1 Doctor or maybe number 0.

  • Ashton Redde

    I think it’s bullshit and that Moffat is changing the show only to inflate his own ego, create publicity, and advertise Peter Capaldi’s entrance and the Christmas special.

    • Ash ‘Scruffy’ Chancellor

      No, fans have been discussing Ten’s additional regeneration as counting towards a physical limit for years. And obviously the existence of the War Doctor would add to the count.

  • Agent Awesome

    OH COME ON! That makes NO sense. He let it heal his wounds, and used his REMAINING regeneration power, not an entire one, to bring Ten-Two. What kind of theory is that?!

    • http://hunyumstan.tumblr.com/ hunyum

      can you imagine the power going into making a WHOLE NEW BODY out of a hand? something like a regeneration in itself isn’t it?

    • Ash ‘Scruffy’ Chancellor

      When he used the regeneration to heal his wounds, all of the energy was still used. He poured some of it into another vessel, but all of the regeneration energy was expelled. If there is a physical limit, then that counted.

  • alexa

    i guess Ten Two should count. he was created using an entire batch of regeneration energy. i think it’d be cool if capaldi was somehow the doctor before william hartnell.

  • http://hunyumstan.tumblr.com/ hunyum

    maybe the High Council provided the Doctor with the Eye of Harmony. He will have a whole new set of regenerations.

  • Gustavo Corral

    More to the point, where does the Valeyard come in ? His existence is already canon in the new series as the Great Intelligence mentions him in Name of the Doctor. If Matt Smith is the 13th incarnation, then the Valeyard should have already been created between the Tennant-Smith regeneration.

  • Mark Chiddicks

    I hope they take this chance to explain why Smith’s Doctor has not visibly age in almost 400 years. Perhaps a time lord’s final incarnation simply does not age?

  • Oleeoleeoh

    River did not GIVE him her regenerations, she blew through all of hers in one go to heal him. Watch the episode, “Lets Kill Hitler” again, it is explained in the scene in the hospital, where the Doctor gives her the diary.

  • Patrick Montgomery

    Remember in the 5 doctors the time lord council gives the master 12 new regenerations. So thayt means they have the power to grant regenerations! in the 50th since gallifrey is still there, the council can just give the doctor more regens right?

  • Ash ‘Scruffy’ Chancellor

    I hope nobody’s butt HURT about this.

  • Ash ‘Scruffy’ Chancellor

    By the way, I think a little clarification is necessary here: the Meta-Crisis Doctor, a.k.a. “Ten-Two” does NOT count as regeneration. However, the regeneration that the Tenth Doctor undergoes PRIOR to the biological meta-crisis does. Ten regenerates–literally regenerates–and all of the regeneration energy is present, but he pours the excess energy into his severed hand–an external source of his DNA–preventing the regeneration process from completely changing him, instead only healing him and allowing Ten to retain his appearance. Watch the episode again if you need to; he explains it himself.
    I hope this clarified things for some of you.

  • Hipsterlovpink

    You’re all wrong anyway. I counted all the doctors including John hurt and matt smith is the 12th doctor. And besides what should happen, is that doctors regenerations become DEgenerations. Meaning that when he regenerates, he becomes the doctor he was. I.E… Matt smith to David tennant, David to Christopher eccleston, ect. Ect. Ect.

  • Jaedreth

    Moffat already said there are only 13 doctors, and Matt Smith is the 13th, because David Tennant’s doctor sacrificed a regeneration, and the War Doctor is the 9th. So this leads me to believe that some reality-breaking event will happen in the Christmas special that will cause a brand new continuity to be born, an alternate timeline where everything is weirder and stranger, and that Capaldi will be the new 1st Doctor. That’s what I’m going with.

  • Irwin

    Back in the first season of the reboot, Eccleston absorbed the Time Vortex. Due to Time Lords being created by long term exposure to the Vortex, the Doctor’s regenerations might be effected by it.

  • bluebluexmas

    Well..thats that. I am disapointed in who the new Doctor is. I wanted to be surprised when the regeneration happened. I should have been prepared, it kinda ruined my Christmas. When I saw the list a couple months ago of the choices that was the only one that I hoped it wouldn’t be. at least I got my 50th anniversary stuff before he was on anything. Sigh i miss matt already

  • Chiara Bonazzi

    The 12 regenerations limit is a central part of Doctor Who mythology but the problem whouldn’t have existed if Moffat had not invented the war doctor, and there was no need to count meta-crisis in the numeration

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