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Doctor Who – Top 5 Regeneration Moments

written by Jordan McIntyre December 24, 2017

I have to say, I both hate and love the regeneration aspect of Doctor Who. On one note, we get the continuation and vigor that is science-fictional bliss which never discontinues the basic principles of a “Who” episode – to impress and astound.

On another note, we have to say goodbye to some of our favorite actors who have earned our respect with their portrayal of the one (not really) and only, Doctor. This typically comes along with a toss-up for our favorite companions of the Doctor as well.

Doctor Who has to be the most uniquely intrepid sci-fi experience out there if you really think about it. We get an ever-evolving universe that delves into all types of sub-genres with breathtaking stories of romance-drama, Christmas-horror (because Snowmen, and Weeping Angels), suspense-thriller, classic-horror, action-adventure, you get the point.

The series hits the cheesy B-movie feel sometimes too, small “b” though. We all know those “Allons-y!” and “Geronimo!” moments coupled with the diverse cinematography practically make us ignore the shabby quality of sparks flying when the TARDIS sustains damage (still, in 2017, and they make it work. My Manchester feels United).

The Tenth Doctor Wreaking Regeneration Havoc In The TARDIS

This series has come a long way with telling us that it’s not so much the aesthetically pleasing aspects that make a show, but the way it emotionally enthralls you into loving the sometimes hateable decisions done with the series regardless.

Now, the day before the Doctor Who Christmas Special and we formally sign-off to Peter Capaldi’s goodbye, I’d like to share my top 5 favorite regeneration’s and why they deserve their ranking in the “mentionable” department.

#5. The Warrior

While John Hurts screen time as The War Doctor was short-lived, the whole idea revolving around him being the regeneration that present-day Doctor doesn’t talk about, think about, or cares to remember, gave us a humanizing look at The Doctor. Thinking about the Doctor’s we love, and knowing the regrettable things they did in their past presents the Doctor as more of a stout character than we ever imagined. John Hurts regeneration makes my top 5 because I wanted to see more of him, but it was still awesome when he got back in his TARDIS at the end of the episode “Day of the Doctor” and started regenerating into Eccleston. I like to pretend The Doctor met Rose right after that moment.

#4. The General

Oh? Did you think I was just talking about The Doctor’s regenerations? No, other’s have regenerated too in the show, which simply feeds these particular viewers need to know more about regeneration lore. In the episode “Hell Bent” we get a really cool scene of The Doctor making…well, a very rash decision. To gain the means of bringing Clara back from the dead (with some wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff), The Doctor is held up by The General trying to stop him. After grabbing The General’s side-arm, The Doctor hesitantly asks which regeneration he is on. After learning that he is in fact only on his tenth regeneration, The Doctor wishes The General good luck – to which the sentiment is returned before The General is shot by a weapon that indeed killed him and caused him to regenerate back into his former, female self. This dynamic brought to regeneration was just out of this world cool to me.

#3. The Man Who Regrets…

During his time of getting into the role of the Doctor, David Tennant’s epicness gained our love and respect rather quickly. Why though? What was it? I suspect it was his charming stature coupled with his eccentric personality. There was just no way not to absolutely love him. Being the Tenth Doctor who had already cheated the regeneration process once, he was inevitably bound to having to regenerate fully at some point. However, they didn’t have to make it so hard for us with his goodbye statement: “I don’t want to go.”

#2. Melody (River Song)

Yet another treat-show of regeneration. In the episode “Let’s Kill Hitler” we learn that Amy Pond’s best-friend, Melody, is actually River Song before she regenerates into the River we know and love now. This mechanic that was brought to the series gave us a good twist on time, the effects of traveling in the TARDIS, and all around made us love River even more. The line delivered before Melody regenerates, “Shut up Dad, I’m focusing on a dress size”, certainly caused some wonder as to how much Time Lords can really control who they regenerate into. Again, yet another regeneration experience that just feeds the curiosity of the lore behind it.

#1. The Man Who Forgets…

Tennant was technically my first Doctor, but Matt Smith really drew me to the show. Throughout his time, the story arcs in the show and how he interacted with them took us on a roller-coaster ride of poignant depth. He is not only iconic but an absolute legend in the series. The reason his regeneration scene is my #1 was my absolute inability not shed a tear or two along with it. This scene had composure, although not aiding in our own while watching it. The musical score set to The Doctor’s reminiscing while he gives a powerful lesson about how we are all just people who are changing. People that change in all kinds of ways to regenerate ourselves into different and better people than we were before, and that it’s all okay as long you remember all the people you used to be. Following this up with the statement that he will “always remember when The Doctor was me” was emotionally stifling, to say the least, then…Amelia Pond happened. Dammit, Amelia! *drop epic symphony buildup* She walks down the TARDIS stairs as the climax of the orchestra’s theme builds, all for her to say parting words to her raggedy man in a hallucination he was having (probably from the regeneration energy geyser-ing through his freakin’ head), giving them one last bout on screen together. Stunning.

Well, that’s all folks! Those are my personal top 5 Doctor Who regeneration moments. Do you agree on there impact? or disagree? Let us know your favorite Doctor Who regeneration moments in the comments below!

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