Regeneration (Doctor Who)

Regeneration (Doctor Who)

Regeneration (Doctor Who)

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Regeneration, in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, is a biological ability exhibited by the Time Lords, a race of fictional humanoids originating on the planet Gallifrey. This process allows a Time Lord who is old or mortally wounded to undergo a transformation into a new physical form and a somewhat different personality. The process has been used ten times to introduce a new actor for the role of the main character of the program, known as the Doctor. The current one is Matt Smith, who followed David Tennant in the role.

Conceptual history

The role of the Doctor had been played by William Hartnell at the programme's inception in 1963. However, by 1966, it was increasingly apparent that Hartnell's health was deteriorating and he was becoming more difficult to work with. By the time the second story of Season 4, The Tenth Planet, was greenlighted, the decision had been made to replace Hartnell. Script editor Gerry Davis proposed that, since the Doctor had already been established as an alien, the character could die and return in a new body. Producer Innes Lloyd further suggested that the Doctor could do this "renewal" regularly, transforming from an older man to a younger one. This would allow for the convenient recasting of the role when necessary. The process itself was modelled on LSD trips with the experience being like the "hell and dank horror" of taking the...
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