During the episode "Evolution of the Daleks", the Tenth Doctor

absorbed a lightning bolt (full of gamma radiation) from the top of the Empire State Building in order to stop/delay/interfere with the dalek's plan to create an army of human shells with Dalek minds

Now, the Doctor manages to come out virtually unscathed. I'm curious if a normal Earth human would be able to survive the same bolt, or if The Doctor was able to survive because he's a Time Lord who has regenerative powers (and can absorb radiation, seen in S3E2 "Smith and Jones").

NOTE: I've only watched up to S3E4, so please no spoilers.

I am looking for an in-universe explanation. Really what I'm looking for is if The Doctor was able to survive only because he's an alien or if there was some other factor in play.

  • 2
    I will post a mandatory comment stating that this is on-topic. Just in case. Mar 6, 2017 at 16:23
  • @Gallifreyan thank you.
    – Zip Zap J
    Mar 6, 2017 at 16:29

1 Answer 1


From the BBC notes about the episode

The Doctor has demonstrated an ability to withstand huge electric shocks a few times, most notably in “Terror of the Zygons,” “World War Three”, “Genesis of the Daleks,” and “The Idiot’s Lantern.” He also described a shocking experience helping Benjamin Franklin in his experiments with a kite in “Smith and Jones.”

So, yes, he survived because he's a Timelord. No, this is not a regeneration. There's a proper accounting of all the Doctor's regenerations in a forthcoming episode and this was not listed as one.

  • Ah, nice! I wasn't sure if "regeneration" explicitly referred to "dying" and coming back as the next Doctor or if The Doctor had some kind of healing factor.
    – Zip Zap J
    Mar 6, 2017 at 19:02
  • 1
    @ZipZapJ I could answer that for you, but as a future character (whom you have not yet met) likes to say "Spoilers..."
    – Machavity
    Mar 6, 2017 at 19:06

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