4

Was the ability of timelords to regenerate mentioned in any episodes before the first Doctor became the second Doctor?

Or was regeneration presented as a surprise to the audience when it happened the first time? Or even an post-hoc explanation of why Patrick Troughton replaced Willieam Hartnell as an actor.

6

The use of the word regeneration to describe the transition of The Doctor or other Timelords from one form to another as a means of renewal after taking an otherwise mortal wound didn't take place until the 1974 serial Planet of the Spiders, which introduced Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor.

The concept of regeneration is only introduced in the final serial of the First Doctor, The Tenth Planet, when a regeneration was actually recorded and broadcast at the end of the final episode.

3

Was the ability of timelords to regenerate mentioned in any episodes before the first Doctor became the second Doctor?

No. Regeneration was a completely unknown concept to viewers when the first regeneration took place in the final serial of the First Doctor.

Most of the concepts we now accept as canon were added very slowly over the show's long run. The Doctor was meant to be a mysterious character, and the audience did not really know who he was - hence the title of the show. Little was said about The Doctor's species or home planet, and there was no mention of the Timelords until the final serial of the Second Doctor!

The concept of regeneration (although it was not initially called that) was conceived out of necessity. The show was a huge hit and the BBC wanted it to continue, but William Hartnell had shown signs of failing health, and the idea of him changing his face was thought up so that they could bring another actor in. Patrick Troughton apparently made a conscious decision to only stay in the part for 3 years (advice he supposedly passed on to later leading actors on Doctor Who) and so regeneration came to be a feature of the show. The first use of the term "regeneration" was in the Third Doctor's final serial, as he regenerated into the Fourth Doctor.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy