Thirteen Doctors encapsulated Gallifrey in The Day of the Doctor. But in The Time of the Doctor it mentioned 13 prior to his regeneration at the end of the episode. I count 12: #11 plus the War Doctor.

Where is the 13th Doctor?

  • But what about the curator who regenerated from the "War" doctor? I know that he was a special guest appearance from Tom Baker but doesn't he still technically count as another generation?
    – user59662
    Jan 20, 2016 at 19:27
  • @KSB I've converted your 'answer' into a comment. Once you have sufficient reputation you will be able to comment on any post.
    – AncientSwordRage
    Jan 20, 2016 at 20:13
  • 4
    @KSB the War Doctor didn't regenerate into the Curator, he regenerated into the 9th Doctor (Eccleston). The Curator is supposed to be an incarnation of the Doctor in the far future, after he "retires".
    – tilley31
    Jan 20, 2016 at 21:39

5 Answers 5


The thirteen Doctors/TARDISes in Day of the Doctor don't map to the twelve regenerations that Eleven counts out in Time of the Doctor.

The Twelfth Doctor makes an appearance in The Day of the Doctor.

Peter Capaldi's eyebrows have a cameo ("No, sir: all thirteen!") in The Day of the Doctor.

Exhibit A: Capaldi's eyebrows

So we get to see the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Warth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth Doctors whizzing about in their TARDISes.

But The Time of the Doctor isn't counting Doctors; it's counting regenerations.

The Tenth Doctor was forced to regenerate in The Stolen Earth and Journey's End, but he used a trick to create the Meta-Crisis Doctor and keep his own face ("I had vanity issues").

Ten cheats.

This counts as a regeneration (but not a new Doctor) because it used up one of the packets of bio-energy Time Lords use to power their regenerations. The Meta-Crisis Doctor is largely human, doesn't have his own TARDIS to buzz around in (deleted scene debates notwithstanding), and is stuck in an alternate universe, so he doesn't count and didn't get invited to the saving-Gallifrey party.

Capaldi's Doctor doesn't get included in this regeneration count because at the time he hadn't happened yet.

  • I'm not sure what you mean by the first section in your answer, but the second section answers it. Essentially 11 + War Doctor + Metacrisis Doctor = 13.
    – Keavon
    Dec 26, 2013 at 6:01
  • @Keavon Glad I can help; your question is a little complicated, and I hope my edits make it a bit clearer that the TARDISes in Day of the Doctor and the regeneration count in Time of the Doctor don't match up.
    – BESW
    Dec 26, 2013 at 6:04
  • Much better. Makes perfect sense now. Thanks for the answer.
    – Keavon
    Dec 26, 2013 at 6:30
  • which merely leads to the flip-side of the question: where were the other 12 future Doctors, since 11 got a whole new "regeneration cycle" to work with :)
    – KutuluMike
    Dec 26, 2013 at 14:25
  • There was a (deleted?) scene where the Meta Crisis Doctor is given a piece of TARDIS to grow his own from. He's also off in another universe, which is why he wouldn't show up.
    – user1027
    Dec 26, 2013 at 17:28

Capaldi is technically the 14th incarnation of The Doctor if you count Tennant staying the same from the Meta Crisis. Matt Smith is supposed to be the 13th and final incarnation of The Doctor, which is why if he had died on Trenzalore that would have been his final resting place...

Now the reason they say all thirteen is because the Timelords on Gallifrey did not know that Tennant's doctor had used up a regeneration to stay the same so they would assume that the last doctor to show up, aka Capaldi, was the regeneration of Matt Smith using a new regeneration cycle.


Because the Meta crisis didn't get involved which means there's only the 1st, 2nd 3rd, 4th 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th (War), 10th (9th), 11th/12th (10th), 13th (11th), and 14th (12th Doctor, 14th incarnation, 13th face) versions of the Doctor. As someone said, the Meta Crisis didn't have his own TARDIS (they're supposed to take ages to grow anyway).


No 13 Doctors — the 12th Doctor is the 12th Doctor but the 13th regeneration. Moffat said 11th was the 11th Doctor but on his 12th regeneration. Capaldi is part of the new regeneration cycle.

Quote from the Moffat himself:

"He has no more ever called himself the 11th Doctor than he would call himself Matt Smith. The Doctor doesn't know off the top of his head [what number he is]. "If you worry about such things, and I do, then I specifically said John Hurt's Doctor doesn't use the title. [Matt Smith's Doctor] is in his 12th body but he's the 11th Doctor, however there is no such character as the 11th Doctor - he's just The Doctor, that's what he calls himself".

from this article:


  • 3
    Except that Moffet has written shows where the Doctor has referred to himself by number (e.g. Matt Smith pointing to himself and going "number Eleven"), thus contradicting his own statements :(
    – KutuluMike
    Jan 20, 2016 at 19:42

Matt Smith was confirmed to be the final incarnation of the Doctor in his original regeneration cycle. The War Doctor counts as one regeneration. The energy used by Tennant in Journey's End was a waste of a regeneration and counts. As Smith's Doctor says in Time of the Doctor. Of course, now things are even more complicated with Jodie Whittaker's recent series finale The Timeless Children where it is revealed the Doctor has infinite regenerations and is not originally from Gallifrey at all. The Doctor was found on another world as a young girl and her DNA was used by a greedy gallifreyan who not only passed on this ability to others on Gallifrey, but erased all memory of the past regenerations prior to William Hartnell. This woman also tortured the Doctor and made her regenerate many times to discover the secret of regeneration. I don't buy this though. Matt is the final incarnation for the reasons I and others have given here.

  • 1
    You state a few things as fact here but don’t support them with evidence; could you edit in some in to back this up?
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Aug 3, 2020 at 22:19

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.