Spoilers about events in the sixth series:

In these episodes River Song inside an astronaut suit shoots the Teselecta that looks like the Doctor. Then "the Doctor" starts to regenerate, but River shoots again and stops regeneration cycle.
1) Is it ever explained how did the Teselecta render regeneration process — all this particles and shining?
2) Or it is assumed that the Teselecta can render any image?

4 Answers 4


According to the official BBC's own 'Doctor Who' page, the Teselecta (AKA "Justice Department Vehicle Number 6018") is described as being able to...

"adapt itself to resemble anyone whose likeness it has scanned. But more than this, it can transform itself to take on the appearance and functionality of non-living matter, such as clothing or even a motorbike!"

The appearance of the Doctor's regeneration cycle particles (that presumably had been described to the operator of the holographic systems) was simply a further example of this ability to represent non-living matter.

For the record, show creator Steven Moffat was asked about this precise question on his former Twitter account but his answer wasn't terribly useful;

"It can turn into a motorcycle and snog Alex Kingston, and you're complaining about a light show?".

I've included it for completeness ;-)

enter image description here


No, it is not explained.

Somehow, the Teselecta was able to make it look good. We don't know much about what technology they use, so we can't make any educated guesses about how they did it, nor can we usefully extrapolate any further information about their image-generating capabilities.

  • Although as the Teselecta is capable of going as far as shifting its legs into a functioning motorbike, some holograms should be easy to project. :P
    – Amy
    Dec 29, 2013 at 7:19
  • 2
    Plot twist: River ACTUALLY shot and killed the real Doctor, and the series continued with the Teselecta disguised as him.
    – Saturn
    Dec 29, 2013 at 9:49

Remember the Teselecta was doing this with the Doctor's permission and under his guidance.

He most certainly would have waved his sonic screwdriver in the Teselecta's control room to upgrade its abilities.

A waved sonic is the in-universe solution to many problems in Doctor Who.

  • Hi Barry, and welcome to the site. Here at Stack Exchange we do things a bit differently than forums and other sites: we're a question and answer site, and that means answers are expected to be more than opinion, and to be based as much as possible on citations from the episode, interviews, texts and so on. You might get a couple of downvotes until you get used to how things work here, but don't get discouraged, it's just learning the ropes. Jun 29, 2014 at 17:54
  • But that is a completely evidence-based answer. The Sonic can enhance (or destroy) any bit of equipment that is not made of wood. "I sonicked it" is the Doctor's explanation of many a tight corner escape. Jun 29, 2014 at 18:11
  • Since it can do anything, it's a catch-all answer that doesn't really apply to anything specific - unless the Doctor was shown to use it or talked about it. Otherwise, it's a generic "a wizard did it" answer. Jun 29, 2014 at 18:13

people assume the teselecta was able to make an image or illusion of the doctor regenerating but actually River shot the real doctor but when River made a space time collapse by draining weapon systems the doctor asked the teselecta if they could make an image of the doctor and make the teselecta get shot

  • This borders on fan-fiction.
    – Valorum
    Jun 29, 2014 at 17:35

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