I've seen a lot of discussions about the number of times The Doctor can regenerate...but one thing every one assumes is that we have seen each and every regeneration. We've seen how the writers can quietly insert a new regeneration (the War Doctor) but the fact is the doctor himself tells a companion (I can't at the moment remember who) that he has been a father AND a mother. So since we have not seen the female doctor we have not seen each regeneration, hence he is already more than 12.

  • Where did he ever say he has been a mother? We know we have seen every regeneration because we can count; all 13 to date have (finally) occurred on-screen without any gaps between incarnations.
    – KutuluMike
    Jan 1 '14 at 4:04
  • I think you misheard "father" and a "grand-father". Jan 1 '14 at 4:29
  • 2
    I can't find any reference to such a declaration, so unless you can provide the source for the Doctor's statement that he's "been a father and a mother," I'm not sure this is answerable. (The fact that the Doctor has never been a woman is a point of contention among some fans, so even a passing reference to such a thing would be remarked upon at length. The only on-screen indication Time Lords can change gender is a throw-away line in The Doctor's Wife.)
    – BESW
    Jan 1 '14 at 4:53
  • Or perhaps mixed it with Star Trek - Jadzia Dax has said that she's been a father and a mother a few times
    – Izkata
    Jan 1 '14 at 4:54
  • @BESW The Corsair has been both genders
    – Izkata
    Jan 1 '14 at 5:00

There is no on-screen reference to the Doctor being a woman.

The Doctor's never made reference to being a mother, or a woman at all. To being "a father and a grandfather," yes.

Since the Doctor always being a white male has been a point of contention for some fans, even the slightest hint that he ever had a female regeneration would be big news, and remarked upon at length. Such a hint has never been given.

The only Time Lord we know of who changed gender was the Corsair, and on-screen it's only implied that this was a regeneration thing (off-screen materials confirm it, but off-screen material is always of dubious canonicity).

Eleven gave a full, unambiguous invoice of his regenerations in Day of the Doctor.

His count is remarkably consistent (for a show that has never been very worried about consistency) with other on-screen information about his regenerations. He had twelve regenerations, and we've seen all of them on screen. Any additional regenerations would have to be explained twice over: how he got extra regenerations to play with, and why he didn't mention them before.

Multiple Doctors across every era have affirmed the on-screen count of regenerations. Although a single scene from The Brain of Morbius implies that the Doctor may have had other regenerations, it could be interpreted other ways and the "extra regenerations" interpretation is firmly denied by many other scenes and statements. None of the "Morbius faces" were women anyway:

The Morbius Faces

If we were to go looking for spaces in which to place regenerations that the Doctor left out of his thorough counting in Day of the Doctor, there are only three spots we could possibly shoehorn them in: Prior to the First Doctor, between the Second and Third Doctors, and between the War Doctor and the Ninth Doctor. We've seen the full unambiguous regeneration transition of every other Doctor on screen.

  • 1
    I'm pretty sure freeze-framing the War Doctor's regeneration will show some stock footage of Christopher Eccleston, too. Jan 1 '14 at 5:15
  • @AvnerShahar-Kashtan Not completely confirmed, and since I'm trying to find every possible bit of wiggle room for the OP to cram their theory into, it's worth mentioning despite being very unlikely.
    – BESW
    Jan 1 '14 at 5:18
  • Not necessarily -- we know that the Doctor can regenerate into a form he's already used, since ten did so, and it's strongly implied that he'll also re-use four's form at some point in the future. So any Doctor could have had another off-screen regeneration, then regenerated (also off-screen) back to the previous form.
    – Mike Scott
    Jan 1 '14 at 6:58
  • @MikeScott Remotely possible, though unlikely, and still doesn't account for the fact that Eleven gave a thorough and complete invoice of his regenerations to date. He mentioned Ten's cheat, and no others.
    – BESW
    Jan 1 '14 at 7:04
  • Remember that Timelords when they were alive / in this universe had the power to give regenerations & regeneration cycles to people... and The Doctor was already an old man in the first episode... so it's possible he had other incarnations previously.. Jan 2 '14 at 16:26

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