Let's take for example the 11th ( 13th ? ) Doctor ( Matt Smith's Doctor).
He wasn't fatally wounded or anything, he had to regenerate because of old age.
So my question is, how long can ONE version of The Doctor naturally live ?

We know that 11 spent about 200 years looking for The Silence on Series 6, and then about 300 on Trenzalore, so he can at least live 500 years.
But is there a more accurate "up limit" ?


2 Answers 2


In the season 3 finale, The Master suppressed the regeneration ability of The Doctor and increased his age to millions of years.

From The Sound of Drums episode transcript:

MASTER: Laser screwdriver. Who'd have sonic? And the good thing is, he's not dead for long. I get to kill him again!
DOCTOR: Master, just calm down. Just look at what you're doing. Just stop. If you could see yourself.
MASTER: Oh, do excuse me. Little bit of personal business. Back in a minute. Let him go.
DOCTOR: It's that sound. The sound in your head. What if I could help?
MASTER: Oh, how to shut him up? I know. Memory Lane. Professor Lazarus. Remember him and his genetic manipulation device? What, did you think that little Tish got that job merely by coincidence? I've been laying traps for you all this time. And if I can concentrate all that Lazarus technology into one little screwdriver? But, ooo, if I only had the Doctor's biological code. Oh, wait a minute, I do.
(He opens a large metal briefcase.)
MASTER: I've got his hand. And if Lazarus made himself younger, what if I reverse it? Another hundred years?
(The Master aims his screwdriver at the Doctor, who goes into rapid convulsions. Jack revives with Martha next to him.)
JACK: Teleport.
MARTHA: I can't.
JACK: We can't stop him. Get out of here. Get out.
(Lucy is looking very unhappy with all this. The Master stops zapping the Doctor, who now looks at least a hundred years old.)

From Last of the Time Lords episode transcript:

MASTER: What if I suspend your capacity to regenerate? All nine hundred years of your life, Doctor. What if we could see them?
(The Master retunes his screwdriver and zaps the Doctor again.)
MASTER: Older and older and older. Down you go, Doctor. Down, down, down the years.
(Finally the convulsions end. The Doctor is no longer sitting in the wheelchair.)
MASTER: Doctor.
(A tiny creature with big eyes, rather Gollum-like, peers out from the otherwise empty clothes.)

Yes, The Doctor survived.

  • 3
    Right, I forgot about that. Thanks. But why then was 11 dying on Trenzalore when he was only 500 or so ? Is there an explanation ? Aug 24, 2014 at 11:04
  • 2
    @KushtrimP. 11 aged naturally, while 10 was aged by the Master's device, so there's at least one difference there...
    – evilsoup
    Aug 24, 2014 at 11:41
  • 2
    Also, the 11th had no remaining regenerations on Trenzalore, while 10th had a regeneration left (maybe each regeneration costs a certain number of years?).
    – Batman
    Aug 24, 2014 at 12:36
  • 5
    Where did you get "millions of years"?
    – user11683
    Aug 24, 2014 at 18:37
  • 1
    the doctor was on trenzalore 300 years BEFORE Clara brought back the Tardis, then she was gone and he aged considerably again. They don't say how long she was gone that time, but it could have been another 300 years, making that 800 years of Matt Smith
    – childcat15
    Aug 25, 2014 at 5:45

Centuries at least, because the 11th Doctor was the longest lasting of all the incarnations, and he lived for over a thousand years. Think about it, he says he's around 907 at the start of his regeneration, and is around 2000 or 2100 when he regenerates into the 12th Doctor (though he's certainly much older than he says).

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