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I was watching the Doctor Who Special where Matt Smith Regenerated into Peter Capaldi and I noticed that he destroyed the Dalek fleet in his regeneration cycle.

During the events of the time war when the Daleks beseiged Galifrey and there seemed to be no hope, why didnt one or more time lords regenerate to destroy the Dalek fleet?

I am sure that there were more than enough Time Lords with at least one regeneration left so why didnt they use themselves as a weapon?

I can think of two explanations

  1. No time Lord had any regeneration left, (what about the doctor then)
  2. They were too arrogant to attempt such desperate action

Even if the Time Lord council didnt think of this, surely the doctor should have?

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    If they get killed during regeneration they will die. The Daleks fleets are massive. What you suggest would basically be suicide. – NoNameNeeded432 Sep 24 '14 at 11:43
  • How is it worse than Gallifrey being annihilated? Yes most Time Lords may be killed but isnt that better than ALL time Lords and other Gallifreyans being killed? – Steven Wood Sep 24 '14 at 11:45
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    But they did not get annihilated, they were still fighting. – NoNameNeeded432 Sep 24 '14 at 12:08
  • but only because the doctor used the moment / embedded the time lords in the picture, if the battle had carried on the implication is that gallifrey would have fallen – Steven Wood Sep 24 '14 at 12:12
  • I think the only reason this regeneration was that powerful was that it was the first of a new cycle. But even if that's true it doesn't answer anything. They could have picked one of them and kill him/her again and again until the last regeneration then give them a new cycle. – George T Sep 24 '14 at 12:58
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Well, for one thing, we see that the eleventh Doctor's regeneration only destroyed the one saucer above the clock tower and the ground forces in the town, not the fleet that was in orbit above the planet. In "The Day of the Doctor", we saw some of the Daleks' numbers during the Time War, and they had enough saucers to surround the planet of Gallifrey, and logically far more than that elsewhere in time and space, since the War was fought all throughout it. Taking out a comparatively few saucers and troops via regeneration in that situation wouldn't really turn the tide any more than what the Time Lords were already doing with things like Battle TARDISes (detailed in "Engines of War") did. It most certainly wouldn't have been an automatic win, as the regeneration blast only went about fifty feet high (a vague estimate, but bear with me), not into orbit and around the planet.

For another thing, Time Lord regenerations aren't usually as destructive as the one that occurred on Trenzalore. The reason why Eleven's regeneration was so powerful has not been elaborated, but we have seen other Time Lords regenerate and they have never been like that. So it doesn't seem to be something that a Time Lord could normally access anyway, and even if they could, it would still require them to sacrifice their current incarnation.

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As I see it, there are two possibilities:

1) Not all regenerations are that powerful. In the show, we've only seen two regenerations like that: Ten (his second one) and eleven's. I still haven't read a reason of why 10's regeneration was that explosive, the only explanation that makes sense is that he delayed it for so long. As for 11, it was a new cycle, so who knows.

2) The Daleks in Trenzalore didn't expect the Doctor to regenerate. Remember the "speech" they were giving him: "The rules of regeneration are known to us. You've spent all your lives". Then out of nowhere, the Timelords send the new cycle, and boom. The Daleks really never saw it coming.

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    I think #2 is the key here - the Daleks probably had their (metaphorical) pants down. – Chris B. Behrens Sep 26 '14 at 17:41
  • @tilley31: Ten's was explosive because of all the damage he took, plus he held it in for too long – L.J Rob Jan 10 '15 at 15:54
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This is a speculative fan theory. As far as I am aware, the following is an attempt at rationalizing certain events in story that are, AFAIK, never given adequate explanation. I have watched all but a few seasons of the show from the beginning, and read a number of Dr. Who books, without ever coming across something that could work as a direct answer to your question, thus why I find myself offering speculation.

Each successive regeneration the Doctor has had has been bigger than the last. There are a few regenerations I have yet to see, but from the beginning, each one has been bigger than the last. My personal theory is that the energy for regeneration comes from absorbed temporal energy. The Time Lords who never left Gallifrey experienced a continual low level exposure to these energies from the untempered schism. Time travel via TARDIS exposes the Doctor to significantly more temporal energy, and he describes himself as having traveled in time more than anyone else when explaining why his tomb, and the temporal scar inside, were so dangerous. It is the combination of these events, added to the kickstart to his system provided by Gallifrey, that make this particular regeneration so enormous.

As to how the Doctor could continue to regenerate: since the season where the 12 regeneration limit was revealed there have been a number of stories that show ways around it. The Master has extended his life beyond his twelveth regeneration on three different occasions that I am aware of. He has also been brought back from being totally, completely, and finally dead twice that I know of. Any rules we might come up with now will almost certainly be rewritten by episodes yet to come.

Will Capaldi's end be as flashy as Smith's? We can only wait and see.

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