In the Doctor Who episode "The Doctor's Daughter" Jenny is shot in the chest and determined dead by the Doctor and his companions.

Later, she breathes out some kind of energy and awakes with perfect health.

How did she do this without regenerating?

7 Answers 7


She is revived by the gasses of The Source, the terraforming engine activated shortly before she was shot.

The Source was designed to transform the lifeless planet into a fully functioning ecosystem. Presumably this includes some method of stimulating life that could restore Jenny's recently deceased body.

The green gas seen coming out of her mouth is the same as shown when The Source is activated.

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  • 1
    I'd say he wasn't biologically compatible with how she was brought back; Time-lords have an innate regeneration ability, that was tweaked by the source, so you got a hybrid response closer to the way a recently regenerated time lord can regrow body parts. The other guy just didn't have her advantages.
    – K-H-W
    Commented Dec 20, 2011 at 0:48
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    @SeanMcMillan The visual effect for The Source is somewhat greener, from what I recall. The Timelord regeneration effect is more of a golden color. Then again, since she is the Doctor's daughter, it may be that the similarities are intentional.
    – Beofett
    Commented Dec 20, 2011 at 14:12
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    @SeanMcMillan It's worth noting that the actress who plays Jenny is the fifth doctor's (Peter Davison) daughter, and is engaged to David Tennant. I think the chances of them replacing her with another actress, even briefly, are pretty small :)
    – Beofett
    Commented Dec 20, 2011 at 14:49
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    @Monkeygirl Only part Time Lord? She was created entirely from the Doctor's DNA; she's as Time Lord as you can get without being born on Gallifrey. Commented Feb 18, 2013 at 21:20
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    @Blazemonger Well, the Doctor wasn’t born on Gallifrey either for that matter. Commented Dec 29, 2021 at 13:26

The most obvious reason is that the source revived her. There are, however several other possibilities. If you recall when the tenth Doctor got his hand cut off because he was within the first few hours of his regeneration cycle he was able to grow a new one. Thus since Jenny was created only a few hours before her body automatically healed.

Then there is the question, why did she not regenerate completely?

If you watched the Doctor Who movie in 1996, the Doctor's regeneration was threatened by the drugs that the hospital had given him. So it would be reasonable to say that there was some sort of chemical in the terraforming device that would have stopped it.

All in all the most reasonable explanation is that she was revived by the cocktail of gasses in the terraforming device.


My opinion is that, like the Doctor, she can regenerate. However in this case she was shot and "died" while she was still in the first fifteen hours since her regeneration, or in this case her birth. Therefore she survives and heals, similar to when the Doctor lost his hand against the Sykorax.

The Doctor said that because he was in his fifteen hours of regeneration, he could grow another hand. The gas that comes out of Jenny's mouth is similar to the gas that was coming out of the Doctor's mouth while he was still regenerating.

  • A Time Lord's birth (whether natural, loomed, or cloned) is not a regeneration: there's nothing to re-generate. His first regeneration occurs at the death of his first form.
    – BESW
    Commented Nov 25, 2013 at 12:40

I think (because it isn't explained in the show) we are free to make our own assumptions. If you recall, when the Master regenerated after being Dr. Yana, the regeneration energy was not golden, but almost a complete rainbow of colours, so the green colouration of the energy may simply be the colour of Jenny's energy. I also think the possibility of the Source saving her is likely, or at least in part. it could be that Jenny was simply killed too quickly for regeneration to be triggered, but the source possibly lowered the required energy, and allowed Jenny to return to life without a full regeneration.


Well, she did in fact regenerate - what happened was she was too alike to the doctor to regenerate but that was wrong she was too alike that it was just taking a long time since she was too alike she also just regenerated by breathing out regeneration energy. Since this happened, she cannot change the way she looks; she can only come back to life

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    Welcome to Science Fiction & Fantasy SE. Can you please edit your post to use punctuation as right now, it’s quite difficult to see where your sentences begin and end.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Commented Mar 22, 2015 at 13:03

I think she was shot in one heart and knowing that timelords have two hearts it just took a while for her to use her regeneration powers to heal the heart. A few of you mentioned that she was just born so she was still in her “regeneration phase” I think that is possibly why it took longer. We know timelords can survive with one heart for at least short periods of time because the doctor was with out one of his hearts for a moment. Forgot which episode it was he was with out one of his hearts for a short time.

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    But the Doctor wouldn't have said she was dead if one of her hearts was still beating, would he?
    – DavidW
    Commented Aug 16, 2019 at 4:18

I think she breathed out energy like the one coming from a regeneration but not knowing about regenerations she shouldn't have been able to regenerate (cf when the Master is shot, the Doctor tells him to regenerate and he refuses, meaning it's their choice), but maybe she kind of felt something was goon on and took a chance doing what she could with the knowledge she got, which didn't include regenerating while changing body but maybe healing, which she did. It's also possible for a Timelord to regenerate without changing bodies, as said by the Doctor in 'the time of the doctor' (10th regeneration, vanity issues), maybe she didn't know how to change bodies or maybe she just wanted to keep her body since she only got it a few hours before and wanted her dad to be able to recognize her...

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