47 Days of Doctor Who–Day #24: Best Regeneration Scene

Welcome to Day 24 of my 47-day series about the revival version of Doctor Who (2005-present). I’ve come up with 47 topics / questions to answer, all of them basically positive and upbeat about the program. Each day (or as often as I can actually write these–so far so good!) I’ll pick one of them at random (using this convenient random number generator) and then write up an answer.

Why 47? It’s my favorite number.
Why Doctor Who? It’s my favorite show.
Why the modern day Doctor Who only? Simply because I remember it better.
Why only positive stuff? Because really, I write enough snark.

So, as I’ve mentioned, today is Day #24, which means that somewhere in the night we passed the halfway point for this whole exercise.  We spin the Random Number Generator, and eventually it lands on 12, which means the topic of the day is

“Best Regeneration Scene”

Obviously, there are three main contenders for this:  the final moments of Doctor #9 (Christopher Eccleston), Doctor #10 (David Tennant) and Doctor #11 (Matt Smith).

But in truth, there are lots of other possibilities as well.  There’s the 8th Doctor one, the War Doctor one, the two River Song regenerations, the one with the Master, the Time Lord General from the recent Hell Bent episode, the bonus one where David Tennant regenerated into himself, and the fake-out with Matt Smith almost regenerating before he was supposedly killed, but it turned out to really be a shapeshifting robot with the Doctor inside, and anyway the Doctor was actually at the end of his life-cycle and couldn’t have regenerated anyway.

But I’m not picking any of those, I’m going with one of the “main” ones.  All three are excellent scenes in their own way.  But in spite of the novelty of  Christopher Eccleston’s standing regeneration, or the gravitas of David Tennant’s explosive transformation, I’m going with

The Eleventh Doctor’s Regeneration, The Time of the Doctor

There is about 3.5 minutes of screentime from when Clara enters the TARDIS following the Daleks’ defeat, to when the Doctor changes into his newest incarnation, but every second of it is gold.  Clara wondering (along with us) whether the Doctor has already changed, the Doctor enjoying his last taste of fish fingers and custard, the hallucination of Amelia, the Doctor waxing poetic with “I will always remember when the Doctor was me,” the vision of Amy, the Doctor loosening his bow tie…

…and then bam!  Matt Smith is gone and Peter Capaldi and his crazy eyebrows are staring back at us, proving Doctor Who can still surprise us.  We’re on to the future, and the show quite literally must go on.

Click here for a master list for this series.


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