Here we go again with Steven Moffat confusing us all again. According to Steven, we’ve miscounted the number of regenerations that the Doctor has undergone. Speaking at a Radio Times-sponsored event at the Cheltenham Literature Festival (13th October 2013), Steven Moffat revealed his thoughts on the Doctor’s current regeneration situation.
While confirming that the Doctor does indeed have a limit on his regenerations (12, thereby giving him 13 bodies in total). We all know that Matt Smith's is set to regenerate at Christmas into Peter Capaldi's 12th Doctor; Moffat indicated that while we think the Eleventh Doctor is the Eleventh Doctor, he actually isn’t.
He can only regenerate 12 times.
"I think you should go back to your DVDs and count correctly this time… there’s something you’ve all missed."
So, what is Steven Moffat going on about? Are we assuming that because we have had 12 actors in the role of the Doctor (including Peter Capaldi and excluding John Hurt's Doctor-Not-Doctor); that the Doctor has undergone 11 regenerations? (will have done come Christmas 2013). 12 Doctors equals 11 regenerations - right?
Peter Davison believes that the moment has been prepared for:
What does Peter Davison know that we do not? Could Moffat have planned for this when Professor River Song saved the Eleventh by giving him all of her regeneration energy in Series 6′s Let’s Kill Hitler?
Well let us think on this. We know that William Hartnell regenerated into Patrick Troughton at the end of The Tenth Planet after defeating the Cybermen. However, we never saw Troughton's Doctor regenerate did we. All we know is that the Time Lords forced his incarnation to change his appearance as part of his punishment when he was exiled to Earth. When next we see the Doctor, he stumbles out of the TARDIS in a wood as Jon Pertwee.
Patrick Troughton's forced change of appearance or regeneration? You decide
Which leads us onto Paul McGann's Eighth Doctor. Again, we never got to see a regeneration. Russell T Davies brought Doctor Who back on to our TV screens in March 2005 with Christopher Eccleston in the role as the Ninth incarnation of the Doctor.Because we were told that Eccleston's Doctor was the ninth, we assumed that the Doctor regenerated during or some time after The Last Great Time War.
Therefore, if we assume that neither the second nor the eighth incarnation of the Doctor regenerated, that makes Matt Smith's Doctor the ninth. Hopefully, Steven Moffatt will reveal all come the 50th anniversary with the introduction of John Hurt's Doctor-Not-Doctor.