The talk of companions influencing how a regeneration turns out in Rose the Friend Influence has sparked off some interesting discussions in the Junkyard, behind the scenes. Here’s Mike’s fascinating take on the subject, where he has taken my spark of an idea and fleshed it out. RP
There’s something that gets overlooked with the regenerations but through whatever wacky happenstance, there’s continuity here and it’s a rare word for Doctor Who but it may be the most important element of the character and it started with something the Fifth Doctor said.
After regenerating, the Time Lord body is like an open receiver. He should use the Zero Room to filter out interference. Since he almost never does…
As Roger said in his article, the regeneration from Hartnell to Troughton surrounded by the swinging 60s of Ben and Polly did create a product of that era, complete with 60s Beatles hair. He was no longer the stiff that he was as Hartnell (I love Hartnell, so it’s not a dig, but he lost his Edwardian gentleman in favor of a hippy hobo approach to life.)
When he is forced to be the next Doctor, he spends the majority of Spearhead in bed, surrounded by Military personnel. As a result, he’s the action Doctor. His first companion is Liz, a brain, and he picks up on that along with the macho military personae and is absolutely the male chauvinist most of the time. He’s absolutely a product of the two people he’s around the most.
Tom Baker’s Doctor is confused and “slightly erratic” possibly because the abbot pushed his regeneration along, who had also just regenerated, and partly because Harry and Sarah were his main companions. Lethbridge Stewart too, which might account for his action-ish personality, but it’s more the mania that comes about from Sarah Jane’s independence along with Harry’s polite but strict mind. Independence and following the military structure are pretty much polar opposites and would result in very erratic behavior.
Davison’s Doctor, without the Zero Room to do him the good he had hoped, is absolutely the mix of pouty anger, angst and bursts of brilliance.
Peri was a mess, probably riddled with the guilt from the Doctor giving all the bat’s milk to her. She’s a brash American, wearing loud and colorful clothing and it’s no surprise that Colin’s Doctor would exhibit those traits including the confusion that he shows towards his companion. (How confusing was it for Peri, who had just met this man, to see him die for her, only to spring back to life looking completely different!)
McCoy’s first encounter, with whom he spends most of his first few hours isn’t his companion: it’s the Rani. A devious, manipulative genius. He may have a good heart thanks to Mel, but no Doctor was ever as devious as this one!
McGann’s Doctor is the first to kiss a girl when the first person he spends any time with has the hots for him. She’s happy, kind, and brilliant, and those three things do cover McGann’s Doctor well.
The War Doctor is hurt because of the time war, battle weary, angry. He has not yet wiped out his own people. The sisterhood is also angry about the Time War. I’ll concede this is a leap as we know the least about this Doctor… but Eccleston…
He appears to have been recently regenerated but evidence shows otherwise. Still, he’s just wiped out his own people and sees survivors (humans) as stupid apes.
But when he becomes Tennant’s Doctor, he’s with a woman he’s clearly developing feelings for (he just kissed at the end of the episode) and he becomes a man she can love, as he’s experiencing new feelings for her too. Rose does heal the Doctor, but largely because she was healed by the Doctor. They created a wonderful balance.
When he goes, his first encounter is with a little girl and the Eleventh Doctor is the most childlike. He has once again forgotten all the humany wumany things and he’s back to second childhood. Now here’s where it gets interesting….
When Clara asks the Time Lords to save the Doctor, he is given an older body again, like what we saw when we first met the Doctor as Hartnell (the actor was the same age as Hartnell when he took the role!) On top of that, he’s with a woman who is lost – she’s lost her “boyfriend” and has this old man in his place. She’s annoyed, but trying to accept him. She dares him and he dares her, but he starts off annoying and tough to warm to. It’s not until his second season that he starts to remember why he “chose this face”. By his final season, he is the Doctor, true and true… and after spending an entire season with his oldest frenemy, the Master, who as a woman was finally showing signs of being his friend again, and then being brought back to the TARDIS by a female puddle and Bill, the Doctor’s lesbian friend who kisses him before he starts the regeneration…
Jodie Whittaker is born. And women are always more mature than men anyway, so she fell out of the sky fully formed! ML