I’ve got a Doctor Who headcanon that, because time travel and longevity makes the concept of birthdays tricky, regenerations are celebrated like birthdays on Gallifrey.
Except instead of cake, your friends and family all bring you a wide variety of food and drink to sample, so you know what your new favorite flavors are, and instead of regular gifts, they offer up all their old clothes so they can try to find clothing that fits and looks good on their new body.
And because time travel is fairly commonplace on Gallifrey, you never have to worry about missing a friend or loved one’s regeneration festivities you just put together your sampler, grab your wardrobe (fits in a bigger-on-the-inside suitcase) and head over to the day they regenerated.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved how they tackled the regeneration limit problem in Time of the Doctor, but there’s one thing I’d have done differently:
I’d have had the weeping angel break Clara’s ankle when it grabbed her, and the Doctor would have healed it the way he did with River’s wrist in a similar situation. Clara would walk on it, and complain that it was much better, but still felt a little bruised. The Doctor would have a look of concern flash across his face, and then he’d comment something like “what do you expect, you mend a broken bone in seconds, it’s bound to be a bit sore.”
Then later, when he’s explaining that he can no longer regenerate, he would say that he thought he still had one more in him, but that he’d been reckless with his regeneration energy (and it would show a quick montage of the Tenth Doctor healing his hand in “The Christmas Invasion,” starting to regenerate in “The Stolen Earth,” and Eleven healing River’s wrist in “The Angels Take Manhattan”), and he would comment that he could feel himself scraping the bottom of the barrel when he healed Clara’s ankle.
Which would explain why he had regeneration energy to use at all in “The Angels Take Manhattan,” why he had the teselecta fake the regeneration effect, and why he never commented that he was on his last body when, for example, River disabled his ability to regenerate in “Let’s Kill Hitler,” or in any other instance.
I have nothing against a ret-con, believe me, I loved what they did in Day of the Doctor, but it was mostly because they answered questions like “why did the Doctor act like he still destroyed Gallifrey?” and “Why didn’t the Tenth Doctor remember meeting the Eleventh?”
That’s the whole thing: If I was doing Time of the Doctor, I would have written myself around the continuity obstacles rather than simply ignoring them.
I remember reading GallifreyBase back in 2008 and half the posts were some variation of “did Ten’s fake-out regeneration in The Stolen Earth count towards the limit?” and “I bet Paul McGann shows up next season”
and the other half were “if light shoots out the doctor’s sleeves and collar when he regenerates, if he regenerates with his fly open does a beam of light shoot out” and “what happens if the doctor is naked when he regenerates where does the light go”
Watching the Doctor spend seven seasons regretting the destruction of Gallifrey and his people, lamenting that there wasn’t another way, talking about how he sacrificed his family and many other innocents to end the war, and explicitly stating that if he could go back and save them he would
then having him presented an opportunity to go back and save his family and all those innocents, as well as another way out of the war that protects the universe from Rassilon and averts the slaughter of innocent billions, and seeing him take that opportunity and do exactly what he’s saying he wishes he could do for seven seasons
somehow that doesn’t feel like nullifying or negating the Time War arc that began in 2005
somehow that feels like completing it.
*whispers* I’m actually really interested in what you had to say about this…
To give you an idea, the introduction lists a few things Hamlet and The End of Time have in common:
[very quiet whisper] i always hated the time war and the destruction of the time lords. i thought it was a cheap handwave to keep russell t davies from having to examine his scripts too hard for things that straight-up contradicted the classic series, and i’ve generally felt that the lack of the time lords and the doctor’s guilt over killing them got old somewhere around mid-2007. to me it always seemed rather uncharacteristic of the doctor to completely wipe out either the time lords or the daleks, and i thought it would me more in line with the character if he had found some way to imprison them or otherwise avert the catastrophe. frankly, i’m really glad moffat did it, and i’ve been waiting for someone to do it for years. when i see people, especially people i really like, posting things about how moffat undid the best part of the revived series, it actually kind of hurts, because it makes me realize that apparently the aspect of the show that everyone else prized and held dear was the one part of the show i absolutely hated and wished they’d get rid of.