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article imageRegeneration of Doctor Who announced for 50th anniversary

By Mathew Wace Peck     Apr 27, 2013 in Entertainment
Regeneration, a Doctor Who book-and-DVD set chronicling each regeneration of the Doctor, will be released in June as part of the BBC’s 50th-anniversary celebrations of their iconic science-fiction television series.
The concept of regeneration, which was introduced into Doctor Who in 1966, was pivotal in ensuring the drama’s continuation. The first-ever regeneration took place in the concluding moments of The Tenth Planet, when William Hartnell’s First Doctor was seen to metamorphose into a younger man, played by Patrick Troughton.
Sadly, while the a small segment of the regeneration sequence itself still exists, the fourth and final episode of The Tenth Planet is missing from the BBC Archives. For this release, then, the episode has been painstakingly recreated in 2D animation for BBC Worldwide by Pup Ltd and Planet 55 Studios.
The work on the episode has taken a long time, with Austen Atkinson – Head of Planet 55 Studios – telling, “We are about to finish two years of development and production work on the project – the first scene was animated all the way back in 2011! You have no idea how hard it was to keep that secret!”
In total, there are nine regeneration episodes of Doctor Who, all of which, according to Den of Geek, will be included in the set. These will be accompanied by photography [from the episodes] and detailed accounts of each transition.
In the 1970s and 1980s, a further five regenerations gave us Doctors Three to Seven: in 1970, Troughton was succeeded by Jon Pertwee, who was followed, in 1974, by Tom Baker, then Peter Davison in 1981, Colin Baker in 1984 and Sylvester McCoy in 1987.
Following several years without any new episodes, McCoy’s Seventh Doctor was seen to regenerate into Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor at the beginning of the 1996 TV movie, Doctor Who.
“Bursting into flames”
Each of these occasions saw the Doctor regenerate in a different way. However, since 2005, all regenerations – whether of the Doctor or another Time Lord – have used the same “bursting into flames” technique.
When the series returned in 2005, Christopher Eccleston appeared fully formed as the Ninth Doctor, the suggestion being given in his first episode, Rose, that he’d recently regenerated. However, it wasn’t until later that same year that viewers saw an actual regeneration sequence, when David Tennant took over the role. The most recent regeneration took place on New Year’s Day 2010, at the close of The End of Time Part 2, when Matt Smith emerged as the Eleventh Doctor.
As reported by, the full set of stories included in Doctor Who: Regeneration are, in order, The Tenth Planet, The War Games, Planet of the Spiders, Logopolis, The Caves of Androzani, Time and the Rani, Doctor Who, Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways and The End of Time Part One/The End of Time Part Two. It will be released on 24 June, but is available to pre-order now from the BBC Shop.
The Twelfth Doctor
Meanwhile, speculation has been rife in recent months that Smith is to quit the show later this year, giving viewers the chance to see the Doctor regenerate once again. It has also been claimed that the BBC have already cast the actor who is to play the Twelfth Doctor.
However, Smith’s Eleventh Doctor continues in the current season of Doctor Who this evening, with Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS, by the Sherlock writer Stephen Thompson. It also stars Jenna-Louise Coleman (Clara) and Ashley Walters. Three more episodes will follow: The Crimson Horror, Nightmare in Silver and, the season finale, The Name of the Doctor.
The Crimson Horror, by Mark Gatiss, sees mother and daughter Diana Rigg and Rachel Stirling guest-star, as well as the return of the Paternoster Gang – the Silurian Madam Vastra, her human partner Jenny and Sontaran butler Strax – popular characters previously seen in the stories A Good Man Goes to War, The Great Detective and The Snowmen.
Nightmare in Silver is the eagerly anticipated second Doctor Who script from fantasy writer Neil Gaiman, whose first – The Doctor’s Wife – earned him a Hugo Award in 2011. This time, Gaiman tackles the Cybermen, who were originally introduced in the show’s first-ever regeneration story, The Tenth Planet.
Finally, Steven Moffat’s The Name of the Doctor is set to reveal the Doctor’s greatest secret, and will lead directly into events in November’s as-yet-untitled 50th-anniversary episode, which will see Tennant reprise his role of the Tenth Doctor alongside Smith’s Eleventh. The story also stars John Hurt and sees the return of the Zygons, monsters last seen in the 1975 story, Terror of the Zygons.
More about Doctor Who, Matt smith, Regeneration, The tenth planet, Steven moffat
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