Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Of all the regenerations of the Doctor so far, the trippiest has to be that of the Fourth Doctor into the Fifth Incarnation.   (I'm writing this on August 15th, however.  We've yet to see the regeneration from Matt Smith to Peter Capaldi.)

Throughout the visit to "Logopolis" and then back on Earth where the transformation took place, the Doctor was shadowed by a mysterious figure whom Adric referred to as "The Watcher". (Not to be confused with Uatu of the Marvel Comics Universe.)

When at last the Doctor lay dying after his fall from the transmission tower, the Watcher approached and merged with the Doctor to regenerate into the form he would take as the Fifth Incarnation.

The Watcher was the Doctor's future self, but without the mixture of DNA already stored in the body.  This is why he looks radically different from the Fifth Doctor (besides the fact that another actor was playing the role - Adrian Gibbs, not Peter Davison.)

As the Eleventh Incarnation would say, the Watcher was not yet cooked.  Basically he was the dough, the primordial clay to work with.

And yet the Watcher seemed to be alive.  It was ambulatory and it conversed with Adric (although the Maths prodigy couldn't remember many details of the conversation just moments later.)  He was from the Future, but where exactly did he come from?

I think he was akin to being a Gallifreyan ghost, sent by someone, perhaps a Time Lord, in preparation for the transformation known to be imminent.

Here is my theory - When I said it was alive, it would be better described as being a simulacrum.  It was merely a container in humanoid form housing the DNA from some Time Lord's former incarnation.  This DNA would be used to create the new look for the Doctor.  It was a walking, talking storage bank until it made its deposit into the Doctor to spark regeneration.  (And when I say it talked, I think it was merely a "squawk-box" through which the mystery donor conversed with Adric.  Or it was programmed to supply certain replies.)

So, as with the situation faced by the Second Incarnation, the choice of the new physical appearance of the Doctor was forced upon the dying Time Lord.  And that would mean that the visage of Peter Davision's interpretation of the role, minus any influx from the previous DNA, was a Time Lord from the Past.  That Time Lord would still exist, but in some other incarnation now.  

(I think the storage of Time Lord DNA on Gallifrey is along the lines of the near-mythical transfer of the Vulcan katra into specially designed arks.)

But when it comes to the source for that DNA?  Dare I ask it?  Who?

Here's my candidate - and remember, it's only a theory.  Please... no wagering.

I think it could have been the Doctor's old Prydonian Academy classmate, Drax (Class of 92).  

During his adventure to secure the "Key Of Time", the Doctor met up with Drax again while dealing with "The Armageddon Factor".  Despite the years and the number of regenerations between them, these two Time Lords were still able to recognize each other.*

(I've got a few friends who hate to be reminded of their old school nicknames.)

However, while the Doctor was serving the White Guardian, Drax was under duress by "the Shadow" to serve the Black Guardian.  As such, he was forced to lead the Doctor into a trap.  But the Fourth Incarnation easily saw through the ruse played out by Drax and avoided the trap.  
Although he was of a criminal bent, Drax did have a moral compass in fairly good working order.  With a bit of cajoling from the Doctor, Drax abandoned the Black Guardian and the Shadow and threw in his lot with the Doctor.

After the adventure was over, Drax remained behind on the planet Atrios to help in its rebuilding.  But before they parted ways, Drax may have told the Doctor that he owed him a huge favor.

The Doctor always had people in his debt.  But this time, it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that he decided to cash in right away.

I think the Doctor asked Drax to build him an emergency regeneration system into the TARDIS data banks.  (Having dealt with the Guardians, he was probably concerned about  the percussions of retribution from such near-gods.  Plus, after an influx of human DNA in two of his last three regenerations, he may have felt it time to replenish his stock with Time Lord genetics.)
Calling on his skills as a tech wizard with his specialties in cybernetics (and calling upon his record as a convicted criminal), the renegade Time Lord might have broken into the Gallifrey data banks and stole some of the finer samples of Time Lord DNA.

But I doubt it.  More on that in a bit.....

The next time the Doctor would be forced into regeneration, it would be into a body of his own choosing!

So Drax could have created a computer program for the TARDIS which could generate a cybernetic, probably holographic, man with a built-in guidance system (also one of his specialties) that would track and shadow the Doctor once activated.  Drax chose to give the housing unit a humanoid form so that it could monitor and follow the Doctor easily through even the roughest terrain.

If needed, that program could generate several holographic vessels, enough to cover the Doctor's limit of regenerations if need be.  And with each one that was created, a different DNA sample was carried.

The program was probably triggered by the threatened entropic destruction of Logopolis.  Upon seeing the Watcher activated, the Doctor knew he would soon undergo regeneration.

And that's why the Doctor was able to reassure his Companions, "It's the end... but the moment has been prepared for."

The inclusion of the Watcher is necessary for the official version of his regeneration, but somebody on YouTube has re-edited it to make a smooth "morph" into the Fifth....

So whose DNA did Drax swipe for the Doctor?

I think he was too big a coward to actually return to Gallifrey, being a renegade Time Lord and all.  And if his burglary skills were that good, how did he end up in Brixton prison?

No, I think Drax took the easy way out - he went back in Time, violating one of the laws of Time Travel by crossing his own time-stream.  That way, he collected DNA samples from his own previous regenerations.

He should have known better.  But then again, he did flunk temporal theory at the Prydonian Academy.....

(Rassilon intended for regeneration to be only available to the elite of Gallifrey - definite class system there.  But I think Drax stole the technology to make it happen and gave himself the capability.  This is why he was a renegade Time Lord.)

Mixed with the DNA originally absorbed within the Doctor once the Watcher had merged with him, it created a new template that looked like some actor named Peter Davison.  (Once upon a time, Davison was hired to play a character called the Doctor in a TV show primarily created to debunk any sightings of Time Lord activity on Earth.)

So one of the past incarnations of Drax looked somewhat similar, but not exactly, to the Fifth Doctor.

(Come on!  I don't know if I'll ever get my dream-casting of Julian Rhind-Tutt as the Doctor, so for the time being, I'll settle for him being a previous incarnation of Drax.....)


* That a TV character in some other series might recognize another despite the other being a "recastaway" could mean that the two of were also from Gallifrey and passing themselves off as human.  Perhaps they made use of Chameleon Arches.

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