Eleven actors, one role

This is great, if (like me) you’re a “Doctor Who” fan – someone has put together a YouTube video of all the regenerations from the show’s history.

If you’re not a “Doctor Who” fan, let me explain – the long-running British science fiction TV show, on the air since 1963, has had 11 different actors in the lead role. (The main character is “The Doctor,” by the way – he’s never actually called “Doctor Who.”) In the mid-1960s, when the original Doctor, William Hartnell, quit the show, the producers decided to invent a plot point by which Time Lords can, in situations of extreme trauma, regenerate a new body. The new incarnation is still The Doctor, with all of his memories, but may have slight differences in personality, which are explained as consequences of the change.

Seven different actors played the character in the show’s original run, from 1963-1989. There was a TV movie in the mid 1990s, a failed attempt to bring the show back as a joint British-American production, which would have been shot in Canada (!). The last Doctor from the original show, Sylvester McCoy, made a cameo appearance at the beginning of that movie so that we could see him regenerate into the new version, to be played by Paul McGann.

When the BBC re-launched the show on its own in 2005, it did not show the regeneration – the new series simply started with Christopher Eccleston in the role. So whomever put together this YouTube video used some fan-made footage to show a McGann-to-Eccleston regeneration.

I cannot wait for the new season of “Doctor Who” to start – even though it will, sadly, mark the swan song for the Doctor’s current traveling companions, Amy and Rory (played by Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill).