Guest Blog: Regeneration and Doctor Who

March 6, 2017
Failing Naika
March 20, 2017

Spiritual Regeneration

and Doctor Who

By Guest Blogger: Darrell Ellis


Today we have a special treat for you sci-fi fans out there! Darrell Ellis wrote this article on spiritual growth and renewal based on the theme of Doctor Who! Enjoy and Thanks, Darrell! –Vinnie

All 13th versions of the Doctor

[Darrell Ellis] In 1963, the BBC in England premiered a new television series called “Doctor Who.”  The program is about a mysterious time traveler who calls himself simply “The Doctor.”  No first or last name, just “The Doctor” which of course begs the question “Doctor who?”  and thus the title of the TV series.

When the first actor who played The Doctor, William Hartnell, became to ill to continue playing the character, producers decided to give the role to another actor named Patrick Troughton.   They knew that children would never buy a new actor taking over the role without a good explanation.  So the show’s writers came up with the idea of “regeneration.”  Whenever The Doctor is about to die, every cell in his body is reborn, and he regenerates into a new doctor (and thus the old actor retires, and a new actor takes his place).  He has a new face, a new personality, but still, retains all his old memories of past adventures. 

The 11 (left) and 10th (right) and mysterious War Doctor (middle)

One of these actors, David Tennant, had a very memorable scene when he left the series to be replaced by Matt Smith.  On David Tennant’s final episode as the 10th doctor, we see him sacrifice his life to save a friend.  Unfortunately, he knows the radiation he has just absorbed will kill him soon.  So in his last moments on Earth, he goes and revisits some old friends and begins making plans for his demise.  Ultimately, he goes home to his Tardis and in his final moments as the 10th doctor, a teary-eyed doctor sobs “I don’t want to go!” just before his current body dies, and regenerates into the 11th doctor, played by Matt Smtih.

A question we might ask though is why The 10th Doctor was so sad?  So upset?  He knew what would happen next.  He’d been there before.  The 10th doctor had already regenerated ten other times, so he knew what was coming next.  Soon he would have a new body and could go on new adventures, and he would still remember all his old friends and past adventures.   The 10th doctor had nothing to fear, he knew he wouldn’t actually die but instead would receive a brand new body and a new life.  So why did he cry out “I don’t want to go?”

We as humans often do the same thing.   As Christians, we know that as long as we have faith in Jesus, we’ll regenerate.  We too will someday have new bodies; we will regenerate into a perfect body that will never know death again.  If our faith is in Christ, we have nothing to fear.  If you found out tomorrow that you were going to die soon, would you feel the same way the 10th doctor did?  Would you find yourself saying “I don’t want to go?”

The Apostle Paul called the degenerated self the old self or old man and counseled that we needed to let him go in order the become the new person we are to become (see Colossians 3:9-10, Ephesians 4:22-24, Romans 6:6, Galatians 5:16-18). The Bible calls this being, “born again.” One of the great lessons we can learn from Doctor Who is that while dying to the old you and being regenerated into a new version is both somewhat scary and even sad in some ways, the truth is the new you is still you but only an improved you. It is amazing how the more the Doctor changes, the more he is still always the Doctor. Growth is scary, and different but is always makes us better versions of what God intended when he envisioned us, “In the beginning.”

The Doctor and Clara.

Fear of the unknown is a normal human response.   And even the doctor admitted to being scared at times.  One of my favorite Doctor Who quotes comes from the 3rd doctor, Jon Pertwee, who said “Courage isn’t a matter of not being afraid.   Its being afraid, but doing what you have to do anyway.”  And with that same spirit, we should face every day with courage and face the fact that someday we too will meet the end of the road in our current bodies.  When that time comes, we shouldn’t say “I don’t want to go,” but instead look forward to the glorified bodies and eternity with Jesus that God has promised us.


Darrel Ellis, It guy by day, Superhero by night! 😉
Seriously, the biggest Superman fan I know!

Darrell Ellis

is a fun loving I.T. professional who works at Southwestern Community College and attends Crest Baptist Church in Creston IA. He loves God, Kathrine, Superman, and Doctor Who! Darrell is an accomplished guitarist and country music historian and one of the funniest guys you could ever want to meet!


*Doctor Who and all the images and ideas associated with it are the property of The BBC, and their use in the article is a “fair use” application only. makes no claim to ownership or property past illustrations purposes.

The famed 10th Doctor Regeneration aka “I don’t wanna go!”


Check out the regenerations of all the Doctors!

Darrell and his future wife Katherine (Kat) meet Jenna Coleman at a convention

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