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The "Status" of the Eighth Doctor's half-humanity ?? [Jun. 15th, 2014|05:26 pm]
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I've seen it mentioned (in various places around YouTube) that the whole half-human thing has been 'discredited.' Just out of curiosity, does anyone reading this know what that means? How, when, and by whom?

Was it retconned in a Big Finish audio (or other story)? Or did someone of high status within New Who simply voice dislike of the idea?

[User Picture]From: john_amend_all
2014-06-16 11:06 am (UTC)
I think it's the result of events in Journey's End, where the metacrisis Doctor and Donna are part-human, and it's strongly implied that therefore the main Doctor isn't.
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[User Picture]From: capriuni
2014-06-16 12:35 pm (UTC)
Ah, thanks. So it's in the subtext, then, if you care to look -- or it might not be, if you prefer to examine the consequences of his Half-Humanity. Which is healthy for a diverse population of fanfic... So I approve.

For my own part, back in the Wilderness years, a friend and I worked out that he may have become half-human (and specifically on his "mother's" side) for that incarnation only, as a consequence of regenerating in a morgue surrounded by humans, instead of in the TARDIS (or within the TARDIS's range) as he normally did... and that, in each subsequent regeneration, he'd gradually regain his full Timelord DNA.

Which means (nice for me) that "official" Doctor Who has not necessarily broken my head!canon.
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[User Picture]From: renn
2014-06-16 04:55 pm (UTC)
your head!canon is similar to mine, except I figured the Doctor was half-human for that incarnation only 'cause his previous self was getting a human blood transfusion when he "died" on the operating table-- so he had all this human dna mucking things up when he actually regenerated.
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[User Picture]From: capriuni
2014-06-16 05:53 pm (UTC)
Oh, good point! I'll add: "That, too!" to (my friend's and) my theory... which is this:

In sexually reproducing, multi-cellular animals on Earth, there are actually two sets of DNA: the DNA in the cells' nuclei, and a completely different set of DNA in the cells' mitochondria. In the cells' nuclei, as most know, half the DNA comes from the father and half from the mother. But all of the mitochondrial DNA comes from the mother ... So being half-human "on his mother's side" would be different, biologically, than being half-human "on his father's side."

The thing is: mitochondria are the parts of our cells that convert sugars into energy. My friend and I figured, therefore, that a) the mitochondria must be the first part of the Doctor's cells to regenerate, so that his body would have the energy to finish the process, and b) Taking the Second Doctor's word for it that he needs the TARDIS to regenerate, the TARDIS must have some sort of genetic data-matrix which the Doctor's cells can "read" as they change, to keep everything on-track (When he regenerated from Four to Five, he was far outside the TARDIS, and that regen nearly failed).

When Seven regenerated to Eight, he was surrounded on all sides by examples of human, rather than Timelord, DNA, so the cells of his body used that as the only genetic data-matrix available.

The result was: his mitochondrial DNA was fully human, and his nuclear DNA was half-human... which is the same result, genetically, as if a Timelord's sperm had united with a human egg... And in his post-regen mental muddle, that deep celular body sense formed the idea in his mind that his "mother" was human... even if Timelord sperm and human egg are too different from each other to actually produce a viable embryo/fetus.
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[User Picture]From: capriuni
2014-06-16 06:21 pm (UTC)
And I just had another thought: maybe that human DNA still mucking about in his system was why [spoiler]

his regeneration from Eight to the Warrior failed completely, in "Night of the Doctor," and he needed the Sisterhood of Karn to rescue him; it wasn't that his death was too quick, in the crash, it was because human DNA can't regenerate. Period. And his Eighth body was rife with the stuff...

ARGH! LJ's new system won't let you hide spoilers? ::Pout::

Edited at 2014-06-16 06:24 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: garpu
2014-06-16 01:53 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the Doctor seemed fairly grossed out by the prospect of being half-human.
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[User Picture]From: capriuni
2014-06-16 03:00 pm (UTC)
I suppose that's a natural reaction to finding yourself to be a chimera...
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[User Picture]From: lilacsigil
2014-06-16 11:09 am (UTC)
The section "Mysteries and Discrepancies" on the Tardis wikia sums it up.
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[User Picture]From: capriuni
2014-06-16 12:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the link!

(It's enough to make the head spin...)
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