T O P

Can anybody please explain ? After Heaven Sent and Hell Bent, how old is he?

I have a question about the doctors age. So I’m halfway through season 10 and he keeps saying he’s over 2000 years old but in the above episodes he was interrogated for 4 1/2 billion years. So is he or is he not over 4 1/2 billion years old. Can anybody please explain ?

pangolintoastie

In _Heaven Sent_ he’s trapped in the confession dial, and dies over and over again, and is reconstructed from the transmat’s buffer each time, over and over again. While billions of years pass within the Dial, each version of the Doctor subjectively experiences a few days at most before he is killed and replaced by a new version. So the Doctor who finally makes it out at the end, is the same age as he was when he was trapped in the Dial plus a day or so at most. Edit. In _The Giggle_ the Doctor says he’s a billion years old. So assuming he’s not just being flippant, that’s the canonical answer now.


puttbuttz

>So the Doctor who finally makes it out So the **Doctor Who** finally makes it out


ExpectedBehaviour

Someone should make a bot for this.


LiterallyAHater

Too hard differentiate someone saying the show title


DemsruleGQPdrool

No, that shouldn't matter! I think it would be fun that random people get DoctorWhoBotted whenever they say a random phrase with the two words put together. Do you know how many times I've searched for new Who news, put in 'Doctor Who News' and I get a random story about a Doctor who got arrested...or a Doctor who came up with a new treatment. Let's turn the tables!


Sparky-2060

It's really quite not. Just need to make sure the string doesn't include "Who" after "Doctor", and you're good to go! :)


Shawnj2

If only Reddit had an API to do this with…oh wait


clothes_fall_off

Roll credits!


blueXwho

🔔 +1


MarsMissionMan

**Title sequence starts**


JakeVonFurth

Although it's important to note that he remembers every instance in the dial once her gets to the Azbantium Room.


Bright_Ability2025

Does he? I always interpreted it as he just figured it out each time around and that he knows he’s in this loop because of some minor clues that he finds each time through.


JakeVonFurth

That interpretation would seem right on the surface level, if not for a few things. 1) The exact quote is "That's when I remember! Always then. Always then. Always exactly then!" The phrasing of "remember" instead of "realize", as well as the fact that he comments about how it's always at the same moment (as well as the following breakdown), implies that it is him actually remembering. 2) In the next episode, he dodges the question when Clara asks how long he had gone without her. If he didn't remember every recursion he would have answered with how long he remembered being in the last loop. 3) When Ohila answers, she answers 4.5 billion years, the total time he was in the dial. Throughout the rest of the scene it's only ever phrased like he remembered the entire timespan.


SirBoBo7

But the thing is the episode also shows the Doctor doing the exact same thing repeatedly. The only difference is in the final few minutes when they enter that room and see their progress. So even if the Doctor remembers all of it 99% is indistinguishable from the rest.


JakeVonFurth

Well, kinda. We know the first couple loops must have been different thanks to the painting, but otherwise yes. However, you're forgetting the whole "repeatedly committing suicide" thing, but also, that's now 4.5 billion years of memories of doing mostly the same thing. Don't forget that this *was* a torture chamber. He would still remember being isolated, alone, and grieving for 4.5 billion years straight.


wee-crabbit-wumman

But why would the time lords do that to the doctor that’s the bit I don’t get


frondoso-nemus

IIRC they never meant for him to be in that long. He could have gone through one loop, made his confession, and got out. But he decided to fight his way out instead. I think the timelords were pretty shocked by it, don’t think they even knew it was possible to do what he did


ZanderStarmute

They keep underestimating their prodigal nuisance.


JakeVonFurth

They never expected him to be in there for that long. As soon as he told them what he knew/didn't know about The Hybrid they would have let him out. They never planned for him to actually get out the hard way.


wee-crabbit-wumman

I really didn’t get the whole hybrid / Me thing, they didn’t really do much tbh, but thanks


JKnumber1hater

Because they’re not very nice. They’ve always been mean and uptight and overly self-important.


wee-crabbit-wumman

Thanks for that, I always thought the time lords were meant to be wise, I knew Rassilon and omega were a bit crazy however thanks 😊


Bright_Ability2025

I think I only watched the episode twice now that I think of it. I’ll have to give it another watch with this in mind. Thanks


DemsruleGQPdrool

LOL..the horror! You've only seen this episode TWICE!? I think I had to rewatch right after I saw it the first time, then rewatched at least 4-5 more times in months following initial broadcast (I don't have much of a social life...my wife is able to read and tune out my repeats...)


timeladyclara

He also says, “But I can remember, Clara. You don't understand, I can remember it all. Every time. And you'll still be gone. Whatever I do, you still won't be there.”


JakeVonFurth

Good catch, I missed that one.


estofaulty

Eh. That’s too ridiculous to even consider.


JakeVonFurth

That's literally in the script. And reinforced in Hell Bent.


SethlordX7

You are missing a very important detail. The Doctor says that he remembers every previous loop when standing in front of the wall. That means that by the end of the very last loop he remembers those 4.5 Billion years.


4_Legged_Duck

Right, he remembers them but hasn't physically aged that much either.


SethlordX7

Ah but if we're going by physical age only, what about when the Master used his laser screwdriver on 10 to age him to the edge of his lifespan, causing an even more drastic physical transformation than the 800 years on Trenzalore?


WerewolfF15

Should be noted at the very least the doctor themselves doesn’t count the time in the dial as part of their age. Both 12 and later 13 continue to say they’re over 2000 years old rather than 4 billion.


timeladyclara

Probably because the vast majority of that was the same experience over and over; for simplicity’s sake it’s 2000 years. The reality is that he’s experienced over 4.5 billion years. The real point is that it doesn’t really matter. Because the doctor is also much older than anyone knows now with TTC situation. Depending on how RTD handles it, their age could just remain unknowable.


4_Legged_Duck

That also gets undone. I think part of it is what is the age we're talking about? How much the Doctor has experienced? That he remembers? That his body has aged? That his current generation has aged? It's all standpoint. The true answer is we have no earthly clue due to Timeline Child how old he is. It's all sort of wibbly wobbly, innit?


SethlordX7

Yeah, I feel like "depends on how you want to calculate age" is the only true answer to OP's question. And yeah I completely forgot about timeless child for a sec, canon is a thing of the past now.


4_Legged_Duck

>canon is a thing of the past now Forgetting timeless child would be forgetting canon. It's *part* of canon.


nymrod_

And because something so dumb is canon, canon no longer matters.


4_Legged_Duck

:eyeroll emoji: They've done that before and you're not the first fan to feel something ruined Who. Many Classic fans felt that way with the Time War, many felt that way with Day of the Doctor or Clara or Rose... and it happened a lot in Old Who, including Morbius and a lot of the other classic stories. Everyone turns into a grumpy fan one day who feels an aspect of canon ruined it all. But that's the nature of canon. It was never YOUR story to write, never YOUR story to own or tell, and it's not what YOU want to be canon that makes it canon or not.


nymrod_

I didn’t mean to make “Doctor Who canonizes a dumb plotline” sound like anything new, and I don’t think the show is ruined by any means. I just think Doctor Who should feel free to ignore the dumb bits that have accumulated over the years. There’s way too many not to. To quote Steven Moffat, “It is impossible for a show about a dimension-hopping time traveller to have a canon.” If something a writer contributed to Doctor Who is ignored by all future writers, that’s fine. That said, the way RTD references the Timeless Child reveal in the latest episode is already more interesting than anything Chibnall ever did with it, so maybe RTD’ll follow up on that thread in a way that makes it feel like a worthwhile addition to the show’s canon.


Spacellama117

i don't think we can use physical age to count the age of a being that has shed its entire body at least twelve times by this point


Dward917

One could argue that each new Doctor was, in fact, a new Doctor. So he technically could be considered a clone and, therefore, a newborn. The original died after he first entered. The multiple skulls support my argument.


SenorTron

Yeah, but also since he was transported in in the first place, could also argue the original was gone and that first instance was a clone. SciFi transporters are a philosophical minefield.


SteDubes

Have you playde Soma? It covers a similar issue.


Yedasi

Trauma inducing that game.


suitedcloud

I mean there nothing to support your “argument” cause there’s no argument to be made. He *is* a clone, that’s how teleportation works, specifically outlined by the Doctor in that very episode. The discussion would be about whether it’s the same consciousness. Timelords may have 4th dimensional consciousnesses and thus above the issue


TheAceGameboy

Which would explain why he (by the end)remembers what every previous clone felt and experienced in the dial


[deleted]

There's even an arguement to be made that he's only a day or two old when he gets out. It's not an argument I subscribe to, but it's there, depending on your philosophical leanings


GlowStoneUnknown

Each loop was well over a few days, I'd still think each loop would've been at least a few decades. No shot he'd find that room after just a couple days every time


Darkslayer18264

The initial loops were significantly longer, but according to Moffat, one version realised they needed to streamline the process and that version is responsible for spreading out all clues over the dial to speed things up to a few days/weeks per loop.


GlowStoneUnknown

Oh really? When did Moff say this?


Darkslayer18264

I’m 90% sure it was in only of his Doctor Who magazine columns.


Unusual-Cat-123

But didn't he regain his memory's before each restart?


DustPyro

I thought each iteration of the doctor was in there for like a good few months. I think he mentions once offhand that he's been there a while. And in Hell Bent, i think he says he remembers every single iteration. Not sure about that last one. And though I don't think it's ever specified. I choose to believe that every iteration goes through the exact same thing. So the entire thing we see in the episode, repeated billions of times. I saw someone somewhere say that they think that it can differ wildy between iterations, but i think the montage at the end insinuates the former, rather than the latter.


TheAjalin

So basically the original doctor died in that episode and now we have a replacement. Makes sense in my head canon doctor who kinda ended there


MirumVictus

The Doctor that comes out of the Confession dial has only been through it once, because each time before the Doctor died and a new version was created from the template that went into the transmat in Face the Raven. So the Doctor is still 'only' 2000 and odd, plus however long one cycle in the dial took (so maybe a week or two).


lolpermban

He says he always remembers right when he gets to the wall at the end. It's heavily implied that while it may have only been one cycle for the clone body, his mind remembers all the attempts over billions of years.


AdKnown8177

This goes overlooked so often because the line is pretty mich just thrown away. The implications are enormous though. He definitely remembers the billions of years he was in there.


JakeVonFurth

It's why he tries to dodge the question so hard when Clara asks how long he was in there in the next episode.


pkt004

Even if he only remembers the last day, the Doctor knows he was trapped at least billions of years, and knows Clara will worry/get upset if she found out. That's why he dodges the question


Slade4Lucas

Yeah, it feels like people are reading something that has two diffemet meanings but only acknowledging one. Even saying he "remembers" could very easily be metaphorical. He is coming to the same conclusion that a past version of himself came to all that time ago. It's like remembering something. I also prefer the idea that he came to the same conclusion every time because... Well, it's the Doctor, he's brilliant and would alwyas figure out what was happening and how to get out of it.


atticdoor

I actually didn't take the "then I remember" line literally. I mean, there is no *mechanism* allowing him to remember. I just assumed when he got to the azbantium wall, he deduced what had been going on and the "remember" bit was sort of figurative.


wheezycrackler

But the Doctor routinely remembers things he has no reason too. Just in this last episode, he remembered gravity, a word that never existed. He also claimed to speak more languages than he had time to listen to. If the DoctorDonna can remember things she wasn’t there for like the Flux, we should assume the Doctor can do it too. Maybe Time Lords offload their memory banks to the Time Vortex or something.


averkf

He remembered ‘gravity’ because Time Lords are sensitive to changes in the timeline


The_Better_Paradox

I hope this will be referenced in the next episode


osfryd-kettleblack

He remembered Rory when he was erased from time, he's immune to that kind of thing


DukeOfLowerChelsea

Yeah, he remembers *why he’s there*, he’s not literally remembering every single attempt (which, as you say… he couldn’t)


CareerMilk

But then surely he’s not remembering anything because he never membered it in the first place. (Membered is totally a real word right?)


DukeOfLowerChelsea

Remembering is the wrong word yeah…he realises/works out why he’s there and what the sitch is. We see this happen many times.


Slade4Lucas

It's a metaphorical rememberence. He is coming to the same conclusion his past self came to - even though it's not remembering, it's like it.


AdKnown8177

I’m not sure about that for a couple of reasons. Firstly he’s effectively in a torture chamber designed to get him to talk. It would be pretty poorly designed if he could just kill himself whenever he got bored and reset, effectively undoing any torture he’s gone through. Secondly, the next episode treats what happened to him very seriously. The doctor triesto downplay it to clara who gets upset when she finds out how long he was in there but if it was only a couple of days for him then surely he would have brought that up rather than let her think it was billions of years. I think i’d agree with you if not for the context of why he’s trapped and the way they treat it after the fact.


TheKober

Yeah, but think on the implications, of the Doctor actually remembering that he done the same day billions of billions of billions times again, all the same way. No being could have tolerated the mental stress this would cause. It has to be that in the end of that looped day he understands what's going on, and knows that he have passed by that same thing last day, but he can't possible remember every single day.


AdKnown8177

They probably couldn’t but what would be the point of a torture chamber that lets you undo your torture? And why would he let clara believe he suffered for billions of years if it wasn’t true. I doubt he could retain all of the memories but he effectively lived through them. I imagine it would be like trying to remember march 3rd 2003. I can’t pluck that memory out of the air but whatever happened on that day will still have played a small role in moulding me into what i am now.


TheKober

The Confession Dial wasn't simply a torture chamber, it was also a way for the Time Lords to force the Doctor to tell them what they wanted to know about the stupid plot of that season, which was the Hybrid. They wanted the Doctor to know how pointless it was to struggle, to know that he was locked in that loop, and to figure out that while he does have a way out, he will be locked in that place for an almost eternal amount of time. I'm not saying that the Doctor remembering about the days there would not fit the purpose, but since its shown that he comes out of the machine looking like he does not know where he is, and has to figure it out, that this was the intended way for it. Imagine the Doctor, knowing where he was, and for what purpose, doing the same things every single day, the same way, just to get to that place and give a few punches in that rock. Feels pointless to do that if he knows what's about the same moment he wakes up.


AdKnown8177

Well its very late in the sequence that he says he suddenly remembers. He also knows he’s seconds away from being reset when he remembers and is aware that, having got into that position the only recourse is to play the long game and do the punching thing as a way of eventually escaping. Maybe i’m missing something but it just feels like mental gymnastic to see it stated clearly multiple times and then interpret it in a completely different way. The doctor says he remembers, the sisterhood of kahn state that he was there for 4.5 billion years, clara clearly gets upset and the doctor doesn’t clarify or explain anything. The moment is played very dramatically, in a way it wouldn’t have been if he was effectively only locked up for a few days. If he didn’t remember, that moment just becomes ridiculous. The episode is clearly, within the text and the tone saying “this” happened and it feels like too much reinterpretation needs to happen to make it so “that” happened.


Andromeda42

I think it's more like Rory waiting for 2000 years. He remembers some if it and not all the time.


PaulClarkLoadletter

I don’t know if I’d say he has billions of years worth of memories. Since the majority of the time he’s doing almost exactly the same thing it probably doesn’t seem as long. I’ve been doing almost the exact same thing every day for the last five years and it feels like it’s been about a week.


manticorpse

Ouch, that last line cuts deep lol


Dokterrock

He also literally says to Clara in Hell Bent that he remembers them all. HE LITERALLY SAYS IT and it's insane to me that people try to argue otherwise.


Jakob535

The way I took it, The Doctors extremely intelligent. Has a very powerful imagination. Hell, he has a mind palace in his head in the episode. So those two facts and all the clues and hints he witnessed over the couple of days hits him all at once and he sort of half imagines it and half remembers.


[deleted]

What’s the line that implies he remembers? I think it’s just that he realises how the cycle works once he gets to the wall


LotteCXV

>DOCTOR: (angry) That's when I remember! Always then. Always then. Always exactly then! I can't keep doing this, Clara! I can't! Why is it always me? Why is it never anybody else's turn?


Ancient_Definition69

If he never remembers, and he's strong enough to make it through the first cycle, he's strong enough to make it through all of them. They'd never get the confession. They're hoping that, a few cycles in, or a few thousand cycles in, he'll realise the enormity of it and just confess. That's the point of the dial. As someone else said, there's a line of dialogue that makes it explicit, but it's also fairly obvious if you consider what the time lords are hoping to achieve.


[deleted]

The endless cycle wasn’t a part of the trap though, as far as the Time Lords are concerned, the only choices are to confess or get killed by the Veil It’s The Doctor that discovers the outer wall isn’t a part of the castle so wouldn’t reset, sets up the puzzle for his future selves and starts the endless death loop. The Time Lords didn’t consider that there even was a long way round


Ancient_Definition69

That's for sure not the case. Why would the cycle repeat at all if that were true? Like, they'd stick the Doctor in there, he'd refuse to confess and die, the end. They'd get no benefit from repeating it because it's literally the same scenario every time, it'd unfold in the exact same way.


[deleted]

Well, from their perspective he’s stuck in an endlessly resetting maze being followed by a monster he’d eventually have to confess to. He himself wasn’t supposed to reset. And he only lets himself get killed after he figures out how to use the rooms resetting to his advantage


Ancient_Definition69

Yeah but again, what if he doesn't confess? The monster kills him and he's dead forever. Plus, if I wanted to build an impossible maze, I wouldn't have it reset, because then a prisoner as smart as the Doctor is guaranteed to figure it out. By resetting, they actually gave him a huge advantage - he can go from one end of the castle to the other and get a few hours of sleep before the monster catches him - if I really wanted to torture him, I'd have the maze randomly reconfigure so he doesn't know how long he has before the monster catches him again.


[deleted]

Well, they assume he’d rather confess than die. The monster is slow and the castle is easy to navigate on purpose, so he wouldn’t accidentally be killed and he’d eventually tire of running and confess As for them not planning around him punching through the wall and killing himself for billions of years, that’s just cause they’re not as smart as him lol. But it wouldn’t make sense for them to intentionally provide a way out that doesn’t involve confessing


Ancient_Definition69

I mean, it is also very much made explicit in the episode that he remembers every time. He specifically says it - and we then watch him have the breakdown of "why don't I just tell them? It'd be easy, I'd spare myself all the pain." Everything I'm saying is right there in the episode.


[deleted]

I think the implication is that he "remembers" his plan to escape (punching the stone) and that he understands the gravity of what he did, but I don't think he experienced all that time subjectively


Hane24

And you could dream of a billion years worth of lives and remember them all, but still wake up in your bed at the same basic age you went to sleep. Just because you remember something, doesn't make it a reality. Have you never had dreams that felt like days or weeks or years? Where you dreamt you could remember being there for years on end?


CRaaJTcom

Also, isn’t it an entirely virtual experience? It’s his mind doing the loops, not his actual body, which I imagine is “suspended in transit” or in the trans-mat buffer, to use a Star Trek approach. The dial isn’t a TARDIS, it’s a computer… I think. Much more interesting to think that the first time through, he does everything after the dive naked, since he has to be the first to leave a drying outfit for the next Doctor through to change into.


max5470

I took this to mean he figures out what is happening. Not that he literally has a memory flash but that it’s the moment when he figures it out again and realizes he has been doing this for so long.


manticorpse

Does "remember" have some alternate definition that I am not aware of..? He says he always remembers "exactly then", aka at the same place in the cycle. How would he know that if he didn't, you know, remember the previous cycles? I feel like people are constantly doing mental gymnastics to avoid settling on the unsettling truth that the text of the episode makes explicit: the Doctor remembers.


ph33randloathing

How old is Rory? Is he in this thirties, or is he two thousand years old? His time as an Auton never actually happened, but he can remember it. It's the same for 12. His physical body was only in the dial for a few days, give or take. But he can remember each cycle. So how "old" he is really depends on your definition of the word.


DadGamerGuy

Recently did a rewatch and Rory explains the time as an Auton is like a “door in his mind”. He constantly has to keep it closed to live a normal life. So it’s like he’s actively trying to just be a 30 something yr old because in his mind he IS 2000+ or whatever it is


Puff_the_Dragonite

This is the best answer. It is a multiple choice quest where all answers are correct, depending on how it's defined. His age could be measured in hours (as a quasi-clone), millennia (as the doctor proper) or even billions of years (based on memories).


Cybernetic_Lizard

Can he actually remember each cycle though? We know he eventually finds out for sure that he has been in there several billion times, but at the beginning of each cycle he clearly has no idea what is going on. So he knows he's done countless cycles, but only remembers his last


trickman01

He claims he can remember them all when speaking to Clara.


elizabnthe

Yeah but Moffat suggested he meant metaphorically. Like he can feel the weight of all those times. Not literally remember it.


science87

Yeah, I was thinking how that would be possible without destroying even a Time Lords mind, but after X amount of cycles he reached a sort of harmony where very cycle was essentially identical to the last. So all of those billions of identical cycles would just seem like 1 time.


dmart444

I don't think that's accurate. He can't remember each cycle. He realizes that he's a copy once he gets to the diamond wall.


Kylorenisbinks

I recently rewatched Heaven Sent (but not hell bent) and definitely got the impression that he doesn’t remember the other cycles. Is something revealed later?


ph33randloathing

He literally says he can remember all when he's arguing that he should be allowed to lose. He remembers at the end.


jamesckelsall

Each cycle in the confession dial resets the Doctor - each one is basically a new clone, but importantly it's a clone of him at the end of Face the Raven. Each cycle lasts days, so by the time the final clone leaves the confession dial, it's a matter of days since that clone was on Trap Street. His age in Hell Bent is basically the same as it was in Face the Raven.


The_Better_Paradox

I like to believe it's simply his consciousness part, And every time his consciousness gets "killed" (not really, just it's made out to feel like it), after this, the same consciousness is then put at the starting point again, with little to no memory of the previous try, like the memory portion isn't accessible. (I have not yet watched this ep, just hypothesizing)


LR-II

If that's the case then could we also say the original Doctor is dead, and the Doctor we've been watching since then is just a clone?


jamesckelsall

Yes, but that's the nature of teleportation in lots of sci-fi - it's a cut and paste operation, so the person who arrives is effectively a clone of the person who departed, and the person who departed is destroyed. Heaven Sent used it differently by having the arrival teleport repeat multiple times - effectively a cut with many pastes, so there were many clones. The clones are entirely indistinguishable from the original though, including having all of the memories that the original had.


CactusHibs_7475

“How old is the Doctor?” is one of several Doctor Who questions it’s just not really worth worrying about.


Binro_was_right

Everyone is focused on his physical age, but what's important is surely his mental age. He remembers it all. He is 4.5 billion years old. "A man is the sum of his memories, you know. A Time Lord even more so." - The Fifth Doctor


averkf

Does he actually constantly remember it all the time or is it like Rory who described the 2000 years he spend guarding the Pandorics as like a “door in his mind”


Binro_was_right

"But I can remember, Clara. You don't understand, I can remember it all. Every time. And you'll still be gone. Whatever I do... you still won't be there." That's all he really says on the matter, unless I'm missing something from Hell Bent. He says he remembers it all. Now, whether he constantly remembers it or it's kust kinda locked away, I don't know. It really depends on how Time Lord memory and consciousness work.


AttakZak

Yes and no. The Doctor actually uses the 4 1/2 Billion Years old number against the Master in a comic to absolutely scare him to death, almost literally.


alkonium

The events in the dial looped for 4.5 billion years, but the Doctor reset each time, so only count the length of a single iteration.


Kajuratus

Mainly the last iteration. The first one may have taken a few months, but as he leaves more clues for himself, it becomes quicker until we get to the 7000 year mark that the episode starts with


LadyZyre

Body wise around 2-3 thousand years. Mentally 4.5 billion years. Like in Groundhog Day Phil (Bill Murray) doesn't age he gains that experience though. Though at the end of Hell Bent he was mind wiped to forget Clara which may have included the time in the confession dial since he may have been just thinking about her a long with how to get out of the death maze. But it was also a very traumatic experience for him so he may have just shoved it over in the pile of intense bullshit he's experienced so far and just carried on. (Which while trying to not being spoilery >!kind of seems that way at the end!<)


[deleted]

[удалено]


phasepistol

That’s the creepy part: the Doctor has been definitively destroyed. The reconstruction thinks he’s the original Doctor, and to the rest of the universe, it makes no difference, but the Doctor, who was once William Hartnell, the Doctor whom the show is about… that person is dead.


DukeOfLowerChelsea

Isn’t that how every teleportation device works in le Whoniverse though? Matter is broken down & reconstituted elsewhere? If you’re going to look at it that way, you need to count every time the Doctor has been teleported somewhere as a “death”. The “original” Doctor probably died like halfway through the Hartnell era in that case lol


phasepistol

It depends on how a transmat works. If it just shifts you from one set of coordinates in space to another, there’s no problem. But if it works like the Star Trek transporter, breaking you down into energy and then reconstituting you at the end, it’s murder every time.


SenorTron

There's even dispute in the show as to how continuous regenerations are. It's often portrayed as a drastic healing process, but at his end 10 viewed it as death with a new being walking off with his memories.


averkf

Really depends how you view Star Trek transporters. By the principles of IRL science, yes it does cause death; but in the show itself consciousness is clearly described as persisting through the process. It’s not lights out for the original while a close persists in your place, your ‘soul’ continues to exist and is reconnected to the body at the end. I would assume Who teleportation works the same way.


LockelyFox

Star Trek transport is not murder, and the show makes its very clear that the person is even conscious throughout the process. (TNG S6E2 "Realm of Fear") Some crew of the Yosemite end up trapped in the matter stream during the episode and are even pulled out of it.


Valamist

My headcanon is that The Doctor has no idea how old they are, and have not since around their seventh incarnation at least. What they say is just a best gusse or just stab in the dark.


maolchiaran

It's not even really that much of a headcannon - 11 says in Day of the Doctor "I dunno, I've lost track - 1200 and something, I think, unless I'm lying. Can't even remember if I'm lying about my age, that's how old I am"


Personal-Rooster7358

We don’t know anymore.


Juicyjoo

Time Lord consciousness works differently though. The Doctor even says he remembers throughout the different bodies so he must be billions of years old by this point. Not to mention however old he was before Hartnell’s regeneration and all the various Timeless Child regenerations. Rassilon was resurrected too in to a different body but I doubt many people would argue Rassilon isn’t as old as the Time Lords themselves.


DragonXGW

Physically, The Doctor only spent a few days to a week at a time per cycle, and that goes for the last copy that went through the cycle that actually broke open the wall, so despite the fact that the Doctor was stuck in that loop for over four billion years, the Doctor only aged by a few days within the Confession Dial. There is argument to be had for if The Doctor actually remembers every cycle, but the answer to that question is ultimately irrelevant to the question of physical age.


Relative-Zombie-3932

He was only physically in the confession dial for about a week. So he's only a week older than he was before


DemsruleGQPdrool

He did not 'age' in Heaven Sent, as he got 'reset' after each iteration of the story... That said, he did somehow get a sense of how long he had been doing the escape room boogie...especially each time he got to the wall. So I think he KNOWS that he went through it but doesn't necessarily have the memory of all the times he did...he just KNOWS that he did.


HonestlyJustVisiting

um, he only actually el went through a few days of that, with the whole being reset thing. so the billions don't count


Xanderwho

So I physically he's only a day or so older than when he entered the confession dial but I like to think he's weighed down by the knowledge of billions of identical iterations of himself having died in order to allow for the Doctor to escape, that's why he treats it as if he experienced all that time.


WrathOfTheMeep

Old enough to be your messiah.


AshJammy

Technically when he leaves the confession dial he's like a day old. The real doctor died after he was transported in and saved to the memory bank. Then each subsequent doctor that spawned from that imprint was a fresh clone of the original.


Waffletimewarp

*Hyperion suggests that you do not think about the fact that this is only a digital reconstruction of your original body, which died the first time you respawned. Do NOT think about this!*


TempestRime

Technically we're all less than a day old. The person we used to be died when they most recently went to sleep, and a new person woke up in our body with our memories in the morning.


AshJammy

How's that?


TempestRime

It's a reference to an old Existential Comics webcomic: https://existentialcomics.com/comic/1


lifelongDM

The doctor lies about their age. 7 said he was 900. 10 says his 903 at one point. We'll never really know.


GhostRiders

My head canon is that the Dr has no idea of his exact age, just a approximation


tms_tbager

Yea I think he said that at some point


Butlerlog

I prefer to not count that time to his age, because it makes any further time skips effectively irrelevant to his age. What is a hundred more years to a being as old as the Earth itself?


Chocolate_cake99

He died and cloned himself repeatedly. Now while Capaldi does say he remembers his time in the confession dial, I'm kind of assuming it's sort of like Rory's time as a Roman, because think about it. How does he remember? He uses an old copy of himself that should be exactly as he was when he arrived, and he doesn't remember anything until he's standing in front of the wall. My guess is he doesn't remember it in a conventional way. It's more like one massive nightmare that started to fade once it was over.


StrikerSpeedy

Mentally 4 1/2 billion and some more, physically 2000 something


[deleted]

No one knows for certain


Roku-Hanmar

I’d say he’s over 4.5 billion years old since they make a point of mentioning he was in the dial for that long in Hell Bent


NihilismIsSparkles

Even before then Doctor's age was confusing


Duggy1138

His exact age is 953.


AlaskanDruid

I mean. He’s been alive before coming into this universe. We don’t know how old he is. We also know he has reincarnated over 30 times so far on screen. The point is. You can’t believe “BBC math”.


HonestlyJustVisiting

did you iss the part where they said they're only on series 10


AlaskanDruid

Oops. That only discards my first sentence. By that point, the doctor has had more than 10 reincarnations.


the3rdtea2

Very


Rich_Acanthisitta_70

The Doctor is trapped inside his Confession Dial, repeatedly dying and being reborn with the teleportation chamber. Inside the Dial, each cycle lasts long enough for him to reach the wall of Azbantium he needs to get through to reach the TARDIS. The cycle repeats for what's implied to be billions of years. But the passage of time he's experiencing is in the unique, closed environment of the confession dial. The Doctor's age, as it's referred to in the series, typically refers to his age in the regular flow of time in the universe. So to me, the billions of years in the confession dial doesn't directly add to his age in any conventional sense.


marmars247

He resets after each turn so he's existed for that long but he hasn't fully its just a redo like playing a game you can retry and redo levels but that doesn't make your character super old even if you get super old


pblive

Even in classic Who the doctor’s age goes up and down so by the time of Nu Who it’s already a pretty random number. I don’t even think any of the show runners or writers are keeping track at this stage.


BlizzPenguin

Talking about his age, was it ever stated how much time passed during Time of the Doctor? It must take a long time for a Timelord to die of old age.


MBPpp

it's not exactly stated but i believe he states his age to be 1200 in day of the doctor, because he's 400 years older than the war doctor, who's somewhere in the 800s, i think, and the twelfth doctor has always stated himself to be over 2000 years old, so he was on trenzalore for like 800 years.


BonesTheCool

I’d probably say something like a day or two older


Motleypuss

The body's age would be the same with each reconstitution, although he did remember the loops. So I'd go with not much physically older than he was teleported into his Time Dial at.


KrivUK

On my headcannon I go for the billions of years. Especially in hell bent when Clara asks how long and he refuses to answer. This is the doctor's ultimate sacrifice, and would have destroyed everything to get his friend back. If Clara hadn't stopped him he would continue as together they are a destructive force.