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Chris Chibnall's New Doctor Who Short Story Is a Deeper Glimpse Into Regeneration

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The Thirteenth Doctor getting her bearings.
The Thirteenth Doctor getting her bearings.
Image: BBC

The circumstances of the Thirteenth Doctor’s regeneration were particularly momentous because while she, like most Doctors before her, was able to regenerate just fine, moments later she was flung out of her ship above the Earth and left to fall to the planet’s surface as her TARDIS both exploded and dematerialized—“dematerialexploding”—before her eyes. This was not an ideal situation.

Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall published “Things She Thought While Falling,” a new short story, on the BBC’s site. But he prefaced it with a note to Whovians:

Hello! We’re living through some strange times right now.

With people staying home, and families stuck together, I thought maybe a few little presents from Doctor Who might help. Something to read, together or alone. New treats, from the people who make Doctor Who.

We’ll try and post things here once or twice a week. Later this week, we’ll have a never-before-published treat written by Russell T Davies.

To start us off, I’ve written a few words about what went through the Thirteenth Doctor’s head, immediately after she regenerated and was thrown out her TARDIS.

Stay safe.

Chris x

In the story itself, Chibnall reveals a fair amount more about what went through the Doctor’s mind as her body fell to Earth in the series 11 premiere, and truth be told, her thoughts were rather charming and indicative of the new kind of person she was actively in the process of becoming (while also potentially falling to her death).


Though falling to Earth might have alarmed a garden variety human, for the Doctor, the experience was a time for some important reflection on her new form, and some quick thinking as to how best to make use of the fact that her regeneration wasn’t yet fully complete.


Because a full-on collision with the ground from that height could certainly kill a Time Lord (see: the Fourth Doctor’s demise), it’s not something the Thirteenth was particularly keen on, which led to her developing a rather novel way to use her predicament to ensure that when she crashed into the ground, she’d more than likely make it. Beyond that, though, “Things She Thought While Falling” also gives voice to the Doctor’s many parallel trains of thought as they’re still becoming accustomed to being part of her new female identity.

The whole thing’s a fascinating, short read, and perfectly fits into some of the first moments of series 11—and that’s something you’re probably going to want to check out.

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