While it doesn’t super duper matter, now that Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor is two seasons into her tenure, there’s always been a lingering question from her premiere episode “The Woman Who Fell to Earth“: How did she survive that fall from the TARDIS?
Current showrunner Chris Chibnall has shared a short story on the Doctor Who site that reveals the specifics of the Doctor’s post-regeneration survival. The story “Things She Thought While Falling” reads like a flavor document meant to help Whittaker internalize the then-new Doctor’s voice:
That’s interesting, she thought. I seem to be an optimist. With a hint of enthusiasm. And what’s that warm feeling in my stomach? Ah, I’m kind! Brilliant.
So how did the Thirteenth Doctor survive becoming a splattercake after falling hundreds of feet onto a train? Regeneration magic. Well-established regeneration magic, that is. We’ve seen before that a new-ish Doctor can still pull off some radical healing abilities with leftover “regeneration energy,” the most notable instance being David Tennant’s Doctor growing an entirely new hand.
“It’s a fightin’ hand!” We totally forgot about that. Oh, David Tennant. You’re the hero we needed AND deserved.
(Fun fact! The severed hand was later collected and used to grow a new David Tennant, which then stayed behind in a parallel dimension, meaning he could feasibly return at any moment because Doctor Who is so weird.)