3.9 - Family of Blood
“Now he’s got me.”
Doctor Who Series 2: Doomsday
requested by Anonymous
How in the fuck did he survive this, yet the fourth Doctor fell off Jodrell Bank and thought “sod it”?
If you’re interested:
Fall injuries are weird, and a bit random. It really depends on how you land, and all sorts of other circumstances. Some people manage to literally walk away from falling off buildings with nothing worse than a sprained ankle or a broken wrist. In other cases, someone can slip and be killed instantly from falling only the length of their body.
We can see in End of Time (and in this gifset) exactly how Ten lands. His arm hits the ground first, then his leg, then his cheek (notably the part of the head where the brain isn’t). His chest/torso doesn’t touch the ground until he collapses, and he hit his face instead of his head.
What this means is that, while he’s hurt, the parts of his body which are most badly damaged are not the vital, life-supporting parts. Essentially, either he knew exactly how to land in order to survive, or he got very lucky. Plus, we never actually get to see the extent of his injuries in full- it’s a high adrenaline situation which he spends the vast majority of sitting down. Then, immediately afterwards, he gets blasted with radiation and dies/regenerates. If he was injured in a way which would have affected him more slowly, it doesn’t get a chance to.
Also of note: The glass slowed him down in a way which may very well have been crucial. There have been IRL cases of (non time lord) people hitting power-lines or tree branches on the way down which slow their descent to the point where falls which should have been fatal result in only relatively minor injuries.
Now, transitioning to Logopolis. We don’t actually see Four fall. We see him lose his grip, then it cuts to the Master, and when we see the Doctor again he’s lying flat on his back, dying.
We don’t know exactly how he hit the ground, but given that he fell onto his back, he did not break the fall with limbs. This means that the first point of impact would have either been his back or the back of his head. What this means is that nasty fatal things like head injuries and organ damage are significantly more likely.
There’s also the Doctor Who science of regeneration, which is a bit dodgier than real science, but also makes sense in this case. As far as we can tell, an individual dying Time Lord has some control over the speed of the regenerative process. It appears as if they can trigger it at several different points along the spectrum of ‘dying’, ranging from immediately after a critical injury/illness (including one which could be theoretically survivable with treatment), to after the point of death.
Ten does not want to regenerate. That’s where 3/4 of the emotional arc comes from. He’s also capable of holding the regeneration in. So, indeed, if he was dying from his injuries here, it’s very possible that he’d have just been holding the regeneration back completely. He was busy, and he didn’t want it to happen. Again, the radiation happens so quickly after the fact that we can’t tell what would have happened without it.
Four, on the other hand, knew he was going to regenerate and seemed to be pretty much okay with that. Unlike several other Doctors, he didn’t try to hold off his regeneration at all- he let it trigger as soon as he was injured. It’s possible he could have survived for a bit longer, but he didn’t, for some reason.
tl;dr: The science of this actually does sort of work. Fall injuries are weird, Ten was very lucky, Four wasn’t.
This fandom is amazing
To go along with the strange science of regeneration it’s also important to note that 10 is older then 4 was and that he’d gone through 6 regenerations. It’s entirely possible that time lords simply get stronger the older they get older/spend more time in the time stream. Ten also had survived the Time War and had held the heart of the TARDIS inside him for a brief amount of time both of which could have made him physically more capable of surviving a fall then four was.
The real world science works as well as mentioned fall injuries are weird especially where head injuries are concerned.
okay after seeing these to i really do believe we need one of the ninth doctor guys
I think that would have to be the “Air from my lungs” gif.
I did it…
yay ~ you are officially amazing ^
If you think there’s gonna be trouble…
Doctor Who Series 2: The Impossible Planet