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The Eighth Doctor was unique amongst incarnations of the Doctor in that he was technically dead both when he regenerated from the Seventh Doctor and when he regenerated into the War Doctor. Indeed, his fateful choice to have the Sisterhood of Karn turn him into a warrior would have repercussions for several later regenerations. The angst felt by the Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Doctors over the destruction of Gallifrey in the Last Great Time War lead directly back to this Doctor's post-death decision to regenerate into the War Doctor. This choice was his reprisal against a life of much loss and hopelessness that shredded his resolve to carry the title of "Doctor" any longer, and his acceptance that the Last Great Time War needed to be resolved by a hardy warrior who would be fit to enter the battlefield, instead of a healer.
Notes for The Doctor