Just as we’re winding down from Doctor Who‘s 50th anniversary episode, things are starting to kick into high gear for the Christmas special. Huh. It’s almost like the BBC planned it that way or something. We now have a poster (above) title, and summary. Plus there’s some casting news, and Moffat said some things about regenerations that certainly seem like they’ll have an impact.
First things first: The Christmas episode will be called “The Time of the Doctor,” and the official summary is as follows:
Orbiting a quiet backwater planet, the massed forces of the universe’s deadliest species gather, drawn to a mysterious message that echoes out to the stars – and amongst them, the Doctor. Rescuing Clara from a family Christmas dinner, the Time Lord and his best friend must learn what this enigmatic signal means for his own fate and that of the universe.
As official synopses always are (and should be), this is pretty vague. But there’s some other information that might cast more light on what we can expect from the Christmas special. If you’re OK with some possibly spoilery speculation, and if you’ve already seen the 50th anniversary episode, scroll down past the 10th for more.
According to Digital Spy Orla Brady (Fringe) will have a major role in the episode, playing “someone from the Doctor’s past, with the plot of the festive episode revolving around her.” The revelation that Gallifrey still exists somewhere out there certainly seems to open the field in terms of which characters we might reasonably expect to see; Kasterborous suggests that Brady’s unnamed character might be Jenny, The Rani, or even Romana.
Just as one character comes back, another character will leave, because “The Time of the Doctor” will serve as the final episode for Matt Smith‘s Eleven. Or is that Thirteen?
Via Radio Times:
Officially until now, Matt Smith has been the 11th Doctor, meaning fans have started to wonder what will happen in 5-10 years time when we reach 13 after Peter Capaldi.
But [Steven] Moffat has moved the goalposts, or perhaps more aptly stuck his own sonic screwdriver into the history of the show and given it a big twist.
On Saturday he told me Matt is actually the 13th and final doctor. John Hurt is officially now a doctor and David Tennant used up an extra regeneration during his stay.
That’s relevant because Doctor Who canon says that a Time Lord can only regenerate twelve times. If Matt Smith is actually the thirteenth Doctor then once he dies that should be it. Done. No Peter Capaldi. But obviously that’s not happening. Says Moffat:
The 12 regenerations limit is a central part of Doctor Who mythology – science fiction is all about rules, you can’t just casually break them.
So he’s going to un-casually break it. Gotcha. It was going to happen eventually—even if Capaldi were Twelve like we originally thought he was, it’s not like the BBC would’ve cast one more actor after him and said “Welp, that’s it, we’re canceling this extremely lucrative show now.” It’s the thing about someone from his past coming back that has me most intrigued. Time Lady Time Lady Time Lady.