When ‘Doctor Who’ returns on Christmas day, it will be with twice the usual number of Doctors, as departing Peter Capaldi is joined by David Bradley, who will be assuming the role of the Time Lord’s first incarnation. But the two Doctors aren’t merely crossing paths, rather they appear to be doing so in the midst of an established story, specifically the 1966 classic ‘The Tenth Planet’.
Trailers for the special have (briefly) featured companions Polly Wright and Ben Jackson, here played by Lily Travers and Jared Garfield respectively. This has fueled speculation as to just what we might see on the First Doctor’s side of this story. Now, speaking to ‘This Week in Time Travel’ podcast, Director Rachel Talalay has further fueled that speculation, suggesting that at a minimum that the special will include recreated scenes from the First Doctor’s era:
“I feel like I’m an expert on ‘The Tenth Planet’! I think I’ve watched ‘Tenth Planet’ more than anybody. Sections of it I’ve watched over and over again for reasons that will become clearer over Christmas and also different reconstructions and the animated reconstructions. So yeah, I’ve watched sections of it a lot.”
This isn’t the first time the possibility of recreating material from missing episode has been raised in recent years. Most notably, it came up when Bradley last stepped into the TARDIS for the 2013 anniversary docudrama ‘An Adventure in Space and Time‘. For that docudrama, Bradley played First Doctor actor William Hartnell, with other performers filling the roles of various companions of the 1960s. This sparked speculation within online fan communities that the BBC could recreate missing material with new performers.
While I wouldn’t count on seeing a Bradley-starring version of ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ anytime soon, Talalay’s comments do make it seem pretty likely that at least some material from ‘The Tenth Planet’ will be recreated for the special. The fact that Talalay mentions watching the reconstructions is particularly telling, as three of the four episodes of ‘The Tenth Planet’ are intact and present in the BBC archive. This dovetails nicely with the fact that the special will presumably deal with both the First and Twelfth Doctors confronting the looming specter of their own regenerations.
‘Doctor Who’ will return this Christmas for the broadcast of ‘Twice Upon A Time’. The special, which will culminate in the regeneration of Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor, is also set to feature Pearl Mackie, David Bradley, and Mark Gatiss. In addition to Capaldi, producer Steven Moffat will also be bowing out at Christmas. The outgoing star and showrunner will be succeeded by Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall, respectively.
Be sure to check back with ScienceFiction.com for more news on both ‘Twice Upon a Time’ and the upcoming eleventh season of ‘Doctor Who’ as it becomes available!