As we discussed earlier this week, there seems to be a possibility that this season of ‘Doctor Who’ – a season which most fans expect to culminate in current Doctor Peter Capaldi’s regeneration during the Christmas special episode – could surprise us with the Doctor’s regeneration happening sooner rather than later. Clues have been dropped that indicate this possibility, most notably in the first teaser trailer for the new season, where the final bit actually shows the Doctor’s hand starting to glow gold in the familiar regeneration process.
Also as we noted, that supposed regeneration could very well be a “fake-out” regeneration, similar to those that the previous two incarnations of the Doctor also went through before their actual full regenerations. After the first episode of this new season, however, we were given a short “Coming this Season on Doctor Who” teaser that further seems to show our good sir Capaldi heading for full regeneration a bit early:
So, which is it? Capaldi has mentioned in an interview that he’s already filmed his “death scene,” but in a recent interview with RadioTimes, Steven Moffat seems to indicate that he hasn’t even written THE scene yet (the Christmas episode isn’t slated to begin shooting until this July). Moffat clearly does want Capaldi’s regeneration to be significantly different than that of the Eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith:
“With Matt I had a sort of idea that his entire run should be in the pre-math of a battle he’s having at the end of his life. But with Peter I wasn’t quite sure. I wasn’t sure for a long time whether I’d be writing him out or whether he’d be carrying on with [new showrunner] Chris Chibnall. That fits his Doctor, though. His Doctor feels sort of impulsive and in the moment and would do something reckless that you wouldn’t expect. That suits me.”
Of course, as I stated – Moffat does tell us that he hasn’t actually written the regeneration scene yet:
“I mean, you can overstate the difficulty of planning a finale for a Doctor. In the end, any Doctor Who story has such catastrophe going on in it, that he could be the one that gets the rock on his head. But I think I’m really happy with what we’re doing for his finale. I’m just working on it now. It’s quite early. I should be further through it, but there you go.”
So, clearly, any regeneration audiences see prior to the Christmas Special likely won’t be the end of the run for the Twelfth Doctor. And that, honestly, is right in line with the weird spot that the Doctor finds himself in, since he’s technically out of “regular” regenerations but has been gifted more by his own people. Indeed, as Capaldi told the New York Times:
“There’s this notion now that it’s the same process he’s gone through every time, and that’s not true. It’s only the last couple of regenerations that have been, as it were, fairly straightforward ones. I can’t go into the details of a lot of it, because I know what happens, but I don’t know how it happens.”
The current season of ‘Doctor Who’ continues on Saturday nights on BBC.
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