Christmas is just around the corner, which means only one thing – A new episode of Doctor Who! A festive episode has been a tradition since 2005 when the show was revived. During the Christmas-themed episodes, the Doctor has faced many creatures, some of which include The Sycorax, The Empress of the Racnoss, and the deadly Snowmen. However, it seems the joyful and episodes filled with happiness are becoming slightly more depressing. Why? Christmas Day is nowadays the time for the Doctor to regenerate.
The 2017 Christmas Special entitled “Twice Upon A Time” will see the current Time Lord Peter Capaldi bow out of the hit BBC science-fiction series. Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor began his regeneration back in the Series 10 finale in July after being shot by a Cyberman. But, with details emerging that Capaldi’s Doctor will refuse to regenerate, it has also been hinted that Capaldi’s regeneration will be the show’s most explosive yet.
On December 8, the BBC revealed a brand-new trailer for “Twice Upon A Time” showing a very brief clip of Capaldi’s tragic regeneration, and it’s been made clear that Capaldi will be going out in a bang. Speaking to Digital Spy, outgoing Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat has been talking all things regeneration as he described Capaldi’s outing as "volcanic." Moffat said:
"Imagine you had to regenerate? It's not dying. It wouldn't be like dying at all. Dying's awful – you just disappear. But [with regeneration], you really would be somebody else. Imagine that? Imagine you had to go through a process, and you had no idea how you're going to come out of it. You look in a mirror, and you feel different, and you sound different. It would be absolutely terrifying.”
On the other hand, it’s not really been explained why the Doctor likes to blow up his TARDIS when regenerating. Before you start speculating, Moffat has given us the perfect answer as to why the Doctor’s regeneration has become incredibly violent over the last decade. Moffat explained:
“Each time he goes through the process, his regenerations grow more violent and less predictable. I was worrying about this with Chris Chibnall [the showrunner for Doctor Who in 2018]. Every time we regenerate him, he's blowing up more and more sh*t, isn't he? "He used to lie delicately on the floor and wibble a bit, and he'd be somebody else. Then [in David Tennant's final adventure], he blows up the whole entire TARDIS – for no reason that either Russell T. Davies or I could think of, but someone on the internet suggested that it was because of all the radiation he'd absorbed.”
After Tennant regenerated into Matt Smith, it was time to say goodbye to Smith, who ended up destroying an entire Dalek fleet during his regeneration process before passing the Sonic Screwdriver over to Peter Capaldi.
"Then [in ‘Time of the Doctor'], he blows up an entire Dalek fleet. I mean, he must be worried he's going to wipe out half the universe this time. So we have included the idea that it's getting more volcanic each time."
Despite Capaldi refusing to regenerate, we know he eventually goes through with it after it was revealed that Jodie Whittaker, the show’s first ever female Doctor, will be Capaldi’s replacement. Capaldi is joined by David Bradley as the First Doctor (originally played by William Hartnell) as they have one last adventure together, which is penned to be a tale of "hope and redemption." Pearl Mackie will also be returning to Doctor Who for one last adventure with the Doctor. Capaldi, Bradley, and Mackie will be joined by Doctor Who writer Mark Gatiss as they all team up together to give Capaldi the most perfect send off they possibly can.
“Twice Upon A Time” will air on BBC On at 5:30 PM on Christmas Day where Whittaker will make her debut appearance.