Doctor Who fans unite — the 2017 Christmas Special is on the other side of the horizon; with that, so is Peter Capaldi’s regeneration.
As you watch the final episode of season 10 tonight, it’s okay to feel a prevailing sense of sadness and even fear. Maybe there is no immediate jeopardy for you as a person in real life, but there is a fear of the unknown for a show that fans are completely invested in. For so many of us, Doctor Who is an escape from the world, which is something many of us need right now. It represents heart, spirit, imagination, fun, and so much more. We’re protective of it, and Capaldi’s Twelve was a perfect embodiment of what we want a Doctor to be. He was quirky, adventurous, mysterious, and then also heartfelt when he needed to be. More than that, Capaldi was the perfect embodiment for the show — he cared about it, he’d been a fan his entire life, and he understood the responsibility that went along with it. You don’t just take off the coat and become a normal man; there are children and adults all over the world who want to be your friend, who imagine themselves as the Companion going along on various adventures with you.
These people are going to miss Peter Capaldi; we’re also going to miss Peter Capaldi. Every Doctor is missed for different reasons. David Tennant is the first one we ever saw, and his entire journey felt like this mysterious / wonderful / incomplete journey given that we came into it midway through. Matt Smith’s regeneration is something that we’ve watched a million times over, as we were there from the beginning and seeing Karen Gillan and Jenna Coleman so close to one another was a heart-wrenching delight (if there is such a thing).
Now, we look towards the Christmas Special, and the next regeneration to come. It will air on Christmas Day, and as of this writing, there’s not too much known about it save that it will also serve as the final episode for Steven Moffat and possibly the final episode for his go-to director Rachel Talalay. Everyone will have a chance to take a bow together before walking off into the sunset. Moffat himself said already that it’s soul-crushing for him to see Doctors go given his own love for the show, but we understand why Peter wanted to dip out at this stage. He’s been the star of the show for three full seasons now, and has had very little free time. It’s time for him to move into the next phase.
One more thing worth noting is that no matter who the Twelfth Doctor is, new showrunner Chris Chibnall will write their scenes in the Christmas Special, even if it’s just a brief one. This will be the end of the old, and the beginning of the new. It’s a brave new world out there, Doctor Who fans: Better get ready.
If you watched the show tonight, you saw one other small tease: David Bradley will be playing his version of the first Doctor (originally played by William Hartnell) on the special.
Share your hopes and expectations for the Doctor Who Christmas Special, and Peter Capaldi’s regeneration to go along with it, in the comments.
Meanwhile, click here in the event you do want some additional news now when it comes to the series and the finale airing today. (Photo: BBC.)