‘Doctor Who’ Christmas Special Trailer & Images; Matt Smith is the Thirteenth Doctor

Published 1 year ago by

The Doctor of Doctor Who is, aside from his occasional moments of moral ambiguity, generally considered to be one of the good guys, and we’re pretty lucky to have him around considering how many bad guys have shown up over the show’s long history.

While the upcoming Christmas Special ‘The Time of the Doctor’ might not be as much of a landmark as the recent 50th Anniversary Special ‘The Day of the Doctor,’ it will nonetheless mark an important occasion as the swan song of Matt Smith’s incarnation of the Doctor. The actor is moving on from the show, to be replaced by past Doctor Who guest star Peter Capaldi (In the Loop), and a recently released poster for the Christmas Special alluded to this with the tagline, “A change is going to come.”

Before that can happen, however, there are still the aforementioned bad guys to deal with. A new set of images released over at Blogtor Who reaffirms that the Daleks, the Cybermen, the Silence and the Weeping Angels will all be making an appearance: the “massed forces of the universe’s deadliest species,” as the synopsis described them. It’s like a Christmas dinner with all your least favorite relatives, except slightly more dangerous.


The episode is set on a “quiet backwater planet” where children are apparently kept entertained by a Punch and Judy show featuring the Doctor as Punch and a Monoid as Judy (because why not?), and where the various monsters in the line-up have been drawn by a mysterious message sent out into space. The Doctor, who could also be counted among the universe’s deadliest species, has been drawn there by the same message and has brought Clara along for the ride.

The monsters aren’t the only reason to tune in for ‘The Time of the Doctor,’ however. Speaking to the Radio Times this week, showrunner Steven Moffat revealed an intriguing piece of information about Matt Smith’s version of the Doctor. Until recently it was assumed that he was the eleventh incarnation of the character, but that perception got a shake-up after it was revealed in the 50th Anniversary Special that John Hurt’s version was the Ninth Doctor, which makes Matt Smith’s Doctor the twelfth. Or does it?

“We’ll find out [in the Christmas special] that Matt Smith is actually the 13th Doctor. Although everyone knows that the Doctor can only regenerate 12 times. That 12 times limit is a central part of Doctor Who mythology – and science fiction is all about rules, right? So if the Doctor can never change again, what’s Peter Capaldi doing in the Christmas Special?”

Now that we know the ‘The Day of the Doctor’ showed the beginning of the Ninth Doctor’s regeneration, and that David Tennant went through more than one regeneration, it’ll be interesting to see how Moffat brings all of the regeneration logic together to provide a fitting farewell for Matt Smith, while still presenting a story worthy of its holiday airdate.

No matter what, though, fans can be sure about one thing: Doctor Who will make you cry on Christmas Day.


The Doctor Who Christmas Special, ‘The Time of the Doctor,’ premieres December 25th on BBC and BBC America @9pm.

Source: Blogtor Who, Radio Times

Follow H. Shaw-Williams on Twitter @HSW3K
TAGS: Doctor who
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  1. They seem to have completely backtracked on that new Dalek design. Maybe they felt that it wasn’t very popular and reverted back to the Moffat version!?

    • I was thinking about this as well. I liked the new design a lot, I don’t see why they would go back to the previous version.

      • I’m in no way averse to a redesign, but their proportions are all wrong. From the side in particular they just look hunched-over, bulbous and ridiculous to me.

    • Apparently they’ll only be using the fat-arsed mob as a kind of “officer class”, which is fine by me. :-)

  2. The following is not a theory, its FACT

    Matt IS the 13h, Peter WILL be the 14th. They WILL have to explain more regenerations. Steven said that davids regeneration into himself in series 4 finale COUNTS. That makes john 9, Christopher 10, David 11 AND 12, Matt 13, and Peter WILL BE 14.

    That is FACT. If you want proof I will post the quote from moffat later when i have time.

    • Don’t need proof, just hate moffat for rewriting history. My theory of him hating Russel T. Davies storyline have been proven true after all this time.

      • In Moffat’s defence, he doesn’t really have much choice in this matter. If the regeneration is limited, and we’re at (if not past) the limit, then he must make a change to the mythology to help with the longevity.

        Or else Matt is the last and then no more Doctor Who, which would be rubbish.

        • It’s rather easy to explain away. Moffat already gave the Doctor all of River Song’s remaining regenerations, just use those up.

  3. Ok if thats the case, why did john hurt regenerate into peter capaldi in the 50th special? he must be before christopher eccleston then no? What you’re saying does make the most sense but keeping in line with what happened in the 50th special wouldn’t be right. I do wonder how they will explain it if he is after john hurt

    • Actually John Hurt was regenerating into Christopher Eccleston, not Peter Capaldi. Matt Smith will be regenerating into Capaldi in the Christmas episode.

  4. Never was a fan of Dr. Who but when he came back with thought I ‘d give him a try. and I really liked it. I’ve stuck with him till now, but the thing that bothers me is it’s become very formulaic, Dalek, Cybermen, save world ,new Doctor, new companion , Doctor’s dying, homeworld family Dalek, ect..There aren’t many shows in a season, what’s the constant rush ? ,slow down, Did Tennent have to leave? does Smith ? Why can’t an actor stick around at least till we want a new one .or until it is a natural progression of the story ? The new Doctor shows up at Christmas, bet in the first season he will face Daleks, Cyberman ,weeping angels and getting a new companion. How about changing it up for a while and do a few seasons ,[there less and less episodes in a season].about something else?.you can always come back to the old favorites.

    • I’ve had enough of the Weeping Angels and the Silence. Don’t really want to see them again. They completely wasted the Cybermen in the last episode they were in, making their new suits seem pointless.

      • I think with the Cybermen there needs to be more emphasis on the fact that they’re partly organic, even if it’s just down to the the suits and the way they move. The “Riverdance” unified stomping thing when they were first reintroduced was about as far from creepy as it gets.

    • Yes Tennat and Smith are leaving because they wanted to, they just change doctors when the actor chooses to leave. Even in classic who, The Doctor has faced the Daleks and Cybermen in most (every?) incarnations, just because they bring back some monsters that doesn’t mean it’s very formulaic. You seem to be forgetting that in series 7 there was only one Dalek (Asylum of the Daleks) episode and one Cybermen (Nightmare in Silver episode; other than that most of the episodes were new villains and one that was brought back from classic who (Ice Warriors). I am not saying you are wrong on your opinion, that’s you and it’s okay that you might not like the way they do their series, but I am just pointing out Daleks, Cybermen and Weeping Angels are very famous so it’s okay to bring them back once per season and the doctor/companion dynamic has always been like that and it changes only when the actors decide to leave.

      • I think it’s a little different with the Daleks because they aren’t BBC owned. It’s an odd situation, especially since they are and will likely always be associated specifically with the show but Terry Nation created them and managed to hold onto the rights until his death, at which point they passed to his estate. I think BBC has to use them within a certain amount of time or lose the right to use them.

    • So far every Doctor since the relaunch has left the show because he decided he wanted to leave the show. Eccleston left because he wanted to leave. Tenant left to pursue other projects. They even did a “season” of just TV Specials to accommodate Tennant’s commitment to a stage production of Hamlet with Patrick Stewart. From what I recall, Moffat announced that Smith was coming back for another season, and then Smith subsequently announced that he had decided to leave the show after the Christmas Special.

      So it’s not like RTD and Moffat have been pushing out the Doctors by choice. They’ve merely been filling the role as it is vacated by the actors.

  5. Not a Fan of Matt Or Moffat. Moffat’s Dr who is weak makes no sense, the writing is ok but production poor becaue over done to compensate for bad acting and lack of diredction and style. Not worth watching. Tennant, T davis and gang birlliant miss them

    Miss Dr who as brilliant writing, theater, style, Drama and GOOD comedy and emotional too.

    Ps: the 5oth Anni was good but one show out of 2 years is a poor level and standard

    When Moffat leaving?