The game-changing events of the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special felt more like a beginning than a prelude to an end, with the last of the Time Lords heading off on what could prove to be one of his most epic adventures. It's easy to forget that he will be doing so as a new man.
That's the nature of the show, though - constant change. The Doctor has to keep moving forward, but at least we have one more episode to enjoy Matt Smith's chintastic visage before the 11th Doctor (or is it the 13th?) regenerates as Peter Capaldi. Now we have a few details, a poster, and images from the upcoming Christmas Special, 'The Time of the Doctor.'
Before we examine those images, though, take a look at the synopsis, which - as per usual - reveals very little. Once again, showrunner Steven Moffat is keeping his cards frustratingly close to the vest.
Orbiting a quiet backwater planet, the massed forces of the universe’s deadliest species gather, drawn to a mysterious message that echoes out to the stars. And amongst them – the Doctor. Rescuing Clara from a family Christmas dinner, the Time Lord and his best friend must learn what this enigmatic signal means for his own fate and that of the universe.
We know from a look at the poster and the brief teaser that aired after the anniversary special that the Doctor will tussle with Cybermen, Daleks, The Silence, and the Weeping Angels, but it's interesting to see a bit more of Clara's present-day life outside of the TARDIS after the revelation that she is now a teacher at the Coal Hill School with an eagerly attentive co-worker named Tom.
Could this be the starting embers of another Mickey/Rory co-companion situation as the show possibly transitions to a less flirty and more paternal relationship between Clara and the soon to be older-looking Doctor? We'll have to wait and see, but thanks to a few seconds from a Christmastime trailer, we also know that Moffat is going to give Clara/Doctor shippers one last tease as she calls him her boyfriend (presumably to her family at dinner) and he gives her a slight, affectionate, and surely platonic bottom swat.
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As you can see from the images, the bottom swat may be the episode's whimsical high point. Above, the Doctor is portrayed with a tense look on his face while carrying a severed and battered Cyberman head (maybe he'll be the new co-companion) in multiple images. Meanwhile, in a different image, Clara is standing alone, looking worried.
What does it all mean? Sadly, we know that this episode can only end in immense sadness (and then hopefully more than a quick flash for Capaldi's first true appearance). But as the days tick down to 'The Time of the Doctor,' it's likely that we'll get a few more images to sift through and hopefully a full trailer to help tide us over until the end of December, when silence falls for the 11th (or 13th).
Are you excited to see Matt Smith's swan song?
The Doctor Who Christmas Special, 'The Time of the Doctor,' premieres December 25th on BBC and BBC America @9pm.