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.
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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.