Fan interest in this year's Christmas Special for Doctor Who ('Twice Upon a Time') is at an all-time high, as it marks the end of Peter Capaldi's tenure as the Twelfth Doctor, and introduces the world to the thirteenth incarnation of the Time Lord and the first female persona, being played by Jodie Whittaker. With that in mind, episode director Rachel Talalay (The Flash, Sherlock) recently shared a few words on how the climatic regeneration sequence was shot and what we can expect from the departing Capaldi.
The official announcement of Whittaker as the first female Doctor took place back in July, and since then we have had further peeks at the new team of Doctor Who companions, and the outfit that her Doctor will be wearing. With the regular annual Christmas Special from the BBC marked as the point at which Capaldi will transform into the new character, every detail regarding the plot has been eagerly awaited. The first substantial Doctor Who Christmas Special footage recently dropped, showing the Twelfth Doctor humorously arguing with the very first Doctor (David Bradley). This episode also marks the last time Steven Moffat will be showrunner, before handing over the responsibility to Chris Chibnall for the future of the show.
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Therefore, it was particularly interesting to hear a few hints being given by regular series director Talalay, as she discussed the climatic transformation scene where Twelve will become Thirteen. Speaking on the Radio Free Skaro podcast (via Radio Times), she promises a suitably epic sendoff for Capaldi and had nothing but praise for the actor:
"When it came to the regeneration in the Christmas episode, Peter has a big scene about it, as one would expect. And he and I spent some time alone on the Tardis, which is his place to sit when he wants to be quiet. We just sat there, in that space, alone, talking through that whole scene. Talking through in his happy space... He had a hundred notes on his script. Again, I view myself as a guide. But he was deeply into it... It's absolutely a Peter Tour-de-force as you can imagine. I was so lucky to get to do it."
Talalay also revealed that both Moffat and Chibnall were present on different days as their Doctors became the primary focus, and she remained the constant factor as the Tardis key was metaphorically handed over:
"The thing I would love to talk about, and look forward to talking about in the future is how I planned Peter's portion of the regeneration versus how I planned and shot Jodie's. Because as a director, that was a really satisfying, interesting, fun challenge, and I'm really pleased with both sides of it."
The departure of a Doctor is always an emotional moment for longtime viewers, and often a perfect hopping-on point for new ones. And it sounds like this year's Christmas Special is going to be a memorable one. Not only for the last/first appearances of the Doctors, but also for the nostalgic content and a celebration of its legacy. So there are plenty of valid reasons for looking forward to this episode and Christmas will certainly be a happy one for the loyal fan base of the show.
Doctor Who 'Twice Upon A Time' airs Christmas Day on BBC.
Source: Radio Times