Doctor Who is set for regeneration at the end of the year, and showrunner Steven Moffat says Peter Capaldi will leave on a rather surprising note. With both men set to leave the show after the 2017 Christmas special, it really is the end of an era as incoming showrunner Chris Chibnall and the as yet unknown 13th Doctor take over.
Capaldi's regeneration has been teased for some time, both in the press and during season 10 itself, and now Moffat has given more cryptic clues as to how it could all take place.
Speaking to Radio 4's Front Row program in the U.K., Moffat reiterated earlier comments that this regeneration will be different to any that have come before, and revealed that he's been working with Chibnall on how it will all take place:
"You all know that the mighty Peter Capaldi will be bowing out, but we're gonna do it slightly differently this time and I've been working with Chris [Chibnall, the next showrunner] about how we do the changeover in a new way. I'm not going to tell you what that is. I'm excited by it, I think it's gonna work well. Every regeneration is different, but we are playing it slightly differently this time. I think we've got a good idea."
Traditionally, Doctor Who Christmas specials have been lighter in tone than the season itself, which can deal with some dark issues at times. Generally, there's more of a family orientated storyline, reflecting the fact that many families sit down and watch together as part of their Christmas celebrations. It seems as though Moffat is aiming to keep to that unwritten rule, saying that the Season 10 finale is a bloodbath, but that the angst is then out of the way for Capaldi's final farewell:
"I kind of do the angst in the series finale. You'll see how this pans out when you see the show, but finales are better at 'last falls', and moments of reflection, and anguish, and bloodbaths – which it certainly bloody is! Whereas, Christmas Day isn't a great day to kill off a children's favorite. It can be sad – and it is – but to actually kill off lovely old Doctor Who is not what you want to see on Christmas Day. So it will be a tale of redemption, and hope, and deciding to carry on, instead of being a tale of the Doctor falling."
Moffat's comments are certainly intriguing; it sounds as though we could possibly see the actual regeneration take place in the season finale, meaning the incoming Doctor could actually get a decent amount of screen time in the Christmas special. Certainly Capaldi's Doctor seems aware that he's on his way out; he's suffered a lot already this season and his regeneration shows signs of having already begun. There's also the possibility that the 'bloodbath' that Moffat refers to could involve Missy, since Michelle Gomez has confirmed she will also be leaving the show. The futures of Nardole (Matt Lucas) and Bill (Pearl Mackie) are also uncertain; could the Doctor's companions fall foul of the Mondasian Cybermen?
Doctor Who season 10 continues with 'The Empress of Mars' on Saturday, June 10th, on BBC1 and BBC America
Source: Radio 4