It’s “a time for heroes,” as the trailer for the new series of Doctor Who suggests. It’s also a time of major change for the long-running British series. We know that The Doctor, who Peter Capaldi has expertly played since 2014, as well as showrunner Steven Moffat, are both leaving the show after this year’s Christmas special.
First off, a new trailer has been released today, featuring the titular hero, his new companion Bill (played by Pearl Mackie), Nardole (played by Matt Lucas, who has been in the last two Christmas specials), and the devious Missy (played by Melissa Gomez). It also features some monsters of old and new that the heroes will face off against. Here is the trailer:
Did you catch that moment at the very end? Here’s a still frame:
Capaldi’s Doctor is gripping a wall in pain, clutching his chest, his hand glowing that all-too-familiar golden regeneration energy.
Could this be the 12th Doctor’s last stand? That would be a bit surprising. Capaldi announced back in January that his final episode would be the Christmas special, leading viewers to assume that’s when the long-anticipated new Doctor would make his (or her?) first appearance. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean the 12th Doctor won’t regenerate earlier than expected.
Is this brief orange glow a false alarm? It wouldn’t be the first time Who “faked” a regeneration. Back in the Series 4 episodes, “The Stolen Earth” and “Journey’s End,” the 10th Doctor (David Tennant) was about to regenerate, when he siphoned off the energy that would have changed his appearance and personality into his severed hand (you had to be there).
Be it in the coming weeks, or in December, we know for a fact that Capaldi is bowing out as the beloved Time Lord.
Other Who news broke over the weekend, as it was announced that The Doctor’s new companion, Bill Potts, is the show’s first openly gay main character, and will have her sexuality revealed in her first scene in the new series.
Her time on the show may be short-lived, however. If rumors are true, this will be Bill’s one and only series on the show. This is reportedly due to the new showrunner, Chris Chibnall, aiming for a clean slate when his era begins with Series 11.
Peter Capaldi and Steven Moffat’s final series of Doctor Who begins April 15.