Before BBC breaks the internet tomorrow when they announce who will be playing the Doctor’s 13th incarnation, the studio sought to remind everybody that current actor Peter Capaldi still has one adventure left in the tank via an image from this year’s Christmas special.
Entertainment Weekly unveiled the first look at the episode, a still image which shows Capaldi standing alongside David Bradley’s (Game of Thrones, The Strain) take on the First Doctor in what showrunner Steven Moffat guarantees will be as faithful an adaptation of William Hartnell’s performance as possible. “We’ve authentically re-created the First Doctor,” Moffat told EW. “We could put it out in black-and-white, and you would think it was William Hartnell. There’s new monsters, there’s new jeopardy. But what’s fascinating is the First Doctor confronting the superhero he’s going to become, with his supersize TARDIS and all that.”
The Christmas episode will actually not be the first time that Bradley has portrayed the First Doctor, following his stint in the role during 2013’s docu-drama An Adventure in Space and Time. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the beloved property, the 90 minute special was essentially a biopic of Hartnell’s time on the show in its early stages, and was written by Moffat’s writing partner and Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss.
This year’s Christmas special will not only feature Capaldi passing on the TARDIS keys to a new actor or actress, but also mark Steven Moffat’s last foray as the series’ showrunner, a role he has held since 2008. Taking over the show will be Chris Chibnall, and the Broadchurch creator will actually be implementing narrative control of the series before the Christmas episode concludes. “It’s my show up to the point Mr. Capaldi regenerates,” Moffat revealed. “Then it passes to Chris, and he worries about the last section.”
Peter Capaldi and Steven Moffat are both set to make their final promotional appearances for the series next week during a Hall H panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego. The Doctor Who Christmas special will debut on BBC and BBC America December 25.
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