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Latest DOCTOR WHO Trailer Teases Change, Maybe Earlier Than Expected

Latest DOCTOR WHO Trailer Teases Change, Maybe Earlier Than Expected

We’re now less than two weeks away from the premiere of Doctor Who‘s tenth series since being rebooted, and it’s going to be one of firsts and lasts. New companion Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie) will be the first full-time openly gay companion, which is an amazing beginning, but it’ll also see the end of both Steven Moffat as head writer/showrunner and Peter Capaldi in the lead role. We’ve been told that Capaldi would be regenerating in the 2017 Christmas episode, but the latest short teaser ends with an image that suggests the Twelfth Doctor might be bowing out a little early.

While most of the teaser consists of clips we’ve seen already (though, holy crap, I could watch Michelle Gomez’s Missy dab all day), the final shots are of a doubled-over Twelfth Doctor as regeneration energy begins to emanate from his hand. Whoa! A regeneration, earlier than we were told?! Christmas has been, since Series 1, a time when regeneration either happens or is discussed. Christopher Eccleston regenerated at the end of his lone series, but “The Christmas Invasion” very much dealt with what regeneration is and what it does. Since then, David Tennant has regenerated at New Years (in the second part of the Christmas special) and Matt Smith regenerated bang-on Christmas day. The notion of Capaldi going at Christmas too seemed rote and too obvious.

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But then why show us this in the teaser? If Moffat was really going to throw a curve ball at us in the regeneration department–and having the Doctor truly regenerate in the middle or end of a series would certainly be disorienting–then why tease it in a new trailer? To me, this could be pointing to a few possible outcomes:

  1. It’s a fake out, as Russell T. Davies did with the Tenth Doctor’s halted regenerated in “The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End.” I would really hope Moffat doesn’t follow suit, because pretty much everybody hated Handy Doctor. Also, since we know he’s leaving anyway, it would at best be a stay of execution.
  2. The series will open with this scene and then we’ll Tarantino it and spend the whole year wondering what happened. Then in the finale, either we’ll see him regenerate, or it’ll end on a cliffhanger. This would be cool, since we know Capaldi’s leaving anyway, so why not have some fun with it in a narrative sense?
  3. The thing I’m hoping for most, Capaldi’s whole “I’m leaving at Christmas” was a misdirect and he’ll actually be regenerating in the middle of the series, or at least at the end of it, and then we’ll have the Christmas special with the new Doctor. That would suggest that Chris Chibnall is at least further along in the process than we’d originally thought. I love Capaldi’s Doctor a huge amount, but the idea of him going out the same way the last three Doctors have is beyond boring.

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The only thing I can’t figure out is why they’d then want to spoil that reveal with only two weeks before the series begins. I guess they want to make sure people watch? If the BBC is really worried about viewing figures and all. Who can say? I’m sure the actuality of what’s happening will be way more interesting than what my brain can figure out. Or it won’t be and I’ll be disappointed.

What do you think this little clip means? Let me know in the comments below!

Images: BBC


Kyle Anderson is the Associate Editor and the resident Whovian for Nerdist. Follow him on Twitter!


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