New Doctor Who Christmas Special Rumors Surface

A brand new casting rumor for the 2017 Doctor Who Christmas special just surfaced, one that would confirm my prediction yesterday, and holy gods please let it be true.

It was only yesterday that I was speculating on the different ways Moffat and company were planning on handling the Christmas special. With the Doctor confirmed to be at least mid-regeneration by the end of the season, we had three options as far as I could see it.

  • Moffat lies and Chibnall is writing the Xmas special starring the new Doctor
  • A Christmas special like Tennant’s first episode when the new Doctor sleeps through most of it
  • An episode like “Heaven Sent” where the Doctor is alone in his head in a tour-de-force monologue, as only Capaldi does best.

I considered the last one to be the least likely, but the one I wanted to see the most. But perhaps I was too hasty in writing off such a scenario. Today’s rumored casting for the Christmas special would in fact support an “all in his head” type episode. After all, just because it’s all in his head doesn’t mean it’s not real.

According to The Mirror (so yes, medium sized boulders of salt) Doctor Who has cast David Bradley in the new special.

For those wondering why Hogwarts’ caretaker Filch, or Game of Thrones‘ evil dinner host Walder Frey would cause such excitement, it’s because this is not the first time he’s been to the Whoniverse. Bradley starred in BBC America’s 50th Anniversary special, An Adventure in Space and Time–cast as William Hartnell, who played the First Doctor. His performance was fantastic, and key to that movie’s success.

An Adventure in Space and Time
An Adventure In Space and Time Image via BBC America

It has been suggested if the show ever wanted to bring back the First Doctor in some manner, Bradley would be the actor of choice. And according to the article, that’s exactly who he’ll be playing.

Doctor Who will have a unique time travelling companion in the Christmas Special – in the shape of his first incarnation…. In the plot, the 1st Doctor has to help the 12th play out his last mission in the TARDIS. The pair must work together to save home planet Gallifrey by moving it to another dimension.

If that sounds oddly familiar, that’s because that happened in the middle of the 50th anniversary special–where we first got a look at Twelve’s soon-to-be-infamous eyebrows. It would make sense that Moffat would go back to the 50th anniversary, which was his greatest triumph as showrunner, and mine it for his last episode. This is, after all, the man who invented the phrase “wibbly wobbily timey wimey”.

The scene in question actually included all 12 Doctors thus far–13 if you count the War Doctor. How better to bring an end to the Moffat era, and all the Classic Who callbacks these last few seasons, than with an episode that finds a way to include footage of all the Doctors who ever were, and starring the two oldest incarnations? (It would also be a bit of a thumb in the eye to the BBC, who are apparently slightly hysterical to get back to a “young handsome” Doctor.)

It also solves the “there’s no companion cast” aspect of the Christmas special as well, and would leave a clean slate for Chibnall to start with in 2018. Of all the Doctor Who rumors that are floating about this week, let’s hope this one has the right of things.


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